The ravishing and androgynous Brian Molko!
Molko’s band “Placebo” is pretty swag. With the hit “Pure Morning” being their biggest and most prominent masterpiece! There’s nothing more ethereal than spending my daylight hours with the music of “Placebo”!
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I have done illustration for two novels that have been made into Ghibli movies, but I have not seen either one of the films.
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anyone else just. hates hairdressers so much that they haven´t seen one for at least 5 years
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Lazarus - Bedroom Eyes (1992)
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My friends have said I look like Pony Tsunotori! I'm short with long blonde hair and green eyes! I'm clumsy and kinda a bimbo, and I love being taken care of. My favourite song is the 90s version of "Couple" by Sechskies and my ideal date would be having a nice dinner then watching an old movie and cuddling. 🥺 I'm really kinky, specifically I have a medical kink and glove fetish. My biggest fantasy is probably being experimented on non-consensualy by a crazy scientist. 😅 I don't mind if it's a guy or girl match up. ❤️
Thank you so much and congrats on the 200 followers! Hope you gain many more ❤️
Match-up Event Masterlist
So I always try to choose a character that's a bit unexpected, but I promise I didn't know you were the author of one of my favorite Overhaul fics before matching you up snkdnss
I match you with...
Overhaul is not the gentle, loving kind of man. If anything, your presence makes him even colder towards the world. You're clumsy and weak, and he wants to protect you from the filth that creeps outside of the safe haven that are the Shie Hassaikai's headquarters. That means he'd rather you stay there, safe by his side, so that he can take care of you, and the rare, cold "Thank you"s that escape his lips when you return the favor and let him melt into your embrace as he comes back late some nights make it all worth it. He won't be vulnerable with you per se, but you're still the only one he'll allow to see him like this, maskless, eyes closed and lips slightly parted in pure bliss as you stroke his hair while the two of you lie in bed, sweet, loving words whispered delicately in your voice, so pretty it sounds even angelic. Overhaul is a cold man, but each time he thought of happiness, that's exactly how he pictured it.
His dates are classy, nothing too surprising or adventurous, but he'll make sure you enjoy them all the same. He'll buy you the prettiest clothes and take you to the most expensive restaurants he can find, offer you the kind of life some can only dream of. If he's not used to showing his true feelings, he'll still take your hand over the table and softly stroke yours using his thumb while you wait for your food, just because he enjoys having you there with him, the two of you in your own little world as if nothing else mattered. And maybe that's the case, after all.
He loves indulging in your kinks, finds pleasure in the way your deepest desires are all about his true nature, the one you're embracing as much as he is. His lab is the very place he makes wonders, miracles that will surely change the world and put it in the palm of his hands, and of course he'll take you there to have you, showing you that society is not the only thing he'll bend to his will. He delights in the fact that the feel of his gloves against your skin always make you shiver, and he'll tie you up in that medical chair he uses for his experiments right before having his way with you, stripping you of control because you don't need to have any of it when he's there to take care of you. He'll tear pleasure-filled cries from your lips, his touch cold, calculating, almost professional, and yet, the faint lustful spark that lights in his golden gaze never fails to reveal the truth: he enjoys this as much as you do.
Please tell me if you liked it ♡
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TV SHOWS TO BINGE
Here is a master list of binge worthy shows for this Quarantine Season.
I have starred all shows I have personally seen (at least part of), and I will re-blog this page any time I add anything to it.
Please feel free to re-blog this onto your page, as this was quite a feat, and I would appreciate if it did not, in fact, flop. Also feel free to leave any additions in the comments and I will add them as the days go on.
Happy binging, and remember that TV and entertainment can be the perfect escape during this extremely stressful time.
90′s Throwback Binge:
One Tree Hill*
Buffy The Vampire Slayer*
Boy Meets World*
Sabrina The Teenage Witch *
Saved By The Bell*
Party Of Five *
Fresh Prince Of Bel Air *
My So Called Life *
That 70s Show*
Sister Sister *
The Vampire Diaries*
The Originals *
October Faction *
The Secret Circle *
Utopia Falls *
Stranger Things *
American Horror Story *
My Babysitters A Vampire*
Teen Wolf *
Nancy Drew *
Star Trek (suggested: TNG)*
The Haunting At Hill House
Locke and Key*
The Umbrella Academy
The Walking Dead *
Fear Of The Walking Dead
Are You Afraid Of The Dark*
The Tomorrow People
The Shannara Chronicles *
Everything Is Not Okay*
A Discovery Of Witches
Once Upon A Time
Game Of Thrones
Current, YA/Teen Dramas Binge:
Good Trouble *
The Bold Type *
All American *
Party Of Five *
On My Block*
Anne With An “E”*
The Society *
Roswell, New Mexico*
13 Reasons Why*
Dear White People *
In The Dark
Adult Dramas Binge:
How To Get Away With Murder
This Is Us*
A Million Little Things*
Orange Is The New Black*
Dead To Me*
Pretty Little Lies*
Little Fires Everywhere
When They See Us
Adult Comedies Binge:
Zooey’s Extraordinary Playlist *
New Girl *
Parks And Rec*
Brooklyn Nine Nine*
The Good Place*
Will And Grace*
Grace And Frankie*
One Day At A Time*
Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23*
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Shows That Are Over, But Are Good, Feel Good Or Easy To Watch Binge:
Melissa And Joey*
The Mindy Project *
Hart of Dixie *
Jane The Virgin *
Young and Hungry*
No Tomorrow *
Crazy Ex Girlfriend *
Pretty Little Liars*
The Perfectionists *
The Carrie Diaries*
Switched At Birth*
Jane By Design*
Chasing Life *
The Lying Game*
Friday Night Lights*
2 Broke Girls*
Superhero Shows Binge:
Legends Of Tomorrow
Agents of SHIELD
Cloak And Dagger*
Medical Shows Binge:
The Good Doctor
SUPER Feel Good I’m Having Serious Anxiety And Need To Feel Like The World Is A Disney Show Shows Binge:
Liv And Maddie*
Girl Meets World *
That’s So Raven *
The Proud Family*
Lizzie McGuire *
Drake And Josh
Alexa And Katie *
High School Musical The Musical The Series*
The Expanding Universe Of Ashley Garcia*
Diary Of A Future President*
Austin And Ally*
Phones And Ferb*
Hannah Montana *
Clarissa Explains It All*
The Secret World Of Alex Mack*
Big Time Rush*
Sonny With A Chance*
AaH! Real Monsters*
Wizards Of Waverly Place*
Phil From The Future*
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I think that people who don't write for TV sometimes don't comprehend is the number of drafts that you will go to. Midsomer Murders we go up into 16 drafts, so it's like writing a feature film because they are 90 minutes long. Whoever the killer was in the first draft was never the killer in the last draft. [laughing] Something like A Discovery of Witches, it's 6 to 7 drafts and everybody gets to chime in on it. So there's a draft where the directors will give their notes. There's a draft where the designers will say 'we haven't got the set for that'. And towards the end it becomes very practical. It's like 'we just can't fly to Poland'.
Lisa Holdsworth, scriptwriter A Discovery of Witches
Hats off to the writers!
Orig. photo: ADoWTV Dec 7, 2018
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The “Lesbian-Only Term” Myth: A Comprehensive Historical Essay on ‘Butch’ and ‘Femme’
CARRD VERS. (still with sources)
INCLUDES (in this order):
Before we begin, a key detail is that ‘lesbian’ originally was a synonym for ‘tribade’, meaning any woman who was intimate with another woman. Lesbianism was something someone did. You could have been ‘a lesbian’ and be romantically involved with a boy. Think of ‘lesbian’ and ‘lesbianism’ in these early times as being a synonym for ‘WLW’ (women loving women); a blanket term. It wasn’t until 1892 that neurologists used bisexual. And even then, it wasn’t until the 1960s (and no sooner) that the usage of ‘bi’ became common in a non-academic context. It wasn’t until 1988 that bisexual women and lesbians were ‘officially’ separated (though the movement to separate them began beforehand), and it was also this time that ‘lesbian’ began to mean ‘a woman exclusively attracted to women.’
There are multiple incidents and people credited with the coining of ‘butch’ and ‘femme’. I will go through all of the possible origins, before getting to what is, fairly obviously and easily, the actual origin of the terms.
The coining of the term ‘femme’ is often accredited to historical lesbian, Anne Lister. However, what is often left out of this statement is that the original use of ‘femme’ in the context of describing her partner, Marianna Lawton, who was also involved with a man. It wasn’t even Anne Lister saying it; rather, it was a woman friend who said to Anne about Marianna, ‘Plus femme que moi,’ which translates to, ‘She is more womanly than me.’ If one is saying that ‘femme’ was coined by Anne Lister, they are also saying that ‘femme’ was originally directed at and used to describe a woman who had some sort of romantic relationship with a man.
Butch is said to be a term coined by gay men to mean ‘masculine’ in a type of slang called Polari, otherwise known as Palare. Whilest the exact timeframe of this phrase becoming popularized is unclear, it was popular before the radical feminist movement had separated lesbians and bisexual women, meaning that, even if it did mean ‘masculine lesbian’, it would refer to all WLW, as that is what ‘lesbian’ meant at the time. Butch came into common use with lesbians in the 1940s; again, before the separationist movement came to split up the WLW community into ‘lesbians’ and ‘bisexuals’. There were plenty of butch non-monosexuals (which was the term back then for what we now know as bisexuality).
However, the first usage of ‘butch’ and ‘femme’ is actually ball culture. Ball culture was widely dominated by LGBT+ youth of color. The terms including ‘butch’ and ‘femme’ included:
Butch queen: cis MLM
Femme queen: trans and feminine woman
Butches: masculine-presenting women
Butch queen schoolboy realness: A cis MLM. The ‘realness’ refers to being able to ‘pass’ as a heterosexual male.
Femme queen realness: A trans woman. The ‘realness’ refers to being able to ‘pass’ as a cis woman.
Femme queen face: a category trans woman, highlighting their face.
Butch face: a category for masculine cis women, highlighting their face
Butch queen face: a category for cis men, highlighting their face
Vogue femme: a vogue category for cis MLM and trans men
Femme queen performance: a vogue category for trans women
As you can see, ‘butch’ and ‘femme’ applied to a wide variety of LGBT+ people! It’s easy to dismiss ball culture in the modern era, as it appears to have mostly been taken over by cishets at this point, but when it began, ball culture was for LGBT+ folks; a safe haven for trans, nonbinary and GNC people of color.
So, the terms ‘butch’ and ‘femme’ started off as slang and/or categories in a culture where the L, the G, the B, the T and the plus to all preform. Not even mildly close to lesbian-exclusive in that regard. But I’m sure, when you think about femme and butch history, you think of bar culture.
'Butch’ and ‘femme’ labels closer to how we know them today started in lesbian-only gay bars, around the 1940s. However, ‘lesbian’, at this point in time, was still just a term meaning ‘WLW’, which means that lesbian bars were frequented by women exclusively attracted to women and women attracted to multiple genders. This means that not only were bi women there during yet another situation often accredited to coining these terms but, since these terms would have been born from bars where bi women would have been, that would have literally meant that bi women also helped to coin these terms, as well.
It wasn’t until the 1960s (and no sooner) that the word ‘lesbian’ began known as being exclusively attracted to women, and not to men whatsoever. The separationist movement between lesbians and bisexuals can be largely attributed to TERF Shelia Jeffery’s manifesto. It says, rather bluntly, ‘Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not (want to be intimate with) men,’ and describes bisexual women as ‘collaborating with the enemy’. Women who took this stance on being attracted to only women as a political statement are often referred to as ‘political lesbians’. That is to say, of course, not all lesbians who defined lesbianism this way were radical feminists or political lesbians. However, for a, if not large, than extremely vocal, group, that is what lesbianism was to them; a political statement. By the 80’s, there was a firm split between bi women and lesbians, who proceeded to ignore the fact that the ‘traitorous’ bi women had ever been there at all. They successfully erased bi women’s history. After all, all of their history and culture had ‘LESBIAN’ written in big, bold, capital letters! This is why now, people can easily think that ‘femme’ and ‘butch’ are lesbian-exclusive; because radical feminists were purposefully trying to erase bisexual women’s part in their history.
And, again, on usage of ‘femme’ outside of women exclusively being attracted to women; James McDoland’s Dictionary of Obscenity, Taboo and Euphemism, published in 1988, defines ‘fem’ like this:
“Fem (col.) A passive homosexual.
The term may be applied to both men and women, but more usually to men. It Australia it is generally applied only to men.
It is based upon the French word for women, femme, and indeed, in English, this spelling is sometimes used for passive lesbians, in preference to fem.”
Continuing with usage of fem(me) to describe men in books, is this quote from Leslie Feinberg’s ‘Stone Butch Blues’ (published in 1993):
"Jacqueline patted my thigh and flashed me a sweet smile. The other femmes - male and female - looked at me differently. As the world beat the stuffing out of us, they tried in every way to protect and nurture our tenderness."
And, from the same book: “I ran my fingertips over the dark wood near my thigh. "I love them so much, too. But when gets it for me is high femme. It’s funny - it doesn’t matter whether it’s women or men - it’s always high femme that pulls me by the waist and makes me sweat."
It is the obvious statement that men can use ‘femme’ that we are mainly interested in here. However, this means that the writer of ‘Stone Butch Blues’, who is, as the name implies, a butch, is attracted to both men and women, as stated in the second quote.
Speaking of bisexual butches in the 90s, there is this newspaper:
(ID: A picture of a butch woman. The caption of the photo reads: Name that Butch. The first one to correctly identify this local Boston bi in her butch attire and email email@example.com will win a copy of ‘Hot & Bothered 4: Short Short Fiction on Lesbian Desire.’)
All of this is why the claim ‘butch and femme arose from the LESBIAN community for LESBIANS exclusively about the LESBIAN experience’ is misleading; lesbian communities were shared with bisexuals from the very beginning. ‘Lesbian’ meant all WLW. So, that means that butch and femme arose from the WLW community for WLW exclusively about the WLW experience. Bi women who are attracted to women and lesbians share the exact same history; the same history which created these terms. And it didn’t even just belong to WLW, historically! It was originally used in ball culture before anything else, which included the entire LGBT+ community.
(Source 1) (Source 2) (Source 3) (Source 4) (Source 5) (Source 6) (Source 7) (Source 8) (Source 9) (Source 10) (Source 11) (Source 12)
More Reading On This Subject:
The Evolution of Femme: As the user states, “In this project I hope to explore the evolution of femme identity and the changes it has gone through... I argue that femme is a term that has history in many parts of the LGBTQ community.“ A thoroughly interesting read, which dives into the different contexts of the femme identity.
A Brief His and Herstory of Butch And Femme: An article written by a nonbinary lesbian, talking about the ‘lesbian exclusive’ myth, calling out biphobia, and the irony of the “white butch and femme” ideal of terms that were originally made by QTPOC.
Why Butch/Femme Belong To Bisexuals As Well: An article written by a bisexual woman, which links to a multitude of sources, including books, essays and her other articles on bi matters.
And now, a FAQ, to debunk misinformation and common biphobic sentiments!
Q: I heard that bi women called themselves a part of the LGBT community when they were in a relationship with a woman, but called themselves straight when with a man.
A: This is misinformation. As I said before, ‘lesbian’ was not an identity; it was something you did. If you ever were in a relationship with or had attraction to a woman, you were a lesbian. They didn’t consider themselves a lesbian at some point, or straight at another; much more common was the phrase ‘non-monosexual lesbian’, if they even bothered to make a distinction at all. Again, I feel like I must compare how ‘lesbian’ was used to the term ‘WLW’ nowadays; even bi women nowadays who are in relationships with men are WLW. That’s how the term ‘lesbian’ worked.
Q: Uhhh, ‘doe’ and ‘stag’ were LITERALLY made for this reason. Use your OWN terms.
A: Yes, you’re right. ‘Doe’ and ‘stag’ WERE made out of pressure put on bi women to not ‘steal lesbian culture’. But do you realize how insanely dehumanizing it is to say, ‘You’re not allowed to identify as these terms with your history behind them, go identify as an animal instead’? Many WOC are uncomfortable with these terms, because they are animal terms. Plus, we never should have had to make those terms. ‘Femme’ and ‘butch’ belong to us, too. And we shouldn’t have to make up new terms with no history behind them just so people won’t bully us for using our terms. Bi women can identify as a stag or doe IF THEY WANT. It is not your place to tell them how to identify.
On this subject, the creators of the term ‘doe’ had this to say: “Why is there a perceived divide between ‘bi’ and ‘lesbian’ history? We share history. We run in the same circles. Usually kissing!... It (doe and tomcat discourse) exists within a framework that already posits bi women and lesbians as exclusive circles that sometimes overlapped, when really we have always been one circle, and radical feminism warped us… I created it (doe) as an alternative to femme because lesbians voiced discomfort with bi women using their self-identifiers. But what is yours and what is ours? Why are we inventing new language when we should be consolidating, reuniting, and celebrating one another?” (Source)
While I do not agree with everything that is said in that post, it is important to note that even one of the creators of these terms seems to be upset about having to create whole new terms for the bisexual community when bi women and lesbians share so much history.
Also, getting back to racism, ‘doe’ and ‘stag’ are very uncomfortably close to the term ‘buck’. ‘Black buck’ was a racist term used to describe black men who refused to follow the law of white people and is painted as rude and violent. This is yet another reason why bisexual people of color do not want to touch these terms with a 5-foot pole. (Source)
Q: Why can’t lesbians have something to themselves for once?!
A: Please, don’t pull the oppression competition card on me. All LGBT+ people are oppressed. It shouldn’t be a race of who is ‘the MOST oppressed’. Lesbians have a lot to themselves, and so do bi women. This not a matter of ‘letting a group have something for themselves’, or ‘we’re the most oppressed, you take everything from us’. This is a matter of taking back something that was purposefully and maliciously taken away from us by biphobic radical feminists.
Q: History doesn’t matter, it’s the NEW definition that matters, and the NEW definition means it’s a LESBIAN identity.
A: When bi women say that they want to identify as femme or butch, people pull out the ‘it’s always been a lesbian term, historically’ card. When we show said people the historical facts, people pull the, ‘it’s the NEW definition that matters’ card. Please choose one. Besides, if the definition changed one (from all WLW to lesbians), then it can change again, if you allow it. Plus, it’s really crappy to say, ‘I know you used to use these terms too, and they’re a part of your history, but, you can’t use them because we decided we don’t want you to. These are ours now.’
Q: But you are inherently available to men! You can’t be a butch or femme if you can be in a straight relationship!
A: Please, think about your wording. ‘Inherently available to men’ is a term many bi women detest. It makes us sound like an item for men to consume whenever they wish. Bi women cannot, by definition, be in a ‘straight relationship’, because, by her being in it, one of the parties is not cishet. Besides, some bi women aren’t even attracted to men (I’ve met women who are attracted to nonbinary people and women and call themselves bi). Even if a bi woman is currently in or looking for a relationship with a man, bi women (who didn’t have that term at the time) who were “available to men” identified as a femme or butch, when the terms were created and popularized.
Q: But if a man is with a woman who says she’s a butch or femme, that’ll perpetuate the stereotype that lesbians can be with men!
A: If a lesbian is telling a man they wouldn’t want to be with him, they wouldn’t just say, “I am a femme/butch.” They would say, “I am a femme/butch lesbian.” And if a man still tries to be with them after learning they are a lesbian, he is lesbophobic. That is not bi women’s faults. Besides, ‘femme’ and ‘butch’ are terms meant to define ourselves in our own community, not to straight men.
Q: You can’t understand what butch and femme REALLY mean unless you’re a lesbian.
A: So, we are ‘less WLW’ than you because we may or may not be attracted to men, so we cannot understand, is what you are saying? Or, more so that we aren’t able to understand it, but if we identified as lesbians, we would magically gain the ability to understand, because we’re lesbians? Definitions of words aren’t that hard to understand. We don’t use them because they’re ‘cool’. Bi women are not too stupid to understand, and it’s patronizing and INCREDIBLY rude to treat us like we’re too dumb to understand terms we helped to create.
Q: You kept talking about bi women in that essay. What about other LGBT+ people?
A: I talked specifically about bi women, because that is what I am and what this blog is about. However, I believe all LGBT+ people can use butch and femme. It was coined in ball culture, after all, which embraced all LGBT+ folks and their gender expression!
Q: Well, if it’s for all LGBT+ people and not just lesbians or WLW, what does it mean?
I believe that butch and femme are very contextual identities. There’s a lesbian context, a general WLW context, a trans context, a MLM context, and so on and so forth. However, generally speaking, I would say that a good definition for butch would be ‘a LGBT+ person whose masculinity is tied to them being LGBT+, and preforms masculinity for one’s self, and not because of societal pressure or the lackthereof.’ A good definition for femme would be similar, but replacing masculinity for femininity.
Q: This is implying that bisexuals aren’t different from lesbians and don’t deserve their own spaces.
Using terms that we were there for the coining of and the culture of is implying that how, exactly? By using ‘femme’ and ‘butch’, we aren’t saying we should all be one label again. We’re just saying, “This is our history, too, and although we are separate now, that doesn’t change that we were there for the coining of these terms and thus get to use them.” I’m not saying that we aren’t different. I’m saying that back then, there was no differentiation, and that it’s our history, too. Blocking bi women off from our history under the guise of “actually you’re being biphobic” (usually to somebody not bisexual to a bisexual) is just choosing to care about biphobia when it’s convenient to use against bisexuals who want access to our history, and is virtue-signaling at its finest.
Q: When the bisexual identity was created, 'butch' and 'femme' remained as lesbian terms. If bisexuals used them, why didn't it change?
Because when the term 'bisexual' was getting popular, the extremely popular radical feminist movement was trying to push them out of lesbian spaces purposefully, which previously belonged to them. It didn't change because radical feminists (who held a LOT of power at that time) didn't want it to, and because they were purposefully erasing bisexuals' part in lesbian history, because we were 'traitors'. They hated us and wanted us out of their history. They made that painfully clear.
Q: I think that (x female historical figure or all female historical figures who was romantically with a man and used 'butch' or 'femme') was experiencing comphet or was forced to be with a man due to homophobia.
They might have been. But they might have also been bisexual. I don't know for sure, and neither do you, and to be honest, I find debating dead peoples' sexualities to be disrespectful (which is why I say 'was with a man' rather than 'bisexual' when talking about historical figures). Instead, I'll just say: every single one? You really think that not a single one was bisexual? That's... HIGHLY unlikely and bordering on implausible, which is not what you want a core part of your argument to be. (And I’m just going to mention real quick that ‘most/all people attracted to both men and women are with men due to comphet, they’re actually lesbians’ is a biphobic talking point, notably used by both the original radical feminist movement and the current one, and this argument is teetering DANGEROUSLY close to that.)
Q: Just say you hate lesbians and go, lesbophobe!
A: Okay, so we’re going to try and claim that one is bigoted for literally just knowing their history now? Nowhere here did I say lesbians COULDN’T use these terms, either, which is, ironically, better than what femme/butch gatekeepers are trying to do. So, by this logic, maybe I should just reply to every femme/butch gatekeeper with ‘just say you hate bi women and go’!
Q: You’re not a femme or butch if you’re not a lesbian, no matter how much you say you are.
A: Ah, I see, we’re deciding other’s identities for them now? Alright. What if someone decided to say that all gay people are actually bi? By this logic, if someone decided to say, ‘Gay people are actually bi, no matter how much they say they are gay, so nobody can identify as gay or a lesbian anymore,’ that must make them correct!
No. It doesn’t make them correct. Just because you decide to say ‘you can’t be this thing no matter how much you say you are’ doesn’t mean that anybody has to listen to you, or change their label. And, before someone attempts to take this out of context; no, I don’t believe in my example statement. I was trying to make a comparison of a biphobic statement to what would be a lesbophobic/homophobic statement.
Q: I didn’t read this whole thing because it’s too long and because I think you’re wrong, and I’m not going to try and read obviously incorrect information.
A: I’ve gotten this response multiple times. I can’t force you to read this, but I must say that refusing to read historical facts because you can’t stand to be provided with evidence that you may be incorrect is extremely telling to your state of mind involving this topic. That’s basically just covering your ears, closing your eyes, and screaming, “LALALALA! I’M RIGHT! I CAN’T HEAR YOUUU, LALALA!”
Q: But I-
A: I’m sorry, but ‘but’ nothing. Even if I hadn’t supplied you with a humongous essay about the history of bisexual women and how they helped to create the culture around the words you’re trying to keep from us, you still wouldn’t try to control how bisexual women experience femininity or the lack thereof. Our history was purposefully erased by radical feminists who considered us traitors. We’re taking our history AND our terms back, and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop us.
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The Best Grunge Singer. "Scott Weiland"!
90's Grunge was more potent and sufficient because of the "Stone Temple Pilots" and Weiland.
The albums "Core", "Purple" and "Four" are essential and fundamental to complete the Elite 90's Grunge Experience!
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A criminal enterprise with a country attached
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a founding member of the EU, but it's also a rogue state, enabling massive corruption throughout the trading bloc; while Cyprus and Malta will sell any corrupt robber-baron EU citizenship, it's Luxembourg that leads in laundering their money.
As the Tax Justice Network's Nick Shaxson memorably put it, Luxembourg is "a criminal enterprise with a country attached" - a country where corporations are guaranteed "an easy ride on taxes, disclosure, financial regulations, and criminal enforcement."
2014's Luxleaks exposed some of the worst corruption, whereby Pricewaterhousecooper worked with Luxembourg officials to secure illegal tax benefits for major corporations and the world's richest people.
Luxleaks lead to a 2018 EU directive that required member states to publish registers of the true owners of the companies they registered.
Luxembourg published theirs in 2019, and Le Monde partnered with ten media orgs for a year-long analysis of the register, which was published this week: Openlux. The findings reveal that Luxleaks was just the tip of the iceberg.
Luxembourg claims that it primarily registers companies to serve Luxembourgers, but 90% of the country's companies are controlled by foreigners, lead by the French, who control 17,000 Lux companies.
All told, Luxembourg is home to 55,000 offsore companies with more than €6t in assets. Much of this wealth belongs to Russian oligarchs, Italian mafiosi, corrupt latinamerican leaders, and far-right EU parties like Italy's Lega.
Whole neighborhoods in large cities like London and Berlin are owned by Lux companies, empty safe-deposit boxes ultimately controlled by the wealthiest, most corrupt plutes of 157 countries.
279 of the world's ~2,000 billionaires park their money in Luxembourg through shell companies. But the country only employs 59 enforcers charged with monitoring compliance with corporate transparency laws. All told, the country's finance regulator has a mere 900 employees.
Thus, the secrets unearthed through Openlux only represent a fraction of the country's corruption - those companies that complied with the registration laws rather than risking enforcement by the minuscule cohort of vastly outnumbered legal enforcers.
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Reasons why the tzimisce should go vegan
Are you tired of meat? Do you want to help save the planet meanwhile you plot to bring glory to Sabbat? Or are you simply bored of staring at organs all night long? The vegan option brings a new world of possibilities and benefits to test with vicissitude.
Eco-friendly abominations! Instead of creating more oxygen-consuming beasts, you can make more oxygen-making beasts! Defeat the gehenna plot with the green monster you always dreamed of!
Plants are great for camouflage! I mean what kind of person would be suspicious of a tree? The innocently looking garden can be a great place to discuss philosophy and murder your enemies!!! The cute wood house in the suburbs makes a great haven, granted it doesn't accidentally swallow random children. Besides flesh decoration is so 90's don't you think?
Don't be daft, plants types are weak to fire! Have you heard of fire-resistant trees? With a little bit of farming perhaps your genius can finally discover fire immune trees!
Plant vs Zoombies! For the neonates, the chance of playing one of the most beloved games of tower defense is always a plus one! Can you discover the secrets of the cherry bomb? Or make the peashooter?
Forget about the impossible plan of putting vitae in the water supply and blood bonding the whole city! Now you can control the people through their stomachs! Discover the correct recipe for worldwide mind control! Can your fast food franchise reach the top?
For the omnivore Tzimisce, there's always the joy of chimera fusion! Create the most absurd combos ever! Make a melon lion or a walking hydra venus trap! The choice is yours! Its tomatos or tomatoes?
Conquer the seas with the algae! Although they are not plants... Shhhhhhhh, don't tell everyone I said that. The same could be said of fungi, make that Mario Mushroom and stomp things like Alice in Wonderland.
Do your beloved creations keep getting killed? Fear not for the cactus can survive the worts of mishaps with only a few drops of vitae!
Thanks to @ryttu3k for being the inspiration of this post;
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Podcasts ranked by the amount of kissing/gross sounds in it (and also how romance-repulsed/aromantic-friendly it is), by me, your neighborhood aro and hater of Body Sounds. Spoilers ahead for every single podcast listed!
(also, this got long, so uh. see under the break for the full list.)
1. Time:Bombs: The Perfect Podcast, not a gross foley, kiss, or romance-heavy plot in sight. I’ve got nothing bad to say about it, im sorry. It’s perfect.
2. Northwest Footwear Database: It is beauty, it is grace, it has got no Weird Sounds (unless you count a banging song and in-depth discussions of shoes. which i do not). A weird fiction podcast, so not Perfect in the listening, but... still #2 for a reason.
3. RQG: it is a ttrpg podcast. theres very obviously no kissing foley here. Thank G-d, is all im saying. Also has a QPP with a PC, and i give every budding romance an aro thumbs up!
4. Wolf 359: I don’t remember any terrible sounds, there’s no explicit romance- overall, a Good One! 1/2 a point taken off for the mental image of freezer-burned doug.
5. Kaleidotrope: oh, if there ever was a good podcast! This podcast is also kinda obsessed with love, which is nice, but focuses on romantic love for 90% of it, which is less so. Oh kaleidotrope... you need some aros.
6. TSCOSI: I adore this podcast! this is a wonderful podcast with wonderful characters, and I enjoy the ace rep! However, the torture scene in the s1 finale was... less enjoyable. 1 minute of Terrible, but it counts. (we have entered one-strike-territory)
7. The College Tapes: I am filled with adoration, but also, the book and cult chanting is creepy and unnerving. Also, the sheer volume of romantic pining was... overwhelming. Didn’t hate it, but not The Aro Friendly Podcast of my dreams.
8. Mabel: I do not remember much of this podcast, except I enjoyed it and there was some foley that was uncomfortable. Overall, not bad, but... a romance-focused plot, no matter how much I love it, with uh. Weird Sounds.
9. Archive 81: behold, my favorite podcast! Why, you may ask- oh, it simply is the Weird Shit Aro Haven of my dreams! Not a kiss or romantic plot to be found (some of yall ship chris and lee, and i support you, but i never interpreted them as romantic, so It Doesn’t Count on this list). However. the heart-eating scene. the s2 surgery scene. the concept of half the characters? the definition of body horror. Gross! (we have entered into the couple-strikes territory)
10. Stellar Firma: much like a81, perfect except for just one thing, and in this case, its the foot kink shit. Please listen to stellar firma, but also. Hartro’s Foot Kink. I give it my aro sign of approval, though! (I have also only listened up to s2 finale, so uh. idk after that).
11. The Bright Sessions: there are xactly two reasons why this podcast is rated so low on this list. One, there’s quite a bit of romance in this podcast. I’m not against 80% of it, but like... Romance Exists. Two, Safehouse! I do not want or need to hear a man beaten half to death, no matter how much I hate him!
12. TMA: but, you might ask, why is TMA so low? It’s got not a kiss in sight, an a canon ace! Yes, I say, that all is true. It’s why TMA is in its special little category: As An Aro I’m Fine But What The Fuck Bro. An ace main character cannot erase the experience of listening to jon’s hand be burned while I was on a public bus, my Actual Physical Repulsion to michael’s voice, and also all the gore. It’s Gross, Bro! Edit for post e200: yeah.... i must admit the kiss was gross and the sound design really only got more disturbing, so its staying at #12, but... keep in mind that this podcast is simply quite terrible on the ears.
13. Junoverse (Penumbra Podcast): Didn’t mean to make these three popular podcasts the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th worst ones, but what can i say! these fuckers have foley. Junoverse is one of two podcasts in the special category Make Room For Jesus, and juno gets here primarily because of the downright ridiculous amount of making out in it, plus a Giant Subplot being romantic, and also the multiple scenes of torture/a character getting Hurt, Badly. However, not the worst, since while kissing is gross, I can deal. Torture/death/screaming/gore, however...
14. The AM Archives (including Order&Chaos): behold, the pride of the Make Room For Jesus category. I love this podcast/s more than life itself, but I also used transcripts for most of it, so I was able to actually get through it. But from what i could get from transcripts/listening to the finale/asking fellow listeners, its... well, #14 for a reason. And what I can say: this podcast has everything! Burgeoning romance thats, ngl, kinda uncomfortable to listen to! A Kiss (thank you, Order&Chaos, for giving me lovely poly content, but... Kiss Gross)! Copious amounts of screaming and torture! Emotional distress of many varieties (mine included)! Extended Death Scene! I’m sorry, i feel like doing tama a disservice by ranking it last, but unfortunately... it ain’t easy on the ears, and I’m incredibly glad I avoided a lot of it! (...i still did listen to owen’s death, tho. which. aaagh i’ll never be over that one, huh). I love you, TAMA and O&C, but you are hard as hell to listen to.
ty for reading to the end! please, i take aro-friendly podcast suggestions! again, this is based on memory and memory alone (tama excluded), so uh... whoops! if i forgot something important
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The Queens Gambit
Ron Weasley x fem reader
Summary: Ron had been waiting for weeks for the upcoming chess tournament in London, but what if his title is endangered by a rookie…
A/N: I think it´s pretty obvious where I got the inspo from, but in case you haven´t watched the show; I can highly recommend it! (That doesn´t mean you have to watch the show before reading though) I decided to add a few more characters from the HP fandom to make the story a little more entertaining. It´s basically like a little alternate universe story (but not really??)
“Do you have a clock?”
You shook your head as you filled out the form with your name and other information. It was your first tournament and as much as you were excited on the inside, you kept a cool exterior. In reality, your heart was pounding against your chest. You had counted the days to this precious Saturday midmorning.
“If you´re opponent doesn´t have one, we´ll loan you one. Play starts in 20 minutes”, the boy in front of you nonchalantly explained. He was tall, but his slack figure was loosely positioned on the wooden chair. His teeth were a little crooked and he barely looked up to eye you any further. “What´s your rating?”
You glanced up from the paper in your hand, furrowing your brows. “My rating? I don´t have a rating.”
“Have you ever played in a tournament before?”
“No.” Your voice was steady, but a slight annoyance grew as the rules of the tournament seemed to have decided to play against you.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Starring directly at the boy, merely a man, in front of you, you nodded. Then you handed the paper back to him. “I´m sure.”
“Then I put you in beginners”, he sighed and shrugged.
“I´m not a beginner”, you argued, but apparently, that didn´t change anything. “Doesn´t matter, if you´re an unrated player, you go in beginners and people with ratings under 1600.”
A pause fell from your lips, clearly Merlin didn´t want you playing against actual contenders.
“Is it against any rule for me to play in the Open?” The boy with dark short hair seemed taken back by your sudden and quick answers, and he stuttered when answering. Maybe it was your confidence that startled him, maybe it was the pure attendance of a female.
“Not… Not exactly.”
“Then put me in the open.”
“There are three guys with over 1800 and Weasley might show up, you have no chance.”
You didn´t answer, leaving him sitting behind the desk. You weren´t sure, if he meant to spare you with good will, or simply feared that an irascible woman could ruin the tournament.
Neville Longbottom, looked at the paper handed to him and read out the name. “Y/n Y/L/N.”
When entering the hall, that was used for all kinds of events when booked, very few decorations fell into your eye. A few flags with symbols of schools or teams and a few goblets. Pieces of sports equipment were pushed to the sides for space. The tables, all fairly small with enough space for the chessboards, were placed induvial throughout the room. Boys, mostly around your age and older were talking to each other, while other´s sat down to study their strategies. At the back was a partitioning, that’s where the big players gamed.
Another boy, he seemed to be around your age with dark hair and round glasses joined you in eyeing the scene.
“Are the matches played random?”, you asked him quietly without looking away from the tables. You hoped for no unwanted attention, which was easier said than done. Especially giving the fact, that you were one out of two girls.
“No, they match it by ratings on their first round. After that winner play winners and losers play losers.” The boy answered. He seemed calm about his presence as well as his answer. He had clearly played before in tournaments. You nodded understanding, before walking to the first table assigned to you.
The second girl other than you, was sitting to your opposite.
You starred at the clock at the side of the chess board, you had never played with a clock. It annoyed you deeply that it made you look like a beginner. You were good and you were planning to win. The girl, black shoulder length hair and almond shaped eyes, noticed your look and offered you a polite smile.
“I´m Cho Chang. Each player has 90 minutes, after you move, you press the button closest to you. Then it´s your opponent’s turn.”
You didn´t want to talk much, you were there to play, but you appreciated her explanation. Then your eyes traveled through the room, just to find Cho´s again.
“Why do they put the girls together?”
“They´re not supposed to, but if you win, they´ll move you up. Have you ever played in a tournament?”
You shook your head slightly. “No.”
But she simply shrugged. “I´m sure you´ll do fine.”
“What about Ron Weasley, is he coming today?” Oh, the king of chess, at least currently.
You had read about him, his matches from his first years at Hogwarts. Even Dumbledore himself had praised him and the daily prophet had written multiple articles about him. You had studied his games, over and over. It was him, who you wanted to play.
“Yeah, he has to defend his title.”
After 20 minutes, Neville heard light steps approaching. Only seconds after, he found you standing in front of him again. “What do I do with this?” You hold up the paper from your match. It took every bit of effort to hide your happiness, the first game had taken a lot of weight off your shoulders. After beating Cho, you were more determined than ever.
“Is your match already over?”
“Yes, I won”, you shrugged.
“That was fast, circle your name and drop in the basket”, he muttered and you did as said. Neville starred at the spot where you had previously stood; something tingled in his senses. Maybe you would actually get a chance to prove yourself to the higher players.
You snuck through the rows of players still starring at their boards until reaching the dividers. Clearly, you were fast, faster than most of them, which gave you time to study the room further. But the interesting part was happening behind the dividers. You paused for second, before deciding to enter. Around the table was a group of people watching, within the crowd, the boy from before with the round glasses. It was your turn to join his side and watch the two seated players. By the red hair, you could easily make out Ronald Weasley himself. His green eyes were pierced on the board as he chewed on his lips. You had seen several pictures of him in the newspaper, but seeing him in person? It was a new excitement rushing through your veins.
“Is he a Grandmaster?”, you asked the dark-haired boy to your left. Curiosity had always been in your nature, it even more so, got you into trouble.
“He´s working on it, it takes time. You have to play a grandmaster to become one.”
“How much time?”
“Do you mind?”, Ron turned from the game, eyeing you with caginess. His green eyes pierced right through yours and you pressed your lips to a thin line, looking to the floor with guilt. Internally, you cursed at yourself, but the smallest part showed a weird reaction; Ron Weasley had taken notice of you. Not in the way you wanted, but maybe he´d remember you. Slowly, they all focused back on the game.
Weasley´s opponent, Blaise Zabini, had his arms crossed in front of the board. “Draw?”
Ron shook his head, he wasn´t cruel. However, the victory was too close and too easy for him. “No.”
Zabini sighed, watching as Ron´s Queen moved on the board to shatter his king. The art of wizard chess remained aggressively; how queens and rooks smashed and destroyed kings and pawns. It was fascinating to you.
Weasley clapped at his own win, just like the crowd, a smirk back on his lips. “Yes!”
The group around you echoed in further applause and you couldn´t help but feel a smile. The two of them shook hands, before Zabini took off in defeat. He tried his best not to show his disappointment and anger. Ron watched his tall figure leave through the crowd, until his eyes landed back on you. You felt a blush rushing into your cheeks. Did you said he´d remember you? He probably despised you already.
Avoiding his glance again, knowing you had already attracted unwanted attention, you swallowed. Ron on the other hand just realized the pretty girl, who had watched him…
The minutes and hours took by and one after one player was defeated by you. Oh, how you loved winning. Some might decline it as a weakness, but it was the drive that kept you going.
“That´s check”, you explained after successfully beating another man. He adjusted his hair, feeling clearly uncomfortable. You on the other hand, had found your safe zone.
“I know what it is”, he then replaced his Queen, which rose from her throne, before making her way to the newly assigned field. But you had already figured out his move and even more so, your own win.
“Draw?” He asked, nervously tapping with his pencil. You had placed your head on top of your hands, watching him closely. You shook your head.
“I resign”, he admitted.
“Dinner break, then three more rounds. Final round on Sunday 11a.m.”; Neville explained, while the players had gathered outside the hall to either chitchat or look at the charts of the past games. You eyed the chart; you had won four games already. Two games were listed above you, the next one was against Harry Potter. You furrowed your brows. “You said there were three people with ratings higher than 1800!”
Neville, the boy of drossy posture and crocked teeth, looked up from the papers. He had already guessed that you would complain. “Yes, that´s right.”
“I thought I´d be playing one of them.” Neville sighed, his love for chess, organization of tournaments and the clear instructed rules, were a little thwarted by you. “You don´t have a rating, consider yourself lucky.”
“How do I get a rating?”
“You play 30 games in the USCF tournaments and then wait four months.”
“But that’s too long! I want to play Weasley”, you exclaimed. The calculations in your head were fast and no matter how you turned it, time was your enemy. “If you win your next three games and if he does the same…”
Annoyed, you stepped back into the hall. You were ambitious to win. It was all you had and the potential price money lurked you even more. At home, nothing but your mother waited for you. Money had always been a big concern, she wasn´t even able to afford for you to go to Hogwarts. Everything you knew about magic; she had taught you. She worked two jobs to make enough money for food and rent and while she cleaned motel rooms, one of the guests that often stayed at the motel, taught you to play wizard chess; Mr. Lupin was an amazing teacher…
At the table of your next tournament, you found the dark-haired boy with round glasses. He awaited you and smiled as you finally sat down. “I´m Harry, Harry Potter.”
Besides your prior encounter, you had seen him talking to Ron Weasley and a small wave of exhilaration rose inside you. He and Weasley seemed close friends. “Y/n, Y/L/N.”
The game started with innocent moves from pawns. In between, Harry glanced up to you, checking. But you were sure of what you were doing. Minutes passed into the game and Harry started realizing that you were better than him, he didn´t show it yet, but he was well aware. Nevertheless, he was enjoying an exquisite game of chess.
You took his queen nonchalantly, which fell off the board in debris, and nervously licking his lips, he wrote down new notes on his notepad, before making his move. Your turn again, the rook.
Harry folded his hands, starring at the game. He pondered how to get out. After more minutes passing, a few people even started to watch you. They stood in the background, far enough to not make it conspicuous, but close enough for you to notice.
You moved your king and Harry sighed. “Merlin, Y/n, you´re humiliating my rook.”
“You won´t have to suffer much longer.”
Yes, you had it all played out in your head. Your win was safe and secure.
A smile was on your lips. Two further moves, and it was done.
He stretched out his hand in defeat and you took it. “Good game, you´re very talented.”
You shrugged as if it didn´t matter, but it did. To you it did. “You really are something.”
Saturday came to an end; you had won every single game. With your head tilted high, you stepped out the building. Fresh air flowed through your lunges and you took a deep breath. Suddenly voices echoed from your right; a few steps away Harry was talking to Ron Weasley. They chuckled in ease as they continued to make conversation. Ron´s back was turned into your direction, but Harry quickly noticed you.
“Hey Y/N! You played well today; do you want to grab a butterbeer with us?”
A bitter taste spread on your mouth; you had never even tried butterbeer. But all your savings had gone into the fee of the tournament and you already expected a long lecture when coming home. You shook your head with a polite smile on your lips. “Sorry, I have to get home.”
The two boys watched as you left, silence between them.
“She´s good, better than all the other girl´s I´ve seen”, Harry added and his friend rolled his eyes.
“Come on, Harry, just because she beat you, doesn´t mean she´s some kind of unknown genius. She doesn’t even have a rating.”
Harry shrugged innocently. “Whatever you say, but be careful, maybe she´ll even beat you.”
Ron echoed in laughter as he playfully punched his friend’s shoulder. “As if!”
Sunday came, Ronald Weasley was late.
“Mom, have you seen my shoes?”
“Ronald, if you just once tidied up you might find them at the right place!”
Ron wasn´t nervous, but as so often, he was running late. With the annual tournament of wizard chess, he was ready to defend his title as current state champion.
Finally, the shoes had been next to the dishwasher (probably Fred´s and George´s play), he threw over his jacket and made his way to the fire place. “Mom, I´m leaving.”
Molly Weasley, who always knew where every single one of her children was, came hurrying down the stairs. With swift motions she brushed away dirt from Ron´s jacket and then started fidgeting around with his red hair. “Mom!”, Ron instructed his mother to stop and hurried towards the fireplace. He took the floo powder and rolled his eyes as Molly started wiping away a tear.
“There goes my champion!”
You sat at the table, the same table where Ron had previously won against Zabini, waiting and growing impatiently. People around you waited as well. You couldn´t help but feel a deeper reluctance towards the conceited champion. Finally, you flinched as the door opened.
“Sorry, took a butterbeer on the go”, Ron added and held his cup high to show his evidence. You wanted to let out a sigh and roll your eyes, but you resisted to do so.
He took another sip before stretching out his hand.
“Ron Weasley, what´s your name?” Quickly, you shook his hand. Ron knew your name, Harry had told him, but he asked nevertheless. It was a rude tactic to make you feel smaller against him. You on the other hand wanted to begin, not waste more time. “Y/N, Y/L/N.”
He nodded acknowledging and the game started.
Five minutes into the game, he yawned.
It drove you insane. Did he do it on purpose? To make you lose focus? Or was he as underwhelmingly annoying?
He played confidential, not even thinking he could lose. It didn´t even take seconds for him to plant his moves. It intimated you and no matter how hard you tried not to show, the second yawn as you moved the pawn, did bring you to a slight stumble. Neville as well as Harry stood in the audience watching.
You felt sweat forming on your neck and cleavage, and strain pushed against your temples.
“I´ll be right back.” You jumped off your seat and hurried into the bathroom, leaving behind their confused faces.
Cold water ran down your hands and you placed the refreshing cool on your cheeks and neck.
Your eyes were pinned in the mirror, starring angrily at yourself. Running away from the game felt like an embarrassment enough, you weren´t ready to lose.
“Come on, you can beat him.”
Slowly, your stare wandered towards the ceiling. The chess board appeared out of your imagination and the figures stood tall, just like you had left them behind. Then, they started moving and each time you found yourself in an inescapable path, they pulled back into their initial position. Until…
As you sat down, you were steadier as before. It surprised Ron a little and he watched as you moved your knight to take out one of his pawns. His rook then took your knight and you followed by replacing your pawn. On and on. The game continued. You were dangerously calm and as you placed the bishop down, you watched his face closely.
Ever so slightly, Ron shook his head and the glint in his eyes vanished. Harry in the crowd had the smallest hint of a smile.
“For Merlin´s sake”, Ron muttered and his hand pushed back his ginger hair.
“I think that´s it.” Your tranquil voice didn´t help him at all, but it gave you the confirmation you had hoped for.
“No, I can get out of this.”
“I don´t think so.” Then you tilted your head to side, completely deserted. “Maybe, if you had gotten here on time.”
Ron´s green eyes pierced into yours, then back on the board. Oh, time could be a cruel opponent and right now, he was losing. He took another move, not wanting to admit it yet, but you sighed sounding bored and exhausted.
“It doesn´t work, I don´t have to use the Queen.”
It didn´t matter to him. This was now more and ever about his ego. “I´ll just cover it with the bishop and-“
“Move.” His voice was low and unlike his usual character, deadly serious. Harry had never seen his friend in such a situation and even though he found it alarming, what a terrible loser Ron was, he was happy for you. You deserved it.
You did as said, covering your queen, while his rook took one of your pawns. It didn´t help, all it was, was a desperate cry. Your rook moved right next to his King, which he placed further away, but then your queen came along.
“Do you see it now? Or should we finish this on the board?”
In disbelief, he shook his head once again. But this time, his eyes found yours in an amazing gaze. “For Merlin´s sake.”
The King was destroyed by the Queen. You had won.
The people around you echoed with applause and Ron clapped as well, gentle smiling.
It was useless denying it further, you had beaten him fair and square. Harry had been right, you were good and better than Ron.
He lifted himself off his seat and shook hands with you, a reassuring smile on his lips.
For the first time on this day, you could smile as well. All the worries and the lecture that lasted till late in the evening, had been worth it.
You defeated the state champion and you won the prize money.
You had planned to go home, your mother would be enthusiastic about the money, but Ron´s voice held you back. You were outside in the hall, hand already on the railing to the staircase leading outside.
“Do you want to grab a butterbeer with me now?” He sensed your hesitation and quickly spoke up again. “Don´t worry, I´ll pay. I guess I owe it to you”, Ron shrugged and pushed his hands nervously deeper into the pockets of his brown pants. He looked different than when seated behind the chess board, taller but less comfortable as well.
“I´m not sure…”
“Come on, you can´t leave me hanging like this after taking my title.”
A small chuckle escaped your lips and Ron noticed how well it suited your face. While playing chess and debating over strategies, there wasn´t much time to give away polite smiles or studying your opponent’s traits.
You couldn´t help, but feel how the reluctance towards Ron disappeared. He sighed relieved as you nodded agreeing.
The bar was only a few streets away, a side alley and the entrance to the magical ambience was hidden. The door opened as the front side to a large dumpster and lead a few steps down into the pub. It was cozy and due to the early time on a Sunday afternoon, still fairly empty. The bartender nodded towards Ron, they seemed to know each other.
“Two butterbeers, Dean.”
Together you sat down in niche to the side, a few plants hung from the ceiling and blankets and pillows laid on the armchairs in between. Chill jazz music played in the background and a house elf washed up used glasses. You imagined how the room was filled with people in the evenings.
“So, you never played in a tournament before and yet you beat the state champion?”
Ron was curious, which was understandable and you blushed at his question.
“A friend of my mom taught me how to play chess.”
“Really? He must know a lot about it, I imagine.”
“Yeah, and he gave me many books about openings and strategies.”
“I never saw you playing in the school tournaments, when did you start?”
You avoided his glance, starring down at the butterbeer Dean just brought to your table. The yellowish, sweet smelling liquid with soft foam on top.
“I don´t play for a school team”, you admitted quietly. The topic was hard to avoid, but you didn´t have many friends anyways to talk to.
“Well, I think you should maybe start then. They often travel together to other tournaments and-“
“I´m actually not going to a public school, I´m home taught.” You voice was louder now, but still shaking enough for Ron to realize your indisposition. He maybe was a genius on the board, but construing social interactions? Not his strength. Awkwardly, he scratched the back of his neck.
An uncomfortable silence settled between the two of you and you decided to take your first sip to take off your mind. He watched carefully, how your face enlightened with joy. “It´s really good!”
Ron kept his assumption, that it was your first butterbeer, to himself and smiled nodding.
“Dean knows how to make one of the bests around here”, he paused before continuing.
“I admire you.”
“Everything I know about wizard chess, I learned in school from my teammates. Actually, everything I know, I was taught in Hogwarts. But now you come along and beat me, you´re brilliant Y/N.”
“I always liked chess, it´s a whole world on a simple board. I´m not as good in other things, trust me.” You admitted, but his compliment spread warmth around your heart.
“If you want, I could teach you a few things about magic.”
Maybe Ron Weasley wasn´t the best teacher, but he truly wanted to see you again. Something about you was so charismatic and mesmerizing, he couldn´t help himself. To his luck, excitement was shown in your face. “That sounds amazing!”
When you had finished your beers and left the pub, Ron faced you again. The two of you had talked for over an hour and he was beginning to like you more with each minute.
The thought of Ron teaching you more about magic, made you enthusiastic. Maybe it was also the fact, that seeing him again, brought a tickle in your stomach.
“Well, I see you next week, Queen.”
You chuckled at his new nickname for you, it was a pleasant flattery.
“We will see how good your gambit is when it comes to dueling.”
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Please note: If you request something via ask there is a 90% chance I´ve already read your ask and a 30% chance I am already working on your request. I am just very slow with answering ask. Sorry!
1) Hello 💕
Yes, I plan to do convert some cottage living stuff. I want to complement @pixelfrogslegs. She already convert some beautiful stuff for females which you can find here (btw. Thank you so much Manon 🥺)
Therefore I plan to convert clothes for masculine sims and childs first. But this is more a personal project and not a request as of right now so it´ll take a while. I prioritize requests 😇
2) Hi Anon! 💗
Thank you so much for your compliment and sorry for my late reply. I´ve seen your aks before and thought about it. Maybe... Just maybe... ChazyBazzy can convert makeup from ts4 to ts3? I think I´ve seen some makeup conversions on her blog 🤔
I can imagine how it works to convert makeup but haven´t tried it myself yet. If you dont mind you can write me a pm/dm and I can try to convert it (and if I have done it succesfully, explain it to you) 💖
3) Hey Anon, much love to you. Thank youu! 🥰💕
And my answer is YES YES YES! We´re absolutely on the same level. I am so in love with the whole collection and I can definitely see myself converting more stuff from it BUT it´s more like a personal project since nobody requested it so far, so as statet above it will take a while till I can start working on that. If you really want to see more of that collection in your game, feel free to request it. That way I´ll most likely start sooner working on it 😇
4) Ahhh I´m so happy people really take a look at the ToDo List. Thank you soooo much! 🥺💕
In fact I am actually sorry, because I keep you guys waiting for so long. Some people have to wait weeks or even 1 to 2 months till they see their request released. Sorry about that! Since I started converting to other ages (not just YA/A) it takes a little bit longer..
I really appreciate that you guys are patient with me and enjoy my work still. Messages like these keep me going 💖
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okay so i was thinking about this in a linguistics context, but really, it applies to everything.
Where the fuck are people of color in Danger Days? they should be here. The storyline of the comics canonically takes place in southern california/around la (yes we all know that haven thank you)? southwest?? is like, one of the most diverse areas in the states? Where the fuck are yalls hispanic/latino killjoy OCs? spanish slang, for the love of all that is holy?? There’s so much mexican/spanish slang that translates at least as well to the zones as like, whatever retro 50′s/70′s/90′s americana words [milkshake, shiny, pastel whatever the shit] there are?? and like, indigenous ppl? There’s so many reservations in the southwest, what the fuckin’ hell happened to the Navajo nation?? The Pueblo reservations? Did they all just disappear? There’s so much cool lore that could be built around all the various cultures that intersect in the southwest! I mean, I get that lots of people have never been to that part of the us but like, it’s not as if no one knows anything abt this history? It’s not like there’s no one from arizona or new mexico or nevada or southern california? Has no one ever thought of this? Please tell me i’m wrong? opinions?
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Have you written anywhere how you'd change inquisition?
Cause I'm really curious
It is entirely possible I have written something like this before because I have the memory of a goldfish but here are some rambling thoughts for you.
We open with an origin story that follows your character and how their particular origin would fare in the Mage/Templar war. The Mage/Templar spans across Thedas and impacts everyone, and remnants of it are felt throughout the rest of the game. (Not just in a handful of throwaway fetch quests to STEAL BLANKETS FROM HOMELESS MAGES). Each origin has ties to a larger part of the story encouraging replayability and pushing some origins to favor some roles over others.
An underlying current throughout each origin (told in rumors, ambient dialogue, and throw-away codexes) is the belief that there is currently a Blight. While no one has seen darkspawn, they have seen an Archdemon and the mobilizations of Grey Wardens. Either this the Sixth Blight or the Fifth Blight never really ended. (It only lasted a year - the shortest in history. Tensions run high between Ferelden and other countries who believe reports of the Archdemon’s defeat were fabricated.)
Dwarf (Any Class): A member of the Carta, you have close ties to the templars as a result of generations of lyrium smuggling. Since the war, things have never been better. Business is booming and you don't have to work in the shadows anymore, but greed is an insatiable mistress. Your operations take you to Valammar, where you've heard tales of a different kind of lyrium.
*This origin encourages you to side with the templars from a narrative perspective. You’re introduced to Barris.
Elf (Any Class): A member of the Dalish, your clan is visited by Mihris, First of your sister clan, Virnehn. Her clan was massacred by a demon unleashed by Michael Chevin, a Chevalier in service to Empress Celene. She comes to ask your clan to help aid the elves of Halamshiral, seeking refuge in the aftermath of Celene’s massacre. In exchange, she promises ancient knowledge of the Eluvians.
*This origin provides the background of the Masked Empire that was hidden in the books. It encourages you to side with Briala.
Human (Non-Mage): You are a templar. Your family gave you to the Chantry at a young age, and it's all you've ever known. You've never had much of a choice about anything in your life. Even your break from the Chantry is forced, your Knight-Captain having killed your Knight-Commander in a bid for power. Your first real choice comes when they hand you the red vial: drink or die.
*This origin encourages you to side with the templars from a narrative perspective. You’re introduced to Samson.
Human (Mage): You are a mage. When your Circle called for the right of Annulment, you ran, and you've been running ever since. The First Enchanter is dead. Most of the Senior Enchanters are too. The Venatori come down from Tevinter are the first friendly faces you’ve seen in months. Then they start killing the Tranquil.
*This origin encourages you to side with the mages from a narrative perspective. You’re introduced to Calpernia.
Tal-Vashoth (Non-Mage): You're Tal-Vashoth. You and your brothers were separated from the antaam during the siege of Kirkwall, and have been branded as deserters. You've made a living for yourselves working for Gaspard de Chalons as mercenaries, though some of you still hope to find your way back to the Qun. He gives you a new contract to protect a Revered Mother on her way to the Conclave.
*This origin encourages you to side with Gaspard and possibly the Qun from a narrative perspective.
Tal-Vashoth (Mage): You were saarebas. You’re not sure what you are now. You were separated or escaped from your avaard during the siege of Kirkwall, and you’ve been on your own ever since. A retinue of templars finds you, but you’re saved at the last minute by a group of Grey Wardens. They tell you they’re on their way to their Calling, but offer to take you to the Conclave before they go, where you might find a place for yourself among the mages.
*This origin encourages you to side with the Grey Wardens and possibly the mages or the Qun from a narrative perspective.
The Conclave is called and serves as the ‘Ostagar’ of Inquisition. You spend time in Haven and meet the larger than life characters. You also have the option of encouraging or discouraging some of your companions from your origin to accompany you up to the Template of Sacred Ashes. (Anyone who accompanies you will die.) Demons swarm the Conclave. You fight towards the heart of the conflict. Then you get the Anchor and everyone with you dies.
Back in Haven, you wake as a prisoner. Varric is in the cell beside you, and provides you with a quick overview of what you missed while you were unconscious. You can attempt to convince Varric to help you escape, but he will decline. You are given the option of attempting to escape on your own or attempting to plead your case
1. Escape - You can theoretically make it out of Haven but it is almost impossible to do so without being caught. If you successfully escape, you can continue as normal to help close the breach, or leave. If you leave the game ends with a bad ending circa early 90’s games.
2. Plead Your Case - You fail miserably. You are kept a prisoner and used to close the breach and then taken to trial before the Chantry. If you’re successful in pleading your case then you’re released into the Inquisition’s service. If you’re not successful Leliana will save you and recruit you into the Inquisition’s service.
Unsuccessful Plea - You are given less choices on the order of your next few quests. (Impacts what you have available when Corpheus attacks Haven)
Successful Plea - You are given complete choice on the order of your next few quests. (Impacts what you have available when Corpheus attacks Haven)
Escaped and Closed the Breach - You are still made to plead your case before the Chantry but it is extremely unlikely you will be unsuccessful. All companions except Casandra are extremely impressed and receive a boost to approval.
From here the game focuses on the formation of the Inquisition. You can make a case for Varric to be granted freedom or be left a prisoner. If left a prisoner you can come visit him and he will not begrudge you any. He can be freed at a time by speaking with Casandra with at least a modicum of approval, or by speaking with Leliana with high approval.
You are more or less an indentured agent of the Inquisition. Your incentive as a player for completing your quests is the promise of freedom if you help close the Breach. The type of Inquisition you form is up to you in terms of who you recruit, the message you put out, and the army you create. You are not necessarily labeled the Herald of Andraste, just the Herald. What you are the Herald of depends upon your backstory and choices and can change over the course of the game.
I.E. : Herald of the Qun, Herald of Mythal, Herald of Andraste, Herald of the Stone, Herald of Death, Herald of Freedom, etc.
When the Inquisition is relatively stable, you are given a choice of who is the Inquisitor among your companions / advisors. You do not have to be the Inquisitor. You can also reject the idea of an Inquisitor altogether.
After completing your choice of a few main quests, Haven will be attacked by Corphyeus. ANYONE can die on the attack on Haven (companions, advisors, etc.), and your army will also take losses that can be mitigated by mounting a solid defense. The individuals you save exist as recurring minor characters and don’t just evaporate when you get to Skyhold.
*If Varric is still a prisoner at this time he will die.
When dealing with Skyhold, you actually have to repair it and build up defenses by recruiting troops and companions for a final ‘lead them or fall’ suicide fight with Corphyeus akin to ME2 which many other folk have written much better than I ever could so I’ll skip that.
For the main quests, the Templar/Mage War is the main priority as you attempt to restore stability to Thedas. Unfortunately no one believes you about Corypheus. They also find their own matters to be more pressing, and will not help you until you help them. The consensus is it is just another Blight, and that you should consult the Grey Wardens about it.
You’re presented with four options for the mage/templar war: Mages, Templars, Broker Peace, or Ignore the Conflict.
1. Recruiting the mages can result in having Fiona, Calpernia, or both as allies.
2. Recruiting the templars can result in both Samson, Barris, or both as allies
3. It is not possible to broker peace if all four leaders live. Some leaders will refuse to work with others. Some leaders will refuse certain conditions. This is where you get a choice of conscription versus recruitment and what the new framework of the Circle looks like, if you’re not pursuing pure independence for one side or the other.
4. Ignoring the conflict will give you more time to focus on the rest of the world. The war will continue to ravage the countryside without you, and depending upon other choices one side will win and offer to assist you later.
Beyond the war, the game focuses on convincing the countries surrounding the Breach to focus on it as the real threat. World leaders are more concerned with the Mage/Templar War and with the possibility of a new Blight than they are concerned with the Breach. The general consensus is that it is a side-effect of the Mage/Templar War brought about by the mages. There are (possible) civil wars taking place in the Free Marches, Ferelden, and Orlais. The game primarily spans these three locations.
Orlais - The civil war is as seen in the game between Celene, Briala, and Gaspard. How quickly you stop the civil war determines how many forces are alive in the final fight against Corphyeus. How you choose to fight in the civil war swings the outcome in favor of one leader or another. Winter Palace will not trigger until one side is ready to capitulate. The choices you’ve made during the war will strongly influence your score in the Winter Palace and your ability to sway the nobility to your side. (Similar to Landsmeet)
Ferelden - The civil war in Ferelden is conditional to your world state. If Anora is made Queen without Alistair, a civil war is started in his name whether or not he is alive, though it is much weaker if Alistair is dead or if Cousland is King. How quickly you stop the civil war determines how many forces are alive in the final fight against Corphyeus. (Arl Eamon leads the civil war and can be persuaded to end it immediately if Alistair is recruited as a Grey Warden). If Anora is removed from the throne and NOT replaced with Alistair, Ferelden is significantly weakened and not able to provide aid in the final battle.
If the Warden was a mage and requested freedom for the Circles, this has been granted in Ferelden. Any leader will automatically provide shelter to the mages, and in the event you ignore the mage/templar conflict, this strongly pushes victory in favor of the mages. This also makes it easier to recruit both Calpernia and Fiona if Fiona knows the mages have somewhere safe to turn that isn’t Tevinter.
If the Ferelden Circle was destroyed and you ignore the mage/templar conflict, this strongly pushes victory in favor of the templars. This also makes it easier to recruit both Samson and Barris if they know the templars will have the support of the Ferelden Crown after the war is over.
Free Marches - If Anders was spared, a civil war takes place between Starkhaven and Kirkwall. How quickly you stop the civil war determines how many forces are alive in the final fight against Corphyeus.
If Hawke sided with the mages, and in the event you ignore the mage/templar conflict, this strongly pushes victory in favor of the mages. If Hawke sided with the templars, and you ignore the mage/templar conflict, this strongly pushes victory in favor of the templars.
If Hawke sided with the templars, and spared Anders, this greatly increases Kirkwall’s chance of victory in the civil war with Hawke as Viscount.
If Sebastian was rivalled and encouraged to reclaim his throne, this greatly increases Starkhaven’s chance of victory in the civil war. If Sebastian is not rivalled, this decreases Starkhaven’s chance of victory in the civil war, but increases Templar/Chantry support of Sebastian. In the event you ignore the mage/templar conflict, this slightly pushes victory in favor of the templars.
*Some templars will not side with an Inquisitor who supports a Hawke who spared Anders.
*If Anders was killed, he is seen as a martyr by southern mages. Some mages will not side with an Inquisitor who supports a Hawke who killed Anders.
At any point in time you can seek out the Grey Wardens for help who actually know what they are doing and have an excellent plan to use demons to defeat the Archdemons before they all go to their Calling that has nothing to do with Venatori influence and is just a solid plan. They have done nothing wrong ever in their lives and everyone loves them. Upon being informed that the Calling is fake, they agree to help you against Corphyeus, because YOU ARE NOT A MONARCH AND HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO EXILE THEM.
That’s all I got for right now but I could add to it / clean it up if you thought it was a fun read.
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Steel City - 5
Pairing: None, yet. (Billy Russo x Reader)
Word Count: 6135
Rating: M (language, major character death)
TW: death, violence, injuries, betrayal
Summary: Billy’s ready to talk, but are you ready to listen? And will his story change anything about the way you’re feeling?
Author’s Note: Hi, friends! This chapter is heavy - so is the beginning of 6. This is where I chuck 90% of canon out the window faster than Madani threw Krusty out the window in S2. Some elements are the same - but others... well, others needed to be changed to fit.
There are a couple warnings (see above) but if you have any questions before reading, feel free to message me and I can clarify.
The first five parts of this are on my masterlist, under the “Billy Russo” link if you need to catch up.
(images edited by @gollyderek, banner by me!)
He stared at you and then narrowed his eyes, head tilted to the side. “What?” You heard me. You stepped closer to Billy, using the hand that held your water bottle to gesture to the empty room around you.
“I said, I told you that there’s never anyone in here in the middle of the night.” He blinked, and you sighed. “Billy, what do you want?” You watched as he raised one hand, scrubbing it over his face, but before he could speak, you did. “Look.” You waited until he met your gaze again. “I overreacted earlier. In my dad’s office?”
“What?” He was confused, taking a tentative step toward you, his hand dropping back to his side. “You -”
“My dad and I… it’s been just us since I was 15. My mom decided she wanted to divorce him when his… when she couldn’t handle him being gone all the time, couldn’t handle all the secrets and all the things he wouldn’t tell her about being deployed.” There was understanding in his eyes, but he waited until you continued. “He was just my dad, you know? I didn’t know any better - I was used to him being gone all the time, but… living here? I liked it. I liked school and my friends and our house, and I didn’t just want to leave all of it.” You set the bottle down as you sunk onto one of the weight benches, looking up at Billy. “She took it like I chose him instead of her, when I was just… I just wanted to stay in one place.”
Billy didn’t reply, but he took two steps toward you, sitting down on the bench that was perpendicular to yours, elbows resting on his thighs and his hands hanging between his knees. You collected yourself, watching his face to gauge his reaction to what you were saying, but his expression gave nothing away. You need to say this.
“And ever since, it’s just… I knew there were things he couldn’t tell me about what he did back then, and that was fine. But when he retired? When he opened Taylor Focus and invited me to work there with him after I graduated? When he brought me on and came to me about things and treated me like his equal, even though I’m not?” You shook your head, feeling your eyes filling with tears. “It was just us then, and I didn’t think there was more to it. But the fact that he didn’t… that he went so far as to bring other people in with this and just…” You looked down, trying to compose yourself, but then looked back at Billy. “I’m mad at him for keeping something like Rawlins from me, and I took it out on you guys…on you. I’m sorry.”
Billy stayed quiet, the only sound in the room the gentle squeaking of the benches as you shifted on them. He doesn’t care, and why should he? “My mother… Carla.” He spoke softly and you heard his voice catch. “She safe-havened me at a fire station in Albany when I was a kid.” You sucked in a breath as your head shot up, eyes moving back to his face. “My dad took off before I was born, and so I didn’t have a family growin’ up.” What happened to you? “It was one foster home after another for a while, but when I turned ‘bout 10, or so?” He shrugged his shoulders. “That stopped. And I spent the resta the time ‘til I turned 18 and enlisted in group homes.” You could tell he didn’t want you to respond, so you didn’t, instead shifting so that you were leaning closer, more attuned to him than you had been. Oh, Billy. “I didn’t grow up with a family. I didn’t have presents or birthday parties or anyone to care about me, you know?” He sniffed, looking away from you and toward the glass windows. “An’ then I met Frankie and his wife an’ Lisa, and it was like…” He looked back at you, shrugging his shoulders. “Family. Finally.” You opened your mouth at that, but he moved his head from side to side, silencing you. “Lemme get this out, it’s not easy for me.”
Alright. He paused, collecting his thoughts, and after a few long seconds, Billy continued, shifting more on his bench and widening the spread of his knees, bringing his hands together between them.
“We weren’t deployed together, not every time, but it happened more often than not. I was… I was in New York when Frank Jr. was born, Frankie had me waitin’ in the hospital while it was happenin’, me an’ Lisa just sittin’ there until he finally came back into the room and told us that she had a brother, and he had a son, and…” Billy looked back up, and you saw that his eyes were shining, the brown as warm as you’d ever seen it. “I was Jr.’s godfather. Frank said there was no one better, and… and I knew that they… they were the family I’d been deni… that I hadn’t ever had before.” Was. This is all past tense, this is… You took a deep breath, reaching out and putting your hand over Billy’s clasped ones, still not saying anything.
“On… on our last deployment, Frankie an’ I talked about what we were gonna do when we got out.” He cleared his throat. “I had a habit of not keepin’ anyone around for too long, because I wanted to…” You met his eyes, and watched as his lips twitched into the ghost of a smile. “Enjoy myself. An’ Frankie and Maria always joked about it, about me settlin’ down and findin’ someone like he did, but I didn’t take it seriously. I had them, and I didn’t need anyone else. No one long term, anyway.”
“Frank teasing you?” You finally spoke, just wanting him to know that you were listening and staying with him, not tuning him out. “I can’t believe it.” He actually laughed at that, sitting up and pulling his hands away from yours, one of them going to the back of his head.
“Right?” But the moment passed and Billy’s eyes landed on yours again, all amusement leaving them. “On that deployment, we got into some shit. Got handpicked to do a bunch of secret missions, much more… much different than usual. It was all we did, and it wasn’t good.” He wet his lips. “Rawlins was in charge of it, but we only knew him as Orange then, and Schoonover was second in command.” You gasped at that, but didn’t say anything. “I hated it, and so did Frankie, but he - Rawlins - promised us… well, me, that he’d make everything worthwhile if I just stuck it out, and I… I did. Until the last month. We almost fuckin’ died, they sent us into an ambush, and without Frankie, we would have… I never woulda come home.” Billy shuddered. “So I requested a transfer, but got sent home instead. Honorable discharge. And Rawlins kept his word, there was a buncha money waitin’ for me, and that’s… that’s how I opened Anvil.”
“You used the money from Rawlins to start your company?” He nodded. “That must have… you…” He laughed.
“It was great at first. First eight months, we… we got a building, got a bunch of recruits, got some contracts, things were takin’ off. Frankie wouldn’t work with me cuz he wanted to be with his family, but he came in to talk to the team every now and then, and it was good. We were where we wanted to be, and he was gettin’ back into routine with Maria and the kids.” Billy swallowed. “An’ then Rawlins decided it was time to collect on the debt that I owed him.” Debt? “Said that I owed him ‘cuz he sent me home early and gave me what I needed to get Anvil goin’.”
Billy shot to his feet, pacing back and forth, and you followed him with your eyes. Something big’s coming. “Billy?” You quietly said his name, still watching as his hand nervously ran through his hair. “Are -”
“I don’t want to talk about this in a … a fucking weight room.” He stopped moving, facing you. “I have something to tell you.” I know that, that’s what… “The other day, when I carried your stuff into your place?” He wet his lips again and you watched as he set his jaw, staring at you. “I didn’t know it was you at first, when I offered to help you?” Alright? I figured you didn’t, you… “But when I did know it was you?” He took a deep breath, shoulders rising and then falling as he let it out, but when he spoke next, he was staring into your eyes. “I bugged your apartment.”
“Excuse me?” You narrowed your eyes, the anger coming back. “You what?” He held up his hand, palm facing you, but you stood, moving toward him. “Did my father tell you to -”
“No.” You heard the tone of his voice, forceful and matter of fact. You saw the look in his eyes - the same no-nonsense look he’d had earlier in the elevator, almost daring you to challenge him. “No, your father doesn’t know that I bugged your place, because your father doesn’t understand just how dangerous Rawlins really is, and even though Frankie an’ me thought he wouldn’t make a move earlier than the party?” Billy’s lip curled, his upper teeth visible for just a second. “Families aren’t off limits to him an’ I can’t have your blood on my hands too.” The fight left you at the way he said it, and in an instant, you realized that Billy blamed himself for whatever had happened to Frank’s family. But he… “So I’m tellin’ you now, even though I don’t need to. It’s on the underside of your counter, and it’s not…” He licked his lips, leaning down toward you. “We’re not the only ones listenin’, our tech guy Lieberman is, too. And the second we hear somethin’ we don’t like, I… one of us can be at your door in under a minute.”
“So you…” You rubbed at your temple with one hand, eyes closed. “You’ve been listening to me since Saturday?” He paused and then nodded. “Is that how you -”
“Yes.” He waited a second and then continued. “I figured after this mornin’ you wouldn’t talk to me or Frankie if you saw us at work, and I wanted…” Billy trailed off. “I heard you leave your place and figured you came down here, so I…” He gave you a small smile, but it was forced. “Figured I’d try my luck an’ see if you’d hear me out for a couple minutes.” You stared at him wordlessly. If he’d gone to the trouble of bugging your apartment so that they could listen in in case of trouble, the situation with Rawlins was much worse than you’d imagined. If my dad knew it was this dangerous, he would have… he would have wanted me to know. He would have wanted me to be aware, to… “Look.” Billy raised an eyebrow. “I’m into a lot of shit, but I’m not into listenin’ to … that’s why I asked if you were seein’ anybody the other day.”
“So if I had a boyfriend, you wouldn’t have violated our privacy, but since it’s just me, it was alright?” You scoffed, looking away. “That’s fucked up, Billy.” He agreed with you, which surprised you, and then he stepped back, looking up and rolling his neck out, Adam’s apple bobbing up and down as he swallowed. Cut him some slack. He doesn’t have to tell you any of this. “So why are you telling me? What am I supposed to do?”
“I’m tellin’ you because I wanted to be honest with you.” He met your eyes again. “You weren’t ever supposed to find out why we were here. We were gonna be in and out, take care of Rawlins and then go back to New York like nothin’ ever happened. Your dad’s company would be safe, his employees would be safe, the two of you would be safe, and Rawlins wouldn’t ever hurt anyone else again.” What is Frank going to ...no. You remembered Karen’s words. Not Frank, Billy. “But he surprised us. And now… on this end? Our cover’s blown. And we have to do whatever we can to make sure he doesn’t figure it out until we want him to.”
You considered his words, staring at his face and letting your eyes move over the jagged lines etched into his skin. The scarring was bad; you could tell that the wounds had been deep, and up close, you saw a new mark that you hadn’t noticed earlier - a deep crater on his left cheek, nearly completely hidden by his beard. That looks like a… “Billy?” He hummed a reply, and though his gaze didn’t leave yours, you saw how anxious your appraisal of his face was making him, even as he stood his ground in front of you. “How dangerous is he?”
“Not here.” His eyes flashed, and without hesitation, you reached for him, taking his hand and curling your fingers around his. It was meant to be a sign of support, of agreement - but instead of pulling his hand away from yours after the initial contact, Billy squeezed back, the look in his eyes changing to one of gratitude.
“Alright. Let’s go back to my apartment.”
Neither of you spoke until you were inside your apartment, the door securely locked behind you. He’d pulled his hand from yours on the ride up, stepping away and leaving space between your bodies in the elevator. Billy paused next to your counter, tapping his finger on it and then continued to walk, heading for your couch and sitting down. You stood where he had, flipping your hand over and running your fingers under the lip of the granite, feeling the tiny bump. Shit. “How -”
“I honestly don’t know. Lieberman sent it with us just in case.” Billy sighed. “I was gonna put one in your office, too.”
“The lock?” He nodded, confirming it. “I knew there was something weird about that, it clearly said the tw -”
“Maybe I’m just terrible at my job?” Oh, I doubt that. He smiled weakly at you as you walked next to where he stood, pointing back into your kitchen and asking him if he wanted anything before he started talking. “No. I’m… I’ll tell you what I have to tell you, and then I’ll go. Maybe you’ll understand, and maybe you wont, but… I don’t want to waste any more time, and there are things you need to understand.”
“Alright, Billy.” You took a seat on the opposite end of the couch, tucking one leg beneath the other and turning your body to face him. “So… you were running Anvil, and things were good, and then…” He leaned forward, hands clasped together between his knees, staring off in the direction of your balcony and tree. “You don’t have to -”
“I’ve never…” He wrinkled his nose, knee bouncing slightly. “I’ve only told a couple people this - Frankie knows, and Karen… our buddy Curt, David…” So why me? After a week? He licked his lips, the bouncing increasing in frequency. “Rawlins started askin’ me to have my people do shit off the books. At first it was just… not a big deal, you know? The pay was good and people weren’t gettin’ hurt, it was just... “ He looked at you. “Drugs.” What? “Heroin.” Billy took a few seconds, waiting for your reaction, and when you didn’t have one, he continued. “It’s part of what we were doin’ in Kandahar, but it… I think he was waitin’ til I got Anvil established to see if it…”
“To make sure he wouldn’t have to find someone else, right?” Billy nodded. “Were you -”
“No. I wouldn’t touch the shit. My ma… she was…” He gave you a sad smile. “Anyway, we were just movin’ it, and a military-based organization that receives shipments of gear? Not a red flag. He used that to his advantage. It was easy for him.” It would be. And that… that’s what he … “I didn’t know it at first, but Schoonover was the lead on it. Rawlins was behind it, but Schoonover was the one in charge, because he was retired. It was the opposite of the way it was over there.” Billy shifted, turning his body slightly toward yours. “That night we almost died an’ Frankie saved us? Schoonover got his arm blown off. Injured in war? Decorated soldier? No one’s gonna suspect anything.”
You realized he was right as he spoke. What Billy said made sense, and it wasn’t just because you wanted to believe him. Why would he lie? What good would do for him now?
“I was still runnin’ Anvil. I was… I was exactly what I was supposed to be. Charming. Personable. Visible. I had more money’n I knew what to do with, and after growin’ up the way I did? I made the most of it.” Billy laughed, white teeth visible in the low light, and for a moment, you saw him as he’d seen himself for that short time - untouchable, on top of the world. “In every way.” He said it without saying it, and you knew that while running Anvil, Billy’s life had revolved around everything that he’d thought was supposed to be important to someone like him. Money. Clothes. Cars. Women. Wealth. Everything a man could ever want. “But from the drugs, it escalated.”
“How?” You could tell he was struggling, and you realized that whatever was coming was the hard part. “What did -”
“I told you I was a sniper.” He swallowed hard, sitting up straight but not looking at you. “Lieutenant William Russo. Scout sniper. Force Recon. 134 confirmed kills.” 134? That’s… “I was good at what I did, and because he’d helped me, Rawlins thought… that he owned me and my guys, and that we…” He went quiet, and his next words were a shock. “I killed fifteen people for Rawlins after comin’ back here. For Rawlins and Scoonover. Assholes that stiffed ‘em on payment, that didn’t keep up their end of shit, that… that became problems.” He looked over at you. “And I got paid for it. Paid well. The money didn’t help me sleep at night, but neither did fucking my way through as many women as I could, so what else was I supposed to do?”
“I -” You rubbed your forehead. “Billy, I -” Genuinely at a loss for words, you stared at him. I don’t even know what else to…
“I wanted out. Wanted to take Anvil legit. It would have been possible - we had enough people, enough good people, I had money saved, even though it was blood money, and I was gonna open a second facility. Frankie was finally ready to work with me, he was gonna run that one, and…” Billy ducked his head, one hand gripping the back of his neck. “Rawlins found out and didn’t like it. He didn’t want Frank Castle around.” He let go of his neck, moving that hand to his leg and rubbing it against his thigh. “He thought Frank had sent a video to some Homeland agent named Madani, one that would have created a lot of questions about what we were doin’ overseas, and…” As he spoke, you realized that there was only one direction things could have gone. No. “He said that he’d let me out of our deal if I did one more thing for him.”
Billy’s fingers were wrapped around his own knee, and even though most of the lights were off in your living room, you could see that his knuckles were white. Without thinking, you scooted closer to him, leaving only a small space between you. I won’t touch him, but I don’t want him to think I’m scared of him.
“He wanted me to ... “ Billy struggled with his words, jaw opening and closing. “To take Frankie out. To kill hi… to kill my brother.” You swore out loud even though you’d known it was coming, and Billy’s knee started bouncing again. “Said it was the only way that I could get out from the hole I’d dug myself into, the only way he’d let me run my business an’ stop workin’ for him. Had to prove I was loyal to him one last time...” Billy stopped speaking, staring down at your carpet. “I said I’d do it.” But Frank’s here, and… and you’re living with him, and… “I agreed to kill my best friend.”
Stunned, you didn’t react, and Billy barely paused before he continued.
“I needed to keep… I needed to know what was goin’ on, you know? I was never gonna do it. Never gonna go through with it, but Rawlins had to believe that I would.” This is… unbelievable. “When we were enlisted, right after I met ‘em? Frankie and I… we had nicknames for each other. Call signs, you know? He was Raven and I was Blackbird, but the only time we used ‘em was when one of us was in trouble.”
“But you… how did you…”
“While they were plannin’ it, I had to keep up appearances. He was specific about that.” Billy sneered at you. “So I kept meetin’ with Frankie, talkin’ about the new facility, and while I was doin’ that? We had to find ways to actually talk.” He explained to you over the next few minutes about how he’d managed to let Frank know what was being planned without allowing Rawlins to know. “I figured he had Anvil bugged, was havin’ me and Frankie followed, so we got real creative.”
“You managed to tell him, though?” Billy nodded. “Was he mad because you agreed to it?” You got a laugh there - an actual real laugh, Billy’s eyes closing.
“He wanted to go and kill him before anything happened, and I probably shoulda let him, but I didn’t… I figured it was personal, and Rawlins would have somethin’ in place to make sure that we couldn’t… get to him. He wouldn’t make it possible for us to…” He looked over at you again. “But we weren’t careful enough, and when it came down to it? Rawlins was one step ahead.” How? “It was just supposed to be me, and I was supposed to take him out from a distance, like a coward. I figured Rawlins wouldn’t have… trusted me fully, and so he’d have a couple other guys there too, to make sure it got done, and that if it was necessary, I was out of the picture at the same time. But that - those people? They wouldn’t have been a problem for me. Couple less scumbags in the world, right?” It was your turn to nod. “But then I got a phone call, and all he said was “Today.” That’s it. And when I questioned it, he repeated somethin’ he’d told us the whole time we were in Kandahar. “I point, you shoot. Now go shoot.” I got one warning off to Frank - a text message, from a burner, but almost as soon as Rawlins ended the call, we were on our way to Central Park, and that was it.”
“Oh, Billy.” You were even closer to him, so close that your knees were almost touching, and you could feel the anxiety coming off of him. “You -”
“The whole plan was to have me an’ Frankie go after Rawlins together, but when we got to the park, it…” Billy turned his head completely toward yours. “The kids were there. Maria was there with Frank. And he… he hadn’t seen my message. I didn’t know it til later, but… he was… he didn’t know.” You brought one hand up, covering your mouth. “I set up where I was told to, and I was far enough away that no one woulda seen me.” His whole body shivered, but Billy kept talking. “It was just supposed to be Frank. I… I killed the guys that were with me. It was easy. I didn’t even think twice.” You thought back to the way that Karen had known what Frank was doing, the way she just accepted it, and nodded, eyes on Billy. Karen loved Frank enough to understand, and Billy loved the Castles. “And when that was done, I thought it was over. So I started makin’ my way to where they were, to… to tell him that it was over.” But… “But it wasn’t over.” Of course it wasn’t.
He stood, pacing around your coffee table and then stopped in front of you. You looked up at Billy, waiting. What’s coming? I know …
“I was about fifteen yards from ‘em when the shooting started. Lisa was on the carousel, and Frank was leanin’ against the railing, watchin’ her. Maria and Jr. were on a blanket on the grass.” You heard his voice catch, but he kept talking, sinking down so that he was sitting on the table, directly in front of you. “Maria got hit first.” You sucked in a breath. “I screamed her name, and Frank heard it, but the bullets, they… they were comin’ from everywhere.” Oh, no. “Lisa jumped off the pony she was on and ran for ‘im, but she…” Billy pressed his lips together. “It was like it was happenin’ in slow motion, I saw it all. She got hit, and she went down. She was gone before she hit the ground, but Frank, he…” You saw that there were tears running down Billy’s cheeks. “He picked her up and started carryin’ her to her mom, and then he…” He coughed. “There were so many goddamn bullets, and everyone was screamin’, and… Frank got hit. He took a goddamn bullet to the head but never let go of Lisa, and then they were both on the ground…”
He met your eyes, and even though it was years later, you knew he was remembering it like it had happened the day before. “I finally got to Jr. and he was starin’ at Maria’s body, screamin’, and I…” I don’t want to hear this. “I yelled for him, and that’s when I got shot.”Billy pointed to his cheek. “Went clean through, I didn’t… I felt the blood, but I had to get Jr. out of there, I didn’t care how much it hurt.” He swallowed again, still staring at you. “I picked him up, but I didn’t realize… he’d already been shot.” Billy tapped on his chest, just below his collarbone. “I thought it was Maria’s blood, but it wasn’t, and I just started running, tryin’ to get him away from the crossfire, out of danger. I don’t know how far I made it. Maybe twenty feet? A little more? And then everything just…” He held his hands up. “Somethin’ exploded right next to me. I didn’t know how bad it hurt me, but everything was… I couldn’t hear, there was so much smoke and dust, and I…” He touched his forehead, where a long jagged line disappeared into his hairline, and then moved his fingertip to the other cheek, where the majority of his scarring was visible. “Had a piece of metal stuck in my face here, and somethin’ cut my head open there, and…”
“You collapsed.” He nodded in response, and you saw shame in his eyes. “Billy, you -”
“Jr. died a couple days later in the hospital. I fell on him, and neither of us could get up, so we just laid there til the medics came. Head wounds bleed so much, so fast, you know? I didn’t know it til I woke up, an’ the doctors said that he probably wouldn’t have made it even if I’d gotten him out of there sooner, but…” Billy stopped, thinking. “I lost a lot of blood. Whatever exploded… It fucked my head up. I was in a coma for a while, just because no one knew how badly I was injured, and by the time I woke up, Frankie was… he broke out of the hospital, an’ he… he knew what was going on, because he knew what I’d been asked to do, so he knew exactly who he needed to go after to make it right.”
“That’s when Rawlins disappeared.” Billy nodded. “He stopped using us a couple years ago, and I always wondered why, but…”
“He went into hiding, except when it was necessary to be out in public. We couldn’t get to him, but he knew that I… that I betrayed him. Frankie killed Schoonover. He killed a buncha the guys in the gangs, even though they weren’t… they did the shooting, but it was all a setup, it wasn’t… they weren’t supposed to…” He used them too.
“What about Wolf? And Bennett? Those two are - “
“Frank killed Wolf. I killed Bennett. We were tryin’ to find Rawlins, and thought that that would be our best bet.” Billy swallowed hard, inching closer to you in the dark. “Rawlins is the last piece of the puzzle, and that milky eyed bastard finally showed his goddamn face here and he’s not gettin’ away again.” Billy paused and you watched as his shoulders slumped, head dipping down. “He shouldn’t have gotten away the first time, but…”
“Billy.” You reached out, taking his hand again even though you wanted to wrap your arms around him. “I can’t even imagine what that was like for you. For him… for… them.” You paused, thinking. “For all of you, that’s… Jesus, Billy, thats…” You were replaying his words over, think about the way he’d said certain parts, the details he’d given you. “You did everything you could. You had no way of knowing when, and it wasn’t your fault Frank didn’t see your message.”
“That’s what he said to me, too.” Billy looked at you again, the tears stopped but his eyes still full of anguish. “I woke up and it took me a while to remember everything. They said when I fell, I hit my head on the cement, and that didn’t help things. But when it all came back?” He curled his lips. “I saw it all every time I closed my eyes. Dreamed about it. Every one of ‘em, gettin shot in front of me, because I… because I made a deal with Rawlins in the first place.” He blames himself for everything, but it’s not…
“Look.” You squeezed his hand, bringing his focus back to you. “I barely know you guys, right?” He nodded. “And I just know what you told me, yeah?” Another nod. “Rawlins didn’t go after Frank because you made a deal with him. He didn’t want him dead because of a mistake you made, it happened because of that video and because he knew that if it got out, there’d be too many questions.” You wrapped your other hand around his, your heart beating erratically. I’m trying to console a murderer, I’m sitting here telling him… “Him asking you - expecting you to k… to take him out? He wanted to break you, Billy. If you would have done it? If you would have seen it happen and survived?” You chewed on the corner of your lip. “I don’t know you guys. I don’t know … but what I do know? It doesn’t matter that he’s not blood, Frank Castle is your family, and his family was your family, too. You keep telling me you’re different now, but even if you hadn’t gotten hurt?” Your eyes moved over his features, lingering on his cheek. “You still would have been different.”
“Maybe.” Billy used the hand that wasn’t encased in yours to reach up, tracing over the outline of the marks on his cheek, following them exactly, even though there was no way for him to see them himself. I bet he does that more than he’d ever admit. “But now instead of just thinkin’ about it, I have to look at it every day. Everytime I look in the mirror.” He moved his head from side to side, averting his eyes. “It’s everything I ever did wrong. Right there, for me an’ everyone else to see. But they don’t know, they just -”
“Frank knows.” You pulled one hand back from Billy’s, reaching up to rub beneath your eyes before the tears that you felt gathering could fall. I know. “Karen knows. You know, Billy. You know what you did and why you did it.” You know what you lost. You said his name again and he looked back up at you, though you could tell he was uncertain. “You think of it as a reminder of all the bad things you did, but what if…” You waited, wanting to be sure what you said came out the way you meant it. “You said you filled your life with everything that you thought you wanted - money, power, status, women - but when it came down to it? You picked your family. And that says everything about you.”
He didn’t reply to you, but he didn’t look away, either, his eyes searching your face. What is he looking for? It was quiet in your apartment - quiet enough that you heard the hum of the furnace, the ticking of the clock in your spare bedroom, Billy’s breathing - deep but uneven. “D’you understand?” He finally spoke, and in his voice, you heard him begging you to. I think I do, I… “This isn’t somethin’ I’m just gonna… tell someone. I don’t want sympathy or pity or any of that bullshit. But … it’s why we did what we did so far, why we’re gonna do what we need to do to finish this.”
“I get it.” You blinked rapidly. “I acted like a spoiled brat earlier, and it was out of line. I didn’t kn-”
“You shouldn’t have to know.” Billy swallowed. “None of it. If we’d seen -” He swore, nose wrinkling. “But now you do. So I need you to promise me you’ll let me an’ Frankie do what we gotta do, that you’ll let us protect you and your dad.” Of course. You nodded, seeing the relief in his eyes, though he was still focused on you. “Rawlins is dangerous. And he’s unpredictable. I didn’t want to have to tell you any of this, ever, but it’s… it was necessary.” And you wouldn’t have had to if I wouldn’t have acted like a child and just let you - Billy said your name. “I need you to promise me.”
“I promise, Billy.” You knew you’d have to continue fostering the contract with whoever Rawlins put you in touch with, and would likely have to speak to the man himself again at some point, too. But they’ll protect me. Frank wouldn’t have brought Karen here if he didn’t think he could keep her safe. He won’t let anything happen to her. No way. “I think I can manage that for a couple weeks.” You meant it to lighten the mood but Billy only took a deep breath, and before you could react, you realized that he was lifting your joined hands, bringing them up to the cheek with the scar from the bullet on it. What is he…
Billy changed his grip on your hand, sliding his around so that your palm was uncovered, hovering just over his skin. “I hope you mean that.” You saw his jaw twitch and then he gave you a tiny nod, closing the final distance between your palm and his cheek. His beard was softer beneath your fingers than you’d thought it would be, but even as you tried to keep your expression from betraying you, you were stunned with the realization. I was imagining it. I thought about… He leaned into your touch as the pad of your thumb found the x-shaped crater on his cheek, slowly swiping over it. At his movement, you felt your eyes widen. What is he doing. “I wasn’t lyin’ the other night.” Even in the low light, you saw the look in his eyes - honesty and hope and sadness, all mixed together. “I think we can be friends.” Billy didn’t look away and you didn’t either, and despite the heaviness of your prior conversation - the emotional toll that you knew it had taken on him - he smiled, the corners of his mouth rising, the skin of his cheek going firm beneath your touch. “I hope we can be friends.”
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"The Ice Queen"
Breaking Hearts. And Breaking Egos. Since the 90's!
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Old School X is a project interviewing X-Files fanfic authors who were posting fic during the original run of the show. New interviews are posted every Tuesday.
Interview with Piper Sargasso
Piper Sargasso has 25 stories at Gossamer, but don’t miss her website where the fics each have cover collage art. If you are a fan of Mulder/Scully romance, there are a lot of MSR fics to read that are set in different seasons of the show. But like the show that never stuck to one type of story, Piper’s stories have variety, so you can also find AUs and /Other. Big thanks to Piper for doing this interview.
Does it surprise you that people are still interested in reading your X-Files fanfics and others that were posted during the original run of the show (1993-2002)?
It does, but I love that people are still into it! Writers back in the day put so much work and love into their writing, and it's nice to know that the stories are still being appreciated to this day. As for my own stories, it puts a huge smile on my face to know there are still people out there checking them out and hopefully enjoying them.
What do you think of when you think about your X-Files fandom experience? What did you take away from it?
It was such a positive period of my life. I made some amazing friends who became something like older sisters (and some brothers) to me, even though I was a little ridiculous when I was in my early to mid-twenties. It was also a much-needed confidence booster. I was a pretty shy person and loved writing, but never had the nerve to show anything to anyone. My first fanfic was completely horrible, but because of it I made my first XF friend and super beta, Mimic117. Between her guidance and the encouraging words from my Yahoo group I was able to do something I really loved and felt great about myself and my abilities for the first time. That will stay with me forever. That first story was truly atrocious, but it was a catalyst for great things in my life when I needed them the most.
Social media didn't really exist during the show's original run. How were you most involved with the X-Files online (atxc, message board, email mailing list, etc.)?
I remember trying this cool new thing called an AOL chat room, but they were more interested in perving on each other than talking about the show. Once I knew about fanfiction I kept seeing that some of my favorite authors kept mentioning IWTBXF in their notes, a Yahoo group named I Want to Believe. I looked it up, joined, and with great trepidation made my introductory post. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and talking to my favorite authors in the group was a little like meeting a celebrity and finding out that they're awesome in real life. After IWTBXF fell apart, an off-shoot called Beyond the Sea was created with almost all of the original group transferring over. I stuck to my little family there and didn't branch out into much else, other than the rare dip into Haven. Ephemeral and Gossamer, of course.
What did you take away from your experience with X-Files fic or with the fandom in general?
Mostly the overwhelming feeling of acceptance and confidence to write, something I was sorely lacking before in my life. I fell in with the best group, that's for sure! They made me feel like being a professional writer could be an achievable goal.
What was it that got you hooked on the X-Files as a show?
The commercial advertising. The pilot spoke to my supernatural-loving, angsty 15 year-old soul. I watched it religiously every week. There was nothing like it. It was off-beat, but serious (most of the time) and fulfilled my insatiable craving for the paranormal and weird. You just couldn't get that from Melrose Place and Beavis and Butthead, you know? It definitely helped that David Duchovny was adorable and the character of Scully was the strong and intelligent icon we needed in the 90's and beyond.
What got you involved with X-Files fanfic?
In high school I had a friend who was as obsessed with the show as I was. Maybe more, since she once had a slumber party that was exclusively to binge watch her taped episodes (the other girls who wanted to mess around with spells and the Ouija board weren't thrilled that she couldn't be swayed away from it) and she often drove me from play rehearsals in her convertible with the top down and the theme song blasting to the heavens, much to my delight and mortification. A couple years after we graduated she told me about the piece of fanfic she wrote. Insert a record screech here. What?! You mean there are thousands of stories dedicated to my favorite show? And hundreds more get added every month?! I was obsessed. If I could've stopped working and slept at my computer desk I would have.
What is your relationship like now to X-Files fandom?
Sadly it's nonexistent these days. I have great memories and it holds a big piece of my heart, but I haven't been active in a long time. I would love to see a huge revival, and would definitely want to be involved in that in some way, were it to happen.
Were you involved with any fandoms after the X-Files? If so, what was it like compared to X-Files?
I read a lot of Harry Potter fanfiction for a while, but I never could expend the kind of energy and time I did for the X-Files fandom. It came at a perfect time in my life, and so far nothing else has measured up to it.
Who are some of your favorite fictional characters? Why?
Besides XF characters? Off the top of my head I really love Hermione Granger, Buffy Summers, Elizabeth Bennet, and Claire Fraser for their sass and strength of character, Severus Snape for his complexity, and Christina Ricci's version of Wednesday Addams for her pure awesomeness. She's pretty much my spirit animal.
Do you ever still watch The X-Files or think about Mulder and Scully?
I do occasionally. I watched the series from season 1-7 so many times that I started to burn out, but I get on my X-Files kicks sometimes and binge it again.
Do you ever still read X-Files fic? Fic in another fandom?
Like with the show, I'll get nostalgic and need to consume all the fanfics my greedy little eyes can behold until I move on to something else. It can feel a little lonely though, if you'll excuse the drama. We're not in the heyday anymore, so it feels a little like walking through a ghost town. Many of the stories out there are suspended in time because the show ended, or people stopped writing.
Do you have any favorite X-Files fanfic stories or authors?
I know I have dozens, but I'm drawing a blank. My ultimate favorite is any well-written MSR casefile with UST finally resulting in RST. Those are my unicorns!
What is your favorite of your own fics, X-Files and/or otherwise?
I have a silly one called Baby, It's Cold Outside that I sometimes read around Christmastime. It was a fluffy song-fic, but I can see the scene so clearly in my mind when I read it and it's just pure fun. I also like my Donnie Pfaster series. I can see the potential in my writing with those, which makes me feel I could really write something special someday. Plus, he's such an interesting little slimeball to write and read about. Bless his heart.
Do you think you'll ever write another X-Files story? Or dust off and post an oldie that for whatever reason never made it online?
I still think about the two WIPs I haven't finished. I wrote myself into a corner with This Mortal Coil, and honestly I think it needs a total overhaul. I think Dana Scully's Diary would be a fun one to finish. I hate that I never finished them.
Do you still write fic now? Or other creative work?
I think about writing fanfic now and then and I've had a couple original novels sketched out, but there are so many other demands on my time that I haven't gotten very far. I still plan to see the novels through, even if no one but interested friends and family read them.
Where do you get ideas for stories?
I used to watch an episode and really study the actors' expressions and actions, always trying to find new angles to the stories we all know. A lot of times things would just come to me and I'd get so excited I couldn't sleep until I wrote a good chunk of it down.
What's the story behind your pen name?
The friend who introduced me to fanfic told me the best way to choose a pen name was to make sure it derives from the show. For a couple days I looked at the titles and summaries of episodes and agonized over just the right name. Finally Piper Maru and the summary from Triangle, which mentions the Sargasso sea, stood out and just clicked.
Do your friends and family know about your fic and, if so, what have been their reactions?
My now husband always knew, and he thought it was cool that I had a hobby that made me so happy, but he was never a reader. My parents found out when I was about 24 and my step-dad would tell EVERYONE about it, much to my horror. Most reactions were of the bland, "Oh yeah? That's nice." variety but I definitely got some weird looks from others. The worst was when I found out how much of my racier MSR stories my parents read. My step-dad thought it was hilarious and teased me a little. My usually open-minded mom was uncomfortable, but tried to be supportive. It's all fun and games until your daughter starts writing psuedo-erotica for anyone to see!
Is there a place online (tumblr, twitter, AO3, etc.) where people can find you and/or your stories now?
Circe Invidiosa very generously hosts a page for me at http://pipers.invidiosa.com.
(Posted by Lilydale on January 26, 2021)
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