#although i could be misremembering
as much as i like light not equaling good plots q84 is... worrying
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Lets change the vibe at this party and go for some fluff. 13 going on 30 au. Dealers choice, but billy being jemma might be a good call.
Spoilers For 13 going on 30 (2004)
I’m generally speaking not a huge fan of romantic comedies but I do have a few that I love and 13 going on 30 is one of them (how can you not love this film), although I haven’t seen it in a while so I might misremember the story a tad. Also as a reader and a writer I skew more towards angst and dark obsession, I love them loving each other and small affectionate moments between them are important but I wouldn’t consider fluff my forte.
That being said you could explore a lot in a story where Billy just wants to grow up, either because you’re being a little more canon-compliant and he hates his home life or the angst of being a teenager is too much and he wants to be in control of his own life. So he’s starting to hang out with some of the popular kids at school and therefore has no time for his best friend Steve, who is sweet but kind of a nerd so would never fit in with the popular kids, maybe Steve embarasses him in front of everyone at his party. He has a disastrous thirteenth birthday and when he makes his wish on his birthday candle it’s that he wants to be 30 or grown-up.
He awakens on the day of his thirtieth birthday discovering that he grew up to be an ambitious asshole who uses other people to get what he wants, has affairs with married people and is generally just not the kind of person he ever wanted to be.
He finally runs into Steve, he’s the same sweet person he always was and he’s grown up to be handsome and kind and Billy ends up leaning on him because out of everyone he knows in this reality Steve feels like a connection to the past that he wants, a lifeline in amongst all the scheming and backstabbing that his life has become.
They work on a project together and Billy realizes that he’s falling for Steve, maybe that he’s had these feelings for a while but he ignored them thinking that it was a silly crush or that he was too good for Steve but now he sees that Steve is perfect and he wishes that he’d kept him a part of his life. Steve seems to return the sentiment but there’s a small problem Steve is engaged to be married and even though Billy makes an impassioned plea declaring his love Steve has committed himself to someone else so Billy leaves broken-hearted making a wistful wish on a dollhouse that Steve lovingly made for him. He knows now that Steve is his future and he doesn’t want to be in any reality where they can’t be together.
He awakens on the morning of his thirteen birthday, having the chance to relive the whole day again, he can’t believe that he’s gotten a second chance at a dream life. This time he gets rid of the popular crowd knowing the path that will take him down and when Steve arrives he pulls him into his arms and gives him a sweet kiss, Steve is shocked but delighted and Billy knows that he’s made the right choice.
You could explore this story in many ways but if you want a fluffy version, you could focus on how Billy feels about Steve, that little flutter in his stomach when he smiles at him, how giddy he feels when Steve wants to spend time with him and you could even take moments that would normally be angsty and explore them more from how much it reinforces Billy’s love for Steve so his wish on the dollhouse could show how much he can’t live without him which is then a joyous moment when he awakens in the past again.
Could also fill in the gaps that the film left out so how their sweet budding romance as teenagers grows as they fall in love, all the lovely moments such as holding hands, important dates between them such as Billy’s birthday being an unoffical anniversary, their love growing deeper, sweet lingering kisses and how Billy’s heart melted when Steve agreed to marry him. Also how their friendship is important especially to Billy because he knows that without that support in his life he becomes a horrible person and Steve is great support for him.
I’m sorry if this isn’t exactly what you wanted I’ve never really written fluff before and I don’t read it either as a general rule so I’m a little out of my depth.
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Vietnamese Moana: A Raya And The Last Dragon Review (Spoilers)*
I get what they were going for. I really do.
Here's the thing, on concept alone, this movie's really good. As I implied in the title, it feels like Moana with a Vietnamese (I think) coat of paint, but:
Moana wasn't the most original thing in the world either, it was just really good at executing relatively tired tropes.
Raya And The Last Dragon has a much more vibrant, alive world than Moana, although I could be misremembering.
Speaking of that world, it might be my favorite part of the movie. From the lively markets of Talon, to Fang subverting the evil empire cliche by being expansionist out of need, to even the elaborate prayer Raya makes towards the beginning, it truly feels like this isn't a world just made for a ninety minute movie.**
The animation's really cool too. I mean, 3D has come a long way since the original Toy Story. The textures, like hair, skin, cloth, metal and fur, are downright beautiful. I also love the paper-like 2D animation at the beginning. The human designs are really nice as well, although about as expected for modern Disney.
Note that I said "human", because the dragons honestly look more like colorful ferrets than reptiles (them being mustelids explains the odor comment...). Anyways, this is a good transition to my first major problem with the movie: the dragons. Well, the one specific dragon we see throughout the movie (too tired to look up how to spell her name).
Anyways, I'm very sick and tired of the hyped up magical creature is a comic relief thing. Her jokes are anachronistic (school projects??? really??? as that asshole who never contributes to group projects i am offended), they come fast and don't stop, and her raspy as hell voice doesn't help matters. When she's being serious, she's fine, but in her first scene I was convinced I was gonna hate this movie based on her alone.
And that's just one example of a pretty serious tone problem. Hunchback of Notre Dame bad? No, but in terms of how much it ruins the goddamn movie, not that far behind. The con baby from Talon is another great example. I get what the joke is, the city's so crime ridden even the babies are scammers. It's all so...Penguins of Madagascar-y. Ugh.
Speaking of Talon and crime, Raya's assumptions about that nation are never truly proven wrong, and to me that was a missed opportunity. They did it for Fang, why not have Talon's representative (btw I really like how Raya picks up companions from each nation, clever) be an honest, down on their luck market stall owner? They go to buy something, Raya's convinced she's ripping her off, and she somehow proves her honesty.
Why this tangent? Well, the movie's actual theme (trust, apparently) is very, very poorly implemented. The scene where the antagonist (antagonist is strictly the character opposed to the protagonist, which is why there are villain protagonists but never villain heroes) is trusted with the gem pieces is really nice, but trust is the wrong word for the concept.
Raya trusting her is what made this happen in the first place! Maybe it could've been about forgiveness, or belief (and actually been able to communicate that without icky implications). Maybe, like I described in the alternate Talon, it could've been about how prejudice breeds mistrust.
After Mulan 2020 though, I don't think Disney wants to take a stand against racism, lest it upset Winnie the Pooh.
Some other points I'd go in depth on if I wasn't heccin tired
Raya and the antagonist girl (again, idk her name) had a really strong rivalry that was enjoyable to watch.
Despite an annoying introduction, the shrimp kid was great
I want whatever that dog/armadillo hybrid is
The mom says to her daughter towards the end (don't remember exactly when) that what happens is "out of her control" and I thought she was legit gonna try and murder Raya and crew but she just turns to stone???
I saw this trailer before the movie of a 3D remake/sequel/midquel to Spirit: Stallion if the Cimarron and fuck you Dreamworks for doing that
Shout out to Raya's dad for actually being a good dad in animation. Low bar, but still, dads deserve better.
The short film before the movie was cute
Also I want a straw hat now
tl;dr: You know how Emperor's New Groove was originally gonna be this epic called Kingdome of the Sun? I feel like some executive saw the draft for Raya and the Last Dragon, decided "hey, it worked for Emperor's New Groove, let's do it here because kids don't like epic fantasy!". Kuzco still reigns supreme.
Rating: wasted potential/10
(I know I already posted a mini review, however I got home from the theater and talked to my dad about it on the way there, so I have more detailed thoughts now)
**and the inevitable TV series/sequel/short film
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There’s something I’ve learned from making actual character designs for a few of my OCs, who previously only existed as names and concepts in my head.
I’ve learned that sometimes they won’t exactly match up with what you expected them to look like, and that’s okay.
This might be a bit of a long post, so click the keep reading button if you want to keep reading.
I have a lot of OCs, most of them I’ll probably never actually use for anything, and you’ll never see or hear about them.
Like I said before, most of these OCs only exist as names and concepts, but I still have some designs I’ve imagined for some of them, although I can’t show them since they’re just mental images, and they’ll likely end up changing if I try making them in a character editor.
I could try drawing pictures of them, but I’m not confidant enough to draw something without a reference image at the moment, and I’m sure the mental images will differ over time as I misremember things.
Even a character’s name can change, if I realize that the name I had originally chosen is stupid.
At one point, I had a slimegirl OC named Jellia, but eventually I realized that that name doesn’t really sound good, so I looked at some things I knew about her to try to find a better name.
The factors to consider include
1) In the world she initially came from, slimes don’t typically have last names, and sometimes don’t even have names at all.
2) Her father is a kitsune from Japan, but was killed and isekai’d, thus ending up in the world my slimegirl OC is from.
After some thought, I decided on the name Numeri (Japanese word that can mean “slime”, according to jisho.org it’s also a female given name, but I didn’t initially know that.)
That’s an example of a character’s name changing, (canonically it was always Numeri) but her appearance stayed relatively similar to what I had initially imagined.
The most recent example I have of an OC of mine changing appearance when I make them in a character editor is a character called Winter (his real name is Fuyu, Winter is just a nickname/translation.)
He is somewhat related to Numeri (biologically, he has an older half-sister who unknowingly shares a parent with Numeri) despite being a completely different species.
The fact that sometimes characters won’t look how I initially expected them to when making them in a character editor kind of reminds me of something that I actually don’t have any personal experience with.
Imagine you have a friend that you talk to, you’ve met them in real life, so you know what they look like, but they have a friend that they talk about, who you haven’t met, for the sake of explaining my reasoning, let’s imagine Winter is the friend that you haven’t met.
Since your friend talks about him, you know certain things about him, like what anime he likes, the fact that he likes sweet foods a lot, and the fact that for some reason, he always seems to have a really low body temperature, but he says not to worry about it, and hasn’t had any medical problems because of it.
(Due to one of the things Winter has done for most of his life, your friend may not actually know that he’s a boy.)
Anyway, you’d have a mental image of what you imagine Winter might look like, that mental image would be equivalent to the mental image I had as his initial character design.
If you meet Winter in person (or just see a picture of him), he probably won’t look exactly how you imagined, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
After that, now that you’ve seen what Winter actually looks like, your mental image of him will be updated to match his actual appearance, that actual appearance being equivalent to what I make in the character editor.
One example I have of an OC of mine who’s definitely NOT like this, is Trace, who is a gardevoir, so most of his appearance was designed by whoever those, meaning I just had to decide on an outfit and hairstyle, which was relatively easy.
You can find Trace on his blog, @traceemerald, where I roleplay as him, but the blog isn’t very active at the moment.
Also, how I roleplay as someone on a blog is more “roleplaying as someone who has a blog”, and less “using a blog to roleplay as someone”, so pretty much everything will be in-character, you can think of my main blog as me roleplaying as myself, in that sense.
Anyway, that’s all I really have to say about this, I could explain more, but that may or may not get into NSFW territory, and also will probably be off-topic (but any sufficiently long conversation with me tends to go off-topic, anyway, so that’s not anything new.)
I think NSFW text posts are allowed on Tumblr, so I could explain further, but I probably won’t do it unless anyone asks.
Hopefully this post was coherent.
from an interlude called online dating, part 2a: dancing in the dark
(...i changed the fucking title of this thing. after noticing that i misremembered it, i couldn’t unsee it.)
(also, i took the subtitle for this from the first song that came up in my youtube music “my supermix”...mix. (ugh.) you gotta admit that it’s kindasorta provocative - let’s see if it becomes RELEVANT at any point in the below.)
(my guess is no.)
alrighty. so when i read the first woman’s comment on her profile, i was immediately struck as to why i’m not doing all that well in the online dating sphere. (y’know - aside from the rampant insanity and chronic oversharing.) (also, even though i’m not as ugly as i used to be, i’m still kinda ugly. I’VE LONG MADE PEACE WITH THIS - kinda the reason i even bothered to develop my personality in the first place. granted, i probably OVERdeveloped it, but still - i knew from a young age that i was not going to compete in any meaningful way on looks alone, so.) (wasn’t great, growing up to that realization, but again - I’VE MADE PEACE WITH IT. besides the ugly dude society’s still accepting my dues, so i’m straight.)
(..nothing. just...memories.) (i’m glad i learned how to laugh at myself, is all i’ll say about that.)
ANYWAY. i read that comment, and it occurred to me that ONE of the reasons i’m not doing all that well is that (and granted, this is a VERY large and overly generalized brush i’m painting with, but) i don’t think a majority of people truly enter the online dating arena fully knowing what THEY want out of it.
...i mean, DUH, right? “thanks for the observation, captain obvious. would you also like to tell us that people lie their asses off on their profiles, while you’re at it?”
here’s what i mean: this particular woman chose “new friends” and “long-term dating” as her looking-for options, and given her comment, i think that the “long-term dating” bit is not currently congruous to her current state of mind. (aside: OBVIOUSLY i don’t know her state of mind - for all i know, she could actually be seriously looking for a long-term partner, and just threw that up there to chase off those fly-by-night niggas that are only looking for a quick fuck. i’ll grant you that. i’ll only say that 1) i’m taking her words at face value here, and am simply entertaining myself by deriving intent from it, and 2) she actually put her version of the “no fuckboys or couples looking for threesomes need apply” right before the excerpted part, so although i’m probably wrong, i’m also probably not THAT wrong.)
simply put: i do not think she’s actually ready for a long-term relationship, like she claims to want, because she hasn’t moved on from whatever issues that may have arisen as a result of the past one that ended. (i almost put “trauma” in place of “issues”, but again - i wasn’t in that relationship, i’m not privy to the details, so it would be presumptuous for me to assume that it was traumatic in any way. no - all of my presumption is limited to putting her words on this here tumblr, and subsequently pulling words out of my ass in the name of “commentary”.) (we have fun here.)
and my guess on this is because about a year ago, i was in the same exact situation myself. and the moment of clarity that comes from hindsight is a BITCH.
because i’m slightly uncomfortable with speculating on the private lives of others, i’m going to leave any specific reference of her in the background moving forward, and just comment on it in a more general sense. (along with any other commentary that’s me-specific, of course.) i think that the number of people who jump onto these dating sites, looking for “something real” without actually understanding that, deep down, they probably DON’T actually want that specifically, is higher than any of us realize. (i could probably tell you the exact number, but those cowards over at OKC won’t give me access to their database. i actually had a thought about this earlier as well: whlie i do want a relationship - kinda the whole point i’m on OKC in the first place - i think i’d probably be happier with complete and total access to OKC’s database, so that i can dig into what people are actually doing and saying to each other myself.) (that’s almost a fucked-up thing to admit, but the fact that i’m admiting it means that it’s probably true.*)
(god, i hope that my future wife never reads this. then again, it would be shit like this that endears me to her, so i’m kinda stuck, as you can tell.)
(”well, maybe she agrees to marry you IN SPITE of all of this.” pfft - FAKE NEWS. no woman in her right god damn mind would read all of this, be uncomfortable and/or offended by it, and STILL say to herself, “yeah - i’m okay with laying down and becoming unconscious next to this every night”.)
(c’mon, y’all, i expect a LITTLE better from you.)
just a complete, uneducated, pulled-out-of-my-ass guess, but i’m guessing that most folks are just looking to not be alone, not necessarily be in a relationship that takes actual work. they want attention, not a deep bond with someone who could just as easily piss you off as they can make you feel like the most special person in the world, sometimes within the same exact moment. (and yes - i realize that this is all basically scattered across the dating advice/psychology internet. i’m not reinventing any type of wheel here. i’m just giving you my thoughts on this, mostly because i’m too lazy to actually look up the citations, which is funny, because i was a history major.) they’re “not ready to get into a relationship”, but are “open to meeting the right person”, in the same sense that i’m “open to being given a million dollars”. we’ll both gladly accept it, if it (quite improbably) happens, but neither of us are actually willing to put the WORK into it for it to actually happen.
(mostly because i lack ambition. or at least, the RIGHT kind of ambition. oh, don’t worry - we touch on that later.)
and this is (a part of) why a lot of us aren’t all that successful at this (y’know - aside from all the OTHER extenuating reasons, of course). we see this person, we see that they say that they want a long-term relationship, but even if it isn’t made as explicit as this young lady, we still encounter their wall - we reach out to them with what we’d assume is the best of intentions (and yes, maybe i’m naive for assuming that most people on these things are trying to play this thing as straight as possible, and i know that i am a cynical-ass motherfucker, but even *I* can’t be THAT goddamn cynical), taking at face value that they want the same thing we want: a relationship, and the person is...”justified”, for lack of a better term, to simply brush that person off, “because they’re not the right person that can thread the incredibly small needle that i’ve allowed into my heart, because i’m still dealing with other things that i don’t want to deal with, but i HAVE to put myself out there and move on, because i HAVE TO, right?”
(y’know, one year later, i STILL feel somewhat guilty for telling that nice young lady that i went out with that i was withdrawing from the dating game. i could tell she was more than a little interested in me, and trust me - i know how much being rejected fucking SUCKS. i honestly never thought that i’d ever be on the other side of that, but life really does have a way of fucking with you.) (i know she won’t ever read this, but patricia: i really am sorry, and i really do hope that you’ve found someone good for you, and that you’ve completely forgotten about me. you just met me at the worst possible time, and if i could take it back and never send you that first message when i knew i shouldn’t have, i absolutely would.)
(yes, that is self-serving. all apologies are self-serving - otherwise, they wouldn’t need to exist.)
(fucking fuck. we’re going to a part three.)
*so, i wrote this bit about a week ago, before i had...well, let’s call it “an improvement in my personal life”. (again - i’m trying my best to refrain from commenting on any ongoing situations, mostly due to consent reasons, but yeah - it’s pretty much what you think it is. i mean, at this current moment, the ENTIRE EXISTENCE of this tumblr’s pretty much dedicated to that thing that you absolutely know it is, but i apparently refuse to explictly say it’s about, because reasons.) while i still believe this bit to be true to an extent - i do love delving into data, after all (well, SPECIFIC types of data, anyway) - a database isn’t going to cuddle with me at night, or tell me stories about blind dates gone awry that make me laugh, or even just fill me with warm and happy thoughts as i think about it, for no apparent reason, other than that thinking about it just makes me happy.
...i mean, i suppose it technically COULD do all those things, but you know what i mean. (also, the probability that i want to stick my dick into a machine is pretty much next to zero. AGAIN - NOT TRYING TO KINK-SHAME OR ANYTHING, but y’all niggas wildin’ over there, trying to marry VR wives and shit.)
(guys, for real - real women aren’t scary and won’t bite. ...*SIGH* UNLESS YOU’RE INTO THAT SORT OF THING.)
an interlude from this thing called online dating, part 2: some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill
(the name of this subseries was inspired by a misremembering of the name of this album. in retrospect, i honestly should’ve thought of something better, because it’s going to become wordy as SHIT, the way i come up with titles.)
(and that’s ME saying that.)
(still - i’m too lazy and/or stupid to actually go back and edit it into something better, so here we go.)
as i mentioned in the first installment, i’m trying to have a rule about commenting on ongoing and/or current situations that arise in my very, VERY sad attempts at online dating. however, sometimes i come across profiles where i am COMPELLED to...i guess i’m compelled to “have thoughts”, insofar that any of us are compelled to HAVE thoughts. (i suppose one could just simply not have a thought, but isn’t the absence of a thought in-itself a thought? even forcing yourself to “not have a thought” is still a thought.)
(nope - i’ma try to stay focused.) this evening, i hopped onto the ol’ OKC to look at matches, because i’m still taking this seriously, apparently (at least, as seriously as *I* can take it) (although i argue that i AM taking it seriously - my answers and intros that i send are merely an extension (manifestation?) of my personality, and aren’t necessarily me dicking around for the lulz) (trust me - if i were dicking around, i’d be much more blatant about it, because i WANT you to know that i’m fucking with you, and i want to see if you notice), and i came across a profile of a perfectly fine young lady that turns out has a child, so i’m already kinda out on that. (don’t worry - we’ll touch on that in the main series.)
still, she was cute, and i love reading people’s profiles, so i continued on. and then i came across this:
(note that i’m censoring some of it, mostly to protect her privacy - it’s irrelevant to my larger point anyway)
To be honest I’m not 100% sure I’m ready for a full fledged relationship just yet. I am out of a long term, on and off...relationship with my son’s father...The relationship deep down was very loving but was often very unhealthy. I’m focused on my career and my son as of late but am creating this profile because I’m open to meeting someone if they seem like the right fit for all I’ve got going on.
I don’t believe there is a person that “completes” you, rather a person that complements you and enhances you; this is what I’m interested in. A romantic relationship with someone who you can consider a best friend. Lots of chemistry; mentally and physically. I could go on... so just message me...
...deep sigh. okay. obviously i have commentary on this, but i’ll save it for the end, because i shit you not, right after reading this, i stumbledupon another woman’s profile that had THIS on it:
The most private thing I'm willing to admit
I'm actually pretty happy being single, but I've had adventures that would have been fun to share with a life partner, and hope to have more! And it would be nice [remainder excised due to irrelevancy - ed.].
which was then IMMEDIATELY followed by this:
What I'm actually looking for
A monogamous life partner
...deep, DEEP sigh. okay. here we go.
with part TWO, hoes. i’m breaking this up into two parts. spur of the moment decision, but it feels right.
(oh - this is going to come back to bite me in the ass. i fucking feel it in my BALLS, nigga.)
All The References - Volume 2:
Here’s the follow-up to my first post, covering every intentional out-of-fandom reference I’ve made in fics written after The Engines Screaming Murder. Enjoy:
Trains In The Night:
And he and Frida talk for hours about some book series nobody else in the house has heard of (Johanna makes a mental note to get him the last book in the Spirit Morph Saga for his birthday).
The Spirit Morph Saga is a fantasy book series from Steven Universe; Connie is a huge fan and introduces it to Steven. It seemed like exactly the kind of thing that Frida and this AU’s version of Simon would bond over.
To The Hills:
Instead he shrugged off his overcoat, hanging it by the door, and turned to the radio. A flick of the switch turned it on, already tuned to a station he was very fond of. Quiet music crackled out, drowning the awkward silence.
“Now it’s just my luck to have the watch with nothing left to do…”
He found himself singing as he went, the tune from the radio echoing in his head. It was an old habit, one he’d picked up with years of working alone.
“But tonight, some red-eyed Trolberg girl lies staring at the wall, and her lover’s gone into a white squall.”
This is a real song: White Squall by Stan Rogers, albeit with the town name changed. Thanks to a fandom friend I absolutely love the idea of the Bellkeeper being a fan of Stan, so I put this one in the fic since it seemed to fit the tone.
“Head Officer Ahlberg, Associate Deputy Officer Gustav, Special Advisory Officer Pearson,” the mayor said coldly, looking over each of them in turn.
“Ooh,” Argus followed her gaze, “‘Associate Deputy Officer Johanna Pearson’; that does have a nice ring to it, I suppose.”
Johanna’s surname, ‘Pearson’, is taken from Luke Pearson, the creator of Hilda.
“This is a letter the council received at the end of last year.” She practically threw it down onto the desk, done with any pretence of civility. “It was sent by one ‘Agatha Pike’, a trawler captain operating out of Trolberg Harbour.” Suddenly Johanna was sure she knew where this was going. “She alleges that her ship was destroyed, and she and her daughter Erin nearly killed, because you, Ahlberg, awakened a kraken inside city waters and tried to fight it single-handedly. So it would seem you’ve just tried to lie to me again.”
Erin Pike is the main character of The Secret of Black Rock, a graphic novel published by Nobrow Press (who also publish Hilda), that has a very similar plot to the Beast of Cauldron Island and would fit right into the Hilda universe. Her mother is never named in the book, but ‘Agatha’ has always been my headcanon for her.
The sound of distant singing pulled them slowly out of the moment. It was quiet at first, muffled by the walls of the HQ, but it got louder and louder the longer they listened. Soon Johanna could make out the words, the voice behind them deep and familiar.
“Turn too, an’ put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain, and, like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again!”
The Bellkeeper is again singing a Stan Rogers song here, specifically The Mary Ellen Carter.
Room For One More:
“Archsorceress Matilda Pilqvist, Enchanter of Livelihoods, Grand Alchemist of the Dark Communion of Halga, First-Blood Sister of the Order of the Black Candle, Tormentor of the Four Regents of the Valley.”
The Four Regents of the Valley are characters from the graphic novel Aster and the Accidental Magic. I don’t think they’re ever given that collective title formally, but they’re a group of powerful magic beings who rule over the seasons in Aster’s valley. In the graphic novel, three appear, with Aster herself briefly replacing Granny as Queen of Summer.
She stepped through, out into the harsh artificial lights of Argo Station.
Argo Station’s name is a double reference; it’s partially since it’s home to several greek demigods, but it’s also taken from perhaps the most famous filk song of all time, Banned From Argo. In the song, Argo is a backwater planet, and much larger than the Argo Station, but I think it fits.
The exception was a gaggle of children and teens on the upper terrace, accompanied by a woman in her thirties and a greying man in a long brown overcoat.
It had been a gift from the man who had first taken her and her family away from their home universe; a leather-bound journal, stamped with a brass hand and the number five.
The man in the overcoat is Stanford Pines from Gravity Falls. Hideaway’s main plot takes place about the same time as GF actually; Ford played a major role in a lot of stories in the multiverse Hideaway takes place in, and if I ever write more he’s bound to crop up again. There’s actually a total of six journals in this AU, although I won’t say where Journal 4 or Journal 6 is...
She was waiting for a visit from Argo’s Facilities and Maintenance department
“June Bailey, Facilities & Maintenance. I got your support ticket.”
This was meant to be a reference to the IRL University of Surrey; either the department has changed its name since I attended, or (far more likely) I just misremembered, since their maintenance body is actually called Estates and Facilites Management. Oops.
She was technically on-shift, but traffic had been light for the first time since the day the shower had broken, and Osono from the bakery next door had been more than happy to watch the Seabed while she came down here.
Osono is the bakery owner from Kiki’s Delivery Service. Within this AU, her family (including Kiki and Gigi) have relocated to Argo and Gütiokipänjä Bakery is next to the Seabed & Breakfast.
Nobody knew who her family was, or where she lived, but Wilson had encountered her the most, since his workshop was right next to the Facilities office.
Wilson is also an existing character, specifically Wilson Higgsbury from the Don’t Starve series; he has a workshop on Argo’s lower level.
It was brand new, the black fabric soft to the touch, while the inside was lined with even softer brown fur. On the back was a bird, embroidered in blues and greys, wings outstretched wide across the shoulder blades.
While this specific hoodie doesn’t exist IRL, the colour scheme of the bird is based on Ari, YouTuber JaidenAnimations’ pet.
They mostly weren’t the kind of thing she would read; ‘The Basics of Hyperspatial Spirit Dynamics’, with too many co-authors to name; ‘The Truth Of Infinity’, by someone named ‘Martha Laurent’; and finally ‘The Memoirs of Arthur Brownstone’, which, Kaisa noted, she should probably recommend to Hilda.
“And that is how Arthur Brownstone and his daughter Marcy solved the riddle of the Sphinx,” Kaisa finished.
Martha Laurent is my OC mother for Simon Laurent from Infinity Train; she has a prominent role in Trains In The Night. Arthur and Marcy Brownstone are from the Brownstones Mythical Collection, a series of books published by Nobrow Press and written by the same author as the Secret of Black Rock. The events Kaisa reads are specifically the plot of Marcy & the Riddle of the Sphinx.
She was a younger-looking woman, with pale skin and long dark hair that seemed almost blue in the light of her office. There was something about her, something he couldn’t quite place, that distinctly reminded him of the first Jerry he had met in the Great Before.
“You must be Mr. Gardner,” she greeted, a patient smile on her face. Joe did his best to swallow his uncertainties, meeting her gaze. There was trust in her dark eyes, mixed with a strange weariness.
“That’s me,” he said awkwardly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss…” he trailed off, glancing down at the name plate on her desk. “Roaninish?”
“Please, call me Deidre,” the woman said kindly. “So, I hear you’re looking to adopt?”
Deidre Roaninish is a long-running OC of mine, who gets mentioned briefly in a couple of my other fics before this. She was originally a D&D PC, but I now use her whenever I need a social worker for an adoption fic (it’s a long story). Her appearance is based on Bronagh from Song of the Sea, but her voiceclaim is the OBC version of Beulah Davis from Come From Away.
He leaned in as she stepped beside him, smirk returning, his voice becoming almost conspiratorial. “It was meant to be just for us,” he admitted, “but then Molly found out, and then Max, and now all the kids want to eat with us.”
The two Apex kids Simon mentions are named after Molly Blyndeff, from Epithet Erased, and Max from Camp Camp. They’re both the kind of kids who could end up on the train, and would absolutely fall in with the Apex if they did, IMO.
A Little Less Lonely:
As she wrapped up a detailed description of why the annual Great Bird Migration was so destructive, she looked over to see Hilda had slumped back against the sofa, Twig curled contentedly in her lap.
The Great Bird Migration (and, specifically, how destructive it is) is a major plot point from Aster and the Accidental Magic. Aster’s mother moves to the wilderness to study it, and the migration itself forms the climax of the first arc.
One was a guide to urban spirits, the other a well-worn copy of The Basics Of Hyperspatial Spirit Dynamics by ‘S. Pines’, ‘F. McGucket’, ‘A. Timmens’, ‘A. Hughes’, and, Johanna noticed with an eye roll, ‘V. Van Gale’. Hilda snapped them both up, eager for any new knowledge.
As a few of my readers have already noticed, this book comes up a lot in my Hilda fics. This is the origin point; the characters named are, in order, Stanford Pines, Fiddleford Hadron McGucket (both from Gravity Falls), Alrick Timmens, and Amelia Hughes (both from Infinity Train). This is not just a reference to those two respective shows, but also to my Forests of Oregon AU, where those four and Victoria Van Gale were a friend group at university. The term Hyperspatial in this context was also coined for one of my AUs, specifically it’s the catch-all for “supernatural” within the Multiverse (the AU that Hideaway exists within).
(excuse my half-baked collage)
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another writing drabble idea:
addison’s first impression of trep when he first meets him (before knowing hes an alien & trusts him as a normal crewmate) and maybe little things trep did that made addison have a small crush on him/become more fond of him?
This one got away from me a little - both in length, and the fact that it ended up more as Addison's point of view of their first journey together. I did still try to incorporate interactions between them, though, so I hope you'll enjoy! Thank you for the idea! :)
Addison had been a captain for a number of years, now, and by all accounts this crew was…average. Not especially experienced, but hardly green - a mix that could prove easy to work with, so long as they were at least competent.
As Addison sat at the meeting table and swept his gaze over the lot, he also considered the worst case scenario. He always did - or, at least, had done so since the first time one of his crews had been infiltrated by an Impostor. It never got easier, though - even now, he just couldn't imagine any of this crew, all of which were chatting amicable among themselves, being bloodthirsty monsters.
"Are you going to be giving introductory remarks anytime soon, Captain?" The drawled voice came from his side, and curiously Addison turned his head to look. A man in a cyan suit was sitting there, and he had his helmet resting casually in a palm, visor turned in Addison's direction. At the rather bold question, Addison felt an eyebrow raise - even if the other couldn't see it.
"Have some patience," Addison responded, "I thought you would all appreciate the chance to talk amongst yourselves and get settled in."
"It's been a long ascent, I'm sure what we would all appreciate is being free to rest."
"Are you telling me how to do my job?"
At that, Cyan lifted his head from his hand - and even through the impenetrable glass of his visor, Addison was sure the other man was giving him a calculating and possibly scathing look.
"Do I have to?"
For the principle of the matter, Addison turned his attention away from Cyan, and let the conversation around them continue for a few minutes. Only then did Addison stand and draw the crew's attention. His spiel was the usual thing - a welcome, an explanation of the various parts of the Skeld, task assignments, and of course the implementation of the buddy system.
Addison wasn't sure what he was bringing on himself when he requested that Cyan be his own buddy - but, somehow, it seemed the obvious choice.
Addison slipped the headset from his head and blinked as his eyes failed to readjust to the bright lights of Weapons. It took him a few long seconds to realize that was because there weren't any lights to adjust to - the room around him was pitch black. Frowning, Addison set the headset down and got to his feet. He turned towards the door - and immediately came to a standstill when he was suddenly face to face with Cyan.
Addison didn't jump, but his heart caught low in his throat. The other was standing there in the darkness, looking at him - they'd briefly split so Cyan could finish a task in Navigations, but Addison hadn't realized the other man had returned. In the dark, Cyan was…imposing, somehow, although the sudden shock of it faded a bit when Cyan tilted his head in curiosity.
"Apologies, Captain, did I startle you?" Cyan asked - and the way his voice lilted in obvious sardonic humor went a long way to easing Addison's oddly fried nerves. Addison let out a huff of a breath.
"Yes, Cyan, most normal people would be startled to find someone lurking in the dark behind them," Addison retorted, "how long have you been there?"
"Not long - the lights went out, so I came to be sure you were alright. Although," Cyan paused and tilted his head, "I guess I should have been more concerned about whether or not you'd died of fright."
"I'm fine," Addison said firmly, "I'm not that easily spooked by the dark, of all things -"
"No, just lurking men," Cyan quipped back, and Addison couldn't help but scowl.
"We need to go see what's going on with the lights. Come along and make yourself useful," Addison said. He sidestepped Cyan as he flicked on the light of his helmet and headed for the door. For a few seconds, Cyan didn't move - but before Addison could turn and see what was going on, he heard Cyan's footsteps fall into line behind him.
And, sure, Pink had a point - it was suspicious that he'd seen Cyan near Shields. Especially as the other had been meant to complete a task in Navigations. Yet Cyan's calm assurance that Pink was either lying or had misremembered the color he'd seen was a stark contrast to Pink's angry, spitting accusation.
Besides - it'd been two weeks. How many opportunities had Cyan had to kill Addison? The answer was too many to count - and that was the assurance Addison gave his team. Addison was still alive - Cyan simply couldn't be the Impostor.
Cyan's clear relief and genuine gratitude - emotions so different from his usual sharp sarcasm - only further reassured Addison that he was right.
Addison knew he had to hold it together - his team, what little was left of it, needed him. They had fought Black, had managed to send the alien into space - and, yet, just that day they'd found Purple slit open top to tip. The panic on the ship was heavy and palpable - and Addison's crew needed him. He had to put up the front of competent captain - even though with every death all he really wanted to do was slip into some hole and hide until it was over.
"I think we're all missing a very important possibility," Green said, their voice stiff as they got to their feet. They swept a gaze over the small remaining crew - only five of them now - and then promptly pointed at Addison. "Maybe it's the captain! Maybe it's been him all along!"
Addison grit his teeth and forced back the words he desperately wanted to throw back at the other crewmate. Bit them back, swallowed them away - Green wasn't wrong, after all, they should be considering every possibility. Still, the accusation stung, especially when all Addison had been doing was trying to solve this. To protect them.
"I understand the concern," Addison began, his voice much steadier than he felt, "but I assure you -"
"I've been with Captain Red nearly all this time," Cyan stepped in, his own voice calm and smooth, "I'm confident I would have noticed if he were slipping off and killing the crew. Besides," He paused, and Addison could feel Cyan's gaze on him, "after we found Lime, the Captain very nearly destroyed the card reader in his grief - I can't imagine anyone being able to fake a reaction like that." Cyan stood as well and crossed his arms as he studied Green. "Not to point fingers, Green, but that you would even try to blame the Captain - our best bet at making it out alive - is a bit alarming."
"I'm just saying...we should consider everyone," Green said, immediately cowed as they sat back down. Cyan's answer was a nod as he slipped back into his own seat. Bolstered by the trust of at least one of his crew, Addison took a breath and gave the others their new orders.
Addison was exhausted - all he wanted to do was sleep. He couldn't make himself turn away from the sight ahead of him, though. Cyan was standing at the massive window that lined Navigations - he was staring out at Green's disappearing body, a hand laid heavy on the glass. They had made it - but only they had made it. Surely, Addison thought, that guilt and pain was dragging on Cyan, too.
So Addison called for Cyan, walked up to stand beside the other man, and on a whim reached out to lay a hand on Cyan's shoulder. It said something, Addison thought, that Cyan didn't try and move away. Addison stared out into the abyss of space - but he could feel Cyan's eyes on him.
"Are you doing alright?" Addison asked, and immediately he berated himself for the lackluster, stupid question. Still, Cyan nodded.
"Will be, now. I only wish we'd found the second Impostor before losing so many."
"Agreed," Addison said. He felt the muscle of Cyan's shoulder tense beneath his hand. Worried that he'd upset the other man, Addison hurried ahead. "The ship is on track for home. I think I'll try and sleep the rest of the journey. You'll know where to find me if there are any issues."
"Of course, captain. Rest well." Cyan's response was simple, and short, but Addison thought it genuine.
"Make sure to get some rest, yourself," Addison answered, the words feeling awkward even as they left him. He slipped his hand away from Cyan's shoulder, waited a heartbeat for any more response, and then turned to head for his quarters.
Addison's guilt over the demise of his crew was thick, painful, and nearly all-consuming. It was tempered, though, even if only an infinitesimal bit, by his relief that Cyan, at least, had survived.
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Perfect Blue vs I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Spoilers for both, I’d strongly endorse watching both first. IToET is very spoilable.
So in the past few months, these are two movies I’ve watched that have some good paralells, making them very comparable. I watched IToET first, and I reacted pretty strongly to it and only watched PB a few days ago. In high school, I would have liked both for what they had in common, which is that it’s a big effort to follow the plot and come up with ideas for what the plot even is, which characters are real, etc. That was because I thought I was smart, and now I really am smart so I like them for the themes or whatever.
The thing I liked better about IToET was that there was more of a focus on the relationships between the characters. It opens with a couple having a conversation on a long car ride with some bits of internal monologue from one of them, and it establishes that the movie is going to mostly be about this relationship, and a couple more characters show up who are also very well portrayed, even if they aren’t fleshed out as well independently. Their purpose is to establish the details of their relationships and to use that to play with tension, and then mess things up in weird ways. Having half the movie dedicated to this makes it much more impactful when inconsistencies show within a character.
It does the inconsistencies masterfully. I thought I was misremembering details at first, then I thought someone was doing something annoyingly out of character, but then it escalates in more obvious ways after a while, and in the end I was impressed that it established its characters well enough so that minor behavioral inconsistencies could be that reality breaking. I’ve read that my interpretation is pretty far from the authorial intent if that matters, but I thought it worked really well as a dimensia simulator. Dimensia is mentioned in the movie a few times, and the gradual loss of coherence and the feelings of disorientation definitely hit harder than Everywhere at the End of Time for me (although I’d recommend listening to that if you have a solid six hours to spare).
Meanwhile, over in PB, it’s much more theme driven and I didn’t care so much about the characters. It also did a good job with the subtlety of its descent into confusion. I thought I was kind of dumb for not knowing whether her fish died or not, but it kept going deeper after that.
I think I also just enjoy things that play with the concept of identity. My first original psychology hypothesis was something along the lines of “people will have less motivation to work on negative traits when they are established as part of their identity,” which I mostly applied to mental disorders potentially being more resilient to therapy and stuff, but yea. Since high school I’ve been obsessed with the concept and PB explored it in a strange way that after decades of reading psych and philosophy stuff, is not a way I’ve looked at it before. It’s hard to describe in writing the feelings of loss of identity or the invasion of an identity, so I’m glad there’s a movie doing something that basically only a movie could do.
cinderpelt, mothwing, ashfur?
Sexuality Headcanon: lesbian
Gender Headcanon: nonbinary, i like transfem hcs too, she/it/he
A ship I have with said character: idk cant think of anything
A BROTP I have with said character: for some reason i got confused and thought she was friends w cloudtail and now i think that thats actually rly funny and should happen bc they were both apprentices of firestar
A NOTP I have with said character: firestar :| for obvious reasons. she did not have a crush on him i dont care what the erins say
A random headcanon: in my head she has always been a very small cat, brackenfur and thornclaw are small too. brighthearts the only one that is Big
General Opinion over said character: i like her i think shes neat, i wish we’d gotten more from her pov when her sister was injured in the med den but i think the erins forgot they were related. i dont think i have to say anything abt her being reborn as an able bodied cat so she could ‘live the life she couldnt as her poor sad miserable disabled 1st self’ was a terrible fucking idea. although- starclan making that decision for her even though she fought against it bc they think they know best could b another ‘starclan DOES consider the living clans playthings of them’ in po3 bc the three (and squirrelflight and leafpools conflict) all have to do w that already. oots au where they actually fight STARCLAN or smth
Sexuality Headcanon: lesbian
Gender Headcanon: transfem nonbinary, she/they, maybe he around close friends
A ship I have with said character: mothpool ofc
A BROTP I have with said character: sorreltail just cuz i think leafpools girlfriends being bros would b sick
A NOTP I have with said character: i hate her w crowfeather. i do not like that
A random headcanon: in my brain mothwings fear of water due to almost drowning as a kid just happened to b 2 a lesser extent than hawkfrosts and eased off quicker as she worked thru it in riverclan, but she grew up lonelier in the clan and missed her mom more than he did
General Opinion over said character: shes one of my fave wc characters i love her very much and am very annoyed about whatever tbc is doing w her character. mothwing is not an asshole and she more than anyone would be able to relate to and have sympathy for shadowsight being manipulated by someone he thought he could trust, if i was rewriting tbc id write her as being protective of him to defend him from his clanmates and for them to have a good relationship. not whatevers happening now i think this conflict is stupid and ooc. i like that shes went from not believing in starclan to being vocally against them and distrustful of their existence bc shes literally right. also why didnt she get to talk to tawnypelt ever
Sexuality Headcanon: het
Gender Headcanon: cis. u ask him what his pronouns are and he gets rly offended and does one of those cis ppl speeches abt how pronouns arent real
A ship I have with said character: no one. why would you make anyone be w him
A BROTP I have with said character: wasnt he friends w thornclaw or am i misremembering. i feel like that would make sense given thornclaws personality is asshole
A NOTP I have with said character: brambleash and hawkash i fucking hate them. ik ppl dont think too hard about it and its common to hc shitty dude chars (in this case ash) as mlm cuz ppl think its funny but it feels kinda insulting 2 me. most other wc villains i dont care but ashfur isnt cool enough to b an lgbt villain. i also hate squirrel w him obviously but that goes w/o saying
A random headcanon: idk he reminds me of remi tho
General Opinion over said character: fuck this guy. hollyleaf was right
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He made a video and an onision.com page about Shiloh now too. I haven't watched his video or all the clips yet, but I have a few things to say.
1. Yes, Shiloh was abusive to James, but that does not erase the abuse he had also inflicted on her. It’s not a black and white situation. Yes, there is years of evidence of Shiloh lying about major things, but there is also a lot of evidence of James lying as well. This doesn’t change the fact that there is solid evidence of abuse from both parties. Like James uploading Shiloh’s mental breakdown to turn people against her and ruin her reputation or Shiloh’s fake pregnancy to manipulate James into getting back with her.
There is also a lot of conflicting claims of abuse from both parties, but none of that can be verified by the public so to us it’s just CLAIMS. Like James claiming Shiloh threatened to kill herself and make it look like he did it or Shiloh claiming he pushed her into a doorframe, causing her to miscarry.
2. “9 years later and she continues to wage war on him.” - After their break up in 2012, she only ever spoke negatively about him in a couple of blog and social media posts. In 2013 when her friend filmed a Q&A, she refused to speak negatively of him. She went years not saying a peep publicly about him. She would even try to privately reach out to James and be civil early on, which he shows on his page.
He was the one that shit talked her every chance he would get. The amount of times I heard him say “cheated on me and got pregnant with someone else’s baby” in videos is mind numbing. She didn’t ask him to take down his videos with her until 2018. That’s how long she put up with him talking about her. Then in 2019, she spoke about James on Twitter, then on Chris Hansen’s Youtube. To me it seems like James was the one that was “waging war” all these years.
3. He keeps pointing out she has “severe memory loss” on the page. Up until now he would say her seizures and memory loss were faked. Guess it’s real now that it’s convenient for him, 9 years later.
4. Whew I have a lot to say about this. The emails:
In 2011, during one of their break ups, Shiloh released a video titled “I Love You” that featured clips of their early relationship as well as emails between herself and James. (You can watch the video here. The video on his page is a shortened version of it.) The emails were all dated early December 2010. For years, I believed those to be their first communication. When she came out on Twitter and said she was actually 16 when they began talking, I began doubting those were their first communication. I thought maybe they were talking as friends online for months, but when those emails were exchanged when they decided to take their relationship to the next level, which would make sense as to why she would show them off in her video about their relationship.
After she said she was 16 again in her Hansen interview, I immediately went searching for evidence to back this up so I could update LoO since this would have been new information. I found no evidence to back up her claim. I actually only found evidence that most of what she talked about in her interview took place in late 2010 due to the length of her hair in the footage of her skyping with James and receiving the camera from him. Earlier in the year she had a very short hair. All of the still existing mentions of each other on social media only dated back to December 2010.
Although I found this, I was still on the fence about when they began talking for three reasons. First was the Tosh.0 episode Shiloh says introduced her to James aired in February 2010. Her birthday is in April, so there is a window there for her to start talking to James when she was 16. Second, it would make sense that they would not want anyone knowing they began talking if she was so young. They might have wiped any possible public communication before they went public with their friendship and she became a moderator on his forums in December. Third, I was also still open to the idea that those emails were not their first communication because I thought if these emails really were their first communication, why hasn't James mentioned them? They would be a slam dunk for him. He loves showing off emails and private conversations. He did not even mention them for over a year. Until now.
This caused me to go back to digging, and in her Chris Hansen interview she actually quotes one of these emails as her first communication exchange with James. ”There are 7 billion people in the world”
The video is blurry, but the date on the email is December 8, 2010. It’s not looking good for her at this point on this subject.
To clarify, Shiloh claims they began talking when she was 16, then talked for 8 months over skype until they began dating. They began dating in December 2010, when she was 17. James claims (and the evidence points in his favor) that they began talking early December 2010 and quickly began dating later that month.
It is worth noting that for the last year, James had been saying they began talking in November 2010, but the emails were close to November so I’d pass that off as misremembering.
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Anonymous requested: Alex meets Willie at a coffee shop and they’ve been talking for a few weeks but Alex is afraid to admit anything of liking Willie. But his friends push him to and he finds out that Willie likes him back and they go on a date.
I combined this with a prompt from this amazing list because I thought it was funny. I didn’t include the actual date because I know nothing about skating but if enough people want it then I’d be more than happy to do a part two of this!
I also added Julie, Carrie, and Alex being best friends because we deserve it.
Batman and the Barista
Aside from his co-workers, there was not one single thing about working at Eats ‘n’ Beats that made Alex Mercer’s job there bearable. If the coffee machine wasn’t straight-up not working, it was spurting scalding water at him; the customers were generally speaking entitled and rude; his boss was so laid-back and carefree that it was painful and no problems in the workplace ever got solved; and the hours were ridiculous – for example, some days Alex worked from four a.m. until nine a.m. Who in their right mind wants coffee at four o’clock in the morning?
The only other thing – or rather, the only other person – that might have stood any chance of making Alex’s job worthwhile also made it worse. They would have been perfect if only for the fact that they wouldn’t tell Alex their goddamn name.
He was a regular at Eats ‘n’ Beats and seemed to come into the shop at least once on every one of Alex’s shifts. He was, in Alex’s eyes, utterly perfect – beautiful tawny skin, long dark hair sometimes twined into a bun at the base of his neck, and the most adorable smile Alex could imagine. It was downright unfair how attractive he was, and how funny, kind, and smart he was too.
If only he would tell Alex who he was.
Every single time he came in the shop, the guy ordered the same drink (hot chocolate with cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, the works) and every time Alex would ask for his name. Every single time he had received a different answer.
The first few times he had hardly noticed. The second time the guy came in the coffee shop he had told Alex his name was Horatio – Alex could have sworn his name had been Patrick the week before, but it was possible that he was misremembering, so he hadn’t thought anything of it. But the next time the guy came in his name had been Edmund. After that it had been Marcus, then Jason, then Rudy, Stewart, Bob, Milo. The names had got increasingly weirder; just yesterday Alex had scrawled Megamind on the guy’s to-go cup. Before that it had been Sherlock.
As lovely as the guy was, Alex often found himself complaining to his friends about him and his lack of naming consistency, usually on his too-short breaks.
“He just seems like a really cool guy,” he was saying to his co-workers Carrie and Julie one day as they all sat around a small, cramped table in the staff room. “I’d really like to get to know him but he seems intent on me not knowing him at all!”
Alex could practically hear Carrie rolling her eyes. “We know you’d like to get to know him,” she muttered, “it’s all you ever talk about.”
“That’s not true,” Alex protested. “I talk about other things!”
“Like what?” Carrie asked, raising a perfectly trimmed eyebrow.
“Like the band,” Alex returned.
Julie shook her head. “Only if I bring it up first. And your contribution is usually something along the lines of ‘I wish coffee shop guy would come to one of our gigs, how cool would that be?’”
“That’s not– I– okay.” Alex sighed, then said under his breath, “Although it would be kinda cool if he did come to one of our shows.”
Carrie sighed dramatically. “You are so far gone it’s painful to listen to.”
“Just ask him out,” Julie said, smiling fondly. “I see the way he grins at you when he gives you a ridiculous fake name – his smile is so wide it practically falls off his face!”
“I don’t want to ask him out,” Alex lied. It wasn’t as if a lie like that could work on Julie and Carrie anyway; they both rolled their eyes and crossed their arms, eerily in sync with each other. “I don’t! I just want to get to know him.”
“Isn’t that the same thing?” Julie said.
“No. I wanted to get to know you guys without wanting to date you.”
“That’s because you’re gay,” Carrie said matter-of-factly, “and Julie and I are, correct me if I’m wrong, girls.”
“That’s fair,” Alex conceded. “But I don’t want to ask him out.”
Julie patted his hand. “Sure, Alex.”
A few minutes later, their break ended and the three friends made their way back out front to the shop. It was bustling and busy, and the co-worker Alex took over from on the register looked one customer away from breaking down into a mess of tears.
Alex, Julie, and Carrie (each manning their stations either on the cash register, at the coffee machine, or calling orders) started working, getting drinks and snacks for everyone. In the first five minutes, only one person yelled at Alex for accidentally spelling their name wrong on the cup, which passed as a good five minutes in his book.
Alex wouldn’t deny that he was watching the door, waiting for someone specific to come in. So maybe he was a little distracted, and maybe he did mess up a few orders or names, and maybe he could feel Julie and Carrie fondly glaring at him for being a little bit elsewhere, but it wasn’t really his fault. It was entirely Cute No-Name’s fault and if asked that was exactly who Alex would blame.
Eventually, with only ten minutes to go until closing time when the customers had dwindled down to just one or two every few minutes, the door swung open and the guy finally came in. There was something a little different today, and Alex’s throat went dry when he saw it – Cute No-Name had a skateboard tucked under his arm and removed his helmet as he entered the shop.
There was no queue at this hour, so he sauntered right up to Alex, a wide smile on his face.
“Hey, hotdog,” the guy said. It was a name he’d started using for Alex after seeing that one of the many things he had embroidered on his work apron was a hotdog (right between the rainbow flag and the drumsticks). Alex didn’t like the nickname, but No-Name couldn’t be stopped.
“Hey,” Alex replied, clearing his throat. “Hey, how are you?”
“I’m good,” No-Name replied. “You?”
“Yeah, yeah, great,” Alex said. He was aiming for a casual tone, but judging by Carrie and Julie’s poorly masked snickers he was not doing a very good job. “You want the usual?”
“Yeah, thanks, man,” the guy said. “To-go, please.”
Alex nodded, punching the price into the cash register and giving the guy his total. After he had been paid, Alex picked up a to-go cup and a permanent marker, turning to No-Name again. “So, what’s your name today?”
No-Name considered for a moment, then grinned. Maybe Julie was right, Alex thought – nobody could find this whole thing so funny that they’d smile that wide.
“I’m Batman,” the guy said. The worst part was that he did the voice too.
Alex groaned and shook his head, fighting a smile as he scrawled ‘Batman’ on the cup. “Of course you are. Carrie,” he called over his shoulder, holding the cup out. “This guy’s usual, please.”
Carrie didn’t take the cup. Instead, giggling along with Julie, she said, “Sorry, but who is ‘this guy’?”
“Carrie,” Alex said warningly.
“Who is he, Alex?” Julie asked, face bright with laughter.
“Not you too,” Alex said. Carrie, Julie, and No-Name were all properly laughing now. “I seriously can’t be the only one who doesn’t find this funny.”
“What’s his name, Alex?” Carrie asked between laughs.
Alex scowled at her. “Batman.”
Finally, Carrie took the cup and started making ‘Batman’s’ drink. Alex, shaking his head exasperatedly, turned back to face No-Name.
“Can I ask what your actual name is?” he said while Julie and Carrie were distracted by throwing marshmallows at each other, clearly not listening. “Genuinely. Because you always give a fake or different name and I… I mean, I just want to know who you really are.”
No-Name’s beam faded to a smaller, more delicate, warmer smile. “Sure, hotdog. It’s Willie.”
It was really that easy? All he’d had to do this whole time was ask?
“Really? No joking around this time?” The guy nodded. Alex thought for a moment and then said, “Willie what?”
Willie shrugged and leaned on the counter. He wasn’t that close, but Alex felt as if they were practically nose-to-nose. He wouldn’t have admitted how much that made his heart race.
“It depends,” Willie said. “What’s yours?”
Alex furrowed his brow, confused, but still said, “It’s Mercer.”
The mischievous grin was back. Willie straightened up and said, “Well, in that case, hopefully one day it’ll be Willie Mercer.”
Alex felt his jaw drop, heard Julie gasp, and heard Carrie not-so-quietly utter a swear.
Willie was the only one who seemed unaffected. He beamed over at Carrie, saying, “Is my drink nearly ready? I’ve got a skatepark to get to.”
With shaking hands, Carrie passed Willie his drink, and after they’d all said their goodbyes she slapped Alex’s arm. Repeatedly. Hard.
“He likes you,” she hissed. She almost sounded angry, but Alex knew that she was simply passionate about something potentially going right in his love life for once. “He totally likes you!”
“You think so?” Alex asked sceptically. “Because he could have just been joking–”
Julie scoffed. “That guy’s idea of a joke is giving a fake name at a coffee shop, not the implication of marriage.”
Alex couldn’t help it. He let himself smile and felt himself blush.
“So,” Julie continued, “will you ask him out now?”
Alex looked at the floor, still smiling sheepishly. “I’ll think about it,” he mumbled through his smile.
In the end, it didn’t really take much thinking about. Willie came in again the next day, even though it was one of Alex’s four-til-nine shifts. At six a.m. on the dot, Willie pushed the door open, the only customer in the shop.
“Hey, hotdog,” he greeted as usual, coming over and leaning against the counter.
“Hey, Willie,” Alex returned, smiling. He couldn’t believe he had a real name to use for this guy now; it made his heart beat in a way that was far too over the top for the situation. Without asking what Willie wanted or for a name to put on his cup, he set about making the drink. “You went skating yesterday, right? How was it?”
Willie grinned, fiddling with a ribbon on a charity collection tub. “It was fun. I mastered a trick I’ve been trying to learn for months. Have you ever skated?”
“Yep,” Alex said, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Loads of times.”
Willie laughed. Alex adored the sound, and the way Willie’s eyes crinkled with his smile as he giggled. He felt his heart beat even faster. “So that’s a no. Maybe I could teach you sometime.”
“I’m not sure you really want to do that,” Alex said, handing over the drink, the name ‘Willie’ written on the side of the cup. “I don’t think I’m exactly badass skater material.”
“Still,” Willie said with a shrug. “It’d be fun. And we could make it a date. If you want.”
Yet again, Alex felt his jaw drop. “Wait, really? You want to… okay. You want to go on a date with me?”
Willie said nothing, just smiled brightly.
“I… I mean, yeah,” Alex continued, feeling very flustered, overwhelmed by the butterflies in his stomach. They were happy butterflies though – unnaturally happy. “Yeah, I also want to go on a date. With you. Thank you. People probably don’t say ‘thank you’ when they’re asked on a date, do they? That was probably weird, I’m sorry–”
Willie laughed and Alex stopped talking. He wouldn’t have been surprised if the whole world stopped, if the Earth ceased its spinning every time Willie made that sound.
“It’s a date,” Willie said, grinning. “Are you free today?”
Alex choked to find his voice and said, “Yeah, I finish at nine.”
“Cool, bro, I’ll be here to pick you up then. Sound good?”
“Sounds great,” he returned. Once again, he wasn’t quite sure he hit his target of ‘coolly disinterested’ and instead landed at ‘so disinterested that it was obvious that he was interested’. “I’ll see you then.”
“Catch you later, hotdog,” Willie said, saluting as he left the coffee shop, the bell on the door ringing behind him.
Alex couldn’t help but do an excited little jump and something that might have passed for a happy dance, but there was nobody there to see him so it didn’t matter. He couldn’t wait to tell Julie and Carrie about this.
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I’m obviously late to the tumble party... but I stumbled across your Notagami Essays posts and they are absolutely Fabulous! Love your writing and the amount of detail you go into :)
So I figured you may be a good person to ask - if you just had to guess (bc as far as I know it’s never been officially confirmed?) but if you had to take a guess or give a rough estimate, how old do you think Yato was when he first met Sakura? We know he’s estimated to be at least a thousand years old, we know he’s - from the start of the series to present - estimated to be somewhere between 18 and his early 20s (physically)... but I can’t find a single thing/discussion/post/stickynote/whatever where it talks about how old he might have been when he first met Sakura - let alone the emotional/psychological effects of Sakura coming into his life and introducing healthy mindset/morals/maternal-influence etc. etc. (obviously no mom and Father’s neglect played a big role in him not knowing how inappropriate it was for him to ‘accidentally touch’ and yell “boobs!” but you can also just say he was so young he didn’t know how inappropriate that was?) My point is: how old do you think Yato was (physically anyway) at the time of their meeting? and Do you know of any discussions or care to share your opinion on how being the no more than the age of blank affected his mental/emotional understanding of Sakura teaching him a new narrative?
Sorry this is a random out of the blue ask 😅😓 if I rambled on and you don’t feel like answering, I get it, just figured it was worth asking :)
I fell down a serious rabbit hole trying to see if I could figure out the answer to this question about Yato’s age but unfortunately I’m mostly coming up empty-handed.
The answer to this question actually depends on two different pieces of information which--as far as I can remember--we’ve never actually been given for certain.
1) We would need to know when Yato was actually born.
The manga has kind of hinted at a total (not physical) age for Yato in the flashbacks which showed him as a young child during the Heian era (putting him somewhere in the vicinity of a little over 1000 years old) and Father not making masks before ~1100 years ago, but the problem is we still don’t know how many years might have passed between this scene (the youngest we’ve ever seen Yato):
And the next flashback scene, where Yato meets Nora:
If gods age normally when they are children, these two scenes might be only a handful of years apart. But if gods don’t age normally, then these two scenes could be decades or centuries apart, which leads to the other missing piece of information (under the read more to save people’s dashes):
2) We would need to know the aging process for gods who are just born/reincarnate.
Up to this point in the manga, we’ve only seen two gods reincarnate--Ebisu (who reincarnated too recently to really help answer this question) and Takemikazuchi. The implication of Takemikazuchi’s backstory is that his shinki forced him to reincarnate and then hid his reincarnation from all of Heaven. The only way they could have kept other gods from noticing that Takemikazuchi had reincarnated would have been by not allowing him to go out at all until he had grown enough to match his previous reincarnation in appearance. This seems to suggest that gods probably do age normally when they are children--hiding Takemikazuchi away for ~20 years seems a lot more likely than being able to hide him away for centuries, after all... (I also feel like I have very vague recollection of some scene in the manga where someone comments on Takemikazuchi not having been around for a “few years,” but it’s been so long since I reread I can’t recall if this is a real moment from the manga or just me misremembering.)
Overall, however, based on what we’ve seen in the manga, my guess would be that when they’re young, after just being born or being reincarnated, gods age pretty normally. This would suggest that, for the first few years at least, the physical and mental ages of reincarnated/newly born gods actually overlap; baby Ebisu acts like a little kid because he is, in fact, both mentally and physically a little kid.
That would mean that, for all intents and purposes, Yato’s physical and mental ages lined up when he was young and meeting Sakura, and he acted like a little kid because he really was just a little kid, god or not.
(Detour for a second though:
This line always struck me as interesting in that it might, just might, give us a more specific timeframe for Yato’s “birth”: although the constellations, of course, are visible in the sky every single year, this particular combination of concepts (kanoto-tori, yin metal rooster) is known much more commonly as one of the sixty years on the cyclical Chinese calendar, also used in Japan. Counting back on the calendar, 961 A.D. was a yin metal rooster year and would align just about right for what we know about the timeframe in which Yato later met Sakura (~970ish). Just referencing constellations doesn’t mean Adachitoka was pointing to a specific year, but it might have been another hint as to the timeframe of the flashbacks.
Okay, detour over.)
Anyway, without 100% confirmation on either of those pieces of information--when Yato was born and whether gods age at the same rate as humans after reincarnating--I don’t think it’s really possible to pin down Yato’s “real” age (physically or mentally) at the time he met Sakura. We mostly just have to estimate.
Personally, based on his size and behavior at the time, I’d put him somewhere between seven and maybe up to ten, but the way Adachitoka draws characters kind of makes it impossible to judge their ages by appearance; Yato is about the same size as Nora when he meets Sakura, implying that he and Nora were around the same physical “age” at that time; meanwhile, Nora is later portrayed as being roughly the same age as Yukine, suggesting she was maybe 12-13ish years old when she died. So, despite being drawn tiny, it’s possible Yato was meant to be anywhere from a little kiddo (6-7) to all the way up to Nora’s age by the time he met Sakura.
But all that said, I think what you were really asking about was more the mental state Yato would have been in when he met Sakura and how his young age would have impacted his ability to change his world views, right? The answer to that is... complicated and could be approached a lot of ways. Coming from a background of working with and educating social work students, there are several common psychological theories of child development that might apply here, for example.
I’d recommend checking out Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development, though.
(Pulled from here.)
I don’t have time to explain the entire theory with the complexity it might deserve, but the basic idea is that, as children develop, they experience a series of crises or challenges that they must overcome. Successfully overcoming each challenge results in successful psychological and social development; failing to overcome a challenge in childhood will result in long-term negative impacts later in the child’s life. (There are plenty critiques of this theory too, so don’t take this as gospel or anything--just a theory worth thinking about!)
Given Father’s lack of interest in teaching Yato basic concepts of humanity, I would put Yato at approximately the “Initiative vs. Guilt” stage when he met Sakura. At this level of Erikson’s theory, children struggle with asserting themselves and developing a healthy sense of how their personal desires might conflict with the expectations and rules set out by others. In this stage, giving a child positive feedback for their actions teaches the child that those actions are “right,” while giving negative feedback teaching the child that their actions are wrong. In order to overcome this particular challenge, children need to begin taking initiative and aligning their actions with social standards; the child acts, and the parental figure reacts--through this process, children learn “I can do X thing but I cannot do Y thing.”
When you hear things like “Children are cruel,” most often what people are referring to is that it takes time for children to learn empathy and to experience guilt when they cause harm to others; children do not natively understand the repercussions of their actions. It’s only through a process of testing the boundaries, of receiving praise or punishment, that children define what is “right” versus “wrong,” and begin to feel bad when they do something deemed wrong.
And this is pretty much word-for-word what we see Sakura teaching Yato.
If they have healthy role models and caretakers during this phase, children develop successfully. Successful children in this phase get their first taste of personal responsibility; unsuccessful children are (supposedly) plagued for years afterward by a sense of guilt and shame when their actions produce disapproval from everyone around them.
Yato... doesn’t exactly make it through this development stage unscathed, because he receives conflicting definitions of right and wrong from his Father an Sakura:
Which ultimately results in, years later, the Yato we know and love who still does his Father’s bidding to kill humans even though it fills him with a horrific sense of guilt:
Through his time with Sakura, I think it could also be argued that Yato moves into the next stage of Erikson’s theory as well, getting into the “Industry versus Inferiority” crises.
Meeting Sakura brings out Yato’s true, deep down desire as a god: to help people. (I think it’s important to note that this isn’t something Sakura teaches him--it’s a quality Yato already possessed; it was explicitly Yato’s desire to please people that led to him murdering in his father’s name.)
Once he learns what makes people happy, Yato immediately pursues that with intense focus:
The primary goal of this phase of psychosocial development is to experience a sense of confidence in one’s actions. When children practice their skills, pursue areas where they are praised, and gain new skills and aptitudes through mentoring from healthy role models, they gain confidence in their ability to excel, to fit in with peers their age, and to create meaningful things. By encouraging Yato to pursue positive behaviors--playing peacefully with other children, appreciating natural beauty, and creating useful things like boots for the needy--Sakura moved Yato toward successfully completing this phase and developing a sense of confidence in his actions and his ability to achieve positive things in the world.
Of course, Father cannot have that (because confident children with a sense of self-worth are much more difficult to abuse), so he puts an immediate end to Sakura’s influence over Yato in the most insidious way possible: although he clearly manipulated the situation to achieve Sakura’s death, out loud, he blames Yato, implying that Sakura’s death was all Yato’s fault, the results of Yato taking unwanted action “industry” and yet failing--creating a sense of “inferiority” instead.
This, of course, haunts Yato all the way to the present, as he--again and again and again--blames himself for things outside his control or failing to live up to expectations that no one in his situation (still being manipulated) could possibly hope to get “right.”
Finally, you could say that Sakura’s presence is Yato’s life is ultimately what sows the seeds of the manga’s main plot up to this point, with Yato’s quest to create an entirely new identity for himself as a god of fortune instead of a god of calamity. Personally, I would say that Yato is currently still in this phase of development, still working out how to define himself and who he will ultimately become once he is finally free to decide on his own path in life. It was Sakura’s gentle influence--his desire to become the kind of god who could make her smile--that eventually sparked his conflict and finally led Yato to the brink of catastrophe. If he wishes to become the god Sakura told him he could be, he can no longer suffer his father to live.
So, long story longer, I think it can be argued that Yato meeting Sakura at such a young age is EXACTLY what made it possible for him to change, and exactly what has led to his crisis in identifying himself and redefining his sense of right and wrong.
Uhhhh... I hope that answers your question!
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Is it just me or do the girls in Conan get sidelined a lot even though they’re all more than capable. Like with the police stories, most of the time Takagi gets to shine which I don’t mind because I love him but I wish Satou got more time to shine (I could just be misremembering because it’s been ages since I watched those). Haibara is literally a prodigy and I feel like that isn’t shown often at all. And then there’s Ran not getting to do much even though we know she can. I love the show and always will but idk I feel like the girls get sidelined a lot. I could just be misremembering stuff though because I’ve been watching this for forever and I haven’t seen a majority of the episodes in ages.
Hmmm... Okay, I can sense why you would say that, in general, that happens sometimes. Although I have to pinpoint some stuff here.
We got great moments from the girls and women in DC, to speak about the same characters you mention: Sato? she is by far the most competent of the entire Tokyo PD and everyone knows that, and she has had so many great moments I can’t even count them. Now she doesn’t appear as much because her “arc” as character I think is mostly done for, like is Takagi’s, by confirming their relationship. Haibara? She has had such importance to the plot, she has had innumerable great moments, and was the one of very few characters that was able to scare Shinichi during her first appearances, Shinichi’s entire dream of coming back rests on her shoulders and on her ability to create a new antidote, and we are reminded of that pretty often, like in Kyoto. We know she’s a genius, but her area of expertise is not what drives the plot (that is, detective skills), so it sounds reasonable that we don’t see her hacking and working on the antidote for example. Ran? it seems like she gets side lined but let me tell you why, it’s because the movies and anime originals mistreat her character (just like it happens with many other characters), the main plot has always shown incredible Ran moments and scenes, fights, suspicions, how strong she is, and that all around she’s a great person (I’m still conviced that at some point, the manga will have to adress the fact that she saved Haibara’s life back in the Halloween special, why would we keep having Vermouth talking to her and stuff if we won’t get to see more?). To add more, Yukiko? She’s been ESSENCIAL as of late. Vermouth? She’s always iconic and has great moments. Kir? SHE’S BACK MAN, ISN’T THAT A TREAT? Sera and Mary? They have their own little conspiracy plot going on agaisn’t the MAIN character, I think that’s pretty fucking important tbh... I think you catch my drift.
One character that comes to mind when this topic comes up now though is Jodie. She’s been so sidelined recently even in the manga, can’t think of anything remotely interesting happening with her in her latest appearances, which is truly a shame, given that she’s such a cool character. I hope this changes in the future, man.
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Secrets and Lights
Summary: Hiding your relationship with Dean has gotten harder the deeper you fall for him. The coming Christmas seems to be your hardest test yet, but will it turn into something so much more than you were expecting?
Pairing: Dean x Reader
Square filled: Secret Relationship for @spnchristmasbingo
Word Count: 1978
Warnings: sexual suggestiveness, a whole lot of fluff
A/N: This was written for @carryonmywaywardcaptain‘s Supernaturally Marvelous Challenge, and my prompt was Christmas Lights.
Hiding a relationship wasn’t easy, but boy was it fun, especially with Dean.
It was the ultimate adrenaline high. Stealing kisses in cloaked corners, sneaking through hallways in the middle of the night, dropping to your knees in the shower when Sam popped his head in unexpectedly. It felt dangerous and forbidden, which made every touch that much hotter. And, that’s really all it had started out as- heat.
Your relationship had begun under the height of the summer sun, something purely physical, a way to burn off steam for the both of you, an accidental tumble into bed that had ignited into a series of passionate rendezvous. You and Dean hadn’t seen a reason to tell anybody, not when the entirety of your relationship was built off of lips, hands, and...other body parts.
But, the colder weather brought change and an altogether different kind of heat. There were fewer quickies in the Impala and more nights spent in each other’s arms. Fewer furtive glances and more lingering touches. There were nights you stayed up until the early morning just talking, trading the sex for the chance to just listen to him breathe, tracing circles on his chest as he whispered his most personal stories in your ear. The heat between you became deep, it became real, and you knew without a doubt that you were falling in love with him.
That only made it that much harder to keep your relationship a secret. Now, things were different. Now, more than anything else, you didn’t want to hide him. You wanted to show him off, to tell the world, but you couldn’t. That wasn’t what you had agreed, so you kept it a secret because that’s what Dean wanted.
At least that’s what you thought. Little did you know that Dean had something far different in mind, and his plans were already in motion.
It all came to a head on Christmas. You’d assumed you were going to spend a quiet holiday at home with Sam, Jack, and Cas, but Dean surprised you last minute, telling you to pack your bags for a big family Christmas at Jody’s.
When you got there, he went into full nesting mode, helping the girls trim the tree, secretly tossing a wink your way every time the others were distracted. You smiled back, but inside you were coming unglued. You wanted to stand up, march over there, and kiss him in front of everyone, proud of the fact that the most amazing guy in the world had picked you, but you couldn’t. It was frustrating and exhausting and, frankly, the weight of the secret was just giving you a damn headache. After an hour of trying, and almost failing, to resist the way he pulled you to him like a magnet, you decided to get out of there, feigning sudden fatigue and excusing yourself to go upstairs.
Not surprisingly, that didn’t fool Dean for a second, and he caught up to you before you even reached the hallway. “Hey, you okay?”
“Yeah,” you said, plastering the smile back onto your face, although it was softer this time, more muted. “Just tired from the drive, I think.”
Dean cast a glance over his shoulder, checking the hallway before grabbing your hand and pulling you with him through the closest door. You barely had time to register that it was the laundry room before your back was up against the wall, Dean’s knee between your legs and his lips dragging across your throat. “I can think of a few ways to wake you up.”
You shivered at the low growl that rumbled against your pulse point before you remembered where you were, and why you’d left the living room in the first place. “Dean, we can’t, remember? Everyone’s here.”
He ran his hand up under your shirt, splaying it across your stomach. “So?”
“So,” you laughed, playfully pushing him off you before his hand could start to wander, “you’re bunking with Sam and I’m with Donna. This house is filled with people, and anyone could walk in. We have to be careful.”
His face turned into the most comical pout, and you couldn’t resist sneaking a quick peck to his lips. “Hey, you’re the one who wanted to come for Christmas, and since we can’t tell anyone about us…”
You trailed off, a hidden part of you hoping Dean would say screw it, let’s tell everyone, but he nodded instead, your heart falling a little in response.
“Yeah, you’re right, we’ll be careful.” He leaned down, placing a gentle kiss on your forehead. “You should get some rest. I’ll see you at dinner?”
You nodded, resting your head on his chest for a moment to savor the peace you found there. He wrapped his arms around you, enveloping you, pulling you in, and instantly soothing you, reminding you of just how you’d managed to fall so hard for him so easily. He made you feel wanted, and when you were in his arms, you were home. “Hey, maybe later, we could sneak away...I bet the Impala feels real cozy in the snow.”
His chuckle rumbled against your chest. “Oh, we’re definitely doing that. But, after you rest.”
“Aye, aye,” you joked, pulling away and turning towards the door. You paused before you reached the threshold, turning back and meeting his eyes. “Thanks for checking on me.”
His smile lit up his face, crinkling his eyes as it expanded. “I got you.”
“I got you,” you echoed, repeating the phrase that had become a familiar mantra for the two of you the last few months. “I…” You almost slipped up, almost said the three words you hadn’t quite gotten up the courage to utter yet. “I’ll see you at dinner.”
The next few hours were filled with a lot more staring off into space than sleeping, but darkness eventually fell, and you got a quick change of clothes before heading downstairs for dinner.
The living room, freshly decorated with a sparkling tree loaded with presents, was deserted, so you made your way into the kitchen where you found Sam, Jody, Donna, Claire, Alex, Jack, Cas, and Patience all gathered around the island.
They looked your way when you entered, Jody shooting you a smile. “Hey there, Y/N. You want to help us decorate some cookies before dinner?”
“Yeah, sure,” you muttered absentmindedly as you scanned the room. “Where’s Dean?”
Donna exchanged a look with Sam and grinned. “Oh, I think he’s outside. Would you mind getting him?”
Nodding, you spun towards the door leading to the backyard. “Yeah, sure.”
You moved to open it on autopilot, your mind already on the alone time with Dean that awaited you later that night, but once the door swung open, every tangible thought flew right out of your brain to be replaced with what could only be described as shocked buffering.
It was an honest to goodness winter wonderland. A forest of Christmas trees were strewn across the yard, with dazzling lights strung through every branch, twinkling and shining onto the soft white snow beneath. As you looked closer at the trees, you began to notice the ornaments hanging on each one: a tiny waffle, you quickly realized was the breakfast you and Dean had made a complete mess of trying to make that weekend Sam was out of town; a cup of tea, which Dean had quickly learned to make to perfection that time you came down with the flu; a pool ball, complete with a tiny scratch on it, just like the one you’d launched across the room when Dean had tried, and failed, to teach you how to play.
There were dozens more spread amongst the trees, all different memories of your relationship with Dean, all moments that had led the two of you to each other.
“You know that pool ball’s my favorite.” You turned at the sound of Dean’s voice, watching him approach you from where he’d been waiting within the trees. “I think that was the day I knew I wanted us to be more than friends.”
“Dean, wait, we can’t,” you rushed out, trying to signal him by gesturing back at the house behind you, but when you turned your head, you saw everyone already watching you, their faces plastered up against the windows.
Dean didn’t seem fazed, continuing to advance towards you. “I lined up the shot for you, thinking you’d just tap it into the rail, but you shot it across the room, up into the wall ten feet away.” He paused and laughed. “I didn’t even know it was possible to scratch a pool ball, but you did. And, the only thing I could think was damn, somehow this girl can make even that look sexy.”
That night, with the pool ball, it was over a year ago, long before you’d gotten together. He must’ve been misremembering. He couldn’t have known then... “Dean, everyone’s watching. They might find out…”
He kissed you before you could finish your thought, zapping the frenzy right out of you and silencing all of your worries with one touch. When he pulled back, he only left a few inches of space between the two of you, his gaze dropping to your lips and then slowly travelling up your face like a caress. “I told everyone about us a month ago, back when I first started planning tonight.”
It took a second for his words to register, and when they did, the realization hit you like a truck. “Wait, they know?! They all know? But, I thought…”
“I know, you thought I wanted to keep us a secret, but I don’t. I’m crazy about you, of course I wanted to tell the world that you’re mine, that I’m lucky enough to get to hold your hand every single day. Besides, I needed their help to plan this whole thing. You know, it’s not as easy to tell a girl you love her as you might think, but Donna and Jody are pretty great with the big gestures. I was coming up empty on any kind of plan until they helped me come up with this whole thing.”
“But, wait, if they’ve known for a month…” And, that’s when it hit you again, the moment you really froze, his words sinking in to leave you speechless for the third time in five minutes. “D...did you just say you love me?”
Dean nodded, grabbing your hands and interlacing his fingers with yours, his eyes shining only for you. His voice was confident and sure, ringing out for the world to hear. “I love you, Y/N. I’m in love with you. The luckiest day of my life was when I somehow got you to want me back. I know we didn’t want to put too much pressure on it, but I need you to know. I’m all in, and it’s okay if you don’t feel the same way yet, but…”
“I love you too.” You rushed the words out, so excited you couldn’t even wait for him to finish. “I’m sorry, I know you probably had this whole speech planned, but I do, Dean. I love you.”
You could hear clapping and cheering behind you as he grinned and pulled you in, but it all faded out the moment his lips touched yours, his kiss making the whole word come to a stop for just a minute.
By the time the world started spinning again, it had started to snow, and everyone rushed out with a flurry of congratulations and hugs. You celebrated with them, but Dean never let go of your hand, holding it proudly and tenderly for everyone to see, the gesture radiating with the only thing bright enough to outshine all of the Christmas lights surrounding you: your love.
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what im wondering, also, is like... how did the kingdom's reliance on the source of all come to be in the first place. how did they find this pool of molten gold and decide 'oh im gonna go into it' and then find out that the gold is a fucking eldritch god
So I’m not sure the actual comics ever explained this (I could be misremembering something), but apparently Ian* eventually established in the encyclopedia that Sally’s ancestors literally just stumbled upon it when expanding their territory, built a castle on top of it, and decided to start bonding with it. They also rewrote the history books, obscuring the details of its discovery to make it sound like the Acorn family had an age-old mystical bond with the Source that legitimized their rule. And, in fact, it sounds like nobody actually worshipped the Source as a god before the Acorn family installed it as their nation’s official religion (although this faded over time)
I actually really like this retcon. It lessens the ultra-literal divine right of kings nonsense (I mean, as much as you can in this scenario) and says that nah, they just got lucky and made up this weird ritual as a ploy to stay in power. Just like how actual historical kings would make up bullshit claims about being chosen by God to rule. It does make Sally’s ancestors even scummier, but like. They’ve always sucked. And it even makes the outcome of the Sally Dip Story slightly better, because it supports Sally’s decision to not bond with the Source
* I’m assuming this is Ian’s doing since I don’t remember this being established earlier, and the Archie wiki cites this as being from the encyclopedia, which he wrote
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Smallish update because I’ve seen some missunderstandigns going on.
Ok, so yesterday was a day.
I am still reeling of a lot of it, which is why I have not been able to do a transcription of the panel (although the ones I’ve reblogged, made by other people, are very accurate and their only “fault” is not being in my head to know why I had some troubles translating Guillermo’s long answers as he spoke too quickly and too passionately so I had to paraphrase rather than translate literally as I did with the shorter answers, and at some points, I admit my short term memory may have failed me)
I am trying to get the panel off the facebook page to put it on my youtube (With permission from Harlecon’s organizer, Harleyquinnarts, whom you should all follow in Instagram and follow Harlecon on facebook because she’s amazing and made this possible by giving us the space to have the panel. BTW, I have heard that there IS a version already on youtube? If it is, please, please, please, put a link back to Harlecon on it, yes? These small cons deserve all our support)
I am ALSO trying to contact Adrian Fogarty, the dubbing director (NOT the translator, as some people are mis-reporting) who is, in the end, the one who has the answers as to where the hell the “Me too” came from.
Which is the missreporting I;ve seen going around, and which I need to adress.
During the panel, Mr. Rojas went from talking about the “Original” Script to the “DUB” Original Script without making it obvious that there was a different. Understand, for MOST actors, when they talk about the Original Script, they’re NOT talking about the Original English Script. They don’t get that. They get the Original TRANSLATED script, which can be then FURTHER changed by them or the director in order to fit cadence, and lip sync.
And yes, we come again to my old nemesis, lip sync.
So he said that the original script said “Me Too”, as a reply to Cas’s “I love you”, and THEN Alejandro Fogarty, who has a TON of experience adapting on the fly, and is a very respected dubbing director, changed it to “And I you,Cas” because it fit better Dean’s lip movements.
This DOESN’T mean that Fogarty ADDED the Me Too. IT WAS on the Original DUB Script that Guillermo was reading.
He said that Dean didn’t reciprocate Castiel’s words too, but that was AFTER he said he didn’t HEAR what Dean originally said (Which, granted, could be him misremembering as he admitted he had a bad short term memory). This is not to say that he lied when he said Dean didn’t reciprocate, but that that’ts the reason why two different versions of what he said may be running around. This was when I said that then we had to ask Fogarty about the origin of the dub script “Me Too” as he’d probably be the one who knows.
He also said that while it was a surprise, that the writers had been very subtle creating the story between Dean and Castiel, and that it made SENSE.
There are a few things I could say here about voice actor culture, but I won’t as it could muddy the issue and I want to wait until I finish the transcription.
What he corrected from my previous assumptions was that there was no Warner Bros quality control. They finish dubbing, then send it to air and as far as HE knows, there’s no WB exec checking the files. He admitted he might be wrong on that, but it’s more probable that he’s right. So IF the “Me too” was added, there would be no final check to stop it. HOWEVER, there has been no request to RE-Dub the line, so we can assume that, now that the horse is out of the barn, WB and CW don’t really care that, in Mexico and LataM, Dean Winchester is bisexual, canonically.
Which brings us back to the REAL question: Where did that Me Too came from?
Now, I want to make clear this I DON’T BELIEVE THERE’S A BIG CW CONSPIRACY TO KEEP DEAN STRAIGHT. What I do believe is that, due to a bunch of mismanagement of the series, PR, confusion of what their demography is, old-boys club mentality AND good ol’ network censorship, they may have ended up accidentally creating the ILLUSION of one.
And to be honest, I preffer to know the ACTUAL truth, which could very well be a rogue dub director (Which, if you check my previous posts, was a possibility I raised, that if there HAD been a rogue dub translator, the director HAD to be on it too), or a different audio version sent from the US.
I’ve seen script captures from the Original English Script that were leaked, and there Dean doesn’t reply ANYTHING. Not “Me too”, not “Don’t do this, CAs”. HE just goes 404,File not found, Being Loved by an angel, doesn’t compute.
So we know that DEan’s answer in english was Ad libbed by Jensen.
However, we also know that Jensen had to re-record some lines.
So he could’ve ad-libbed again, something different (Either by choice, or by the director’s request. I frankly don’t know nor care. I just assume that there were two different readings and the “wrong” one was sent to the Latam Translator. Wrong here to mean “not the one that aired in the US”)
And the only way we’re going to get closer to which was it, is asking the dub director, which is what I am trying to do. And I do hope that by now, you trust me enough to know that, IF the answer was “Oh, yeah, we decided that it was more logical” , I’ll tell you straight (Or, you know, organize another panel so that you hear it from the horse’s mouth just as I did with Guillermo Rojas)
Also, yes, Guillermo didn’t say the words “I ship Destiel” or “I am a Heller”. However, he DID say that the ending of the arc of Dean and Castiel having a love story was the closing of the series, that Dean reciprocating Cas’s feelings made it make sense and that it was beautiful. So he is a heller, in spirit if not in name.
ETA: I had to fix Adrian Fogarty’s name as someone pointed out I wrote “Alejandro Fogarty” and this proves that I need at least a week of sleep as this show has broken my brain.
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Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline (Book Review)
Monday 30th November 2020
Book Review - Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
First time reading.
So I finished Ready Player Two! I'm sad to say that it didn't live up to the expectations I had for it especially after I thoroughly enjoyed reading Armada earlier this year. I did see some negative comments about RP2 before I started reading it so I'm not sure if that just put me in a mindset of negativity or if I would have felt this way even if I hadn't seen negative comments. The first part of this review will be spoiler free and the later part will include spoilers but I'll include a warning where the spoilers start. I also know this is a long one so there's a tldr on the last page if you'd rather read it!
[Spoiler free section but contains spoilers for Ready Player One]
Ready Player Two picks up where Ready Player One left off, Wade has won Hallidays contest and inherited the OASIS and the rest of Hallidays property. As part of his inheritance, Wade comes across new technology developed by Halliday but never released to the world that leads Wade and the rest of the High 5 on a new Easter Egg hunt with a brand new villain turning up to make things complicated.
My biggest issues were in the first 100 pages with the writing, pacing and characters and then when the plot finally got going my issue was with the main villain and their treatment. I also just find it awkward reading Cline's attempts at women, POC and LGBT+ representation. While I do appreciate the effort and inclusion, it's not done very well and clearly Cline hasn't got the right people around him to point this out. As well as issues with his writing of these types of characters I also have issues with the content. Unnecessary sex references, repeating small points multiple times, over-complication of minor details, treating the reader like an idiot, and more effort put into the nostalgic references rather than progressing the plot. A lot of these also combine into the issues I had early in the book with the pacing, sometimes moments were being unnecessarily drawn out and other times there were moments which I wish had more attention given to them. As the book progressed I found this issue lessened as the plot moved forward but it's still something that was an issue for me again towards the end.
Most of the characters I actually didn't have a huge issue with apart from some characters being more side-lined and not getting quite as much time as I would have liked but that would be a minor issue. My bigger issue, especially at the beginning of the book, was with Wade, our main character. He's obnoxious and brags about everything he now has. He has an anger issue which makes him even more unlikeable and he totally violates the privacy of people using the OASIS system! As the plot progresses and he has less opportunities to be like this I found I could tolerate him more but there were still lines that I found myself scoffing at throughout the book.
I want to also talk about the villain and why I had issues there as well but because it would contain spoilers I'll talk about what I did like first of all, explain the reasons for my rating and then get into the spoilers.
So! Although I've been pretty negative so far there was some parts I actually did like which stopped me from dnf-ing the book.
Although RP2 has some pretty bad writing and pacing issues I did actually enjoy the plot. I thought when it eventually got going it was actually pretty fun and I enjoyed a lot of the references even though Cline does treat his readers a bit like we're idiots when he's explaining them.
I also still love Samantha/Art3mis and a lot of the other characters in the book so that managed to keep me going. Samantha has always been the more level headed and responsible one but she's still utterly badass and I wouldn't mind her being a role model for young girls reading these books.
I was sort of conflicted between 2 and 3 stars for my rating because while in the end I can say I reasonably enjoyed the book I also had so many issues and those first 100 pages really annoyed me. Ultimately I settled on 2 stars because I know that I'm never going to reread this book but I also didn't dislike it enough to only give it 1 star.
Now I'm going to get into the spoiler section and talk about my main issues with the villain and some of the spoiler-ey stuff that I actually did like so this is your spoiler warning for this section!
[SPOILERS for Ready Player Two]
So the villain is Halliday. Not really, technically the villain is a corrupted copy of Halliday's memories housed inside his OASIS avatar Anorak. I think by making this distinction Cline was trying to show a difference between Halliday and Anorak and that they're two different "people" which possibly would have been fine if Cline hadn't also totally dragged on the "real" Halliday in the process. He goes to great lengths to let us know that the real Halliday actually wasn't a good guy at all and was actually a sociopath. I have a few issues with this. The first and more minor issue is that, from what I remember, Halliday is portrayed as a good guy in RP1 and somebody a lot of the characters, especially Wade, admire. I didn't reread or rewatch RP1 before reading RP2 (especially as the movie is so different) so maybe I'm misremembering but it just felt like such a shock. I am well aware that Halliday wasn't perfect, especially when it comes to Kira and Og but that doesn't mean he needs to be villainised! I think the first book/movie perfectly showed how flawed he was without making him a villain and it's just so upsetting to me that Cline went in this direction for RP2.
I also have an issue with Halliday as the villain because I think it could be so damaging for people who looked at Halliday and saw this socially awkward introvert who is also a genius and were inspired by that or could see parts of themselves in Halliday's character but now they're being told that, actually, because he pined after his friend's wife he's a sociopath! I think it could be so damaging to people who looked up to him. As I said, Halliday in the first book is flawed but so is everybody and he could still have been a brilliant role model for kids if Cline hadn't taken RP2 in this direction.
For my final complaint regarding Halliday I felt like his relationship with Og and Kira was ruined in this book. Yes, in the first book his relationship with them was strained but I feel like they still loved each other. Even though Og had nothing to do with the company anymore Halliday still included Og in his will. I think Og still had affection for him and I never felt like they were friends through any sense of duty from Og. But here that relationship was totally butchered and Halliday felt like somebody Og and Kira tolerated because they felt sorry for him. And look where it got them, he totally violated Kira's privacy multiple times! Because of course Halliday couldn't just harmlessly pine over her, he had to go and do something absolutely mental. It just feels so out of character because even though he's a bit socially awkward he's a really smart man and should know better than to do this! It also at times felt like Halliday was the butt of their jokes which is just horrible! And not at all how I remembered any of these characters. As I said, maybe I'm mis-remembering but even so it was still a cause of discomfort and greatly affected my enjoyment of the book.
But that's not all folks! Anorak isn't the only villain! Sorento is back! I just don't like the character at all so instantly I was annoyed because I dislike him so much but then he really wasn't involved that much at all which makes me wonder why Cline even brought him back to begin with?! He had one moment towards the end where he played a role in the death of Og and the "battle"/"escape" (how ever you want to word it) that ensued but I feel like this could have been done in a different way without having to bring Sorento back just for this.
For spoiler-ey stuff that I did like. I liked Kira being more of a central character and getting to find out more about her. I think she's a really cool character and it was nice to go on her adventure this time around. I liked all the quests for the shards, especially the John Hughes one as a big John Hughes fan myself!
I also liked the final battle between Og and Anorak. It's something that I think Cline does really well and also showed that he can do big, epic endings without it having to be a big battle sequence with lots of characters. 1v1 worked just as well and was just as enjoyable to read if not even more so.
And that's the end of the spoiler section! Here's the tldr because I know this has been a long one!
TLDR (Spoiler free)
I had a lot of issues with Ready Player Two, specifically with the writing, pacing and handling of some of the key characters. I gave it 2 stars because I already know I'm not going to reread it so I wouldn't give it a 3 but I didn't dislike it enough to give it a 1. There were some elements that I did enjoy that managed to keep me going.
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you've read RP2 and your thoughts or if you're planning on reading it (if so I hope you enjoy it more than I did!)
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(Read it first on my blog.)
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I've finally finished the first set! It's the same kids again tho, lol. But next time will be never before seen characters! So I wanted to get everyone drawn in the Omniverse style so I could visualize it all properly and it also made for a good opportunity to tweak designs as needed. They're all heavily referenced from official art so I could get it perfect and it made for great practice too! Of course I added some personal touches to the art style too cuz if I didn't it would have bothered me too much, lol.
Anyway, below the cut are finally proper profiles for all the kids and some additional info as well!
M'kay, so before we get started on the kids' bios, it's important to specify this is an alternate universe. And I don't mean it's an AU of the Prime Dimension. This is quite literally another universe within the omniverse. It's a mostly untouched one that even Paradox, Eon, and Maltruant have never been to and therefore a lot of things are different while a lot of things are still the same tho. It's unofficially called the Feniverse cuz Fen is the main character, but it does have a more official name. I'm just, uh… not aware of what that name is yet, lol!
Anyway, the Ben in this dimension branches off from the development of Prime Ben. Anybody remember the fact that the very first Ben 10K episode said Ben became the way he did in the future cuz he killed Vilgax by ripping him to pieces? Yep! That's what this Ben did too! But obviously he doesn't end up exactly like that Ben 10K. But so this dimension's Ben is therefore officially labelled Slayer Ben since some people refer to him as 'The Vilgax Slayer'. And that experience did definitely screw him up pretty bad, which is why he's so different from both Prime and 10K.
So from left to right:
Name: Fenrick Fih Rook-Tennyson
Voice: Todd Haberkorn
Bio: Fen is Ben and Rook's son. He has always been known for being quiet, surprisingly wise for his age, and quite the troublemaker. In actuality, only two of these things are true. Fen is more calm than he seems and as a young child he wasn't much of a talker, giving people the perception that he's quiet. Unfortunately, Fen also has many great ideas that end up badly. However, his ideas always come from the desire to help someone or solve a problem, but he always gets caught when his plans fall apart, making it look like he causes trouble. Some people even accuse him of trouble he didn't start, not helping his reputation. And as the son of Ben 10 of all people, he tends to be held to higher expectations. His wisdom never ceases to amaze people either. Even Ben and Rook get surprised at the wisdom he recites, wondering where exactly he learned it all. Due to that, he tends to put up a fight whenever himself or someone else gets wronged. He especially defends his friends and fellow alien kids in town. Although his only true friends seem to consist of his childhood friend, Millie, and his cousin, Sven.
At the age of 13, Fen discovered his ability to transform into a couple dozen of Ben's aliens. He quickly aspired to become a hero like his parents, much to Ben's disapproval, who worries about his safety. Despite that, Fen wants to form a hero trio with Sven and Millie and become the next generation of heroes in the galaxy.
Fen's almost always been the same since I first created him, with just a few design and character tweaks done to him. He used to have a talent for jewelry making but that was switched out for him being wise for his age. He was also a bit more generic as far as the upbeat and reckless young male protagonist with famous parents archetype goes, but he's been adjusted enough that he now stands out from that archetype. Or, at least I hope, lol. Also, funny thing to note, Fenrick is not a real name! The closest name there is is Fenwick and iirc, that's a last name! I considered changing it to Fenwick or even Fenick but Fenrick is too special to me. His, uh, unfortunate name even has an impact in-universe with him being embarrassed by it and some using it to make fun of him. Also in-universe, I chalk it up to Ben having a dumb moment by misremembering the name Fenwick and Rook not knowing any better to catch Ben's mistake. Also, if you think his hair style is stupid, good. That's the point. He wanted it like that when he was seven and Ben and Rook were like 'sure' and it's been like that ever since.
Voice: Jennifer Paz
Bio: Millie is Ester's daughter. Her biological father is a human who decided he didn't want to be a father and Antonio soon stepped up to fill the father role when he and Ester got married. She has been friends with Fen and Sven since they were all babies. Millie is the level-headed one of the group and has been noted as being oddly emotionless. Her tone of voice is almost always flat and she usually keeps a straight face when not looking nervous. She never intends to be rude, but she will bluntly say whatever comes to her mind to her peers. At the same time, she can be nervous about making bold decisions and hates being a part of any decision making. She either refuses to do anything, or apologizes profusely for making a decision even when nothing bad happens.
Due to being more human than Kraaho, Millie is perfectly capable of handling the temperatures of Bellwood. However, she is still a bit sensitive to cold temperatures and needs to bundle up more than others during the winter. She sadly cannot handle the heat in the Hot Spot for very long either. Much to Millie's dismay, she was not born with the Kraaho's stretching ability. No one can figure out why, but it's simply something she can't do. As a result, she considers herself a normal human and has resigned herself to the fact that 'normal' is simply all she will ever be. Despite this, she has taken up quite a big secret that contradicts her decision and expresses who she wishes she really was.
Millie only ever had one design change with her outfit and slight adjustment to the way her hair works and she's been the same ever since. Since the beginning she was always calm and stoic and I've always worried that she doesn't have much of a presence or purpose, but now I feel like she plays off Fen and Sven well enough that she stands out thanks to them. I've always flipped back and forth between Fen and/or Millie having a crush on each other, but I've finally settled on them both just seeing each other as near and dear loyal friends. It ultimately works out better that way and doesn't cause conflict with Millie's personal story or Fen's real love interest(and the one other character with feelings for him). Her name also used to be Mina, but since I've now taken that as one of my own names, it felt really awkward to keep her as that. I used to have a habit of naming characters with names I wanted before realizing I could change my name in the future, lol.
Name: Sven Elijah Levin
Voice: Wally Wingert
Bio: Sven is Gwendolyn and Kevin's son and Jenny's older brother. Sven is a rather unfortunate boy. He is constantly terrified of everything to the point of running millions of 'bad ends' through his head. He can barely talk most of the time without being a stuttering mess and always thinks he's going to be in trouble for anything and everything he does. Everyone is certain he either has severe anxiety or paranoia, or likely both. Perhaps even more. Who knows. Sven tends to cling to his cousin, Fen, who he looks to for guidance and advice, most of which isn't anything Sven should actually be following. Because he is a grade below Fen and Millie, he's often left alone to deal with problems in his own classes, or really just panic about them. He does, however, have a close relationship with Zed and likes to be the one to take her out on walks in the afternoon. And not many people know it, but he's actually a pretty decent artist.
Even though he is an Osmosian thanks to being Kevin's son, no one knows what ability he may have. It doesn't really matter though, since he wants to stay out of any potential trouble that having powers could bring him. Regardless of that, he has an interest in magic thanks to Gwendolyn's expertise in it. He even sneaks peeks at her spellbook and the strange bag she keeps in her office that he can hear a voice coming from at night.
Now Sven is a character whose personality has always been pretty much the same while his design was never consistent until reaching his current one. He was originally very anime looking and in a gaudy orange outfit that I regret even thinking about, lol. He looks much better in neutral colors. I guess there's not much to say on him though, which makes me worry he's a tad unremarkable, but perhaps it's just since I'm leaving out the things about him that are better left discovering on your own… if I ever get to finishing that fic that is… ahaha.
Name: Saki Boulais
Voice: Stephanie Sheh
Bio: Julie and Hervé's daughter, one of the more popular girls in school, and the most deceptive in town. Saki has gone her whole life, since the first time she told a successful lie, tricking people into thinking she's a completely innocent little girl who's never done anything wrong. This allows her to get away with anything she wants, and she especially enjoys getting Fen in trouble when they butt heads with each other. The two have even been enemies since they first met at age three and Saki pulled Fen's tail, he pulled her hair in return, and she managed to get away with claiming he started it. Their feud has even turned into murderous intent, which Saki refuses to hide.
On a lighter note, Saki always has the company of her two best friends, Rachel and Diane, who will gladly join her in her tormenting of others. Saki even greatly admires the most popular girl in school, Fiona, and whoever the mysterious new hero girl, Miracle-M, is.
Yes, Saki was always meant to be That Bitch in the cast. I feel like it's unrealistic to have all next gen kids be friends and get along with each other. It's perfectly believable to have some of them dislike, and in Saki and Fen's case, even hate each other. It makes it more interesting with them being Ben and Julie's kids respectively too. Adds good drama, lol. But anyway, really the only thing that's changed about Saki is her hairstyle and some other slight design tweaks like her necklace, shorts, and shoes. I also just recently changed her colors from purple and blue-ish purple to just blue so that isn't not all three girls here wearing purple. She also looks better in blue and it contrasts nicely with Julie's pink imo. I suppose I do worry about her being disliked since she's so antagonistic and with her being Julie's daughter, I really hope her character doesn't send the wrong message since I genuinely love Julie a lot. It really is just For The Drama Of It All. I think it's really fun to watch her go into full 'Murder Fen' mode too. Very fun to write, lol. Oh right, also Boulais is my headcanon last name for Herve. I just wanted her to have his last name but he doesn’t have one! So I had to pick one for myself.
Name: Jennifer Elizabeth Levin
Voice: Brina Palencia
Bio: Jenny is Gwendolyn and Kevin's daughter and Sven's younger sister. She is surprisingly serious and stoic for her age. She gets annoyed by her family's constant 'abnormal' status and wishes everyone could just act normal with no weird events happening. She throws herself into school work as a means to keep herself out of it and tries to keep her personal life at school with friends far away from her life involving family. She seems to have a quick temper, but really she just acts that way to get what she wants since she knows it works and in the hopes that she can use it as an opportunity to vent her frustrations. She hates getting involved in her brother and cousin Fen's antics, but sometimes her no nonsense attitude is needed to resolve a situation. She has a strange obsession with eating bread, finding it the perfect food and almost always exclusively eating something with bread involved. Gwendolyn definitely worries about her diet, but Kevin finds it harmless.
She may not have the spark like her mother, but she doesn't dare confess that her status as an Osmosian became very apparent just recently. As a result, she has a stash of broken objects stuffed under her bed and cracked floorboards that she covers with her rug.
Jenny went through a decent redesign. Character wise I feel like I still don't have some things etched in stone for her as I still haven't gotten to the point in my writing where she does anything of interest. She could honestly probably end up pretty different from her bio here if I'm not careful, lol. The characters write themselves as they say after all! But I definitely prefer the newer Jenny compared to the previous way I envisioned her character, which was designed to fit a character type I actually hate just cuz I felt it worked for her. Thankfully I can avoid it tho with the big overhaul I did after returning to these characters. And I do like Jenny cuz I like writing her dialogue, but it still feels like her character is still that of a person I would not wanna be around, lol.
Name: Bevel Tennyson
Voice: Dee Bradley Baker/Yuri Lowenthal
Bio: Bevel is the youngest of the Big Chill offspring born twenty years ago. They were in an accident involving a passing spaceship on their way to Kylmyys that damaged their right wing to the point they could no longer fly. It's suspected the wing has severe nerve damage, making Bevel unable to unfold it as well. Their siblings helped them make it the rest of the way to Kylmyys, but over the years, the dangers of Kylmyys left the siblings with only Bevel and the eldest two, Emboss and Curve, remaining. As they got older, Bevel could never forget their only memory of their parent, who the others didn't remember. A desire to reunite with their parent caused Bevel to make the lone decision to explore the universe in search of their parent.
Bevel is a very cheerful and sweet person, but their secluded upbringing and lack of knowledge about Earth makes them very naive. They will believe anything they are told and have a very black and white moral view due to not understanding nuance. They have strange habits that appear unnatural in their attempt to act human and have an intense craving for Earth candy. They have also taken up being a mercenary to get by after leaving Kylmyys and once they join the Tennyson family, Rook suggests they use the skills they've picked up to become a Plumber, but that's an idea Ben isn't fully onboard with.
Right off the bat I want to shout out that his old human design used to keep the Necrofriggian antennae. I still think it's a cute design even tho it wasn't canon compliant with the antennae. The only things that have changed about him too are just that, his hair style, and his shoes. Plus I stuck bunny ears on his hoodie recently as a shout out to those antennae he used to have. Otherwise he's always been the same. And I guess I haven't explained why he has a human form, but that's also an answer to discover later. I didn't draw his Necrofriggian form tho cuz we should all know what the UAF design looks like(and yes I am screwing with art style difference bullshit cuz OV Big Chill is not real and you cannot convince me otherwise). And I also just realized his pronouns aren't matching up in this section so I should add his official pronouns are he/they, but characters refer to him by he/him and narration uses they/them. He is still a Necrofriggian and therefore doesn't do the whole gender thing after all. Which is why he's fine with anyone viewing him as whatever they want to too. He just goes with it. That's also why he doesn't get what's weird about him calling Ben 'Mother' after he learned the word, lol.
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I was thinking about associations and possible inspirations for the Creeper and I remembered an article I read a long while ago. It wasn’t suppose to be a made up story but rather a real account about a man who was kept as a medical experiment due to his bizarre eating habits. I’m not easily creeped out but this actually disturbed me and stuck with me for the simple fact that this was suppose to have been a real person that existed and honestly a lot of it is just... Unexplained despite extensive ‘research’.
Anyway from memory basically: Back in the olden days there was a guy (cant remember the name) who had some strange unidentified affliction which meant he was essentially always hungry and no matter what he ate he could never feel full. Pretty much he was always starving despite the impossible quantities of food he ate. Thats weird enough but the details are what make it really creepy imo, including his physical appearance ( from memory he was said to be tall and slim but he had extremely thin, nearly non existent lips, an abnormally large mouth and long, hanging jowls. The skin of his stomach was also very loose and flabby, I believe it was reported to be able to wrap around him )
He could fit something ridiculous like 10 apples in his mouth across which I imagine must have looked something like a disturbing chipmunk. Any who, to add to this he didn’t really have a background I can remember, he just appeared and enlisted in the military one day but eventually his extreme appetite caused him to voluntarily submit to being a medical experiment. The Doctors never found out what was “wrong” with him. He seemed completely normal mentally, although he was thought of as quite apathetic. He smelt disgusting. He tended to sweat profusely especially after eating. His stomach would “expand” to accommodate the huge quantities of food he ate, he would sleep, sweat and then pretty much wake up skinny and starving in a few hours and do it all again. He stopped eating regular food as he could never get his fill and started eating animals (cats, dogs, lizards, eels ect ), he would eat weird/gross stuff and a lot of what he ate was ALIVE / uncooked and he tended to like to just swallow things. He began drinking blood and attempting to eat pieces of bodies from the hospital morgue but what eventually got him banished from the hospital was a baby went missing and it was believed he ate it.
He vanished for a while after that and when he appeared again he was dying and eventually did die. Doctor’s examined his body/remains extensively. Apparently his abdomen was almost entirely made up of his stomach if I remember right. Its really disturbing shit and its suppose to be like, a factual, not a made up story. I’d say this is probably the only thing I’ve ever read that ever actually freaked me out a bit, especially because there is just no explanation for it even today.
Anyway, this is all from memory and I might have some facts wrong bc of misremembering but yeah, I started thinking about it and wondering if he could have also been some kind of vague inspo for the Creeper ? I know people believe spring heeled jack was a source of inspiration as well but yeah. Lmao. Rambling bc I’m tired I need to sleep but hmm. I’ll have to try and look for the article on it honestly unless someone else has read the same thing and knows what I’m on about. Feels like a creepy pasta or a SCP thing honestly but I swear it was suppose to be a real legit medical mystery thing.
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