#I’m trying to get better at revealing stuff about myself
!!! You have tattoos? if you don't mind sharing, what are they?
I do !! I have a handful so I won’t go through them all, but I have a few designs that include hearts (I used to doodle them a lot when I was younger so it’s no surprise that some of the designs I’ve wanted include hearts in some way lol) 💖🖤💖🖤
(I really want a buffy tatt but I wouldn’t know where to even start lol it takes me a while to commit to something)
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Arthur and Me
I don’t know how to detangle Arthur from myself enough to write dispassionately or accurately. Instead, what follows is something like half him, half me. It’s more journal entry than elegy. To a general audience, that might make this less interesting, useful, or properly memorializing than it otherwise could be, but it’s what I’ve got. Remember this if and when you get to the end.
I feel like I knew Arthur. Then I heard what others had to say and saw what others had to feel. Following his death, I still feel like I know him. In certain ways better than most or all. But there’s a part of me that’s often strained to believe I was in more of his inner circle than I actually was, and his death exposed this to me.
This is a practical observation, not a dramatic one. I’m not saying he had a dominating and hidden alter ego. Like, I don’t think he dressed in drag on the weekends. Nor do I now think that I was some oblivious loser he showed charity to. I’m just saying his death revealed my confidence in our bond as a bit of an embarrassing illusion, something innocuously leftover from being kids together, back when we actually spent serious time together. And that’s one of many contributions to my grief. I want him back now like I’ve continuously wanted back what we lost long ago, but now it’s double-permanent and legible. Before it was remediable and hidden.
Don’t get me wrong, him and I were by no means strangers. He had that same nostalgia to hold onto, too. I wasn’t alone, and that mutual thread to our shared past was strong for both of us. It gave us a lot to lean on, but we leaned on it a little too heavily. Without that crutch, our adult lives were mostly opaque to one another. So there’s that. But also we were getting close again, involving each other again. Building anew. And so there’s that, too. The left hook following the right. It’s a shame we weren’t closer. It’s a shame our getting closer was cut short.
Some more about the initial distancing: now that I think about it, the distance between us was less specific to him and I, and more of a generic quality of early adulthood.
As you get older, time finds more and more ways to be invested, and so your attention saturates. Routine and progress (i.e. work) dominate, leaving little room for people you might’ve passed the breeze while the living was easy. And each person’s adult routine has its own shape (e.g. lawyering, engineering, parenting, limits of geography) which makes it harder to find common ground. Compare that to when you’re a kid: you might be learning to walk, to ride a bike, to make friends, to drink a beer, all of it at the same time and place and with the same people. Pick anyone at random and chances are they can relate. As adults, we’re all doing niche things, and niches are small and excluding, so everything else becomes small talk. (And that’s fine and right, because focus is necessary for growth. Just try and stay loyal, which Arthur did and my cousins do.)
So maybe it wasn’t so much that I was uniquely outside of Arthur’s confidence, but more that we’ve all grown a bit into our own isolation. In any case, I mourn the loss and its new finality.
So that’s him and I as adults, apart. Who was he, though? What can I tell you?
Well, I’ll start with me. Who I am is still him, the result of his influence, for sure. Of growing with, then adjacent to him, then apart, then converging again (more on the converging, later). If you distilled me down and got rid of all the litter and trivia, the rare and potent stuff remaining would be similar to what I knew of Arthur. We had the same essence, as I saw it. So I can show you that reflection, and you can tell me if it’s accurate (See: first paragraph’s disclaimer). (Also, note my calling out our similarity is carefully placed right before I go on to flatter him best I can — tactics, baby — but don’t read my ego into this. What follows is all my cousin.)
Arthur and confidence. Old saying: the master fails more often than the novice tries.
The subtleties of his personality were sophisticated and complicated. He could spar at an exceptional level from an early age. But he started out lazy and overthrowing a lot of his punches, gassing out quickly. That didn’t last long. Reality checked. He learned. The important thing is that he knew he wasn’t going to watch, he was going to play.
The firm handshake, the direct eye contact, the bright teeth, the smiling cheeks. Approachable, but not daffy. If anything his charisma was a prank and shrewd tactic; a car salesman during the first act, a playful subversion before the intellect and wit made their debut; or, worse for you, they didn’t. You'd start talking to Arthur and think you were walking in on a frat-boy breakfast table, then he'd go on to tell you why your problem was really because of what Robert Moses did back in ‘56; or ask if you thought the The States were in a similar stage of decadence as Rome before its fall.
To him, your reason was more important than your choice, which is an axiom of all good conversation, one that most people are afraid to admit because doing so requires the ability to tread water. It’s easier to talk about the weather or watch sports. But Arthur wasn’t afraid of going deeper, and he had the tact to know when it was the right thing to do.
He was a man of appetite. A true traveling gourmand. He could scoff at you from within a seersucker, but he never compared oysters. If a menu offered Seattle’s or Rhode Island’s, he’d reply, “keep ‘em coming” and demand littlenecks or (and) crawfish to follow. He was less interested in varieties of wine, more in varieties of tomato; and whether you had a good coarse salt.
He was spoiled rotten — as we all were, and mostly by the same sources — but he lacked pretension, except for that deliberately wielded for ironic effect. Underneath all his developed and developing taste was a lot of comical stoicism — laughing at gross injustice and absurdity, but also doing something about it, literally. His principles were conjured up from experience with the trappings of pleasure, with readings of history, with a variety of dealings with the world. I always wondered where and how he got it all. The guy had seen things, but not that many things. How was he always so versed? I don’t know, but if you’ve ever watched him eat a box of clementines straight up, wide-eyed in a wrinkled rugby shirt, then you would also know he was more pensive than pleasure seeking.
Entertainment was a defense, one he was growing out of as he realized it interfered with his goals and their requirements. A defense against what? I don’t know for sure, but I suspect the typical. On one hand, a lack of patience and a petulant refusal to be bored. On the other, the existential and solipsistic. A defense against a subconscious shame and pain of cynicism. Was love real? Was wealth worth anything? Was the world bogus? Was anyone authentic? Ethical? Himself? Others?
Look, I’m not saying he was overwhelmed with this gooey crap. He was a thinker and not a navel gazer. I don’t know if he even said any of this stuff out loud, but anyone with a brain is going to ask some questions about the life they’re living and the society they’re in, and most of us don’t like the first obvious answers we come up with. Then we do something about not liking those answers. We put fingers in our ears some of the time, we do what’s easy some of the time, and we do what’s difficult some of the time. And also, anyone with any talent is going to find themselves bored among the average, and falling short of their own standards. These were Arthur’s struggles, I think. At least, they’re kind of my struggles, and Arthur seemed to harmonize with me when we’d commiserate. Or maybe we were both pompous assholes, wannabe aristocrats from the suburbs. Or maybe that was just me. Ha.
To some, it might seem appropriate to haunt him here in this postscript, as if to justify his death as the terminal approach of a depression into cessation. Let me be clear: this was totally not the case, from my vantage. Instead, the above attitudes are more like the required cost-of-entry to a great show. If the unexamined life isn’t worth living, it does not mean the examined one is easy to live. The alternative is Judge Judy and a monogrammed armchair. Not for Arthur. Caulfield eventually quits his bitching, but he has to eat a lot of shit first. Siddhartha finally leaves the brothel, but he had to walk in that door in order to walk out of it later. Hard times are the prerequisite to epiphany. Painful and confusing; but hopeful, not despairing.
And you could tell Arthur was among this company because the personas he employed became increasingly sophisticated, useful, attractive, and comfortable. From the brawling, pack-leading, indulgent, jokester/show-off into the relaxed, independent, luxurious, conversationalist who wasn’t as afraid to let his guard down, who was increasingly responsible. He was cultivated. He had a tamed self-consciousness (as we all aspire). It was impressive to watch him pull his own strings, to compare that with your own attempts and be humbled.
And thus, as I see it, the irony, hard to swallow, is that Arthur was finding answers to life’s hard questions in fistfuls. Love was possible. Work was worth it. Viktor Frankl was right. And he was learning patience and conviction. As Dan put it, he was just taking off. He jumped and then a hand reached up from the almost escaped gravity and cut him by the heel.
A complete, but simple tragedy.
Complete, because the good guy lost.
Simple, because Arthur’s life was not some melodramatic airport novel. His death was a lightning strike, a deus ex machina in reverse. A two sentence accident, not an assassination. Not much more to be read from it. Mortality is hard, right? (See: Genesis).
And for all my elaboration, I don’t even think Arthur was all that noxiously introspective or exceptionally self destructive either. The guy knew how to love and be loved. How to let his hair down, appropriately. How to shift gears and drive forward. How to resist temptation. How to find and be good company. How to stare at a fish tank. How to sit and read. How to eat fruit in the sun. He was typically bright, with a lot of flair and personality. I know he was grateful.
Or I’m wrong. Maybe I’m inventing a story to make sense of something more concealed or of pure chaos. I don’t know. I don’t think so.
In any case, it’s a tragedy. And regardless of what is true, I’m still glad I got to hear his story and be part of some of it. He was and remains a good influence to me, a fellow bright eyed boy attempting to sustain himself in the body of a straight-backed man. He’ll live on for a long, long time. And I keep talking to him.
That’s some of what I knew of him. And given this is my catharsis, forgive me further, but more about me:
Sadness, gratitude, and disappointment.
I’m sad. Still? Yes. Always? Probably not. The inevitability of death hits a certain emotional bedrock after enough love is lost. I’m probably not there yet, still more distance to fall, but things are tapering off, in the aggregate. Maybe I’m just cold.
Sadness is the least interesting. I am separated from someone I love, and that sucks. We all have people we’ve loved, and we are all damned to lose them. But yes, I get those black bile clutches to the chest as I’m reminded that Arthur (et al.) is gone. And I wanna hold your hand, if you’re feeling it too.
It’s a curse that requires gratitude. Time keeps on slipping, and the portion of time that one spends with good people is shorter still. I’m thankful for Arthur’s good company. From childhood to peerdom. This is what I’ll try and focus on. It’s the mantra I’ll repeat. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Then there’s the sulking disappointment. My head slowly shaking, my eyes unfocused at the loss of the unpredictable conversations, the refreshingly interesting trivia, the uniqueness, the independence, the honed never impersonated taste, the great breadth of knowledge, the artful ball busting, the avoidance of cliches, the shared recommendations, the belly laughs. Obnoxious mutual indulgence — food and talk — during Thanksgiving at Stacy’s table, the shared past at Everit Ave, the just started planning. The feeling of a missed answer to the question of how to get it back continuously nags.
More on that: I’m dealing with a huge mess of unanswerable questions and impotence. There’s so much broken by his leaving, least of all in me, and I can’t fix any of it. No way to organize it. I can’t even help others fix it. Acknowledging the impossibility of the situation seems better than ignoring it, so I will (...acknowledge that death breaks the world and makes inconsistent a lot taken as granted). Arthur’s death is an oily black, surreal void in the middle of the road. A portal to nowhere. And sure, life will go on. We will preserve. Time heals all wounds. That’s all true. But any schmuck can offer a platitude. I want to be responsible for what he’s left behind, in precise detail. I want to pick up the slack, fill in the blank. But what was his remains his, locked up behind whatever door his soul is now shut. It’s maddening.
I went so far as to tell Olivia that I was her brother, too, and that I would be there for her. Idiot. I love her, she knows I love her, I know she loves me. Yada, yada. I need no pity for my vomiting on the rug. My point is: I can’t be Arthur. I can’t even be close to Arthur. Adam — while still pretty good — isn’t a substitute for Arthur. I apologized for being so naive and sloppy, but the moment taught me what I was trying to say above: that I am ignorant of so much of Arthur’s life, and in ways that can’t be remedied by interviewing his friends or reading his book or wearing his shoes, sort of speak. A lot of it isn’t just unknown, it’s unknowable.
This requires more thought. Surely something can be done. Entropy can’t be rewound, but duct tape can keep a plane in the air. So here’s something I’m going to try: I’m going to be more vulnerable. I’m going to expose myself the way a brother or a son might, and see what happens. It won’t transform me into a replacement, and I’ll probably make a clown out of myself. But it’s worth a shot. To build different connections, instead of replacements. I can already see that the cousins have been hammered stronger by this. Now it’s time to be deliberate, and keep the train going, if possible. And yea, I’ll do the practical too: You can’t call Barb, enough. And I’ll call Liv, too; but with finesse, without overdoing it. And the rest of our family, as well, because we all lost something. For some a spleen; for others, more vital organs.
It’s further maddening to have Arthur’s death aligned and intertwined with so much of my pleasure. I’m a week into marriage. I’m ecstatic and overwhelmed by the potential of my future. I’m also newly terrified of losing a child not yet even conceived. That’s a fun one. Probably a lot more neurosis to come. But, yea... it’s a violent set of waves to endure and ride. It’s exhilarating and crushing, and guiltily I’ll admit, more of the former. I’m pronoid.
The guilt compounds as I realize that I’m only comparing the conflict between my pleasure and pain, when the actual accounting includes my pleasure, my pain, and all the pain of all the others he left behind, those we both loved. A dominating, trailing factor; ego-hidden and selfishly deprioritized. What would Jesus do? Not have a wedding during shiva, although I appreciate all the encouragement and insistence from wedding guests who were also fellow mourners.
Back to Arthur and I having grown apart and then, more recently, back together:
There exists a line separating most relationships. On one side of the line you have people who have a reasonably complete model of you in their head. (See: Theory of Mind.) On the other side of the line are people who have a functional model; they know what they need to know to get the job done, but they don’t know, perhaps have never seen, the whole thing. For ex., a spouse vs a colleague (most of the time).
The line is called intimacy, and relationships on both sides of the line can be valuable, but the intimate ones have more potential in both directions, fat tails; the intimate ones can yield fortunes and bankruptcies. Acquaintances are tepid.
I described it above, how Arthur’s and my relationship moved from the intimate to the distant. I’ll skip further detailing that transition, and just get to the thing that hurts now: we were getting markedly closer, again. I could see the trajectory of our friendship and would bet on our returning to intimacy and confidence.
If the isolation of vocation and growth drives most bourgeois adults apart and into impersonal silos, then eventual mastery and plateau allows room for a focus on humanity, again. And humanity is universal and objective. People can stand on it, together, and get to know each other (again). That’s where I felt Arthur and I were.
I felt like Arthur and I had taken two separate tracks at a fork 15 years ago, and just recently those two roads started to merge back into the same path. We had stories to tell each other, of our time in the wild. It was the basis for a new bond, perhaps stronger than the old.
Unsolicited phone calls. Talks of marriage, health, wealth. Suggestions of books and podcasts that were actually followed through with, instead of disappearing into the void like most cocktail party prescriptions. We’d follow back. Not rushing each other past awkward silence. Being patiently invested in one another. Showing up. Talking about vulnerable topics, like fears and aspirations for careers, and relationships, and family. And then, right during the peak of this rekindling, this jubilee, he died. And I doubt that I was the only one whose newfound growth and compatibility were cut short. You’re not alone.
So I hurt for the spent love, yes, like that of most grief. But I hurt more for the lost potential. I had so many fresh dreams that included him. It’s disappointing and sad.
To be clear, I’m disappointed in what’s lost, not disappointment in him. I blame him for nothing, even if maybe I should or others do. But any of his mistakes could have easily been mine, and so I sympathize. I’m not angry. Ambition implies risk. Vice is vice is inevitable. Growth means growth from something. Different contexts, need not apply.
Anyway, what else? The thing I linger on now is a weird faith. I have little faith or rather I have difficulty finding faith. I scrutinize faith until it’s demoralized. And yet, the discontinuity introduced by Arthur’s absence gives me faith, illogically but compellingly. I don’t strive for it, it’s simply there, point blank. I can’t explain it, but I can describe it.
Arthur is gone forever, and Arthur is part of my future. Both irrevocably true, yet incompatible. What to do about it? Apparently, not much. My mind absolutely and happily refuses to budge. The feeling that Arthur is part of my future supersedes the knowledge that he’s not. Knowing he’s gone does nothing to my belief that my future includes him. So it continues to. Sue me, I can’t help it.
See you in the funnies, Arthur. (More trivia: I never called him Artie or Art or Archo. He was always Arthur to me.)
Lastly, some good, more recent memories (skipping some that have already been shared):
The last thing I spoke to Arthur about was extensive advice, over the phone, on how to structure a prenup. “Don’t put anything about kids in there, because the courts won’t accept that you understood what you were agreeing to, prior to actually having the kids.” Smart. “Everyone should get one! The courts encourage it! Helps ungunk the works.” Ha. Kelly and I never got a prenup, but the candid advice on such a touchy subject makes me laugh.
Eating a whole pig at a communal table, biergarten style, at Saxon and Parole, in New York. Arthur talking the whole table’s ear off about everything, and then after discussing eating brains, we asked the chef to bring the pig’s over, and he did. Afterwards, walking to our trains, jolly, drunk.
Visiting Arthur in Scotland. Going out to some Uni warehouse party, and me getting lost with some bird. I didn’t have a working European phone, and so when I got home at dawn, seeing him and his big bravado looking like a worried mother goose made me laugh and proud, like a big brother again. Him cooking the two of us mussels and linguine with three whole heads of garlic. Delicious. Steak in Edinburgh, and him showing me the castles like he was himself a duke, personal friends of Hume and Smith.
I wished we went on more walks together.
Us planning on going to Joe Beef, in Montreal, with Alexandra and Kelly.
Him calling me to tell me Anthony Bourdain had died, and subsequently talking about it. “If he can’t make it, who can?” There’s that cynicism again. But it was a candid moment. And we ended that talk, more or less, believing we could make it, even if Bourdain couldn’t.
Discussing whether we were fated to end up like our parents.
Him shooting the .38 up in Gilboa.
Legos, spanky, ice box bedroom, V8-turbo toilet, endless chicken rolls, the pool, the trampoline, the screen porch and its green furniture, karate in the basement (no shoes on the mats), rolling on the carpet (i.e. roll mosh), forts, the Barbie game on the gateway computer in Izzy’s room, Snood, army men in the mud ripping up sod by the square foot unit, jealousy listening to Timberlake camp stories, the suburban with 100 blankets in the third row and Don McLean on the radio, toxic farts, the Pokemon store, the Pokemon cards I’d steal from him after going to the Pokemon store, a million cups of Lipton at Barb’s table, Rage Against the Machine in Dan’s car, lanyards, fishing in the Hewlett Bay, Harry Potter, him never sleeping over my house and getting rides home at 2am after attempting to (me pissed), hiding in that lone pine tree in the front yard, making window art out glitter glue, salamanders, watching him attempt to ride a bike in the driveway.
A menial history, but ours. Anyway...
Arthur, you were great. It’s not for me to say that you’re now resting in peace, because I think you were pretty zen while you were alive, in your own pastel-colored kimono kind of way. So instead, I hope you’re as satisfied there as you were interested here. I’ll see you soon, and until then, I’ll try and hold the line for you. Love ya’.
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Top 5 Buckynat quotes and why?
Okay friend you have been so patient so I’m giving you 5 and a bonus. I tried to avoid the big ones that everyone loves their first kiss in the cap comics, we’ll always have the moon, etc. but here are a few I absolutely adore that may be a bit under the radar.
1) “During the cold war there was a theory, that one agent in the right place at the right time, with the right skills, could be more effective than an army.” I l love this quote from Winter Soldier because it really gets to the heart of Bucky and Natasha’s role as a spy and assassin respectively. They’re precision instruments in a world where most heroes rush head on into battle. That’s what makes them unique.
2) “Perhaps your friend James Bucky Barnes can join us? If he’s still your friend. I hear you sold him out, recorded all his favorite sexual positi—“ [Natasha lunges at speaker with a knife]. So Name of the Rose spoiler alert. I know this is all staged but I love that Natasha sits there as this guy reveals they know about this incredibly traumatic part of her past, but say a word about Bucky and she’s ready to murder. This is literally the only time in the comic where she shows real rage, and again, that’s because it’s staged, but I like to think she didn’t mind playing the part.
3) “So how much did you leave of him?” Bucky
“Excuse me?” Natasha
“Him. The man over there who beats his wife.” Bucky. “I’m not blind, you know.”
“I think I love you, James Buchanan Barnes.”
I made an edit of this and the one before forever ago but it is one of my favorite moments. For context Natasha and Bucky were on a date at a fancy restaurant. It’s implied that the date itself is a cover for Natasha to go after this powerful guy that beats his wife and threaten him so that he leaves her with all the money. She returns to the table and this exchange takes place. What I love is that not only is Bucky down to moonlight taking down abusive husbands, he totally guessed what Natasha was up to and didn’t interfere. And he didn’t interfere either. He’s happy to spend time with her even if she’s thinking about something else. And that is when Natasha says she loves him, because she realizes that he really knows her and loves her for who she is. Every relationship she’s had has been with someone who wanted to limit her. But with Bucky, she can be who she needs to be and get his unconditional love and support.
4) N: “James, you found me.” B: “You can’t be surprised. We’re both made of the similar stuff. I just hide it better than you do. What’s going on, Natasha?” N: “I’m sure you’ve heard an earful.” B: “That, and more. I’m not surprised you’ve been keeping tabs on everyone. And I know you’re not selling us out.” N: “Is that what the others think?” B: “I don’t know. Yes. Maybe. Does it matter?” N: “No.” B: “Tasha.” N: “I don’t know who’s doing this. Or why. That’s the truth.” B: “But not the whole truth I bet. And if I offered myself up would you take my help?” N: “James—“ B: “I know you don’t need me. But please, Natasha.” N: “You’re a good man.” B: “Not really, no. But you’re the only one who understands that.”
Okay sorry if that was illegible but I’m on mobile here and I’m trying not to make this the worst thing ever to scroll through lol. So this is the final Name of the Rose moment in the list lol. This is the companion to the above. Natasha is running for her life and Bucky finds her and once again he is accepting her for who she is. He’s genuinely worried for her and doesn’t care that she’s spying on him and all their friends, he just wants her to be safe. And when Natasha says “you’re a good man” it’s because I don’t think she can express how she feels any better. She isn’t used to unconditional love, she fully expected him to be mad at her for spying in him. Because isn’t that how Matt or Clint would have reacted? But instead he’s here begging to help her and it’s important to note that she accepts his help. I think this is the moment when Natasha began to trust Bucky more than anyone else. And even though they’re not together canonically now, she consistently trusts him over everyone else because he has always had her back. And also just look at how tender they are with each other. They can’t let go of each other. Natasha is seriously injured in this scene and Bucky will not let go of her. It is so clear they love each other but they aren’t saying “I love you” because that is so hallow compared to what they have. Literally everything about this scene is amazing.
5) N:“Walk away from this, I don’t want to hurt you.”
B: “I was just about to say the same thing.”
This is in their first published meeting. What I mean by that is as readers, this is the first time we see Bucky and Natasha interact. They’re technically on different sides but it gets smoothed out later. I think what I like about it is they’re both weary of each other. Think about how we went from this to the quotes above from Name of the Rose. They were both built to be weapons and they don’t know if they can trust each other because of that fact, but at the same time they have this history that we as readers don’t know about yet. I think this is just a big factor in what I like about Brubaker.
And our bonus!! This is actually two moments.
N: “Tony, this is a big mistake...that man is not ready to carry this burden. It’s more than likely he’s not even right for it.”
N: “I like this...seeing you like this.”
B: “What? Frustrated?”
N: “Struggling with it...this captain America thing. I don’t think it’s supposed to be easy, James.”
B: “No...Steve just made it look that way.”
N: “You will too...someday.”
What I love about this is that initially Natasha is concerned about Bucky. She knows how hard it is to be Captain America and she knows more than anyone else what Bucky has been through. And of course, ultimately she was right because Bucky went back to being the Winter Soldier, willingly giving up the shield to work in the shadows with her. But she does see, after foiling a plot on the president, that he was right for it. And she puts her faith in him. Natasha is very good at supporting people when she believes in them, and she’s made the shift from being worried Bucky can’t handle being cap, to throwing her full support behind him as a partner both romantically and in battle. You can also see how here she’s playing the roll of supportive girlfriend and maybe not yet being emotionally vulnerable with Bucky but that trust is slowly being built between them.
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Lover of Mine~ Chapter 12
Lover of Mine~ 5 seconds of summer
Warnings: swearing, angst, sorta sad stuff I guess
Word Count: 1,662
Author’s Note: hellloooo, this chapter I had it ending a completely different way for so long but I’ve decided it would be better for the story, in my opinion, if it ended a little differently. tehe... anyways I don’t think the next chapter will be posted tomorrow but I’m already working on it so we will see lol This is my Gif!!
She sat in the driveway for a while, listening to her music. Mostly tuning it out. She sat blankly staring towards the shut garage door in front of her. She didn’t want to go, Y/N was never one for confrontation. It had been years since she had a serious break up with someone, especially one that was her fault in the end.
She took in a long breath as she began to drive out of the driveway. She was careful to drive past the other cars in the gated driveway.
After the drive she pulled into Mike’s driveway. She sat in the car for a few minutes as she contemplated the words she wanted to say. Was she going to admit to the mixed feelings she had? Or was she going to leave it be and pretend it all never happened? She wasn’t sure. She watched as the minutes continued to pass on her dashboard. She took in a long breath and decided that it would be best if she told him the truth.
She reached for the big beach bag of all the things Mike had left at her house, it was heavier than she originally thought. She pulled the car door open and climbed out of her car. She walked slowly to the front door, surprisingly without hesitation she knocked. After a few moments the door was pulled open by Kevin. “Y/N? Hey,” he furrowed his eyebrows as he glanced behind him as if Mike was there, “I thought you and Mike-” he trailed off as he stared towards her confused.
She cleared her throat and nodded slightly, “Uh-yeah, but he wanted his stuff back,” she motioned towards the bag in her hand. Kevin’s mouth fell open slightly as he nodded, letting her inside. Kevin shut the door behind her, as she stood awkwardly in the living room as if it was her first time over at the house. Rushed footsteps came from down the hall, revealing Mike. Mike’s smile faltered as he saw her carrying the bag.
“I’ll get your stuff,” he mumbled as he turned around to head back towards his room.
“Actually, I was hoping we could talk,” she stopped him. Mike turned around and paused for a moment. He nodded his head and motioned for her to follow him towards his room. Y/N glanced towards Kevin, who’s eyes were wide with an awkward smile to his features. Kevin slowly fell down onto the couch, while tilting his gaze down towards his lap. Y/N quickly followed towards him. She entered Mike’s room, delicately placing the bag onto the bed. Letting all of the items fall out slowly.
Mike stood leaning against his door, his arms were crossed over his chest as he watched her intently. His jaw evidently clenching and unclenching as he kept his eyes on her. The way her hair was pinned back away from her face was strange to see. He watched her hands and how they rubbed together nervously.
“I think you were right,” she let out. She didn’t want to look at him, her entire body was encased with guilt.
She turned to face him, letting a tear fall onto her cheek. She lifted her trembling hand and wiped it away quickly. “About me being in love with Colby,” she paused again, taking in a shaky breath, “I didn’t want you to be,” she looked away from Mike, “I never wanted to let myself feel that way because we were best friends, you know?”
Mike’s head fell as he furrowed his eyebrows harshly.
“I spent years suppressing those feelings because I didn’t want to ruin anything. Because I knew he didn’t feel the same after watching the parade of girls he brought past me,” she explained.
“When we were together, were you trying to suppress those feelings?” he asked, dropping his hands to his side. Her mouth fell open slightly before she shook her head.
“Mike, I loved you so much, I love you so much. When I was with you, Mike, I never thought that I saw Colby like that,” Mike smiled slightly at her words, “But when I was with Colby, I just-I don’t know,” she covered her face with her hands, her skin started to feel hot.
She took in a long breath, “I realized we do things that I don’t do with Sam or Jake or Corey. We have this energy that I can’t explain. It’s just nothing like my other friendships.”
Mike dropped his head slightly, “When you told me that he said he was in love with me, it was like-” she shook her head slightly trying to form the correct words, “It was as if, I don’t know.”
“You still denied it though, like afterwards I mean,” Mike interjected. She nodded while clenching her jaw.
“We had been fighting about Colby for so long it was just a reflex at that point,” he nodded slightly, “I love you so much, Mike,” she cried. She took a step towards him, while maintaining eye contact with him.
“But not like you love Colby,” his voice cracked. She shook her head.
“But not like I love Colby,” her lips trembled as she spoke.
Mike walked over towards the side of his bed. Leaning down, he took a hold of a bag with her belongings. He walked towards her quickly handing her the bag, whispering, “Can you at least do me a favor,” he looked her deeply in her eyes. He stayed silent for a few seconds while he savored the moment. He wanted to remember the intoxicating color of her eyes; remember the memories that they had together. She nodded slightly.
“Go be happy with him,” he stated softly. “Go be happy for me,” he looked her body up and down briefly as he cautiously walked towards his bedroom door. She tightened her grip around the straps of the bag while following him to the door.
She looked up towards him, “I’ll try,” she let out as she wrapped her arms around his neck. He stood still, taken aback, before he slowly wrapped his arms around her waist. After a few seconds she pulled away, smiling softly towards him. She started heading down the hall.
She sat in the driveway for a while. She stared at her possessions in the bag Mike gave her, remembering the words Mike had said to her. Go be happy with him. She stared blankly towards her steering wheel as she thought through every possible way she could tell Colby. Her fingertips slowly fell from the wheel as she lifted her head slightly.
She watched as the front door was being pulled open. She watched as Sam and Katrina headed towards Sam’s car. Her lips turned upward slightly as she watched them laugh and smile together. She always thought Katrina was a good influence on Sam. He needed someone like her especially after he past few relationships.
She waited for Sam to drive out of the driveway for her to get out. Y/N sighed as she took a hold of her belongings and stepped out of the car.
She took in a long shaky breath as she walked up towards the door. Her head hung low as she absentmindedly reached towards the door handle. Before she could take a hold of the handle the door swung open. She stopped suddenly as her eyes shot up towards him.
“Y/N?” he chuckled slightly, “You fucking scared the shit out of me,” he sighed dramatically as he ran his fingers through his hair.
“Sorry,” she smiled softly as she looked into his eyes. He shuffled to the side of her, allowing her to walk into the house. “Where are you going?” she asked while twisting the bag handle between her fingers. His mouth fell open slightly as he raised his hand to rub his eye.
“I’ve got a date,” he pressed his lips together to form a tightline as he awaited her response. She stared towards him with her heart racing quickly. Her lips parted slightly as she raised her eyebrows.
“That’s-That’s cool,” those were the only words that she could form as she continued to look into his eyes. Tell him. Tell him. For a few seconds they were quiet while they looked into each other's eyes.
“But I should get going, I’m already running la-unless you want me to stay with you,” his eyes widened, “I mean since it’s been a rough couple days with Mi-Mike and everything,” he stuttered. He clenched his fist as he punched his othe hand slightly. Her lips curled upward slightly as she nodded her head.
“You should go have fun, I’ll be fine,” she mumbled, while her face fell slightly. Her cheeks started to burn as she dropped her head. Colby started towards her, noticing the smile that was now slowly falling from her lips. He glanced towards his car before he looked back towards her.
“I’m gonna cancel it, I didn’t really want to go out anyway,” he said while he reached for the front door.
“No, Colby, it’s fine, go have fun,” she mumbled while she took a small step towards the now adjacent door. Colby shook his head while he followed her into the house.
“You need me, admit it,” he teased while he locked the door behind him. She didn’t respond to him, instead she turned to face him. It startled him but he stopped short, looking towards her. He glanced towards the pieces of hair that were falling into her face. He reached down and slowly brushed the pieces away. “I wasn’t there for you last night, let me be there for you now.”
She nodded as she leaned into him and hugged him, he quickly wrapped his arms around her and began to slowly run his hands up and down her back. She slowly began to cry while she started to feel secure in his arms.
If my name never fell off your lips again
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I'm going to warn you right away: I'm about to recommend a very addictive and fun game for your phone. If you aren't strong enough to resist, proceed with caution.
"Endless runner" is a name I've just learned for a type of game I've enjoyed for a very long time. You've probably seen the type before: you are trying to get your protagonist to jump over as many obstacles as possible before finally succumbing and falling off the temple maze, or jumping into a laser or whatever.
Alto's Adventure is an endless runner game. I've played a lot of these. I've then gotten sick of them and then deleted them from my phone and never looked back. Alto is something different. It's 6 years old now at this point, but I still haven't beaten it and I'm still not sick of it. So, what makes it different?
I think what I like best about this game is that it doesn't bombard you. You are a llama farmer and your llamas have escaped down a mountain so you hope on your snowboard and try to catch up with them to collect as many llamas as possible. Easy. Gradually you are encouraged to pick up new skills. Tap the screen and you jump. Tap and hold and you start to tilt backwards into a backflip. Combine that with a ramp and get extra points.
On top of that it's nice and gentle. Yes, it's frustrating when you hit a rock or don't quite make a jump, but it's not jarring. The music is calming, and there's a satisfaction as time passes in the game from day to night as a way of marking how long you've been collecting llamas. Eventually you can complete challenges and unlock different snowboard people (a yeti on a snowboard?! Now I've seen everything...) giving you a constant new "thing" to strive for in the game. And it works on all the phones (and the AppleTV if you want to play it on as big a screen as possible).
But please be warned: it's hard to stop. It's a good subway game where you have a liminal amount of time. I just played a round for "research" and found myself saying, "okay, ONE more" several times. But, on the other hand: it was fun! I don't regret anything.
Jump and click and stuff!
As a kid there was nothing better than a magic special on primetime TV. I remember seeing Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear, I remember the dramatic (yet disappointing) reveal of the Masked Magician, and of course I remember David Blaine's close-up magic.
This doesn't need much more of an introduction. Here's David Blaine doing a card trick for Harrison Ford and the actor giving the perfect Harrison Ford reaction.
(It seems unlikely, but if there's anybody out there who gathers the grandchildren around to read the new Sincere, Positive Things together, Mr. Ford does use one word of profanity, so be warned.)
Clear and Present Magic
for the wip meme: ahh I want to ask about all the dw ones....how about i contain myself to um. three? “as you sparkle in the sky (vxl)” and “laughter lines” and “will you be my future or just an escape”?
please feel free to ask about any of the other ones too, if you want! you’ve probably picked three of the most coherent documents i own though, aha <3
as you sparkle is the veega/leela document, of course, and it’s made up like three half finished fics, and every thought i’ve ever had about them
laughter lines is a little 13/river concept i’ve had for ages and ages and ages that i never got round to finishing because other stuff kept grabbing my attention instead
and will you be my future is the most self-indulgent sarah jane/kate stewart nonsense ever that i wrote feverishly some time last year before gallifrey infected me
more details under the cut because i rambled on, aha
as you sparkle in the sky
this is a lyric from the shinedown song ‘miracle’: as you sparkle in the sky / i’ll catch you while i can / cause all we are is all i am / i just want you to see what i’ve always believed / you are the miracle in me
this is the place where all my veega/leela(/romana) ideas have settled, so it is kind of a mess, and i keep getting new snippets of ideas that i have to note down - and because i’m incapable of writing fic longer than 5k, it’s more or less manageable to keep all the different bits i’m trying to work on at once in there
i went on about the ot3 the other day, but i have since off the back of your tags been thinking more about narvin in this au because more and more i’ve started to enter the galaxy brain shipping space of leela/romana/narvin - and i still don’t think that’s the angle i’d approach for this fic because i am specifically interested in how it’s all going to tear leela into teeny tiny little bits (me thinking about leela? audible gasp...) - but anyway, unfortunately in the set up I’m angling for where romana has to be comatose for a while, I think I am going to have to make narvin really sad… because as you say, he and romana have been through so so much pre-unity and this whole circumstance is a whole lot harder and more complicated than any of them really expected which really feels like saying something
but yeah, as for the other stuff in this document – a lot of notes on the dynamic between veega and romana, a whole list of song lyrics I intend to steal for titles, a frankly alarming and somewhat revealing amount of comments to myself that read like ‘leela’s so strong and buff’ ‘leela’s strong arms’ ‘leela fighting off raiders looking glorious’… like ok me! someone’s got an agenda…
there’s also two half formed fics, one which is about rayo and his relationship with the fact that he never knew his father, and that leela’s always a bit weird about him looking up to her as a mother figure because she’s got a shit ton of motherhood trauma, which is something I sure wish they’d stop doing to her :/
the other is like not that deep, it’s just veega and leela being kind of soft, as well as just trying to pack in a little bit of backstory just because I can but I also want them to be gentle and kind to each other – may well end up down the ‘you never said you were from gallifrey, how am I meant to trust you?’ route at some point, but for now, they’re soft and I love them <3 here’s an extract (though I wrote this before I thought about the language thing so it might change, but whatever):
Veega cannot look away. Their first coherent conversation goes round her head again, Leela proclaiming I will protect you even though she could barely get up from the bed. I will get better and I will not let anyone hurt you. I owe you that.
It had felt funny at the time – after all, Veega had picked her up on the dirt plain looking hours from death. Veega has seen too many people lost on the plains, convinced that the city is closer than it really is, condemned to perish out of stupidity or confusion. Unity is not a friendly world.
And until now, seeing her there fighting the raiders off as easily as if she were picking flowers, Veega hadn’t been able to decide if Leela had been foolish or not to be wandering alone. She had seemed so lost.
my most beloved and longest held doctor/river song <3 by bastille: i'll see you in the future when we're older / and we are full of stories to be told / cross my heart and hope to die / i'll see you with your laughter lines
so the concept is like, post silence of the library and it’s 11, then 12, then 13 going back to the library in some attempt to get river back out, and like 11 and 12 both fail of course, because the time is not right or whatever, and then 13 realises that it’s not about trying to get her out – what she really wants is the chance to say goodbye properly, to say sorry for uploading her and abandoning her like that, so 13 uploads herself for a little while so she can see river again properly
looking at it, actually I wrote way more than I remember doing – it’s been easily a year since I last opened this document, and indeed far longer since I started it, so it probably needs a real revamp before I were to post it – look at me talking about proofreading! that’s something that does not happen with me as often as it ought to… it’s a miracle any of flowers for tardises actually makes sense…
maybe I ought to finish this fic after all one day. i’m coming up on husbands of river song on my rewatch, maybe that’ll get me going for it again (or maybe not. I think I’m firmly living in leela/romana land for the foreseeable…)
will you be my future or just an escape
another bastille song... those nights when you crave someone / to be there at dawn, to wake with 'cause aren't we all just / looking for a little bit of hope these days?
this fic is about 17k long and it is the most stream of consciousness bullshit i have ever written in my whole life - it is entirely entirely unpublishable and i wrote it over like three months last year after binge-listening to a bunch of the unit audios and when i was very strongly on that sja kick, and i made the ill-advised decision to watch downtime again and i just said to myself ‘i need to write something with them right now or else’
and then i did... it’s just sarah and kate trying to pretend they’re too professional to be falling in love even though literally everyone else can see it and they’re doing a terrible job of hiding it, and it’s all like, the stresses of a high-pressure world-saving job and the fact they both have trauma about losing the people they were meant to be protecting and therefore believe they can’t allow themselves to actually commit to letting someone else in, because that becomes a Responsibility then and they can’t deal with the idea of letting someone in only to get them killed. and also they kiss a lot <3 it’s peak ‘write what you want to see’ and i think that’s pretty sexy of me
will i ever finish this fic? who can say…
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Some sort of fantasy with sexual connotations but larger-than-usual implications for ones state of mind.
I kinda have this sudden urge to take a vacation, close myself up in the apartment for a week and do nothing but blaze and fuck. Food? Delivered twice a day with minimal interaction. Other stuff? Just... pass. If it doesnt directly or very-close-to satisfy my primary needs and parts of more complex Maslov stuff that are entwined in that primary urges, I don’t want to hear it. Shut down all devices for communication and only leave emergency channels open. Then. Get hard. Get edged. Get tamed. Repeat the cycle throughout the day. Never cum. You need to preserve all you can, so you can give her a “good night” load, which will at that point be a sum of all false alarms that stressed your balls through the day. A fucking water reservoir - in front of which a dam broke down - ready to flood whole insides of your mouth. And then, make you guzzle it all and thank me. Fall asleep in that uncofortable head-on-shoulders, bodies forming a catheti of a right triangle, kind of way which only the first eruptions of passion can permit.
Wake up, drink coffee. But not too much. Just enough to get over that intial let down of standing up and denying your dick the blood it requires. To kickstart your it, so you can start smacking her ass with the bulge in your pants even before you've come back to residence, walking behind her in a near-spooning congruence. Watch her panties get wet as shit. Slowly remove them, but don’t tear. You will undo their placement a lot and before long she'd end up pantyless, which would be suboptimal for your aesthetic sensibilities. It is a known fact that slightly covered bodies - that hide just enough to make you wanna go to police school, do the drills, patrol the streets so you can eventually make a detective - are way hotter than totally naked ones. Maybe because those remind you of an already finished errand. Of a denied multiverse split that would occur upon yourself laying eyes on her body and determining just how much you wanna fuck that neatly stitched meat sack. And then, you'd make her roleplay as your little brother, because you know she'd be slightly uncomfortable because of it, since she's not attracted to him in any capacity whatsoever and would therefore probably slightly dislike playing him. We'd fight over who first punched who, whose fault it is that the dishes aren't clean today, who got better grades at which subjects and so on. Until I'd be overcome with anger and wolf down on her body. Froth on my lips, canine teeth having an extra spurt of growth, purely through sheer power of my will to incise her body, to really carve it with and after my own taste. And then, hold her like a little pup. Tell her that its going to be okay. Wait, I don't want this to be a brother fantasy, i'm digging the wolf daddy pup stuff too much. I wasn't too excited about it in the first place. Like, sister would probably work better, so you know, replace everywhere that needs replacing.
As the big, caring wolf I could tell her, that I need to go hunt food, whenever I'd leave her alone for a few minutes while fetching the takeout. And she'd let out sad little muted howls, informing me at the same time of the fact that she knows this behaviour is not socially acceptable but at the same time revealing her unrelenting desire to be the only object of my attention. And then we’d venture into the kitchen. We’d laugh about being real fucking oddballs and make jokes at the expense of our previous mattress-related fails, while waiting for the tea-intended water to boil.
We would never use the word “finally”, because we’d be stuck in series of present moments, so detached from past experiences and future wishes, that they couldn’t affect the sacred now.
And then, I’d try some sense deprivation on you. I’d put the blindfold over your eyes, fill both ears with ear-plugs and erect another sound barrier with my noice-cancelling headphones, which would play some whitenoiseish sound to further block your attempts to unscrable the waves floating around you. I would also plug your nose. It may, at a glance, seem like an overkill, but I think it is absolutely essential to shut it down because people determine more from smell than our positive discrimination of other senses usually lets on. Fetch the flavourless candles and fire them up, let them slowly burn and produce melted wax. Let her just lie there, alone for 5 or 10 minutes. Make her question your commitement to fucking her again and all the time as you’ve promised. And then, out of nowhere, when she finally seems at peace, foregoing thoughts of her regular destructive loops, probably alreadyt thinking about what I will do to her, I do it to her. Just short little drops. Short, piercing pain waves of undiscernable origin. She might be guessing its just candle wax. But she also can’t ever know for sure. Fearing worse things. Her mind concocting wildest scenarious based on furiousness of her memory-driven imagination.
I wouldn't need to respond to every generic notification sound my cell produces. Craving that sweet e-thot attention. Because she'd already be there. That little untamed vixen in need of a good fur stroking, somebody to give her freedom structure within which it can be meaningfully expressed. Because limitless freedom is in itself brutishly oppresive. It is through opposition and current-freedom barrier-breaking that we are able to invent new ways of reasoning about the world, new ways in which we can be crazy. And not crazy in a two-bit lowbrow meaning of the word. What I had in mind is that crazy, that gets enacted within parameters of ones death drive. That crazy that engulfs people into a space separated from all everyday activity, that usually grinds down our already crumbling mind throughout the day. And with that crazy I could operate. Maybe, we could make it a ritual? Like two weekends a month? Just smoking insane amounts of weed and having your dick stabbed inside that pussy like the sword of King Arthur. Unseparable from the stone. Unable to part without instant feeling of deprival on both sides of the friction.
Wait, in this metaphore, does she then leave for another man, since one day King Arthur comes around? Or is said person then somebody who tells me who to fuck for their pleasure? Unsure. People and swords might not have 1:1 feature parity.
hi there! i’d like to request an enhypen match up! i’m so sorry for this super long list i didn’t knew it would be this long omg
— for the type uh both/any could be fine for me :] but i do prefer romantic just because.
— well qualities i’d say i’m very awkward honestly i’m an ambivert i’m really loud if i’m placed in a room with all of my close friends, but if i have to be in a room full of strangers or even people i know yet not really close with, i’d probably talk much lesser. i tend do compare myself a lot to other people who’s better than me, sometimes i can say it boosts me motivation for me to do better but sometimes i just get the thought that i have no hope if people like them already had a bad time. i’m really wise i guess you could say, i love helping my friends and i’m usually the one my friends would go to when they need advice, rant buddy, etc. i try my best to help my friends but sometimes it can lead to me giving no care about myself at all but to me it doesn’t matter much if my friends are okay.
— ok so hobbies, i like dancing a lot. i’m not trained or anything i self taught myself dance and i’m not that good honestly. and i like playing games!! like genshin impact, or any multiplayer games that i can play with my friends. i also like video editing or any type of editing in general, i enjoy doing them. oh and i like playing sports too! i’m not very good at them i just do them every sports class in my school and i can say i enjoy it too. i love daydreaming in my free time it gives me joy though it’s not reality it’s a way for me to cope with it.
— what i look in a partner is their loyalty. if they date me they know what they signed up for, they wouldn’t leave me after i reveal my true colors (if you can say it that way) i’m really worried if i find a partner and they ended up leaving maybe after i show them my interests and stuff like that. i also want my partner to accept me for who i am, maybe for liking anime/kpop, maybe for having different interests. maybe for their traits i like someone bold and confident? i’m pretty shy so i don’t know if i’m able to make the first move unless i have to then i will try. uh maybe like flirty, i wanna feel flustered yk if that doesn’t sound weird. it’ll be nice if my partner is down to play games with me, watch movies every once in awhile, or have a dance session when we get super bored. just a fun partner in general so that i’ll never feel bored in their presence. ooh and someone who likes cuddling!! i’m super affectionate maybe dealing with someone who isn’t fond of skinship could be hard for me but i’ll try to adjust if i’m needed to.
— okay for the optional part, my ideal date would be ARCADE DATES!! i love playing in the arcade and if not maybe picnics? like under sakura trees or somewhere with a lot of green. and even cafe dates would be nice for a change. i don’t wanna add too much because i noticed this list is very long OMG IM SO SORRY 😭 oh and i assume you got a lot of requests already? if so make sure to not overwork yourself <3 thank you for your time reading this super long list
i match you with —
— heeseung i feel like is the same as you in terms of the ambivert aspect, but if you guys are together he’d speak a bit more because he’s a little more comfortable and he hopes that he is also your comfort. heeseung loves you so much for being his home and he doesn’t hesitate to make sure that you know he’s there for you as well.
— play genshin impact with me 🔫 and if you saw that whole hee gaming debate hee does in fact play fortnite and ever so kindly commands you to play with him too. once he gets to ar 16 in genshin he’d definitely make you do domains and bosses with him. he’s tried the oceanid about 8 times alone and has failed all 8 times. he also keeps amber on his team and tries to prove to everyone that she’s not bad (there is no way anyone can build amber good. i refuse to believe it) also he’s rolled keqing and diluc on his first ten roll.
— he WILL make you dance with him in the living room in the middle of the night. no excuses. he doesn’t care if you’re tired! it’s a party! get turnt!
— on the days he does relax tho, he will only accept dates where you are in his arms the whole time. he needs you 🥺🥺 also not afraid to initiate skinship. he’d also love going on picnics, especially when he can take sunset and golden hour pictures of you. you’ll have to pack the food tho, he doesn’t know wtf he’s doing
runner up: nishimura riki
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Hi Polynya! Love your stuff. I saw you mention that there are some “Rukia gets jealous” fics. Do you have any that you would recommend? And if you would make something like that, what canon character(s) can you imagine Rukia getting jealous of (romantically)?
The best example of the genre that I can think of, in the sense that it really goes into the jealousy aspect, is A Taste of Affection and Jealousy by Magpie_Game. Nanao and Renji bond over their respective one-sided affections while dragging Shuuhei’s drunk ass home from the bar and start up a cute li’l relationship, which sends both Shunsui and Rukia into panic. I do not care for the ShunNao ship, but I sort of skimmed those parts and enjoyed the fic very much overall (ngl, I kept yelling at Nanao to go for Renji). Rukia does not come off super-great in this fic, but I am very forgiving. There’s also a part where Renji and Izuru go to the batting cages that I think about a lot.
Hey Jealousy by ehvul_butterfly is a slightly silly one about Rukia getting pissed when all the other female lieutenants are horny for Renji.
What I Came for and What I Didn’t by eosdawnaurora (one of my fav Renruki writers, btw) is a bit of the same idea, slightly more serious, only it’s ladies of Squad 6, who, I may point out, are canonically hot for their assistant captain.
Hanami by Bukittyan is a very cute fic overall, which has a bit of Rukia being (irrationally) jealous of Momo in the beginning.
As for me, I did, at one time, write a fic, A Supposedly Fun Thing We’ll Never Do Again, where Renji sets Rukia up on a date with Momo and, in revenge, she sets him up on a date with Nanao, and then they have “why did I do this?” regret, so it is like jealousy in it’s mildest possible form.
I’m not trying to be a pedant about the difference between the words “jealousy” and “envy,” but it’s relevant to what I want to say. “Jealousy” is being possessive over something or someone which you regard as yours, “envy” is longing for what another person has. Usually, “jealousy” is the only one that applies to romantic scenarios. In this sense of the word, though, “jealousy” is not a thing I am interested or capable of writing about. To me, it is an ugly emotion that reveals a very distinct character flaw (which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy reading stories about jealousy, it’s just not my wheelhouse as a writer)
In order to write a Renruki story where Rukia is jealous of Renji, it either has to be a) a misunderstanding that contains poor enough communication to persist throughout the story, or b) Renji actually has to pursue some other relationship. As far as a) goes, I like to have Rukia and Renji be pretty honest with one another and have a good understanding of one another, and want the best for each other, so it just doesn’t ring true to me. As for b), the way I like to characterize Renji is that he is hopelessly devoted to Rukia-- he is not going to move on unless she explicitly rejects him. This is certainly a good framework for a story-- she rejects him, he finds someone else, she gets jealous, but there’s a certain meanness in it that isn’t what I enjoy writing.
On the other hand, I have often interwoven into my stories the sense that Rukia envies some of her and Renji’s mutual acquaintances, primarily Momo, and to a lesser degree, Nanao. Even though, from an exterior lens, everyone regards Rukia as a million miles above Renji, she, herself, doesn’t think she’s good enough for him-- that she thinks he would be better off with someone smarter, more feminine, more traditional, more organized, more disciplined. She’s also somewhat envious of Renji himself-- at how well he’s done for himself, at how he present himself to the world in a way that’s true to himself, at how many friends he has. Rukia may think of herself as badass, but she rarely thinks of herself as attractive. If there is one way I have imprinted myself on my characterization of Rukia, it’s that she’s able to find self-worth in what she does, but not who she is, which is one of her main character arcs over the course of my long series The Heart is a Muscle. It’s interesting to me that (in my writing) she’s not really envious of Rangiku, who is objectively beautiful and cool, but also a hot mess, which is not what she sees Renji going for in the long term. Rukia also has a brief bit of enviousness when she finds out that Renji used to date Shuuhei, but once she gets to meet Shuuhei and very quickly realizes that he is also a rampant disaster, it fades.
I think if I had to write a story on the topic of jealousy, I would probably set it in the Academy days, and the enviousness would be directed toward Momo. I think Momo and Rukia were both very envious of each other in those days, primarily because I like that a backdrop to them overcoming it and becoming friends in their post-trauma adult years.
A runner-up concept is that I am mildly fascinated with the idea that Renji, as a Vice-Captain and person-close-to-Byakuya ought to be a major catch as far as the social climbing minor nobility goes. I could see a fic where he catches the attention of various Kuchiki-family hangers on, and Rukia loses her mind of the idea that he might accept a very generous marriage offer to some beautiful and charming daughter of a mid-level house, which seems like a rational and sensible thing to do. Renji, of course, would never, we all know what he cares about.
As usual, I encourage my readers to add their own fanfic suggestions in the comments or reblogs!
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Descendants Rewrite: New Friend Or New Foe?
So recently I was thinking about a rewrite of Descendants 3 where Hades has more screentime and importance and came up with an idea where he ends up accompanying the Core 4 in a human disguise and fake alias and acts as a mysterious benefactor/trickster-type figure towards them and only reveals his true identity during a 1v1 with Audrey. Then I remembered your amazing Descendants OCs and how they replace the Core 4 in your rewrite and started thinking how hilarious it would be for them to have the literal god of the Underworld and the dead as their insane crackhead uncle figure and then this came into fruition. This can fit with either the canon-compliant rewrite or the second-gen rewrite, I didn’t really write it with a specific one in mind. Hope you enjoy!
Paige: “Look guys, I know that it’s difficult to stay positive with everything that’s going on, but we can’t give up hope! All of Auradon is counting us to save it, and we can’t let them down or let anything bad happen to them! I’m sure we can come up with something! Let’s take turns pitching ideas and-”
???: “Not so fast.”
(The gang, obviously startled by the mysterious voice, turn to the direction it’s coming from and see a tall, angular, glasses-wearing businessman with slicked-back black hair, dark blue eyes, and wearing a sharp black three-piece suit along with a tie held by a skull-shaped brooch approaching them.)
Soraya, wielding a spear similar to her mother’s and not hesitating to cut this SOB if he dares to lay a hand on her friends: “Stop right there! We’ve gone through too much to get to this point, and we’re not going to let someone like you send us back to square one! Take one more step and we’ll-”
???, having walked right up to her and is now gently pushing the spear down with his finger: “You must be fun at parties. Don’t get all antsy like that, I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here ‘cause I wanna help.”
Aggie: “Wait...help? Help with what?”
???: “Whatcha think I wanna help you, kid? This, obviously! This whole little ‘save-the-kingdom’ bit you got goin’ on here. Hi, how’ you doin’!? Name’s Peter Davis, but you just call me Dave.”
Soraya, hesitantly lowering her spear: “You want to help us save Auradon?”
Dave: “What are you, deaf? I just said so three times already!”
Soraya: “But why? What could you possibly gain from this?”
Dave: “It’s less about what I gain and more about what you gain. You’re facing your biggest and baddest bad guy yet, and everyone knows that in order to beat a villain, you gotta think like one. And I just so happen to be one! Well, a former one, that is. Wanted to shake things up a bit once upon a time by taking over the world and causing all of humanity to plunge into chaos and despair and all that jazz. Honestly, who hasn’t dreamed of doing something like that at least once in their life? But after everything that could go wrong did go wrong, I decided to take a good long look at myself and thought ‘hey, maybe this whole evil business ain’t working out for me’. You live, you learn, you get thrown in a river and spend ages trying to pull yourself out.”
Arthur: “...is that last part supposed to be a metaphor?”
Dave: “Could be interpreted as one if you really look. Point is, I know how bad guys operate better than anyone around, and you could use someone like that on your team. And as for why I wanna be that someone on your team, I got a few reasons for doing so. Part of it’s because I wanna prove to everyone that I’ve turned over a new leaf and am just as much of a hero as any one of them. Part of it’s because I always felt like I was an outcast that was never really accepted by anyone and I finally want to be the spotlight for once. But I don’t wanna make you all teary-eared, so I’ll skip the sappy stuff and tell you my biggest reason for joining: because I’m bored.”
Dave: “Bored doesn’t even do it justice! Work’s been as tedious and dull as watching paint dry, and it’s been forever since I got involved in a good hero’s journey. So when I heard about this little quest and the chance to finally get involved in some real action again, I decided to take a surprise vacation day and went out to find you and your traveling party. And what do you know, here you stand right in front of me! It’s an even trade: you get to the help you need to beat the bad guy and get your ‘Happily Ever Afters’, I get to take part in the adventure of a lifetime. We get to kill two birds with one stone!”
Paige: “But what about your job?”
Dave: “My kids can take care of it! They’ve got good heads on their shoulders, they’re capable of taking care of things while my wife’s away, they should be just fine. So, what do you say? Wanna add me to the party?”
Paige: (thinks for a second, then gives her answer) “...I think this is a decision my friends and I should make together.”
Dave: “Ah, you wanna think it over first! You’re smarter than you look, kid. Take your time, but don’t hold me up for too long. If there’s one thing I’m bad at, it’s waiting.”
(Paige assembles Soraya, Aggie, and Arthur into a group huddle and they start discussing what to do.)
Soraya: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to let him join. He doesn’t seem very trustworthy, almost like some sort of sleazy dealmaker. Something tells me that he’s hiding something from us.”
Aggie: “I agree with Soraya. He might end up stabbing us in the back or using us to further an evil scheme of his own.”
Arthur: “Well, we also thought that about the kids on the Isle at first, but they turned out to be better than we thought! Plus, if Ben were here, he’d let him join us. Isn’t that what he said all of Auradon should do? Giving everyone a chance?”
Soraya: “This is different. The kids on the Isle were like us. They were never that bad to begin with, they just need some help to get on the right track. This ‘Dave’ person is older than them and clearly has had more experience in the evil department, which means he’s probably perfectly capable and willing to use us for his own gain while knowing full well that what he’s doing is wrong and continuing to do it regardless. Besides, Ben isn’t stupid. He knows full well that not everyone can be redeemed. Some people are too selfish and cruel to ever want to better themselves, with Dave possibly being one of them, and we’ve got too much on our plate to consider taking this big of a risk.”
Aggie: “What about you, Paige? Should we let him join?”
Paige: “....Arthur’s right. I know what it's like to be an outcast, and his claim of feeling like one and wanting to be accepted seems like it’s genuine. And if he really is an ex-villain that wants to redeem himself, I think we should help him turn over a new leaf. As Ben always says, ‘self-betterment is never age-restricted’. Besides, we need all the help we can get right now, even if it's being provided by sleazy dealmakers. And if he really is using us for an evil scheme of his, he doesn’t know just who he’s dealing with. The second he tries anything, we can kick his butt in three seconds flat!”
Soraya: “...alright, if you say so. But don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”
Aggie: “Well, I trust your judgement, and if Soraya’s agreeing to it, then that means she trusts it as well. I guess I’ll take my chances.”
Paige: “You guys are the best. I promise that I won’t let you down.”
(The gang breaks up the group huddle and Paige walks up to Dave.)
Paige: “Alright, we’ve decided to let you join us.”
Dave: “Good choice, kiddo.”
Paige: “If, and only if, you agree to help us the entire journey and not end up turning on us. The second you do, the deal is off and we won’t hesitate to kick you to the curb.”
Dave: “Trust me, kid: that ain’t gonna happen. But just to assure that I won’t, I’ll accept those terms and make sure to play nice. Wanna shake on it and make it official?”
Paige: “Sure, why not?”
(She sticks out her hand, and Dave gives it a quick, firm shake.)
Paige: “Wow, your hands are warmer than I thought.”
Dave: “What can I say, kid, I’m practically burning with excitement! I can’t thank you enough for letting me come along. Trust me, you and your friends are not gonna regret this.”
(Cue a catchy little song and dance number where Dave sings all about how far the kids will go with his help and cements his role as the designated chaotic neutral of the group.)
Peter Davis and “Dave” are references to Ditis Pater and Dis, both of which are aliases for Hades. I thought it could be a nice reference as well as subtle foreshadowing. It’s also very plain sounding, which means it’s perfect for a god trying to blend in with humanity.
His human disguise is based on the appearance of his voice actor James Woods. I know Hades has a canonical human form in Descendants, but since I decided to have him align with James Woods’ portrayal of him rather than Cheyenne Jackson’s, I envisioned looking like a sleazy businessman in his mid forties as I thought it fit his personality better than the punkish biker/rockstar style he has in Canon!Descendants, and also because I pictured him still being in the Underworld instead of on the Isle here and ditching his very important job in favor of going on an exciting adventure, so I imagine that he wouldn’t want to stand out too much for fear of Zeus or Hercules finding him and permanently banishing his ass to the Underworld for fear of what happened the last time he visited the mortal realm happening again. Plus I think there was a video game or event at Disneyland or something that showed Hades dressed as a mob boss so it serves as another fun reference.
The wife Hades mentions is Persephone, and the kids he mentioned are the ones they managed to have together. I wrote them as together even in the Disney canon for three reasons; one, it helps show Hades in a more sympathetic light and better emphasize the point that there are villains out there who love their families and that Hades has decided to change himself for the better, two, it could lead to him bonding with Paige by giving her advice about love and marriage after she tells him about being unsure whether or not to accept Ben’s proposal, and three, because Hades and Persephone were such an iconic power couple in Greek mythology that I would feel like an absolute fool if I left them out.)
G&B: I AM ABSOLUTELY MINDBLOWN BY THIS 😍😍😍😍😍😍
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Shadow and Bone Book to Show Changes
I LOVED the changes made for the show! LOVED THEM SO MUCH! It gave me things I hoped for and things I didn’t think to hope for, but loved none the less.
When I first saw the trailer for Shadow and Bone I immediately speed-read the trilogy. I found myself disappointed on multiple fronts so declined to read the other books in the universe. For the first book my problems came in two forms: Darkling and Mal. Simply put: Darkling was too psychotic and Mal was too thin. The shows really came through for me in both areas. Those I’ll address first:
1) Darkling: Gave him flashbacks that explain his character the creation of the Fold. These flashbacks show the Grisha were persecuted even the Darkling was loyally serving the King. He was genuinely trying to use his power to help people. His first go to back then wasn’t murder. We got to see his loss of a mortal grisha and the pain it caused him. We saw the Fold was created in a moment of grief and its consequences were largely unintended. Alina makes the first move in their romantic relationship and he checks for consent when they seem to be moving beyond kissing. He demonstrates in scenes without Alina genuine empathy, concern for, and loyalty to her. He doesn’t plan to kill Mal. He doesn’t blind Baghra. He picks a better target for his attack, that comprised of the leaders of a rebellion. People who tried to murder Alina. People who allow Grisha to be hunted and/or sold into slavery. This plays way better then an innocent village being destroyed to cow the populace into submission. Granted he is still undoubted taking out civilians, which I was hoping wouldn’t happen, but still he plays as an anti-villain rather than a straight-up villain. I like moral complexity so this works for me.
2) Mal: Spent a reasonable amount of time in flashbacks getting invested in his relationship with Alina. Introduced their relationship as going both ways. Book Mal seems to take Alina for granted, is oblivious to Alina’s turmoil and goes off to tumble Grisha women. He hangs out with people who refer to her as “Sticks” in reference to her appearance. Show Mal on the other not only notices when things go wrong for Alina, but he takes steps to cheer her up. His attraction to Alina before the sun summoner stuff is there, if not acted on. He tries to help her when her powers are first discovered, despite being injured. He is shown taking risks to get back to her, rather than just following his orders. We get to hear his letters, which are very nice. He never shames her for her power or for developing ties to the Darkling. He plays a major role in the final show down, rather than just being a convenient hostage.
These changes alone would have me cheering but there was more:
3) Mal/Darkling conversations: Brief but glorious. They are quite revealing about both characters. The first one, with the flowers, we get Mal really does pay attention to Alina and that Darkling is both manipulative and besotted. Got to get the girl I’m courting flowers. Want her to like them. I know, I’ll trick this idiot into telling me what her favorites are! How smart am I?! In the second conversation Mal is an absolute champ in front of Darkling, threatening to kill him if Darkling let’s him live. Not super smart, given how a similar conversation went with Inej, but certainly brave. Darkling for his part reveals not only his jealousy, but also his perspective of why he is better for Alina. And the whole “I’m not going to kill you, because time will do it for me” was showing the kind of wisdom one might expect of a man hundreds of years old. Why do more to make Alina hate you if your end goal is have her with you? Something Book Darkling clearly did not get.
4) Baghra/Darkling stuff: Baghra tries to kill Mal, albeit with greater good intentions. She wants Darkling to prioritize himself rather than worry about his country and other Grisha. We get the sense Darkling is pissed because she endangered Alina rather than because she dared to thwarted his Amplifier plans. Adds to the world of ambiguous mortality and that always makes me happy. Honestly it also made me wonder if she was going to have those Grisha kill Alina which I think would have been a fun deviation.
5) Filling out the world with other morally ambiguous characters. Alina story is fascinating overall, but watching her train for most of the show would have gotten stale. The extra characters provided world expansion, action, romance and levity and I loved it. Also showing the Grisha getting their ass kicked from time to time was very cool. Bringing people to a common level.
6) Alina. I didn’t have a problem with book Alina, but holy smokes do I like what they added to her character. First, the “Shu” thing. Timely and fits nicely into the overall theme of prejudice. Second, burning those maps? Genius. It not only emphasizes her ingenuity and devotion to Mal, but it also foreshadows things to come. The plot point begins the show with the idea that you can act from good intentions and still yield dreadful consequences. Alina, Darkling, and Nina all encounter this situation during the course of the season.
In summary: It was wonderful, I am grateful, and I’m off to watch it again!
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The Truth Untold (Bucky Barnes’ Daughter) Prologue
“Becky, why don’t we start from the beginning? Tell me about your parents.” Dr. Vinsmoke suggested firmly as she sat in her leather chair by my side with her yellow notepad.
“Well, my mom works from home in the customer service department of Stark Industries. We share a great bond and she’s always there for me and supports me and loves me. Really I couldn’t ask for a better mother.” I replied as I thought carefully.
“And your father?” she asked as she took notes. “I don’t have a father. Well, I do but...he died.” I said with a sigh.
“I see. Do you know anything about him at all?” she asked eagerly.
“Well I don’t remember much about my father. After All, I was only maybe about two years old when he died.” I stated somewhat calmly.
The session went on for about an hour more when my mother came to pick me up from my therapy session that my school insisted I attend due to my short temper at times and my occasional fits of ‘violence’.
“How was it?” my mother asked.
“A waste of your money and all she said was stuff I already knew about myself!” I replied sarcastically as I got in my mother’s black sedan.
She laughed as we drove away, “Becky I know you hate it but you do have a short temper , I won’t bring you if you don’t want to come see Dr Vinsmoke. Just try being nicer to Levi and Peter. They’re nice boys and they’re your friends. And stop ordering chinese food in chinese! It’s getting annoying when poor Luhan delivers it to us and starts speaking chinese thinking I know chinese but I don’t!” she huffed in annoyance.
“Sorry mom. I’ll try harder. I promise! Cross my heart, hope to cry! Stick a cupcake in my eye!” I replied with a grin.
“Good! Now, since you’ve had good grades this year, I’ve arranged for you to spend summer with your Uncle Tony in Manhattan. Sound good? He also said he’ll pay you to help keep Avengers tower clean, think you can do it?” she asks as my face lights up with joy.
“Yeah!! Woop woop! I get to spend summer with Uncle Tony in Avengers Tower!” I exclaimed excitedly.
“And Peter will be around from time to time so you won’t be lonely.” She added.
“Well now that’s double the fun!” I exclaimed cheerfully.
As we pulled into the parking garage of our two story apartment complex, I jumped out of the car excitedly and ran up the stairs that lead to our small two bedroom apartment.
“Becktoria! At least wait for me to park the car!” my mother exclaimed in annoyance as she parked the car and got out while I was running up the stairs.
“Sorry mom! Can’t help it! I’m too excited!” I beamed brightly as she walked up towards me and hugged me then handed me my red backpack.
“Forgot this young lady.” she said with a smile. “You have your father's smile.” She commented and I looked away sadly as we walked up to our apartment together.
Later that night, we were eating chinese food together, she and I were multitasking while watching a movie together, her favorite movie and our weekly tradition was watching Titanic. I personally hated it with every ounce of my being. There was clearly enough space for them both on that board but she didn’t want to roll over so his death was on her! That’s a rant for a whole other day!
My mother was currently going through a shoebox of old photos that she said needed to get cleaned out.
Curiosity got the best of me when she stepped out of the room and I looked through the pictures. I had seen all of them before and was quite familiar with the box. I happened to move a picture at the bottom of the box which caused the bottom to move. I curiously found the edge of the box and lifted up the flap cautiously which revealed a blue envelope.
As I grabbed the envelope it turned out it was already opened and had a picture within it and in the picture, there was a man with shoulder length dark brown hair sitting on the sofa we still have, my mother sitting next to him. The man was smiling brightly as if he were laughing, in his arms was a toddler with a toothy grin and the same dark brown hair in a ponytail. I recognized the child as myself when I was younger based on other pictures I had seen.
I flipped the picture over and inscribed on the back was, “Ally & James with Becky, Christmas 2000,” I sat back on the couch and tucked the picture back in the envelope and put it back where it was just as my mother stepped in the room.
She smiled, “Looking through old photos huh?” she asked as she sat by me.
“Yeah. I gotta finish my homework though.” I said and hugged my mom before standing up and stretching. “Goodnight mom, love you.” I told her as I gathered my homework and school books. “I’ll finish in my room.” I smiled and she nodded.
“Alright, goodnight Becky.” she said as she went through pictures on the couch.
I closed the red door to my room as soon as I walked in. “I have to tell Dami! I have to show her the picture..but...the man...he looks so familiar.” I said to myself and opened my backpack to get my cell phone.
I quickly called Dami and we arranged a sleepover for the following night, Friday, that way we can spend the weekend together.
I put my books away in my backpack and I got into my panda pajamas and curled up under my crimson bed sheets, turning off my pink lamp as I did so.
I was awakened from my peaceful slumber to the sound of my mother on the phone, “You can’t do this! Not now, it’s much too soon!” she pleaded.
I thought nothing of it in my drowsy state and turned on my CD player which played soft sounds of rain to help me sleep.
I rolled over with a groggy moan and looked at my digital clock, the time was 2:31 am and I had to get up for school in three hours so I laid on my back and sighed, waiting for the drowsiness to creep in again for a peaceful slumber once again.
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Btw, this story is non canon to my McLennon series. Thanks @catinsatintrousers for the cool request, here it is!
A Much Needed Break
1968, John and Paul head to New York for the Apple Press tour for some business and a break from tension at home.
John neatly packs his suitcase as he takes a drag from his joint. Paul is rushing around the bedroom trying to find his favorite tie.
“God damn it where is it?”
“Forget it Paul. We’ll buy a new one when we get to New York.”
“I know it’s here somewhere.”
“Forget it. Relax.”
Paul huffs as he wipes the sweat from his brow. This is stupid, he thinks. Why is he so stressed out over a tie? He sits next to John, who is taking long drags now.
“Hey, I’m sorry I stressed you out. Hey take that out.”
He takes the joint from John and hears a grunt from his lover. He runs his fingers through John’s new long hair. It was something new to him and he had to get used to seeing John like this.
“I feel like we need to have a break.”
“Mhm yeah. I’m fucking exhausted.” John said quietly.
“I feel you love.”
“Flight boards in two hours. We’d better get going Paul.”
“I can’t honestly wait.”
“For a business trip?”
“I know it sounds crazy, but this could be a chance for us to relax and talk... about us.”
“Um ok. Is this about what happened in India?”
Paul goes silent. The incident plays over and over in his head. They had had a small argument during their trip to the ashram. John admitted that he wasn’t sure where their relationship was going. Paul retorted that he was the problem their relationship was changing. John got offended and they didn’t speak much for the rest of the trip. Paul just wanted to talk that’s all. He wanted to see why John was so depressed all the time and always longing for acid. It wasn’t him. It wasn’t his John.
“We’ll talk about it later. Let’s get to the airport.”
They walk out of the bedroom with their luggage in tow and head to the airport.
The Next Day
John lays down on the bed and sets aside his bag. Interviews and promotional events wore him out. He hears Paul come out from the bathroom in a towel and his hair all wet. Paul has that sinister look on his face, and John instantly melts.
“Like what you see Lennon?”
“Man, you haven’t looked this hot in a while.”
“I save myself for special occasions.”
He dries his hair with another towel. He hums as he walks around the room.
“It’s nice to be back in New York, away from the chaos and the tension.”
Paul looks at him with a surprised look.
“You haven’t noticed what’s been going on?”
“I don’t know. Things I guess are changing.”
“Yeah. Hopefully for the better and this is just the adjustment phase.”
Paul decides it’s time to put all this band stuff and the Apple business aside for the night and initiate some romance. He saunters over to John and sits next to him. His bear chest is near John’s arm and he leans in to give a tender kiss on John’s awaiting lips. John instantly gives into the kiss and pulls Paul on top of him.
“I’m sorry Macca.”
“For what I said in India. I was wrong.”
“I’m not mad. I love you too much to ever be mad at you.”
They roll around on the bed and playfully kiss like they did when they were young teddy boys back in Liverpool. Paul goes for John’s pants and begins to unbutton them. John slips off Paul’s towel and reveals everything. Paul blushes as he waits for John to undress. The rest of the night is history.
When they wake up next to each other, they lay there holding each other and look out the window and see the big buildings all around them.
“You know, Frank Sinatra should write a song about New York.” John says with a smile.
“Or maybe you could.”
“Nah, his voice suits it better than me.”
“Sounds like a good song if it ever happens.”
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On set visits; Queen x reader x Borhap boys pt. 1
Alright so this part is broken up into 2 parts so here is the 1st part of the Bohemian Rhapsody film set visit. Part 2 will be up in just a second after I get done with this author's note. So expect some crazy stuff happening, fluffiness and the Rock Angel reminiscing on her past with the boys.
*Sept. 2017. Filming Bohemian Rhapsody*
I almost couldn't believe it myself. I mean I knew that the boys were planning on a film about themselves and that it was taking them almost 10 years just to get it off the ground. But now after multiple rewrites of the script and better casting, the film was ready to get off the ground.
"So you're absolutely sure I can stop by whenever I feel like it? No matter how many times?" I spoke into my I-phone.
'Absolutely love, just as long as you don't spill any secrets.'
"Please Bri, when have I ever revealed anything to anyone about you guys?"
'Well there was the time—'
"That was a fluck and you know it!" I snapped.
'I'm kidding love, you've never spilled any secrets. You've gotten better at lying lately.' Brian chuckled.
"Well when you say it like that it makes me feel guilty."
'As it should love. So when can we expect you?'
"I'll try to get there before the filming starts, so I may end up going to bed now so that way I can get on the road early enough to beat traffic."
'I know Rog is looking forward to seeing you again.'
"I just did the summer tour with you guys, how could he already miss me?"
'It's a mystery to all of us, but he is your father after all.'
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay well I'll see you tomorrow Bri."
'See you then (y/n). sweet dreams and drive safe tomorrow.'
"Will do. Love you."
'Love you too poppet.' I then hung up and couldn't help but grin.
"You still going over to see them film tomorrow?" I turned and low and behold after a long day's shift there was my husband coming in from his police work.
"Well, well, well, look what the cat threw up." I teased.
"Ha-ha you're hilarious my love." He said as he undid his tie and unbuttoned his short. "So the film's finally taking off the ground?"
"Yep, and they finally found a better Freddie Mercury."
"Yeah cause I remember when you called and told me about Sacha Baron Cohen."
"I just couldn't stand the fact that he was wanting to expose the dark side of Freddie. I mean yeah he had the parties, and the drugs, the sex, but that's all what Rock and rollers did back in those days. Plus that's all he seemed to care about. The scandal that came with Freddie's name, nothing about the music. I'm only just glad Bri sided with me on it." I ranted as Jack came up after taking his shirt and undoing his pants and began to rub my shoulders.
"I know love. You're as protective of this project as Brian and Roger are. So do you know who exactly they got to play Freddie this time?"
"No, but I'll find out tomorrow."
"Okay well, my team's got a heavy lead on the case so I won't really be available tomorrow."
"I understand. Just—promise me you'll be careful my love. I haven't forgotten that one killer that shot you in the line of duty."
"I survived didn't I? Plus now we both have a bullet story to share." He leaned his forehead against mine.
"Not funny Jack." I muttered.
"I know. C'mon let's get some sleep. We both have got a long day ahead of us tomorrow." I nodded and then we both got into bed and we fell asleep.
Early the next morning I was on my way over to the set driving in my own car without a driver. As I approached the set gate of course I was stopped by security.
"Badge and proof of visitation ma'am." I handed him the badge that Roger had sent in for me and some documentation that I needed to show him saying that I was not only visiting but a consultant for the movie to help the actors get to know the true Queen. "Everything checks out Mrs. Kline, here you go and have a good day."
"You too uhh—Marvin." I read his nametag before putting my VIP badge around my neck as the gate opened and I drove on inside.
After about 10 minutes I finally was able to find a parking space. I got out of the car and locked it up before walking towards the set. I was told by Brian that the actors had been prepping for the biggest scene they were going to film, the Live Aid sequence.
When I came around and actually stepped up onto the stage, I was blown away and taken back to the summer of 1985. Jesus they—the production got every single detail down to the paint chippings. The rigged lights that Queen had the day they performed, Roger's kit and the grand piano with Freddie's Pepsi cups filled with beer.
"Oh my god. Jack if only you were here to see this." I muttered to myself. It was then I saw Brian talking to someone but—wait did he? Did he seriously dye his hair back to its original dark curls? I walked up to him but waited till he was done talking to some of the producers. Once he was I tapped his shoulder and he turned around and—oh wow I just....wow.
I don't know whether this is a prank or time travel does exist but I swear I'm literally looking at Brian the day I had met him.
"Okay it's official. I think I have finally cracked." I said as I placed my hand over my forehead.
"I'm sorry ma'am do you need to sit down or can I get you a cup of water?" Oh god he even sounds like Brian.
"Ahhh seems you two have already met. And here I thought I could surprise you." I turned and there was—Brian? My Brian with the grey curls now. Wait what!? What is going on here!?
"What the f—"
"Ah, ah language young lady!" Brian scolded.
"You must be the Rock Angel (Y/n) Kline, Brian and Roger have told us a lot about you. Pardon me, Gwilym Lee." He said as he extended his hand to me. I shook it and said in awe.
"Ahhhh, now I see it. Sorry Gwilym dear, never did I think I'd see two Brian's at once. I swear to god you look—exactly like Brian when I met him."
"Anita said the exact same thing. Cheeky woman was even trying to flirt with him." Brian said as he pouted towards the end..
"No she didn't." I gawked.
"I'm afraid it's true." Gwilym said with a blush. I shook my head softly laughing.
"Oh that woman I tell you what."
"Well I can tell you one thing I know a certain someone of the cast who will flip out once he sees you." said Gwilym.
"And just who might that be?" I asked him.
"The young lad whose playing Deacy, Joe Mazzello."
"Kept ranting on and on about your Live Aid performance and how you and Deacy used to interact with each other in your performances together."
"Ahh yes. Me and my dear brother mine." I sighed with a solemn smile.
"I—I'm sorry I-I-I didn't mean to......"
"No, no Gwilym it's fine. While sometimes I do wish he could still be around, I completely understand why he chose to leave the band. Hell without Brian and Rog I—I don't even want to think what I would've done after Freddie died." I soon brushed my sorrows away and said, "Now come here Gwilym I want to get a closer look at you." he came up to me and we stood face to face of each other.
I placed my hands on his shoulders and looked him up and down before cupping each side of his face gently.
"God they chose right for my Brian. I swear, it's like Gwilym is your long lost son Bri." I said as my eyes turned toward Brian.
"I'm beginning to think you might be right." Joked Brian. I stepped back from Gwilym and said to him.
"I can't wait to see the full Live Aid recreation with you all in full costume."
"I hope we do you proud Mrs. Kline."
"First of all, call me (y/n). Secondly, I'm already proud. From what I've heard from Brian and Roger, I have no doubt in my mind that we've entrusted the right group of actors with Freddie's and Queen's upbringing tale to absolute rock gods."
"You flatter us too much (y/n)." Brian gushed.
"Only because you old fossils deserve it." I teased as I stuck my tongue out at him to which Brian did his little eyebrow quirk at me. I giggled softly and continued. "Well before filming starts, I'm gonna continue to look around the set. I'm told the lower decks where all the performers were settled in are just like how they were when we were there. Ciao Brians'." I walked away from them with a wave of my hand.
After exploring more of the set design and going down memory lane it was then I came across another look-a-like. Holding the famed natural Fender precision Bass guitar and wearing that god awful tacky shirt that I secretly wished I had told him not to wear, and having the iconic mushroom fluffy hair was the actor who was playing Deacy, Joe Mazzello.
One of the hair designers was fluffing up the wig to make sure it was up to Deacy's standard. And god just like with Gwilym, Joe was practically identical to Deacy.
It was just like seeing Deacy again back when he was happy and content with where Queen was at, just before finding out about Freddie's illness (which I had found out from Spike several years ago that Deacy had actually known since the last tour Queen ever did with Freddie).
I smiled softly as I watched him get ready for the camera. His wide smile reminded me so much of Deacy's. Slowly I walked up towards him and as the hairdresser looked him over Joe asked.
"So how does it look?"
"I think you look terrific." I said.
"Wait who said—OH MY GOD!!!" he screamed as he turned around and saw me. Like all usual fanboys, he jumped back, his mouth was gaped and his eyes were wide.
"Close your mouth please Joe dear we are not a codfish." His mouth immediately closed.
"Rock Angel." We both said together slowly. "Call me (y/n)." I greeted as I extended my hand out to him and he took it hold of it and shook it.
"I just—I can't believe that I'm-I'm-I'm actually standing beside the Rock Angel." I softly giggled.
"Just know that beyond the glam and the rock star female empowerment, I'm just a normal 55 year old woman."
"But you still look good." He said. I quirked my brow at him so he quickly tried to save himself, "Not that you're old or anything. I mean I don't mean to offend you I just....."
"Joseph. Relax dear. I'm not offended at all. Freddie always said that I would end up being an eternal beauty. At first I thought it was just Freddie being Freddie but as the years have passed I think he—that he must be behind giving me this youthful glow."
"The Rock Angel called me dear," he first gushed with a shy smile. "Sorry I just...... I grew up listening to your albums along with Queen and the first time I saw one of your broadcast performances, I kinda had a little crush on you" He said gently.
"Aww I'm flattered Joe, really I am." I said as I gently cupped the side of his face and gave his cheek a stroke of my thumb. At that point he looked like he was about to melt into a puddle with how much joy he was probably filled with. "Now Joe forgive me for saying this, how long have you been acting?"
"I was a child actor actually. I've—always been in the acting business. Why do you ask?"
"Well besides seeing some of my brother's features I feel like I've—seen you in something before."
"You might recall a little film that came out in the 90's known as Jurassic Park?"
"Wait hold on—you...." I gasped. "You played little Tim Murphy!?!"
"Yes, yes I was Tim Murphy."
"Oh my god. When that film came out my twin boys were literally obsessed with that movie. Would not watch anything else for a full year. They even wore out the old VHS tape we had for it. Oh my god how could I not recognize you sooner?"
"Well I was 8 just turning 9 while we were filming it."
"You had a birthday while filming?"
"Yeah. It was during the kitchen scene with the raptor. I actually got injured on that day."
"What? What happened?" he then proceeded to tell me exactly what had happened. Of how the raptor they used was on wheels and he was running toward the fridge and he was supposed to go left while the raptor was supposed to go right, but the guy controlling the raptor lost control and went the same direction as Joe and he ended up getting hit in the face with a metal claw.
And it was at that moment the director Steven Spielberg and the rest of the crew sang Happy birthday to him.
Then of course he tried to ask Joe at that moment if they could try it again, but when Joe proved he couldn't do it, they wrapped for that day.
"Oh you poor thing."
"It's okay, I survived."
"Well I hope you never suffered an injury like that since then. And on your birthday too? That's never a good birthday present to get a concussion."
"I was cleared out with no concussion, just a little dizzy and a bit of bruising."
"Oh I'm sorry love, it's my inner mother instincts kicking in."
"She always was an overprotective mother." We both turned around and I saw Roger walking up sporting the black beanie I gave him for Christmas last year and another actor who was sporting the Roger Taylor look he had for Live Aid.
"Oh look who's talking smother father! For years since I've known you you've been the definition of helicopter parent." I gawked at him. "You still sometimes even threaten Jack with missing out on our dates cause of our jobs."
"And I've always told you that boy would be trouble one day." He teased as he came up to me.
"Wow so it is actually true, you guys do look at each other as father and daughter." Said the young actor playing Roger.
"Yes Ben, my adoptive daughter (Y/n) Kline, otherwise known as the Rock Angel." Roger introduced.
"So you're the young actor playing my main father figure eh?" I said as I looked at the young man.
"Yes. Ben Hardy, it's a real honor to meet you in person Mrs. Kline. To say I was nervous to meet Roger is nothing compared to the thought of meeting you."
"Are you saying I'm intimidating and unapproachable?" I asked offendedly.
"Wha? No! No! God no I-I-I-I didn't mean it that way I was just...." I interrupted him with a laugh and said.
"Dear, relax. I was just pulling your leg."
"And be thankful she was. Otherwise, I'd beat your arse boy for insulting my daughter." Roger protectively stated.
"See there you go you old hypocrite. Besides Rog you haven't been able to kick anyone's arse in years. Don't want you breaking a hip now do we?" I mocked him.
"You're lucky these boys are here little missy." Roger scolded me.
" Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now then Ben, you were once on EastEnders right?" I said turning my attention back toward Ben.
"Yes. I played Peter Boyle on the show. My recent film before this was the new X-Men movie that came out about a year ago. X-Men Apocalypse."
"Ahh yes, my youngest son is always obsessed with all the superhero films. Marvel or DC. Now I'd like to see you two more closely, stand together." Both Joe and Ben followed orders and I looked both of them up and down.
Circling around them before cupping each of their faces once by one. And yes Ben was a bit more muscular than Roger was and of course they didn't get his hair right for this part in time, but there was just something in Ben's eyes that just made me think back to the first day I met Roger.
That sparkle of mischief but also protectiveness that shown through those blue eyes of his.
"That is most definitely my Roger. You both have the same spirit in your eyes. I can't wait to see how you play the drums up on that stage."
"Yeah, me neither." He said with a hint of nervousness. I then went over to Joe and cupped his face too. Just—my god just like with Deacy the profile was just uncanny. Of course, Deacy's eyes were more of a hazel type while Joe's were like a brownish type color. But I couldn't deny he looked so much like my brother. "And you my dear Joseph. Gwilym isn't the only one to resemble the man he's playing."
"It was kinda scary after getting the wig on. So much so that I called my mom and asked her what she was doing in 1983?" I laughed and said as I took my hands away from his face.
"Unfortunately, I can tell you for a fact that John Deacon is not your father. The only lady he's ever loved and will love is Veronica."
"I know." I chuckled softly.
"Now then Joe if you'll come with me there's important things I need to discuss with you."
"You'll see. It was wonderful to meet you Ben, I hope we can get to know each other better later after you all film the Live Aid concert."
"Yeah of course, it was wonderful to meet you Mrs. Kline."
"Please call me (y/n). Dad you better not be too hard on this one, I like him."
"Don't worry I won't break him too much." The four of us went our separate ways.
Joe and I arrived at my trailer (all thanks to Rog and Bri). We entered inside and I told Joe to take a seat. He sat down on my couch while I went over to the kitchen.
"Yes please. One sugar please."
"Just like how he liked it." I muttered to myself.
"What was that?"
"Nothing love, nothing." I prepped the tea for him and once it was done I handed him his cup and he thanked me. I watched him take a sip and he said,
"Ahh never gets old. I'm telling you after this I may just be the biggest tea fan ever."
"It is good for the soul. I myself have always found Jasmine to be the way to nirvana." I paused for a brief moment before saying, "Joe." He looked at me giving me his full attention, "As you know probably from weeks of research and maybe even from Roger and Brian themselves, Deacy chose to exempt himself from all forms of stardom. To live a quiet life with his family."
"Yeah. When I first got the part I did reach out to him on just any personal advice on certain quirks that he did. Cause even though I've played real life people before, this is the first time I'm playing someone whose still alive, and I wanted to do him justice."
"However all I got back was just that he approved of the project and just for me to take it as any other actor would. Not that I'm saying that I'm mad at him for saying that. But I just—"
"I get it. Really I do." I took his hand and gripped onto it comfortingly. "Look. Ever since Freddie died, Deacy has been—grieving. Just like he did for me, it was Freddie who helped bring Deacy out of his shell and become more involved with the band. Not just being the bass player or the quiet guy."
"The King of the one liners, the tie breaker of Queen." Joe stated.
"Yes, although John could be loud and rowdy when he wanted to. He was definitely Queen's wildcard, but he was also their Ace. Unpredictable but incredibly brilliant. Never have I met a bass player quite like him. Nor do I think I ever will." It was quiet for what felt like forever when Joe asked me.
"Do you—do you still speak to him? I mean, cause I read that you both basically grew up close together, even for being 11 years apart from each other."
"Yes. We actually lived 20 minutes from each other back in our youth. He was and will always be my brother mine." I sighed heavily. "And to answer your question, I must remind you he's always been.....a cautious subject to me. Any remembrance of Freddie just makes him break, and as I'm sure you've seen from my concert footages I, sometimes, subconsciously find myself doing some Freddie movements on stage. Whether it's flicking my wrist like he did, strutting around the stage or waving my arms like he did. Deacy's.....he knows those things. But he's always there for me when I needed him. The last time was—on the tragedy of 9-11."
"Wait you mean....."
"Jack's cousin Jared and his wife Gen, they—they were on the plane that was overtaken by the terrorists. Took five days to finally find their bodies. Jared holding Gen in his arms. It was a risk but—I knew Jack needed more support than just his American family. So he and I went over to John and Veronica's place. We went at the early mornings of course just so that way no one would spot us driving in midday and try to track us down, then at sunrise we walked up to the door and—there he was. When Jack told him what had happened, he—actually invited us in and allowed us to stay the entire time. He ended up being the right support Jack needed."
"Your husband and John were close?"
"Oh yes. More alike than you know. Both incredibly talented bass players. That's how Jack got Deacy's approval when Jack and I started hanging out. He even gave my husband private lessons."
"Yes. They were practically inseparable the two of them for that summer. Even during their rehearsals, you would see Deacy go in the corner and practice what riffs he'd teach my Jack next. However that was the last time I ever actually saw Deacy, 16 long years ago. Haven't gotten in contact with him since. But occasionally, at least according to Brian, he asks them how I'm doing as well as Jack."
"I hope he's living a quiet and happy life with his kids and wife."
"I know they are. I still keep in contact with Ronnie whenever I can, sometimes we go out shopping, fawn over grandchildren pics, and just catching up. She was the mother I needed when I first had Kelly."
"Sounds like she was the ultimate mama."
"You have no idea." I felt Joe place his free hand on top of mine that still had his. I smiled softly at him before I got down to the real reason why I brought him here. "Joseph, now I know that when it comes to acting, Hollywood can pick whomever they deem worthy for a role, especially if it's for a real person. I'll be honest with you; hearing your American accent puts me a little on edge. Cause I have heard some pretty bad English accents on screen that just make me want to pull my ears off agonizingly slow. Now I know Deacy has probably the most unique accent from anyone in Leicester, I mean you hear my accent and I sound nothing like his dialect. So what I want to ask of you, just for the sake of you playing my brother, may I hear you speak with John's accent?"
"What-what would you like me to say?"
"Maybe say what you did for the audition. Or anything that comes to your head. It doesn't even have to be an interview Deacy did, I just want to hear your accent." He nodded before sitting back on the couch while I leaned back on the chair.
He adjusted himself before finally miming that he was driving a car before he finally spoke about when Deacy first joined the band. The one interview he did during the 'News of the World' tour with Bob Harris.
I felt like at that moment my heart had stopped. My hands slowly covered my mouth in a prayer style while the corner of my eyes watered. And sure there were certain words that he said that still sounded American but—this was my brother. I....I was actually looking at my brother right now. They got it right.
By the end of it, Joe looked at me and his eyes grew concerned as he said.
"Did I screw up?" I stood up from my chair in silence. I then walked over to him and knelt down in front of him cupping his face. A wide smile spread across my face as I immediately hugged him and softly sobbed.
"You are my Deacy! My brother mine." I then felt him embrace me back and the two of us rocked side to side. I looked up to the heavens praying that Fred was looking down knowing he would've loved Joe playing his Deacy. "If you ever need any advice or help, I'm here for you. Promise me Joe Mazzello that you will come to me with anything regarding Deacy."
"I promise (y/n)." he still spoke with Deacy's accent which filled me with both sorrow and happiness.
We stayed that way for god knows how long. After composing myself, we left my trailer when one of the volunteers came up to us and said.
"Joe, they're ready to start filming the concert."
"Shall we go on?" I asked.
"Yes, let's." God he had my brother's quick wit already. He crooked his arm out which made me grin softly. I looped my arm through his and the two of us walked on towards the Live Aid stage.
I stood alongside Roger, Peter Freestone (Freddie's former assistant and the other consultant for the film) as well as Brian's youngest daughter Emily (who in every way was so much like her father from the hair to the smile).
"I think this will be a great shoot, don't you think (y/n)?" asked Peter.
"Indeed Pheebs. And I'm sure Freddie would've loved to have seen it."
"He would indeed." He said as he wrapped an arm around me and soon Brian came and stood beside us after being backstage with the young actors who then came out just as Queen did that day back in 85. When I saw the young actor playing our Freddie, I was already impressed.
Sure he was skinnier than Freddie was, but seeing him move about just as Freddie did it was like I was seeing Freddie right before my eyes. The boys got into position and soon began to perform the entire Live Aid concert.
Besides actually being there and seeing them perform from the wings that day over 30 years ago, this was about the greatest concert performance I had ever seen.
The boys in full costume had everything down. Gwilym channeled Brian's solo on Bohemian Rhapsody, Ben was pretty impressive on the drums, Joe had Deacy's rhythmic moves down, and the young man playing Freddie he—it was beyond what I could imagine. He wasn't just moving like Freddie, it was like he knew why Freddie would move a certain way to a song.
I was in awe cause it felt like I had actually traveled back in time and was watching Queen's most historical performance once again. I stood behind Brian and wrapped my arms around his shoulders leaning up against his head smiling from ear to ear, I felt Brian take one of my hands and gently patted it every now and then.
When the Aye-Oh's happened I could help but lowered my head and holding my laughs of joy. I swear when this is over, I need to talk to this new actor playing Freddie cause unlike Sacha, this was our Freddie. Soon Hammer to Fall came on and I couldn't help but bop my head along to the song.
I felt a tap at my shoulder and I turned to see Emily holding her phone out with the notes app open. In the app it read.
'Is this how you remember it Aunt (y/n)?' I walked towards her and gestured for me to have her phone. She handed it to me and I typed out.
'Everything and more. God I wish your cousin Kelly could've been here to see this as well as your uncle Jack. They would've loved it.' I showed her my message and she came up and wrapped her arms around my shoulders as the two of us smiled happily up at the stage.
When Hammer to Fall concluded, the extras and even me and team Queen applauded. I let out a loud whistle from the sidelines as I applauded and took pictures with my own phone to show Jack and the kids later. Now I recall that it was at this time the guys ended up surprising me and the world with our duet "Set it all free" instead of the planned 'Crazy Little thing called love'.
Now I've been skeptical about having a biopic film about me, even though I knew both Queen and Elton were starting theirs at the same time, hell one of the producers Dexter Fletcher is currently directing Elton's film 'Rocketman' as we speak right now. So I didn't know if they would plan to do Crazy little thing or if they'd go the set as it was all those years ago.
I got my answer however when Ben started to play the drum intro to my song.
"You guys didn't." I muttered.
"We wanted to be historically accurate with the Live Aid set." Brian started.
"So we cooked up a little surprise for you." Roger said. It was then I heard the actor playing Freddie began chanting out along with the audience "An-gel! An-gel! An-gel!" it was then I saw a young girl come out and—by god it was like looking at my younger self from that day.
She was dressed exactly how I was with a pregnant belly suit underneath her shirt. Her hair was designed the same way as mine was, everything just took me back. Instead of a playback that the Freddie actor was using for all the singing, this young woman was actually singing and she had a pretty good voice.
I continued to watch in awe as the young woman basically became me doing each step or movement I did that day on Live Aid. I felt Brian and Roger wrap their arms around me as I couldn't even take my eyes off the young woman up on stage. I could hear the extras singing out the lyrics, even some of the crew members were bopping their heads and singing along.
She walked across the stage at the second verse right towards the Freddie actor and just like Fred and I did, they stood forehead to forehead singing the duet before she walked back out and went back to center stage. When the guitar solo came on, my eyes turned to Gwilym and he amazed me that he actually could do my hard rock solo.
After the song was over, the crowd applauded and cheered and I turned to the guys and hugged them and whispered into their ears.
"If this is you guys way of trying to get me to sign onto a biopic film......I'm highly considering it after seeing her."
"We'll introduce you later." Said Roger as we separated from the hug and we turned our attention back to the guys as We Will Rock you now began playing. I couldn't help myself by stomp my feet to the rhythm and mouth out the words.
I was just amazed by not only Gwilym's guitar playing but also the young man who moved just like how I remembered seeing Freddie move, using the mic stand as Fred always did (the cheeky man), even the facial expressions that he made were exactly like they were.
It wasn't until when 'We are the champions' came on that I could barely hold my tears in. Seeing not only Fred's actor but my actor singing the famed Queen anthem that has literally been played in every victory sport or award winning singing competition.
Seeing the two of them interact with each other, it was pure nostalgia.
By the end of the song, tears welled up in my eyes and I looked toward the heavens hoping that Freddie could see this and running through my mind I already knew what he'd say.
"Amazing jobs my darlings, not as fabulous as me but very, very close." When the extras and even some crew members cheered, Brian, Roger, Peter, Emily and myself all applauded and cheered for the boys and that's when the director called cut.
"This.....is gonna be a great movie." I said.
"I think so too. After just seeing them come together like that, I think we've finally casted the right people to play us." Said Brian.
"I agree you two, I'm liking what I've just seen so far." Roger said.
"And—I'm sure he would've liked this too." I said solemnly. I felt Roger gently rub my back and Brian said.
"I know he would."
After a few more takes of filming the Live Aid concert, the director said that it was enough for today. I walked around the set to find the producer Graham King and when I approached him I asked him.
"Graham tell me, who's the young man you got to play Freddie?"
"Oh his name is Rami Malek. His recent project was a show called Mr. Robot."
"Ahh yes I've heard of that, my Freddie is obsessed with that show. Never misses an episode."
"When we were casting Freddie I happened to come across an episode and when I saw him I—just thought I was looking at Freddie. So we brought him in, he gave us a mock interview as well as an audition that your boys saw when they first met him. And from then on it just fell into place. Do you approve of him? Is there a problem Mrs. Kline?"
"Absolutely not. Do you know where I can find Rami at right now?"
"Probably in hair and makeup getting undressed."
"Well, when he is done would you be so kind as to bring him to my trailer?"
"Of course (y/n)." I nodded in gratitude and walked off to my trailer.
I sat there once again on the chair looking through an old photo album. Each picture held a deep and personal memory for me, I thought back to the day that each picture was taken and remembered exactly what was going on at that very moment.
A knock was soon heard at my trailer. I composed myself with a deep exhale and said.
"Come in." the door opened and there without costume or the tache was Rami Malek.
"Graham said you wanted to see me Mrs. Kline?"
"Yes Rami, love please come in." he stepped inside and shut the door behind him. "Take a seat." I gestured towards the couch. He sat right where Joe had sat down earlier this morning and I said. "Would you care for a biscuit, or as Americans call them cookies?"
"Uhh yes please." I smiled and handed him a tray of biscuits I always kept around me (hey a woman's gotta have her sweet tooth fix right?) and handed him my best plate of chocolate chip cookies (all thanks to my mother in law's secret recipe). He thanked me as he took one and took a bite out of it. "Mmm. Oh my god," he cleared his throat and closed his mouth before finishing the biscuit up. "This is so good."
"Thank you, it was my mother in law's secret recipe. She passed it onto me shortly before Kelly was born." He took another bite of it and swallowed that piece before saying as he set it down on a napkin that I had also provided.
"What-what was it you needed to see me for Mrs.—"
"Before we continue, I'll ask you to call me the same way I've asked the other three of the band to call me. Call me (y/n)."
"Yes of course, (y/n). What was it you wanted to see me for? Is it to talk about what you saw out there? Did I screw it up already?"
"No, no dear relax. This is nothing in the way you're thinking." I saw him take a sigh of relief.
"Oh good. Cause I know I obviously wasn't the first choice for the job."
"In my books Rami, you should've been the first one to be called for the role."
"Oh yes, but first there's a couple of questions that I want to ask you that Brian and Roger might not have asked you, and I want you to answer them as Freddie would've."
"Okay." I smiled softly and stood up from my seat as I set the phot album aside.
"Who is Queen not without?"
"That's easy. It's you darling. There's no Queen without their beloved Rock Angel, and no Rock Angel without her four aging Queens." I felt my heart clench at hearing Rami speak with a British tone. The softness of his voice almost sounded identical to Freddie's voice. I turned towards him and walked towards the kitchen area of my trailer.
"Who is it that you trust the most?"
"Mary. Mary is the one I trust the most. For she knows me like no one else ever will." I reached the kitchen and rested my hand against the island.
"Who are you?" Rami looked at me before finally answering something that would forever stun me.
"I've been asked that all my life. By my family, student peers, professors, the entire world. I've been told who I should strive to be but I say fuck what they say. They don't define me. No, I decided who I am. I'm going to be what I was born to be. A performer who gives the people what they want." He pointed towards the ceiling as he whispered, "touch of the heavens." He dropped his hand before finally answering, "Freddie Fucking Mercury."
My lips quivered and I ducked my head as tears began falling down my face for—god knows how many times right now.
"Oh (y/n) I—I'm sorry I didn't mean to make you cry, I—did I say something wrong?" Rami said urgently as he stood up and stood in front of me.
"No." I choked out. I sniffled and that's when he handed me a tissue. Oh ever the kind gentleman and concerned about my wellbeing, just like Freddie was. "No you—you've prove to me that you know just who Freddie truly was."
"Didn't want to be put in a certain category or be stereotyped." He said. I nodded as I wiped my tears with the tissue he had given me.
"For as long as I have known Freddie, especially to his last, various people have chosen one of two sides. There's the one side that the press made him out to be. The one that-that—bastard Cohen wanted to portray Freddie as. The wild, crazed, homosexual drug addict. That he deserved what he had gotten because he was so reckless and stupid. That AIDS was his form of suicide. Never did I want to punch and murder so many people. Every time I got asked about whether Freddie's death was his own fault, I just wanted to rip the interviewer apart."
"I can see why. I bet a lot of true fans and the people who knew Freddie well would've done what you've felt like doing."
"But people like you Rami, who understand that Freddie wasn't just a frontman or greatest performer to ever live. That he did come from a harsh background but rose above all the trials and tribulations that came his way to define himself as he sought out to be. That's why he was my biggest idol." I grabbed the photo album and sat down on the couch and opened it up taking out a picture that was always a favorite of mine.
It was a picture that Deacy took of Freddie and I together just after my very first performance as the Rock Angel at Madison Square Garden. Fred's arms wrapped around me as he had picked me up, huge wide smiles were spread across our faces. I felt a dip on my left side I looked up to see Rami sitting close beside me. He looked down at the picture before saying.
"Was this your first performance?"
"Yes. Out of four members of Queen, it was Freddie Mercury who truly believed that I could make a name for myself in the industry. Taught me everything there was into getting the self-confidence I needed to get up on that stage. Sure we had our ups and downs, but through all the falls we had, he never gave up on me. He gave up on no one that he loved. And Rami," we looked at each other and I told him the utmost truth, "If he were alive today, he would've loved you."
He smiled as I gently touched his cheek and the two of us looked through my photo album of every picture Freddie and I took throughout the 11 years I knew him.
At the end of the day, just before the four boys left to go hang out at a pub nearby, I stepped in and offered.
"Why not have dinner over at my place boys?"
"Oh we couldn't impose." Said Joe.
"Nonsense Joe, I insist and I won't take no for answer. Plus it'll be a more homely environment. You boys can't live on catering and pub foods for the next several months to a year. No I absolutely won't have it."
"Best go along with her boys, she got her persuasion from the best there was." Roger added in.
"Well—if you think it's a good idea." Said Gwilym.
"Of course it is. Now come on, you four can fit in my car. Let's go. Meet you there Brian and Roger?"
"We'll be right behind you love." Said Brian. I gestured the boys to follow me to my car. Ben sat up in the passenger seat, Joe sat behind him, Rami was in the middle and Gwilym sat behind me. I turned the engine on and told everyone to buckle up (mama instincts what can I say?) and we pulled out of the gate and I drove us on home.
"So (y/n), what other kind of music do you listen to?" asked Joe.
"Whatever song has a good voice and a good beat, with no autotune I will love. You can look through my Spotify and see what I have." Ben took my phone out of the phone holder and turned around as Joe took over the controls and went to my Spotify.
"Wow there are a lot of songs. And I thought you would've just stuck with what you grew up on."
"Unlike most rockstars like Roger who think everything after 1979 basically became trash music with the rise of pop or as they called it 'disco'. I'm a little more open minded. But I deny all songs that use explicit language every three words, degrading women, or promotes violence."
"You even got some old Christina Aguilera songs on here?" asked Rami.
"Who do you think helped produce her?"
"Shut the front door. You produced Christina Aguilera?"
"Yeah. I even gave her rights to a song that I wanted to do. But even singing it brought back some old wounds. So since I was helping her produce her album at the time, I turned to song over to her."
"What song was it?" asked Ben.
"Shut up! That was literally my jam."
"I can attest to that. Throughout the filming of The Pacific, he would never shut that song off when getting into Eugene's character for certain episodes." Rami rose his hand.
"Yeah. I have an entire playlist of some songs I helped produce or make. You can play that playlist if you'd like. Or my typical playlist my boys best songs."
"I think in the light of our first day filming, we should go with Queen. What do you guys say?" Joe asked.
"Aright then Joe, we'll each pick our favorite Queen song. You're up first little Tim." He grinned and scrolled through my playlist until Somebody to love came up on the speakers. "Read my mind Joseph." The piano began playing and that's when I vocalized alongside Freddie and the five of us began singing the song at the top of our lungs.
The entire car ride contained each of us picking our top favorite songs. Ben did 'White Queen' which I commended on him cause people nowadays tend to forget the old Queen songs, Gwilym picked Love of my Life, Rami chose Radio Gaga, and I, of course chose Bohemian Rhapsody.
Thanks to Wayne's world (yes I saw the movie and yes it was silly but just the opening scene alone made the movie worth watching) we basically did the same motion by motion that those boys did in the film when the operatic section came on. And of course when the headbanging rock out came on, the boys proceeded to bang their hands while I did mine not as aggressively (responsible driving kids!)
We continued to rock out to the song and it wasn't until by the end of the song that we soon arrived at my home. I pulled the car up into the garage and hit the clicker button which opened up the garage door and I pull inside just as the last line came up and Roger's gong rang off. I shut the engine and said.
"Here we are boys, welcome to casa de la Kline." We all exited out of my car and right behind us as scheduled were Brian and Roger with Bri getting out of the driver's seat. "Bout time you two got here, I was beginning to worry that I'd need to call in an ambulance."
"We're old dear, not dead." Roger sassed at me.
"But I still love you old coots. Just like I said all those years ago."
"That I do remember, the day right after you got so shitfaced after your 21st birthday. You remember that Brian?" Roger said.
"Indeed I do Rog, I even remember what we did to her to get her to apologize, think we need to do it again?"
"That might have to be arranged."
"Oh no you guys don't! We're not doing that now, now let's get inside before we all catch a cold." I guided them all inside. Once we stepped through the backdoor of the garage I could already smell something cooking, and I knew who exactly was cooking at this rate. "Baby! I'm home!" I called out from the hallway.
We turned the corner and soon came to the kitchen where a young man of 19 (going on 20 in a couple months) stood by the oven. He shut it off and turned around. He was every bit like his father when I first met him back in '83, but he had my eyes. When he saw me, he softly smiled and I came up to him.
"Sorry I didn't call in advance telling you that we would have more guests than your uncles."
"No worries mom. You know I've always cooked way more than I should." I smiled and cupped his face and we kissed each other's cheek. "Uncle Brian, uncle Roger."
"Hello Fred." Brian greeted.
"Hey lad, how's school been?"
"Oh you know, NYU's a challenge but I manage." He then directed his attention towards the young actors but when he eyes landed on Rami, he quickly grabbed my arm and whispered to me. "You didn't tell me you'd be bringing Rami Malek to our house!"
"Again slipped my mind." I teased him.
"Mom how dare you bring my celebrity crush here without telling me, look at me I'm a mess."
"Oh you're fine. Now best behavior." I wrapped an arm around my son and said. "Boys, this is my youngest son Freddie Mercury Kline. Fred, these are the boys that will be playing your uncles. This is Joe Mazzello, he'll be playing your uncle Deacy. Ben Hardy who's playing your old uncle Roger."
"Watch it lion cub." Rog warned me. I gave him a cheeky look before continuing the introductions.
"Gwilym Lee will be playing your uncle Brian, and you know Rami, he'll be playing the man you were named after."
"Yes. And—from what I've seen so far, you'll finally get to meet him through the screen."
"I don't doubt that. I'm a big fan of yours Rami, your role in Mr. Robot has been—amazing."
"Alright since we've all had a long day today, let's get some grub. Everyone grab a plate." I grabbed some extra plates from the cabinet and handed four plates out to the actors and we all assembled around the island to grab a piece of lasagna, peas, mashed potatoes with gravy and Hawaiian rolls.
Once we gathered around the table I set out the iced tea Jack had made a couple of days ago as well as some champagne or wine. "Okay guys, before we dig in I want all hands on deck." I extended my hand out.
Freddie immediately placed his hand on top of mine, Brian and Rog soon followed after and it was then Rami, Gwilym, Joe and finally Ben placed their hands on top.
"Thank you for this family, thank you for this meal. Thank you for this day. It'll be a wild ride, but I feel this movie will soar, and—that this new family will forever stay." I said ending the traditional family prayer. The young actors looked at me with warm eyes and soft smiles.
"Alright, let's dig in. You boys will never eat the same way again once you taste (y/n)'s cooking." Roger said.
"That bad?" joked Joe. I gawked at the young cheeky actor.
"On the contrary she's the best chief on this side of London. Even when she was an intern she made us this one Christmas pudding that was to die for." Brian spoke on my behalf.
"It's true. She put all the other PTA mom's to shame when it came to my school's bake sales." Freddie said as he took a bite of his lasagna.
The entire dinner was filled with talks about our lives, stories and embarrassing moments in life. Not a single person was excluded from a conversation. After dinner, Rami and Gwilym helped Freddie with the dishes while I got some other scrapbooks out and bonded a bit with Ben and Joe about my time with Rog and Deacy.
"Now this Joe was taken during my first Japan tour. At the very garden where Queen went to near the Tokyo tower, Deacy refused to let me leave without having a cherry blossom crown."
"He seems to be doing good in the picture."
"Except one twig got so tangled in my hair it literally took 15 minutes just to get it out." We both laughed before I turned the page and found a great picture of me and Roger. "Now this picture Ben, both Roger and I have this picture, this was taken after my first Hyde Park performance."
"She performed to an audience of half of what Queen did when we performed at Hyde Park." Roger spoke.
"She could've performed for more but times changed and better security measure for the public's safety prevented it from happening again." Brian added.
"One thing's for sure, I was damn well proud of her for performing at her biggest crowd at the time just barely two years into her career." Roger spoke again. I looked up and winked at him.
"You guys really do have that father-daughter bond don't you?" Joe said.
"Have ever since she gave me the real 1 and 3/7th's sugar."
"It wasn't until Brian told me the next day that Roger just says that to pull people's leg. God I felt embarrassed after that."
"Aww lovie, but it was due to that I became your favorite. And I don't regret it as I'm sure you don't."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." As Gwilym, Rami and Freddie came back in I continued going through the scrapbook sharing my photos of my days with Queen with the boys, and allowing Freddie to finally hear all the stories that he was denied cause of my grief.
As the night got darker and darker, the young actors at this moment were so full of food and exhausted from a long day's filming they actually passed out along my living room. Joe and Ben cuddled up on the couch, Rami asleep on the recliner, while Gwilym was curled up along the loveseat.
Meanwhile I was watching over them and couldn't help but think it was like seeing my boys all over again. I remember back when I was still an intern and would see the guys all passed out whether at Freddie's parties or in the studio, I always had to provide the guys comfort (which I never minded). So seeing these four young men passed out just brought me a sense of nostalgia.
"I got the spare blankets mom."
"Thank you dear. Your uncles tucked in the spare bedrooms?"
"Uncle Brian's in the room across yours and dad's and uncle Roger is in Georgie's old room."
"Good boy." I then proceeded to cover up and adjust the young actors. I wrapped both Joe and Ben in the same blanket and closed Joe's mouth gently so that he wouldn't drool in his sleep, followed by giving them each a soft kiss goodnight. Without trying to wake him up, I uncurled Gwilym from his pretzel position and covered him up.
I gingerly stroked through his hair before placing a soft kiss to his temple. He groaned and lifted his head up which allowed me to place a pillow underneath him. He hummed in content as he snuggled into it. I then went over to Rami and adjusted the seat so that he would be more comfortable. Pressing the button on our automatic recliner, his legs slowly rose up before finally stopping in full recliner mode.
I tucked him in while looking down at him. God even without the tache it was like looking at Freddie from when I first met him in person at a concert, long before I became an intern. I gently kissed his cheek before faintly stroking his cheek.
Sitting outside along the deck, Freddie and I were looking up at the stars.
"So you think this movie's gonna be a hit?"
"Critics are always hard to please, no matter if it's music or movies. From what I've read of the script yes there's misinformation but that's why it's called a biopic. There's some truth but it's the touch of Hollywood in order to make the film not a boring documentary. But those four boys, they are just how I remember your uncles being when I not only worked with them, but grew up with them hearing their music."
"I wish I had gotten the chance to meet uncle Freddie." Fred said after a brief moment of silence. I turned to him to see him looking down sadly.
"So do I love. He would've loved you as much as he did your brothers and sister. And he would've been over the moon had he found that I had named you after him." I brought my baby close and he wrapped his arms around me as we both looked up at the moon and the stars together.
The star right by the moon glowed the brightest, the very same star that shined just as bright the night after the tribute concert we did back in '92. I couldn't help as a tear slid down my face and a smile spread across my face.
I knew that it was Freddie's star, telling me that he was watching us and that he was proud.
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People say that he’s sunshine incarnate and I’m not sure I would agree. For me its about more than him being a funny goofy guy with the contagious laughter and the kind of smile that makes you smile. I think what I actually like about Jared is that he is authentic and encourages you to be authentic too.
When you’ve struggled with mental illness - you’re not always the best version of yourself. You’ll do some stuff that’s awful and out of character. In this day and age- people pretend that they give a shit about mentally ill people- but they mostly don’t- because people see what they want to see, and they cancel people as soon as they do something that ‘reveals their true character’ or, more accurately ‘reveals that they are a flawed human being that is dealing with some shit that the public don’t know about’.
The fact that Jared isn’t squeaky clean, and that he does stupid shit sometimes, and that he is a bit of an attention seeker is actually why I love him. I do stupid shit. I’m an attention seeker, I have struggled with sometimes severe episodes of mental illness.
I also have a massive problem with perfectionism and imposter syndrome in my day to day life that I occasionally find paralyzing. To watch a guy who looks to me like he has a perfect life fuck up, be publicly vulnerable, make fun of himself, and dust himself off and face things with grace and humility is fucking refreshing. Not only that- it’s an example I fucking needed because I didn’t have anyone like that in my real life.
I think Jared needs a dependable friend like Jensen to stop him getting so carried away with himself because I think he has a typical creative person’s ego. The fact that I love him for it has let me accept it in myself. There’s so much awful stuff floating around now that people are led to believe that any time you feel good about yourself it’s narcissism. Jared is like most of us and wants to make people laugh and wants people to like him, but some people are determined not to like you because of their own baggage, and it’s pointless trying to convince someone who hates you simply because you’re you to not hate you. Jared sorta showed me it’s better to have enough love for yourself that you don’t feel tempted to change who you are because your existence offends someone. Basically- haters gonna hate. Why change to make them happy when you could make people who love you happy?
Also, as someone who has male friends that have dealt with depression and anxiety and internalized all of it because it’s not ‘manly’ I cannot underplay the importance of them seeing this giant ripped dude with a beautiful wife and kids and friends that adore him talk candidly about how he has to go to therapy because he’s so overwhelmed, or unashamedly say ‘I cry all the time’.
So yeah. That’s why I love Jared Padalecki.
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found a pretty well made deep dive by youtuber cordwit documenting the whole thing surrounding dream (which i’ve been waiting for forever to untangle the confusion) and i really enjoyed it. honestly while i’ve come to dislike dream himself for the stuff he did, as the video describes the situation around him is kinda terrifying
ironically after watching i checked out cordwit’s channel and saw that he associates with a young youtuber known by me as someone d’angelo wallace called out for pandering to antisemites and then revealed to be antiblack as recent as december 2019 so i just kinda sat there not knowing what to think
i guess pobody’s nerfect just 2 weeks ago i unlocked my account at risk of outing myself to a potential employer to attempt to talk some sense to this british man who makes minecraft videos (that i watch if that wasnt clear) because he brought up the potential of getting into nft himself and mishandling the negative reaction people had to it
like this kind of thing is hard to navigate, you can make so many tweets denouncing parasocial relationships until someone you believed to be decent slips up and you realize you’ve formed a parasocial relationship yourself. like with how social media has intergrated itself into people’s subconscious parasocial relationships are inevitable. of course there are clear lines that should not be crossed. but in the grey areas at what point does it become unforgiveable? what should you do with your parasocial relationships that is “right”?
when i sent my long ass thread to the british youtuber explaining why so many people find themselves completely unable to consider nft in a positive light and how climate change will literally kill my home country, i mostly didn’t expect it to do anything. up to this point there’s no proof that it has done anything. i would be lying if i said i didn’t expect anything to come out of it, i poured my heart into the tweets i sent. the parasocial relationship i didn’t even realize i had with this person and his colleagues led me to trying my best to change his mind and direct him away from something harmful. should i just have dropped all the goodwill i think he brought to the lives of his viewers over the years? was i a fool for saying so many things that are never guaranteed to be heard? or was i just overstepping boundaries, nothing more nothing less? i don’t know, i just did my best, and i still don’t know if i could’ve done better
all the twitter takes i’ve read and all the commentary videos i’ve watched... the thoughts of other people take up so much of my brain, sometimes to the point where i’m not sure where my own self lies. it can feel incredibly lonely living in a world so interconnected, especially now where so many things feel like a stack of oddly placed objects tethering over a cliff and you want to do Something about it. is the thought that i can do Something by using my voice just an illusion created by other people’s thoughts that did do Something to change my life? i don’t even know what the fuck
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Hi! Can I request some cute moments from our Main four? I love their friendship but canon just won't let them be together Ó╭╮Ò
I took this request, and I ran with it! Hope you like it!!! “φʕ•ᴥ•oʔ
Leorio, Killua, and Gon try to bake a cake for Kurapika’s birthday. Shenanigans ensue with a hint of found family~
word count: 1760
Leorio wakes to the sound of Gon screaming directly into his ear.
“Leorio!! Wake-up!! Today is a special day, and we need your help with something!!!”
He mumbles something akin to ‘Unless the house is on fire, go away,’ and rolls over. This does not deter Gon, who jumps on him, and apparently, Killua is also there, as he speaks next.
“Listen, Old Man, today is Kurapika’s birthday, and we want to make him a cake, but we need your help. We wouldn’t be asking you otherwise, stupid.”
Now, Leorio is awake. He slams his hand onto the bedside table, scrabbling for his phone. When he finally manages to find it, he pushes the power button, and the screen lights up, showing the date. Sure enough, on the screen in small print under the time, it reads ‘April 4th’.
“Oh, shit,” Leorio says, sitting up and pushing Gon off of him. Gon nods so much he looks like a bobblehead, and Killua crosses his arms.
“’Oh, shit’ is right. Now get ready- we leave in five minutes.”
“Leave?! To go where?!”
Killua remains looking unimpressed. “The store, stupid. We need ingredients, and I don’t want to do it solely by myself.”
“Gon doesn’t count. He can barely count above 10.” Gon nods.
“I am bad with numbers.”
Leorio sighs, officially kissing his extra hour of asleep away.
“Fine. I’ll be downstairs in 10 minutes.”
The trip to the store is nothing short of disastrous.
They manage to break a dozen eggs, spill flour all over the baking section, drop and shatter a handful of vases, nearly mow over various old ladies, break an electric scooter, and- in an event involving Killua daring Gon- topple an entire shelf of produce. It is safe to say, that they were banned from the store and told to never come back.
By the time they returned home, Leorio’s blood pressure was through the roof, and he regretted ever getting up that morning. Gon and Killua, meanwhile, were just happy they managed to get the supplies and groceries needed for the cake, even if they still had flour dusted on their heads.
Leorio was no more hopeful about how baking the cake would go, but for the sake of his sanity, he pleaded it would go better.
To begin, they set out all the ingredients on the kitchen counter, separating the dry and wet ingredients to different sides. Killua pulled out his phone, opening the browser containing the recipe for the cake, and Leorio grabbed two large bowls for the batter.
Then, the fun began.
Particles of flour soon filled the air, and the kitchen quickly became a mess. Gon was banned from actively participating after managing to get egg on the ceiling and adding a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon, but was promised that he’d get to lick the spoon to stop his pouting. Killua and Leorio argued over the details of the recipe, such as whether they really had to sift the flour, or whether room-temperature eggs were absolutely necessary, or even if they had to separate the dry and wet ingredients.
After a tedious half-hour of yelled insults (Killua), wordless excited shouting (Gon), and a headache that refused to go away (Leorio), the cake was in the oven and a collective sigh of relief could be heard. Because the hardest part was over, right?
While buying the ingredients and making the cake was a fiasco, decorating the cake was a whole other demon.
To begin with, Gon was insistent they start decorating even though the cake was still warm. As he slathered the store-bought frosting onto what could only be described as ‘questionably edible’, it instantly began to melt and slide down the cake, which he tried to remedy by simply adding more frosting, which also melted. The cake now had icing bald-spots on the top, and instead of waiting- and before Killua or Leorio could stop him-, Gon poured nearly an entire bottle of sprinkles onto the top of the poor, poor cake.
“Oops,” Gon said as the sprinkles buried the partially frosted cake. Leorio just sighed.
They decided after that to give it a couple more hours to cool and hope to salvage it then, but when they returned to the kitchen, the cake had gotten worse. One side had caved in, leaving a sunken slope of sprinkles and melted frosting. Killua tried to fix it by leveling it with frosting, but he instead only managed to create clumps of cake crumbs and frosting all over the surface of the cake, making it look even uglier.
Killua and Gon wanted to keep trying to fix it, but Leorio had to step in and put an end to this.
“I think the cake has been through enough,” he said, staring at the lopsided monstrosity of blue frosting and yellow sprinkles. “There’s still time before Kurapika is supposed to get home. Let’s just go buy a cake.”
“No! We can’t! The point was to make something for Kurapika! Something special,” Gon insisted. “It’s not that bad.”
“No, it really is.” Killua was also staring at the ‘cake’. “And I doubt it tastes good. We did get some eggshells in there….and all that salt you added, Gon…”
“I said sorry!! You know I’m not good with math and stuff!”
“How is reading the difference between teaspoon and tablespoon math?” Gon stuck his tongue out at Killua.
“Yeah, well, you’re the one who made the batter lumpy with flour!”
“Well, you’re the one who-,”
“Gon. Killua,” Leorio said, interrupting the brewing argument. “This was a failure. We need a new cake. Killua, you like sweets- know any good cake places?”
Killua thought for a second. “There’s a place downtown, actually. We have, what? Two hours before Kurapika gets back home? There should be enough time-,”
The front door opening silenced him.
“I’m back,” Kurapika called, and Leorio, Gon, and Killua froze, eyes wide, and plan ruined. “Guys?”
His footsteps began to move towards them, and it sent all three of them into a flurry of motion. They began shoving ingredients back up, slamming bowls and measuring cups into the sink, and brushing sprinkles from the counter. By the time Kurapika entered the kitchen, the three boys were lined up in front of the countertop, hiding their failure of a cake from Kurapika behind their backs.
“Oh, hey, Kurapika! You’re back early!” Gon tried to smile brightly, but it ended up seeming slightly guilty.
“Early? I thought I told you I’d be back at this time today.”
‘They’re hiding something,’ he thought. Gon forcefully laughed.
“Oops, must’ve forgotten! Well, we aren’t doing anything weird in here!” Killua elbowed him in the gut. “Oof.”
“Weird, you say?”
“I said we weren’t doing anything weird!”
“Then what’s behind your back?”
“Yes, your back, Gon.”
“I don’t even have a back.”
Killua elbowed him again, hissing, “Don’t play that dumb, idiot.”
“I mean, uh- what’s behind your back?” Gon tried again. Kurapika didn’t answer, and instead, looked to Leorio.
“Leorio, what is going on? I expect you to be honest.”
“Uh,” Leorio began to sweat. “We-well, you see…”
“So, today is your birthday-,”
“Yes, I am aware.”
“- And we- well, Killua and Gon- wanted to do something nice for you-,”
“They did? How nice of them.”
“Yes, but you see, it didn’t quite go as planned and-,”
“We tried to bake you a cake, but it ended up looking like shit,” Killua finished, figuring that the cat was out of the bag already.
“Well, I would still like to see it. It can’t be that bad.”
Killua, Leorio, and Gon shared a glance, and then shrugged, knowing they would never win against Kurapika. They shifted to the side, revealing in all its glory the lopsided loser of a cake with its mounds of sprinkles and patchy frosting.
Kurapika didn’t say anything at first, instead moving closer to get a better look. Then, he did something unexpected:
He laughed long and hard, in a way Kurapika rarely did. He laughed till his face was red and he was gasping for breath. He laughed till he had to grab onto the counter for stability because he was shaking so hard from laughter. He laughed till he cried, and he laughed till he got hiccups. He laughed, and he laughed, and he laughed.
And then, when he was done and he had his breathing back under control, he said, “You weren’t wrong, Killua. It really does look like shit.”
And that made the rest of them dissolve into laughter, the entire situation sinking in. When they finally managed to reign themselves back in, they recounted the entire day to Kurapika, from the newly imposed banishment of the supermarket to the mysterious batter on the ceiling to even the sprinkles littering the floor.
When the tale was fully told, and Kurapika was endlessly amused, he made a suggestion. “Since you want to celebrate my birthday, how about we all go out for dinner?”
Gon lit up. “Can we?” Kurapika nodded.
“We sure can, and we can make Leorio pay for it.”
“We can?” Gon parroted, as Leorio said, ‘You can?’, and was promptly ignored.
“We can. Now, you and Killua go get ready.”
Gon let out a cheerful hoot and grabbed Killua’s arm, dragging him to the door and down the hallway to their room. When Gon’s yelling had faded into the back of their house, Kurapika turned to Leorio.
“I expected you to put up more of a fuss about being forced to pay for dinner,” he said, leaning against the counter, carefully to avoid errant frosting smears. Leorio shrugged, mirroring him.
“I don’t mind paying for it. It’s your birthday, after all, and you know,” he gestured vaguely. “Times like these are important.”
“Times like these?”
“Oh, come on, you know! Friend time!” He crossed his arms and seemed to grow oddly serious. “Time with people you care about, people you love. Time with your family.”
Kurapika stared at him, letting the words settle over him. He glanced towards the doorway where Gon and Killua had disappeared moments before and in the direction vague shouting could be heard every few seconds. He mulled it over, looking back over at Leorio, meeting his familiar, warm gaze over his glasses.
Kurapika felt something in his chest unfurl. His lips twitched into a soft, small smile, and he looked down at the sad, ugly cake on the counter next to him.
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Hey! I just wanted to get this off my mind and ask for your advice. You said we could talk to you about things so here I am :)
For the past year, I’ve been struggling. I refused to admit that because I feel like I still have a lot of good things in my life, roof over my head, family that loves me, not a lot of money but enough for food and an occasional treat, friends that are willing to help me if I need them, etc. Yet, compared to where I was mentally & physically in 2019, the past year was kinda crappy. I’ve just not been feeling my best.
I started meditating after reading your answers for months, and it really brought up a stir of emotions these past three weeks. In the past year, I lost my maid of honour type best friend (ghosted me then I left her on read cause she replies to my texts with ‘haha’ or ‘yeah’ - no effort), my work is kinda there and kinda not (not stable), moving back home meant I lost my freedom to go out and just have fun or be alone, and frankly, I’ve lost my confidence and charm. Although I’ve never dated anyone, I knew I could have anyone I like and people find me pretty. I don’t anymore now and continue to put on weight. I started crushing on a person who’s kinda like a celebrity and started thinking how I’m not good enough, etc when the thought of manifesting them popped into my head. I’ve applied to a shit ton of jobs and when I’m not called back, I get sad, when I am, I feel nervous because I fucking hate the working style here (12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week is pretty normal). The pay is decent but I prefer freedom, even though I don’t know what exactly it is I want anymore. I’ve lost interest in my dreams. My family tells me it’s just how it is, all jobs are hard and I should just stuck it up especially since I’m young, but I want more out of life. I want to be paid generously while still having a life and loving my job. I want my ex best friend to apologise and reconnect with me. I want my precious housemates to start texting me back. I want a parter that’s amazing and to be loved and spoiled. I want my confidence back. I want to feel free and like myself again. I’ve been trying to work through things since last July, after switching from LOA to Neville and I know I’m not doing it right since results should have shown up already, in the 3D. I just feel like I’m in reverse. There were a list of things I wanted but now I just want things I had in 2019 (then the other things I wanted change too). I can have both, but I’ve really been out of it. I feel guilty for feeling this way, too, because I do have some things okay, but I would be lying if I said I haven’t been sick and tired and just timid and grumpy. Thank you for reading! ❤️ Hope you’re doing well and thank you for your blog 🖤
Hey!! You absolutely can always send messages like this. The law of assumption crowd tends to be tough, and for good reason. It’s true we fall back into the old story and the victim mentality and it shouldn’t be tolerated. But in my opinion, sometimes just being able to get it off your chest and out there works fucking wonders. If we are Gods having a human experience, maybe we shouldn’t have to feel so pressured to not feel a type of way. In that way, we give ourselves true unconditional love. So, always feel free to write to me like this.
Anyways, you are not alone in this. 💖 I would like you to understand that. You are not the only one struggling in this way, as you can see from my blog. And I am in the same boat some days. I know what it’s like, to have been at this for months and nothing drastic has happened. At some point, manifesting a text from someone and a free meal here or there just doesn’t cut it. And it can be frustrating because the pros simply respond like, “well you aren’t truly living in the end.” Clearly. lmao But sometimes it’s like you’ve hit a wall you cannot get through. Especially looking at the past, it can be so hurtful. When you found out about Neville, you felt like you had the world on a string. Finally, the puzzle pieces of life were coming together and you were ready to live the life of your dreams. Then months passed and you start looking at the past and begin to romanticize it. Because you have been at it for months and nothing it seeming to happen. But then you remember a time where you didn’t even know about the law and it was a better time in life.
Well here’s the truth. Neville even said himself physical labor, like working in a field all day from sun up to sun down, is easier than the mental labor of applying the law. He sure as hell didn’t lie. This is why we are on a journey. I especially feel it’s so true for people who come to my blog. Because there are plenty of law of attraction/law of assumption blogs that act like manifesting is simply affirming and getting what you want. But on my blog and blogs similiar to mine, I think many of us realize that this is one helluva journey. And it’s up to us to decide if it’s worth taking.
People say you can decide when your manifestation happens, people say all this type of stuff and you persist and your 3D appears so stagnant anyway. I can tell you that I have read quite a few success stories where people’s lives were stagnant for months. And then suddenly... everything started rolling in. Suddenly, their lives started to change in the most perfect way ever. And I would like to think this is true for you, and me, and everyone else reading this blog. That through some kind of persistance, despite the tears and days we just can’t take it anymore, that day will come where suddenly everything turns around. Suddenly, it all feels worth it. In that moment we will know why we could never give up on ourselves. Neville said everything has it’s appointed hour. As nice as it is to think we can have whatever we want as soon as we do XYZ, I think sometimes just believing it will come when it’s time is good enough. Knowing you can cause something to come slower/quicker can just cause so much anxiety sometimes. Maybe it’s not so bad to stop constantly feeling the need to be in control.
So all in all, feel what you need to feel. The good news is, you are God despite all of these uncomfortable feelings and thoughts you are dealing with. Somewhere deep in you, beneath the illusion lf all your fears and doubts, is the God within. The unconditional love that is always there for you to turn to. Even when it all feels so heavy it is there. Know that whatever it is you’re facing it is okay. Let it all come up, let yourself release it. Allow it to be, allow yourself to simply be. You do not always have to try or be doing something. You are simply enough right now, you are absolutely perfect for the things you want right now in this moment. Perhaps in meditation, allow yourself that space. Let those painful things surface, but under it all remind yourself this is all an illusion. You are complete and true love. The more you tap into that, the more the truth of pure love (your desires), will be revealed to you in the outer world. It’s just something simple you can do, that takes less effort in moments where it’s all so heavy. And it’s what I always try to do, so I recommend it.
I hope this was helpful. My life is like a lil rollercoaster lately, but in everyday something wonderful happens. And that is what I try to remember by each night. I am glad my blog has been so helpful to you. 💖
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You're My Destination
Why Not? Presents ^
“Attention, passengers. This is your captain speaking. We would like to request for all to please stay calm, and wear your seatbelts. There is absolutely no need to wo---” the message was unfortunately followed by the sound of static before… CRASH!
Sans had a pretty rough day today. He recently got fired from Grillby’s, but even though, he still kept smiling all day, trying to hide the fact of being depressed over some stupid work he got kicked out from just because he was taking a little nap.
Okay, maybe not too little, but still!
He sighed, continuing to walk, passing through the snowy pathway through the forest of Snowdin. Everything was quite peaceful, until the smell of smoke was noticed. It was coming from deep through the woods, so he decided to follow what seems to be a trail of smoke. It led him to an undiscovered plane crash site.
He easily made out what it was; a fancy private jet. He knew about it from seeing pictures of it in thin books that came from the surface above. A magazine, or so the humans call it.
Swanky. The jet was clearly expensive from the looks of it, though most of its features are all covered up with much damage from crashing. Must be from up. He wasn’t surprise, however, for the fact of crash sites visible in the forests was considered a usual.
Stupid humans making machines that could eventually kill them. He chuckled at how stupid humans are before carefully going near the plane.
Inside are piles of bodies. Corpses. Everyone’s dead, no surprise there. The first time he came to see a plane crash, all monsters were very excited to know that a lot of human souls may be captured that day to help them break free from the Underground. Unfortunately, they lost interest.
Though human souls could be obtained from death, the strength and heat of the impact was far too strong, it completely destroyed every soul each aircraft held. And thus, monsters lost hope. So far, they only need one more soul in order to be free.
Only Sans could be seen prowling around the damaged aircrafts, scavenging for any interesting human made stuff. That’s where he got those magazines. His interest in airplanes soared, fascinated by the fact that it was used by humans to fly, travelling to many different parts of the world. He too, wished to travel around, like an airplane, but nay, that’s impossible.
After gathering new magazines, biscuits, and even ketchup packets, he turned to leave, only to hear a low groan beneath the plane. His left eye flared to life in a blue blaze, becoming alert from this newfound risk.
Something, or maybe, someone is struggling from one of the passenger seats, all facing away from him. Since the plane was in a toppled over position, the seats were located above the ‘ceiling’. Walking with caution, he summoned levitating blue aura-covered bones behind him, just in case. As soon as he arrived to the seat in an alert stance, he was surprised to see such a sight.
A human. A living, breathing, totally alive human, though being bruised with scars and wounds of course. It shocked him to see it alive, knowing no human could survive such a dreadful crash.
Lowering down his guard, he took note of its features. It was slightly unconscious, and is breathing pretty heavily. It got chestnut brown hair (Yes, I got over with chocolate, sorry if you’re offended.), tied up to a now messy bun, and from the looks of its ripped, yet formally elegant white blouse underneath a navy blue blazer and a pair of navy blue square pants, the human was what he guessed as a female.
Her fair-toned face that wore an aggrieved scowl showed great pain, and as if in an uncomfortable state, despite being unconscious. His eyes searched for any cause of pain, until it landed on her seatbelt. Since she was hanging up, it must’ve felt painful to have the belt locked, with her weight pressed down.
He fiddled with the seatbelt with his little knowledge on human transportation, before succeeding in unlocking it open, causing it to let out a soft ‘SNAP’. The seatbelt gave way, and soon, the injured human fell on the unsuspecting skeleton.
Fortunately, she didn’t wake up, so he carefully sets her frame up, only for her to slip and her head ended up landing on his lap. He blushed at the ‘accident’, before moving away strands of hair from her face to reveal her delicate, and peacefully sleeping visage. However, this only made his cheek bones’ blue hue turn to a darker shade.
Should I leave her here? Seeing that the only value she may give is if she’ll die, her soul comes out, then it’s freedom time. But…
His gaze fell back to the sleeping figure. Instantly, he felt pity for her, to the fact she did not do anything wrong. He sighed, not knowing what to do next. Maybe I’ll have to figure out tomorrow. And with that settled, he lifted her up, carrying her ‘bridal-style’ before teleporting back home.
“Ow…” she whimpered lowly, rubbing the back side of her head. She just woke up, and sat on the bed. Wait… A bed?
She quickly scanned around her, finding herself in a pretty much messy room (It’s not pretty messy. It’s a total dump site if you ask Sans experts!). Piles of clothes and socks are scattered all over the room, and a small tornado was seen just at the corner… Huh?
Where am I?
She gave out a look of disgust on the environment she’s in. Whoever lived here, must’ve died (Or maybe whoever lives with whoever lives in the house. *All looks at Papyrus*).
What happened? She groaned, feeling a slight pain in her head. Then it hit her like how the plane she remembered crashing hits solid ground. The plane crash. Am I dead? Is this hell? (No. Soon you’ll realize, it’s heaven.)
She jerked back up, surprised to see someone enter the room. But the sight of whoever it was made her eyes widened even more. There in the door way, stood a skeleton. A living, probably breathing skeleton. He wore a white tee underneath his blue hoodie, a pair of black basketball shorts, and a pair of seemingly clean white socks under a pair of pink fluffy slippers (If I say the word ‘pair’ one more time, I’ll end the book.). His skeletal hand held up a tray which held a bowl of hot soup.
“heyya there, kiddo.” He greeted, before walking up towards the now gaping human. He sets down the tray on the bed, as he also sat down to face the woman. Processing his words, she glared at the skeleton.
“First of all, don’t call me that! Second, who are you? Third, where am I? And fourth, what’s that?” she blurted bluntly. “uh… soup?” he shrugged, choosing to answer only one of her questions.
“You didn’t answer me.” She sternly said, eyeing at the skeleton skeptically.
He sighed, counting his skeletal fingers as he replied to every question, “one, i apologize for that, don’t know your age, though ya look like one. two, ya’re in my bedroom. and third, like i said, soup.”
“You’re forgetting something, so don’t look too smart about it.”
“oh, pardon me for being ‘rude’. the name’s sans. sans the skeleton.” He reached out his bony hand as he introduced himself. The girl eyed him warily before accepting to shake his hand, which let out a loud farting sound. She gave him a puzzled look of confusion.
“the ol’ whoopee cushion in the hand trick. it’s always funny!” he chuckled merrily, but stopped when he noticed her blank expression. She didn’t seem to get it.
“Ok… Don’t really understand this sense of humor of yours, sorry.” She shrugged before reaching out for the soup, “What kind of soup is this?”
“The soup, I mean. What’s in it?”
“i don’t know,” he shrugged, “all i know is that it’s filled with carrots, onions, corn… whatever.”
“So it’s like free corn soup from those cheap restaurants in the sidewalks then?”
“geez, way to lift my hopes up from such a depressing day.”
“I could tell.”
“Being ‘the boss’ myself, I got high experiences, enough to tell who’ll surpass my liking.”
“Clearly, you do your work effortlessly.”
“how can ya tell?” he asked, clearly a bit pissed off.
“Well, you served me such cheap food. If you want to impress your guests, or even your boss, at least give them something more impressive.” She huffed.
“that’s not even a word!”
“You better believe me, poor skeleton, but it is. That’s my favorite, actually---”
“wait, why are you suddenly telling me this?”
“I’m just telling you how you should improve your work.”
“ya ain’t telling me how to do my work, lady. so ya get what ya get. at least be grateful i saved ya instead of giving ya up to our king! i’m outta here.” He exclaimed, stomping out of the door.
“He should be thankful I’m giving him pointers. Never even asked for this.” The woman shrugged, sipping her soup, “It’s cold.” She complained, but smiled, “But at least it’s surprisingly good.”
A story by heroes and villains Roman Castile: Prince
To bring out your inner truth, to stand by your friends. To be the hero of your own story.
The very next day he came out as gay to the school.
He walked through the hallways with his head held high, a confident cadence in his step. He knew that he was getting stares all over and that was rather the point.
When he walked into his first homeroom of the year he was pleasantly surprised to see Virgil there, and no Janus.
Upon seeing him Virgil’s eyes widened. Roman strode in proudly and sat himself on the empty desk next to Virgil’s, his back to the front, feet on the chair and planting his new sparkling, rainbow, backpack next to him, and dragging a hand to his matching hair.
“You are extremely extra any chance you get aren’t you?” Virgil chuckled.
“I am,” Roman agreed as he took off his jacket revealing the full extent of his once white, now rainbow colored shirt, which proudly read ‘I’m a Gay Disney Prince!’. The writing was part of the original shirt. Except for the ‘gay’ bit. That, Roman added himself while he dyed the shirt by using duct tape to write out the letters, paint the shirt and then take of the tape to leave one white word to contrast against the colorful shirt.
So he was pretty much a walking rainbow with a neon-sign on his chest.
It couldn’t be more clear if he shouted it at the top of his lungs. Or maybe if he kissed a guy in front of the whole school. But he wasn’t that extra and the guy he’d want to kiss would not appreciate the gesture.
“Well it looks good on you,” Virgil complemented and Roman made a bow.
“Why thank you, mi caballero guapo,” he teased. Just then their homeroom teacher came in and made introductions, prompting Roman to take his seat, while she handed out their schedules.
Roman looked over at Virgil’s and grinned widely.
“We have almost every class together!” he exclaimed excitedly. Sure the odds were in their favor considering they had the same homeroom, but it wasn’t a guarantee. Last year he’d shared homeroom with André and only had two classes in common.
“Aside from our electives that is. Why am I not surprised you’re taking drawing classes? Though you don’t really need the extra help. You are amazing as you are. Which reminds me. Did you think about sending in your designs?” When Roman looked up he saw that 1 his face and Virgil’s were much to close and 2 he was overwhelming Virgil with his fast paced rambling.
He sat up straight as fast as he could. “Sorry. Got a bit ahead of myself there,” he apologized.
Virgil blushed and looked away to stare at his hands that were tugging at his hoodie in his lap.
Roman tried his best not to hope that the color shining through the foundation was because his neighbor was at least a little into him. ‘He is uncomfortable for god’s sake! For once in your life try to not make it about yourself!’ he thought to himself.
“No problem… Well… I don’t know. You really think he’d want it?” Virgil asked awkwardly.
“Are you kidding? If I were forced in that atrocious ‘crime against fashion’ as you adequately called it, I’d be wishing on every star for a new outfit. And what you have drawn up. It’s not just an answer to his every prayer, it’s the most awesome costume he could ever hope for.”
Virgil offered him that adorable half smile of his and looked down. “Alright… I’ll send it in… But with some adjustments and under an alias,” he insisted.
“How about Dante?” Roman offered. He’d still know it was Virgil no matter what alias he’d choose. But BS and the others didn’t need to know who exactly designed his new look.
Virgil nodded. “Sounds good,” he agreed with the smallest smile.
Before Roman could ask what he was thinking about that made him smile, the door opened and none other than Janus strolled in.
“Mr. Bullard. So kind of you to join us,” the teacher noted displeased as she handed him his schedule.
Roman noticed Virgil’s good mood disappearing as soon as he walked in. Now Roman thought about it, while he got a rather detailed report on his neighbor’s summer, Janus hadn’t been mentioned once. Had Virgil and Janus gotten into a fight? Did this have something to do with the canceled plans Virgil mentioned right before the lamp came down?
Janus more or less ignored the teacher and looked around, eyes landing on Roman with contempt and narrowing when they spotted Virgil next to him.
He walked over. “Move, that’s my seat,” he growled.
“De ninguna manera. You want to sit with the coolest kid in school, get here on time,” Roman taunted confidently. He wasn’t scared of him and he wouldn’t leave Virgil with someone he seemed to want to distance himself from.
“Excuse me?” Janus’ eyes narrowed and he raised a fist as if preparing to punch him. Roman didn’t even blink.
“Mr. Bullard! Seat! Now!” the teacher insisted. Bullard glared at Roman one last time before looking at Virgil expectantly. “You heard the teacher Jan. Just go,” the purple wonder huffed.
Janus blinked a few times in disbelieve. Then his face hardened and he went to sit on an empty desk to their left.
“Good. As I was saying, I hope the rest of the year will go without any more incidents like yesterday. Mr. Anker, Mr. Castile, I speak for the whole school when I say that we are happy to see you two are back and unfazed by yesterday’s incident,” the teacher offered kindly.
“Thank you Mrs. Foster,” Virgil muttered a little embarrassed.
“I wouldn’t dream of depriving you of my radiant presence for another day,” Roman jested with a smirk. Causing his classmates to laugh. Well, most, Janus looked like he wanted to glare a hole in his head.
Roman ignored him. Virgil was chuckling next to him and that was a million times more interesting.
The teacher continued with taking attendance and going over all the basic first day announcements. When the bell rang Roman walked with Virgil to his locker, which happened to be only ten away from his. Virgil stayed with him as he retrieved his things and they talked about their homeroom teacher who seemed to be nice but firm. Something they could appreciate.
“Where are we headed next?” Roman asked as he dug into the back of his locker where his pencil case was currently hiding from him.
“Um…” he could hear Virgil digging through his backpack. He’d seen Virgil memorize their schedule earlier. He assumed that Virgil’s anxiety caused him to double check if he remembered right. Which wasn’t a bad thing to be honest. Better safe than sorry right?
“Hey!” Virgil exclaimed behind him. Roman dropped the case and turned around to find Janus looking over Virgil’s schedule with a frown.
“How can we have no classes together? I thought we were going to take sociology?”
“No!” Virgil stated firmly as he snatched the paper back. “You were. I tried to tell you that I wanted to do art, and you didn’t listen. Like usual,” Virgil bit at him before looking at Roman.
“We’re in building C. Let’s go,” he huffed. Roman nodded, picked up the case and shut his locker.
“Virge come on!” Janus objected frantically as he ran out in front of them, keeping them from making their way to class. “You are mad, I get it, I’m sorry okay? Can’t we talk about this? We always work things out,” he pleaded. Roman almost felt sorry for him. He looked genuinely terrified of losing Virgil’s friendship.
Virgil squared his shoulders and lifted his head.
“My decision is final J. I’m done enabling your behavior. I thought I was helping you out, but I was making it worse. I can’t protect you anymore… You are right. Sometimes we have to do what’s best for us. And for me, that is not being around you anymore.” Roman could tell that this was hard on Virgil. So when Janus reached out for him he went to stand in between them.
“He’s asking you to back off. Give him some space.”
Janus’ face went from pleading to murderous in a second. Next thing Roman knew he was pushed against a locker. “Stay out of it Chapero!” He said the slur in a mocking tone, with a purposefully horrible accent. Roman found himself letting out a growl as he turned their position around.
“You better not know what you just called me,” he warned.
“I don’t say anything I don’t mean. Payaso,” Janus taunted.
“Roman! What’s going on? Let him go. Let’s just go to class. Please.” Roman looked to Virgil, recalling that stress wasn’t good for him. “Sorry. You’re right. We’ll be late,” he sighed, letting go of the other teens collar and following Virgil, trying to calm himself down.
“Get to class Jan!” Virgil instructed his former friend.
“This isn’t over!” Janus replied. He didn’t come after them though. Good, Roman wouldn’t be able to refrain from using his powers a second time.
When they got outside and headed to building C Virgil laid his hand on Roman’s shoulder.
“You okay?” he asked worriedly.
Was he okay? “I’ll be fine, just pissed off. How about you? He was your friend for a long time right?” he asked instead.
Virgil sighed sadly. “He lives in the house next to mine. We basically grew up together I guess. And I tried to protect him from bullies as best I could, you know because of,” Virgil gestured to the left side of his face and Roman nodded in understanding.
“I didn’t realize he isn’t that same kid anymore. I guilted myself into sticking with him.
He was my friend, if I didn’t help him who would? He needed me. He stuck with me too. You get the picture. When he told me to take the same elective as him. I had enough. I told you about the summer camp I went to. What I didn’t mention was that it was a camp where they teach you to stand up for yourself. ‘your needs are important too’ and all that stuff. So when I got home I asked my dad to help me convince the principal to make sure I shared as little classes with him as possible. I felt shitty doing it. But at camp I also learned that me tolerating Jan so long isn’t helping him. Mrs. Danvers was on the right path when she separated us last year. We both need to learn be us without the other. And maybe when we’ve figured that out, we can try again.”
Roman nodded along, his anger finally calming down completely.
“What did he say?” Virgil asked. “Janus likes to brag that he is fluent in Spanish and French. I didn’t know he’d also learned slang.”
“He learned slang alright,” Roman huffed, back in a bad mood.
“I’m pretty sure he was just trying to get a rise out of me, which succeeded.” Why did he let that stupid word get to him? He should’ve just let it go.
“You sure you want to know?” he asked, not wanting to be the cause of more discord for his classmate.
“Yes. If it upset you that much, I do,” Virgil said firmly.
“Alright. Payaso, means clown,” Roman told him. Virgil nodded waiting for the other one. The one that had made Roman nearly see red.
“And… Chapero,” he felt his face reflect the distaste he felt just saying it. “It means- It refers to my…”
Roman gestured to his shirt, unwilling to say it aloud.
It was 2016! Being gay shouldn’t be looked down upon anymore. It’s just not right. That was what had bothered him really. Janus using his coming out to the school as a weapon against him. Especially because he lacked the spine to let Virgil know what he was saying.
“Seriously!?” Virgil growled already turning around, presumably to berate Janus on his behalf. Roman quickly grabbed the back of his hoodie to stop him. “We can’t be late. Not for him,” he reminded Virgil.
“You’re right,” Virgil agreed though he sounded extremely reluctant.
Soon they arrived in their classroom with a few minutes to spare.
Roman followed Virgil to a desk halfway the room. Not his own usual front row seat, but neither was it Virgil’s standard far back hiding spot.
“Well what do you know? My two favorite boys at one desk. Must be my lucky day!” Roman looked up from his backpack and saw that Stacey sat herself on top of his desk.
“Good morning to you too Stacey.” Roman offered politely. He knew it was his own fault, and she was his friend. But he was still a little jealous.
“Hi,” Virgil greeted casually, unknowingly making Roman feel significantly better. He didn’t look like he was very affected by the presence of a girl he was going out with.
“Ro. Guess where we’re going for our date?” Stacey asked, her eyes gleaming teasingly. She had called him last night to thank him and make sure that he was alright after being rejected. When he admitted he wasn’t technically rejected, he just panicked, she had burst out laughing. And now she was torturing him it seemed.
“No clue,” Roman admitted, noting that there was once again color shining through Virgil’s foundation. So maybe Stacey didn’t leave his neighbor as unmoved as he’d initially thought.
“The art studio! We’re going to go nuts on a blank canvas together. Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve ever heard?”
It was a great activity to do together for two artistic people. Virgil clearly knew how to plan a first date. Stacey was going to love it.
“Well… It’s basically just hanging out,” Virgil corrected Stacey quietly. And Roman almost felt bad for feeling so relieved. He was getting emotional whiplash from this conversation.
“Yeah. What did you call it? Vibe check?” Stacey wondered.
“Something like that,” he nodded.
“Basically we’re going to roll with it as friends and see if we click romantically while we are pouring our souls out on canvas. No click? No hard feelings,” Stacey explained with a casual shrug. Then the teacher came in and she hurried to her seat.
During class Roman did his best to focus on the teacher. But every now and then his thoughts drifted to Virgil and what it would be like if he was the one going to the art studio with him. He imagined Virgil teasing him, because he wasn’t that great at drawing. Pretty soon they’d start painting each other and then… The bell rang. Right class, crush next to him.
The rest of the day went rather pleasant. At least until he was walking to his locker after Drama with Miguel and Kelly. He could hear a loud bang before they rounded the corner. There was shouting in the hallway and he and his friends hurried to break up what they were sure was a fight.
His eyes widened in horror as he saw Virgil was being held against the locker by his former best friend. Several witnesses were yelling at Janus to let Virgil go, but no one seemed willing to actually do something.
Virgil stared back at Janus with steady eyes. “No!” he stated firmly.
Roman had seen enough. He dropped his backpack and shouted at full volume.
“Let him go Bullard!” Everyone else fell silent. Janus looked over at Roman as did Virgil.
“I’ve got this Roman,” the shorter boy stated.
“I know. But you don’t have to do this alone,” Roman assured him, feeling Kelly and Miguel coming to his side. Time for Virgil to learn what it was like when your friends had your back.
“I texted the others. They are on their way,” Kelly informed him quietly. Roman nodded to show he’d understood her. Then he turned his attention back to Bullard.
“I’ll ask one more time. Leave him alone.”
Janus released his grip and Virgil barely kept himself from crashing to the floor.
“Think you can take me Castile?” he scoffed stalking towards him, putting himself between Roman and Virgil. He came to a stop a few feet away.
“I’m not going to give you the satisfaction of getting me in trouble,” Roman replied firmly. His mother would murder him if he got detention.
“So you’re just talk then huh? Afraid to get your butt kicked in front of everyone? Trying to score easy points with Virgil? Hoping I’ll let you steal him from me that easily?” he taunted.
“Trying to repay him in some small way for saving my life yesterday. But none of that is any of your business. Virgil’s decision to finally break free from you has nothing to do with me, and everything with how you’re treating him. I don’t understand what he saw in you that made him stick around this long. But you took it for granted and now it’s done. Leave him alone,” Roman told him, hearing footfalls of his other friends arriving, once they were complete they started sending the crowd away.
“If you’re not going to help go to your classes.”
“No need for all of you to be late.”
“Go on. Nothing to see here.”
His gaze was trained on his opponent, but he could see and hear the crowd dispersing around them.
Janus’ eyes narrowed at him before his face and posture relaxed. He got a glint in his eyes, a smirk on his lips.
“What’s wrong Castile? Don’t want an audience? I thought you lived for the cheers of a crowd?” Roman let the words wash over him. If he didn’t get a reaction, he’d leave. He always did.
“Or maybe this is an exclusive event? Just for your little fanclub and Virgil? Is he your newest devoted follower?”
Roman quirked a brow. “You guys should head to class,” he told his friends.
“Ro!” Nora exclaimed in disbelief.
“You’ll all get in trouble if you don’t get to class in time. Now go,” he turned to Clara.
“Tell our teacher that Virgil and I will be there soon. I’m not feeling well and Virgil is looking out for me.”
“Making your friends lie for you Castile? Some friend you are.” That idiot really didn’t know when to shut his mouth.
“Or tell them the truth. Apparently Bullard want’s detention on the first day,” Roman corrected himself.
Clara nodded and his friends slowly walked away. Now Roman didn’t have to worry as much about holding back. He could convince one witness that nothing strange had happened if he used his powers. But all his friends standing so close? Not a chance.
“Now we’re talking! A private show, just for you Virge,” Janus looked behind him where Virgil was still standing, rubbing at his chest where Janus’ fist had pressed into him and looking at Roman with worry.
“Virge? You okay?” Roman asked, once more ignoring the taunts.
“Yeah, fine,” he muttered as he moved towards him, but Janus gestured for him to stop and Virgil obeyed, so suddenly that it almost seemed odd… Was that a reflex from years of doing whatever it took to appease his friend? Or should Roman take a look to see if his adversary was using some kind of power?
Being gifted wasn’t very common, or at least, knowing you were gifted wasn’t.
Animotropolis was one of only a handful of places in the world that had an a system in place to help gifted people for a reason. Roman knew he wasn’t the only one in the program right now, even if he was the only one in hero training, but he’d never met other members before.
Was Janus one of them? Or maybe self-taught? He could find out with just a well-timed peak…
No, not with Virgil so close and clearly upset. Looking meant seeing everything. Including how this situation was truly affecting Virgil. It felt… intimate and like a betrayal of trust.
He wouldn’t unless it was necessary.
“Just get to class. I can handle myself,” Roman assured Virgil. He could get to their classroom trough the hallway farther back. And once he was gone, Roman would be able to see Janus’ energy, read his intentions and defeat him without either of them getting hurt.
“Stop mocking me!” Apparently Janus didn’t like being ignored.
Roman readied himself to block the punch and failing that, absorb the impact so he could defend himself. But he never got the chance to do either.
Virgil had made his way between them somehow and was now sinking to the ground in pain as he clutched his stomach. Roman was next to him in a second.
“V… I” Roman glared up at Janus, who was staring at them stunned, fist still raised.
“Messing with him emotionally and mentally isn’t enough for you? You have to resort to physical violence as well? What kind of friend are you?” he demanded. He knew that this instance hadn’t been aimed at Virgil, but he hadn’t forgotten that Janus had clearly been too forceful when pushing Virgil against the wall.
For the first time since he’d met him, Janus didn’t have a snappy retort. He just looked away in shame and left.
Roman turned his attention back to his apparent guardian angel.
“You okay? Should we go to the nurse?”
Virgil shook his head. “No. Dad will lose it if he knows someone actually hit me. Let’s just go to class. I’ll be fine by the time we get there,” he assured Roman.
“Okay… If you are sure…” Roman allowed reluctantly. “Thanks for catching that one, but you didn’t have to. I did some self-defense courses.” More accurately he’s been trained in several forms of hand to hand combat for the past four years as part of his hero training.
“I would’ve been able to get out of harm’s way without hurting him,” he informs Virgil as he tries not to think about the fact that he, the superhero, had been saved twice by his romantic interest. And by the stars, it makes him like Virgil even more. Who wants a damsel, when they can have a knight in shining armor? Sometimes a savior needs saving. Then again, Virgil seemed like he could use some saving as well.
“I’ll remember that,” Virgil grinned trough his pain.
“Seriously though that’s the second time you’ve jumped to my rescue. Thank you,” Roman offered gently as he helped Virgil up and they both started walking to class.
Virgil grinned back at him through the pain. “Guess DreamPrince inspired me to be heroic,” he joked.
“He does seem to inspire a lot in you. I’m almost envious of him,” Roman admitted, not really looking at Virgil to hide his sincerity. “I’d love to be the one to inspire someone so much, artistically and the like I mean. Oh, that would be the dream. To be someone’s muse and have them be mine in return.”
Sadly Roman Castile didn’t inspire Virgil much. Not even remotely in the way Virgil inspired him. He was the one who’d made him want to be a hero. Thoughts of him had made him write monologues and characters, play and sing his heart out like never before.
He’s had other crushes. But Virgil seemed to be always there somewhere on the peripheral of his mind.
“That would be pretty cool I guess,” Virgil allowed, now seemingly back to normal.
“Are you sure we don’t need to have you checked out?” Roman worried. Virgil nodded firmly.
“I barely feel it anymore. He didn’t hit that hard,” he shrugged.
Roman decided to let it go.
The rest of the day went by without much trouble. Virgil even sat with Roman’s group over lunch. They didn’t sit next to each other for every class. Most classes they shared with a few of Roman’s other friends and they seemed to have decided that Roman had to be saved from embarrassing himself by method of constant supervision. So while they always sat close, they only shared a desk for English and History.
At the end of the day Virgil and Stacey left for the art studio and Roman couldn’t think of anything else than that all evening. That is until he got a text from Stacey.
“Awesome evening, no spark though. ;p Don’t blow it this time!”
Roman’s heart hammered in his chest. What was he supposed to do? Call him up right away?
No. He probably should wait for Friday. Hang out with him and see if sparks fly without the pressure of it being a real date. And if the evening sucked, well he had patrol after dinner, so that’d be too bad for any villains he came across.
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Passion and duty
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