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#accidentally wrote most of chapter 22 (23
unpretty · 5 months ago
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Ari is like that bee orchid. Vaelon is gone. Like two people remember him. But every time someone looks at Ari's face they see a picture.
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anidealiveson · a year ago
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Thanksvember Master Post
Day 1 - Like Coming Home - It has a super rare “wholesome plot twist”! Without spoiling anything too huge, I really like that @julesherondalex took the time to talk about how important it is to take care of yourself first. You can’t love someone else properly, the way they deserve, if you don’t have that same love for yourself. I wasn’t expecting the heartbreaking scene, but the beautiful way in which that topic was was approached neither took away from the story or the joy.
Day 2 - Must Love Dogs - An incredibly fluffy (literally) fic that I loved reading. @rosehallshadowsinger did a really great job weaving Azriel and Elain’s canon personalities into this adorable AU scenario. It is obvious @rosehallshadowsinger took care to create believable personalities for two characters that didn’t get POVs in the books.
Day 3 - Striking Matches -  I have to say that I wasn’t at all attracted to an AU fic about firefighters. I was also not a big Rowaelin fan before that, but I was work procrastinating so I gave it a try. Wellll, 30 parts later, I found myself delighted at the writing and sad it was over. I couldn’t believe how well @shyvioletcat cat was able to entirely re-characterize these two into such a different setting, yet still retaining what made them popular in the books. Aelin was perfect in her role as a snarky schoolteacher irritating the stoic firefighter Rowan. And the descriptions of the kids lining up at the firehouse demonstration and Jake’s adorable prodding was icing on the cake.
Day 4 - Close Quarters -  I really loved the way @lady-therion wrote Nesta in this modern AU. I particularly like how she equates Nesta’s sometimes standoffish attitude as a very relatable personality trait. She has trouble reading people and gauging situations. It’s well written and the dialogue is unique for a plot that is common in ff!
Day 5 - Like A Lonely House - It’s got a colossal I love Lucy level misunderstanding mixed in with a lot of tension and angst. This Nesta that is full of sacrifice and duty and fire is how I imagine the Nesta who feels that she has a stake in the Fae world would be like. @featherymalignancy wove such a captivating new world in Macar, that it felt a lot like being introduced to the 8th court in the ACOTAR world.
Day 6 - Death Dance - There are several takes out there that touch on Nesta in the Ilyrian camps, but I love how @thewayshedreamed interpreted Nesta’s skills on the battlefield as a calculated dance. Nesta has always been a raging storm, but I love how @thewayshedreamed took care to show us a Nesta that channeled that storm into discipline. If SJM never intended to release a Nessian focused book, I would have considered this a satisfying end to their story.
Day 7 - One Night Standards - I love the way @sassyhobbits writes Aelin with her typical extremely sassy exterior, but also made sure to saddle her with a vulnerable side that runs deep. I normally don’t care for slow burns, but I like the pace of her relationship with Rowan here, and that they had to work hard at it. I also like the plot lines that involved their PR stunts and how the public grew to love them as well.
Day 8 - Goose Chasing - Its the most absurd plot of any fanfic I’ve read! The title is not figurative. Its really does involve chasing a goose. @rhysismydaddy did a fantastic job encapsulating the spirit of silly Cassian and grumpy Nesta in a situation they’d likely never find themselves in, yet making it entirely believable. 
Day 9 - Manon Chooses The Worst Babysitter Possible - It’s such a casual and fluffy and hilarious read. It was fun to read about a softer and more delicate Manon. Through this absurd mistake, @sarah-bae-maas did an excellent job really humanizing Manon and postulating a fun in-world domestic scenario. 
Day 10 - My Hunger Knows No Bounds -  @perseusannabeth manages to take a simple concept and weave a sweet narrative. I particularly love how @perseusannabeth incorporated her personal details into it and took the time to share her lovely culture with us.
Day 11 - Knowing me, Knowing you - We never got to actually see Aelin rule Terrasen (well we got a tinyyy bit) in the books. Though this was modern day, @nalgenewhore tells a fun story of what that could have been like.
Day 12 -  Forever (is a long time) - @noodlecatposts takes Elide and Lorcan’s completely polar opposite personalities and spins an interesting (and frankly quite adorable) story. All the rules crack me up. My favorite Lorcan is the one that reminds me of Luke Danes from Gilmore Girls. Currently, he is in the middle of grumpily fixing up her flooded room, so I am sure that my favorite parts are yet to come.
Day 13 - Go Your Own Way - I appreciate @tomtenadia for putting to words a scene that I desperately wanted in ACOWAR or even ACOFAS. A lovely parallel to an equally lovely Fleetwood mac song.
Day 14 - In Which She Makes A Friend - It is no surprise that the fandom wants Nesta to find her place in the Illyrian mountains and even bring about some social change with the female warriors. But the way @bookstantrash got there was such a wonderful and endearing journey. Big fan of the callbacks to how Kaelin was treated and the similarities to a certain Illyrian warrior was when he was younger. We got to see a sweet Nesta, who I’d like to think was attempting to make up for some of her regrets through taking care of Kaelin.
Day 15 - The Ranch - As a huge fan of Sweet Home Alabama, its should be no surprise that I loved this fic by @tacmc . I enjoyed the slow change that we saw in a stubborn Nesta as she opened up to this new way of life and reconnected with her sisters and found a home with Cassian.
Day 16 - Felons - Such a unique interpretation of Nesta and Cassian. I really like the self-sacrificing Nesta angle and @rhysismydaddy did a great job weaving intrigue into the unraveling of what we knew to be a her innocence. I never read The Witness, but this really made me want to.
Day 17 - Of Books and Timber - Cassian offers to build a shelf for Nesta. The way @duskandstarlight goes through the entire range of emotions through Nesta is brilliant. She starts out with cold indifference, but by the end, we get from her a sweet and tender gesture of gratitude. Showing that meeting each other halfway with small gestures is all they ever needed.
Day 18 - You Should Sleep In My Bed More Often - I absolutely loved this quick exchange between Nesta and Cassian after she accidentally injures him. I can’t believe how much I laughed out loud when Cassian said “I need you to protect me closer”. @charincharge​ perfectly captured the teasing childish essence of Cassian and Nesta’s hilarious victim-blaming was so on the nose that I might have thought this was taken right out of ACOSAF.
Day 19 - The Right Swipe - I really enjoyed this take on the inner circle mixed with the super modern online dating plot. I especially love that @redisriding created genuinely realistic characters (body issues, social anxiety etc). Great read!
Day 20 - Goldfish Prompt - What a fun read. I love how frantic and much personality Feyre had here. I love how dedicated to her fish she was, and how that made her super endearing. Cute read from @azrielsiphons
Day 21 - The One With The Snowstorm -  What I really like is that Cassian actually says that he is sorry for his part in Nesta’s exile. I am not bitter about it, but it was an interesting turn. They need to meet halfway here and I rarely see it so well written as @joysbell has done here!
Day 22 - Prompt - A lovely and cute and sweet prompt written by @crowsvalentine​! I love the ramp up of suspense just to get to the hilarious payoff. Its adorable and worth the quick read.
Day 23 - Fix It -  is one by @thewayshedreamed​ that I love in its simplicity. It’s a small little argument Cassian and Nesta get into, but its still compelling. It’s sweet and super endearing the way the two of them are written and the subtle way they work through it. Great read!
Day 24 - I Do Bad Things To You - The mob angle may have been done before, but I don’t think with as much care and regard that @tswaney17​ has been giving it. I how the canon personalities of the characters translate so well into this modern AU. Its very obvious that @tswaney17​ has done her research. I especially love all the details around Elain as a surgeon. The story is compelling and well written and every chapter has me wanting more.
Day 25 - Love Her Like She should Be Loved - This is an excellent fic that I really loved. @julemmaes did such a great job translating some of the canon tension from ACOFAS into a modern world. It’s ripe with emotion, drama and quite a bit of heart. I love how earnestly Cassian comes to Nesta’s defense even in the face of going against his entire family. I like the reference to some very real psychological struggles. I think a lot of people can relate to it.
Day 26 - Literally In Love - I really enjoy the subtle mystery that follows this entire journey. I enjoy that @julesherondalex keeps us guessing, while simultaneously weaving a sweet and tender story about two shy teachers and just a slew of mishaps worthy of a Shakespearian drama.
Day 27 - The Shadow Bond - I love Azriel, and this is such a wonderful fic by @radientwings​ focusing on how his shadows might work. His shadows are the one thing that I am most curious about him in the series, so it was lovely to read such a well written interpretation of them.
Day 28 - Exes and Oh’s - Just a shout out to @highqueenofelfhame​ for this lovely story about rekindling past love. I like that even though the plot was uncomplicated, the emotions were not. I love that Aelin didn’t have a perfect reason for what she did, but sometimes that is just how things are. This is a story about taking a second chance, whether it’s deserved or not.
Day 29 - Fever - I really love this fic called Fever. I enjoyed how @lady-therion​ portrayed Nesta. She hit the entire gammut of characteristics (snarky, worried, vulnerable, caring, short-tempered, flirty, you name it!) but it really worked here. I found this nurse Nesta to be endearing and relatable and the dynamic between her and Cassian was very sweet. Just go read the damned thing.
Day 30 - Baby Steps - I really really love this fic. @runesandfaes did such a great job in just so few words to show a really sweet moment between Chaol, Yrene and their daughter learning to walk. I love the parallel back to when Chaol was learning to walk and the cameo of the golden couch. So sweet.
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daaziscoolbesties · 8 months ago
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[REPOST] MY 2K WORD COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS OF RANBOO’S LORE STREAM
‼️‼️This post contains lore spoilers from Ranboo’s 4/23 stream, “The Enderwalk Saga. Chapter 1: The Lessons”. If you haven’t seen that stream don’t read ahead unless you want spoilers‼️‼️
disclaimer: this isnt really an analysis as much as a bunch of commentary and half-baked theories.
-on the way to the mansion he was sort of talking to himself saying stuff like "i'm good i'm good" which m a y be a normal thing but also maybe it's not and it flew over our heads cause he talks to chats and donos like that so often
-again, this one may just be a normal thing but when he was climbing up the stairs in the mansion looking for foolish, he repeats some of his words like down to the exact same tone of voice and everything. 12:42,  "this mansion is way too big actually. this mansion is way too big actually." (why the repeated actually? seems odd to me but again it might just be a normal thing that i haven't picked up on). (right after) "okay okay lemme find him lemme find him" again repeated words in the e x a c t same tone.
-does everyone know about ranboo's silk touch hands ability thing? or was that just a techno and ranboo main character moment. bc if it was, how would foolish know that ranboo could pick up the full cake after it'd been partially eaten. unless everyone on the sever knows about that in which case this means nothing. but if they d o n t know... how would foolish know? ranboo wrote about it in the do not read book so maybe if it's not a publicly known thing maybe foolish got his hands on the book and read it??
-14:53-ish, they're talking about the war room and how it was for tubbo or whatever and ranboo says, and i quote "he prepares for lore but he's never gonna do it." now funny thing is at first i couldn't tell if he said "war" like in reference to the war room or "lore". but after playing the clip over and over i can say with ALMOST 100% certainty that he said lore. there is a definite L sound at the beginning of the word. which either means a) this was a slip up (doubtful bc he said later that there were no mistakes), b) he broke the fourth wall because they were supposed to be rping at that point, or c) i'm completely wrong and he said "war" which leads down an entire other road of possibilities
-15:17 "are you a book reader?" "*checks inventory for do not read book* uh yeah i'd say i'm a book reader-" dunno how i didn't catch this the first time I HATE THAT DAMN BOOK
-15:18 there's blue in his hotbar. where did he get the blue.
-16:40 "it's like a metaphor- i have two minds: i have my normal self, my normal little shift-dancing self, and then the builder one. the builder one is demanding. it's a very demanding mind." ranboo then lets out a weird sigh after this. i feel like what foolish was talking about was an indirect(?) parallel to ranboo in and out of enderwalk, there's how he normally is, trying to do best for others, and then there's enderwalk, meeting up with bad guys and "demanding" things (its very late as i write this i really don't know what i'm talking about)
-17:11 "you have your panic closet" i'm sorry his what now 😀 no but seriously how the hell did i miss some of these
-18:04 "you're asking me if i remember?" very funny ranboo thank you for making jokes in these trying times
-18:25 WHY DID HE GET OUT THE AXE WHEN STARING AT THE BEE
-19:38 why did foolish hold the grass block- most of these observations probably mean nothing but- h u h - is that- i'm too tired for this
-19:54 "i never properly thanked you for the deal you made with me" so foolish got something out of this deal, we're not sure if ranboo did. "the green cardboard box" again do you mean dream's house- but seriously the only people i can think of on the server that are associated with green are dream and sam. and i have no idea what cardboard box could be referring to.  foolish got a lime colored shulker from drista
-20:30 "we're supposed to only talk about it at a certain location" hmm now where would that be? panic room maybe? cause like usually after doing a big thing in the enderwalk state ranboo wakes up in the panic room so maybe?  the deal was that they only talk about it in his house
-21:52 how does ranboo receive(?) the lessons? like are they whispered to him in his mind or is he seeing them as words in front of him like we see? hmm
-"Lesson 14: If you have the opportunity to gain a favor, take it." "gain a favor" don't you usually ask people for favors though? how does one "gain a favor"? anyways i'm pretty sure lesson 14 has to do with the deal foolish was talking about. (the deal explained because i now have info: at some point a bit ago foolish met up with ranboo and asked to make a deal, he'd gotten a shulker box from drista. the deal was that ranboo would have ownership of the box, it would be under his name but foolish rents/borrows it indefinitely. ranboo negotiated that if he took ownership of the box he would get a "war favor"  from foolish where if something happens that creates sides, ranboo can ask him a favor that could change his side. but why would foolish want ranboo to have ownership of the shulker you may ask? well i have an answer for you. a theory actually but still. basically since drista technically isn't supposed to give out shit on the server if someone where to have that stuff then they may get in trouble. foolish wants to be able to use the shulker but if it gets found he doesn't want to get in trouble, so he can blame it on ranboo seeing as it's under his name.)
-22:16-ish "i still have this from when you *can't understand whats said here*" well i guess that sort of explains why he had the grass block? idk man (info update: he had the grass block from when ranboo threw it at him telling him to calm down like what ghostbur does with blue)
-31:35 "i figured out how to cause it" how to cause the enderwalk state
-38:30 "ninety three lessons" I STILL DONT KNOW WHY HE KEPT SAYING NINETY THREE AND NOT NINETY FOUR AND ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY LMAO
-39:01 "it's all for the greater good" okay well when are you gonna start thinking about yourself and not everyone else for once huh. self care bitch.
-40:31 he started holding the axe when he was looking at sam- gonna say it i really don't like that axe ahahah- WAIT A DAMN MINUTE THE AXE IS NAMED "axe of ender" I DONT LIKE THAT I DONT LIKE THAT AT ALL
-41:53 is there something?? physically keeping him from telling sam??? or maybe it's sort of like his enderwalk state taking control to make him shut the fuck up??? so many questions and approximately zero answers
-43:18 ranboo raising his voice legitimately scares me 😀👍
-"Lesson 27: Do not reminisce on what you have lost for it will weigh you down." showed up when he was thinking about and REMINISCING about the community house 👀👀
-"Lesson 53: Never fully trust anyone." showed up literally after he said that he thinks he can trust the other people on the server enough to tell them about what he did
-"Lesson 67: Leave no evidence of what you have helped with." this is different from the others because there doesn't seem to be at least a semi-direct connection to it? unless maybe at the time ranboo was near something he may have "helped with"? not sure about this one
-"Lesson 94: DO NOT LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE" yeah yeah i get it i get it he's fucked up some shit in enderwalk i don't feel like analyzing this thanks
-OH OH NOTICE HOW HE SAYS "REMEMBERING" WHEN THE LESSONS SHOW UP. IMPLYING THAT THIS ISNT A NEW THING, ITS HAPPENED BEFORE AND NOW HES REMEMBERING IT. MAYBE HE WROTE DOWN THE LESSONS WHEN HE WAS IN ENDERWALK AND NOW THAT HES BEEN EXPERIMENTING ITS BEEN EASIER FOR HIM TO REMEMBER THOSE ENDERWALK MEMORIES
-okokok the experiments are that he's been e x p e r i m e n t i n g on how to purposefully induce the enderwalk state. and we know now that it wasn't from the pain of the water because on the stream afterwords he said that it's caused by the intense fear of something happening. and so the "side effects" of the experiments is that since he's in enderwalk more often(?) he starts remembering more things from it
-OH MY GOD WAIT "there is a reason sam, there's so many reasons, theres ninety three of them" (44:47) WHAT IF EVERY LESSON IS TIED TO A QUOTE UNQUOTE "reason" THAT RANBOO THINKS HES A BAD PERSON/NEEDS TO BE LOCKED UP BUT HE SAYS NINETY THREE INSTEAD OF NINETY FOUR BECAUSE THE NINETY FOURTH LESSON DOESNT HAVE A REASON YET/HE DOESNT REMEMBER IT HAVING A REASON
-dude honestly the whole sam part hurts so much this man is scarily good at acting
-46:46 "i cant put you in the prison you wouldn't be able to see michael anymore" bestie that's the point he doesn't want to accidentally hurt michael or tubbo in the enderwalk state—
-okay but there's no way that sam couldn't tell that ranboo was at least TRYING to confess to something- i feel like he definitely knows more than he's letting on because usually like when people do bad shit or admit to doing bad shit he's like in Prison Guard Mode™️ (he literally cut off ponk's arm because he stole some keycards or something) and whatever and idk what he knows but he definitely knows something and is trying to protect ranboo. or he's trying to manipulate him or smth either one works—
-50:38 "you are a good person" "i am?" you can hear my heart shatter. "yes you are" "i don't think so sam" "i do, even if you don't" "i really don't think so" and there it goes again
-51:25 hello badboyhalo i see you to the left of ranboo
-52:44 "but then my curiosity got the best of me" curiosity killed the cat, bitch
-52:54 "there's ninety three, ninety four, ninety- theres so many reasons!" SEE!! NOT ONLY ARE THERE THAT MANY LESSONS THERE ARE REASONS THAT CORRESPOND IM S O SMART—
-52:56 "i don't want to remember anymore!" *quietly brings forth my theory that when ranboo loses a canon life his memory gets wiped*
-53:13 "ive opened pandora's box" isn't the prison?? literally called pandora's VAULT??? so this m a y be a stretch but i'm thinking that maybe this could be taken in the literal sense that he "opened" the prison and let dream out (the sirens at the end of quackity's stream confirm that dream is indeed out)
-53:42 mans just straight up walked through a ghost i—
-55:37 so are we just gonna ignore the eleventh page of the book? "he's alive, but hopefully soon dream won't be"??? alright nevermind it's most likely bc when tommy came back he recruited ranboo in his plan to kill dream
-55:47 notice how he writes "what am i?" as opposed to "who am i?" no elaboration here idk what it could be
-56:08 just so it's clear for anyone who doesn't know- he's wearing armor at this point, and i'm like 90% sure that when he wears his armor water can't hurt him. and i saw someone say somewhere that like with splash potions when thrown it turns into a gas-like thing? so again, it didn't hurt him, he didn't get hurt. he said in the chill stream that he wasn't comfortable making it where his character had to hurt himself to do that. the thing that causes the enderwalk isn't pain, it's intense and sudden emotions like fear and stress. thank you for coming to my tedtalk.
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bonvoyagenoona · 10 months ago
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The Cul-de-Sac Cons | JJK, JHS | 01: The Job
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pairings: jungkook x reader, hobi x reader
rating: 18+ / Mature
c/w, themes, & more info: fic page | masterpost
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chapter 01 preview:
“And this is…?” you ask Sejin, gesturing to the black-clad stranger.
The stranger smirks. “Jeon Jungkook.” He moves from hunching forward in his chair, legs spread wide, elbows resting on his knees, fingers intertwined, to half-standing and extending his hand to you for a high-five.
You shoot him a quizzical look. When you don’t high-five him back, he laughs, amused, and sits back in his chair.
“Alright, well, shall we get down to it?” you ask, turning back to Sejin.
“You haven’t introduced yourself,” Jungkook replies, his curious eyes still trained on you.
“You know her,” Sejin tells Jungkook with a smile. “This is The Seller.”
Taehyung and Jimin’s faces widen with surprise. Even respect.
You can’t help but feel proud at the fact that your reputation now precedes you.
Jungkook’s expression is blank, but at least that cocky smirk has been wiped off of his face.
Sejin grins softly. “Forgive him. He’s meant to be the muscle.”
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01: The Job
When the given address turns out to be a grungy, dilapidated warehouse, you can’t help but scoff and roll your eyes. Cliche , you think. You can already get a sense of the task at hand, some mid-level job that won’t call for much creativity in the planning, nor any fun in the execution. You’ve immediately lost respect for whoever this client is. The workload you’d taken on in the past couple of months was already feeling stale, and you’d hoped that taking a chance on this new client might bring you something exciting. 
You drive around the block to do another scan. None of your sensors are chirping, which means you’re most likely alone. And then you pull into the abandoned lot, choosing a particularly shadowy spot to park. It’s tedious, showing up two hours early to make sure things are up to snuff, but your process has saved your hide from raids and idiots. But like with your usual suspects, you feel safe enough to at least put a little bit of music on while you wait and monitor the situation. 
You’re even prepared for that. You have a playlist for it, slow beats, no vocals, lest you draw attention to yourself. It’s burned onto a CD, helping you to stay untraceable, and whispering through your beat-up, junker’s speakers now. 
Leaning back in your seat, and sighing, your eyes fall to your hands on the steering wheel. You pick them up and look at your nails. They’re a bit grubby. You haven’t had a manicure in a while. Maybe part of your take from this job can go toward that. And a pedicure. Maybe a whole spa day.
Scoffing, you think, Fuck it. A whole spa week. At one of those fancy places too, where people bring you delicious and relaxing things that you didn’t even know existed, much less think to ask for. Where people lose their jobs if they look you in the eye. Maybe somewhere out of the country. 
The take should be able to cover those expenses a thousand times over, at least. 
You have to keep reminding yourself that you’ve done well with your shady little shop on the dark web. You do an exquisite job, and your rates now reflect that. It helps that your techy, gunslinging skill set also includes a natural ability to skim the veneer with people. 
After all, every business is defined by its customer service.
Being superficially charming helps with your personal life as well. Every time Mom or Pops calls to thank you for the money or gifts you send them, or to pass along gratitude from any of your other family members for the things you send abroad, they buy your cover story. 
You pull out what you lovingly refer to as your “work phone”, an old, bubble gum pink slab of plastic with a fake real estate company sticker on the back. A stranger would open it up to see a stock photo of a house with a FOR SALE sign in the yard and judge it as some basic nonsense. Mom or Pops would open it up and start bragging about how well you’re doing as a real estate agent. 
That is, if they could open it up.
Your work phone is a device that you’ve so masterfully crafted, encrypted and organized so precisely that the rotating schedule of new IP addresses and contact numbers is fully and securely automated. You’ve even taken care of your most frequent clients, the process keeping them up-to-date with how best to contact you. It’s the one thing that stays with you, forever.
Opening the phone now, you double-check to make sure the screen is at its dimmest setting, and you look around before checking for any updates in the direct message with the warehouse address.
Client 93 (9:22 AM): I’m in the market for a mid-century modern, 4 bedrooms. Maybe some green space for the kids. Any suggestions?
You (9:22 AM): I can think of a few good options. 
Client 93 (9:23 AM): Great. Let’s chat. 10 AM Tuesday.
You grin at the message.
The basics of your ordering system are relatively easy to figure out. All clients are anonymized and numbered sequentially. Times are understood to be PM. All addresses for meeting spots must be hyperlinked, providing a degree of separation and a potential argument for plausible deniability should things ever get messy, legally. 
But the ordering nomenclature is what you’re really proud of. You chose real estate because it’s something that not a lot of people in your life really know much about, and though it takes some extra effort for you to get educated on the ins and outs, the language suits what you need perfectly. 
There are six styles that you specialize in: Ranch, Modern, Tudor, Spanish, Craftsman, and Victorian. The styles denote the kind of work to expect, and the size of the total take. Clients order your services depending on the job they want to hire you for. Most of your jobs are Ranch style homes, which usually run about $10k and only require some light work. Stuff you can do online, alone, and in your sleep. 
The number of bedrooms tells you the number of team members to account for when splitting up the take. Last month’s Spanish style home introduced an element of violence when you had to work to get past armed security. The request was for a six-bedroom, though, and your cut of the $500k take mostly went to some medical bills after someone on the team accidentally alerted a guard.
You grin when you re-read Client 93’s message because you finally feel like you really know what you’re doing.
And then your smile shortens a bit at the client’s conversational tone. They seemed to know what they were doing, too. That’s why you thought that this job might be more thrilling than the others. It might’ve presented a real challenge. It remains to be seen, but seeing this meeting venue makes you think that maybe the client is just a romantic who has a way with words.
You sigh lazily, put your phone back in your pocket, and wait.
About fifteen minutes before the appointment is set to begin, another car pulls up to the warehouse. You duck down and pick up the handgun in your passenger seat. You hover your finger over the safety, watching the new stranger very carefully as he opens the door of his car.
A boot softly lands on the concrete.
The door closes with a muted slam.
The stranger looks around before straightening his jacket and fiddling with his sleeves at the wrists.
And then, he just… waltzes inside.
You shake your head.
But aside from his seeming haphazard absent-mindedness or disregard for his own safety, you two have lots of surface similarities. Just like you, he’s driving what only seems to be a clunker; you know from the sound of the engine that the beat-up body is just for show. Like you, he’s clad in all black, but not in a way that draws attention. Also like you, he seems to have an affinity for leather. 
You always wait until ten minutes before the appointment to go inside, but you get the impulse to wait a little longer because you haven’t seen anyone else pull up. The request indicated that you’d be working with three other people, and there are no other cars within the radius. But rather than feeling like something is amiss, you feel irked at the prospect that the meeting won’t start on time.
At two minutes ‘til, you decide that it’s probably alright to head inside. No one else has shown up, but nothing else has exploded or given you any reason for alarm. Yet. 
You place your gun in your jacket pocket, and you follow the path that the driver took.
You come upon a big, open area with a foldable card table at the center. Four men look up and stare at you as you cautiously approach.
“Someone’s buying a house?” you say, stopping a few feet away. 
In your pocket, your finger hovers over the trigger of your gun in your pocket. 
“I am,” one man says. He’s wearing a pair of thin-rimmed glasses. You take this to be Client 93. He smirks at your hand placement. And then he shows you his empty hands. He looks to his right at two of the other men, who do the same at his prompting. 
All eyes fall to the black-clad stranger that you saw outside, who scoffs and shows his empty, upturned palms to you.
“Come join us,” Client 93 replies. 
You slowly bring your hands out of your pockets and sit in the last available chair. Apart from the one wearing glasses, the men look particularly confused to see you. You always wonder what it is about you that makes people stare at these meetings, but then you remember that for whatever reason, it’s still somewhat of a shock for women to be doing this work.
Client 93 grins at you. He speaks like he wrote in his message, the tone more suited for bumping into a neighbor at the grocery store. “I heard you were precise. Do you always show up right on time?”
“She’s been here for a while,” the black-clad stranger says. 
Your eyes flash over to him.
“Should’ve found a better hiding spot. Saw your car on my way in,” the black-clad stranger explains, sneering.
“Glad you’re alive to talk about it, with you just waltzing in here without checking for booby traps or anything else,” you hurl back, making him frown.
“Already pointing out each other’s weaknesses,” Client 93 says, smiling genuinely. “I like that. It’ll make for a stronger team.” 
He leans over to shake your hand. 
“I’m Sejin.”
He looks over to the two men to his right.
“Jimin,” he introduces, nodding over to the blonde undercut in the red suit. He’s leaning his chair back, his left ankle resting on his right knee, teetering slightly back and forth as he rests his arm on the table. His seemingly innocent face is probably his biggest asset. You wonder what kinds of trouble he’s gotten into, and dazzled his way right back out of, in the past.
“Taehyung,” Sejin goes on, looking at the black curls in the gray suit. Though you can’t see his eyes through his hair, he seems soft. But with that thick neck, that mouth set in a slight frown, and those big, strong hands, you know that must regularly leave destruction in his wake.
“And this is…?” you ask Sejin, gesturing to the black-clad stranger.
The stranger smirks. “Jeon Jungkook.” He moves from hunching forward in his chair, legs spread wide, elbows resting on his knees, fingers intertwined, to half-standing and extending his hand to you for a high-five.
You shoot him a quizzical look. When you don’t high-five him back, he laughs, amused, and sits back in his chair.
“Alright, well, shall we get down to it?” you ask, turning back to Sejin.
“You haven’t introduced yourself,” Jungkook replies, his curious eyes still trained on you.
“You know her,” Sejin tells Jungkook with a smile. “This is The Seller.” 
Taehyung and Jimin’s faces widen with surprise. Even respect.
You can’t help but feel proud at the fact that your reputation now precedes you.
Jungkook’s expression is blank, but at least that cocky smirk has been wiped off of his face.
Sejin grins softly. “Forgive him. He’s meant to be the muscle.”
“Obviously,” Jungkook says under his breath, missing the diss completely but laughing to himself about all of your comparatively weak builds.
Sejin points to himself. “Needless to say, I’m the brains of this outfit.”
You doubt that, given that he’s introducing his team using their real names.
Sejin nods again to Jimin. “Cars.” 
Then at Taehyung. “Guns.”
“Wait a second,” you say, planting your soles against the floor a little firmer. “You said that you were in the market for a mid-century modern. Why do we need muscle, cars, and most importantly, guns?”
“Yeah, why do we need guns?” Jungkook teases, eyeing your jacket pocket.
You narrow your eyes at him and hover your finger over the trigger. “I’m talking about the nature of the job. This is just a bit of protection.”
“Ah, who needs protection?” Jungkook says, arching his eyebrow at you and sticking his tongue out at you.
You roll your eyes and turn back to Sejin. 
“Let me explain, before you blacklist me,” Sejin offers. 
He scoots forward and sets a phone on the card table. 
You look at Sejin skeptically for a moment before scooting your chair forward, too.
Jimin and Taehyung remain in place, seemingly already having heard this spiel.
But Jungkook copies your movements and leans on his arms on the card table, peering down at the phone screen.
It displays a high-resolution picture of an abstract painting. It’s a small 1x1 canvas, framed ornately. It’s an obscure piece, one that most people wouldn’t know about. But its moody colors and patterns are unmistakable to you.
“A Gomez?” you ask, looking up at Sejin and unable to fight your smile. “That’s definitely not a mid-century modern kind of ask.”
He chuckles. “What should I have asked for instead?”
You’ve designated Victorian houses for these kinds of outrageous jobs, but these take years and years of planning. Or so you think. You’ve never actually gotten a request for one before. Now, you wish that you had. Because you don’t quite know how to work a job that will have a $50 million take. 
Your fear takes over.
“I’m out,” you say, standing up.
Sejin frowns. “What? Why?”
“This requires a huge team and more resources,” you say.
Sejin nods. “And how do you know I haven’t already accounted for those?”
“You said a four-bedroom,” you reply, gesturing to the team around you. “You need at least ten.”
“Not for this phase,” Sejin tells you.
You crumple your lips together. Sejin really is the brains of this operation. 
“It’s the final phase in our project,” he goes on, and Jimin and Taehyung smile. “I’ve been after this one for a while. Hoping you’d be able to help me out with the unique nuances needed for this last stretch.”
He looks deeply into your eyes and picks up on something within. It frightens you a bit, the way he latches onto you.
“You’ve been impressive in the amateur leagues. Don’t you want to start having some real fun?”
The way he says it. 
Quietly. 
Seductively.
You sigh and relax again.
Sejin looks over at Jungkook. “Any concerns on your end?”
“Nope,” Jungkook replies, drumming his hands on the table. “What do we need to do?”
Sejin explains the details to you, the plan so ingrained in him that he doesn’t need any notes or visual aides, and Jimin and Taehyung are lazily mouthing along to his words.
“I’ve already located the Gomez. All my work up to this point has led me to find out that it’s being prepared for an auction downtown. It’s being delivered in three days. We’re going to steal it as it’s en route, in an armored truck being driven and accompanied by armed guards, and escorted by the art dealer in charge of selling it.”
He looks around the table as each person’s task comes up. 
He starts with you. 
“We need your expertise in disrupting telematics and communications to make sure that the driver and guards go off the grid.”
He nods to Taehyung, Jungkook, and Jimin as they come up.
“Once that’s done, Taehyung will disable the truck and keep watch as Jungkook steals the painting, and Jimin drives the getaway car.”
He takes his phone back and puts it in his pocket.
“The next three days will be spent going over everything, from every single detail of the truck itself, as well as all possible routes that the truck will be taking, even studying the city and traffic flow to be prepared for decisions made by their team on the fly.”
And then he looks at you and Jungkook specifically.
“I hope you’ll find our accommodations comfortable.”
You furrow your brow. “Accommodations?” 
“Yeah, here, at the warehouse,” Sejin replies. He gestures to some shadows behind him. “We’ve got cots set up for everyone. We hooked up running water to one of the old employee showers in the back. And there’ll be tons of food and drinks stocked in the break room fridge.”
You furrow your brow. “Hang on. You didn’t explain any of this in the---”
“Maybe I haven’t made things clear,” Sejin says. He’s losing patience, judging by the way he’s folding his arms, which prompts Jimin and Taehyung to stand and flank him. “You are doing this job. And you are doing it my way.”
Jimin and Taehyung grin at you as they hold up their guns, Jimin holding up a Beretta M9 in each hand, and Taehyung smirking as he leans back against his upturned AK-47.
“Where the fuck did those come from?” Jungkook mutters to you, his eyes wide.
You think through the situation carefully, but quickly. You obviously can’t outrun the guns. You’re stuck here for the night, at least. They won’t hurt you because they need you, so you’re presumably safe for the next three days. Sejin mentioned phases, which means he must have the resources to follow you, especially if he’s dared to set his sights on an original Gomez. The best thing to do is get through this job and get your take. Think about what you can control, and don’t worry about the rest. Focus on the scale of the task right in front of you. 
Treat this like any other job.
There’s something else keeping you from doing that, though. 
This job is vastly different in another way. There’s a thrill in the air, goosebumps flowering all over your body. 
You hate that you like this. 
You hate that you’re like this.
Sejin looks at you expectantly. “You wanna play with the big boys?” 
You meet Sejin’s eyes, and you give a small, wicked grin.
Sejin hovers over you and Jungkook, and for the first time, his smile looks sinister.
“Then get ready to work for it.”
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“You’re there.”
Taehyung points his index and middle finger in a V to two cots that lie side by side.
“We’re there.”
He turns around and points his V to two more cots.
“Where’s Sejin sleeping?” Jungkook asks sarcastically. “The VIP room? The Presidential Suite?”
Taehyung giggles, but Jimin furrows his brow and shakes his head warningly at him.
“Don’t worry about it,” Jimin says to Jungkook, with dead eyes and a fake smile.
You’re impressed at how quickly Jimin can turn the dazzle on and off.
“Jimin!” Sejin calls, and Jimin jogs back over to the card table.
Taehyung sits on one of the cots and lays his AK-47 across his lap. You stare at it, a little nervous. “Look,” he says, catching your slightly pained expression, “it’s like he said. I’ve worked with him on these projects for years. I’ve never seen him rough up a hire who just treated this whole thing professionally.”
“Sure,” you say, rolling your eyes.
“I mean it,” Taehyung says, seemingly earnestly. “He likes to use contractors only once. Just do what we say, and you’ll never see us again.” 
He looks up at you and wiggles his fingers expectantly.
You sigh and pull your trusty Sig Sauer M17 out of your jacket pocket. “And will I ever see this again?” you ask, handing it over to him.
“You’ll get it back in the morning,” he says, surprised that you even had to ask. Then, Taehyung realizes and says,  “He doesn’t mind if you have them on you when everyone’s awake. But at night, he wants all the guns kept in one place. As a precaution.”
Taehyung looks over at Jungkook and does the same.
“I meant it when I said I didn’t use protection,” Jungkook says with a naughty grin.
Taehyung doesn’t react. He just keeps his hand outstretched.
Jungkook frowns. And then he reaches into the back of his jeans and pulls out a Glock from his waistband. 
You scoff, meeting Jungkook’s playful smile with a sour expression. And then you sit down on the nearest cot. 
“Guess I’m sleeping on this one,” Jungkook says pointedly, watching you as he crosses to sit on the cot on the other side of yours.
You look at Taehyung thoughtfully, as he admires your gun. 
“You’re really gonna keep watch and everything?” you ask.
Taehyung looks around. “Well… I mean… yeah. That’s kind of why we have this whole setup.”
You huff. “How am I supposed to do all my work without my stuff?”
“Supplies are coming,” Taehyung says, taking the clip out of your gun and examining it. “Wow. For a computer nerd, you’ve kept your gun maintained really well. Clean. Responsive.” He smiles at you. “Good job.”
You scowl at Taehyung’s appraisal.
“Ooh, do me, do me!” Jungkook says excitedly.
You and Taehyung turn to look at him.
“Well, when you handed your gun to me, it was all sweaty, so…” Taehyung replies, looking a little disgusted. 
Jungkook nods knowingly. “It’s probably the leather pants. I always get swamp ass.”
You turn back to Taehyung, desperate to change the subject. “Is there a TV or something? Books? Anything for entertainment?”
“You ask a lot of questions,” Jungkook observes, making your blood boil.
Taehyung shakes his head, replacing the clip in your gun. “No entertainment except the kind we make for ourselves. Learn to appreciate the silence now.”
Groaning, you strip your jacket and shoes off and climb into the cot. “Fine. I’m going to sleep.”
“OK, then,” Taehyung says. “Night.”
You shut your eyes, but you still feel Taehyung’s eyes on you. You open your eyes again and look at him. “Wait, are you seriously going to watch us sleep?”
Taehyung nods. “That’s my job.” And then he smiles. “But it’s nice to have something pretty to look at for a change.”
You lie on your side and try not to lose it. In addition to the unintelligible mix of fear, anger, and annoyance, you feel pretty damn stupid for getting caught up in this mess. Especially when you had come into the warehouse thinking you were some kind of big shot.
Jungkook looks around the empty warehouse, clicking his teeth, punctuating the faraway conversation that Jimin and Sejin are having. Then, he sighs loudly, resigned, and takes off his jacket and boots. 
“I guess I’ll sleep too,” he says, getting into his cot and climbing under the blankets. 
He lies on his side and faces you, tucking his hands under the pillow.
“Sweet dreams,” Jungkook says to you, with a cheesy grin. 
“Ugh,” you reply, rolling over and shutting your eyes.
You’ve always been a good sleeper. You can block out most things. You can force yourself to sleep. It’s a good thing, given some of the work you’ve done. The things that you’ve needed to block out. So, despite the knots in your stomach, the clicking of Taehyung messing with and muttering with repugnance at Jungkook’s sweaty gun, and Jimin and Sejin’s hushed voices, you start to fade.
The problem isn’t that you can’t sleep.
The problem is what you see when you sleep.
And what you hear. 
What you feel. 
Faces of the people you’ve had to put down. Gravel pressing into your cheek as a foot holds your head to the ground. Screaming. Bullets ricocheting. That nasty stab wound that you got in your thigh, millimeters away from your femoral artery.
Even the smaller jobs have their ghosts. Under the right context, a twig could snap, and you’d abandon everything to start over somewhere else. The thing that you listen for most, though, are strange footsteps crossing in front of your apartment. This apartment, or the one in the city before, or the one before that. You listen for the sound of boots. Guns cocked and at the ready. Whispered directions from a team lead. People could argue that to you, all footsteps are unfamiliar, with how often you move. But people also don’t know how to tell the difference between unfamiliar and strange. 
The other life, the one that you had with Mom and Pops, is far away. No one in your family asks you any major questions. They’re just happy for the new TV, or that month’s mortgage check, or the money for Granny’s surgery. They tell you how proud of you they are all the time. That they love and miss you. But you haven’t seen them or been home in 10 years. No one asks you to come home, either. You’re partially thankful, because that would put them at risk. But you also get the sense that they fear what your shiny, new eyes would take in, seeing them in the meager life that they lead.
The worst dreams, by far, are the ones from your childhood. Tons of sunlight. Backyard grass between your toes. Mom singing while she cooked. Pops singing along, off-key. Friends telling funny jokes. Warm hugs. Beautiful reminders of how happy and simple things to be.
Gut-wrenching reminders of how things got so messed up.
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You wouldn’t have expected such a delightful breakfast buffet to be showcased on a rusty, dust-covered card table in a warehouse forgotten by time, but then again, you’ve never met someone quite like Taehyung. 
He places a hand to block Jimin from reaching for some eggs.
“Wait!” Taehyung exclaims.
He looks around and places the last few flowers on the table, turning the spread into a social media-worthy post.
“Aw, excellent touch, Tae!” Jimin cheers, ruffling Taehyung’s hair. 
Taehyung beams with pride. You have no idea where he found those flowers. You hadn’t thought about it, but you wouldn’t have expected a munitions expert to have this kind of an eye for delicate aesthetics. Now that you see how his eyes gleam at the breakfast spread, the same way his eyes gleamed at the elegance of your Sig Sauer, which is comfortably and reassuringly back in your jacket pocket, you realize that it kind of makes sense.
There’s a nuanced beauty to both.
You and Jungkook try to stifle your shared, fond smiles as best as you can. You hand him a paper plate, and he falls in line behind Jimin.
“Did you guys cook all of this?” Jungkook asks, heaping piles and piles of food onto his plate.
Taehyung and Jimin laugh. “No, we do a food run every morning,” Jimin explains. “Sejin likes us to start the morning like this. Puts us in a good mood.”
“Ah, a benevolent overlord,” Jungkook reflects.
You notice that Jungkook’s plate can barely keep its form under all the weight of his food, so you quickly shove four or five more plates underneath it, and into his hand, just in time. 
Jungkook looks at you sheepishly, but thankfully. You just shake your head.
“What time does Sejin usually get in?” you ask, starting to make a plate of your own.
“Around 11 or so,” Taehyung says.
“So we have the morning to ourselves?” Jungkook asks hopefully. “I was wondering if I could pop out to a store really quick and get a toothbrush, some toothpaste, body wash, ooh, maybe my face cream---”
“Supplies are coming,” Taehyung repeats in sing-song, adjusting some of the flowers on the table and looking back up at you. “No leaving the premises.”
You and Jungkook sit in your chairs from last night and start chowing down. Jimin and Taehyung choose to sit on their cots. You know this move. This is basically the same thing that happens in high school cafeterias. Can’t get too friendly with the new kids. Especially if you’re kind of holding them hostage.
Jungkook stares at you as he chews, and though you avoid his gaze at first, you eventually scoff and say, “What do you want?”
“Did you sleep well?” he asks.
“Yeah, I got a full eight hours.”
“But did you sleep well?” he asks again.
You startle at the way he asks it this time.
“Sure,” you say robotically.
Jungkook nods, but he looks like he doesn’t believe you.
“Were you also watching me while I slept?” you demand, feeling cagey.
“Just making conversation,” Jungkook says, shrugging and looking back at his plate.
In addition to the actual casualties in your line of work, your ability to chat with people who know more about who you are has waned. Yes, you are charming and have a natural ability with people, but it’s the kind of ability that’s more akin to an alien who has adopted the rituals and practices of humans after years of observation. You can put on a show and string together vague and interesting sentences to distract people from what’s really happening, but you struggle to find the next thing to say to keep a conversation moving.
Figuring that things would run smoother if you practiced that skill now, you take a deep breath and fix your eyes on Jungkook as he shoves two slices of bacon into his mouth. “Did… did you sleep well?” you try.
Jungkook smiles, bacon hanging out of the side of his mouth. “Like a corpse,” he says, grease dribbling where his lips meet. He pokes the ends of his bacon slices into his mouth, chews quickly, and then swallows. After wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he says, “Sorry if I was prying.”
“It’s OK,” you say. 
“Can’t believe you’re The Seller,” Jungkook goes on. “I’ve heard about you.”
You shrug. “Don’t know if that’s a good thing.”
“All I hear are good things,” he tells you. “I’m not much for planning, but the people I’ve worked with who’ve worked with you have said that you have a certain… poise.” 
You raise your eyebrows. “Huh.”
Jungkook smirks. “This surprises you? Even with your reputation?”
First Sejin and his lackeys, and now Jungkook. You feel a little proud.
“I’ve just never heard it said out loud before,” you admit. “And certainly not in one 24-hour span.”
“You work a lot?” 
“All I do is work.” You stick your fork in a sausage link. “But I don’t actually talk to many people.”
“I get that.” He looks at you. “Do you ever miss that part though?”
“If I’m being honest, I never was really one for small talk.”
“I get that, too.”
You look up at Jungkook, and his expression tells you that he doesn’t mean it as a criticism. He just understands, somehow.
“You seem good at it, though,” you say. “I never know what to say past a certain point.”
He repeats, “You ask a lot of questions.”
And he laughs at your resulting pout.
“I just meant that you’re not as bad as you think you are,” Jungkook replies. “And compliments work too,” he adds gently, acknowledging what you’ve observed about him and showing you an example of what to do, all in one response. 
Your pout recedes a little.
You finish the rest of your food and start to feel sleepy again. You’ve got another hour, and you wonder if it’s a good idea to fall into the food coma that looms over you.
“I’m going to take a nap,” you say, standing and throwing your plate, fork, and spoon into the trash bag that Taehyung has tied to the table using the stem of a sweet, purple flower.
“I knew you didn’t sleep well,” Jungkook says under his breath.
You turn around and furrow your brow at him.
Jungkook explains. 
“When I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I noticed that you were crying in your sleep.”
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Jimin directs a truck as it backs its trailer into the warehouse loading bay. You stir and rouse from your nap at the yelling and beeping. 
As you look around, you notice that Jungkook has scaled an old railing and is watching from his seat on a dilapidated fire escape balcony.
You walk over and look up at him.
“What are you doing up there?” you ask.
“Just watching,” Jungkook says. He peers down at you with a smile. “I like getting up high and scoping places out. Gives me a good idea of the space I have to work with.”
Makes sense, you think. 
Curious, you scale the railing carefully and join him. He smiles at you as you both straddle the dirty window pane to get a better look. The two of you may find it amusing, the way Jimin is swinging his arms around, but the truck driver is getting annoyed.
“What the hell are you doing? Get out of the way!” the truck driver yells.
“You’re going to scrape the wall!” Jimin cries out.
“Really? You’re gonna try to guide me??” the truck driver shouts over the engine, as they start to bicker. 
“Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do!”
“I don’t need a fucking stewardess!”
“You mean an air traffic controller, dumbass!”
Jungkook giggles, and you roll your eyes, though you’re trying to fight a smirk.
“Listen, kid, I’ve been doing this every day for the last 30 years!”
“All the more reason you need me!” Jimin snaps back. He throws his arms out to the side emphatically. “Turn left, you ancient fuck!”
You cackle suddenly at the choice phrasing, and Jungkook whips his head around to face you, thrilled that he’s hearing something come out of your mouth in a major key.
For some reason, when Jungkook smiles at you, you feel very embarrassed, and you look down at the ground. It’s unnerving, you decide, going from existing completely independently, to suddenly sharing an entire vantage point with eyes as curious and insistent as Jungkook’s.
He’s about to say something, but then Taehyung claps before making an announcement.
“Supplies are here!” 
Taehyung waves the two of you over. 
“Time to unpack.”
You and Jungkook climb back down, and you join Taehyung, Jimin, and Si-hyuk the Truck Driver to set up an assembly line of sorts, shuttling guns, ammunition, lightweight tables, steel suitcases, car parts, and all sorts of electronics back and forth between the truck trailer and the warehouse. 
Now that it’s daytime, and now that you’re moving around the entire warehouse, you see that certain areas are dedicated to certain jobs. Jimin has set up a garage of sorts just off to the side. Taehyung has a whole barrage of his own, tucked away in some secret room. And you’re taking over the card table in the main area for your own control room.
As Jungkook hands off materials to you, he tries to find your eyes. Most of the time, you go about your work without fussing, trying your best to follow Sejin’s instructions. But sometimes, every now and then, the hand-off from Jungkook will be sloppy, or awkward, and he has to grab your hands in his to make sure you don’t drop something. 
When this happens, you look up. Startled. 
And he meets your gaze. Eager.
You swear that he’s doing this on purpose. 
But he’s not going to get a rise out of you. You’re already starting to feel more sure of yourself as you lay out all of your materials on the card table. This is where you’re most comfortable. This is where you’re safest. Behind screens and wires. Behind codes and pseudonyms. Behind shields that protect you from having to deal with any real fallout. Behind life, instead of right smack dab in the middle of it.
“Need anything else?” Jungkook asks, watching you pore over your supplies.
“No,” you say, nearly cutting him off without so much as a glance at him. 
Jungkook lingers, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. You can still feel his presence. You can still feel his eyes on you.
“What?” you ask, annoyed, still not looking at him.
“Sorry,” Jungkook replies, his tone indicating that he’s starting to get annoyed with you as well. “I just thought that it would be interesting to see you work. Y’know. You being The Seller and all.”
You groan. Flattery will get him nowhere.
“Don’t you think that’s kind of awkward, by the way?” Jungkook asks. You’re focusing on your work and not the way he scrunches up his nose. “The Seller? Is that how you’d like me to address you?”
“How about you just don’t address me.”
“That’s going to be impossible, given that we’re supposed to be working together,” he responds. “Can’t you just use your name? Or any actual name? Y’know, honestly, it doesn’t even have to be a name. Just something that doesn’t have ‘The’ in it.”
You take a much needed, patience-refueling breath, and Jungkook watches your shoulders rise and fall.
“Call me whatever you want,” you say. “I really don’t give a fuck.”
“Maybe just Seller,” Jungkook tries. “Hey, Seller. You got any Ranches, Seller? Give me your gun, Seller.” A pause. And then, “What about just Sel for short?”
“As you’ve just pointed out, we’re supposed to be working, so shouldn’t you get started?” you snap. 
And then you scoff. 
“Oh. Right. You probably don’t have any work to start, seeing as you’re just the muscle.”
“Hey, now. Being the muscle takes hard work too, Sel,” Jungkook says coolly.
Against your better judgment, you turn to frown and hurl more insults at him.
But you see him stripping off his shirt, and your face and brain go blank.
Now that Jungkook’s shirtless, and, uh, stretching… well, you discover that he’s bulkier and more fit than you realized. His flawless baby face doesn’t seem like it would be accompanied by mountainous muscles in every part of his body, and yet, here they are, fully on display. But the strongest muscles on display might be the ones in his lips, pulling his mouth into a devilish smile, prompted by the way you’re staring at him.
“So that’s how to get your attention,” he muses.
You whirl back around to re-focus on your work. 
But a few minutes later, you hear Jungkook grunting.
You fight the impulse to turn back around at first, but there’s nothing to drown out Jungkook’s voice. 
“Could you please---”
When you turn around this time, you see Jungkook doing push-ups. He’s going surprisingly fast. He’s already worked up a sweat. 
Your jaw opens a little.
Jungkook hoists himself up and pauses to turn and face you.
You snap your jaw shut.
“It’s OK,” Jungkook snickers. “You can watch.” He shakes his head to keep some sweat from dripping off his hair and into his eyes. “In fact, move your chair to the other side of the table so that you don’t have to keep turning around. You might sprain your neck.”
“I’ll just come back when you’re done,” you decide quickly.
“Oh, I’m never done,” Jungkook presses on, his voice heavy with effort. He sends you another smirk. “This body doesn’t quit.”
Irritated, you set your things down on the table and march over to another side of the warehouse, a part of the floor that was clearly a machinery storage space, and perfect for what Jimin needs to begin arranging and working on the car parts that have come off the truck.
“Need help?” you ask urgently. “I can help. Please tell me you need help.”
“Don’t you also have work to do?” Jimin asks without looking up.
“I do, but…”
Jimin waits for you to say something, but you just stare at the body of the stolen car that Jimin has just a couple of days to fill with chopped parts. 
He follows your gaze, and then he looks over to where you’ve just left, seeing Jungkook doing a million push-ups a minute.
Jimin chuckles. “Distracting?”
“Annoying,” you correct.
“Well, you’re not gonna be any happier over here.”
You frown. Why does everyone keep underestimating you? You know a lot about cars. You might even know more than Jimin.
“And why’s that?”
Jimin flashes you a full-toothed smile. 
He starts to take off his shirt, too. 
You get a peek of his lean, defined frame before you roll your eyes.
“Can’t stain the Gucci,” he says, setting the luxurious button-down on a shelf that’s out of the way. He turns back to you, his tongue hanging out of his mouth. “This gonna distract you, too?” 
You walk over to the set of tools that Jimin has laid out on a nearby table. 
“No, so long as you aren’t grunting like an ox the entire time.”
Perusing the items in front of you, your eyes land on the engine that Jimin is about to fix up.
“So. What good are you to me?” he asks.
“I know this is a boxer engine,” you reply. “I know that you’re probably choosing it for stability and smoother acceleration.”
“You really are a nerd,” Jimin scoffs, joining you at the table. He picks up a wrench and gestures to the engine’s overall configuration. “The horizontal design keeps the car’s center of gravity low.” He gestures to pistons laying across each other. “The balanced pistons keep vibrations down. Keeps things… smooth.”
He wiggles his eyebrows at you as he runs a hand across his chest and down the tattoo at his side.
“Whatever ,” you mutter, rolling up your sleeves. “Let’s get started already.”
Jimin laughs as he drops his hand, and, thankfully, the act. “Fine.”
You follow his instructions, and unbeknownst to you, hours go by. As you work, you wonder what phase of the plan led to him getting these parts. Sejin ordered a four-bedroom, which meant a four-person team. You didn’t think there would be a Si-hyuk the Truck Driver. Who else in this city is part of the job, or the network? And where did these parts come from? What shops have funneled these resources in? 
How extensive is Sejin’s organization, exactly?
Jungkook walks over and watches the pair of you working.
“Jimin? Sel?”
You look up, having forgotten about Jungkook completely, and disappointed that he’s interrupting you now. 
“Sel?” Jimin asks, turning to you. “Is that what you go by?”
You raise your eyebrows, pleading with Jungkook to stop this in its tracks.
“That’s what I’m calling her, at least,” Jungkook says, grinning playfully at you. “Anyway, Taehyung left his secret room to say that dinner’s here.”
“Shit,” you grumble. You can’t believe you’ve lost track of time.
Sejin’s voice booms as he rounds the corner into this area of the warehouse.
“Hey, why don’t I see---”
Sejin frowns at the sight of you, an oil-stained and shirtless Jimin, and a sweaty and shirtless Jungkook.
He turns to Jimin.
“Look, you can’t keep shooting these weird car pornos during your downtime. It’s a huge risk.”
“I’m not,” Jimin says nonchalantly. “Besides, that gig wasn’t paying well anyway.”
Jungkook shoots a bewildered look at you, made even more incredulous when you don’t respond in kind.
“I was just doing work on the car,” Jimin continues. He nods over to Jungkook, who straightens and flattens his face. “That one was working out.” He nods over to you. “This one was helping me.”
“Which brings me back to my point,” Sejin cuts in. 
His shrewd eyes zero in on you quietly tightening a bolt, hoping that if you keep appearing useful in some way, even if it’s an unexpected way, he won’t be angry with you.
“Why don’t I see your so-called masterful control room built out at the main table?” Sejin demands.
“Wanted to help,” you mumble.
“Help by doing your share of the work,” Sejin reprimands. He says it so casually. And it’s been a long while since you’ve thought about God. But the calm, extremely neutral way he says it somehow puts the fear of God into your heart.
“I’ll be up and running by this evening,” you reply. “You won’t lose any time.”
“Sel did actually help,” Jimin replies. “This’ll help me free up time to---”
Sejin narrows his eyes at Jimin. 
“Don’t do that.”
You know that Jimin knew that he would catch some heat for vouching for you, but you appreciate him doing it anyway.
“OK. I’m out for the night,” Sejin continues. “Taehyung says your dinner is here. Hope you all enjoy.” He looks back at Jimin again. “We need to chat. Walk me to my car.”
As he and Jimin leave, you try your best to bite your tongue, but by the time you get to dinner, you’ve lost all self-control.
“Is he always like that?” you grumble, as you push your meat and potatoes around your plate.
You’ve usurped the card table to make room for your supplies, so the remaining four of you are now gathered around a pot roast feast set on a smaller table, a couple of feet away from your so-called control room.
“Who?” Taehyung asks.
You mutter, “Sejin.”
“What’d he say?” Taehyung asks nervously.
“He got mad at me for helping Jimin.” You huff. “It was so unnecessary.”
“Well, you weren’t doing your work,” Jungkook points out.
For some reason, you’re still so annoyed that he’s shirtless.
“You weren’t doing any work,” you snap.
“Yeah, I was. Remember? I’m the muscle,” Jungkook says simply. While he flexes. 
“Anyway,” you press on, focusing on Taehyung and Jimin, “I’m just wondering how big of a stick Sejin typically has up his ass.”
“Probably about as big as the take from the job he’s working on at the time,” Jimin says quietly but pointedly.
You’re about to open your mouth again, but when you remember that Jimin came to your defense, you find the wherewithal to pause.
“Well, thanks, Jimin, for… y’know. Sticking up for me.”
“Thanks for helping, Sel!” Jimin answers with a grin. But when Taehyung meets Jimin’s expression with one of confusion, Jimin shakes the expression of gratitude and happiness off of his face, turning the charm off and replacing it with cold, off-putting, Sejin-esque neutrality. “But you probably should just stick to your own work from now on.”
You furrow your brow. You tire quickly of people who run hot and cold. 
You set your plate down without eating, and you walk over to your workstation. You hear the guys talking in low voices and sharing idle chatter. 
Eventually, you let yourself get lost in the work that you’re doing. You’ve done it so many times that you don’t have to think actively about each step. Connecting all the cables. Setting up your back channels. Creating your own universe, only to navigate it in complete anonymity. 
The gallery’s CCTV system is relatively easy to hack into, considering what’s at stake. You want to tell Sejin that it makes more sense for you to save this work for off-hours anyway, under the cloak of night. You want to point out that you’ve actually saved him a lot more than just time.
“How’s it looking?”
You turn around, and Jungkook is standing behind you, still shirtless, and still all wet. 
Jungkook’s eyes crinkle as he grins at you. “I mean your screens. I don’t mean my body.”
“Ugh, fucking gross,” you groan, turning back to your monitors. 
“Oh, this isn’t sweat,” Jungkook explains, thinking that’s where your disgust is coming from. “I used the shower. It’s actually pretty nice. Good water pressure.”
You frown. You could use a shower. You still smell like motor oil and transmission fluid. 
“Taehyung also got us some clean clothes,” Jungkook replies, his voice muffled. You turn and realize that he’s putting something on. And you notice that he’s no longer wearing his black leather, but black sweats that are two sizes too big.
Jungkook tugs down on the hem of the sweatshirt and straightens it onto his body before reaching for one of the chairs.
“No,” you say. “Fuck off.”
“C’mon,” Jungkook whines. “You saw me hard at work. Now I wanna see you.”
You scoff. “You? What hard work did you do?”
Jungkook raises the hem of his sweatshirt to flash you his abs. “Do you not think this is hard work?”
“Exercise?” you ask with a scowl.
Jungkook pulls up a chair and sits next to you. “Exercise is hard work. And it’s kind of a necessity in my profession.”
You know he’s right. His profession just doesn’t appeal to you at all. It just seems so unabashedly… brainless.
“Well, thinking is a necessity in my profession, and I can’t think when you’re around,” you state.
Jungkook beams.
“Because you’re so damn bothersome,” you clarify.
Jungkook pouts. “Y’know, I don’t think you’re bad at small talk. I think you’re just mean.”
“I am,” you agree with no issue, focusing on your code.
Jungkook stands, and at first, you’re grateful that he’s going to leave. But then all he does is spin the chair around and manspread around it, stacking his arms on the back of the chair and resting his head as he watches you.
After a while of him just sitting there, pouting, and watching you, you relent.
“...Do you want me to explain what I’m doing?” you ask.
Jungkook raises his head and beams at you again. His white teeth are tinged blue, and you realize that the only light in the room is coming from your screens.
You take stills from each of the cameras but leave the bottom of the frame intact so as not to disturb the timestamp and raise suspicion. You swap the feeds with the stills. It looks flawless, as usual.
Jungkook agrees. “Damn. I wouldn’t have even known anything was different if I hadn’t just seen you do it.”
You furrow your brow. “I haven’t even done anything substantial yet.”
You need the plans for the Gomez delivery, including the mapped routes, and the identities of the driver, the guards, and the escort. You also need more information about the gallery’s telematics software. 
The plans are easy enough to locate. They’re saved on the desktop of the computer in the back room. They’re not even password-protected. 
You wonder if anybody’s even trying anymore.
As you keep an eye on the real CCTV feed, watching the screens flashing as you download the files, you relate what you’re doing to Jungkook. But your heart starts to sink. This isn’t the thrill you thought it would be.
You turn your attention to finding out about the telematics software, the system that the gallery will use to ensure that they know the location of the vehicle carrying the Gomez at all times.
You can’t find any information about it on any of the computers in the gallery, which means that the operations team must work somewhere else.
Finally, you think. A challenge.
A small, soft smile appears on your lips.
“Hmm,” Jungkook says, mirroring your expression, though you miss it in the cave of your concentration.
You pore through employee emails, trying to get any kind of indication of which software it could be. When you find nothing, your smile grows bigger.
When you stand, Jungkook stands.
“Where are you going?” he asks.
You startle. You’d kind of forgotten that Jungkook was watching.
“That’s it for tonight.”
“Really? You already got everything?”
“No, we start again tomorrow.”
Jungkook grins. “We?”
You blush a little. You don’t know why you said it that way. But technically, there are four of you working together.
“I just meant that the work starts again tomorrow,” you say matter-of-factly. It’s your best attempt at trying not to let on that Jungkook has you a bit frazzled. “Now, what were you saying about a shower?”
Jungkook sits back down. “They’re the old employee showers, in the back. Past the break room. Look out for an orange cone. It’s in the middle of a small corridor that leads you straight there.”
The shower stalls are exactly where Jungkook said it would be. You note the stall that has water droplets, and you sweep the shower curtain back to start the faucet. Taehyung’s been kind enough to get more than just the basic toiletries. A nice shampoo and conditioner set. Body wash instead of just cheap bar soap. You also notice that there’s a small jar of fancy face cream, which you assume is Jungkook’s preferred brand.
You strip off your clothes and hang them over the stall walls. You cringe at the sharp metal-on-metal sting of the shower curtain rings sliding over the rod. And then you luxuriate a bit, taking time to feel the warmth of the water on your skin, agreeing with Jungkook that the water pressure is perfect, the showerhead producing something akin to tiny massages all over your body.
“You forgot these!”
“Aaah!!”
You nearly slip in the stall, being caught off-guard like that. Luckily, your hold on the stall walls is solid enough to keep you from falling.
“Sorry,” Jungkook adds meekly. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
He says something else.
You turn the shower off.
“What?” you ask. You could barely hear him, save for that first surprising greeting.
“I said sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. And, um, I’ve got a towel and those sweats that Taehyung got. Something for you to change into.”
“Oh,” you say. Jungkook’s helpfulness surprises you, too. You hadn’t thought forward to what you were doing after the shower. You just know you needed one right away.
“Just set them down,” you say. “I’ll be out in a second.”
“I don’t know, everything’s kinda grimy in here... but I can hold them for you, or hang them on the stall wall like I did with mine, or---”
“Ugh, just give me a second.”
You start the shower again and finish rinsing off, taking a few more seconds to enjoy the steam. When you’re done, you turn off the shower and turn to face the curtain, and a disquieting thought, plus the absence of hot water, sends a shock through your system.
The shower curtain is white. 
And thin. 
Perhaps too thin.
“Um, you can’t see me or anything, right?” you double-check.
“No,” Jungkook replies.
You figure that he’s telling you the truth. You can’t see him, either. All you see is his silhouette, made bigger by those baggy sweats. 
Your hand darts out past the curtain, waving blindly for the towel.
Terry cloth fabric touches your fingertips, and you pull the towel into the stall with you. You dry off quickly and wrap your hair in the towel when you’re done.
Your hand darts out past the curtain again, waving blindly for the sweats.
Jungkook hands you a pair of boxers.
“What the hell are these?” you ask.
“I guess he didn’t anticipate you being a woman,” Jungkook replies.
You roll your eyes and slip them on anyway. 
You reach back out.
Jungkook hands you the sweatpants next.
You start to slip them on, but you realize that they’re way too big and long for you.
“OK, these aren’t going to work. I’m going to trip everywhere I go.”
You shove your hand back outside, and Jungkook gingerly takes the pants back before giving you the sweatshirt.
You slip that on, and you find that it falls to your knees.
“Taehyung managed to buy you your fancy face cream, but he couldn’t get me clothes that fit?” you pout.
“Oh, I had to blow him to get that face cream.”
You freeze.
“I’m kidding, Sel,” Jungkook replies.
You smile. But you’re thankful that you’re behind the curtain when you do it.
You shake it off your face before you step out of the shower and back into your shoes. You bend down to unwrap your hair, squeezing it dry and letting the towel hang around your shoulders as you gather your hair to one side, combing your fingers through it.
Jungkook watches you delicately, looking so tiny in that sweater, seeing you so clearly now, and  just averting his eyes to the ceiling when you look up at him.
“Thanks,” you say.
“Don’t mention it,” he replies.
You walk back out to the main area and climb into your cots.
You realize that you’re facing each other as you settle in to sleep.
“Uh, night,” Jungkook says.
You blink at him.
“...Night.”
You turn around and pull the covers over your head, but you still feel Jungkook’s eyes on you.
You think about how Mom always told you that going to sleep with wet hair was bad luck.
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“This is really how you do it?” 
You place a finger to your lips to remind him to be quiet.
Jungkook turns pink, embarrassed that he could have ruined the call.
“Yes,” you continue on speakerphone, “I’m with Tracker Telematics and I’d just like to learn about your telematics needs. Are you happy with your current software?”
“Let me connect you to our operations manager,” the secretary answers lazily. You watch him on the CCTV feed. He looks young. Like this might be his first job. 
Once the call is put through, someone else says, “Operations, how can I help you?” 
“Hi, I’m with Tracker Telematics. Your secretary said that I’m speaking with the operations manager?”
“That’s right.”
“Great, happy to be speaking with you today!” you say, and Jungkook stifles laughs at your peppy, animated voice. “I’d just like to learn about your tracking needs. Are you happy with your current telematics software?”
You playfully look up at the ceiling at how stupid you have to be on these calls, exchanging funny glances with Jungkook.
“We’re Logistimatics customers, and yes, we’re very happy,” the operations manager says quickly.
“But are you up to speed on all our latest features?” you ask, keeping an eye on the Tracker Telematics page that you’ve pulled up onto one of your monitors. “We’ve recently introduced a standalone Electronic Logging Device that can integrate with third-party systems.”
You check the timer on your tracer. Just a few more seconds, and you’ll be done. You technically don’t need the operations office’s location, especially now that you’ve identified Logistimatics as the company you’re going to organize your bots to target for your DDoS attack, but it’ll be a nice backup to be able to shut down the operations office if things go sideways.
“Now hang on, that actually sounds pretty interesting,” the operations manager replies. “So, you’re saying that I could still keep my Logistimatics software but add additional ELDs as necessary?”
“That’s correct, sir,” you say, without knowing if that’s actually correct.
“Hmm. So would I just pay the price of the device, or is there a contract that I have to sign?”
“We’ve got all sorts of pricing bundles tailored to meet different needs,” you reply, as the tracer flashes and lets you know the general area of where the call is coming from. You find it interesting that the operations office is located so far away. That may bode well for your team.
“What if I---”
“Why don’t I schedule you for an appointment with one of our product leads?” you ask. “Would next Wednesday work for you?”
“You called me,” the operations manager points out. “You mean to tell me you can’t stay on the line with---”
“I’m just here to talk about the features and set up your next call,” you explain.
“See, this is exactly why we’re Logistimatics customers,” the operations manager says, irritated. “Their customer service is---”
You hang up, having received all the information that you need, and then you turn to Jungkook and grin.
“I can’t believe that’s really how you do it,” Jungkook laughs. “I thought you got all of your information through hacking and snooping. Not through fake sales calls.”
You shrug. “Things are never as glamorous as they seem, Jungkook.”
When you turn back to your monitor, you miss the way Jungkook is haloed in the glow of you using his name.
“Alright, the Seller bots are hard at work. Last thing I need are the security details.” You turn to Jungkook. “Wanna give it a try?”
“Ooh!” Jungkook exclaims, moving his chair closer to you. 
You set up the call and instruct Jungkook on what to do.
You raise the phone up, level with Jungkook’s lips.
The secretary answers on the second ring. “LM Gallery.”
“Security office, please,” Jungkook replies.
“Hold.”
The secretary pushes the call through, and someone else replies, “Security office.”
“Hi, I’m with Kim Indemnity,” Jungkook says, looking at the page you’ve pulled for the cover story. “I’m updating your insurance records and want to make sure I’ve got the correct security system on file. What’s your current provider?”
“Shield Systems,” the security manager replies. 
“Thanks, that’s all I need,” Jungkook replies. “Have a great day!”
“You, too.”
The call ends, and you smirk at Jungkook’s happy, proud face. 
“Well done. You’re a natural.”
“I mean, you literally told me what to do, so I did get expert training.”
You and Jungkook share a smile, and a nice, light moment that you weren’t expecting to enjoy. You prefer working alone, but it’s kind of nice to show someone the ropes. Usually, you make these calls when you’re in your pajamas, eating breakfast while on hold, the milk of your cereal dripping down the corner of your mouth when you jump back on the phone sooner than you anticipated. It doesn’t feel that different now, given that you’re in boxers and a sweatshirt. But you realize that you’ve been way too lenient with your reconnaissance calls as of late. Doing a bit of show and tell is making you feel like there’s actual effort that’s put behind even the most menial task of the job. That things like this still matter.
“So now what?” Jungkook asks, as you type.
“Well, the bots are already doing their thing to the Logistimatics servers. We’ve got details on the team escorting the painting, and if none of them try to play the hero, they won’t be too difficult to manage. And you’ve just given me details on the security systems they use, so we should be able to get into the safe in the back of the truck without any issues,” you explain. “So, now, we wait.”
You stand and stretch. 
“I think I might go outside,” you say. “Get some fresh air. Maybe jog a little.”
Jungkook rises to his feet. “Can I join you?”
“Sure,” you say.
The two of you walk over to Taehyung and Jimin, who have just finished polishing off the rest of their brunch.
“Mind if we get some fresh air out back?” you ask. 
“Someone should really be outside with you,” Jimin replies. From the way he’s draped over the couch, his eyelids heavy, it’s clear that he doesn’t want it to be him. 
“Look, you have my car keys, and here’s my gun,” you say, setting it on the ground in front of you. “I just need half an hour.”
“What about your work?” Taehyung asks.
“My bots are already running,” you say, rolling your eyes. “And I’d like to go for a run for myself. I’m getting antsy being cooped up in here.”
“Just stay in that loading bay area, then,” Jimin replies, waving you off. He knows you won’t really leave your gun behind, but also, the loading bay area is secured by a gate. You won’t be able to get out at all.
You reach for the table and grab some plastic cutlery. The spoon, fork, and knife are bunched together with a rubber band, which you take and use to tie your hair up as best as you can.
And then you and Jungkook head outside, enjoying the sun on your faces.
You both start to stretch. Ten laps should do the trick. Just enough to work up a bit of a sweat. Just enough to remind you that your bones have joints that can swing and move.
Jungkook takes the pace quite quickly from the get-go. He rounds his second lap and meets you halfway through your first.
“I thought we said ten laps,” he says with a grin.
“We did,” you say, annoyed. “But it isn’t a race.”
Jungkook keeps pace with you.
“You really go this slow?”
“I’m not a fast runner.”
“Then why run at all?”
You sigh, aggravated. 
Jungkook edges forward teasingly and looks over his shoulder back at you. “You sure you can’t go faster than that?”
You frown. You contemplate picking up a handful of broken concrete to throw at his stupid face.
He turns around completely, running backwards at his slightly quicker pace.
“You sure you can even do ten laps?”
Suddenly, you take off running at full-speed. 
“Hey!” Jungkook cries out, running to catch you.
You really only run to make sure you get some kind of exercise during your very sedentary days. But your body has made this decision for you. You don’t actually know why you’re now sprinting. You try to ask, but the only question that bubbles to the surface is whether Jungkook has caught up with you or not.
You start to tire out, and Jungkook makes his move. Soon, he’s completed all ten of his laps while you’ve gassed after about five. 
He catches up with you again. You’re now walking and frowning, sweating bullets, and the angriest that you’ve been since you got here.
“Aw, Sel, don’t tell me you’ve given up,” Jungkook teases, bouncing as he runs. 
You’re too out of breath to say anything, so you just veer off and head back inside to grab another shower, hoping that your regular clothes that you washed in the shower with you last night are dry enough to change into.
Jungkook jogs behind you, each tap of his feet against the floor another gloating reminder of his superiority.
“So you’re mean, you’re bad at small talk, you’re great at being fake, and you’re a sore loser.”
“And you’re an irritating show-off.”
Jungkook chuckles, his jaw hanging open. “You really are a sore loser!”
You’re about to lay into him, but Jimin interrupts you both as you rejoin them in the warehouse.
“Car’s done,” he says. “Need to take it for a test drive.”
“Have fun,” Jungkook says absent-mindedly, turning back to you to tease you a bit more.
“You’re coming with,” Jimin says, wiping his hands on an oily rag. “We need to stash your cars somewhere along the two routes that they’re most likely to take.”
“Can I at least shower first?” you ask, exhausted.
Jimin looks over you both. 
“Ten minutes.”
You and Jungkook exchange glances. 
And then you race to your cots, and then to the bathroom.
“Yes!” Jungkook exclaims, his voice echoing off the tile and announcing that he got to the stall first. 
“Hurry up,” you sigh as you catch up, getting even more frustrated with Jungkook by the minute.
Jungkook strips out of his clothes impressively quickly, and you blush crimson when you see that he’s stepping out of his boxers, too. As he stands back up, you see that his back muscles are so well-defined, marked by strong bold lines that roll beautifully into one another. And his ass is so round, and strong, and---
You turn around, clutching your towel and clothes to your chest. “I’m gonna wait outside.”
“You can look if you want,” Jungkook teases. “Consider it a consolation prize for losing.”
You stomp outside and stand by the orange cone in the corridor, trying to block out Jungkook’s triumphant laugh.
But you can’t.
Nor can you stop thinking about the slices of angles that you’ve seen of him so far throughout this ever-so-slightly concerning hostage situation. His beautiful body, and his beautiful face. It’s all you’ve had to look at for the past 36 hours. And if you’re being honest with yourself, it beats staring at a beige wall of nothing. 
At least he smiles back.
And that’s your favorite slice of him so far.
You feel someone tap you on the shoulder, and you whirl around, getting ready to punch whoever it is.
But it’s only Jungkook, who deftly swerves your attack and raises his eyebrows in surprise.
“Whoa,” he says, laughing. “You’ve got a mean overhand.” He grins. “Almost as mean as you are.”
“Are you done??” you ask stupidly, as Jungkook grabs at the knot in the towel around his waist. 
“Yeah, that’s what I was coming to tell you,” Jungkook laughs. “Shower’s all yours.”
You sigh and march back to the shower stall.
Tiringly, Jungkook’s voice follows you.
“You train in boxing or something?”
“A bit,” you say cryptically.
You get in the shower fully-clothed.
“Want me to hold your clothes for you?”
“I’m fine.” 
You hang your clothes over the end of the shower stall wall, where they can stay dry. You don’t see him, but Jungkook licks his lips when he sees your bra placed on top. It’s just a basic black bra, but it’s making him wonder about what that bra holds. He wonders about the rest of you, too. 
He watches your silhouette again, smiling to himself as you reach up to adjust the showerhead, or as you flip your hair down to shampoo and condition it thoroughly. The lines that your body makes are driving him wild.
When you’re done with your shower, you change quickly into your clothes and step out of the stall into your shoes to find Jungkook still undressed, staring at the curtain.
“Why are you still here?” you ask, the shower having done nothing to cool you off.
Jungkook blinks. “Just wanted to make sure you were OK.”
You roll your eyes and head back to your cot, Jungkook taking a few minutes to change before he catches up with you in the corridor.
Jimin hands you the keys to the car that he’s been working on.
“I’m driving this car?” you ask.
Jimin ignores your question. He’s taken your and Jungkook’s car keys from wherever Taehyung’s been stashing your things. He hands Jungkook’s keys to Taehyung. And he keeps your keys for himself.
Taehyung and Jimin usher you to the car.
“Sit,” Jimin says.
You and Jungkook get in the front seats, and Taehyung leans over to handcuff you to each other.
“Kinky,” Jungkook jokes.
“What the fuck is this?” you ask, as Taehyung also handcuffs you to the car door.
“I’m dropping Jungkook’s car by that abandoned tunnel on Route B,” Taehyung begins to explain. “Jimin is dropping your car off by that stretch of highway on Route A. We don’t want either of you driving off, and we want to do this in one trip, so we thought it would be best if we kept you in our car.”
Taehyung smirks and hands the keys to the handcuffs to Jimin.
“Oh, and just FYI: Jimin’s car is hooked up to your systems back at the warehouse, Sel. So, if you decide to go off-course, well… let’s just say there’ll be a little shock waiting for you.”
You sigh. “This is overkill.”
“It might be, but it gets the job done,” Jimin replies. “I’m gonna follow you, and then we’re gonna pick up Taehyung after.” He grins. “Enjoy the ride.”
Admittedly, you’re impressed with the job that Jimin has done with the car. The ride is pretty smooth. 
The only thing that makes it rough is Jungkook’s constant yapping.
“...Two bullet fragments in my side, and the head of a nail in my thigh,” Jungkook finishes recounting. “That last one was because we were in a construction area, and the guy I was after found a nail gun. But I think that’s it.”
You pout. 
“What about you?” Jungkook prods. 
“We all have injuries. It’s part of the work.”
You take the upcoming exit, and you see Jimin in your car following closely behind.
“Well, what are some of yours?” Jungkook asks.
You shake your head.
“I wanna know,” Jungkook insists.
“Why do you wanna know so badly?” you ask.
You hate talking about your injuries. You don’t like swapping war stories with others, even if they are like you. You prefer to keep that stuff to yourself rather than burden anyone else with it. If there’s anything you’ve learned living like this over the years, it’s that everybody has their own shit, and no one needs to pile on.
Jungkook shrugs. “I guess I didn’t anticipate that you would have gotten injured, given the type of work that you do. But then I saw you throw that punch.”
You roll your eyes. “That’s nothing.”
“It’s something.”
You frown. “Look, I don’t know what your whole deal is, asking all these questions me, but it’s starting to feel a bit invasive.”
Jungkook sits back in his seat and looks at the road ahead. “Sorry. I was just curious. I just…” His voice turns softer. “I just haven’t really met anyone like you before.”
You shake your head and glance out your side window. If someone had said something like this to you a couple of years ago, you might have fallen for it.
“Do you know what you’re going to do with your share of the take?” Jungkook asks, trying to move into safer territory.
You appreciate the gesture.
“I hadn’t thought about it,” you lie.
“Bullshit,” Jungkook laughs. “You took this job because of the take. I saw your eyes change when Sejin explained the whole thing. You looked…” He smiles. “Well, let’s say that you looked enticed.”
Jungkook’s really starting to crawl under your skin. Each question or observation feels like an interrogation. You’re starting to regret telling him more about your process and work. And you’re really starting to regret opening up to him about small talk, like the kind that he’s so desperately trying to make with you now. If you had just stayed silent, you wouldn’t be overanalyzing your situation, fearful that Jungkook is actually a federal agent, or some other kind of spy. The feeling’s been eating away at your gut like an ulcer, only growing the more that you feed it.
“Can we just drive in silence?” you ask.
“I’m finally gonna buy my parents a house,” Jungkook says. “I tell them I work in security. They don’t ask more questions than they need to. They just know that I make a lot of money.” 
He pushes his lips forward.
“They don’t really have a lot of it.”
Your heart starts to throb. This is hitting too close to home.
“So?” Jungkook asks. “What about you?”
You bunch your lips together. “Same.”
Jungkook smirks, happy to get even just that little bit out of you.
You pull up to the empty stretch of highway on Route A, just as the sun starts to set. Jimin stashes your car on the shoulder of the road, somewhat out of sight, by some brush. And then he jogs over to you, parked a few feet away. 
He uncuffs you from the car door, and then from each other.
“Get in the back,” Jimin instructs.
You do as he says, and then Jimin re-handcuffs you to each other, and you to the driver’s headrest.
You frown at the awkward hand placement that you’ll have to deal with for the next hour.
Jimin gets in the front seat and drives off, traveling back the way you came.
“Damn, I’m good,” Jimin sighs, as he accelerates. “This baby is smooth as silk.”
“We’re going a little fast, don’t you think?” you ask, starting to get nervous at the rate at which the mile markers are zooming past you.
“Let’s go faster,” Jimin cackles, speeding even more.
“Sel, you OK?” Jungkook whispers urgently.
You wince. Your stomach turns with each zigzag that Jimin does.
“Hey, I think you’re freaking her out,” Jungkook protests.
“Just getting some practice in for tomorrow,” Jimin laughs. “C’mon, Sel. Enjoy the fieldwork. You do so little of it.”
Jimin swerves dangerously on the, as of yet, still-empty highway.
“Please, Jimin, I’d really prefer it if you didn’t…” 
You feel so woozy. 
“Hmm?” Jimin asks playfully, starting to do tricks and stunts. “What was that?”
You’re starting to turn pale. 
Memories are coming back to you.
Out of nowhere, Jungkook swiftly reaches into Jimin’s jacket and grabs one of his Berettas. He points it at Jimin’s head. 
“Stop.”
Jimin holds a hand up. He settles the car on the road, done with the shenanigans.
But he’s smirking.
“You’re not driving like that tomorrow, are you?” Jungkook demands.
“No,” Jimin laughs, smiling at you in the rearview mirror.
Jungkook puts the gun back in Jimin’s pocket, and Jimin chuckles.
“Struck a nerve there, huh, Sel?” Jimin jokes, glancing at you in the rearview mirror again. “Didn’t know you two were so close. I really thought he was gonna shoot me for a second there.”
You sigh, trying to get fresh air.
Jungkook clasps your hand with his, interlacing your fingers.
“You OK?” he asks again.
You turn to him and nod. And then, you lean back in your seat and face the window, trying to keep from falling apart.
The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur.
You pick up Taehyung on Route B, just outside of a tunnel that’s been abandoned since the new highway ramps opened around it. He jumps into the passenger seat, and updates you that he’s successfully planted some charges onto the truck delivering the Gomez. And Jimin recounts what just happened, making Taehyung giggle at how green you and Jungkook both are.
You try your best to let it all go as Jimin uncuffs you.
But Jungkook keeps your hand in his until you feel ready.
Before you go to bed, you check your bots and see that everything is according to plan for the attack.
And then, Taehyung instructs you to help him get his guns ready for tomorrow.
“They have a point,” Jungkook tells you, as you both sit on the edge of your cots, loading clips into guns and organizing them according to Taehyung’s instructions.
“What do you mean?” you ask.
“We are pretty green,” Jungkook replies. “And you’re kind of… not really one of us,” he adds. “The work you do. It’s so different. You’re like---”
You frown. “A nerd?” 
It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve been called that, even here, in the warehouse. But that’s not why you’re frowning. You’re frowning because it’s so trite and boring. Of course you’re a nerd. All valuable people are.
“You just seem… good ,” Jungkook explains. “Like a good person.”
You roll your eyes. If only he knew.
You try to focus on the sound of metal clicking into place as you work.
After a moment, though, Jungkook says, “Seriously, though,” in awe. 
Your eyes meet, and though you know this is probably not the case, you swear that Jungkook is interested in more than just your experience as The Seller.
“How’d someone like you even get into all this?” Jungkook asks.
“How did you?” you snap back, feeling provoked.
“Just… sorta… fell into it, I guess,” Jungkook replies, uncomfortable that there isn’t really much more to his answer than that. “You?”
You have your doubts about how trustworthy anybody is, most of all Jungkook, but the ultimate reason you decide not to go into the details is that it would take too long to explain. Your cousin really should be the one to tell the story. He was the one who got you into this mess. First, teaching you how to stand up for yourself. How to fight. And only to fight when provoked. Next, teaching you about cars. How to drive them. How to tell when something’s wrong. How to fix them up. How to steal them and break them back down again. Then, teaching you about escape. Not just out of holds and locks, but about bottles, joints, tabs, and pills. And finally, teaching you the hardest lesson of all. How to move on when someone you love, someone who has taught you everything that you know, gets caught up in the cycle that all of these things can often create.
You shrug and place the clip back into the gun that you were checking. 
“Just sorta fell into it.”
You look up at Jungkook and hand it to him. 
“Now shut up and get some sleep.”
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Your bots execute flawlessly.
As always.
As you watch your channels through your phone, you’re noticing more call traffic from the operations office and from the gallery itself to their Logistimatics representative, which you’ve identified as being located two cities away. You don’t have to listen in to the calls to know that they’re having trouble identifying the Gomez truck on the road. To them, their systems look down. To Logistimatics, all the systems look down.
The gallery would be better off calling you to find out that information. You know exactly where it is. It’s still on Route A, about to take the upcoming exit that you took the day before. You know because Jimin is driving your car right behind it, with Taehyung, Jungkook, and you in tow.
Your other hand is in your jacket pocket, hovering over your gun. You’re not usually this trigger happy, but you just want to make sure you’re safe. You sense Jungkook feels the same, when you see him scratching at his back.
“Looking great, guys,” Sejin says on your comms. 
He’s following along on his laptop from home. His screen is mirroring your monitors back at the warehouse, which are set up to show him exactly where the truck is, and where Jimin’s car is. 
Jimin starts to brake, increasing the distance between you and the truck.
“OK,” Sejin says, “be ready to incapacitate the car in a few minutes.”
“You know,” Jungkook replies, “I don’t think I ever learned what this part of the plan meant.”
Taehyung grins devilishly and holds up a small receiver.
“Well, you’re about to find out.”
When Taehyung left his room the night before to finally show you all what he’s been working on, you’re a bit underwhelmed at the sight of four small, rubbery, gray squares. But now, those four gray squares are affixed to the four wheels of the truck, having been planted by Taehyung on his way to where he stashed Jungkook’s car on Route B. And those four gray squares pack a punch of their own.
You learn how devastating of a punch as soon as Taehyung pushes the button.
A huge fireball engulfs the truck, stopping it in its tracks, ripping the trailer from the truck, and immediately killing everyone inside.
“Tae, what the fuck was that sound?” Sejin grumbles angrily. “I said a small explosion!” 
“That was a small explosion,” Taehyung replies innocently. 
He swivels around to get your and Jungkook’s opinions. Your heart stops when you see that his eyes have gone black.
“Right?” he demands, almost droning.
You’re too scared to respond.
Jimin parks the car a ways off. “Jungkook!” hebarks.
Jungkook jumps in his seat.
“You’re up,” Jimin goes on, as he pulls up on the hand brake. 
Jungkook’s jaw drops. “W-what?? I---” He looks out at the road. “All those people, they just--- The driver’s body is, like, just right there on the---”
“The safe,” Jimin continues, aiming a gun at Jungkook’s head. “You’re up.”
Jungkook scrambles in his pocket for the keycard that you’ve made, using the same parameters that you found in the security protocol. 
He shares a concerned look with you as he opens the car door.
Jungkook jumps out of the car and kicks his way into the back of the trailer. The fire is spreading quickly, and you hope it doesn’t catch on any of the dry brush that’s lying around.
He finds the safe containing the painting, and he’s able to use the keycard to scan into it. He grabs the small frame and runs back to the car.
“Get out,” Jimin says, pointing his gun at you.
You get out of the backseat, holding your phone in the air and keeping your other hand free. You try not to reach for your gun too early.
“How long do we have?” he asks you.
You look back at your phone. “Five minutes or so before the attack script is set to end,” you say, your voice shaky.
“Grab what you want,” Jimin tells Taehyung.
Taehyung smiles and takes the painting from Jungkook, as well as the keycard.
Jimin orders you and Jungkook to stand behind the car, as he sits in the driver’s seat and keeps his gun pointed at you.
Taehyung starts grabbing other works of art. Anything that he can get his hands on and sell, really. You watch as he piles everything into the backseat. Taehyung and Jimin are going to make a fortune.
“What the hell is going on?” Sejin screams through your comms, right into all of your earpieces. “I said just the Gomez! Jimin! What the absolute fuck are you doing??”
“Should’ve paid us more,” Taehyung jokes, making Jimin laugh.
Sejin bellows, “If you don’t haul your asses back to the warehouse right now, I’ll---”
The comms go out, and as you see Taehyung holding up the receiver again, you realize that it wouldn’t be inconceivable that Taehyung has planted explosives everywhere.
You really start to panic. 
“Should he have paid us more, or should we have done this years ago?” Jimin clarifies, as Taehyung loads the car up with more stolen pieces.
He laughs and then looks up at you and Jungkook, still frozen in place, with your arms raised.
“Now, what to do with you two,” he says, bringing his other hand to his gun as he aims it at you. “What a shame. I liked you, Sel. Hoped we might get a chance to fuck or something. Those tits.”
“Right?” Taehyung chimes in.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Jungkook says, standing in front of you and distracting Jimin.
Jimin repositions his gun and trains it right between Jungkook’s eyes.
“And this one, always talking,” Jimin replies.
“Always talking,” Taehyung echoes, nodding and throwing more stolen pieces into the backseat.
“Maybe if you had kept quiet, we would’ve spared you,” Jimin replies. “We could always use more muscle.”
“Just let us go,” Jungkook pleads. “There’s no reason for you to kill us.”
“Of course there is,” Jimin says. “Who else are we gonna frame?”
“This isn’t part of the deal,” Jungkook insists.
“It’s like I told you,” Taehyung grins creepily. “Just do what we say, and you’ll never see us again.”
Jimin shoots at you, but Jungkook tackles you to the ground, and you pull your gun out of your jacket to shoot back.
You hear Jimin cry out, and in the frenzy, Jungkook throws his body over you and rolls you onto the ground, getting you as far as you can get from Jimin’s car.
Jimin sighs, and you hear Taehyung getting back in the car, scanning from the window as you and Jungkook disappear behind the truck trailer.
“You’re a fucking terrible shot,” you hear Taehyung quip. “They’re not even that far away. You should have let me done the gun stuff.”
You hear the gun changing hands.
“Look, do us a favor and just come back out here,” Jimin calls after you, through his open window. “It’ll just be so much easier.”
“Fuck, if Taehyung has the gun, we’re deifinitely done for,” Jungkook whispers to you.
“Hang on,” you say, typing on your phone.
Jungkook’s eyes widen at you, hopeful about whatever solution it is that you’re cobbling together.
“Brace,” you say. “And, uh, sorry in advance if this forces more shrapnel into your side.”
Jungkook shuts his eyes and does his best to shield you from any exposure.
You press the button.
This time, Jimin’s car explodes.
Though you and Jungkook move back in the blast, his leather jacket scuffing and ripping across the pavement, the trailer thankfully seems to protect you from debris.
After a moment, you tighten your grip on your gun and phone, and you sprint towards your car, Jungkook right behind you, grasping your hand and looking back to make sure no one’s shooting at you.
You pull your keys from your back pocket.
And then you peel off, the sight of fire and smoke getting smaller and smaller in the distance.
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You and Jungkook have been driving in complete silence for hours when the first pang of hunger hits your stomach.
“Ready to stop?” you ask.
Jungkook’s seat is all the way back. He’s lying down on his side. 
“I was hungry two hours ago,” he mumbles.
“Sorry,” you say. “Just wanted to be extra careful.”
Jungkook readjusts his seat to its usual angle. He looks over to you. He watches the nonchalant expression with which you’re driving.
“Pull over.”
You do, and you realize that it’s almost night.
Jungkook looks over at you.
“I’ve never had a job go belly up before, not like that,” he tells you. “Have you?”
Now that you’re off auto-pilot, you notice how worried Jungkook looks. There’s a bit of blood on his cheek. He’s sweating at his brow, and his eyes are crazed with concern. 
“I have,” you admit.
“OK, so what do we do?” he asks hopefully.
“We start anew,” you say simply.
Jungkook furrows his brow. “W-what?”
“We start anew,” you say. “New identities. New town. New life.”
Jungkook shakes his head. “Well, I can’t do that. I’ve gotta get back to my family. My life.”
“This is the risk that you take with this work,” you say dutifully. “You can’t go back, Jungkook. Sejin’s network is already looking for us. I know it.”
“How do you know?” Jungkook asks. “No one knows who we are. Jimin and Taehyung are dead. Sejin might even be dead.”
“Think about it,” you say. “Where did Sejin get all those supplies? How many phases were in this project? There’s a whole huge team of people behind this. There were contingency plans for contingency plans.” You put your hands on the steering wheel and put the car back in drive. “We need to get as far away from all of that as possible.”
Jungkook stares at you. “This is what you do?” 
You nod. “Every time.”
Tears well up in Jungkook’s eyes. He can’t even begin to think about how his life is about to change.
“Let’s start by getting food. I always feel better after eating,” you say, hoping that will help him. It’s a bit of a selfish motivation, cheering him up and taking care of him. Dealing with him will be easier if he’s at least fed and emotionally stable.
Jungkook sniffles, but he sits back in his seat and looks out at the road, and you pull back onto the road in search of a meal.
You sit through a silent, tasteless dinner at the next restaurant you pass, trying your best not to notice when Jungkook starts to cry silently, staring at his corner of the booth.
To distract yourself, you focus on finding a place to crash for the night. You book a couple of rooms at a motel nearby, trying not to think too hard about the spa month you were hoping to be booking at this point instead.
When you get to the motel, the night manager greets you unceremoniously.
“We have two rooms,” you tell him, “under Song.”
“I have one room for Song,” the motel manager says flatly. “And I don’t have any other rooms available. You must have made a mistake.”
Rage surges through your veins.
“That’s OK. We can share it,” Jungkook offers, before you can unleash even one insult.
You roll your eyes as the manager gets your keys ready, tamping down the impulse to show him your screenshot confirming your order for two rooms.
Being right isn’t what matters right now.
What matters is that you go to your room, get some sleep, and prepare for tomorrow.
When you get to your room, you barely pay attention to the details. But all Jungkook can see are the dusty bedspreads, the mismatching furniture, and the stains on the walls. And all he can think about is how different everything is at his place. This room looks like it hasn’t been cared for at all. But he carefully picked out each chair and table in his dining room. He spent weeks deciding on what speaker system to get for his living room. He already misses the feel of his sheets in his bed. 
“Sel?” Jungkook whimpers.
You join him at the foot of the bed.
“What’s wrong?” you ask.
Jungkook shakes his head. “What’s wrong? We just saw seven people die, Sel.”
You nod. 
It concerns you that you are treating this so matter-of-factly. But then again, given the experiences you had, it doesn’t surprise you.
“No one was supposed to die,” Jungkook says hopelessly.
“Yeah, they were,” you say pointedly. “Two people were supposed to die. We were supposed to die.”
Jungkook meets your gaze.
“How did you…” 
He takes a breath. He certainly doesn’t want to start off this phase of his life by blaming anybody.
“How did the car blow up?” he asks.
You shrug. It isn’t really him blaming you. You did it. 
“They mentioned that if the car went off-course, it would blow up. I don’t know how they did it, but I figured that if the system was still in place, I could just manipulate the GPS of the car to read as if the car had gone off-course. That probably triggered the explosion from the warehouse.”
Jungkook clearly isn’t paying attention, and you unfairly doubt that he’d understand even if he were. But your answer seems to comfort him. At least someone knows what they’re doing.
“You saved us,” Jungkook says.
“You did, too,” you say. You let yourself soften for a minute. “I can’t believe you jumped in front Jimin’s gun like that.”
Jungkook grins. But then he raises his eyebrows at you. “Sel, I’ve gotta be honest with you. I’m freaking out.”
Rather than sugar coat it, you decide to take this chance to drive your point home.
“Then it’s absolutely imperative that we lay low for a while,” you say. “No jobs. No contact with loved ones. Not until we get our own operations up and running to see if anybody is tracking the two of us. OK?”
Jungkook nods. “OK.”
“Promise?”
“Swear.”
“Good.”
You move to get up, but Jungkook reaches back for you.
“It’s you and me, right?” he asks.
“Right,” you say. “You and me.”
He smiles at you, and you feel secure that Jungkook will at least be OK for the next week or so.
Before you’ll have to split up.
Before, from the looks of it, you’ll have to ditch him.
You push that thought out of your mind. You’ll deal with that when you get to it.
Now, you get up and walk over to the couch.
“What are you doing?” he asks.
“You take the bed,” you say. “I’m fine on the couch.”
“No, I insist---”
“You insist what?” you as in a huff, holding one of the couch pillows in your hands. “You’re gonna do this whole, gendered, like, I’m the man so I’ll take the couch thing or---”
“No,” he says, standing. He peels off his shirt, like you’ve seen him do way too many times for the mere hours that you’ve known each other. But without his teasing smirk, he looks… Well, he looks different. 
And it feels different.
“I was going to say that I insist that we share,” he says quietly. “No sense in either of us not getting a good night’s sleep.”
You pout, all those thoughts about Jungkook’s body sweeping back to you.
You hate to admit it, but being that close to Jungkook’s body makes you nervous.
He holds out his hand to you.
“Uh… fine… sure… whatever.”
You walk back over to the bed, ignoring his hand, and, after kicking off your shoes, you climb in with him.
The bed is surprisingly roomy. You face the wall and grip onto the edge closest to you, making sure to keep in line with the mattress.
“You’re going to fall off.”
“Hmm?”
“I’ve seen how you sleep,” Jungkook laughs from beside you. “You’re going to fall off if you latch onto the edge like that. Scootch in. There’s plenty of room.”
You feel your body locking into place, a mix of social and situational anxiety flooding over your senses. 
Jungkook hasn’t figured it out yet.
Why you’re bad at small talk.
Why you’re hugging the ledge.
You don’t like to share.
“C’mon,” Jungkook giggles.
You stay rigid, arms glued to your sides as you roll onto your back and then onto your other side, facing Jungkook, who’s smiling softly and sticking his folded hands under his pillow.
It’s just now that you see it.
The cut on his face.
Where the blood was coming from before.
“Your cheek,” you say, your voice barely above a whisper.
“Oh.” Jungkook shrugs. “I’m OK.”
“It’s going to scar.” You almost want to run your hand over it. As if that would help. “What did it?”
“I think Jimin’s bullet grazed me.”
“No shit.”
“All fine, considering.”
Jungkook smiles at you.
“Not so different from our cots, right?” he asks.
You disagree. This is much closer than your cots were.
But you find yourself saying, “Right.”
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You thought that this would last a couple of weeks, tops.
But it’s been months.
Months of you and Jungkook moving from spot to spot, carefully identifying towns that are not too big that you lose important vantage points on potential trails, but definitely not too small that you stick out as people who don’t belong. 
You only travel by car. You’ve ditched yours already, and you’re sad that you had to, given all the work you had put into it. But you can rebuild another. You grab rental after rental, making sure not to hang onto any car for longer than a couple of days.
You pay for everything online, using your phone. You explain how many fake identities you have. You even show a couple to Jungkook, especially some of the hideous ones that you’ve distorted to provide range in your appearance.
This is the first thing that makes Jungkook laugh. 
Seeing him like that, with a glimmer in his eye, makes you think to try to show Jungkook the upsides of the transition period. The creative parts. The interestingly fun parts.
You start accumulating things. You start with a laptop that you quickly build out with all the things you need to keep you safe. And once you’ve established that no one seems to be on The Seller’s trail, you start accumulating other things. New clothes. New shoes. Better hotel rooms. Nicer car rentals.
By the second or third month, you and Jungkook have cycled through ten or so origin stories.
You show him what kind of origin stories you need to have starting the first day that you’re officially on the run. When you’re at the store, getting toiletries and other essentials, a salesperson at a display stops you.
“Excuse me, sir, ma’am, are you two married?” the salesperson asks.
“Oh, yes,” you say, slipping into the character seamlessly. You wrap an arm around Jungkook’s waist, and he blushes, sucking in his lips and puffing out his cheeks a bit.
“Four years together, and he still gets so embarrassed when I touch him in public,” you giggle. “C’mon, babe. It’s just me.”
“Alright, babe,” Jungkook says, teasingly, but warningly.
The salesperson goes through a demo of some new cleaning supplies. You ooh! and ahh! at all the different brooms, sponges, rags, vacuums, attachments, and environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions. Jungkook starts to play along, reminding you that you’ve been looking for something heavy duty to lift those stains in the back room. 
You roll your eyes and slap him on the chest.
You swear that he pulls you in a little tighter after that.
Eventually, you start letting Jungkook decide what origin story he wants to use.
At the diner three towns ago, Jungkook introduces you as his mute sister. He tells the waitress that your parents sold you in exchange for drugs and left you in a box under the bridge, and that tonight is one of the first nights that you’re reconnecting after a lifetime apart. 
When you get back to your hotel room, you slap Jungkook on the arms and go on a tirade about how bad of an idea it was to do that, especially in case of an emergency. But Jungkook is still cackling at successfully forcing you to be completely silent for two-and-a-half hours, as he slowly ate his meal, watching you with bright, thrilled eyes and that classic smirk.
To exact your revenge, at the wine tasting bar in the town after that, you ambush Jungkook by introducing him as an up-and-coming sommelier that you were writing an article about, and Jungkook had to go along with it. He was doing well until the real sommelier began their demonstration, and Jungkook was booed out of the room.
You end the night sitting on the hotel roof, Jungkook kicking his legs off the ledge as he tells you what was going through his mind the entire night, the two of you sharing a bottle of red that you stole, your laughs bleeding into one another as the wine stains your teeth and gums.
And at the fancy restaurant in the last town, Jungkook fake-proposed, and you fake-accepted, all so that you could get a huge, free dessert.
You still hear his earnest plea.
“I don’t have a ring,” he says, conjuring real tears into his eyes, saying the words over-dramatically, “but I just know that we would be happy forever. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?”
“Yes!” you shrieked, throwing your hands over your mouth to keep from laughing too hysterically. “I will!”
You laid your head on his shoulder, and he held you close.
You brought the dessert home and split it while lying in your bed, watching an old movie.
Even after you were able to set up your banking systems under new names, each of your reserves of money now flowing and freely accessible, you still always rented a place where you’d share a bed. 
You’ve gotten used to sharing with him now. You almost can’t sleep without him there. And he tells you the same after you catch him awake, waiting up for you as you run your latest Sejin check. When you get back to the bedroom, feeling relieved at yet another week of being in the clear, Jungkook smiles up at you with tired eyes and pats the space on the right side of the bed.
Your side of the bed.
Tonight, you’re at a new friend’s house for dinner. You’d bumped into a woman at the grocery store and started chatting about something or another. You thought she was funny, and you felt pretty safe in this town. So when she invited you and Jungkook to have dinner with her and her husband that night, and you didn’t immediately have a panic attack, you thought it might be an indicator that you could settle here for a little while. Take it easier. Enjoy a little more of your day, instead of constantly looking over your shoulder. 
You’re certainly enjoying yourself as she, her husband, you, and Jungkook sit around their fire pit, taking in the changing night sky with some spiked coffees.
“Where are you off to next?” her husband asks, as she sidles up next to him.
To the two of them, you and Jungkook are a couple, with different names, who work as traveling wildlife photographers. They might have seen your work on postcards or in magazines, you say. You even brag that once, Jungkook got a spot on a famous show about wildlife. You’re not even sure if that show still exists.
“We haven’t decided,” you say with a sigh. “We’re kind of enjoying taking it easy at the moment. And I really like being able to shower in a tub and not in some grimy stall.”
Jungkook laughs knowingly, and you glance at him, shooting him a wink.
“You are just so adorable!” the woman gushes. “OK, that’s it. I want to learn more.”
“Yeah, enough work talk. Tell us a story about the two of you,” her husband says.
“There are lots of stories,” Jungkook says, smiling at you fondly. 
“How did you meet?” she prods, her eyes in the shape of hearts. She’s been staring at Jungkook like this all night, and you can’t help but feel proud somehow.
Jungkook laughs. “Uh, well.” He looks at you. “I think it’s technically your turn to tell the story, babe.”
“Oh, I always like hearing it from the guy’s point of view,” she says, grinning. “Now, c’mon!”
Her husband chuckles and rolls his eyes. “My wife’s a real romantic.” His wife giggles and tickles his chin with her fingers. “And,” he adds, “to be honest, so am I.”
You look at Jungkook expectantly. “You heard them. They’re romantics.”
Jungkook thinks for a moment, and you giggle in anticipation of what he’s going to say.
“OK, well, uh, we met at work,” Jungkook says, suddenly, simply. 
“...Oh,” she replies.
You start to laugh at her disappointment, thinking of how necessarily weakly Jungkook has summed things up.
Her husband laughs along with you, confused about what’s funny.
“Is there more to the story?” he asks.
You laugh again, and Jungkook reaches for your hand adoringly.
He beams sleepily, and then, in a gentle voice, one so full of warmth and light, one that you’ve only heard a handful of times, like by your cot, or in the rental car on a long stretch of road, or from the other side of your shared bed, he says fondly, “We worked on a job together, and I just really liked her.”
He turns to you. “I fell for her on the first day.”
The woman and her husband exchange sweet glances, touched by Jungkook’s earnest look.
You feel a little edgy.
“What did you like about her?” the woman asks.
Jungkook shrugs. “I liked the way she looked. I liked how sure of herself she was.” He bites his lip, remembering. “And I liked how smart she was. She just always knew what to do.”
He crinkles his eyes at you. “I’ve never met anyone like her.”
Your chest tightens in a way that you haven’t really felt before. 
It stays locked like that through the rest of your drinks, and on the way back to the house that you’ve rented for the next couple of weeks that you’d decided to stay in this town. 
Now, you’re starting to rethink that decision.
“What if we left tonight?” you ask, breathless, your chest still so constricted.
“Huh?” Jungkook asks. “I thought you wanted to stay. I thought you were having fun with, ah, what’s-her-name---”
“I did want to stay, but I don’t anymore,” you say quickly, starting to pace.
“What’s going on?” Jungkook asks.
“I don’t know. Nothing.”
Jungkook looks at you skeptically.
You sigh and sit on the couch, folding your arms and throwing your leg over your other knee, kicking in frustration.
“What’s going on?” Jungkook asks again, quieter, and sinking onto the couch, right next to you.
“It just felt too close,” you say. Your breathing slows. Your body settles. You turn to Jungkook and add, “That story. That was too close.”
Jungkook softens. He runs his thumb over your cheek.
You let yourself do the same, running your thumb over his scar. 
You realize that he hasn’t once asked about picking a jar of his stupid face cream.
“Sel,” Jungkook whispers, “I hate to break this to you but… given the circumstances, I think we’ve gotten pretty close.”
You stare at him. 
How did this pissant crawl his way inside of you?
Before you can think, you’re kissing. You had almost forgotten what the sensation felt like, it had been so long. When Jungkook kisses you, you not only remember, but you realize that all the other kisses that you’ve had weren’t as special as you thought they might be. The way he kisses you makes you question even your own kisses. Are you this present? This fulfilling? This all-encompassing?
He breaks your kiss too soon.
“Do you, uh,” Jungkook asks nervously, checking your eyes, but starting to run his hands over your body, “d-do you want to---”
“Yes,” you say emphatically. But this is dangerous, you think, making one friend and blurring the lines with another. 
He dives into you, and he sounds like he’s been hungry for you, the way he’s reveling in your smell and taste. He helps you out of your dress, kissing down your neck and sliding down the couch in the same way he’s sliding the fabric down your body. He looks up at you and sighs as he takes you in, your eyes hiding behind your heavy lids, fluttering with each of Jungkook’s touches.
“Did you ever want this?”
You look down to see what Jungkook means.
He nibbles at your inner thigh, making you spread your legs wider. He pulls your underwear down and runs his tongue up and down your thighs before spending more and more time at your mound, his saliva mixing with your juices as he circles your clit. 
You cry out at the feeling. Not just at what Jungkook’s doing to you, but at the fact that your first time in a while is so incredible. It’s rare to move from a period of inactivity to the best sex of your life. You wonder what you might’ve done in a past life to deserve it.
“You like it?” Jungkook asks hopefully. “How is it---” He chuckles and adds, “babe?”
You moan in response, and he grunts happily, before tenderly focusing in on your clit with his tongue, flattening it against you, and then making waves, then surrounding it in swirls before starting all over again. You start to move your hips against him, and he begins to bob his head at your pace. Soon, you’re left mewling and dripping, grabbing onto his hair, crying out his name. 
He fucks you softly at first. He watches you as if he’s in study of you. He takes in every bit of information. Which way you turn when you feel a wave of pleasure. How you squirm and wriggle against him when he puts his weight on you. When you tend to pull him close. When you arch back and away to feel him elsewhere. 
“Tell me,” he begs you. “Tell me what you feel.”
“I feel you filling me up,” you tell him. “Fuck. I feel so warm. So good.” 
You look at him. You run your hand through his hair, and he smiles at you. He looks so happy.
You beat your body against him, and pretty sighs float out of him, his neck going limp as he strokes.
He falls to you, pinning you down on the couch, his torso laying across yours, pressing your breasts into his chest, his arms on your shoulders and as he moves himself in and out of you, your arms clasping to his back and holding him as close to you as you can get him, your kisses increasingly dry with the way your mouths hang open for each other and draw breath, your collarbones slamming into each other and threatening to bruise.
Jungkook reaches back for your legs and hooks his elbows into the backs of your knees. He pushes you up, and your eyes alight as he repositions you both, his strokes getting even deeper and stronger.
You prop your chest up by sliding the top of your head back and into the mattress, and Jungkook plants rough kisses at your neck, biting the flesh just above your breast. When you clench, when it’s so good, he half-moans and half-laughs, delirious and amazed at what you’re doing to him in return.
He straightens and holds your legs up in the air with one hand bracing your gathered ankles.
He continues to pump into you, but he uses his free hand to rub your still throbbing clit.
You squeal, biting your lip and throwing your hands down onto the couch, clawing at the fabric with your nails, shaking your head back and forth and moving your hips up to meet him.
You come and sob, the release feeling like the first cool breeze at the end of a long, humid, summer thunderstorm storm, your skin drenched and your senses renewed.
And when you come, you let out a chuckle, making Jungkook slow his pace a little and feel that familiar tingle across his skin whenever he sees your smile, or hears your laugh.
He so loves making you feel good.
If he can make you feel good, then he must be doing something right, and kind, and real.
He falls back to you kissing you deeply, your tongues dancing around each other and stirring the deeper parts of you back into action.
“I only want this, yeah?” he tells you, kissing you, grunting to ask you if you’ve heard, grunting until you moan back in agreement. “I only want you. I want you and this life. I want nothing else.”
You smile and mumble things back.
“You taste so good,” you sigh. “Feel so good.”
You push him off of you, making him look concerned.
“Take me in our bed,” you say, playing up the fantasy. You sit up and take his cock in your hands. You stroke him and smile up at him. “Fuck me harder. Make me scream.”
He goes to speak, but you wrap your lips around the tip of his cock, and you slide him inside of you until your cupid’s bow is pressed against his hip.
When you look back up at him, his chin is pointed at the ceiling, and he’s gripping your shoulder so tightly that you’re afraid he’ll leave a handprint.
“Fuck, Sel.”
You moan at the sound of your name, and he moans at the feel of your moan against his shaft. His ass jiggles as you start to cup his cock in your throat, and he pumps in response. Even this feels incredible, the delectable sensation of his thick length sliding past your mouth, the sound of his grunts and groans like sweet, cotton candy clouds hanging in the air. 
He pulls out of you when he’s had enough, and he makes good on your request, picking you up and kissing you as he leads you back to your room.
Your bed.
You collapse onto the mattress together, and he turns you around, getting you on all fours and kissing your back.
He enters you slowly, but soon, you’re pushing back against him so fast and hard that you worry you might break something. The bedframe. Your body. Something.
You feel his sweat dripping onto your skin, and you hiss at the feeling, imagining it dripping down. You look back, and he growls at the sight of your eyes shining at him as he takes you. He grabs onto your ass even tighter, and you grunt as he quickens his pace. You slide your body against the sheets and toss your hair to one side as Jungkook moans and slaps your ass. 
“You’re so beautiful,” he whines, reaching for your hand. “Fuck. So pretty.”
You give it to him, bending it behind you and letting it rest in the small of your back. He takes it in his and locks your fingers together, squeezing your palm so tightly in his.
You feel more sweat dripping onto you. It’s turning you on so much. You rest your cheek against a pillow and lean your front down, as you bring your hand back to collect his sweat and rub it into your pussy.
You let his sweat mix with your juices, still flowing, and you start to mutter gibberish to yourself, the feeling of everything happening so indescribably wonderful.
“Damn,” he sighs, watching you, getting off on the idea that you want all of him, even the parts that escape him.
He brings his free hand to yours too, taking over so that you can ride this wave of pleasure, rubbing your clit exactly the way you were just a second ago, his mind so perceptive and quickly able to pick up what you like from how you show him.
“J-Jungkook,” you whine warningly. “I need it. I need you to--- Fuck, more, harder.”
He grunts again, his breaths shaking as he works, his hips twisting and pistoning so gorgeously into your tight tunnel, his cock plunging in deeply, with abandon.
“There,” you beg. “Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop.”
He keeps doing exactly whatever it is that he’s doing that’s making your toes lock. Your knees rattle. Your thighs jiggle. Your back bend. Your shoulders cave. Your arms go limp. Your head fall to the mattress. Your voice tumble out of you, all wails and sobs of pleasure.
You pant, groaning and sighing, looking back at Jungkook again, his smirk plastered across his face, his brows set and furrowed with determination.
You pump against him, milking him, making your body as tight as you can for him.
“Shit,” he whispers. “You came so good for me. How did it feel, baby?”
“Perfect,” you sigh. “It was perfect.”
You start to swirl your hips, and Jungkook’s breath hitches in his chest.
“Now you, baby,” you moan, your walls spasming and making Jungkook shiver. “Come for me.”
Jungkook whines, burrowing into you.
“You want it?”
“I need it. I need all of you.”
He slaps your ass again, making you buck forward. He places his palms on each of your ass cheeks, spreading them and watching his cock slam into you. He spits onto his shaft, and you moan at the sound and feel. He closes his eyes and clutches you tightly, barrelling into you, and making you yelp with pleasure.
When he comes, he brings you with him. You didn’t know your body had anything left. Jungkook’s showing you just how much is buried there under the surface. And how willing he is to go there with you to find it.
You fall apart. You fall next to each other. You fall into each other’s soft gazes, as you settle into your sides of the bed.
Jungkook pulls you into him and holds you close as you sleep. He whispers to you like a lullaby, telling you how good you made him feel. How good you always make him feel. How he knows your barbs and insults and annoyed exterior are just decorations on a thin shell. How soft you really are inside.
And then you kiss.
Based on his kiss alone, you wouldn’t have expected the snarky, braggadocious, shallow Jungkook that you met. You’re realizing now that you hadn’t met the real Jungkook. Perhaps that’s what you think is making him so curious about you. He tells you that you’re good, all the time. You wonder if he’s forgotten that he started out good, too. You wonder if he’s rediscovering the untainted parts of himself by looking at you.
As good as the sex is, it’s that quiet, intimate part of the night that makes it harder to disappear.
You aren’t completely sure what you should write in your note.
It feels so stupid to write a note in the first place. First of all, you’ve long abandoned leaving paper trails. And, second, you’ve never extended the courtesy of letting people know when you were leaving, mostly because extending that courtesy to them would put them at risk.
You almost don’t leave at all. At some point, weeks ago, you wondered if it was safer this way. Four eyes looking all around you instead of just two looking ahead or behind. You decided to try it, and you were pleasantly surprised.
But given what Jungkook has told you tonight. That he could do this forever with you.
It’s a risk.
So, you played the part. You gave him what he seemed to want. Because the reality will come up so short.
A note is the least you could do.
But what to write?
You think about what you’ve been told about your word. That it’s all you ever really have. It’s why you get so annoyed when people don’t take you at it. 
You decide that whatever you write doesn’t have to answer any questions. It just has to be true.
You leave the note on your pillow. You write it in your neatest, prettiest cursive. As if that will soften the blow.
You pack quickly and quietly. It looks like you were never there. You leave the rental car for him, sensing that it would be unfair to leave him stranded as well as alone. So you order a car to take you to the airport instead.
As you head for the front door, you know that this is going to be extremely hard to get over. You’re going to miss Jungkook and all your stories together. You’re going to miss this life dearly. Desperately.
And as soon as you walk outside, the early morning fresh air hits you, and you doubt yourself one last time when you realize that you hadn’t had one nightmare the entire time you’ve been on the run with him. 
But. 
Like all the other times.
The times that were arguably harder than this.
You press on.
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The Cul-de-Sac Cons Masterpost
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onthevirgeofdestruction · a year ago
Text
35 Q’s for Fanfic Writers
From this post
I’m having a shitty, rude alter-y, crap night so I’m just going to answer all of these to distract myself and focus and to not bother anybody just making my own post and putting it under the cut btw, notice to anyone not aware: since I’m moving I won’t likely be updating anything until I’m done doing so.
1. From one to five stars, how would you rate your writing?  (No downplaying yourself!) 3/5? Could use more editing and description and can be weirdly paced.
2. Why do you write fanfiction? Because it’s better than focusing on pain 24/7. 
3. What do you think makes your writing stand out from other works? I don’t seem to have a specific narrative voice that people recognize but I’m pretty proud of mostly organic dialogue. 
4. Are there any writers that inspire you? as a rule i never look up to anybody for inspiration but there’s some stuff in my ao3 bookmarks I fawn over.
5. What’s the fic you’re most proud of? Right now, none of them. It changes normally, anyway. If get too proud then I’d get my ass kicked by RSD if someone didn’t like it so it’s safer this way
6. What element of writing do you find comes easily? Dialogue. 
7. What element of writing do you struggle with most? Organic description, poetic language kind of stuff. I can paint a scene but I’m not so great with bring out out a feeling with description alone.
8. Which character(s) do you find easiest to write? Janus and Virgil are probably tied. They both have things I struggle with but I don’t have to go back and do much adjusting of language and tone with them. Though admittedly my Virgil is signifigantly more foul-mouthed than canon and I tend to prefer pre-AA feral asshole Virgil.
9. Which character(s) do you find most difficult to write? Patton. I write him the least, so people can probably tell. I love Patton, I really do, but it’s so hard to keep away from fanon Patton. 
10. What’s your favorite genre to write for? Angst w/ H/C obviously. Or if you’re talking about regular book genres, Fantasy. I fucking love fantasy world building.
11. Who or what do you find yourself writing about most? Trauma. I blame Daeram. As if Ayri isn’t a giant Angst Demon.
12. Tell us about a WIP you’re excited about. Slopes. I’m really into it. I’ve got three one shots running right now. Patrons can read the first part of the unnamed cat remus one, there’s also a coffeeshop au tropey nonsense one like eglantine & lycoris, but Slopes is addiction angst. Mmmmm. Virgil is addicted to coke and alcohol and will listening to his friends even be in time? Who knows, especially not me, but there’s already over 30k. 
13. First fandom you ever wrote for? InuYasha. Or was it Harry Potter? Or shit, The Blue Sword? Fuck, I’ve been writing for a long time, I really have no idea.
14. What’s your favorite fandom to write for? Sanders Sides. The characters are the perfect dynamic for writing since they exist in balance of each other and the popular, easy to project on archetypes featured are incredibly fun to do basically any scenario with.
15. What’s the weirdest fandom you’ve ever written for? Weird storywise? Kingdom Hearts? I can’t even follow the plot anymore. Weird Fandomwise? Sanders Sides. Its simultainiously the fluffiest and angstiest nonsense at the same time.
16. Any guilty pleasure trope(s)? Vampires. Gay ones. Gay Vampires. I also love calm tol and angy smol.
17. A trope you’ll never, ever write for. Any tropes that normalize incredibly toxic behaviour or tropes that are inherantly ableist, but I can’t think of any.
18. Wildest fic you’ve ever written? Incorrigible continues to be complete nonsense.
19. Do you prefer canon-compliant, AUs, or something in-between? AUs. I mean closest I even have is canon-divergence other than a single short.
20. Gen fic or shippy stuff? I like it when there is gay nonsense along with a plot that is treated as more important than the relationship the most. But I like both. There’s more shippy stuff in tss so i read more shipping action by default.
21. Favorite pairing to write for? (platonic or romantic!) Anxceit/Sleepxiety, but in general, give me darksides or give me death/j
22. Do you listen to anything while you write? Almost everything I write has a special playlist I listen to to help me write it, but otherwise I listen to my Nyan playlist, an alter is picking the tunes, or a voidfam playlist. I never have music off. When my internet is down I just listen to the songs I own or Anxiety’s theme on loop.
23. Do you prefer prompts and challenges, or completely independent ideas? I’m fine with all of them. I love working with prompts but I tend to deviate. And I’ve never done a challenge since I can’t do deadlines and bad things happen bingo never sent me a card and I applied three times.
24. One-shots or multi-chaptered works? I am generally multi-chaptered stuff, but I’ve been working on a few one-shots lately that are much longer than most one shots.
25. Have you ever daydreamed about side adventures/spin-offs from your fic? Tell us about them! I was originally thinking of doing some little 13-year-old Dreaming!Roman (y’know, the one with a job) shorts but it turns out I just had an alter of that little bastard and that’s why I inexplicably know more about him then I ever even considered. I still might do them after Dreaming is done. But that’s paced so slowly who knows when that might happen. Otherwise I put stuff in my notes and just do shorts of it if I’m like “oh you know what’s cool???” but since I can’t daydream maybe this question doesn’t apply to me.
26. Is there anything you’ve wanted to write, but you’ve been too scared to try? I want to do more autism stuff, and I’ve had it demanded a few times, but I’m scared of being that explict about it for some reason. Possibly because I might be, possibly because I’m scared of doing it wrong even though I’ve accidentally coded multiple characters autistic. I’m scared of explictly tagging them as such, too. 
27. What’s the nicest comment you’ve ever received? That I can remember off the top of my head? I’m going with one from @a-genz-with-trauma-and-kins. It really helped me out and was just so kind and literally the best christmas gift I got in 2020. 
28. How well do you handle criticism when it comes to your writing? I can handle it alright but Daeram is a little fucking pissbaby about it. Constructive criticism helps people get better, so I appreciate it. I can’t handle critism that is incomplete, though. “i just don’t get it” or “I don’t know I don’t like it” kind of things. If I can’t understand the why to fix it then things get out of control. And then I spiral and RSD for like four days minimum. If it came from an anon or a troll, too, It might not bother me for as long. Things that are just like “this is shit and you should feel bad” just make me laugh. Couldn’t even bother to read it long enough to insult me proper? I don’t care.
29. Have you ever gone outside of your comfort zone for a fic? How did it turn out? I have a few times. Mostly in shorts and prompts, I think. I think they turned out okay. They’re not particularly inspired or anything.
30. Tooth-rotting fluff or merciless angst? Depends on my mood. Am I triggered? give me the fluff. Am I vibin? Angst. 
31. Do you have any OCs? Tell us about them! Fuck, fam, no, I can’t, I have so many. I have multiple original stories and some of them have very large casts and like holy fuck. Or do you mean in Sanders Sides fandom? Um, Morgan and Thorn in PD. The lesbian and her himbo dynamic. I love them. They’re dorks. Morgan is strong person with sharp tongue and soft romantic heart and Thorn is just so kind and so dumb and so exciteable he’s like a puppy. They were just filler characters and I got attached to them. Felton even gets redemption for being an ass later in PD, like oof i never intended to include so much OC content, especially for names I just picked randomly. 
32. Summarize a random fic of yours in 10 words or less. nope I’m doing all of them because these are fun plea for my new self: 2 gay vampires, 4 humans, 1 braincell dreaming while I wake: trauma child needs therapy and so do you break: big oof, oh dragons, oh why, go virgil go rebuild: virgil is so not okay there’s more virgil to deal painful death: gay teens drink themselves into a new religion stargazing: whoops we didn’t realize people actually cared whole castle: everyone will throw down for kid!patton, even you incorrigible: found family with a shot of psychological horror and crack dangerous instincts: wholesome crime syndacite action  slopes: addict gets mugged and thinks that’s just fine with him conflagration: logan avoids everything ever like a champ cat!remus: bored fae shifts gay pining from one person to another  caffeine cyptids: caffinated gay panic goes faster than regular gay panic eglantine & lycoris: more tropes than you can toss a shoe at storytime: overpowered virgil also overreacts literally always
33. Is there anything you wish your audience knew about your writing or writing process? an alter and I write together and I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen, what I’m writing about, or even what year it is. I often don’t even remember what I wrote. There’s no outline. I have an idea and I pick things at random for it. There’s just notes and an evil gleam in a demon’s eye. The only reason I know more than readers is because I take a long time to edit and some of these stories have fucking alters up in my head who can tell me things. Daeram tells me nothing. The writing demon supposedly has all this knowledge but I have absolutely no clue because he does not talk to me, he just fronts and slams out 9k in a few hours or we cofront to write and I’m like “oh no she didn’t” while typing 
34. Copy and paste an excerpt you’re particularly fond of. i’m fond of the entire painful death series and I tried to find something I really liked without spoilers in stargazing and I couldn’t so here’s a random thing from incorrigble: “So, what do you do with your friends?” Patton continued on with a megawatt smile. “Grand larceny,” Virgil deadpanned and glared at Patton, who was taken aback. Remy and Andy just broke out laughing while Virgil tentatively sipped his still-too-hot-cocoa. 
35. Ramble about any fic-related thing you want!  slopes my dudes slopes i have learned so much about cocaine! like wow! I thought for a minute it was going to end with MCD around 30k but it swtiched from whump to hurt/comfort and I still don’t know if it’s going to be MCD but look at that funky little coke/alcohol addict go, it’s a medical wonder he’s alive! It’s not like there’s what seems to be a little talked about interaction between alcohol and cocaine that causes a toxic chemical to build up in the liver which can result in liver failure and sudden death at basically any moment! Which is part of why it may result in MCD but this time no ghosts! maybe it’ll be h/c with whump elements or maybe it’ll be whump with h/c elements we can’t know for sure
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lostlitany · 9 months ago
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ANOTHER!
7: Were there any ideas you had for "Damn Straight Gay" that you couldn’t make work? What were they?
11: Which OC of yours do you think is the most similar to you? Which OC is the most different? Why?
23: What’s one piece of advice you would give to anyone who wants to start writing or posting their writing online?
Ayyyy another~!! This got pretty heckin’ long soooo
7. Damn Straight Gay ideas that couldn’t work
I’ve long since deleted my draft doc for that fic, but I remember there were a bunch of scenes I had planned out that never made it to the final cut. I had originally planned for the chapters to switch perspectives back and forth between Bakugou and Kirishima- but I wrote the first two chapters from Bakugou’s point of view and ended up deciding to keep the whole fic like that.
Obviously with the deletion of Kiri’s POV, there comes the loss of all the dates he and what’s her face were supposed to go on (what did I even name that extra? Like Yuuna or something? Idr). Either way, Kiri’s chapters we’re supposed to center around the actual relationship and the growing toxicity between the two of them. I imagined they would go places and Kirishima would keep bringing up going to those places with Bakugou, which is why we see a lot of Bakugou reminiscing throughout the story. I wanted the story to have Bakugou or Kirishima reminiscing about their past, through either Bakugou’s moping, or Kirishima’s dates, and for that to be kinda solemn and off, and then kinda re-envision those same areas with the two of them being awkward around each other and regretting the breakup.
Another big thing that got scrapped was that I had actually originally planned for Yuuna and Bakugou to meet! I wanted them to hate each other immediately- Bakugou of course would’ve played cordial because he’s a simp for Ei, but Yuuna was going to act more along the lines of “I don’t like you hanging out with him- you should stop talking to him for me”
But, without writing the dates, there really was no need for Yuuna to have an onscreen character. So I kept her separate from Bakugou and all we know about the toxic girlfriend is what Bakugou hears from other people who have met her.
I think it worked better because the story was meant to be focused on Bakugou and Kirishima’s relationship, and having Yuuna like actually around and present may have distracted from the boy’s relationship and put more spotlight on her relationship with Kirishima- So I think it’s a good thing I ended up scrapping so much. It made for a better structured story-
11. Which OC is most similar / different - Why?
So as far as my published work goes, the only OCs I think I really have- are Kirishima’s family. And I definitely haven’t really written enough of them to say much more than I’m most like Satori, the badass mom who teases Kirishima the whole time Bakugou’s over- and I’m least like Mei, the pleasant, sunshine and rainbows cutesy type who giggles warmly at her family’s antics and enjoys sitting back and watching the show.
Just to be obnoxious and not answer the question properly- I will also say this because my characterizations are based off of cannon, but are decidedly not- I am most similar to the way I write Bakugou and least similar to the way I write Kirishima. In both Damn Gay and The Exception, Bakugou and his situation have been practically directly ripped from my life. Some of the words exchanged between him and other characters are real conversations I’ve had with different friends and acquaintances. Kirishima on the other hand, is vastly different. His characterization has been a mixture of my three best friends over the years- and one very special detail that I force onto him that quite a few other authors don’t- is that I make him quite easily manipulated. In Damn Gay he gets caught up in a toxic relationship and gives up everything he actually cares about to force himself to life with this girl that he only got with once Mina accidentally convinced him to move on from Bakugou. In The Exception the same thing happens where he finds something that makes him happy, a couple things go wrong, and he easily leaves Bakugou behind when Mina suggests it. In cannon, I think despite his doubts towards himself, he’s a lot more sure of his friends. But in my portrayal of him, he’s a lot less weak willed when it comes to bumps in his relationships and friendships. I write Kirishima as an easily influenced ray of sunshine who aims to please people, and as soon as things start to go south, he shuts himself up and drowns out his own thoughts, turning to other people around him to make harder decisions for him because he doesn’t trust himself to do it. This is in contrast to Bakugou who makes stupid decisions and jumps to moronic conclusions all on his own, who when things get tough, jumps at the opportunity to push through it as fast as possible just to get over it and get past all the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that would otherwise hold him down. Kiri dwells on it much longer and drags those rough moments out inadvertently, by waiting for his problems to go away on their own.
22. Writing advice for beginners of writing or posting
New writers- Write what you want to read. As I’ve said before I have a whole plethora of OCs that I’ve created and written stories for. I made characters and relationships to fill in my own self indulgent fantasies, and that got me hooked. I wrote for myself and that was it. I wasn’t planning on posting it anywhere, I was too embarrassed to show my friends, I wasn’t aiming to please anyone. I wrote forced story plots and 2 dimensional characters that made me happy. It established writing as a fun pastime in my head. If you go into this looking for follows and kudos and comments, it’s going to get very depressing very fast, and you’re most likely going to stop before you even get started. So ignore the world. Write for you first, and when you figure out how to make you happy, then start writing for real. If you want that shot of straight serotonin that comes from constructive feedback- bug me. Text me. Email me. DM me. Idk. Find me and share with me what you’ve written. We all have to start somewhere and building a solid foundation on your own can be very difficult. If this is something that you want to really do, I’m no professional, but I want to help. Write for you, then find a beta, or a friend. Someone who can gush over your characters and such with you. Create a strong link between writing and happiness in your brain. Hack your mind to make writing fun and rewarding, so later down the line when you’re good enough to get hate, it can’t affect you.
New posters- Don’t doubt what you’ve made. There are 7 billion people on this planet. If you’ve written something really niche and small and overly self indulgent and you think nobody else is going to like it- remember the phrase one in a million. If you are one in a million, there are 700 other people out there like you. That self indulgent fic that you wrote specifically for you? Post it. Because there may be 700 other people looking for exactly that. You never know what people are looking for. You never know what people are willing to try out. 50 Shades of Grey was a fanfiction.......
Are they not part of a fandom? Are they your original characters? Cool, Steven Universe is filled of original characters. So is Avatar. Oh! And My Hero. Every fandom started off as a collection of Original Characters. I’ll read about your kids if you’ll read about mine.
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irisbleufic · 2 years ago
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Happy 2020! Can I tag you to do that 2019 Fic Year in Review thing?
Happy New Year to you, too!  Sure thing.  I can’t remember the last time I did one of these; since 2019 is the end of a decade, it feels fitting.  Here goes…
14 February 2019: After spending 14 of my 15 years (2020 marks the start of my 16th year) in Good Omens fandom working on it, I finally finished and posted the 75th and final installment of Crown of Thorns [The Walls, the Wainscot, and the Mouse] ’Verse.  LiveJournal was still the fandom’s primary posting hub when I posted the first-ever installment, A Better Place, on 1 October 2005.  The series didn’t get its second installment (The Walls, the Wainscot, and the Mouse) until 2010, but work on the series from that point forward was pretty much constant.  2012 saw a higher number of CoT updates than any year previous; that was also the year I transferred it to AO3.
25 February 2019: I finished and posted the last chapter of my third Good Omens collaborative fic ’verse with @procrastinatingbookworm, Turn In Your Arms.  We couldn’t believe there was no Good Omens fusion with Tam Lin, so we went for it.  Given our first collaboration in 2018 was a Good Omens fusion with Groundhog Day (Game Over, Insert Coin), that wasn’t a stretch.
27 February 2019: @aspiringjedi and I posted the first of our two Good Omens meta-essays, Making An Effort: Queer (Trans) Masculinity in the Ethereal & Occult Beings of Good Omens.  Yes, it’s 1,990 words due to the novel’s publication year.  When you’re just under 2,000 words anyway, why not?
28 February 2019: @procrastinatingbookworm and I followed up Turn In Your Arms with a brief sequel, Burn After Reading.  All of our collaborations to date have ended up as multi-story mini ’verses.
25 March - 20 April 2019: I went about as livid over Gotham’s Season 5 as I did over Season 3 and wrote Darkroom to address how dirty the show did Bruce and Jeremiah.  I had a stand-alone Season 4 fix-it story (focusing on Oswald and Edward, like most of my other Gotham work) called Triage from 2018 that had never quite felt like it was meant to be a stand-alone.  Triage and Darkroom became the first two installments of a series called Playing for Keeps, to which I added another 6 stories by April 20th.  Darkroom somehow got more traffic than any of my other Gotham pieces since When You Find It, Run over in DDO ’Verse (although those two stories are keystone pieces in much larger series, they can both be read as stand-alones).
4 April 2019: In the midst of working on the aforementioned, @aspiringjedi posted our second Good Omens meta-essay, Southern Pansies: Subversive (Trans) Masculinity in the Ethereal & Occult Beings of Good Omens.
8 May 2019: Brief blip back into Pacific Rim fic!  I posted a missing Anthology correspondence/inset ficlet called L’amour, c’est comme la guerre.  For anyone who ever wanted more of the email correspondence in Anthology’s final chapter, this fills in some gaps you didn’t know were there.
16 May 2019: Thanks to some behind-the-scenes persuasion from several really tenacious Gotham readers who didn’t want me to abandon it / shut down DDO ’Verse, I completed The Knights’ Tour after almost a year on hiatus from it.  This turned out to light a fresh fuse on DDO, because TTK didn’t end up being the final story in the series like I had once planned.
18 May 2019: The only His Dark Materials fic I’ve ever written, also a Gotham fusion, got a belated new final chapter.  Gold Dust is sort of an alternate take on DDO ’Verse, one in which Dust and daemons are present.
23 May 2019: I posted what I thought would be a stand-alone Gotham story called The Meaning of This City.  It manages to be a marginally less dark and complicated take on the Bruce-and-Jeremiah situation (than Darkroom over in PfK ’Verse, that is) without sacrificing some of the most difficult features of what they need to overcome.  More on why this didn’t remain a stand-alone in a bit.
6 June 2019: Good Omens requests came around, one of which led me to follow the Imagine Hastur Ficlets (which themselves exist thanks to the accidental prompts at @imaginehastur) interlude in CoT with The Imagine Hastur Epilogue.  This was a sort of neat in-narrative way to deal with having gradually come out about my biological (inter)sex and (nonbinary) gender identity over the 14 years I worked on CoT. 
15 June - 1 July 2019: I posted another Good Omens collaboration-set with @procrastinatingbookworm called Have Faith at the series-title level.  The two stories in it, You Bloody Snake and Enough of a Bastard, focus almost entirely on Hastur and Ligur.  Seeing Aziraphale and Crowley through different (and less favorable) eyes was a weird pleasure; seeing people indignantly realize they were enjoying fic about Hastur and Ligur was even more of one!
15 August 2019: @verumx persuaded me to watch Jamie Marks Is Dead with her and @one-eyed-bossman, and then implored me to fix it.  Using Our Words is the stand-alone that resulted, which is no shock given I can’t resist ghost stories.  It’s unique among this year’s stories in that it may be the only genuine stand-alone aside from the Gotham piece called Gold Dust.
17 August 2019: After an experimental in-character snail mail letter-writing exchange that lasted about 6 weeks, @verumx and I transcribed the letters and framed them in a piece of collaborative Gotham fic, We Were All Forgiven.  Since about late April, I had been getting progressively sicker and sicker (didn’t know yet that I had cancer).  Keeping busy as things got worse helped at least in the psychological sense, but by mid-August my exhaustion and difficulty eating were hitting their peak.  I was hiding it from everyone except my partner.
1 September 2019: Returning to two stories I’d written for Batman: Europa, I created a series umbrella called Once Is Not Enough and explicitly placed London (Letting Go) and Five Love Affairs under it as companion pieces.  Between Thursday Friday of this particular week, I experienced an increasingly more frightening set of symptoms that landed me in the ER and got a sequence of diagnostic tests finally rolling.
22 October 2019: After receiving a diagnosis of colon cancer on 10/1/19 and starting medical leave Monday of Halloween Week, I decided to complete the sequel to The Meaning of This City, which was a Gotham piece I’d left hanging mid-progress for weeks.  The Maze of Your Ingenuity was hard for me to complete due to constant blood tests, CT scans, and outpatient procedures in the lead-up to my Thanksgiving Week major inpatient surgery, but I did it.
23 September - 11 December 2019: My longest Gotham fic ’verse (Delicate, Dangerous, Obsessed, a.k.a. DDO), having refused to die even once The Knights’ Tour was complete, got an entirely new ending stretch of stories focusing on, of all people, Jerome Valeska and Five (514A).  They were the only two characters from canon who I had mentioned and/or shown briefly in passing earlier in DDO, but whose arcs from canon (and onward into my fic) I had done nothing to wrap up.  Challengers, Thicker Than Blood, Take This Waltz (It’s Yours Now), Finally Fair (In Love and War), and What We’re For (And What We Want) may, collectively, be the best writing I did during the entirety of 2019 (unless you count what I wrote in February to finish CoT).  The experience of terrifying, unexplained illness and harrowing treatment was entirely too timely to one of my two protagonists in this set of stories.  They were worth their weight not just in distraction, but also in catharsis.  Five survived, and so did I.
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ideonhenry · 2 years ago
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Ariana Grande on Grief and Growing UP: August 2019 of Vogue
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IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR, Ariana Grande had the number-one, number-two, and number-three songs in America. So extreme a choke hold of the Billboard charts had only one antecedent: the Beatles achieved it in 1964, when “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret” blanketed the airwaves. (Grande responded to the news of her pop preeminence in trademark terse, unpunctuated Twitterese: “wait what”.) But the singer, whose fame does not so much polarize as it sorts—into those who adore her, ape her high ponytail, and have made her the second-most-followed person on Instagram, behind the Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, and those for whom she barely registers (yet)—was in quiet knots. Thank U, Next, the album she wrote and recorded in a two-week fever dream the previous October, contained the most wrenchingly personal songs in her canon, and she was about to embark on a tour of at least 40 cities, where night after night she had to sing her way through a succession of private horrors.
“I was researching healing and PTSD and talking to therapists, and everyone was like, ‘You need a routine, a schedule,’ ” Grande says, yanking off a pair of black, ultra-high platform ankle boots so that she can crisscross her legs on the sofa and sit close. The boots, by the way, are Sergio Rossi, though we have to dig into the insole to determine this; Grande knows about music, she says, and not about clothes. “Of course because I’m an extremist, I’m like, OK, I’ll go on tour! But it’s hard to sing songs that are about wounds that are so fresh. It’s fun, it’s pop music, and I’m not trying to make it sound like anything that it’s not, but these songs to me really do represent some heavy shit.”
We are sitting in the home studio of Tommy Brown, Grande’s close friend and a producer on Thank U, Next, at the end of a noiseless cul-de-sac in Northridge, in the San Fernando Valley. (The earthquake that occurred here in 1994, six months after Grande’s birth, was among the strongest ever recorded in an American city.) A layer of cloud casts a dull light over the low-lying suburban houses and their front yards dotted with iceberg roses and pepper trees. Grande’s fans, known as Arianators, rivaling the Beyhive and the Little Monsters as the most dedicated and attuned in music, know that she loves the dour weather, hates the beach of her cosseted Floridian youth. “I’m like, please bring me the cold and the clammy and the clouds,” she says. “You want what you didn’t grow up getting.”
Although she has a home of her own in Beverly Hills, the kind of vast, marble-paved manse that young stars buy before they’re ready for them, Tommy’s is where she likes spending time when she’s in Los Angeles. Grande is wearing black leggings and an oversize sweatshirt emblazoned with the words SOCIAL HOUSE, the name of a pop duo from Pittsburgh who are friends and now one of her opening acts. A large white pearl, her birthstone, glimmers on her finger. (She is a Cancer: a little crab happiest in her shell.) It occurs to me that we’re talking about the weather for precisely the reason that people talk about the weather, in order to dance around the “heavy shit.” It’s a dance that spins out quickly. Grande begins to cry nine minutes into our conversation, at the mention of Coachella, which she headlined this year for the first time. Following a bumbling interchange of apologies—“I’m so sorry I’m crying,” “I’m so sorry I made you cry”—she explains that the festival offered near-constant reminders of the rapper Mac Miller (born Malcolm McCormick), her dear friend, collaborator, and ex-boyfriend, who died of an accidental overdose in September 2018. I imagined we would visit this and other delicate topics somewhere deep in our discussion, but grief creates a conversational black hole, drawing all particles to it. “I never thought I’d even go to Coachella,” she explains. “I was always a person who never went to festivals and never went out and had fun like that. But the first time I went was to see Malcolm perform, and it was such an incredible experience. I went the second year as well, and I associate...heavily...it was just kind of a mindfuck, processing how much has happened in such a brief period.”
For a woman who recently turned 26 and is enjoying the most successful chapter of her career, it has also been a spectacularly, and publicly, brutal couple of years. Fifteen months before Miller’s death, in May 2017, Grande had just finished the encore of a sold-out show on her Dangerous Woman tour in Manchester, England, when a suicide bomber detonated in the foyer, leaving 23 people dead, including an eight-year-old concertgoer. Shell-shocked and reeling, Grande and her mother, who was in the audience that night, flew home to Florida. (The tweet she mustered the next day was for a time the most-liked in the medium’s history: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”) But she quickly determined that before she was going to sing anywhere again, she needed to sing in Manchester. She returned two weeks later to visit survivors in hospitals and families in mourning. And she staged a benefit concert that raised $25 million. Guest stars included Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber, and Grande cruised the stage belting out her dirtiest songs at the request of one victim’s mother after it was suggested that the bomber, who had links to the Islamic State, had acted in protest of her racy pop persona.
But it was Grande’s culminating rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” intoned through her sobs, that is the night’s eternal image. If you didn’t know Ari, as her friends call her, if you sorted into that other group and assumed that Grande was a lab-engineered Frankensinger, a sexy cyborg extruding melismas in baby doll dresses and kitten ears, here may have been the first piece of evidence to the contrary. “Ariana’s an open book,” says her friend Miley Cyrus, who flew over for the concert. “She has always shared her experiences with this beautiful blend of reality and the fantasy that pop culture requires. But holding her in my arms that night and feeling her shake from the loss of lives, literally feeling her heart pounding against mine—when you can let down the personas and cry with the rest of the world, it’s unifying. It’s a reminder that music can be our greatest healer.”
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Head Space Grande, photographed in the makeshift studio at her childhood home in Boca Raton, Florida. Khaite cardigan, bralette, and boy shorts. Fashion Editor: Tonne Goodman.
She released no original music until the following spring, when “No Tears Left to Cry,” the first single off her fourth studio album, Sweetener, offered up a dance-floor hymn to optimism in the face of catastrophe. (The album’s closing track, “Get Well Soon,” addresses Manchester’s survivors directly. Including a period of silence at the song’s end, it clocks in at 5:22, the date of the bombing.) But in November 2018, after Miller’s death and the dissolution of her brief engagement to the Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson, Grande had to acknowledge that she was far from cried out, and she did so in a now-famous tweet: “remember when i was like hey i have no tears left to cry and the universe was like HAAAAAAAAA bitch u thought.”
These words, classic darkly humorous and self-deprecating Grande, are about as far as she has been willing to go toward addressing the events of the last two years. “I’ve been open in my art and open in my DMs and my conversations with my fans directly, and I want to be there for them, so I share things that I think they’ll find comfort in knowing that I go through as well,” she explains. “But also there are a lot of things that I swallow on a daily basis that I don’t want to share with them, because they’re mine. But they know that. They can literally see it in my eyes. They know when I’m disconnected, when I’m happy, when I’m tired. It’s this weird thing we have. We’re like fucking E.T. and Elliott.” Grande admits to approaching our conversation with a mix of dread and guilt about her dread. “I’m a person who’s been through a lot and doesn’t know what to say about any of it to myself, let alone the world. I see myself onstage as this perfectly polished, great-at-my-job entertainer, and then in situations like this I’m just this little basket-case puddle of figuring it out.” She laughs through her sniffles. “I have to be the luckiest girl in the world, and the unluckiest, for sure. I’m walking this fine line between healing myself and not letting the things that I’ve gone through be picked at before I’m ready, and also celebrating the beautiful things that have happened in my life and not feeling scared that they’ll be taken away from me because trauma tells me that they will be, you know what I mean?”
GRANDE GREW UP IN Boca Raton, Florida, in a gated community of expensive and lushly planted Mediterranean-style homes. Her mother, Joan Grande, Brooklyn-born and Barnard-educated, owns a business selling marine communications equipment; her father, Edward Butera, is a graphic designer. The couple divorced when Grande was eight. Ariana grew up in character, in a household that relished characters. The theme of her third birthday party was Jaws. She loved to run around the house in a Jason mask, and at Halloween, Joan liked to buy animal organs and leave them floating in dishes. “My family is eccentric and weird and loud and Italian,” Grande says. “There was always this fascination with the macabre. My mom is goth. Her whole wardrobe is modeled after Cersei Lannister’s. I’m not kidding. I’m like, ‘Mom, why are you wearing epaulets? It’s Thanksgiving.’ ”
Grande declared herself early. Joan recalls a car ride when Ariana was around three and a half; NSYNC was playing, and over and over the little girl perfectly matched JC Chasez’s high notes. There was a karaoke machine at home, and everyone—Ariana, her older half-brother, Frankie, and her mother—was always singing. “The soundtrack was Whitney, Madonna, Mariah, Celine, Barbra,” she recalls. “All the divas. Gay, divas, divas, gay, belting divas.” Joan also played a lot of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and the family watched old musicals, especially the Judy Garland–Mickey Rooney pictures. “She was so intrigued by how pristine and precise these women were,” Joan recalls. “She studied them carefully.” When the family loved a show, they could be obsessive; Joan estimates that they saw Jersey Boys on Broadway close to 60 times.
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Three of Hearts “She has a way of taking on everyone’s pain,” says Grande’s mother, Joan, center. Grandmother Marjorie is at near right. On Ariana: Chloé dress.
Grande has a preternatural gift for impersonating other singers and actresses—a talent that has made her a surprise darling of the nighttime-television circuit. (After watching her host Saturday Night Live three years ago, Steven Spielberg texted Lorne Michaels to sing her praises.) Grande credits her healthy vocal technique to having learned to mimic Celine Dion, in particular, whose seamless blending through her registers and careful vocal placement have given her greater durability than many of her peers. “I learned how to make it sound like I was belting and being loud without actually belting and being loud,” Grande explains. “The voice is expensive, and if you’re spending it properly, you’ll be able to keep spending it.” When I tell her that I’m surprised by her interest in Judy Garland—not an obvious source of inspiration for a pop artist born nearly 25 years after her death—she cradles her arms in a manner that immediately brings the legend to mind. “I would stand in front of the TV and mimic her body movements. I was always fascinated. She carried herself in a way that was so protected and soft and Judy.”
After years of local children’s theater, Grande landed a role in the Broadway musical 13. (She was 14 at the time.) Weeks after the musical closed, she was cast as the goofy sidekick Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon show Victorious, which made her a star with the tween set. “I never really saw myself as an actress,” she says, “but when I started talking about wanting to make R&B music at 14, they were like, ‘What the fuck would you sing about? This is never going to work. You should audition for some TV shows and build yourself a platform and get yourself out there, because you’re funny and cute and you should do that until you’re old enough to make the music you want to make.’ So I did that. I booked that TV show, and then I was like, OK, now can I make music?” While Victoriousmarched on, in her free time Grande liked to upload YouTube videos of herself singing covers of Adele, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey. It was a virtuoso rendition of Carey’s “Emotions,” which Grande posted in August 2012, when she was 19, that made her a hot property. Since then she has worked at a frantic pace, turning out five albums in six years, all of them certified platinum, and touring the world three times.
If one aspect of Grande’s career has been immune to critique, it’s her singing. Patti LaBelle came to know her several years ago, when Grande asked the R&B icon to perform at her birthday party. They have become friends. “She’s surpassed her peers,” LaBelle says. “And she does everything herself, which is not always the way with the young baby girls. She doesn’t need any machines. She’s a baby who’s able to sing like an older black woman.” LaBelle, whose four-year-old granddaughter, Gia, wears an Ariana ponytail, recalls the time when both singers performed for the Obamas at the Women of Soul concert at the White House. Grande was extremely nervous. “I said, ‘Girl, you’re a beast. Go up there and sing like that white-black woman you are.’ Ariana can sing me under the table—and listen, I can sing.”
Watch Ariana Grande’s New “In My Head” Cover Video:
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Grande’s personal style has left her more vulnerable. Some critics have chafed at her uniform of bubblegum lampshade dresses and thigh-high boots, with their uneasy mix of sybarite and schoolgirl—as if she were the contrivance of a horny industry Humbert. She is not. “She’s like an R-rated version of a Disney character, super-vivid,” says Pharrell Williams, who produced much of Sweetener and clocked long hours in the studio with Grande pre- and post-Manchester. “But she’s full of self-awareness. That meta-cognition is part of her personality.” To those troubled by her image, Grande has a silencing reply: She just likes it. “I like having my funny character that I play,” she explains, “that feels like this exaggerated version of myself. It protects me. But also I love disrupting it for the sake of my fans and making clear that I’m a person—because that’s something I enjoy fighting for. I can’t help disrupt it. I’m incredibly impulsive and passionate and emotional and just reckless. The music is very personal and very real, but yes, if you can be me for Halloween, if drag queens can dress up as me, then I’m a character. Go to your local drag bar, and you’ll see it. That’s, like, the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s better than winning a Grammy.” (Incidentally, Grande won her first Grammy this year, when Sweetener was awarded Best Pop Vocal Album.)
While the character has been remarkably consistent across her career, Grande feels it’s only in the last year that she has been able to make the music she has always wanted to make. “There was a two-album period where I was doing half the songs for me and half the songs to solidify my spot in pop music,” she acknowledges. “A lot of my singles have been hilariously lacking in substance. You’re talking to someone who put ‘Side to Side’ out as a single. I love that song, but it’s just a fun song about sex.” I ask her if it ever feels uncomfortable to gaze out at an audience of thousands of nine-year-old girls while singing a song about having so much coitus that it’s hard to walk straight. “They’re for sure gonna have it. I promise. I promise that your kid’s gonna have sex. So if she asks you what the song’s about, talk about it.” One clever aspect of Thank U, Next is the way it coaxes out your most cynical notions about Grande, then forces you to reevaluate them. Consider the three singles that ruled February: “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” “7 Rings,” and the title track. A song ostensibly about female rivalry is in fact about self-love; a paean to materialism celebrates sisterhood; and what sounds like it will be a haughty diss track turns out to be a reflection on the importance of gratitude and reappraisal.
It’s tempting to think of Manchester as the inflection point in Grande’s career, though she shrinks from any narrative about the bombing that might place her at its center. “It’s not my trauma,” she says as tears fill her eyes. “It’s those families’. It’s their losses, and so it’s hard to just let it all out without thinking about them reading this and reopening the memory for them.” She pauses to collect herself. “I’m proud that we were able to raise a lot of money with the intention of giving people a feeling of love or unity, but at the end of the day, it didn’t bring anyone back. Everyone was like, Wow, look at this amazing thing, and I was like, What the fuck are you guys talking about? We did the best we could, but on a totally real level we did nothing. I’m sorry. I have a lot to say that could probably help people that I do want to share, but I have a lot that I still need to process myself and will probably never be ready to talk about. For a long time I didn’t want to talk to anyone about anything, because I didn’t want to think about anything. I kind of just wanted to bury myself in work and not focus on the real stuff, because I couldn’t believe it was real. I loved going back into the studio with Pharrell because he just has this magical outlook on everything. He truly believes that the light is coming. And I’m like, Bruh, is it, though?”
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No Place Like Home With her dog Toulouse at a local beach in Boca Raton. Dior dress. Eric Javits hat. In this story: hair for Ariana Grande by Josh Liu, hair for Joan and Marjorie Grande by Cedric Salon; makeup for Ariana Grande by Hannah Murray, makeup for Joan and Marjorie Grande by Edward Cruz.
SINCE MANCHESTER, GRANDE HAS emerged as an outspoken advocate of gun control, singing at last year’s March for Our Lives, organized by the survivors of the Parkland massacre. She flew from Hong Kong to Charlottesville on the last day of her Dangerous Woman tour to perform in A Concert for Charlottesville, a response to the Unite the Right rally. She is passionately pro-LGBTQ and passionately anti–Donald Trump at a time when many of her peers have chosen to remain silent about politics lest they alienate a segment of their fan base. “I would rather sell fewer records and be outspoken about what I think is some fuckery than sell more records and be . . . Switzerland. Am I allowed to say that? I love Switzerland. The fake wokes are waiting to attack!”
The studio remains Grande’s safe haven. When Miller died, her friends— Tommy, the singer Victoria Monet, her childhood best friend, Aaron Gross, and others—gathered around her in New York, where she had been living. Somebody pointed out that Jungle City Studios was right around the corner from her apartment. “My friends know how much solace music brings me, so I think it was an all-around, let’s-get-her-there type situation,” she recalls. “But if I’m completely honest, I don’t remember those months of my life because I was (a) so drunk and (b) so sad. I don’t really remember how it started or how it finished, or how all of a sudden there were 10 songs on the board. I think that this is the first album and also the first year of my life where I’m realizing that I can no longer put off spending time with myself, just as me. I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to. So Thank U, Next was this moment of self-realization. It was this scary moment of ‘Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this shit.’ ”
TOMMY BROWN BELIEVES THAT Thank U, Next is Grande’s inner life set to a trap beat. “We were in that studio to throw paint around,” he recalls. “We weren’t thinking about an album. We were drinking a lot of champagne and, I think, doing a lot of therapy with each other. That album is so real because Ari makes her music in the real time of what’s happening in her life.” When I ask Grande whether it is fair to call Thank U, Next a response to Miller’s death, the tears return, along with the reciprocal apologies. Her characteristic heavy eyeliner, flared upward at the edges in the Maria Callas style, never runs. “It’s just hard to hear it so plainly put,” she says. She has rarely commented on her relationship with Miller and has taken umbrage when the media has sought to define her according to her romantic relationships. But in May 2018, she made an exception in the form of a widely admired clapback after a fan of Miller’s took to Twitter following the rapper’s arrest for drunk driving, suggesting that being spurned by Grande was the cause. Her reply was swift and lacerating: “shaming and blaming a woman for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem. let’s please stop doing that.”
“People don’t see any of the real stuff that happens, so they are loud about what they think happened,” she says now. “They didn’t see the years of work and fighting and trying, or the love and exhaustion. That tweet came from a place of complete defeat, and you have no idea how many times I warned him that that would happen and fought that fight, for how many years of our friendship, of our relationship. You have no idea so you’re not allowed to pull that card, because you don’t fucking know. That’s where that came from.” Grande spent years consumed by worry about Miller. Friends with her during the Dangerous Woman tour recall a woman up at all hours, desperately tracking his whereabouts to ensure he wasn’t on a bender. “It’s pretty all-consuming,” she says of her grief over Miller. “By no means was what we had perfect, but, like, fuck. He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming . . . less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.”
Grande has since backed off from using social media to unload her feelings, instead mainly posting benignly glamorous images of ponytails and photos of her dogs (she has seven, as well as a miniature potbelly pig called Piggy Smalls). This is an about-face for a woman who has become actual friends with her fans through Twitter, who has been known to direct-message them bars of music before she has shared them with the folks at her label. “Everyone thinks I’m crazy for doing it, but I care about what they have to say more than I care about what anyone at my label has to say, no offense,” she explains. “This is a me-and-them thing. I’m not taking one of those corny breaks from social media where you’re like, ‘The internet hurts me, I’m leaving, goodbye.’ But I’ve definitely established a new boundary. I don’t want to get myself into some shit.” Joan says that she and her daughter have talked a lot about the maintenance of boundaries lately. Ariana has always been an empath. “She has a way of taking on everyone’s pain,” Joan says. “She functions really beautifully, but when she has to laser herself to those heartbreaking moments, I don’t think she can find anything but tears. Sure, I worry about her, but I always tell her, how you’re feeling right now is perfect.”
One of the more puzzling chapters of Grande’s public life was her short-lived engagement to Davidson last year, a kamikaze move made in the haze of her breakup with Miller. Her friends had convinced her to decamp to New York, to escape L.A. and her patterns there. “My friends were like, ‘Come! We’re gonna have a fun summer.’ And then I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction. It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff.”
Art is made richer through experience, of course, and Grande has never made better art—or sold more records—than when she decided to make music out of the bitter history of the last two years. But it’s nice to get away from oneself now and then: She is currently writing and producing the soundtrack to the upcoming film reboot of Charlie’s Angels, will costar in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix adaptation of the Broadway musical The Prom—and there’s a big acting job she’s hoping to land, though she doesn’t want to jinx it.
“I have this idea of what I’d like to be,” she says. “I can see this stronger, amazing, fearless version of myself that one day I hope to evolve into. Sometimes I try to be that for my fans before I actually am that myself. I think I’ve been avoiding putting in the work. You know how that gets: You push your therapist away at some point, but then you have to get back to it.” She musters a laugh. “Do you know a good therapist?”
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thosedamnsmoshkids · 2 years ago
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some cdp facts
last hiatus i made the crime does p(l)ay(list), (and the one i made this arc too!) and people seemed to like that! i also referenced making this in my ‘five fun facts’ post, so, here you are!!
below the cut there are few arc one/two spoilers, so if you haven’t read cdp yet, go give it a read and then come back here!
more than half of the plot was written after chapter seven, which is why some of the characters seem a bit different in their personalities there than after. 
i nearly completely forget that Wes got beat up in ch 5 and I almost wrote him without his rib and facial injuries
CDP was originally only supposed to be ~15 chapters, as i thought that i’d have run out of steam by now. boy was i wrong.
Leo was never meant to be a heavily focused character, and he was only going to be in the ‘raven room’ chapter. the role Leo plays was originally supposed to be done by a different character altogether. the character he’s based off of is from the original plotline, where instead of Damien feuding with Leo, it’s Joven feuding with the xiaolong’s leader’s daughter, who was characterized as being very loyal to both her father and the gang. her characterization (brash, commanding, and loyal), turned into Linghun. she was supposed to threaten Joven and act as a distraction before disappearing after arc one, probably having been killed off in the gauntlet
kate was supposed to be a one off character, but i ended up loving writing for her, (and i needed a character who was involved in Mari’s crime scene clean-up), so i added her to joven’s backstory, and gave her some more personality
ryan todd was supposed to have bigger sway in arc one, and have it end with his accidental death, but i wrote a few lines for his podcast and he ended up sticking around.
sunny was also supposed to have a much bigger role, but he didn’t fit super well, and i ended up keeping him to the sidelines
the only characters that were locked in to existing were the main five, the strippers, sohinki and lasercorn, and matt raub. everyone else was written in later.
mari was the first one to get a backstory, boze was the last.
though this has been briefly (albeit not explicitly) mentioned throughout the fic, the canonic ages of each character are as follows: Mari - 26; Joven - 27; Damien - 22; Boze - 24; Wes - 26; Courtney - 25; Shayne - 23; Noah - 21; Keith - 24; Olivia - 22; Sohinki - 25; Lasercorn - 30; Kate - 26; Sarah - 29; Matt Raub - 38; Leo - 24; Sunny - 37; Tim - 32
Most of the characters also didn’t have solid ages until arc two
i actually have mockups for the official Jackrabbit logo in my google doc for the plot (might post it for fun idk). i’ve done a few sketches, but the official logo has been recorded in there. i might make something out of it if i manage to finish all of CDP
the second thing i planned out for CDP after chapter one was the epilogue chapter that will follow arc three. and i basically knew how the fic would end the moment i started it.
CDP arcs all take place over varying amounts of time, arc one roughly takes place over several weeks and arc two takes place over four months. (i’m still trying to plan out how long -time skip wise- arc thee is going to take)
CDP begins roughly in the beginning of November (due to the fact that that’s when i started writing it), but time acts differently in the story as there are never any concrete ‘dates’. Wes mentions it being january in ch 35, and damien mentions that it’s february in ch 43, but those are the only times i really gave actual months
there was very nearly going to be a christmas episode, but i felt like it messed with the pacing too much
i wrote most of the pre-CDP plot/backstory at the end of plotting out the fic
The name ‘Xiaolong’ is actually a word in Chinese. I meant the word to be ‘dragons’, but after consulting two of my Chinese-speaking friends they have both informed me that it actually means ‘little dragon’. once again google has disappointed me, but given me a nice name.
The original name for the Xiaolong was the ‘Swhi Zi Long’ which (very roughly) translates to ‘blood of the dragon’
I still can’t spell the Russian words for ‘bear brotherhood’ correctly, which is why I frequently refer to them as just ‘the brotherhood’
Kate’s number, referenced in chapter 12, is 555-0930. The final four numbers is the date Kate and Joven got married
the Jackrabbit’s address - 1301 Verloren street is a mix of two different things. 13, the day i was born, 01, the year i was born, and ‘Verloren’, which is the verb for ‘to forget’ in german
damien references something in one of his early chapters that can be seen as somewhat of foreshadowing to what happens in chapter 55
a single chapter of CDP, (which are roughly between 1,500-4,000) can take anywhere from 2-7 hours to write, depending on my focus and depth of editing
the shortest chapter of cdp is around 1,000 words and the longest chapter is 5,400 words long
there’s a base 64 easter egg in chapter 43. (the code that leo gives to damien to unlock the storage space translates to a french phrase, (la douleur exquise), which basically means ‘the heart wrenching pain of wanting someone you can't have’. and if that ain’t a mood with leo’s feelings towards damien.)
the final five chapters of arc two were supposed to be formatted very differently. the arc was supposed to end with a damien chapter, but i felt like it messed with pacing too much to add more people’s points of view. instead we got some extra stuff and some cute coze interactions and more boze backstory, so it payed off well!
unlike arc one, the plots of each of the chapters of arc two were written WAY before i published them. some of them changed based on how the characters changed, but most of them have been the same, 
the bare plot for arc one is roughly 3.5 pages long, the bare plot for arc two is 5 pages long, and the bare plot for arc three is 7 pages long
there will be 35 chapters this arc, as well as one, most likely very long epilogue chapter.
cdp will return this friday! for making it all the way through the list, have a few paragraphs from the next chapter - 56 - the aftermath
Mari’s heart was pumping out of her chest.
The ambulance sirens wailed around her as she followed closely behind in her car. The technicians hadn’t looked hopeful as they’d loaded the bodies into the back of the van.
There had been so much blood.
She’d been standing in the back, barely paying attention, trying to focus on the set numbers. Then the explosion had bloomed across the room. She had felt the sonic hum deep in her chest, and the ringing in her ears still burned, even now.
Mari slammed her fist into the steering wheel, letting out an ear splitting shriek as she let her emotions bubble over. Her friends might be dead. She had never thought that it would actually come it this.
She thought that they were safe now that the Titans were gone.
Sohinki’s words now echoed hauntingly in the back of her head.
The ambulance in front of her ripped into the hospital parking lot. Personel in white coats and white gloves ran with crash carts from the front door as soon as the ambulance stopped.
Mari found a parking spot quickly, putting the car into park before running towards the van, barely thinking to lock her car behind her. She could see them pull a gurney out of the back, moving it quickly towards the front entrance as doctors and ER techs shouted numbers at one another. Joven stepped out of the back, out of breath and sweaty, covered in blood.
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maple-writes · 3 years ago
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Novel Prep Tag
Tagged by  @oleander-fricke and @corishadowfang Thanks!!! This’ll hopefully be really useful as I’m still trying to figure out a whole new wip here
So bear with me lol.
Rules: Answer the questions and then tag as many writers as there are questions answered (or as many as you can) to spread the positivity! Even if these questions are not explicitly brought up in the novel, they are still good to keep in mind when writing.
FIRST LOOK
1. Describe your novel in 1-2 sentences (elevator pitch)
Richard, Volt and Skyler, the three person crew of courier ship the Lord of Chaos (working name for now lol) all have someone trying to track them down. As easy as it would be to live their new lives, none of them can run forever.
2. How long do you plan for your novel to be? (Is it a novella, single book, book series, etc.)
Just one book. I wish I had the patience for multiple books but… I do not.
3. What is your novel’s aesthetic?
It’s a little rough in this department, but something along the lines of romanticized space travel, far future society spread across multiple planets, daring heros and cunning villians. Tbh think like… Spatoon 2 Octo Expansion... but in Space.
4. What other stories inspire your novel? 
I am currently seeking some inspiration right now lol. But so far I don’t think there have been any specific stories that really inspired this one as much as just like… General ideas that come up in a lot of different stories like the vague notions of space stuff, fugitives, over-the-top skills/abilities, … I hope to find some outside inspiration soon though.
5. Share 3+ images that give a feel for your novel
Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media
*photo credit bottom: Xavier Portela
MAIN CHARACTER
6. Who is your protagonist?
Technically I have three planned for this one, but I’ll focus on Richard for now.
7. Who is their closest ally? 
Hands down, Volt Powell. He trusts her completely .
8. Who is their enemy?
He wouldn’t really call the Organization (name in the making still lol) an enemy, but he wants nothing to do with him and fears being captured and dragged back since he more or less ran away (and is VERY valuable to them both financially and practically).
9. What do they want more than anything?
To exist as freely as other people without having to hide away out of sight. He doesn’t want people to think he’s dangerous and he just kind of wants to live his life.
10. Why can’t they have it?
The organization that made him is trying to track him down, and he can’t usually leave the ship in populated areas without running the risk of someone reporting him (he’s not exactly human-looking as he was more or less created through a combination of genetics and engineering by what can kind of be considered space mafia/illuminati stuff?? More on that eventually when I have it figured out).
11. What do they wrongly believe about themselves?
That he’s only valuable/most valued for what he can do, not who he is.
12. Draw your protagonist! (Or share a description)
He’s fairly tall, with black hair that is so dark it doesn’t reflect any light. One eye is similar to that of a cats, with a yellow-orange iris and slit pupil that can dilate wider for better night vision while the other looks less biological, and was made to see light in the infrared spectrum (though has broken by the time the story takes place). He has sharp teeth, fingertips that can convert to claws, and antenna-like things by his ears that allow him to kind of... tune his hearing or something. His skin is fairly pale, with a kind of cool-toned complexion like he’d been outside in the cold for too long. 
PLOT POINTS
13. What is the internal conflict?
Since he’s kind of like a cyborg with biological and non-biological parts making up his body, he needs semi-regular maintenance, but its been years since he’s last been with the organization and the lack of upkeep is starting to show. He doesn’t want to worry Volt, and especially doesn’t want to worry Skyler, so he tries to keep it to himself, but there’s no question that his body is wearing out and will only get worse without treatment only the organization can give. But at the same time, if the organization were to operate on him, he knows they would replace a part that had been accidentally removed years ago which alters neurotransmitter function that made him easier for them to control and blocked most emotions except anger. So he doesn’t want that.
14. What is the external conflict?
That parts a little fuzzy right now, but it will involve the organization gaining on  their tail, the tyrannical prime minister’s daughter (skyler’s half sister) and a tangled web ready to unravel.
15. What is the worst thing that could happen to your protagonist?  
The Organization captures him back and turns him back into a tool for extermination.
16. What secret will be revealed that changes the course of the story?  
It’s all up in the air right now, so I’ve got nothing for sure yet. But I’m thinking that there may be one person who ends up being connected to more than meets the eye.
17. Do you know how it ends?  
No lol.
BITS AND BOBS
18. What is the theme?  
Different kinds of love (ie, family, friends, parental, siblings etc…) and ties between individuals.
19. What is a recurring symbol?  
I don’t know if I’ve gotten far enough to have that kind of detail known yet.
20. Where is the story set? (Share a description!) 
A solar system… somewhere… maybe our solar system… maybe not? Depends on if I want to make up planets or not.
21. Do you have any images or scenes in your mind already?  
Yeah some of them, though I can’t be sure how many will actually make it into the story when I start writing. None of them are in any way connected to each other either.
22. What excited you about this story?  
I’ve wanted to do a sci-fi thing for a while (my last two wips were both fantasy based) so it’ll be fun to explore the genera. This story also uses characters that I made when I was still a kid (like, elementary school and early high school) and I’m excited to see how I write them- Rick, Volt and Skyler- now compared to when I first made them. This also gives me an excuse to write about things like genetics and other science things that I find interesting.
23. Tell us about your usual writing method!  
Well, it’s kind of lengthy but it works. First I get the idea, then flesh out the characters and sort of form a vague story around them. Next I make a point form, chapter by chapter outline of what I  think I want to happen. Then I pick a nice notebook and handwrite the first draft from the outline. After that, I review what I wrote, make a few notes and rewrite it on the computer. After all that than I revise, and finally, I edit.
Thanks again, and hopefully I’ll know more about  this unnamed wip eventually!
tagging: @esoteric-eclectic-eccentric, @iwritetypos, @pens-swords-stuff, @lilmissravingwriter, @writingbusinessizzy, @writerproject, @urbanteeth, @iamidentical and @thelysstener have fun. 
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More of the Misadventures of Aish rereading Misadventures and fixing typos, like a cowardly fool because I can’t sleep
chapters 21-25 oh no here we go
(actually I did this in like November on my phone but only just now remembered that I never posted it so here ya go, this is all weeks old)
Okay so with the chapter titles, I didn’t actually start naming them until about ch27 or so, but I had already nicknamed this chapter something like “IT’S FRIENDSHIP YOU COWARDS” bc this one got a surprising amount of notes on tumblr and I’m 99% sure most of the people who read it did not realize that this is in fact a Kimax fic
And also THIS CHAPTER WAS THE TURNING POINT. I could either have kept the fic rly lighthearted until way near the end, or decide to start shoving in the Angst much quicker. 3 guesses what I picked >:D
Oh highkey same Alix?? except for me it’s not superpowers or anything it’s just called “anxiety disorder”
The obliviousness physically pains me
I’m the guard who just blatantly lets Alix steal popcorn. also why was there just casually popcorn there. god I don’t even know what I was thinking when I wrote any of this
Oh yeah I remember!! I was mad at people setting off the smoke alarm while making popcorn in the middle of the night!! just uni things am I right
...why am I noticing now that the whole popcorn thing is just a metaphor for Kim’s entire love life I am going to throw this fic out of the window I swear
IT REALLY IS, UGH I HATE THIS, ARE YOU TELLING ME I DID THAT BY ACCIDENT
this is a freaking game of Civilization where one civ takes a runaway lead in the science victory while the rest are all still stuck in the industrial era
Kim is me watching dinosaur movies too tbh, dinosaurs are so frickin rad
well this is depressing
and adorable
I hate so much that I know what the Bad Dream means I hate it I hate it I h
IT’S OKAY KIM I’M PROUD OF YOU, YOU’RE MY SON AND I LOVE YOU SO MUCH
“It’s not up to you to question why people care about you so just roll with it” damn past me, that’s actually some really good advice???
Alix is a Kimax shipper even this early in the fic, btw. whenever she talks to them about each other she’ll always say stuff like “oh yeah you two are so close” or “he cares about you so much” without specifying whether she means that platonically... my dudes... she’s shipping it
Kim having an existential crisis in early hours of the morning is such a mood because it’s 2am and I’m having one right now
BAD FORESHADOWING, YES BAD THINGS ARE GOING TO START HAPPENING SOON LIKE ASSASSINATIONS AND STUFF, YOU WEREN’T WRONG
Alright chapter 22 now
the carriage guards!! my favourite characters in the entire fic!!!!!! they’re the BEST okay they just casually chill at school through the entire thing and only show up again in the last chapter omg they’re so amazing I love them??? absolute LEDGES
Kim’s parents being all like “yeah if our son doesn’t wanna come home from school then just KIDNAP HIM and bring him back lmao”
“Hey, do you want me to threaten your guards with my snake or something?” WAS THAT FORESHADOWING??? BECAUSE SHE VERY MUCH DOES DO THAT LATER. TO DIFFERENT GUARDS YES BUT IT’S LEGIT A THING SHE DOES
talking on the phone is stressful? yes it’s that good old “anxiety disorder” again, really a pain tbh
god I’m so proud of Kim, already that good good character development
also Kim’s grandma is me
omg I have to put Kim and Alix’s dumb chess games in the sequel, I came up with an entire thing about how they blatantly cheat etc and it’s ridiculous and Max gets a headache whenever he has to “referee” (aka make sure they don’t fight), it’s so great okay
me: *thinks about chapter 34 and throws up*
oh I’m the snake too btw. the snake also will hate chapter 34
Max holy moly repressing your feelings isn’t healthy??? stop that
hhhhhhh chapter Lila now, like literally that’s the entire chapter 23, it’s basically just Lila
this is just the damn Volpina episode
dupainchien!!!!! dupainchien!!!!!!!!!
I know this isn’t even that much of a big deal in this fic but like... can Marinette and Adrien just get together already lmao
hskdjhdkjfhgs for the record Lila and Kim is actually a pretty good ship?? but they’d both try to out-brag each other and it would be ridiculous so uh
hm anyways. time for CHAPTER AROACE
Kim’s like. ABOUT TO start falling for Max oh thank god, I need this
Lila: *just stabs Kim’s homework with a parasol*
Kim just... Did That??? WE STAN
(oh and later note: in this he just treats Lila like how Adrien treated her in Chameleon lol)
I remember at this point I wasn’t sure if Lila would actually really return in the fic, and then literally like 2 chapters later I brought her back already because damn that girl needs a redemption arc
do I hug Kim or do I hug Max?? you FOOLS, you ABSOLUTE BUFFOONS, I am going to hug ALIX for having to deal with all their romo bullshit
Max trying to get drunk on orange juice is the mood
JULEKA’S MAGICAL GAYDAR!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!
(also Juleka is absolutely wearing a Reflekta dress)
Juleka, outright: “Max. my dude. alix is aroace you dense idiot. you are all idiots. you absolute fuckwits.”
I’m still the snake btw
hhhhhhhhhh I wanna make a daisy chain now, or just go outside and sprawl in some grass, I can’t because it’s 2.30am and I live in the city and it’s winter, screw this fic for making me miss my school days
oh no I’m having an allergic reaction again
I mEAN IT’S CUTE THO, IT’S CUTE, BUT I KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN A BIT LATER SO THIS IS JUST PAINFUL
“You need more sleep” me calling myself out
I am going to hit Kim over the head,,
STOP BEING WEIRD JUST TELL HER YOU LIKE HER?? GOOD GOD I DON’T EVEN SHIP IT AND I STILL WANT YOU TO GET A BLOODY MOVE ON
oh good, he wants to smack himself in the face too
no nonono no Alix I think you are cute too. but you see, I mean it in the adopting way. but you ARE objectively adorable (source: the Reverser episode and also like all the other episodes) people just don’t say it in this au because of your TERRIFYING PET SNAKE
she offered to give him a telephone... lov that foreshadowing
*unimpressed* “are you in love with me?” OH FUCKING FINALLY
skdfhskdjfhsd avoiding people and having a heart attack when someone knocks on your door? I see the return of that anxiety disorder eh
Alix didn’t bring the snake (me) with her on purpose bc she knows Kim is still a bit scared of it at this point and doesn’t want him to be in a bad mood while she’s crushing his heart and soul
GOD YES I LOVE THIS SCENE
I hate myself because when I was writing this I was thinking “oh mood?? oh mood worm same hat???” and yet still. didn’t. realize. I’m. aro. *le sigh*
I’m gonna cry this is so sweet
“So are bossy, intimidating, hot girls your type?” no actually because Ondine is neither bossy nor intimidating (tho yeah she is hot) (and not particularly relevant in this fic unfortunately)
Alix is not in fact as oblivious as she claims to be btw, she just thinks it would sound mean to say “oh yeah I guessed you had a thing for me but I aggressively ignored it bc it annoyed me since I’m aroace lmao”
I’m genuinely going to hecking cry omg I remember now why this was my Ultimate Brotp for so long ugh it’s so good, @ ZAG LET KIM AND ALIX BE FRIENDS
I’m laughing?? so hard??? at the fact that their height difference is so ridiculous that literally like he has to kneel down??? god this is the funniest thing
oh also btw she was internally debating with herself like “should I give him the mistletoe kiss?? sounds gross but I feel so bad for him dammit” and decided to right there on the spot because she was lowkey curious anyway, which I’ll be honest is still an aro mood
OMG I’M ACCIDENTALLY SUCH A GENIUS OMG LISTEN NO LEMME EXPLAIN
SO LIKE. there are two (2) instances in this fic where I tried to pretend to be funny by dropping in the word “heartrate”. one is near the beginning, and the other is right here
in other words, the exact start and end points of Kim’s crush on Alix?? AND I DID THAT BY ACCIDENT OMG I’VE CHANGED MY MIND I’M PROUD OF MYSELF NOW
oh... oh no. uh oh. the dreaded evil Chapter Twenty Hecking Five
it’s called “Pain” for a reason. also my OG nickname for it was “Death”. also for a reason.
I even listened to Death Valley (the FOB song) on repeat while writing it (along with the next like 9 chapters lol) because the word DEATH just seemed so accurate
no really this is THE real turning point in the fic, where it stops being just a dumb teen movie and starts being all A N G S T Y
like this is the first chapter that has NO lightheartedness AT ALL
okay. here we go
this is all??? foreshadowing??? for dumb chapters like 30 and 34??? I Hate
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO THE SNAKE
I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK JUST READING THESE WORDS THIS IS SO HORRIFYING ALEXA PLAY DEATH VALLEY
this is the equivalent of seeing a kwami die, for the record. like I know kwamis can’t die but THIS IS HOW IT WOULD FEEL
god this is even worse in hindsight knowing what happens later, bc poor Alix is all like @ herself “oh well it’s a nightmare so it’s not real” and I’m just like... oh dear. honey. sweetie. welp. I mean on the bright side you’re psychic so that’s kinda cool right
I love how Jalil is actually really sweet and a genuinely cool brother, you just never get to see it when Kim’s around bc he hates Kim lmao (I mean for good reasons..)
“I can’t live without this snake!” I MEAN YOU’RE NOT WRONG
these timeline powers are SO cursed man. why was I so evil and cruel holy actual shit
(the whole “some character deaths but not really” tag refers to all this clusterfuck btw)
okay it’s funny how this bit with Adrien is the Collector episode despite it not having aired yet when I wrote this, I guess I’m psychic too
Nathalie being sympathetic huh? not so much in the sequel when I get round to it...
Adrikins being all “I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER” I’m dying
uh yeah there’s a difference between being grounded, and like, literal actual house arrest
damn... capitalism really is bad
so is imperialism
fix this damn typo thing where I used the word “soon” twice in one sentence like was that really necessary
DUPAINCHIEN
I love how Kim is so obviously bi that even Marinette notices and straight-up tries to set him up with a hot commoner boy
oh noes here comes The Death
Hi Aish Snekwami, I am afraid
god imagine how horrible it must be??? to have something traumatic happen in another timeline but you’re still aware of it in this one so you still suffer the effects even though nothing bad happened in this timeline????
Max shows up for two seconds this chapter to remind everyone that I have an anxiety disorder again and then hecks off, good for him
HOLY FUCK?!?!?! IMAGINE LITERALLY DYING ACTUAL DEATH IN ANOTHER TIMELINE AND EVEN THOUGH YOU SURVIVE IN THIS ONE YOU STILL HAVE TO LIKE. FEEL THE WHOLE TIME YOU’RE DYING OF GODDAMN COBRA VENOM HOLY FUCK WHY DID I MAKE THIS SO ANGSTY
I mean I think I remember writing this when I was on a very heavy painful period which full-on incapacitated me but like even that’s nowhere near as bad as fucking. snake. bite (ye I did some research, it was creepy...)
man this is so evil... I can’t
THIS IS HOW IT FEELS TO DIE
god that’s so haunting ughhhhhhhhh
honestly whenever I stub my toe etc I always think to myself “is this karma for that time I lowkey killed Alix off in chapter 25?” and yeah, it probably is
OKAY THAT’S ENOUGH FOR NOW
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ginevra-molly-weasley · 29 days ago
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I posted 173 times in 2021
18 posts created (10%)
155 posts reblogged (90%)
For every post I created, I reblogged 8.6 posts.
I added 124 tags in 2021
#hp - 22 posts
#hinny - 21 posts
#ww - 20 posts
#reblog - 13 posts
#fic recs - 11 posts
#harry potter - 10 posts
#text - 8 posts
#fanarts - 7 posts
#lb cos - 6 posts
#cos - 6 posts
Longest Tag: 47 characters
#i’m gonna get hate for this but it’s my reality
My Top Posts in 2021
#5
Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) Liveblog
Chapter 4 : At Flourish and Blotts
@stelamaris
Harry got a shock the first time he looked in the mirror over the kitchen mantelpiece and it shouted, “Tuck your shirt in, scruffy!”
I love how the mirror at the Weasleys' speak! It could be nicer though, ha!
The ghoul in the attic howled and dropped pipes whenever he felt things were getting too quiet, and small explosions from Fred and George’s bedroom were considered perfectly normal.
How is Molly not all grey with all the noise and explosions happening in her home for all those years, I do not know!
What Harry found most unusual about life at Ron’s, however, wasn’t the talking mirror or the clanking ghoul: It was the fact that everybody there seemed to like him.
Just stomp on my heart next time, it will feel better than this!
Mrs. Weasley fussed over the state of his socks and tried to force him to eat fourth helpings at every meal. Mr. Weasley liked Harry to sit next to him at the dinner table so that he could bombard him with questions about
life with Muggles, asking him to explain how things like plugs and the postal service worked.
The Weasleys are such good people, it warms my heart.
The moment she saw Harry, Ginny accidentally knocked her porridge bowl to the floor with a loud clatter. Ginny seemed very prone to knocking things over whenever Harry entered a room. She dived under the table to retrieve the bowl and emerged with her face glowing like the setting sun. Pretending he hadn’t noticed this, Harry sat down and took the toast Mrs. Weasley offered him.
Why would Harry take such notice of that if he thought that Ginny wasn't important? He always cared one way or another.
"emerged with her face glowing like the setting sun" such the poet, and I swear he doesn't think this way about anyone else than Ginny.
He also cared enough to not make a show out of it and act as if he hadn't seen anything, so it wouldn't embarass Ginny, I love my son so much!
“Dumbledore already knows you’re here, Harry — doesn’t miss a trick, that man.
Was it the Trace that made him know?
Break with a Banshee by Gilderoy Lockhart Gadding with Ghouls by Gilderoy Lockhart Holidays with Hags by Gilderoy Lockhart Travels with Trolls by Gilderoy Lockhart Voyages with Vampires by Gilderoy Lockhart Wanderings with Werewolves by Gilderoy Lockhart Year with the Yeti by Gilderoy Lockhart
Gotta love all the alliteration!
“I expect we’ll be able to pick up a lot of Ginny’s things secondhand.”
Gotta feel for the Weasleys!
“Oh, are you starting at Hogwarts this year?” Harry asked Ginny.
She nodded, blushing to the roots of her flaming hair, and put her elbow in the butter dish. Fortunately no one saw this except Harry, because just then Ron’s elder brother Percy walked in.
Look at Harry caring about his future wife again!!
just then Ron’s elder brother Percy walked in. He was already dressed, his Hogwarts prefect badge pinned to his knitted tank top.
What is Percy doing with his Prefect badge pinned on his top at home? it's hilarious!
Ron’s old Shooting Star was often outstripped by passing butterflies.
Poor Ron, that's *really* slow!
Wish I knew what he was up to,” said Fred, frowning. “He’s not himself. His exam results came the day before you did; twelve O.W.L.s and he hardly gloated at all.”
See the full post
14 notes • Posted 2021-04-14 15:53:19 GMT
#4
JKR wrote a new novel!!!
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21 notes • Posted 2021-04-13 13:16:58 GMT
#3
Throwing this out there: Harry James Potter would be worthy to lift Mjolnir
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47 notes • Posted 2021-03-23 09:09:37 GMT
#2
What made you believe that JKR wasn't transphobic? (No offense)
The fact that I'm trans and agree and would say everything that she said ? Self ID is an issue that causes more trouble for trans people than actually helps, it needs to disappear. If people are really trans they have nothing to fear by being evaluated to see that they really are trans before gaining access to life altering drugs and access to public spaces meant for the opposite sex they were born with surely?
And it stops people who are pretending in order to hurt women and also helps young kids easily manipulatable that aren't really trans but feel weird in their body and just want to belong to not destroy their body and then feel awful forevermore in adulthood.
Also, Rowling said she'd love to march the streets to defend trans rights, how that can be read as transphobic, I have no idea!
51 notes • Posted 2021-06-27 13:19:19 GMT
#1
Fandom be like: “I read Harry Potter and skipped all of Rowling’s adult political novels and I know everything about her politics 🙂”
61 notes • Posted 2021-01-05 12:58:49 GMT
Get your Tumblr 2021 Year in Review →
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robertsbarbie-archive · 3 years ago
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im putting you up to what you posted and I'm asking you to answer all of the writing questions. also the url change had me confused for half a second but im in love
This is why I’m my own worst enemy
2. Favorite part of writing.
Creating a whole world, a whole other life, that people can someday enjoy and find comfort in when they’re feeling down
3. Least favorite part of writing.
Writing, like the fact that your ideas and storyline isn’t instantly onto the paper is insane
4. Do you have writing habits or rituals?
I mean I probably do but I can’t remember
6. Favorite character you ever created.
A teenage greek goddess I pulled out of my ass named Arendellia, she was a badass who died and I really just liked what I wrote involving her
9. Least favorite trope to write.
the opposites attract, in my opinion it’s cliche and unrealistic, I prefer the characters have similar interests but different approaches to things if that makes sense?
10. Pick a writer to co-write a book with and tell us what you’d write about.
Natasha Preston, and we’d wrote the sequel to The Cabin cause it’s been a year and I’m still not over the ending, I need a sequel
11. Describe your writing process from scratch to finish.
first I get a new notebook, I need a clean space for my ideas, then I wrote down a prologue or a description, it allows for my brain to fully process where I want the story to go, then I write until I hit a male characters name, cause I hate coming up with male names, if I have one picked out I’ll see if the image in my brain matches the name, if I can’t find a name that fits the project is discarded, if I find one that fits I write until I don’t know where to take the story next then I continue to formulate my ideas into actual scenes until I reach the end, then I close it up in a box never to be touched again until I accidentally find it while cleaning one day
12. How do you deal with self-doubts?
I either won’t show anyone or will preface saying “it’s not edited yet” or “I know it’s garbage lol”
13. How do you deal with writers block?
I listen to music, and write stories based off of the song titles, like I always try to write a chapter and if after a chapter I don’t think I have a story I move on, sometimes I’ll get a completely new idea but it really helps to get ideas flowing
14. What’s the most research you ever put into a book?
I’m currently waiting to write a book until I have all of the details, it revolves around Greek mythology but I want to be so accurate, not white wash, or erase the different sexualities of the Gods and I want to be accurate to the myths (a bit) but so far that’s the one
16. Where do you take your motivation from?
My brain telling me that it’ll leave me if I don’t get the ideas out of my head
18. What’s your revision or rewriting process like?
I learned in 7th grade that I need to do a complete rewrite which sometimes I do, other times I’m being nostalgic and read an old story then realize I’m an idiot so I edit it lol
19. First line of a WIP you’re working on.
‘"Coffee looks absolutely lovely on you, madam," I glare at Cody while attempting to pat myself dry.’ From that Dying in LA story I talked about earlier
21. Post the last sentence you wrote in one of your WIP’s.
’"I told the director to go suck a dick. It was the worse thing imaginable,” I groan into my hands.’ Same story, and it’s only the second chapter but yeah
22. How many drafts do you need until you’re satisfied and a project is ultimately done for you?
Bold of you to assume I actually finish my writings
23. Single or multi POV, and why?
As big of a fan that I am of different perspectives, I prefer single POV, I feel as though the character is more personal. Rarely do I do multi
24. Poetry or prose, and why?
Prose, my poetry is rather depressing and I just can’t
25. Linear or non-linear, and why?
Linear, otherwise in my opinion it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense
27. Do you share rough drafts or do you wait until it’s all polished?
yes and no (I’ll explain in next answer)
28. And who do you share them with?
the unpolished, I share on Wattpad because it’s easier to detach myself if they don’t like it, but I wait until polished for people I actually know
29. Who do you write for?
Myself, it’s a way for me to cope with life, and writing and rewriting an event that has happened to me helps me move on from the situation
31. Hardest character to write.
Men.
32. Easiest character to write.
Villains
35. Tell some backstory details about one of your characters in your story ________.
the main character in “Dying in LA” had a rough childhood (shut up at the cliche) and used acting to escape, she moves to LA when she’s 19 having fail after fail at auditions, she’s about to give up when she gets her big break. (Sorry I’m terrible at back stories)
36. A spoiler for story _________.
Oof I want to spoil DILA (Dying in LA) but I won’t, um, I started this story about this girl who gets kidnapped and um I’m kinda planning on killing her so there’s that.
38. Have you shared your outline of your story ________ with someone? If so, what did they think of it?
Bold of you to assume I’m not just BSing my way through my story
39. Do you base your characters of real people or not? If so, tell us about one.
Yes. Um, I’m gonna tell you about the real person cause I based so many characters off of this person. Oof okay, it was any ex. For years he was in EVERYTHING I wrote, the story usually focused on the what if’s or the repercussions of our relationship and the fall out of it. We just complemented each other so well the thought of writing something to try and capture our time together comforted me so much. I still get flashbacks of our time together and sometimes his personality shows up in my writing but it just goes to show how the people in your life stay with you.
40. Original Fiction or Fanfiction, and why?
Both? I think there’s upsides and down sides to both but both are so amazing and are fun to explore
44. Best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten.
Be confident in your writing and it will show, don’t be afraid to take risks
45. Worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten.
“Great job! Keep up the good work!” Um???? what good work???? be specific please!
46. What would your story _______ look like as a tv show or movie?
DILA would hopefully be done in a CW style where like it’s light hearted but a real plot and seriousness lies beneath? I actually don’t know?
47. Do you start with characters or plot when working on a new story?
Plot, my guy
48. Favorite genre to write in.
Realistic Fiction
49. What do you find the hardest to write in a story, the beginning, the middle or the end?
the middle, most likely I already have the end and beginning planned
51. Describe the aesthetic of your story _______ in 5 sentences or words.
Dying in LA: fame, used, lost, forgotten, greed
52. How did writing change you?
It gave me a place to express myself and cope with life and the struggles I’ve been through
53. What does writing mean to you?
Everything, it gives me a voice when I feel like I don’t have one
54. Any writing advice you want to share?
Keep writing, practice really does make perfect
Also the url is the best (any numbers missing means I already answered them, check under #asks )
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foundcarcosa · 3 years ago
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ccc.
1. Favorite childhood book? >> (Three hundred surveys posted to this blog, wow. --I mean, over the course of nearly a decade I’ve probably filled out at least ten thousand, but.) I think that distinction would have to go to The Phantom Tollbooth. It’s one of the only books I remember owning, probably because I’d paged through it so many times. I also modified all the illustrations with pen so that Milo looked like a woman. 2. What are you reading right now? >> Condensed Chaos by Phil Hine -- more like limping through it, because I stopped setting aside time specifically for reading so I just end up grabbing a half a chapter here and there. I’ll have to do something about that. I’d started The Poisonwood Bible a while ago, too, but I keep forgetting to continue it. 3. What books do you have on request at the library? >> I rarely borrow books from the library unless they’re e-books because of my tendency to have to repeatedly renew and eventually take it back before I’m finished because I ran out of renews. 4. Bad book habit? >> Not reading. 5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? >> I don’t, for the reasons stated above. But for all the shit I talk about Grand Rapids, it has a lovely main branch, so I’ll probably end up stopping in again soon, maybe spending a few hours there for a change of scenery.
6. Do you have an e-reader? >> I have a phone, which functions as my e-reader. I also have a Kindle, but between its wack amount of storage space and its quick-draining battery, it’s been relegated to the position of glorified mousepad at this point. (It’s too bad, because I like the screen size.) 7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? >> Two or three at once. I think it’s interesting to see if/how they subconsciously weave themselves together in my imagination, even if -- especially if -- they’re about completely unrelated things. 8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? >> It’s the internet in general that interferes with my reading habits, not just tumblr, but tumblr obviously plays a part. 9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?) >> I quit on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road like 10 pages in, and I don’t usually do that but for some reason I got bored really quickly and couldn’t see the point in pushing through. That’s not a total vote in its disfavour because I didn’t actually form a full opinion. Sometimes I just pick up a book at the wrong time and have to wait until I reach the point in my life when I’ll need it. I’ll probably try again in a couple of years. 10. Favorite book you’ve read this year? >> I really enjoyed Reincarnation Blues, I thought it was an amazing story. I also got a lot out of M. K. Asante Jr’s It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop. When the Stars Are Right by Scott R Jones was fascinating as hell, and then of course there was my long-overdue (or maybe right-on-time, considering...) American Gods reread... 11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? >> Occasionally. The thing is, there are so many books in my comfort zone that I want to read... 12. What is your reading comfort zone? >> I don’t know if it’s quantifiable. I like a lot of different kinds of books. I usually know within 10-15 pages of a book if I’m going to like it or not -- I try not to judge books by their covers, but I definitely judge them by their first chapter. 13. Can you read on the bus? >> Sometimes, but I generally prefer to listen to music and look out the window.
14. Favorite place to read? >> In bed. 15. What is your policy on book lending? >> I’ll give books away. Just take it, read it. Pay it forward. I don’t like to hoard books. 16. Do you ever dog-ear books? >> Hell yes, I do. They’re not a sacred object to me; their contents may well be sacred, but their contents already exist in me because I ate them.  17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? >> Nah. 18. Not even with text books? >> I don’t use textbooks. 19. What is your favorite language to read in? >> I can only read in English. 20. What makes you love a book? >> It’s a very visceral and subconscious thing, and it’s not dependent on genre or the politics of the author or any of that as much as it’s dependent on who I am at that moment in time, what story I need to hear, and how lovingly the author told it. That sounds like it only applies to fiction books, but it really doesn’t.  21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? >> Some level of understanding of the person I’m recommending it to. 22. Favorite genre? >> I don’t know, honestly. 23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?) >> I wish I read more science fiction. The thing is, most of the scifi stories I love I kind of stumbled into accidentally. Whenever I go looking for scifi specifically, I run into a lot of duds (not that they’re badly written or anything, just that they’re bad for me). I’m going to try Philip K Dick soon and I hope that works out okay. 24. Favorite biography? >> I don’t have one. 25. Have you ever read a self-help book? >> Sure, but I don’t make a habit of it.
26. Favorite cookbook? >> I don’t have one. Well, okay, Feeding Hannibal is pretty cool, ngl, but mostly for the information rather than the actual recipes. We can’t afford to (or don’t have the room/appliances to) make most of that stuff. 27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? >> Definitely American Gods, but that’s a hard-to-explain thing, lol. The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are is a good runner-up, because as far as inspiration is concerned, Alan Watts probably had more than his fair share of it. (Do comic books count, because if so I’d like to also add in Promethea.) 28. Favorite reading snack? >> Alcohol. (But also anything I can eat with one hand, or doesn’t require a lot of, like, attention.) 29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. >> I don’t think that’s ever happened. 30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? >> I don’t read critic reviews often enough to know what the ratio of agreement to disagreement would even be like. 31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? >> A negative review is just as valuable as a positive review. I’d prefer people not be nasty in their negative reviews, but like... I also don’t have to read their review if I don’t like it. It’s not that big of a deal to me. 32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? >> Russian, probably. I imagine untranslated Russian lit would be amazing to read. 33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? >> And actually finished? Ha! Let’s see... as far as length, I’d probably pick whatever the longest Stephen King book that I’ve read is. (He meanders, man. He fucking meanders. It’s great, but dear god.) As far as content, I’m probably gonna go with Atlas Shrugged. For, I mean, obvious reasons, really. 34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? >> That doesn’t really happen to me. If I want to read something, I’ll start reading it. If it proves prohibitive to my limited ability to understand shit, then I’ll put it down and move on. 35. Favorite poet? >> I don’t have one. 36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? >> Zero. When I do check out from the library, I stick to three books max. 37. How often have you returned book to the library unread? >> Quite often. Usually because I ran out of time. 38. Favorite fictional character? >> YEAH, OKAY. 39. Favorite fictional villain? >> Actually that is almost impossible for me to determine because I don’t even put the “villain” flag on characters unless it’s super fucking obvious (like in a comic book) that they’re supposed to be the Token Bad Guy. I just don’t even think in those terms. -- Now that I say that, though, I remembered that Stephen King characters are written very polarised despite my personal interpretations of them, so I suppose my favourite villain is Walter O’Dim. 40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? >> I don’t know, I don’t usually have time to read on vacation. Unless it’s on the plane or something, in which case I just bring whatever I happen to be reading at the time. It’s usually on my phone, anyway. 41. The longest I’ve gone without reading. >> I mean, I don’t go a day without reading something, even if it’s just articles I saw on my facebook feed. 42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. >> Fifty Shades of Grey. (I did try. I wrote detailed posts about my thoughts during my attempt to read it. They’re still on my old blog.) 43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? >> Everything. It’s just hard for me to turn the “noise” (literal and figurative noise) of the world off in general, which is why I like it quiet when I’m trying to focus. 44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? >> Well, LOTR. I was going to say Predestination but All You Zombies isn’t a novel. Uhh.... :/ 45. Most disappointing film adaptation? >> Good god, so many. 46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? >> Around $100, I guess. I don’t have much money in general so I try to just... avoid bookstores. 47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? >> I don’t. The first-chapter test usually works just fine. 48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? >> Boredom. 49. Do you like to keep your books organized? >> Well, we don’t own enough for a complex system to be required. 50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? >> I really prefer to give them away. It’s just... I’m not a hoarder (I don’t even mean that in the negative sense, I just mean I don’t like hanging onto stuff I’m not actively using). I spent just about all of my adult life up until 2 years ago homeless or some version of transient and having to be ruthlessly exacting about how many belongings I had at any given time really changed the way my brain works regarding material items. I love being able to own things now, but it’s... hard to enjoy having too many objects. I get tetchy. It feels inorganic. Maybe that’ll change in the future (these things often do), but for now owning more than 20 or so books feels like an overindulgence. 51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? >> I don’t think so. 52. Name a book that made you angry. >> I can’t think of one right now. 53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? >> The Fountainhead. Any Rand book, actually, because Vlad couldn’t stand her and we had such similar tastes in media that I figured I wouldn’t either. But the immense amount of annoying peer pressure from Sigma eventually got me to pick it up just to get them off my back, and..... well, the rest is hilarious “I’m in love with a crazy Russian woman who makes me want to yell at her constantly” history. 54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t? >> I don’t know. That doesn’t happen very often. 55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? >> All of it? I don’t feel guilty about anything I read.
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fool-errant · 4 years ago
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Ask a Writer
I got tagged by @rabbitkinder
1. How did you come up with your username and what does it mean?
Well my studio handle is Foolish Mortal - but someone’s been sitting on that username since dirt. So I went with fool-errant - like knight errant but stupider. The fool part is obvious - and errant means alternatively “straying from proper course or standards” and “traveling in search of adventure” - which I felt summed up thing pretty decent. My handle on FFnet and AO3 is NoCapes - cause I wanted to make sure thatif you looked up my website for art - you didn’t accidentally stumble on TF2 slash. That name comes from the fact I have a little Edna Mode figure sitting on my computer monitor that caught my eye at the time I was looking for a name. 
2. Which fanfic of yours has the most feedback? (bookmarks/favorites, follows/subscriptions, visitor hits, kudos)
Erm - well I only have ze one main fic online these day. My long suffering TF2 fic Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Though even compared to the long lost junk I wrote in high school - its still got the most feedback.
3. What is your FFnNet/AO3 profile icon, and why did you choose it?
I’m not sure I ever got an icon on those accounts. I just never got aroundto it. 
4. Do you have any regular/favourite commenters?
I honestly love all commenters. I have a few regulars who became buds of mine that I love. Also anyone that ends up making something in reaction to my writing is special to me. 
5. Is there a fanfic that you keep going back to read again and again?
Not really. I’m a horrible person. I also have a mind that retains little details, so I am the sort that reads something once and can remember it clearly later. 
I DO have a few genre/ tropes I like to revisit reading wise. One is Lavellen/Cullen from Dragon Age. Another one I binge hit recently is anything about Finn from Star Wars needing and receiving hugs and people (mainly Poe) supporting him. And Princess Leia shows up to remind people to take care of themselves and Storm Pilot snuggles ever after.  
6. How many stories are you subscribed to? How many do you have bookmarked?
Uh...I’m honestly not sure. I squirrel away bookmarks and forget about them later. I have a couple in progress stories I subscribe to. 
7. Which AU do you find yourself writing the most?
I really don’t do AUs - unless you count the gag bit I wrote where Spy and FemSpy are the parents of Carmen Sandiego.  I tend to feel people are the products of their settings and removing them from that takes a lot of their traits away. Though that’s my opinion and I’m never going to tell anyone they can’t or shouldn’t go write and enjoy their own thing. 
8. How many people are subscribed and bookmarked to you in total? (you can view this on the stats page)
Welp on AO3: Bookmarks:74  Subscriptions:77
Here on Tumbles: 268
on FFnet - I can not make heads or tales of that one. Though I seem to have a couple of folks in South Africa reading - which is cool. 
9. Is there something you’d like to write about but are afraid of people judging you for it? (Feeling brave? If so, share it!)
.....*Maniacal laughter*  I deal with chronic depression and anxiety. So I have a very large list of things I WANT to do but don’t. A lot of it is due to the fear of judging - and a lot of “no one wants this - what is the point?”  
I had an original concept involving airship pirates - colonialism - and the main lead was a trans pan sexual in a setting that didn’t have words or play book for hat sort of thing. The story wasn’t ABOUT the fact the lead was the way they were, it was just aside thing. But I scrapped it cause I figured no one wanted it - it was stranger and I didn’t want people coming out of the woodwork telling me I didn’t have a right to do that or that I wrote the lead wrong.  
10. Is there anything you would like to be better at? Writing certain scenes or genres, replying to comments, updating better, etc.
I have long ago accepted my inability to porn well.  I’d love to be better with my updates. But as mentioned earlier I deal with depression - so my brain meats aren’t the most efficient at cranking out things in a timely manner.  Also replyingto comments/ social media shit. I am awful at. 
11. Do you write rarepairs or popular ships more often?
I guess Rarepairs...I suppose. 
12. How many stories have you posted on FFNet/AO3 to this day (finished and unfinished)?
Three/four - one large chapter monster and lots of little drabbles that sort of grew around it. 
13. How many stories do you have saved in/with your writing program?
*cough* Lots
14. Do you write down story ideas, or just keep them in your head?
...Depends on how long the story idea bugs me, how complicated the idea is and if I intend to do anything with it.  
15. Have you ever co-authored a story?
Not exactly. A bud of mine and me in high school triedto do that but gave up. Now a days I just co author smutty bits with someone else cause I am no good at those on my own.
16. How did you discover FFNet/AO3?
I knew about FF.net before the great PornPurge. I am not even sure HOW I found them. Probably just wandering the net as a young impressionable nerd. I also used to deal with webrings if you want to guess how old I am. 
AO3 I...think I heard about on tumblr, or I had a friend or two metion them tome when I started writing fic again seriously. 
17. Do you consider yourself to be a popular or famous author in your fandom(s) on FFNet/AO3?
No. I always end up baffled to find out people have read or remember anything I’d worked on. 
18. Do you have a nickname or fandom name for your readers?
Not really? What?
19. Was there an author who inspired or encouraged you to write?
Not to my knowledge - I think there was a quote about art that I picked up via Ted Naifeh about how you have to get through 1000 bad drawings to get to the good ones. That tends to stick in my mind about  writing or anything I’m trying my hand at. 
20. What writing advice would you give to a beginning author?
I don’t have much for writing - but creating things in general. When I started doing art in high school the forums I hung out on always had the reminder, “There will always be someone better than you. But you will always be better than someone else.” Write as things come to mind. You don’t have to write in sequential order - you can edit that later. Don’t worry if things come out rough and ugly in your first drafts, things can get polished later. Write what you want, not what you think others will want. Also to paraphrase Dr Suess - if you draw a monster with three heads, be sure to give it three toothbrushes. Keep details in mind when building a world/ scenario.
21. Do you plot out your stories, or do you just figure it out as you go?
I have a rough skeleton or shape I start with - when I start writing it all out things start getting filled in - or changed from the original plan cause something better came up. 
22. Have you ever gotten a bad comment on a story? If so, what did you do?
Occasionally I would get folks complaining about “the slow bits” where it’s just banter - or folks getting snotty about the lack of sex scenes, but generally nothing “bad” just antsy. 
23. Is there a certain type of scene that you have a hard time writing? (action, smut, etc..)
SMUT - I’m a poor little ace robot. My brain doesn’t quite know what to do with smut scenes. Where do hands go? What do they do? People do what? Don’t they know what comes out of those places? EVERYONE NEEDS TO WASH THEIR HANDS.  I don’t cut the scenes since I know it’s a thing people do- and it feels disingenuous to have violence in a story and then get all fiddly when sex shows up. So I have cucu help me out - and have lots of feedback from other folks as we muddle along. 
24. What story(s) are you working on now?
Still working on Smoke as I can and trying to flesh out an original concept, which is sort of a post apocalyptic noir,
25. Do you plan your next project(s) before you finish your current ongoing story(s)?
YEP 
26. Do you have a daily writing goal set for yourself?
Not DAILY - but I do try to make myself add 500 words to what I’m working on when I do sit down to write. 
27. Do you think you’ve improved as a writer since you first started?
Thankfully 
28. What is your favorite story(s) that you’ve written?
I dunno - I mean I don’t have much going on right now that’s eaten my time and attention as much as Smoke Gets in Your Eyes has. 
29. What is your least favorite story(s) that you’ve written?
Nothing that I’ve left out in public. I cleared out my old writing archives ages ago and I tend not to let myself look back. 
30. Where do you see yourself (as a writer) in 5 years?
I don’t actually know. I rarely consider myself a writer. I am an artist - I went to school for art and drawing. I just sort of accidentally picked writing back up. 
31. What is the easiest thing about writing?
Planning - Conceptualizing. The early stages when everything is still nebulous and nothing is forced into words. 
32. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Putting things into words. Also the whole “creating things to toss into the void” sensation.
33. Why do you write?
Because my brain sort of will keep daisy chaining ideas and building stories with or without my permission. So focusing on them - writing them and getting them out on paper for others to look at seems the only real solution.  Also cause my friends got sick of my being like “so hypothetically - if blah and blah happened - you think such and such would shake out of that?” 
I taaaag @fat-mabari @vkiera @prinxvariety
Cheers!
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bsinoranges · 4 years ago
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In which it gets sappy
Tagged by the amazing @lethesomething!!
1. How did you come up with your username and what does it mean?
So uh. BS is actually short for bittersweet, but now it doubles as my in-joke for BS in whateverCourse -- hence the in. So BS in oranges.
Then it’s bittersweetoranges because i read this fic called bittersweet and it was damn good to me at the time. Also my favorite fruit is orange.
...I’m bot good at giving names nor titles. Haha.
2. Which fanfic of yours has the most feedback? (bookmarks/subscriptions/hits/kudos).
Hm. Overall, that would be my KuroYachi one-shot The Lights in the Sky are Stars. It was sort of my love letter to the KuroYachi ship, and so I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to add on to it.
For subscriptions that would be my still unfinished brofest piece, The Thief, the Witch, and the Fae. This one is my bid at making an interesting take on certain characters and dynamics in a dark fantasy setting. Futakuchi is the lead if only because @haruhi02 accidentally gave me his name when I asked for random characters.
3. What is your AO3 profile icon, and why did you choose it?
A freezing link from Breath of the Wild. Well, why not? Haha. I love Link, I love Breath of the Wild, and when I resurfaced back on tumblr botw recently came out and also the free icons.
(the rest is under a cut because it’s long and sappy)
4. Do you have any regular/favourite commenters?
Well. I won’t name favorites. Frequent commenters tho... they’d be my friends from chat, so shoutout to @lethesomething and @haruhi02 because you guys are great.
To be fair, I don’t think I post frequently enough for people to keep their eyes peeled for me.
5. Is there a fanfic that you keep going back to read again and again?
Boy, do I. Basically anything in my bookmarks are the things I regularly return to read. Quite notable, however is anything by bigspoonnoya. God. I love her work. From the HQ to the BNHA to the YOI.
6. How many stories are you subscribed to? How many do you have bookmarked?
I bookmark more than I subscribed. Buuuuuuuuut I’m subscribed to a grand total of 4 works, and I’ve bookmarked 62 fics.
7. Which AU do you find yourself writing the most?
Fantasy. Hands down. There’s three-ish urban ones, then there’s two full-on fantasy pieces. The rest are slice-of-life.
There’s just something about fantasy that makes me really happy. It might be the freedom to make, or that I like using fantasy as a substitute for when I want to comment on current events. But usually I like writing things that are fantastical.
Someday I want to make write a slice-of-life that makes the mundane fantastical, and then vice versa. If only because it’s the little things that steal my heart and imagination every single time.
8. How many people are subscribed and bookmarked to you in total? (you can view this on the stats page)
Four wonderful people are subscribed to me, while 12 are subscribed to my stories. For bookmarks, I have a total of 24. ^^
9. Is there something you’d like to write about but are afraid of people judging you for it? (Feeling brave? If so, share it!)
Many of my topic matter don’t really make much, if any, waves -- at least that’s what I think. I’m only afraid I can’t do justice to my dark/fantasy elements, because that would be a real shame.
10. Is there anything you would like to be better at? Writing certain scenes or genres, replying to comments, updating better, etc.
First it’s definitely finishing what I start. My multichaps aren’t incredibly long, but I worry a lot about continuation and future chapters that it spoils writing the present one, so I hope to work on that.
Next is my exposition and narration. I can only say “Name smiles.” so much before I think I write in a horribly stale matter.
... Does writing romance or any sort of sexual or romantic contact count? Cause, boy do I need practice.
11. Do you write rarepairs or popular ships more often?
Is YamaYachi popular? KuroYachi? I’m pretty sure they’re an okay and accepted ship. But in any case the rarest pair I’ve written is KuroYachi, and then KamaFuta. Because those pairs need more content, and I’m pretty willing to fill them.
12. How many stories have you posted on AO3 to this day (finished and unfinished)?
I have 9 works in total. Five of which are completed oneshot, and the other four are unfinished multichaps. See the trend yet?
One of the finished oneshots is the longshot Nowhere in the Sea. It’s the first fic I finished in my whole 17 (at the time) years of living.
Of my unfinished things, one of them is an anthology (that I should probably close since I’m not planning on updating anytime soon) and then the three fantasy pieces that has a lot Worldbuilding™.
13. How many stories do you have saved in/with your writing program?
H A H A.
Hm. So, I switch between Google Docs, Sublime Text 3, and OneNote. But there’s a whooping 17 unwritten stories in various states of disrepair.
I’m most excited for the YamaYachi one, and also the sprawling ensemble cast one. :D
14. Do you write down story ideas, or just keep them in your head?
I mostly keep them in my head. So they flit in and out of my memory like deadlines. On the rare occasion that I’m possessed by the idea, I’l have written the idea down and then some on anything I find convenient at the time (laptop, phone, or paper.)
15. Have you ever co-authored a story?
Yes. @haruhi02 was my partner for the hq fantasy fest thing. She was with me when I finished my first ever fic Nowhere in the Sea.
16. How did you discover AO3?
I was friends with this author back in FF.Net, and she had an AO3 account. Then, I branched off her fics to read the FE:A fics.
17. Do you consider yourself to be a popular or famous author in your fandom(s) on AO3?
LOL. Of course not. I can say, with confidence, that I am probably obscure.
18. Do you have a nickname or fandom name for your readers?
Hm...
19. Was there an author who inspired or encouraged you to write?
Fun fact, the first fan fic I wrote was an unfinished novelization of the Swan Princess (Nest Family Entertainment), and then an illustrated re-telling of Barbie’s Princess and the Nutracker. I started seriously pursuing writing around... the grade 5, when my bully of an English teacher said I had a talent for writing. If I had any it remains to be seen. But it was my friends back on FFnet. The likes of Mafi, and Tune, and Loke. They were there for me during my baby days writing for a fandom. We weren’t in the same fandom, but they inspired me so much.
Also I really like Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling and thought it would be awesome to publish and write books.
Today though, it’s my friends in the chat who continue to inspire me everyday.
20. What writing advice would you give to a beginning author?
I don’t think I’m qualified. But if I should, it’d be to stay strong and welcome to addictive cycle of happiness and misery. Because there’s nothing like writing that one perfect scene -- it’s worth all the stress and the struggle.
Also. Writing is like wine, it get’s better with age, but it doesn’t mean that you like wine.
21. Do you plot out your stories, or do you just figure it out as you go?
I plot a lot. Like a lot. But I throw out a lot through the window when push comes to shove. Sometimes I’ll outwrite what I’ve planned or plan something new and then I’ll get flung into a crisis. Haha. Fun.
22. Have you ever gotten a bad comment on a story? If so, what did you do?
The worst comment I’ve had is spam on Nowhere in the Sea. I just wish I had more comments. #NoShame.
23. Is there a certain type of scene that you have a hard time writing? (action, smut, etc..)
Smut. A bit of action, but action is easier than doing the sexy.
24. What story(s) are you working on now?
I’m focusing all my energy on Amor Fati, which is my gift for the fantasy exchange. I need to finish that because it’d be sad if I didn’t. And, most importantly, I want to make my giftee proud.
25. Do you plan your next project(s) before you finish your current ongoing story(s)?
The plan is to keep up with my plans. I have no shortage of plans. Hahaha. But I do plan on finishing up Amor Fati then finishing either Scales or The Thief, the Witch, and the Fae before moving on to other projects.
26. Do you have a daily writing goal set for yourself?
Nope. It would probably be better if I did, but acads just eats a lot of my time.
27. Do you think you’ve improved as a writer since you first started?
I think it’s arrogant to think that I did, but I guess I did. I was 13ish -- two years after fifth grade -- when I took writing more seriously... And looking back my writing style changed. ^^
28. What is your favorite story that you’ve written?
I love all my stories for different reasons. To be honest tho, it’s what I haven’t written and am yet to write. I love The Thief, the Witch, and the Fae for it’s dark and heavy atmosphere. Scales for its hesitance and its secrecy. Amor Fati for the melancholy and for its world. Nowhere in the Sea for being my first in a lot of things (but also it’s magic system and world gdi). Lights in the Sky are Stars for it’s sweet fluff. Class Pizza for its tomfoolery. So on and so forth.
As much as I have a hard time looking at my writing, I won’t deny that I love them for the things that they are and could be.
29. What is your least favorite story that you’ve written?
... Probably my anthology? It reminds me of bad memories.
30. Where do you see yourself (as a writer) in 5 years?
Here, still suffering but instead out of school (hopefully) and knee deep in some sort of job.
31. What is the easiest thing about writing?
The planning and the talking and the crying and the reading.
32. What is the hardest thing about writing?
The writing. Or maybe that point between the first scene and the third. Something like that.
33. Why do you write?
Why don’t I? Writing is me. I’ve did things for the sake of reference, I’ve devoted a lot of myself to writing and the idea of writing. I love it. It’s an amazing way to express.
I wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Sooo. For tagging. @spacegaykj and @astersandstuffs and @slothesaurus if you guys don’t mind ^^. Feel free to ignore if you want. Thank you for the time.
Also double tagging @haruhi02 because I can.
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fyodorscenarios · 4 years ago
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Tagged by @yokohamastraydogs . Thank you!
Tag game under the cut cause it’s kinda long:
1. How did you come up with your username and what does it mean?
No one had this url yet so it was kinda the obvious choice based on what I was planning on posting. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this kids. 
2. Which fanfic of yours has the most feedback? (bookmarks/subscriptions/hits/kudos)
I didn’t take Wattpad into account because I’m lazy. The most I have on Tumblr is 42 notes on this one. Kinda surprising since I usually get 10-20 something notes on most stuff here. This scenario is an outlier lol. 
3. What is your AO3 profile icon, and why did you choose it?
I don’t use AO3 much and I don’t even think my account had an icon. 
4. Do you have any regular/favourite commenters?
I appreciate all the comments I get, so I don’t think I really have any favourite people who do so. 
5. Is there a fanfic that you keep going back to read again and again?
I mostly just go back and read Fyodor related scenarios that are actually decent. They’re in short supply. 
6. How many stories are you subscribed to? How many do you have bookmarked?
None lol, even when I used AO3 regularly I never did anything like that.
7. Which AU do you find yourself writing the most?
I mostly like writing AUs based on other fictional media I really like. Usually films, but I also have that Crime & Punishment AU. 
8. How many people are subscribed and bookmarked to you in total? (you can view this on the stats page)
I have 451 followers right now. 
9. Is there something you’d like to write about but are afraid of people judging you for it? (Feeling brave? If so, share it!)
I can’t really think of anything off the top of my head. I mean I do have some fucked up smut ideas but I can’t write smut for shit even if it’s vanilla. 
10. Is there anything you would like to be better at? Writing certain scenes or genres, replying to comments, updating better, etc.
I’d like to get better at writing smut, and just in general writing actions because I think that’s a major problem of mine. I also need to get better at replying to comments because I never know what to say to people. Of course it would also be nice if I was able to update more frequently. 
11. Do you write rarepairs or popular ships more often?
I don’t write ships...
12. How many stories have you posted on AO3 to this day (finished and unfinished)?
None.
13. How many stories do you have saved in/with your writing program?
15. Seems like a lot but I only write scenarios. I’ve never written a full story with chapters because I have commitment issues. At the most I’ve only done a sequel type thing. 
14. Do you write down story ideas, or just keep them in your head?
I have a list of a bunch of ideas. If an idea gets big enough and I feel the need to write it, I’ll write down all the stuff I can think of for it in a document. 
15. Have you ever co-authored a story?
No. 
16. How did you discover AO3?
Probably when I was looking for fanfiction in 2013. I won’t mention the fandom because I kinda regret being into it now. I read a lot of things I shouldn’t have read at 14.
17. Do you consider yourself to be a popular or famous author in your fandom(s) on AO3?
No lmao. Fyodor’s not a super popular character as it is. I feel like I’m probably well known enough for my liking though. 
18. Do you have a nickname or fandom name for your readers?
No. I’m not that corny lol
19. Was there an author who inspired or encouraged you to write?
Ummm, idk? I do like novels but idk if any of them ever inspired me to write all that much. I’ve never really written a decent original story because in all honesty I don’t care much about that. I write this stupid fanfiction as wish fulfillment for myself because nobody would do it for me at the time. 
20. What writing advice would you give to a beginning author?
Practice a lot, read a lot. I say read because it’ll help broaden your horizons, vocabulary, and give you ideas on styles to experiment with. You’ll likely also get a lot of inspiration from a good book, so don’t only read fanfiction. 
21. Do you plot out your stories, or do you just figure it out as you go?
Sometimes I just have a rough idea and start from there. In other cases I have most of what I want to happen written out and I just have to connect all of the pieces. Usually when it’s the latter though a lot ends up changing as I write. 
22. Have you ever gotten a bad comment on a story? If so, what did you do?
I don’t think I’ve had a bad comment before. The worst I’ve gotten is someone asking about the logic I used once, and I replied with what I actually meant. They were nice about it though originally and understood where I was coming from after I informed them. I’ve also had people point out a pun I accidentally made once, it kinda detracted from the seriousness of the story so looking back on it I feel like a dumbass. 
23. Is there a certain type of scene that you have a hard time writing? (action, smut, etc..)
Anything involving describing movement in all honesty. It’s at the point where I’d rather just only write dialogue, I love dialogue. 
24. What story(s) are you working on now?
Just working on requests. I also have some ongoing one shots I thought of myself that I might finish eventually. 
25. Do you plan your next project(s) before you finish your current ongoing story(s)?
Yeah. I just write what I’m in the mood for sometimes, so there’s a few things that only have a page written or haven’t been touched in ages. 
26. Do you have a daily writing goal set for yourself?
No. I’m really busy so I usually just write whenever I have free time and feel like it. 
27. Do you think you’ve improved as a writer since you first started?
Yeah, for sure. I’m not sure if it’s by much but I do see it. 
28. What is your favorite story that you’ve written?
Hmm, not sure. Though I like my angst more than anything else usually.
29. What is your least favorite story that you’ve written?
I’m not really a big fan of the first one I wrote, since it’s mediocre. I’m also not super into the high school AU I did a little bit after that. 
30. Where do you see yourself (as a writer) in 5 years?
I don’t plan on writing for my career and I don’t see myself continuing to write fanfic for that long. By then at most I’d probably be writing papers for grad school or writing a report for my job.
31. What is the easiest thing about writing?
Dialogue -- for me at least. 
32. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Describing movement and actions.
33. Why do you write?
It’s something to do with my free time. It’s also partially for wish fulfillment. 
-
Most people have probably be tagged already and I need to get back to studying now... 
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writer-and-artist27 · 4 years ago
Note
3, 4, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 22, 23, 24, and 25 for the get to know your author ask?
Ahhhh! An ask! Thank you, anon. :) Anyways, let’s do this!
3.) What order do you write in? Front of book to back? Chronological? Favorite scenes first? Something else?
Considering my working on both Civilian Pianist and The Sea and Stars, I’ll have to say it depends. For CP, I tend to write from front of book to back in terms of the order, with chronological stuff coming with it, but with interludes and so on, I’ve had to delve into the timeline for the sake of consistency. I usually collaborate with Josh and Leo in that regard when it comes to keeping things on track. 
For S&S though? I try to do the same, just with sprinkles of many conversations with Lang and by extension, Beta, on keeping the CYB elements true to some extent (big ones being Kei and a lot of the CYB characters). Sometimes, this leads to me writing favorite scenes first, but then they go into storage for me to figure out for later. Most of the time, it’s still chronological first.
4.) Favorite character you’ve written
I’m actually going to exclude Tomoko from this question considering she is me to an extent. But for actual original characters barring influence like that, Hisako and Judai have been my favorites, with Hisako basically being able to say a lot of things that Tomoko just doesn’t say or won’t, and Judai being that funny, protective-yet-lenient dad I thought he might’ve been had Canon GX gone that way. A runner-up for this category is actually CP Kakashi though, since writing his floundering throughout the entire process of figuring out his feelings for Tomoko have been amusing. :d
8) Favorite genre to write
Emotional fluff. That’s all I can use to describe it. There’s a reason why a lot of early CP had so much hug-inducing fluff, and aside from me getting used to writing for Naruto in general, I enjoy writing those moments of lighthearted joy that Tomoko has when seeing friends (which in a way has shown up again and again in S&S whenever she hugs Kei). It’s only with CP going into arcs such as the Chunin Exams and everything leading up to Kannabi that adding in the emotion really got me going because of how emotionally open I myself can be. 
11) What aspect of your writing do you think has most improved since you started writing?
Hm… that’s hard to say since there are still moments where I go to early CP and think, “Holy crap, I wrote that?!” in an incredulous voice before rereading again and realizing, “Hey, this is kinda cute.” But for the aspect I’ve improved in the most, I would like to think I did a lot in the fight scene and rising-action/tension categories. Early CP had so much fluff, it was easy to accidentally lose people in it. But when getting into the hard-hitters, well, they hit hard with my most recent work, so I’m proud to look back at those chapters and pat myself on the back for making them.
12) Your weaknesses as an author
Ah. This question. Well, I can only think of two:
Falling back on others a little too often when my writing muse comes to a screeching halt (I mean, Lang’s seen a lot of my stuff when I’ve floundered to the point where I’m surprised she still likes reading my stuff, and there have been many moments where I held myself back from calling Josh and Leo for the sake of trying to figure something out on my own)
Missing commas and em dashes (basically “—”). This is yet another reason why early CP is kinda on the love-hate category for me, because past me missed so many commas. Argh.
13) Your strengths as an author
Just one I can think of:
Delving into the emotions of the character I’m writing in. Even if I struggle with understanding the character in some way (e.g. Kei since she is Lang’s OC, not mine, so she’s harder to write for), getting into their minds and showing the emotion that can come from them is my specialty somehow. Whether it’s because I’m so emotionally open in real life, or just me trying to understand the motivations of the people around me, it shows in CP and S&S really well to where I’m proud (and also kinda mortified) when reviewers comment saying that they’ve cried. Definitely have come a long way from last year, even if I still flounder from embarrassment at seeing my early stuff.
15) Why did you start writing?
I can only really think of a few reasons. Hope you don’t mind the long text post. *scratches head* Then again, you’ve come this far, and I’m grateful. :)
To convey an idea I really wanted to write that no one had really done so far. I’ve said before that CP started with the question of “What if Kakashi had a best friend?”, and that still stands. Adding in how there are very few Civilian OCs that I’ve seen in the Naruto fandom, along with the low coverage of civilians in Naruto in general, that was one factor.
Lang inspired me. Simple as that. Catch Your Breath literally caught my heart when I discovered it in the summer of 2015 (at least, I think it was 2015, I can’t fully remember), and when seeing Kei, I wanted to try writing something along the lines of that too. Not to mention, it’s because of Lang that I got back into Naruto, and I can’t thank her enough. 
Silver Queen’s Dreaming of Sunshine made me see beyond fanfiction again. Shikako caught my heart just as much as Kei.
I wanted to reflect on the growth I’ve done so far as a person. There’s a reason aside from angst as to why I had Vy die at age 18 to the point of it affecting Tomoko in her new life, since so much has happened since then. I’m still attending college, figuring things out little by little, but Tomoko is essentially that self-reflection that I never got to do until now. And seeing how I could’ve been while also exploring the current me in writing has been very much worth it.
I wanted to see what it was like. Posting on Fanfiction and all. Cross-posting on other sites (including AO3) was never really my thing, and my old FFN profile was just sitting on the website, dusty and all after a few select reviews for an old fanfic a friend was doing, so I just dusted it off and got to work.
18) Were there any works you read that affected you so much that it influenced your writing style? What were they?
Yes, there were. No doubt about that. For fanfic stuff…
Catch Your Breath. Still my main inspiration to this day. 
Dreaming of Sunshine, especially since it started the whole SI-OC genre in general.
Deja vu no Jutsu, for the worldbuilding and the limits that a writer can surpass (since Vixen Tail wrote a lot to take in, and it’s hard when your brain’s not hardwired for binging), and
Inoue Shiori by Hermionechan90. This was actually the first ever Civilian OC fic for Naruto I ever read, and after seeing Shiori’s accomplishments and her realm in the shinobi world, it got me thinking.
As for books…
Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series. For the mystery and attention to historical detail.
Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and following books in the Cormoran Strike series, for being a mystery series that I found myself loving.
22) Are there any subjects that make you uncomfortable to write?
Sex scenes or anything related to smut, period. First, because I’m a demisexual person and the idea of Tomoko doing that kind of stuff equals “WHAT.” 
(Not helped by how Hisako is my spiritual avatar in the sense of protecting the girl, just because she’s so precious to me and the idea of her doing that equals O^O). 
And secondly… well, those CP fans who have seen Chapter 21 and my later “Announcement” chapter will easily understand why. For others, let’s just say I’m not as protected from society’s stuff as it might seem. I’ve seen some uncomfy stuff too, and it’s hard. 
23) Any obscure life experiences that you feel have helped your writing?
I feel like this is a weird answer, but strangely, my interactions with the older members of my family factor into this. The reason why I personally feel Judai and Hikari are so powerful in CP’s narrative (and not just because they’re honoring my original fanfiction roots in trying to write for Yugioh GX or their being our main heroine’s parents) is because my real Mom and Dad are personally involved in my life. I try to keep them updated every day I can, they help me whenever they can, and it’s been a mutually beneficial and loving relationship. I’ve seen my parents falter and worry, as Judai and Hikari have in-story, while also having a first-hand idea of how even adults in a child’s life can make mistakes (considering how things in life can be - my parents coming from Vietnam more so). So, having them in my life really helped in fleshing out the adult figures in Tomoko’s life, Judai and Hikari included.
24) Have you ever become an expert on something you previously knew nothing about, in order to better a scene or a story?
I would like to say ‘yes’ to this, but for once, I don’t think I can. I’ve had to research things to the point of knowing the subject matter better (e.g. wartimes in Naruto, looks into the psychological state that Tomoko might have, etc), but I still had outside help in the form of Josh, Leo, and by extension, Lang, Beta, and Abalisk. So I can’t call myself an expert. But considering how a lot of my stories have been rooted in emotion, I think I’m in fair territory.
25) Copy/paste a few sentences or a short paragraph that you’re particularly proud of.
Oooh. Well, I don’t want to say too much, but an entire snippet for you, anon! This is all thanks to you~ :D 
The following scene was actually something I wrote while I was on my summer road trip, thinking it would be for the aftermath of S&S Chapter 13 (where the Drunk Guy incident happened, just with a better ending in the final version), but after some convos with Lang, Beta, and Leo, this specific scene ended up being scrapped (especially since Tomoko was saved much earlier than in CP, with the culprit not even being able to touch her). That doesn’t mean I still don’t like it - no - I just feel bad that I wasn’t able to include this!
Being set up to rest in my room for most of the day felt almost suffocating. Even if I knew it was for my own good.
Apparently trying to cook pancakes on my own after a long night seemed to not be the best idea I had in mind. Even if it sounded good at the time.
I gave everyone I knew such a bad scare last night, I had thought making them breakfast would be a good way to cheer them up. Instead, everyone was clamoring towards me, bustling me back into bed without even letting me finish cooking.
If I wasn’t physically a child already, this said more than enough.
Trying to sleep was difficult though. I wasn’t sure whether it was because of the endless stream of thoughts going through my head about what had happened and what I should be doing now or the state of my throat (which Kei did try to tend to again this morning before putting me back into my futon), but my eyes just couldn’t close. Sure, I could blink, but actually falling asleep didn’t seem like an option.
So instead, I was left staring up at the ceiling, counting the number of tiles up there while occasionally testing my voice with some light singing. Needless to say, it didn’t go so well.
“Haaa… haagh.”
I could’ve been a wheezing teapot if I didn’t know any better.
At least a notebook and pencil was left in reaching distance for me to use if I wanted to talk. My throat seemed to not be happy with me if I tried anyways.
I was already reaching 30 tiles when the door opened. Without even sitting up, I knew it was Kei from the casual sleepwear and messy black bedhead alone, walking in with a tray of food.
“You doing alright there, Tomo?” she said, voice quiet but still recognizable.
With my voice gone, I could only really nod and put on the best smile I could offer.
It was a broken smile, but a smile nonetheless.
But judging by Kei’s face, she didn’t believe the smile or me. Instead, she locked the door behind her, walked over to set the food to my right side and then hung her head. She wasn’t looking at me, but I could tell she was disturbed about something.
Then, she looked up at me with resolute eyes. “… I think I’ll ask Minato-sensei if I can take a break from missions.”
My heart froze.
Whether or not my panic showed on my face, Kei seemed to notice it enough and shook her head. “I know what you’re thinking, Tomo. This is the time of the Third Shinobi World War, and I should get some more experience out there before Kannabi happens.”
I nodded my head as fast as I could, not even caring that my hair was slapping my face while doing so.
“But Tomo, you didn’t see it.” Kei took a breath, and I didn’t miss how her hands clenched the sides of my blanket. “You didn’t feel your own chakra when it happened.”
Now I was feeling confused. In my funk, I sat up and reached over to grab the notebook, flipping to the first blank page to scribble. It took a few moments, but by the time I looked up at her again, Kei was inclining her head at me in confusion once I turned the notebook over in her direction.
What do you mean, Kei? What does my chakra have to do with this?
“Tomo…” Kei then sighed, reaching over to poke my head. “Tomo, Tomo, Tomo.” With each repetition of my new nickname, she poked my forehead, and I found myself getting a bit irritated. “I’m a sensor, remember? And even if you’re okay now, you didn’t feel your chakra when you got attacked yesterday. You… You didn’t know how close you were to… well.” She paused, looking up at me again and I couldn’t miss the amount of emotion rolling through her eyes. “I almost lost you yesterday, Tomo.”
Oh. I opened my mouth, then closed it. The throbbing in my throat was becoming more obvious.
What am I supposed to say right now?
“I-I can’t…” Kei clenched her fists again as she looked down. “That can’t happen again. Until everything boils down, I want to be there for you if any bastards target you again.”
I could only find myself mouthing Kei’s name before closing my mouth again.
What was I supposed to say?
I glanced down at my own hands before the lightbulb went off. Then, I turned to another page in the notebook, scribbling again. Near me, I could hear Kei’s confused grunt at my actions. I was honestly hoping what I was writing was enough to reassure her.
Kei needed to hear my opinion at least. Even if I couldn’t physically voice it.
When I finally turned the page over in her direction, I tried to hide my own gulp.
I’ll be okay. I’m not fully alright now, but I’ll be okay. You don’t have to worry about me, Kei. You should focus on your training and your work so that this doesn’t happen again.
I’ll be alright.
Once Kei finished scanning my message, she looked up at me with softened eyes before reaching over. The last thing I was expecting was for her to push my notebook down into my lap before pulling me into a hug. “Tomo, you’re not fine at all. And it’s okay for you to rely on friends sometimes, y’know.”
I opened my mouth again, only to close it.
A hand started to run through my hair. “You’re my friend, Tomo, so let me be here for you. Please.”
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rebellingstagnationblog · 4 years ago
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For the author asks: one through twenty-five!
OMG 😂🙈 Okay, all 25!
1) is there a story you’re holding off on writing for some reason?
I’ve wanted to write a fantasy series, but I can’t get it off the ground for some reason. I have the characters, but not the plot. Maybe someday.
2) what work of yours, if any, are you the most embarrassed about existing?
I wrote under another pen name in my youth and all the stories under that account are ones I don’t talk about or even think about.
3) what order do you write in? front of book to back? chronological? favorite scenes first? something else?
I tend to write the scenes I imagine the most clearly first then I fill in the gaps in between. As I fill in the gaps, I do it chronologically so… both?
4) favorite character you’ve written
Stellar. Still.
5) character you were most surprised to end up writing 
Taurus Bulba. He always intimidated me, but when my friend Ellie mentioned that he’d be a great villain to bring Darkwing and Negaduck together, I saw she was right and started researching him.
6) something you would go back and change in your writing that it’s too late/complicated to change now
The build of “Let’s Get D-D-D-D-Dangerous.” Negaduck and Gosalyn’s journey was all over the map and I would have liked to see something more linear. Maybe a more deliberate/intense betrayal on her part? Something Negaduck shouldn’t have to forgive her for but does?
7) when asked, are you embarrassed or enthusiastic to tell people that you write?
Oh, nobody knows I write. But I have told a few people and I get excited about it when I tell them.
8) favorite genre to write
Surprisingly, action/adventure. I don’t think I’m very good at it, but I’ve had the most fun with it.
9) what, if anything, do you do for inspiration?
Talk to Ellie and listen to music. All my stories come from songs and Ellie’s questions.
10) write in silence or with background noise? with people or alone?
I need background noise when I write, mostly music. When I edit, it needs to be silent. I prefer to write alone because I tend to make the same expressions the characters are making, or I’ll speak the dialogue aloud to see if it works. But I can write with others in the room.
11) what aspect of your writing do you think has most improved since you started writing?
My descriptions. I’ve managed to have an ear for dialogue, thank goodness, but I couldn’t describe anything to save my soul. I like to think I’ve gotten better.
12) your weaknesses as an author
I still don’t think I’m good at describing things even if I’ve gotten better. There’s no metaphors or foreshadowing or any literary devices that are done on purpose; if any exist, it’s completely accidental. I’m really clumsy with the plot and getting from one point to the next. Romance. God, it’s so bad. I know what I want to read in romantic scenes, but I can’t write it.
13) your strengths as an author
I can write dialogue pretty well, especially banter. I research the crap out of whatever I’m writing, so the details are real.
14) do you make playlists for your current wips?
Always. I can’t start writing until I have a completed playlist.
15) why did you start writing?
I honestly don’t know. I had ideas and I started putting them on paper when I was really young and I haven’t stopped since.
16) are there any characters who haunt you?
Negaduck’s/Darkwing’s mother.
17) if you could give your fledgling author self any advice, what would it be?
The skills come with practice; write everything your imagination is coming up with and you’ll figure out how to say it along the way.
18) were there any works you read that affected you so much that it influenced your writing style? what were they?
Markus Zusak’s books, specifically “I Am The Messenger.” He writes so beautifully and he was the first author I saw who didn’t pay attention to the rules of grammar and let the story tell itself how it wanted to be told. I re-read his stuff often.
19) when it comes to more complicated narratives, how do you keep track of outlines, characters, development, timeline, ect.?
A lot of sticky notes 🙈 And re-reading what I wrote the day before. But I still have details that I don’t remember putting in there that I only recall after I’m editing and I realize, “Oh, my God, he’s supposed to wear reading glasses.” or something like that.
20) do you write in long sit-down sessions or in little spurts?
Both. On my weekends, I write until the chapter is done. But on the weekdays, I either don’t write at all or just a small snippet of a scene that occurred to me at work or while I was out.
21) what do you think when you read over your older work?
I cringe. I try to avoid my older work.
22) are there any subjects that make you uncomfortable to write?
Any and all romantic or sweet scenes. I don’t want them to be too sweet but I also want it to be cute and realistic. It’s a struggle. As are life events like weddings or birthdays or anniversaries; I never know what to DO with anyone. 
23) any obscure life experiences that you feel have helped your writing?
I was homeschooled for a few years and I visited the library a lot. I think experiencing all those stories pushed me towards writing so that I could tell my own stories.
24) have you ever become an expert on something you previously knew nothing about, in order to better a scene or a story?
Oh yes. I knew nothing about weaponry, but Negaduck had to, so I bought a manual on weapons to help get the details right. I also vividly remember a night where all my roommates were asleep and I was still awake, looking up dry ice and liquid nitrogen to figure out how to use it against Isis Vanderchill in a scene.
25) copy/paste a few sentences or a short paragraph that you’re particularly proud of
“If you tampered with any of my stuff, Dorkwing, I swear I’ll—”
“I didn’t touch anything!”
“Boys, please!” Gosalyn snapped.
“He started it!” Darkwing and Negaduck said at the same time. They both stiffened and whirled to glare at each other. “No, I didn’t, you did!” they said, again, simultaneously.
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lazy--stars-reblogs · 4 years ago
Text
Miko’s Sportarobbie Fic Rec
Here are some of my favorite fanfics! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have, and I’m sure to add to this list as time goes on!
Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches | T | Complete | 37,542 words
Author: SparkKisses | 2 Oct 2006
A tragic turn in Stephanie's life leads her to happiness she didn't know she was missing... and she pulls everyone else with her into a new kind of life.
Gen fic liberally doused with m/m.
I cried over this fic it’s really dang sweet, also Sportacus and Robbie are Dads™
Welcome to the Building (I Guess) | G | Complete | 9,594 words
Author: Neyiea | 8 Dec 2016
Some new people are moving into Robbie's apartment building.
This fic is the first installment of the Home is Where You Are series. Read the whole series. Neyiea is easily my favorite LT author, she’s been kind of on a hiatus for a bit. It you love fluff, you’ll LOVE this series. PLs;;;;;;;
Talk is Cheap | E | Complete | 31,306 words
Author: gunsforeyes | 18 Jan 2017
Robbie Rotten's latest scheme goes wrong, and he and Sportacus find themselves forced to experience life in the other's shoes.
BODYSWAP AU!!! Okay honestly this is probably my favorite fic ever. There’s a lot of angst, but the fluff you get is SO worth it. I cried over this one too. I love Robbie.....protect him.
I'll Leave So I Don't Have To Watch You Go | T | In-Progress | 88,327 words
Author: MusicalPancakes77 | 19 Jun 2017
The kids are growing up and Lazytown is actually accumulating a respectable population size. Robbie decides that maybe villainy isn't really for him after all. Sportacus, ever the town hero, sees fit to stick close to Robbie's side as he transitions into a functioning member of society. It's not at all weird that they have these awkward moments, or that they love each other's laughs and smiles, or buy each other gifts, or act almost like an old married couple......
Robbie can't really figure out what their relationship is. After a discussion with Sportacus one night, he isn't sure if staying in Lazytown is the best thing for him. Better to leave first, right?
Ya’ll...there’s one chapter left to go of this. The fic itself is over, but there’s another epilogue coming. I don’t know what I’m gonna do once it’s over. It’s been a fantastic ride with this fic, it’s really so amazingly good. I’ve felt so many things.
Hard Truths | M | Complete | 8,089 words
Author(s): Apathy, saltedpin | 8 Jan 2017
Getting trapped together one time is bad luck.
Getting trapped together several times is a recipe for deep-seated trauma. The kind that involves ice cream, cake, and a whole lot of denial.
They get trapped a lot in small spaces and it leads to gay. Very well written, I love it so much.
Careers Day | G | Complete | 6,149 words
Author: Fríálfurinn (DangerousCommieSubversive) | 2 Jan 2017
Something very strange is happening to Robbie Rotten.
It starts with agreeing to help a child with a school project. A child. Helping. Because the snooty boy, Sticky or whatever, wants to interview him for Careers Day and what kind of a villain would he be if he didn't take every opportunity to talk about himself? But somehow this leads to Sportacus visiting, and volunteering to teach classes, and feeling things that aren't spite or smug self-satisfaction.
That's the word. Feelings.
Robbie's having feelings and he hates them.
Part 1 of This Just Keeps Happening. Read Father’s Day too. Dad Robbie is all I ever need in life.
Sugar Plums | T | In-Progress (Hiatus?) | 18,439 words
Author: Cherryjams | 22 Feb 2017
The fact that Robbie Rotten flinches away when Sportacus approaches too fast brings up questions of exactly how good the previous heroes of Lazytown really were.
Pretty sure I cried. Lots of angst. It’s very sad and I hope there will be more.
You Are A Pirate | M | Complete | 41,087 words
Author: scrungass | 17 May 2017
LazyTown, a thriving port-side principality, is protected by only the best military, led by Lord Sportacus. That all changed when the notorious Captain Rottenbeard and his crew decided to steal both the Lord and his good friend, Stephanie, away from their simple lives, leaving LazyTown burning to the ground. Choices must be made between personal moral codes and pure emotion, the difference between what's right and wrong questioned. Can the horrible crimes of an emotionally-torn pirate be justified?
If you didn’t think I would rec my own fic, you were wrong.
Cirque du LazyTown | T | In-Progress | 53,448
Author: CaptainLeBubbles | 3 Mar 2017
In the ring, he's Roberto the Great, and he runs the Cirque du LazyTown, one of the grandest shows in all the world.
In reality, he's Robbie Rotten, and his circus has been reduced to three clowns, seven kids, several animatronic puppets, and a pig.
The Cirque du LazyTown was once a grand affair, but over the years it's gone downhill. Robbie is struggling to keep the circus going, but with most of their performers gone, they're running out of acts to draw the crowds. Stephanie, one of the performers, makes a wish on a falling star, and the very next day finds Sportacus, a traveler capable of almost any feat they suggest. He agrees to help their circus- and with his help, maybe they won't have to lose the only home, and the only family, that most of them have ever known.
It’s been a while since this one updated...but it’s so very good. I love the progression of Sport and Robbie’s relationship. It’s very sweet, and it gets a little intense towards the end.
What Do You Know About Me? | G | Complete | 31,456 words
Author: indigorose50 | 13 Jun 2017
Sportacus wants to know more about Robbie Rotten. Or: Robbie saves Sportacus and neither knows what to do with this information. 
SO SWEET IT MADE MY TEETH ROT. Wow these boys are gay. Indigo is really good at writing plz check our their other works too. 
Always Find Their Kind | T | In-Progress | 51,726 words
Author: someoneplsloverobbierotten (Brass_Knuckle_Hunkle) | 11 Jun 2017
Hogwarts is nothing like Robbie thought it would be. He hates it, and despite what Glanni says, he really doesn't think it's going to get better.
I’m in love with his fic. Smol boys. Someone protect Robbie. Also Glanni is the best big bro.
Enginn Mig Sér, Sama er Mér | M | In-Progress | 61,146 words
Author: Malevolent_Miscreant | 9 Jun 2017
No one sees me, I don't care. At least that's what Robbie constantly told himself.
Yeah so fuck goblins. Also very angsty. I think I might’ve cried over this one too. 
Golden Sands | T | Complete | 13,328 words
Author: yaoiputin | 7 Jun 2017
Sportacus and Robbie become stranded on a deserted island.
Title is based on 'Beyond the Sea' by Bobby Darin.
If you do nothing else in your life...read this.
Teach Me to Sing | T | In-Progress | 28,465 words
Author: FiliaNoctisPulchris | 5 Jun 2017
Robert Rotterdam (Mr Rotten, to his mouthier students) has the dubious honor of giving the new PE teacher the school tour, when Principal Meanswell has more important things to do. After that, the new guy keeps texting, and running into him, and asking him questions, despite Robert's classroom being almost as far from the gym as possible.
Tbh teacher au is all I ever need to survive. These boys are so good. I love them. This is a good fic.
warum | T | In-Progress | 3,075 words
Author: sp00ky_mulder | 25 May 2017
What is one to do with themselves when they cross paths with a patchwork monstrosity?
"Out of some morbid curiosity, he stayed [...]“Please, don't come any closer,” he begged. It only stared back at him; the creature. [...], and what a sight it was."
Frankensport au. Really good so far. Protect him;;
This Isn't a Trick | T | In-Progress | 7,197 words
Author: RottenSocksandFluff | 24 May 2017
Robbie admits his feelings.
It doesn't go remotely anywhere close to plan.
Not as bad as it sounds but also it’s sad and I’m not sure if I cried but I definitely teared up.
In the Garden | G | In-Progress | 7,730 words
Author: Talax | 22 May 2017
Sportacus accidentally creates a civilian alter-ego, accidentally really likes it.
My buddy wrote this and Sport is uber cute and Robbie doesn’t even realize it’s him. It’s silly and sweet.
caffeination / hallucination | T | Complete | 11,955 words
Author: keelywolfe | 23 Mar 2017
Robbie is very, very tired and needs to go to bed. Or at least that's what the figments of his imagination are telling him.
Super good fic. I felt things. Read the rest of the series as well. <3
Parent Trapped | G | Complete | 10,084 words
Author: BotchedExperiment | 28 Feb 2017
"He knew his daughter well enough to spot when she was planning something."
OR
When Stephanie and Ella take their dads' love into their own hands and everything goes as well as you can expect.
Part 1 of Parent Trapped! All of these are very good /basically/ sick!fics and they usually turn out to be really cute.
Master of Disguise | G | Complete | 3,979 words
Author: Obisexual | 18 May 2017
Sportacus stumbles into Robbie in disguise at a book club.
Really heckin’ cute. Sportacus pretends he doesn’t know it’s Robbie.
In the Dead of Night | M | In-Progress | 6,228 words
Author: scrungass | 17 Jun 2017
The turn of the century is bringing big changes for the resident magical creatures of Lazy. Avoiding the public eye is crucial, especially during the annual Hunt for the White Buck, which the werewolves must complete every year to protect the livelihood of the pack. This year, it is Sportacus' turn to perform the sacred ritual, but his hunt is cut short when a vampire from the coven their pack has been in disagreement with for centuries beats him to it. Will the broken ties between the two families ever be mended, and is it possible to form a bond with someone you once hated? Misunderstandings and friendships arise as secrets are unearthed, but one thing is for certain: both families fucking hate Elves.
Yeah I’m recommending my other fic let me live.
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