USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS California (BB-44) sharing a dry dock, workers were prepping the two for mothballs.
To the left side, are USS Detroit (CL-8) (inboard) and USS Trenton (CL-11) (outboard). Next to the two cruisers might "possibly" be barbettes from the Illinois (BB-65). Below them are HMS Rupert (DE-96) outboard of USS Olympia, and HMS Berry (DE-3).
Behind them is USS South Dakota (BB-57), she was already deactivated.
LIFE Magazine Archives: 660920, 115818257, 115818232, 115818233, 115818228, 115818251, 115818271
Viewed from destroyer USS Mayrant (DD-402) and flying two large battle ensigns, the brand-new South Dakota-class battleship USS Massachusetts (BB-59) maneuvers agressively during the battle of Casablanca, November 8, 1942. Boasting nine 16in. guns and a top speed of 27 nots, “Big Mamie” was Task Force 34’s insurance against a surprise appearance from the French battleship Richelieu. (Navsource)
Photo and caption featured in Osprey Operation Torch 1942 The invasion of French North Africa by Brian Lane Herder
where can i hire someone to scream positive affirmations and occasionally and unexpectedly slap me in the face while i sprint at maximum speed on a treadmill blasting nightcore remixes to heaven is a place on earth
hii i love ur writings! can i request an imagine where the reader is allison’s cousin who moved to beacon hills and stiles has heart eyes on her since the first time he saw her? thank you!
༄ word count — 1.2k
፨ characters — stiles stilinski
☓ tw — none
⊹ cw — none
you roamed the halls of your new school, searching for your locker. 1108 was the number you were looking for, and when you found it, you let out a relieved sigh. you looked at the paper in your hand at the combination of 18 - 24 - 10, hanging your backpack on the hook inside.
moving halfway across the country to california wasn’t on your agenda for the year. you had to leave your friends, your house, and everything else for “your protection”, which you knew was bullshit.
being an argent, you knew moving was always something you’d have to do. when things got complicated or you and your mom became targets, your dad would pack up all of your belongings and drag all of you to somewhere far from where you were.
this time, it was beacon hills. but this time, it wasn’t just you and your parents. it was the three of you and your uncle chris, aunt victoria, and cousin allison. you were close with allison, and she offered to eat lunch with you every day until you made some friends.
you hadn’t even been at your locker for a full minute before you felt a pair of eyes on you. you looked to your right and didn’t see anyone looking at you, but when you looked to your left, you spotted a boy standing at his locker, staring right at you.
he had a buzzcut, and he was cute. he had his backpack thrown over one shoulder, and he was wearing a flannel, jeans, and a pair of converse. he looked kind.
when you noticed him, he got nervous, his body stiffening. he gave you an awkward smile before quickly closing his locker and shuffling away, meeting a friend at the end of the hall.
you chuckled to yourself and stared down at your schedule, seeing you had biology first period.
you sat on the bleachers during your free period, the sunlight making the cool air more bearable. the lacrosse team was doing try-outs, and the boy from earlier was there, although he was on the bench.
you were sat next to allison and her new friend lydia, who made it very clear that she was dating the team captain, jackson.
“who is that?” allison asked, looking at the goalie.
“him? i’m not sure who he is. why?”
as if he could hear them, he looked your direction.
“he’s in my english class.”
ignoring their conversation, your eyes shifted back over to the one with the buzzcut. you’d heard the coach call him ‘stilinski’, but you still weren’t sure of his first name. he groaned as his friend hit the ground after being struck in the face with a ball.
as he began catching the balls, cheers of ‘yeah!’ and ‘woo-hoo!’ left stilinski’s mouth, and he jumped to his feet when he caught jackson’s shot.
he looked around and yelled loudly, “that’s my friend!”
you laughed as everyone cheered, meeting his eye contact.
you stood outside the boys’ locker room, waiting for the kid who you knew only by ‘stilinski’. it took a few minutes, but eventually he stepped out, freezing in place when he saw you.
“oh, hey,” he said nervously.
“hey.” you smiled softly and gripped the straps of your backpack. “your friend did good out there.”
he nodded. “yeah, i think even he was surprised.”
a couple of seconds of silence went by before you spoke again. “y/n.”
“can i ask why you were staring at me earlier?”
his eyebrows raised and his mouth opened as he tried to think of something to say. “uh... i... i didn’t recognize you, i was trying to figure out if you were new.”
“yeah, i am. i just moved here.”
“oh, where from?”
“south dakota. my dad packed us up and moved us here last night.”
“i could give you a tour of the school. i mean, if you want to.”
you broke the eye contact and chuckled to yourself. “i think i’m okay. thanks though.” the bell rang and you looked at the stairs to your right. “i should get going. i’ll see you around, stiles.”
as you walked off, he shouted after you, “are you sure you don’t want that tour?”
“i’m sure,” you responded, not looking back so you could conceal your smile.
you stepped into your last class, where you immediately spotted stiles. he was scrambling to finish his homework, an extra pencil stuck out both sides of his mouth.
you chuckled to yourself and walked over, sliding into the seat right next to him.
“oh, hey,” he said, pulling the pencil out of his mouth.
“did you forget to do the homework?”
he nodded. “i got busy last night.”
you reached over and grabbed his paper, which was full of math problems, all of his answers wrong.
“what’s your grade in here?”
“bad,” he stated simply, which made you laugh.
“i can tell. all your answers are wrong.”
he groaned. “do you know how to do them?”
“yeah, i got an a in this class last year. i have to repeat it because i’m new.”
he lit up, adjusting his posture. “well, maybe you could... tutor me.”
you looked at him. “tutor you?”
“now why would i do that?” you asked sarcastically.
“i don’t really want to repeat this class.”
you nodded. “alright. we can study in the library after school.”
his eyes went wide, almost as if he didn’t expect you to say yes. “wait, seriously? you’ll help me?”
“and just multiply the x by two and you’re done.”
he wrote down the answer, still visibly confused. “um... okay.”
“you still don’t understand, do you?” he reluctantly shook his head. “that’s okay. it’s the beginning of the year, i think you’ll be fine.”
he leaned back in his chair and checked the time on his phone. that was when both of you realized it had gotten dark outside.
“shit,” you said to yourself, pulling your phone out of your pocket to see texts from both of your parents asking where you were. “i have to go home.”
you gathered your books in a hurry and shoved them into your backpack, stiles doing the same. he followed you back out into the hallway, walking quickly beside you.
“are your parents overprotective?” he asked, making conversation.
“god, you have no idea.” when you got out to the parking lot, he stopped you. “i really need to get home.”
“i just... i liked hanging out with you. even if we were doing math.”
you smiled. “i liked hanging out with you, too.”
just then, your phone rang again. you looked at the screen to see ‘dad’ displayed across the top.
“hello?” you asked, lifting the phone to your ear.
“where the hell are you? i called and texted you a thousand times.”
“i’m sorry, i was tutoring a friend. i’m on my way home.”
“we’ll talk more when you get here.”
the line clicked, making you roll your eyes.
“i have to go. i’m sorry. i’ll see you tomorrow?”
you pushed yourself on your toes and gave him a kiss on the cheek, making him go red.
“uh, yeah, tomorrow. yeah. tuesday. school.”
you laughed at his awkwardness. “bye, stiles.”
he gave you a goofy smirk and waved.
you may have just spent hours with him, but you planned on hanging out even more in the weeks to follow.
have a muse you’d like to play as an attorney but only know what law and order has shown you ? have a muse who’s committed some crimes but you don’t know what to google to find out how long they’d actually be in jail ( or prison ) for ? overall just clueless about these areas ? i got you !
if this helps at all, even a li’l bit, consider dropping a like or reblogging this post c: also consider going to the black lives matter tag on my blog and donating / signing a petition or two !
i know what i’m talking abt, just in case there’s some ppl wondering just how accurate this is ( obv i might get one or two things wrong, and in that case feel free to correct me ) . i am a legal studies major & criminal justice minor at my school – i’ve taken many law classes such as criminal law, business law, torts, employment law, rules of evidence, civil litigation and procedure, etc. i plan to go to law school next year, and i’ve interned at two different law firms and one circuit court. black women only make up 2% of the legal field and ur girl is just trying to change that <3
note: these are all based off of american laws bc i know nothing about international laws, but with a tweak to a google search it shouldn’t be hard to find the equivalent for another country !
now let’s begin ! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°
key terms before we really get started that are good to know:
legalese: yes, this is an actual word. it basically means the jargon/language of the legal world
legal specialty area/practice: this means the area of law an attorney specializes in. for example, one attorney might specialize in criminal law, and another one might practice corporate law. specialize and practice can be used interchangeably
attorney/lawyer: these terms are interchangeable, but attorney is used more often than lawyer
esq.: short for esquire. it’s basically the title that goes behind an attorney’s name in documents. so for example: miranda hobbes, esq.
paralegal: the legal assistant to an attorney. you have to be qualified for this job, which can come by way of passing an online course to specifically become a paralegal, or going to school for it
criminal law: involves prosecutors and defense attorneys, in most cases a jury, and really isn’t as dramatic as tv likes to portray it as but it certainly can be. it’s a lot harder to prove criminal cases as a prosecutor than it is to prove a civil case ( bc of a thing called burden of proof that u can google if ur curious ). punishment for the accused in a criminal case is jail time
civil law: encompasses literally every other area of law that’s not criminal law. there are no prosecutors or defense attorneys in civil law, that’s exclusively for criminal law. punishment for the defendant in civil law comes in the form of damages, which are mostly monetary. aka pay up, buck
lsat: law school admission test. you literally can’t get into law school unless you take this and get a high enough score ( ranges from 120-180 and no, the test has absolutely nothing to do with your knowledge of the law. it tests you on logic ). if you’re kim k, this does not apply
offender: someone who commits an illegal act, but they might not be in jail for it yet
detainee: a person who’s held in custody
jail vs. prison: jail is more so for minor crimes or where people who are awaiting their trial are held. prison is for the serious crimes and comes with longer sentences
bail: basically the amount of money assigned to someone awaiting trial, all based on their crimes. it's not a fine and it’s not a punishment; it’s supposed to be used as a way to ensure the defendant will appear for court, but mostly it’s used by rich folk to pay their way out of having to actually appear in trial. bail is complicated honestly, so i recommend doing a little google research to get a stronger grasp on it
recidivism: the chances of someone committing a crime again. someone with a high recidivism rate is more likely to commit a crime than someone with a low recidivism rate
elements: also known as the prima facie ( a lot of legal terms are in latin, btw ). to be found guilty of a crime or liable of a tort ( which means a civil wrongdoing ), you have to have met all the elements. for example, for someone to be found guilty of robbery, they have to have met all the elements of that crime. these elements are (1) the taking of property of another, (2) from that person’s presence, (3) by violence, intimidation, or threat, and (4) with the intent to do so ( taken from justia on google ). if even one of these elements are not met, then the person didn’t commit robbery. to find out the elements of a specific crime you want to apply to something, just google “ elements of _____ ”
degrees: most crimes have different level of degrees, which basically means different level of actions and their subsequent seriousness. the elements of each degree of a crime will differ from each other. for example, what someone does to be convicted of 1st degree assault is different than what someone does to be convicted of 3rd degree assault
suing vs. pressing charges: suing is done in civil court. pressing charges is done in criminal court. you sue for loss wages, you press charges for arson
writing an attorney !
personality: not all attorneys are cutthroat doodoo heads, but as my friends and i like to say, there’s a reason why lawyer and liar sound similar. fr though, it’s a v common trope to have attorneys portrayed as cunning people, but this isn’t something that has to be adhered to ! you all know how elle woods was, i’m sure. and i’ve met plenty of attorneys who are actual sweethearts – you only really have to be somewhat fierce when you’re in the courtroom, but even then that just depends on the person you are and what case you’re arguing. no need to be that aggressive if you’re a tax attorney, y’know ? feel more than free to write sensitive attorneys, attorneys who bond with their clients rather than see them as a paycheck, attorneys who get overwhelmed, attorneys who get sad, etc !
education & age: when writing a character who is an attorney, their age doesn’t really matter as long as they’re not too young. to put it into perspective, you need to complete your undergrad first ( ofc, though, this might take less time for some ppl who r really smart ). what you major in doesn’t really matter when applying to law school, but it also doesn’t make that much sense to have majored in biochemistry but want to be an attorney. common majors seen are english, history, criminal justice, and pre-law. an example of the route a future attorney will take ( and what i’m personally doing ) is taking the lsats your junior/senior year of undergrad and then going to law school the fall semester after you finish undergrad. but everyone’s different and law school is mad expensive, so some people might take a year off or more to work in the field and get experience before taking the lsats and going to law school, and some people might have an entirely different job for a number of years before deciding to go to law school. law school is 3 years, you literally can’t work your first year, and the students are called 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls based on their year. when you graduate law school you get your juris doctor and there’s now a JD after your name, but you then have to then pass the bar of the state you wanna practice in, where you’re basically being tested on all that state’s laws. you can’t practice or work as an attorney until you’ve passed the bar.
the specialty areas: bc there’s more than just criminal law, i promise. there are literally so many areas of law an attorney can specialize in, and some of these areas dictate whether they’re actually in court arguing in front of a jury or not ( bc some law is v mediation and negotiation based rather than trial based ). if you google “ list of legal speciality areas ” you’ll find a ton, but some examples of other areas of practice include environmental law, employment law, family law, bankruptcy law, adoption law, constitutional law, elder law, music law, copyright law, medical law, etc. there’s literally so many areas that could fit so many muses and their personalities !
the workload: lawyers work a lot, but i don’t think anyone doubted that. they don’t just go to trial though. a lot of work attorneys do involves meeting with clients, reviewing body camera/interview footage, doing this thing called legal research ( which is basically figuring out if there’s applicable case law or any statutes that can help someone’s position ), writing up legal documents to send to either opposing counsel ( the attorneys you’re going against ) or the judge ( and these documents include things like memorandums of law, requests for discovery, interrogation forms, etc. ), drafting opening/closing statements or direct/cross examinations of witnesses, and gathering evidence. some attorneys don’t even go to trial at all because the case doesn’t ever need to get to that point. there’s also a lot of mediation meetings an attorney can conduct. most of the time a lawyer will have a paralegal or an intern to help them with these things, but more so the paperwork side of it all.
the pay: it’s not all big bucks your first day as an attorney, but lawyers still get paid a considerable amount even when first entering the field. even then, though, this is also dependent on what state they’re working in ( bc someone in new york will make way more than someone in south dakota, regardless of field ), if they’re at a small law firm or a huge one or they work for the government or a celebrity, and what area they’re practicing in. lawyers can either get paid on a contingency based payment, or a retainer based payment, and both involve hourly billing. contingency means an attorney will get their cut of payment only if they win their case. retainer payments are when the attorney is paid by the client before the case even really begins, basically guaranteeing that they’re getting paid just for being hired and regardless of the outcome. any work at all an attorney does on a case goes to their paycheck – even literally just googling “ is there case law about this topic ” counts as work, and that is added to their timesheet. this is basically called billing your hours, and the client pays for the amount of work an attorney does. specific fee amounts obv vary.
writing a character who commits crimes !
the crimes itself: some crimes exist in some states that don’t exist in others. some crimes might have different elements than are in others. do some research ! i definitely encourage taking a close, analytical look at your muse and really figuring out what type of person they are and what crime would be something they’d realistically do. for example, i once played an oc who hated his negligent mother, but he had a pretty normal heart so i knew he could never do anything super extreme, so i had him commit arson by burning down the trailer she lived in as a sort of bitter revenge. some crimes can be done out of self defense, of course, and there are legal exceptions for when some is forced into a crime. a crime you could use for a more timid, unsure muse could be accessory either before or after the fact, meaning they either helped with the planning or helped with the escape. and then obviously when a juvenile commits a crime, there are lesser punishments and typically more sympathy regarded, unless the crime was really serious. there’s also white collar crimes, which deal less so with hacks and saws and more so with money and businesses. when writing a character who committed a crime once or does this actively, definitely look up the elements of that crime ( as discussed earlier ). even though you really don’t have to be all that accurate because you’re just writing, if you want to take it seriously then that’s a great research method to do that’ll make it that more real. you can also look up some articles on criminology and the psychology behind certain actions to help find something that’ll fit for your character !
the punishment: it’s smart to google what the sentence for a specific crime might be, but what a lot of people don’t do is apply it to the state their character is in / the state the crime was committed in. if you’re wondering what the punishment for your character would be if they were to get tried for what they’ve done, 1. figure out what state they committed it in or what state they reside in, and 2. google “ how much time for [crime] in [state]. ” note above in the key terms that there’s a difference between being in jail and being in prison, and a lot of crimes and their sentences will dictate whether your character goes into one or the other. don’t forget bail, even though i think the bail system is stupid and corrupt and makes it easier for rich people to get off and harder for less fortunate people to get off.
the aftermath options: like i’ve been saying, there’s jail and there’s prison. there’s also community service, if a judge decides to have a criminal opt for that rather than incarceration. there are also things called halfway houses, which are basically group homes for those who now have criminal records/have been released from incarceration to reside in before they’re completely thrusted back into society before they can potentially have time to regather themselves. these places are pretty cool, they usually teach the people inside handy skills to get a job or how to function back into society. besides these, there’s also parole. parole is the early release of a prisoner on the condition that they’ll abide by certain expectations set by a judge. these might be things like curfew, or agreeing to wearing an ankle monitor ( think scott lang from marvel, if ur hip ). if someone messes up their parole guidelines and breaks them, it’s back to jail / prison.
can you actually get away with it: yeah. especially if you’re a white male. if this “ offends ” you or you think it’s not true, bye. but there’s a lot of other factors that can go into why someone’s charges might be dropped, or why they might never be caught in the first place. as for the first one primarily, there could’ve been a mistrial, the person bringing forth the charge might’ve said screw it and ended it all, the accused could be acquitted, or, alternatively, they could’ve hid evidence really well or tampered with a crime scene, found a non-extradition site to jet off to ( which basically is a part of the world where they can’t be held criminally responsible for what they’ve done [but this is also dependent on the crime] somewhere else, if they’re smart about it ), or they fall off the grid. bail also can play a role in things, too. also immunity ! there’s immunity for public/governmental figures, and c*ps as we’ve seen recently. immunity can also come in a less formal way, if you know what i mean, by means of being buddies with the judge ( which is not allowed ) or having a way to intimidate or bribe the judge/jury/attorneys. if you've got the money, then you can pay your way out of it. it’s a little less realistic, yeah, but it’s definitely possible !
there’s really no right or wrong way to write an attorney or a criminal, but these definitely are things you should keep in mind. if you have any more questions or need clarification, you can shoot me a message and i’ll be happy to help to the best of my ability !
USS Indiana (BB-58) was a 35,000-ton South Dakota class battleship, built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned in April 1942. After shaking down in the Atlantic, she joined the war against Japan, operating in the South Pacific from late November 1942 into October 1943. Indiana then moved to the Central Pacific, where she participated in the invasions of the Gilbert Islands in November 1943 and the Marshall islands in January 1944. In April and May 1944, Indiana escorted carriers in raids on Japanese positions in the Carolinas. Beginning in June, she took part in the the Marianas campaign, including pre-invasion bombardment of Saipan and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The battleship screened the fast carriers into the Autumn of 1944, assisting in strikes on the Palaus and Philippines. After an overhaul, Indiana returned to the Western Pacific in January 1945, in time to participate in the invasion of Iwo Jima, carrier raids on the Japanese Home Islands and the Ryukyus invasion. Later she used her sixteen-inch guns to shell targets in Japan during the last weeks of the Pacific War.
This week [April 2021], the Montana legislature passed what is among the most, if not the most, extreme anti-pipeline protest laws in the country. Gov. Greg Gianforte, a man best known for assaulting a reporter and killing wolves, is expected to sign a bill [update: he did] into law that would criminalize protesting fossil fuel infrastructure. It would foist up to $150,000 in fines and 30 years in prison on individuals convicted of protest-related “vandalism” and $1.5 million in costs on any organizations charged as “conspirators.” Republicans legislators that have backed the bill have also singled out Indigenous-led protests as a reason for the bill [...].
Thirty states have some form of anti-fossil fuel protest laws on the books, many of which crib from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council’s model bill to protect what’s legally known as “critical infrastructure.” But even among these laws, the Montana legislation stands out. The fines and jail time are the steepest yet, and could be imposed on a “person who willfully damages, destroys, vandalizes, defaces, or tampers with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility.” Laws criminalizing trespass and vandalism are already on the books, though. Connor Gibson, an independent researcher who runs Grassrootbeer Investigations and has tracked the bill, said in an email that “it’s the loopholes built to punish nonviolent offenders that are the crux of the legislation in Montana and most other states.” [...]
Another wrinkle to the Montana legislation is its clear targeted response to Indigenous protesters. State Rep. Steve Gunderson, the primary sponsor of the bill, invoked the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in neighboring South Dakota as a reason for introducing the legislation. “We saw at the DAPL pipeline what can quickly happen: protestors chaining themselves to equipment,” he said at a hearing about the bill. “Protestors linking arms to ban crossing a bridge. That peaceful protest quickly changed into violent rioting, burning tires, burning vehicles, the throwing of homemade explosive pipe bombs. I’ll leave you with that visual, and the lingering smell of tear gas.”
“Treaties are already violated up and down, Native communities are routinely ignored on matters of sovereignty, why would they start caring now?” Gibson said, referring to the Republicans who backed the bill.
Headline and all text published by: Brian Kahn. “Montana is About to Become the Most Dangerous Place in America to Protest Fossil Fuels.” Gizmodo. 30 April 2021.
Montana’s new legislation, however, would allow environmental protesters to be jailed for up to 18 months if they obstruct operations at oil and gas facilities — and up to 30 years if they damage equipment. It seemed to be a direct rebuke to the Indigenous activism that had helped stop Keystone XL. [...] Despite similar testimony from several other representatives of Montana’s Indigenous communities, the bill sailed through the state’s House of Representatives and Senate, both of which have a Republican majority. [...] Kansas and Arkansas passed similar laws earlier this month, and in January Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill that makes trespassing on oil and gas properties a misdemeanor punishable with up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
In total, 15 states have enacted such laws since 2017, according to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, a nonprofit civil liberties group that has been tracking anti-protest legislation. [...] The most common provisions in these bills include lengthening jail terms so they stretch anywhere between six months and several decades, raising fines to the tune of thousands of dollars, and financially penalizing groups that help organize protests [...]. For instance, trespassing on property with a pipeline in Arkansas is now a Class D felony punishable with up to six years in prison [...].
The Montana legislation has the backing of the Montana Petroleum Association; the Montana Association of Oil, Gas, and Coal Counties; and the chamber of commerce in Billings, the state’s largest city.
The bills also have a striking resemblance to model legislation proposed in 2017 by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a membership organization for state legislators known for drafting industry-friendly bills. The organization has taken credit for “educating” lawmakers on critical infrastructure protection in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Mississippi, Indiana, North Dakota, and Wyoming — all states that either considered or have since passed anti-protest laws.
Headline, graphic, and text published by: Naveena Sadasivam. “Montana, Kansas, and Arkansas enter the arms race to criminalize protest.” Grist. 3 May 2021.
Milwaukee Ghosts - Justin’s bike and mine after riding though a pretty epic amount of thunderstorms and wind. Some of the best times I’ve had in a while. There’s a few more photos on my personal Instagram: @josegallina
destiel, 1.8k. pining, fluff, growing up together, etc! minor character/parental death, vague mention of John’s A+ Parenting. based on the mitski song (this is a repost because the first one got deleted)
I love everybody because I love you
Castiel first learns what love is when he’s eight years old and Gabriel, sixteen, is grumbling about driving an hour out of his way to find his girlfriend the rare chocolates she likes for Valentine’s day.
“Why?” he asks his older brother, and Gabriel sighs, melodramatic as always.
“That’s love, little bro. Remembering the little things and then putting in the time to make it happen.”
Cas thinks about when he told Dean his parents don’t let him eat candy. He thinks about how Dean has given him half his Kit Kat bar every day for the last year.
He thinks about the time he scraped his knee falling off the jungle gym and Dean spent the rest of recess picking dandelions to make him feel better. Yellow is his favorite color.
“You’ll understand when you’re older, Cassie. Love is about sacrifice, and commitment--” he goes on, but by the time Michael cuts him off, yelling from his office that you’ve only been dating for two months, Gabriel, stop preaching to Castiel, Cas has already sprinted up the stairs to his bedroom.
A broken piggy bank, $1.50 in pocket change, and several pleas to Gabriel later, and Castiel tucks a king-sized Kit Kat into Dean’s valentine box.
When you stood up, walked away, barefoot
It’s eight years later, one summer in high school, when Castiel realizes that there’s a difference between loving and being in love, and that he is, in fact, in love with his best friend.
He realizes this as he watches Dean walk away, sandals discarded and unnecessary in the soft grass, back to the picnic tables to get them both more fruit punch. It’s the annual junior class picnic, the official welcome to being upperclassmen, and the August sun casts a warm glow over Dean’s freckles, and Castiel knows.
Two seconds later, he watches Dean nearly get hit by an errant frisbee and completely forget his punch mission in lieu of playfully tackling its thrower, Benny Lafitte. He watches Lisa Braden, giggly and glowing and perfect as always, yelp as she’s almost caught in the crossfire, and Dean winks at her as he releases Benny.
He swallows thickly and turns his attention back to the patch of grass they’d been laying in, flattened where Dean had been just a few moments before. He wishes he hadn’t come to this particular realization.
And the grass where you lay left a bed in your shape
I looked over it and I ached
I love everybody because I love you
I don't need the city, and I don't need proof
Castiel goes to college in Chicago and pretends like the two-hour drive between them doesn’t mean anything. And it doesn’t, until Dean’s father gets a job back in Kansas halfway through his freshman year. Dean goes with him even though he’s an adult because the alternative is letting Sam deal with John alone, so Castiel spends most of that summer in Lawrence, dodging both his friends in the big city and his family back in Pontiac. He tells them all that he’s studying Kansas’ role in the Civil War, assisting in research back at the University, but he and Dean spend two months going on road trips with Sam.
His sophomore year John dies and Castiel flies back for the weekend, explaining his sudden departure as a family emergency and getting an extension on two papers. Dean holds his hand at the funeral but won’t look him in the eyes for two hours after, even as he refuses to leave Castiel’s side.
The boys move in with Bobby but that summer Dean shows up in Chicago, explanations lined up about not worrying about Sam anymore and wanting to see what about the city made Cas keep coming back. Castiel gets an internship and pretends like that was the plan all along. He quietly cancels his plane tickets to South Dakota.
All I need, darling, is a life in your shape
I picture it, soft, and I ache
Reach out the car window, trying to hold the wind
You tell me you love her; I give you a grin
Dean stays in Chicago. He moves into Castiel’s empty room when his original roommate moves out, he finds work at an auto shop, and he starts taking mechanic classes at a community college. Castiel isn’t sure why—he doesn’t want to ask. Afraid to look the gift horse in the mouth and risk having his happiness bitten off.
Then Dean starts talking about a girl. Then Castiel meets the girl, Cassie Robinson, and it all makes sense.
He pretends it doesn’t sting every time Dean brings her up, that the way his face lights up doesn’t burn, that he doesn’t feel physically ill the first time he meets her.
By the time Dean tells him he’s in love, gushing about Cassie in a way eerily reminiscent of Gabriel twelve years earlier, it’s turned into a dull ache that Castiel has mostly contained in the back of his chest. They’re on their way to Cassie’s apartment, the first stop on their way to a cabin spring break of their junior year, and the ache is suddenly threatening to break through his ribcage.
But the sun is warm on his cheek, and the radio is playing a soft summer soundtrack, so Castiel allows Dean’s happiness to wash over him long enough to forget who—or, more importantly, who isn’t—causing it. He grins at his best friend before turning his gaze back out the passenger window of the Impala.
Oh all I ever wanted was a life in your shape
So I follow the white lines, follow the white lines,
Keep my eyes on the road as I ache
Look at you, strawberry blond
Dean and Cassie break up, and Dean drinks for a month, but Castiel getting into Stanford for grad school distracts him just long enough to go back to normal (a normal that does not involve thinking about how Dean nearly kissed him when they were both drunk the night he got his acceptance).
This new normal involves staring graduation in the face, and California beyond that, and moving out of his Chicago apartment somewhere in this middle, which also involves coming to terms with moving away from Dean.
Until Sam gets his own acceptance to Stanford a few months later. Then Dean starts sending him links to two-bedroom apartments, and using “we” when talking about the move, and looks just as confused as Castiel when he asks about it.
“Well, yeah. I mean, with you gone, and now Sam—You thought you were going by yourself?”
And even though Castiel vaguely thinks this is a bad idea, and living with his best friend who he’s been in love with for his entire memory had been hard enough for the two years they’d been doing it, he can’t say no. Because every time he gets up the nerve to say something Dean calls him over and shoves his laptop into Castiel’s face, talking about hiking trails and flower fields and front lawns and dogs, and that quells any doubt he had.
They move to Palo Alto, into a townhouse with a lawn and a communal garden. Dean adopts a golden retriever.
Fields rolling on, I love it when you call my name
Can you hear the bumblebees swarm? Watching your arm
Two months into Castiel’s first year of graduate school they have a picnic, taking advantage of the lingering warmth of the California fall. Sam is off in the field playing with Zeppelin, obviously having used the ‘come meet my brother’s dog’ excuse to invite the pretty blonde woman (Jess?) chasing the golden with him. Dean is rambling about Star Trek and Castiel is paying half attention, the majority of his focus on the reading in front of him because professors don’t consider picnics an extension-worthy excuse.
He’s just started to get invested when he hears a yelp and looks up to see Dean Winchester, his best friend, most trusted confidant and the possible love of his life, swatting a bumblebee. Cas gasps, reading forgotten, and lunges across the picnic blanket to grab Dean’s wrist. “Dean.” He chastises, and Dean gives him a look.
“It’s a bee, Cas.”
“It’s a bumblebee, which are essential—”
“To our ecosystem, yeah, but it’s pretty essential to me that it doesn’t sting me.”
“It won’t sting you if you don’t swat at it.”
“You didn’t see the look on it, man. It meant business.”
“Bees are attracted to sugar. You probably just smell good.”
Dean grins. “You calling me sweet, Cas?”
And, well, no. He isn’t. He’s talking about the empty pie tin next to Dean. But the words make him realize just how close they are, how far he’d moved into Dean’s space in his efforts to stop his hand, how the force of the movement had pushed Dean almost back onto his elbows.
He opens his mouth to respond the way he usually does to Dean’s cavalier flirting, but the words don’t leave his mouth—which is, somehow, he swears, closer to Dean’s than it was a second ago. Just as Castiel is preparing to push back, clear his throat, and add this moment onto a growing list of almost-but-not-quite moments stretching back years, Dean sucks in a breath and closes the gap.
Castiel reacts before his brain can fully comprehend what’s going on, bypassing any shock entirely and kissing Dean back immediately. He lets go of his wrist, instead bringing his hand to the side of Dean’s face, stroking his cheekbone with his thumb. Dean pushes himself back up and wraps an arm around Castiel’s waist, pulling him essentially into his lap, and then they’re kissing, and Dean smells like summer and tastes like apple pie, and Castiel suddenly understands more than ever why bees are always buzzing around him.
It feels like a lifetime until it’s over, until they’re just staring at each other and out of breath, both scared to say anything and break the magic they’d accidentally created. The silence is only broken by a shout from across the grass, followed shortly by a tennis ball that nearly misses them, followed by 65 pounds of golden retriever that does not miss them and nearly topples Castiel in his pursuit of the ball. And then Sam comes running after the dog, still shouting—apologies, this time—and then there’s Jess, laughing hysterically, and then Castiel has to scramble out of the way because Zeppelin has made a U-turn, interpreting the whole commotion as a game of keep-away.
Dean meets his eye above the chaos and grins, and the sunlight hits his dirty blonde hair, and it’s so breathtaking Castiel almost forgets to smile back.
I just submitted grades for my intensive three week summer course. So glad to have that behind me. It wasn’t bad, but a bit stressful as the class began while we were in the Dominican Republic.
This morning I finished grading and sending emails, and then DH and I took five of the kids on a walk/bike ride/swim. The dog went into the lake for the first time. The kids loved watching her swim. DS went in after one of the tennis balls that Pumpkin didn’t want to retrieve.
Some of the kids are going to summer camp this month, and I’m currently trying to plan a road trip out west for later in July. So far I have camping reservations at three state parks, and am trying (unsuccessfully so far) to get us a second night in Custer (South Dakota). Camping isn’t my favorite, but I’m determined that my kids will travel and see and experience more than our small corner of the Midwest. This is the most economical way to travel right now, so we will make the best of it. In addition, we can bring Pumpkin. As we are planning on being gone for a couple of weeks, I don’t want her to stay behind. It definitely complicates travel though.
I think after seeing South Dakota, we will head towards Grand Teton National Park. I was there in grad school, and absolutely loved it (and knew nothing about it). It was exciting and thrilling to me to be out in the world on my own traveling cross country. I hope our kids will feel some of that on this trip too.