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#i LOVE facebook recommending me books
elucubrare · 25 days ago
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when Phoenix Blue, the President of the United States,
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cutechim · 7 months ago
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wishing a very happy birthday to our honey boy + part 2 of my promised milestone celebration fic rec lists ♡ if you end up reading any of these fics, please make sure to show some love to the authors!
note: most of these fics are mature/nsfw, so be sure to check author tags/warnings! please note that these are just some of my personal favorites; this list is by no means exhaustive, and is listed in no particular order! i had to limit the number of fics in order to keep the list a reasonable length, but i tried to include a variety of aus/genres ☺️
fluff - ☼ | angst - ♤ | smut - ♡
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my recs: sj|yg|hs|nj|jm|th|jk
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easy rebound by @ditzymax​​      ↳ one-shot (6.5k) ↣ college au, fwb au ♡ ♤   
“Yoongi is one of the star players on the college basketball team. You are the head of the cheerleading squad. The pair of you would make the most beautiful (if most cliché) couple on campus, except neither of you have ever wanted anything more than the frequent, casual fuck. Yet somehow Yoongi finds his emotions straying towards dangerous territory.”
« this fic is perfect if you’re looking to get into your feels and wallowing there for a bit. there’s everything could ever ask for from an angsty fic: yearning, jealousy, and just a broken character in yoongi. my heart ached for him, and this was so beautifully written—definitely a must-read for any angst lovers out there who can take it!! »
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cut me open by @hayjeon​     ↳ two-shot (15k) ↣ married couple au, doctor au ☼ ♤ ♡
“This job makes great minds. Literally. Each patient that walks through the doors of the hospital into the Neurosurgery ward need to leave with the best service and help the country can offer. But a 300k salary, 1400 hospital workers, and 14-hour work day can’t make a marriage work.”
« i love everything about this fic: the premise, the storyline, the characterizations, everything. there’s such a rich background to all the characters, amazing world-building, and the story-telling is just so nuanced. this is the perfect dose of smutty + fluffy angst, and i highly recommend it to any medical drama lovers! »
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backstage by @wwilloww​     ↳ one-shot (4.2k) ↣ idol au ♡ 
“With the sounds of the stadium still ringing in his ears, Yoongi just needs to get away — just for a moment. And you have exactly the right idea about how to distract him.”
« this is one of the hottest fics you’ll ever read. i have never read a blowjob so well written, and the dirty talk blasted me into a different dimension, i swear. hard stans, if you haven’t read this, you’ll thank me if you do. and then you’ll want to read everything else willow has written because it’s all this good! »
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the truth between us by @gukyi​ and @jimlingss​      ↳ series (100k) ↣ e2l, coworkers au ☼ ♤
“a book deal should be the most exciting time of your life, but there seems to be a constant and omnipresent damper on your mood in the form of a certain min yoongi, who you would just cut out from your life, if he weren’t your editor. but then, the world shifts beneath your feet, and you begin to wonder if maybe you’ve always been looking at life from the wrong angle.”
« sometimes you read a fic and you just know the moment you finish it, that it’s going to stick with you. that was me with this wonderful piece. it’s the stuff of best-selling novels, and i can hardly believe that it’s offered to us for free. if you haven’t yet, i beg of you to give this a try. i’m convinced it somehow changed me as a person, because reading it felt like a spiritual experience! »
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insemination wars by @prolixitae​     ↳ series (40k) ↣ established relationship au ☼ ♤ ♡
“getting pregnant isn’t an easy feat, especially when balancing work and a stubborn husband. a chronological compilation that highlights the trial and error of good old-fashioned baby making”
« i’ve discussed this fic on my blog many times before, so there’s not much more i can add except that if you like domestic fluff, a well-fleshed out marital relationship, and baby-making, then this is the fic for you. it’s funny, heartwarming, and tugs at your heartstrings all at the same time. »
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all i want is you(ngi) by @jinpanman​     ↳ one-shot (2.5k) ↣ holiday au ☼ 
“Yoongi takes his baby out to sing karaoke the night before Christmas with the two Seoks. It’s a riot with drunken caroling (read: hollering) but he’s so in love that he doesn’t care.”
« the fluffiest fluff to ever fluff! and the cutest oc ever to cute! this couple is just adorable, and you’re going to end up being just as head over heels for oc as yoongi is by the end of this little piece. for a small little pick-me-up, this fic is unrivaled in the warm and fuzzies that it brings me. »
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nine thousand, seven hundred nineteen kilometers by @coepiteamare​      ↳ one-shot (1.4k) ↣ ocean’s eleven au ♤
“you find love somewhere in between los angeles and new york and lose your heart in between paris and tokyo. (alt. maybe he’s the compulsion you can’t seem to shake, the ache that doesn’t fade even nine thousand, seven hundred and nineteen kilometers away)”
« this reads like the beginning of an action romance, promising steamy + angsty sexual tension, with lots of suspension and adventure. we get a glimpse into this lovely world of characters, and it’s all so well constructed despite being so short, that i can picture everything perfectly. this is just one of the most unique and well-executed fics i have ever read. »
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see you undo it by @ve1vetyoongi​     ↳ two-shot (2.5k) ↣ break up au ♤  
“Yoongi was a coward. Three words, 8 letters was all it took to save what you had and he let you walk away. All he has now are his memories and a hope to see you undo it, one last time.”
« if you know and love this song as much as i do, you’re in for a real treat. this nails the melancholy of Undo right on the head; the prose is poetic, the yearning is beautifully described, and the raw emotion is just so palpable. even if you don’t know the song, if you enjoy angst, you’re in for a treat. »
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i’ll float away by @ppersonna​     ↳ one-shot (12.6k) ↣ post break up au ♡ ♤ 
“years after the breakup, yoongi, a successful award-winning rapper with an unhealthy addiction, finds your wedding invite on Facebook.”
« the writing in this is immaculate, that’s the only way to describe it. i don’t think i have been quite as taken with written words as i was in certain parts of this fic, and how it perfectly captures pain, yearning, hurt, and hope. another treat for angst lovers! »
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this tiny space by @ubemango​     ↳ drabble series ↣ parents au ☼ ♡  
“Yoongi was always attractive—your sexy piece of ass, as you like to remind him often—and seeing the tight skin of his back when he undresses further makes the insides of your stomach churn in want: the kind that made you want to fall to your knees, grovel. You love having a kid, but it’s been too long.”
« i am a huge sucker for domestic yoongi, and this little series hits that itch perfectly! i keep coming back to it because this little family is just too adorable and heartwarming. i honestly can’t get enough of this sexy dad!yoongi. »
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the little things by @papillonsgf​     ↳ one-shot (1k) ↣ established relationship au ☼ 
« this fic is like a hug in written form. it’ll make your insides all warm and happy, guaranteed, and in just 1k words. i generally love dialogue packed scenes, but the way this piece flowed was so natural and calming, it permanently expanded my appreciation for more descriptive pieces! »
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after the honeymoon fades by @onherwings​     ↳ one-shot (13k) ↣ established relationship au ♡ ♤
“Growing distant after being together for a long time seemed inevitable, until you realize the truth you and Min Yoongi are too stubborn to come to terms with: you needed each other more than ever.”
« this fic had me so damn invested in this couple, i can’t even begin to explain how attached i was to the characters. i went on this rollercoaster with them as they attempted to mend their relationship, and GOSH it was all so worth it! side note: i’ve always (respectfully) wondered where yoongi got the inspiration for seesaw, in the sense that it’s such a beautiful, emotionally charged song and i love it so much. i love this little au explanation for it, and how well crafted it is, in terms of providing “context” to the lyrics! »
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sweet by @yslkook​     ↳ one-shot (1k) ↣ established relationship au ♡ ☼
it’s a crisp saturday morning and yoongi plans on taking full advantage of it.
« if it isn’t clear by now how much i love domestic min yoongi...this is true fantasy in written form. sexy pillow prince yoongi who enjoys watching you get yourself off on top of him? sign me up and please keep me subscribed forever. »
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chapped by @bangtantaegi​     ↳ one-shot (3.3k) ↣ established relationship au ♡
“having injured his shoulder and unable to perform, the only thing yoongi has to look forward to are your lazy mornings spent in bed”
« this is the softest smut you will ever read and oh-so freaking sweet. i loved how sexy yoongi is, with his sweet, big-cocked self. this simultaneously had me all hot and bothered, while i was swooning and cooing over how lovely of a boyfriend he is. for a cute (yet horny) read, i highly recommend checking out this baby fic! » 
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please be naked (feat. namjoon) by @floralseokjin​     ↳ series (1k) ↣ rebound au ♡ ♤
“rebound sex is one way to distract yourself after a painful break up…”
« if you haven’t read this before, please stop what you’re doing. this fic is an angsty gem that will tear your heart up in the best way possible. again, as a 1975 fan, i may be biased, but this fic captures emotions with the same nuance and beauty as of one of their records, and i mean that with my whole heart. »
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catharsis by @dovechim​      ↳ one-shot (14k) ↣ roommates au, grad school au ♡
“where do you draw the line between fantasy and reality? Yoongi knows he has a kink that isn’t socially acceptable as kinks go. he’s already had several failed relationships in the past tucked under his belt as a result, so when you offer him a chance to live out his fantasy in a guiltless, no strings attached kinda way, what could go wrong?”
« for all my fellow impreg kink lovers ;) this is hot and cute and kinky and did i mention it’s really hot? »
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the early shift by @hobidreams​     ↳ series (21.4k) ↣ e2l, coworkers au, coffeeshop au ☼ ♤ ♡
“your coworker yoongi is always infuriatingly late. except the one time he’s much too early.”
« i thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this fic—the dynamic between these two was so very compelling. it was just the perfect balance of funny and light-hearted, with moments of angst and a whole lot of sexyness to go along with it all! »
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love language by @gukslut​​     ↳ one-shot (5.3k) ↣ established relationship au ☼ ♤ ♡
“Your boyfriend obviously loves you, but his silence has you questioning if he *wants* you. If you could only get past your damn insecurities maybe you could appreciate what you have.”
« this is one of my favorite smut pieces of all time. i love how well the passion between this couple was illustrated, and how it navigated something a real couple might deal with. it all feels so real, but how sweet and loving yoongi is still seems to be right out of a fairy tail! »
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nopefun · 4 months ago
Interview #495: Quince Pan
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q: Give a short introduction of yourself: a: I am Quince Pan, a documentary photographer born in 2000, currently based in Singapore. I am now waiting to enter university to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
q: What is your series "JBM" about? What was the process of making the series? a: “JBM”, my family’s abbreviation of “Jalan Bukit Merah”, is a documentary photo project centred on my maternal grandmother, Lau Giok Niu, her cultural heritage and her HDB flat where I spent my childhood under her care. It is my first exhibited series and also my first serious long-term documentary project.
In 2015, I followed my grandmother to visit her hometown in Fengwei, Quangang District, Quanzhou City, Fujian, China. Bringing my camera along on the trip, I noticed that instead of shooting purely for fun or beauty, I would include certain objects (for example, a calendar on the wall) in my frames because they had historical significance. I submitted those Fengwei photos as my portfolio for the 2016 Noise Art Mentorship (Photography and Moving Images). I got selected, and my mentor, Jean Qingwen Loo, urged me to pursue a project which I could speak authentically about. Through her criticism, I learnt to further prioritise meaning over style. My grandmother and my childhood were topics close to my heart, especially as she cared for me during my childhood and gave me the gift of the 头北 Thâu-pak dialect, a unique variant of Hokkien from the Quangang District. Eventually, “JBM” was born as my mentorship capstone, and was exhibited at the “Between Home and Home” Noise Art Mentorship Showcase at Objectifs in 2017. I haven’t stopped shooting; that’s why it’s an ongoing long-term project!
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“JBM” contains a range of visual styles, ranging from photojournalistic fly-on-the-wall documentations of heated family discussions and visits by distant relatives from China to more tender images of sunlight at the void deck where my late grandfather’s wake was held in 2006. Rituals and festivities are anthropologically significant, so I pay particular attention to Chinese New Year, the Qing Ming Festival and the Winter Solstice, which my family celebrates. I also look at how other photographers document their families: Bob Lee, Nicky Loh, Bernice Wong, Brian Teo and Nancy Borowick.
More broadly, “JBM'' extends beyond photography and is a family history project. Since 2013, I have been researching the Quangang district, 头北 Thâu-pak dialect and my grandmother’s clan. I discovered that other descendants from her clan established an ancestral temple in Singapore, which initially stood on Craig Road but is now housed in a flat in Telok Blangah. I already did some fieldwork, interviews and preliminary documentation, which led to an article I published in April 2021 in Daojia: Revista Eletrônica de Taoismo e Cultura Chinesa. Maybe I will explore this in greater depth in future photo projects!
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q: How did you get into photography? a: When I was around seven years old, I loved to play with my father’s Fujifilm compact. As a young student, I hadn’t heard of terms such as “light painting”, “Dutch angle” and “rule of thirds”, but those were the techniques I subconsciously used in my photographs. 
I entered the Noise Art Mentorship, as previously mentioned. During the school holidays, I worked as a media intern at Logue and as an assistant at Objectifs for the “Passing Time” exhibition and book by Lui Hock Seng. Through these work experiences, I learnt so much from Jean Loo, Yang Huiwen, Ryan Chua, Lim Mingrui and Chris Yap: news angles, editorial writing, scanning and touching up negatives and slides, colour management for print, liaising with clients and issuing invoices, among other skills. As part of the Noise Art Mentorship, I was given a copy of “+50” by the PLATFORM collective, which opened my eyes to diverse approaches within the documentary genre. I started to regularly attend talks at Objectifs and DECK, where I got to know people in the local photography scene, particularly in the documentary tradition.
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q: You also do videography. How do you see it in relation to your photography? a: Videography requires a different way of seeing and thinking compared to photography, because video has additional temporal and auditory dimensions. With photography, I don’t have to think about how long I want a scene to be, what foley and B-roll I want to overlay, or have a storyboard in my head before heading out to shoot. In that sense, photography is more reactive to and receptive of situational contingencies because it requires less pre-planning. 
Also, photography can be a solitary endeavour, but it is quite difficult to make films alone, and the schoolmates I used to make films with have since embarked on separate paths in life. However, photography and videography share the same basics as visual media: composition and sequencing.
Fundamentally, I see myself as a documentarian, and this applies to any medium I work in, be it photography or videography, or even writing. The end goal is to record and share history by telling stories from lesser-known perspectives. Thus, the topics of my video projects are similar to the topics of my photo projects; sometimes I do both side by side! The films I made were all documentary shorts of places which do not exist anymore, such as the Hup Lee coffee shop at 114 Jalan Besar and the old Sembawang Hot Spring before NParks took over the site from MINDEF and redeveloped it. 
Currently, I am working as a videographer for Sing Lit Station’s archive. Thankfully, this job can be done solo!
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q: What or who is inspiring you right now? a: Bob Lee, for being an amazing father and spreading hope and joy to others through his images. Alex and Rebecca Webb, for pairing literature with photography. Tom Brenner, for approaching photojournalism like street photography. Sim Chi Yin, for her international achievements and being both an academic and a practitioner. Brian Teo, for being an eminent contemporary. Last but not least, Kevin WY Lee’s advice, “CPR: Craft, Point, Rigour”, which I try to benchmark my work against.
q: Upcoming projects or ideas? a: Nothing concrete on my mind so far. I am just going to see where life takes me and what topics life makes me want to explore or talk about.
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q: Any music to recommend? a: First and foremost, my fight song: “倔强 Stubborn” by Mayday. A close second, Queen’s 1986 “Under Pressure” live performance at Wembley is a transformative experience. The catchy “他夏了夏天 He Summered Summer” by Sodagreen brings out the grandeur in the mundane. “Silhouette” by KANA-BOON and “Everybody’s Changing” by Keane remind me of the fragility of life and time. I also like The Fray, Kings of Leon, Last Dinosaurs, Stephanie Sun, Tanya Chua, and the Taiwanese indie band DSPS.
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danandphilnews · 5 months ago
Amazon: An Interview with Daniel Howell, author of ‘You Will Get Through This Night’
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To celebrate Mental Health Awareness month in May and the upcoming release of Daniel’s new book, ‘You Will Get Through This Night’, The Amazon Books Team spoke to Daniel about the process of writing the book, what you can expect from reading it and which other books he’s found useful on his mental health journey.
To celebrate Mental Health Awareness month in May and the upcoming release of Daniel’s new book, ‘You Will Get Through This Night’, The Amazon Books Team spoke to Daniel about the process of writing the book, what you can expect from reading it and which other books he’s found useful on his mental health journey.
Amazon: Daniel, Your book ‘You Will Get Through This Night’ comes out on May 18th 2021. Can you tell us a bit more about why you decided to write it?
DH: This is the book I wish I could have read years ago, when I really needed it. Way too few of us understand how our minds work and so we live our lives in a fog of stress, anxiety and overpowering emotions - when it doesn’t need to be that way! Most of us also don’t want to spend our free time thinking about our bad thoughts (ironically), so I wanted to write an entertaining book that uses me as an inappropriately funny voluntary punching bag example of terrible mental health, to tell you everything you need to know to understand how your mind works, and what you can do to feel healthier and happier! The reality is, there are practical things you can do right now that will have a profound impact on your mental health, tools you can learn to manage your own thoughts and feelings and things we should all know to look after ourselves going forward in life. It’s a lean, mean, mental health machine that tells you what you need to hear and let’s you get out there and thrive.
A: You are great at telling your story in video format and have become a YouTube sensation. How different was the process of writing everything down into a book? Did you enjoy the process?
DH: I absolutely loved writing something then not having to stand up and read it out loud to a camera, but then I remembered I was recording my own audiobook so that feeling didn’t last long. The opportunity to spend the length of a girthy hardback, really biting my teeth into a topic that I know could potentially have an incredible impact on a reader, was exciting and inspiring. I really hope readers feel the journey of the book - starting from the ground floor of what your brain is doing, through all the tools, tips and exercises until you feel you can climb the summit of your own mental peak.
A: You worked in consultation with a qualified psychologist in writing this book. How was partnering with a mental health professional? And what did you learn through the collaboration?
DH: Humanity is definitely having some issues around respecting science and experts these days, and when discussing mental health it’s incredibly important to know what you’re hearing is true, and not from someone's Aunt on Facebook. Everything I wrote has been thoroughly reviewed, reconsidered (and sometimes just completely deleted) by the amazing Dr. Heather Bolton, so you can trust that the knowledge in these pages isn’t just a nice idea or an inspiring post - but methods coming from evidence-based approaches that have been proven to positively affect your mental health.
A: There are three key chapters in the book: ‘This Night’, ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘The Days After’. Can you tell our readers a bit more about each of these, and what you can expect from each of these sections of the book?
DH: It was crucial to me that the book was super practical and gives you the important information in the order you might need it. ‘This Night’ is all about techniques you can use in a moment of bad mental health to change how you feel and manage your emotions, so if you find yourself in a spiral you can lift yourself out. ‘Tomorrow’ are the things you can do, day to day, to change your lifestyle to be better for your mind. I go through each category of daily life known to impact how you feel and what you can try out yourself, whenever you’re ready, to see what works for you. ‘The Days After’ are the tricky things we may leave on the back burner, but can be the biggest factors in how you feel - your mindset, relationship with emotions, values, your authenticity and dealing with trauma. In this order, anyone should be able to reflect on themselves and if you take just one thing away that changes how you feel, it’s a success!
A: During the last year, a lot of people have had a lot more time on their hands and more time to be alone with their own thoughts. How can people use the tips from ‘You Will Get Through This Night’ at the moment?
DH: Turns out a global pandemic isn’t great for mental health. For some people it made their problems worse by taking away their routine, support, or trapping them in toxic places. For others, it may be this is the first time they’ve felt depressed by their daily life, or anxious about the state of the world. It almost feels a bit on the nose to release this book as some of the world starts to recover...but I’m glad! All the tips in ‘This Night’ will help you get through dark times day to day and ‘Tomorrow’ is loaded with things that (even if locked down) can be tried to shake up how you feel. I’m personally rereading it constantly and hoping as we reach the other side of this calamity, it can be a perfect time to start a journey for me to really improve how I feel!
A: Are there any other books which you have found helpful for guiding you through the topic of mental health? Can you share with readers what you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
DH: I really enjoyed the classic ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig, as his personal testimony really resonated with my own experience and it was uncanny to see how similar his thoughts and words were to what I expressed in my ‘Daniel and Depression’ video - it goes to show how universal the human experience is and how representation of your struggles can make you feel more supported and less alone. Also ‘What A Time To Be Alone’ – Chidera Eggerue, really imparts the importance of finding happiness within yourself instead of others, and ‘Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982’, which is incredible for getting people to empathise with how seemingly silent struggles can have a huge impact on someone’s life.
A: Can you tell us what is next for you?
DH: I’m honestly excited to get this book out there and see how many people connect with it and hopefully learn something that changes their view of themselves. This is a book I would recommend to essentially...any human being with a mind, so I’m going to be chucking it at everyone and their grandma for the foreseeable future. I always love telling my own stories and trying to make an impact with what I write and the adventures of new platforms and ways to create - so who knows what form my next ideas will take? I sincerely appreciate the support of all of my followers who have been with me on the rollercoaster journey of my life and for being there for me as much as I hope this book can be there for them.
A: Thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions. I’m sure our readers have enjoyed finding out a little more about you and your book.
DH: Thanks. Have a wonderful day.
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naptaemed · 9 months ago
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frat boy! yangyang x female reader
AU: college, nerdy ABG/ABB, friends to lovers
genres: fluff, rom com, a teeeeny bit of angst
words: 12.5k
warnings: swearing, heavy alcohol usage, college antics
synopsis: in which you and yangyang are smart enough to build a machine learning algorithm to figure out love, but too dumb to just talk to each other and recognize what’s right in front of your faces
college is hard enough without falling in love with your best friend
note: the read more cut isn’t working for mobile reblogs, so if you’d like to reblog this fic (which i’d greatly appreciate!!!), you can reblog from this link to keep everything from crashing!
“So, I heard you’re back on Tinder.”
You whip around, jumping at the sudden presence behind you and knocking over your cardboard french fry sleeve in the process, spilling their precious cargo onto the table.
“What the hell, Yangyang,” you exclaim exasperatedly, gesturing at the mess with one hand and removing your airpods with the other. “I haven’t seen you all summer, and you’re already being annoying. Are the airpods not a universal ‘do not disturb’ sign, or are you just deliberately dumb?”
Yangyang ignores you and tosses his backpack onto the floor before sliding into the seat next to you. It’s 1pm on the dot and the student union is packed with people cutting through the building to get to their next class and freshmen using up their meal swipes. The air is full of the promise of a new semester and the greasy aroma of fast food.
“Lucas told me that he saw you on Tinder,” he says, taking a fry directly off the table and popping it into his mouth. Ignoring your grimace of disgust, he continues talking with a mouth full of half-chewed potato, “I thought you said you were fine being hashtag single af.”
“First of all,” you bristle, “I would literally die before calling myself that. And second of all, yes, I’m on Tinder, and I swiped left on Lucas for your information. And third of all, why do you care?”
“Because, I’m your friend,” Yangyang grins toothily at you. “And also, I’m extremely invested in knowing everything that’s going on with everybody. Just call me Gretchen Wieners.”
“Anyways,” you roll your eyes, “what are you doing here?”
“Can’t I hang out with my best friend?” He pouts and holds his hand to his chest in mock offense. “I missed you. I’ve been watching you have fun with all our friends all summer while I’ve been stuck at home in Germany. There’s like, no good clubs in Düsseldorf, and German university doesn’t have summer break, so all my hometown friends were in Sommersemester. I’ve been lonelyyyy.”
He looks like a kicked puppy, a carefully honed skill that he’s been using for years to get out of trouble from his upperclassmen. You see that it’s a skill he’s perfected now that Kun is the president of his frat this year.
“Alright,” you admit grudgingly, “I missed you too.”
“I’m also asking you to be my partner for our junior design project,” he says, taking another fry from you. A blatant act of theft.
“I thought you didn’t get into my section,” you ask, sure that he didn’t because he spent a full hour complaining to you about it last spring.
“Enough people dropped,” he says, “so I switched right out of my 8am section, and now we’re in class together!”
You consider his offer. He’s annoying, but he is your best friend, and there’s the added bonus that he’s also in the same track of your major, so there’s a good chance that the two of you will be able to settle on something interesting for both you and Yangyang.
“Fine,” you say. “But you do all the statistics. Math left my brain about two semesters ago.”
“We’re computer science majors,” he says flatly, “everything we do is just weird math.”
You shrug. “That’s just the price you pay to be my friend,” you say, “I refuse to touch real numbers if I can avoid it.”
“I’ll make you a deal, then,” he says, steepling his fingers like he’s a comic book supervillain, “if you agree to do all the work on this project, I’ll find you a boyfriend.”
You narrow your eyes at him. “Yangyang, you’re single from birth. You won’t stay committed to a girl for longer than a week. I don’t think I can trust you to be involved in any way with my love life. And, why do I feel like I’ll be doing all the work on this project regardless of what I say?”
“That’s irrelevant,” he waves a hand flippantly, “of course you can trust me for really good relationship advice, do you know how many early 2000’s teen movies I’ve watched?” It’s a lot.
“I will consider your offer,” you say, still not entirely convinced. “Why, though?”
“To get you off Tinder, of course,” he says. He steals another fry and you finally take the carton and put it back in the paper to-go bag to keep it out of reach from the human seagull sitting across from you. “I mean, when’s the last time you’ve been in a good relationship?”
“Um, this summer? You spent all night Facebook-stalking him.”
“A good relationship,” Yangyang repeats, emphasizing the second word. “That dude was literally as interesting as untoasted plain bread. Like, a grocery store loaf of white bread, not the nice crusty stuff at Panera.”
You scowl at him because he’s right.
“Anyways, I gotta head to History of Chairs. The frat’s throwing a rager this Friday to welcome the neophytes,” he says as he stands, slinging his backpack over his shoulder, “you should come.”
Your jaw drops. “History of Chairs? I thought that class was an urban legend!”
Yangyang throws you a peace sign and gives you a cheeky wink. “I asked Kun to use his registration slot to hold a seat in the class for me. Looks like I’m getting through my humanities requirement this semester after all.”
You wave a fry at him, mouth open in disbelief as he saunters off. “Come find me at Starbucks later,” he calls out over his shoulder, “we can figure out what we’re doing for our project!”
“Have fun learning about chairs, then,” you say more to yourself than Yangyang. “Unbelievable,” you grumble under your breath.
The Starbucks on campus (or Starbs, as you’ve taken to affectionately calling it after hanging around with Lucas too much) is quite possibly the worst study spot on campus. It’s entirely too loud and always full, and all the seating is ugly mid-century modern fake leather. Worst of all, there’s only 3 small tables, and the rest of the area is taken up by long communal (you shudder) tables lined with uncomfortable barstools.
If it were 2016, you’d say that only basic bitches study here. But it’s not 2016, and you don’t really feel like walking to midtown to go to an actually good coffee shop, so you and Yangyang sit on a far end of a long table, as far away from the chemical engineering majors on the other end as you can.
“Okay, hear me out,” he says, pulling out his laptop, “you know the Netflix algorithm? Like, how you watch one conspiracy theory documentary when you’re high, and then for the next 2 months Netflix keeps recommending weird alien shows to you?”
“Mhmm, sure,” you say, unconvinced that he actually has an idea. It’s probably not too late to ask Jeno to be your partner.
“Okay, so I was looking at this paper that talked about what kind of neural network they used,” he points at a PDF of a journal article, “and I was thinking. Remember how I promised to get you a boyfriend?”
“Mhmm,” you nod, your confidence draining by the second.
“So,” he grins excitedly, “I think we should build a matrix factorization recommender system and train it to be a matchmaker. We can send out surveys to people who are in relationships and to people who are exes, and use relationship status as a proxy for how good of a match people are,” he says, talking almost faster than he can think, “and then we can show real-world application by having you go on dates with the matches. I’m a genius,” he says, leaning back and putting his arms up.
“This sounds dumb,” you say flatly, but his expression of smug confidence doesn’t waver.
“Well, do you have a better idea?”
“No,” you admit, resolve crumbling by the second, “I hate it but it’s a good idea. And, I get to play with matrices. You know I love my rows and columns and eigenvectors and stuff.”
“Perfect,” Yangyang crows triumphantly. “I can already envision our poster. It’s gonna be so cool, we can title it— the formula for love? Love in the time of machine learning?”
“Maybe snappier,” you suggest, snapping your fingers for emphasis. “I still want this project to be taken seriously.”
“Okay,” he rolls his eyes, “but if you named it, it would be called something like ‘the use of SVD matrix factorization to find <Y/N> a boyfriend’,” he says. “It’s a one-semester class project, not a journal submission.”
The two of you settle into comfortable silence while you each think of a perfect name. Then, it hits you.
“Lonely Hearts Columns!” You jump up excitedly. “You know, like matrix rows and columns? Aah,” you shout, almost bouncing in your chair with excitement at your sudden stroke of genius, “it’s perfect!”
Yangyang stares at you for a moment as you grin stupidly at him, kicking your feet in excitement, before his lips curl up into a toothy smile. “You’re so lame,” he says, putting his laptop down to join you in your excited bouncing. “You are such a nerd,” he laughs.
“Hey,” you swat at his shoulder, “I’m cool!”
A few weeks (and more than a few desperate Facebook posts in the school’s meme group) later, you’ve managed to collect enough social media profiles of couples in stable relationships to train your algorithm. And to your utter surprise and Yangyang’s elation, the algorithm works with high accuracy on the testing half of the dataset. It’s only after your eighth iteration (when the accuracy hasn’t improved for three) does Yangyang bring up his initial idea again, much to your chagrin. You were starting to hope that he had forgotten all about it.
“So I’ve gathered the profiles of all the eligible bachelors in the kingdom to select the perfect suitor for you—“
“What? Wait,” you sputter, coffee straw still in your mouth, “Yang, please don’t be weird about this.” It’s 3pm, right after Yangyang’s History of Chairs class, and the two of you are once again in the Starbucks on campus. This time, you managed to snag one of the nice cozy tables after (after nearly wrestling some freshman for it).
As soon as the words leave your mouth, you realize that it’s a futile request. You don’t think Yangyang has been normal a day of his life. He’s lucky he’s so likeable.
“Would you call Dame Julie Andrews, the Queen of Genovia, weird?” Yangyang narrows his eyes at you, tone defiant.
You’re bewildered. “Uh,” you try to read his facial expression for hints, but the only signal you can glean is the usual one, the one that just screams headassery. “No?”
“Then,” he continues, “why would you call me weird for doing the same thing she did in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, an excellent early 2000’s teen movie?”
“I’m not Anne Hathaway,” you wrinkle your nose at him, “and it’s just a few dates. It’s not like I’m getting married or anything.”
“Whatever,” he waves his hand flippantly, “I already processed the data and emailed it to you as a CSV file.”
“Good,” you say, clicking around in your laptop to set up the experiment.
“You know what I just realized?”
You look up over the top of your laptop screen and peer at his face. “You look like you’re about to say something dumb.”
“I just realized,” Yangyang ignores you and continues talking, “if we’re making a matchmaker, does this mean that if the matchmaker strikes a match, we’d be the match’s grandparents?”
“…anyways,” you roll your eyes, “I have the output. I’ll send it over to you to re-process the data in a human-readable format. Or,” you tap your chin, “you could just send me the Python script you used, and I could do that myself.”
“No,” he says, finally popping open his laptop, “where’s the intrigue in that? The pizzazz? I want it to be like a season of The Bachelorette. I’m not just going to hand you a list of dudes.”
“This is a junior design project, not a murder mystery, and especially not a season of The Bachelorette” you say flatly. “There’s no need to keep the rankings secret from me, especially since I’m the one you’re matching against.”
Yangyang ignores you, and you just sit and stare blankly at him while he clicks away, focusing intently on his laptop. His nose scrunches up in the cute way he always does when he’s focusing on something or working out a particularly hard problem. 
Moments pass in comfortable silence, and you feel yourself start to zone out and think about all the homework you have in your applied combinatorics class, and how you already have a computational modeling problem set due on Friday.
You’re shaken out of your thoughts when Yangyang gasps theatrically and looks up at you with wide eyes. You blink at him, and a smile slowly spreads across his face, his eyes crinkling in unbridled mirth. “Oh, this is good,” he says, looking back down at his screen, “the matches have a confidence interval of 2%. Your top match is around a 74, which isn’t ideal, but still pretty good. But,” he says, leaning back in his chair, “you are not going to believe who it is.”
His gleeful expression doesn’t look very promising. “Tell me,” you say, already feeling weird about agreeing to this whole endeavor.
“It’s Lucas,” Yangyang cackles.
Your jaw drops.
“No way,” you say, standing up to peer over at his laptop screen, but he quickly places a hand over the results to block you from seeing. “It can’t be Lucas! I told you, I wasn’t going to be dating Asian fuckboys anymore!”
“He’s not an ABB,” Yangyang says, lifting his other hand to push you back in your chair. Your butt hits the seat, hard, and the chair screeches as it’s pushed back. “I swear, he only looks like an ABB, but he’s actually wholesome!”
“Bullshit,” you counter, “I’ve seen him at your frat parties! I still remember that time he broke down a door because Johnny bet him 5 bucks he couldn’t!”
“Okay, I’ll grant you that, but it’s all dumbassery, not headassery,” Yangyang says earnestly. “He’s actually really sentimental and cries during movies. And,” he continues, “he only looks like a player. He flirts with everyone, but he can’t help it, that’s just how he is. He keeps complaining to the brothers that he just wants a real relationship, and that nobody ever looks past his handsome appearances.”
You raise your eyebrows at him. “He really said that?”
“There’s nothing wrong with being confident,” he says almost defensively. “He’s a good friend of mine, okay? Just… don’t judge a book by its cover. His cover might scream Catcher in the Rye, but on the inside he’s something better, like One Hundred Years of Solitude, or The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
“Yang, you know I haven’t read One Hundred Years of Solitude–”
“But you have read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
You sigh. “And it’s a good book,” you admit.
“Anyways, it’s just for the project,” he continues. “You don’t really have to go on a date with him if you don’t want to, but this is at least better than hooking up with randos, right?”
“Fine, fine,” you grumble, crossing your arms. “You owe me boba, though.”
“Correction, Lucas owes you boba.” Yangyang says. “Anyways. Next week, we’re having a semiformal. I’ll make Lucas ask you to be his date.”
Now, you’re actually surprised. For the past two years, you’ve been Yangyang’s eternal date at fraternity formals and semiformals, purely because he claims he’s too lazy to get a real date. He says that you’re practically one of the brothers so he doesn’t have to put in any effort with you, and you’d honestly be offended if he wasn’t your best friend.
“What about you? Who are you going with?”
Yangyang shrugs. “I doubt that I’ll have any problems finding a date,” he says, “I’ve got girls tripping over themselves to get a piece of me.”
“That doesn’t sound quite right,” you shoot him a dubious look. Nu Kappa Tau isn’t a bottom tier frat by any means, but they have a… reputation.
Yangyang’s air of bravado crumbles. “Fine,” he admits, “can you ask your roommate for me?”
You raise your eyebrows. “Yerim? I mean, sure, I guess,” you say hesitantly, “I think she has some bad blood with Jeno, but I’ll ask. As a personal favor to you.”
“Thank god,” Yangyang reaches out and grabs one of your hands in both of his, shaking it like you’re the president. His palms are clammy with condensation from his iced coffee. “You’re the best,” he says sincerely.
Nu Kappa Tau’s reputation is necessarily bad, per se, but the brothers are definitely notorious. And parties at the house are always a fun time, but they’re also guaranteed to be an absolute mess. Last year’s president, Taeyong, had made attempts to improve the frat’s reputation by abolishing Wednesday night beer pong tournaments and amending the bylaws to require all brothers to show up for Chapter with their elbows covered (after Yuta showed up a few times too many with the sleeves of his dress shirt rolled all the way up to his biceps).
But yet, old habits die hard and a reputation is hard to shake, and it doesn’t look like the current president, Kun, is faring too well, judging from the crushed beer cans already scattered across the lawn and the screaming freshmen congregated on the porch.
There’s even an inflatable hot tub that sits empty out front. (Empty for now, you remind yourself. There’s no guarantees of propriety a few hours later when everybody has had a few good drinks in them.)
You and Yerim are still halfway down the street when you hear Lucas bellow out your name. “Oh god,” you groan, catching sight of his tall figure grinning and waving furiously at you from the crowd on the front lawn.
Yerim wrinkles her nose. “That’s your… date?”
“Shut up,” you huff. “I promised Yangyang I’d give him a chance.”
“Is that why you’re not going as his date, and forcing me to deal with the Nu Kaps?” She has an expression of supreme disappointment on her face.
“Just…” you search your brain for a bargaining chip, but nothing comes up. “Please, as a friend,” you plead quietly.
“Fine,” she says. You don’t see her roll her eyes, but you can hear it in her voice.
“<Y/N> ! Over here!” The only thing that could possibly be louder than the trap music blaring from the house is the sound of Lucas’s voice.
“Come here,” he grins at you from where he and a few other brothers and various randos are milling around a plastic card table laden with red solo cups and beer cans. Lucas is definitely attractive, dressed in a suit with the first few buttons of his dress shirt unbuttoned, exposing his tanned throat and the first few inches of his chest. You can see some freshman girls oogling him.
Lucas is like an oversized puppy. He greets you and your roommate amicably, enveloping each of you in a one-armed bear hug. “Come, take some shots with the new pledges!”
“Yes, please,” Yerim reaches out and takes a drink, immediately shooting it back like a champ without a single moment of hesitation.
Lucas places a solo cup filled with two fingers of liquid into your hands. You don’t need to raise the cup to smell the sickly sweet cinnamon of Fireball. “Gross,” you wrinkle your nose, but you drink it anyway, grimacing at the burn as the whiskey slides down your throat. You lower the cup and cough into your elbow, face twisted in disgust.
“Christ, Lucas, what are you giving them to drink?”
You turn around to see Kun hurrying out from inside the house, a harried expression on his face. “We didn’t make you this semester’s social chair so you could give people bad drinks,” he scolds. “And, it’s only 7. Are you drunk?”
“Here comes mom,” Yerim whispers into your ear. You laugh from behind your red solo cup. “Anyways,” she rubs your shoulder, “good luck with your hot date. I’m gonna go look for Yangyang. Maybe he’ll keep me from murdering Jeno.”
“I’ll text you later,” you slip your hand in hers and squeeze briefly before she disappears into the crowd.
Lucas just grins and shrugs. “I’ve been pregaming,” he says to Kun, as if it’s any justification for the day drinking he’s clearly been engaging in. Yes, despite Kun’s best efforts, the legendary NKT reputation still persists.
“Anyways,” Lucas grabs your arm, “I have a date,” he smiles goofily, showing all three billion of his teeth.
“Don’t manhandle her,” Kun chides him, “you’re bigger and stronger than you think you are.”
“It’s okay, Kun,” you laugh. “I can take care of myself. If he were literally anybody else, I would have punched him in the dick.”
For some reason, Lucas finds this absolutely hilarious. Kun already looks stressed, despite the early hour and the fact that the event hasn’t even started yet. “I’ll go find Yangyang,” he sighs. “I think I saw him earlier in the basement.”
“Oh, no,” you widen your eyes, “Lucas wasn’t lying. I’m actually here as his date.”
Kun stares at you and hesitates for a split second. Then, he furrows his brows, confused. “So you’re not here as Yangyang’s date?”
You shake your head.
“Did you two fight or something?”
“Nah,” you shake your head again, “he’s trying to find me a boyfriend, so I guess he’s setting me up with Lucas.” You shrug. “I’m not mad. Lucas is a lot of fun.”
From somewhere behind you, Lucas whoops loudly at something.
“Alright, then,” Kun says slowly, looking suspicious, almost as if he doesn’t believe you. “If Yangyang is the one orchestrating this… then that’s fine, I guess.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” you say as Lucas reaches out and places another solo cup in your hand. This time, it’s a vodka soda and not just straight liquor.
Kun shrugs. “I’ll let Yangyang sort it out,” he says, before he sees something from the corner of his eye and turns, brows furrowed. “Hey, Sicheng,” he rushes to the side of the house where the boy in question is currently lunging at Yuta, hands out to throttle him while Donghyuck eggs him on, “I told you, you can’t murder Yuta!”
When you wake up, you’re in a very familiar bed with the worst hangover of your life.
Your eyes aren’t even open but the light piercing you closed lids are enough to make your head throb. Groaning, you roll over and bury your face in the pillow. “Yang,” you call out, still muffled into his pillow, “what happened?”
“So it turns out, I was wrong,” you hear Yangyang mumble sleepily from a few inches beside you, nearly jumping out of your skin at the sudden proximity.
Bolting upright, your eyes snap open to see your best friend snuggled in his bed beside you, looking up at you blearily. You hold a hand to your forehead, hoping that the cool skin of your palm will do anything to soothe the throbbing inside your skull, and look around the room. Dejun’s bed is empty and unmade as usual, but besides that, nothing is out of place. You spot your heels and clutch on the floor and the silky dress that you had worn the night previous is draped across Yangyang’s desk chair.
Catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, you realize that your makeup has been removed and you’re wearing an oversized tee shirt from Nu’s spring formal two years ago. Your earrings and lashes are even placed neatly on the desk.
“What the fuck,” you turn towards him. “Did you take off my lashes?”
“Mhm,” Yangyang nods and closes his eyes again, sinking deeper into his bed. “I’m a good friend like that. I even texted Yerim to tell her that you were crashing at my place.”
“Oh my god,” you press the heel of your palms into your eyes and search desperately through your memory bank. The last thing you remember doing is grinding with Lucas on the dance floor of the club as you scream incomprehensibly along to the lyrics of whatever Cardi B song is on. You’re sure that bagged wine had entered the picture at some point too, but you’re not sure when or how.
“So I discovered,” Yangyang says, “that while you’re crazy and Lucas is crazy, and while I thought the two of you would vibe well, it turns out that your chaotic energies amplify. It’s like constructive interference. The two of you were wilding last night. At some point, Kun had to stop you from stripping in the kitchen and microwaving your dress because you got beer on it.”
Your eyes fall back onto the dress hanging off the back of Yangyang’s chair. “I didn’t hook up with Lucas, did I?”
“Oh, god no,” Yangyang snorts, “you were absolutely wasted. Lucas wouldn’t do that, even totally blackout drunk. He was the one who dragged you here. Tried to climb into bed with us, but I kicked him out.”
“Good,” you sigh in relief. “Yang, Lucas and I aren’t going to work out. He’s fun, and he’s in the running to usurp you as my new best friend,” (you ignore his brief noise of protest), “but I am just… not attracted to him. I like a guy who can have fun, but god knows I can’t be the one babysitting him.”
“You’re too baby to be the babysitter,” Yangyang nods in agreement, looking upwards as he thinks. “Okay, I guess we’ll have to call this trial a failure and move on to the second ranked choice.”
“Oh god, I almost forgot we were doing that dumb love algorithm thing,” you groan. “Let’s talk about this in class on Tuesday. Can I just borrow a pair of sweats and head home?”
“Sure thing,” he says, making no action to get up. “You can take whatever you want if you help me study for the combinatorics exam.”
“Okay, so the second runner up for the love of your life,” Yangyang says, grinning at his laptop in the safety of one of the library study rooms, “is Donghyuck.”
“Oh my god,” you groan immediately, sinking down in your seat. “This isn’t going to work out.”
“Why? Aren’t the two of you childhood friends? I feel like that’s a very promising teen drama storyline,” he says, tapping his lip with his pencil.
“I mean, we are childhood friends,” you shrug, “but I feel like he still holds some residual resentment from the time in first grade when I fell off my bike and told Donghyuck’s mom that he pushed me off.”
“Did she believe you?!”
“Of course she did,” you roll your eyes, “and she grounded him for like, a solid month.”
“Hmm,” Yangyang hums contemplatively, “tricky but still doable. Enemies to lovers is a very popular fanfiction trope.”
You roll your eyes again. Your eyeball muscles sure are getting a workout. “Yes, but this is real life. And I’m actually going on a date with whoever you decide I should go out with. And enemies to lovers requires that I actually like him.”
“You never know, anything could happen,” he shrugs.
“Yes, anything could happen. What probably will happen is that we will argue and my blood pressure will rise so much, I’ll have an aneurysm and die.”
“Or,” Yangyang grins at you, “it could be love.”
You roll your eyes yet again.
By the time you sit down in front of Donghyuck with your medium mango green tea (light ice, 50% sweet, with boba and coconut jelly), he’s already halfway done with his own boba. He looks up from his phone to give you a withering look.
“What are you doing here?”
You fight off the sudden urge to grab Donghuck’s hair and yank it, just a little, for old time’s sake. “I’m getting boba,” you say, stabbing your straw through the plastic film with more force than strictly necessary. “Duh.”
Your childhood friend rolls his eyes. “Go away. I’m supposed to be on a blind date, and I can’t be seen here with you.”
“I am your blind date, Hyuck,” you hiss at him.
Donghyuck freezes, mid sip. You can see a few black dots of boba suspended in his straw, like a progress bar as he processes your words. “No way,” he laughs in disbelief. “Yangyang set me up with you?!”
“Yes, it’s a long story,” you sigh. From the corner of your eye, you see a familiar flash of bright orange as a black baseball cap ducks behind the line in front of the registers. “Yangyang is trying to find me a boyfriend. It’s for our junior design project, partly,” (you ignore Donghyuck’s short burst of incredulous laughter and his silently mouthed “nerd”), “but I think it’s mostly because I’ve been complaining too much about my shitty love life.”
“I mean, that’s reasonable.” Donghyuck raises a hand and counts off on his fingers. “You dated that lacrosse player who cheated on you last year, then you dated that absolute asshole, whose life I will still ruin the moment you give me the go-ahead, then there’s all those Tinder dates last summer, then there was that business major with the personality of a boiled turkey.”
“There’s no need to rub it in my face,” you grumble. “I have terrible taste in men, fine. I’m letting our matchmaking algorithm, and by extension, Yangyang, pick my dates this semester, so please at least play along. I’m pretty sure Yangyang is spying on us, and he was convinced that we’d go from enemies to lovers or whatever.”
Donghyuck emphatically gestures at his face. “And I’m the one who has to get dragged into your drama?”
“It’s not drama, it’s just a favor for a friend,” you insist, “and you somehow made it to the top three, that’s why we’re here. It’s not my fault our algorithm doesn’t work.”
Donghyuck is unconvinced.
“Sure, a favor for a friend,” he scoffs, leaning back in his chair. He lifts his drink to his mouth and noisily slurps up the remaining tapioca pearls from the bottom.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, I’m, as they say, sitting on a bad boy piece of information right now,” Donghyuck grins at you. “But luckily for you, Yangyang is my friend, so I’ll hold off on spilling the tea.”
“Alright then,” you roll your eyes, “as they say, keep your secrets. I’ll keep mine, then, and keep letting your mom think that you were the one who pushed me off my bike in first grade.”
“You blasphemer!”
so donghyuck was a bust
Yeah no kidding, if i could, i’d frame him for pushing me off my bike all over again
Just tell me who the next guy is so I can get this over with
can’t wait to finally be done with this and go back to swiping aimlessly on tinder 🙃
i have no professional opinion on the last one
i’ll stay neutral on this
it’s dejun
Dejun????? Xiao????
your roommate??????
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^thats you rn
“Don’t look behind you,” you murmur from the corner of your mouth.
Predictably, Dejun immediately whips his head around and looks over his shoulder in the most conspicuous way possible. You see the top half of Yangyang’s face duck under his menu while Lucas’s head snaps back forward as he pretends to casually sip on his water.
“Is that…”
“Yeah, that’s Yangyang and Lucas,” you roll your eyes. “They think they’re being sneaky.”
“Why are they following us?” Dejun furrows his brows, turning back towards you. “It’s kind of creepy.”
“Oh, it’s definitely creepy. Try some of this baba ganoush,” you motion towards the dish full of dip in the center of the table, “it’s so good. Anyways, I think they’re here to check on the progress of our date.”
Dejun sputters on a mouthful of flatbread and roasted eggplant. “Date?!”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you, this is supposed to be a date.”
“I thought we were friends,” Dejun says, eyes wide, voice tinged with panic. “You know I don’t like you like that!”
“No, no, we are friends,” you hold up your hand, “but Yangyang is convinced we’re going to fall in love on this date.”
Dejun’s brows knit together in a confused line. “What? Why? Wait, what is happening?”
“Shh,” you hush him, offering him another piece of flatbread laden with baba ganoush, “it’s a long story. Yangyang is trying to get me a boyfriend in the dumbest way possible. We wrote a machine learning algorithm using a matrix factorization recommender system and pulled data from the profiles of people in relationships to train it to be a matchmaking system. It’s our junior design project.”
“God, that’s simultaneously too dumb, but also too smart for me to understand,” Dejun says, taking your carbohydrate offering. “So why me?”
You shrug. “No idea. That’s the problem with all this stuff, it’s pretty much all a black box. Dudes go in, match rankings come out. You were the third top match for me, for some reason.”
“Third? Why do I feel offended?”
“Don’t be, the first match was Lucas,” you laugh.
Dejun’s jaw drops in disbelief. “I think your matchmaking algorithm needs some help.”
You see Yangyang peek over his menu again, as if he just has to wear a hat and a pair of dark sunglasses to become totally indistinguishable from a rando on the street. You could recognize that face anywhere. Though, you wouldn’t have recognized Lucas from behind if it weren’t for how loud his voice is, and how far the sound of his cackling travels. The two of them are not cut out for stealth.
“Yeah, but Yangyang is really excited about it. He thinks it’s foolproof. I guess he’s tired of me complaining about going on bad dates.” You lift your straw to your mouth, chewing on the plastic while taking a refreshing sip of cold water.
“So, where did Yangyang rank on this?”
You nearly choke on your water, not expecting this question. “What?”
“Did Yangyang somehow end up at the bottom of the list or something?” Dejun stares at you, as if it’s the most obvious question in the world.
“I–” you blink, realizing that you hadn’t even considered Yangyang as a potential match until now, “I don’t think we included him.”
“Why not?”
Chewing on your lip, you vaguely wonder why you feel your neck and cheeks heat up. “I don’t know,” you shrug. “I guess I never considered him.”
“But…why not?”
You’re not sure if he’s being this dense on purpose. “I don’t know. He’s my friend,” you respond lamely.
“So you’re not interested in him like that?” Dejun quirk a single eyebrow at you, suddenly making you feel dumb for some reason.
“No, I’m not,” you say, but honestly, now that you think about it, every time Yangyang tells you that he’s in love with yet another girl, every time you find out about another one of his hookups through the grapevine that is the panhellenic gossip circuit, you can’t help but to feel irrationally irritated. The thought of Yangyang with another girl always made you jealous, but you had always just chalked it up to jealousy over sharing your best friend with someone else. But then again, none of your other friends’ relationships made you feel that way.
There’s a voice in the back of your head that’s screaming something, but you it’s all garbled, like someone yelling at you underwater. Is this what it’s like to… become self aware?
“Wait, wait,” you pinch the bridge of your nose, “I think I’m having a breakthrough.”
“A breakthrough,” Dejun says, visibly distressed. “Oh my god, you’re having a breakthrough and our food is here.”
He leans back as the waiter fills the table with dishes, announcing the arrival of each tapa. You ignore him, sitting up straight to present yourself as a normal human being.
As soon as the two of you thank the watier and are once again left in privacy, you groan, dropping your head in your hands. “Oh no, it’s all coming together.”
The unexplained jealousy. The way he occupies your thoughts, day and night. The uncontrollable smile that spreads across your face whenever you see him. “Oh no.”
“What’s wrong? I’m so lost right now.”
“Am I in love with Yangyang?”
Dejun coughs on his food, quickly lifting his napkin to his lips to keep himself from spraying half-chewed sausage onto the table. He chokes for a few moments before emerging again with an incredulous look on his face. “What?”
“What?” You stare at him.
“You’re in love with Yangyang?”
“Keep it down,” you hiss, shoving his glass of water towards him, “He’s behind you!”
“But I thought you were best friends with him,” he says in a hushed voice, eyes still wide. “You like him?! Like, more than as friends?”
“I don’t know,” you tell him, exasperated. “And, why are you so surprised? You were the one pushing the issue!”
“What issue? I was just curious about your project!”
“Oh my god,” you bury your face in your hands. “The two of us are dumb and dumber out here.”
“I have no idea what’s happening,” Dejun stuffs an olive in his mouth despondently, “I just wanted an excuse to go out for dinner, and now you’re having an emotional breakthrough and for some reason, Yangyang and Lucas are spying on us. Can I just have some normal friends for once?”
Ignore his mild despair, still pressing on your temples with the heels of your palms to try to subdue the confusing swirl going on in your head. “Do I really like him romantically? Or am I just easily swayed?”
Dejun takes a croquette and puts the entire thing in his mouth. You can almost hear the breadcrumbs shred the roof of his mouth as he bites down and winces.
“Does what I’m saying even make sense?”
“I mean, not really,” he says, mouth still full of food, “but I think I get the gist. You think you have feelings for your best friend, but you’re not sure if it’s real or not?”
You nod at him.
“And,” he points his fork at you, “if I tell you to just spill the beans to him, you’re probably going to tell me something like ‘but I don’t want to ruin our friendship’, right?”
You nod again.
“Okay, I have a solution for you,” Dejun says, reaching over and taking the last meatball from under your nose, “just give it a week or two. If you still feel the same, then it’s probably real. If you hang out with him and realize that you can’t stand him, then everything is back to normal.”
You look over Dejun’s shoulder at Yangyang, who has now given up all pretense of anonymity and shamelessly eats toasted bread with his sunglasses tossed to the side. He catches your eye and grins cheekily at you, throwing up a peace sign.
“Fine,” you say to Dejun. “I’ll give it a try, I guess.”
“Just give me whatever it is you’re using to generate these profiles,” you say exasperatedly, chewing on the plastic straw of your iced americano. Yangyang sits across from you in the library, feet propped up on the table between the two of you.
“It’s nothing special,” he insists, “it’s just a dumb python web scraper, and then I generated a vector of item features by pulling some basic information from their facebook and twitter profiles. Just basic stuff like beliefs and hobbies and club membership, plus some more fancy stuff to look at what people are tweeting about and who they’re following.”
“That’s all really cool,” you say, “and I’m glad that you’re actually really competent, but I feel like your testing dataset was lacking, considering the kinds of dates that I’ve been going on.”
“I mean, you’re right, but…”
“I just want to take a look at it,” you say, giving him your best puppy eyes. You do want to look at it, but you also want to test something out, just an annoying little question that’s been bugging you in the background for the past week. And, it’s missing from his Github, and it’s irritating to you that he’s keeping half of the project hidden when the project itself is a group grade.
“Fine,” Yangyang sighs. “I was going to keep it secret for the drama of it, but I guess I can email it to you,” he says, pulling out his laptop and setting it precariously across his knees.
“Great,” you say, standing up. You pick up your drink and swirl it briefly to mix the layer of melted ice water with the coffee at the bottom. “I’m going to head to my game AI class, then. I’ll see you later in CS 3012 later?”
“Sure, sure” he waves his hand at you. “Have fun.”
Shouldering your backpack, you give him a brief wave before heading out of the library to make your way towards the computer science building.
You think about your past week as you walk, keeping your head down as you pass the student center to avoid overzealous classmates trying to hand out flyers for whatever student organization event or bake sale. Ever since your ‘breakthrough’ at dinner with Dejun, you’ve been hyper-aware of everything Yangyang does. You’ve never noticed how cute his teeth are, or the way his nose scrunches when he smiles, or the way he squeals when he makes a dumb joke.
You had confided in Yerim over glasses of wine and takeout french fries, and she had rolled her eyes at you as soon as you admitted that you might have had a crush on Yangyang. “What do you mean ‘might’,” you remember her laughing, “you’ve obviously liked him for a long time, you’re just too emotionally repressed to realize. Haven’t you noticed that every guy you’ve gone out with for the past year has been a Great Values knockoff of Liu Yangyang?”
You hate it when your friends are more aware of your mental processes than you are.
Thirty minutes later, halfway through your game AI lecture, your hunch is confirmed. It takes all your willpower not to slump forward onto the lecture hall desk, put your jacket over your head, and scream in the middle of class.
The good news is that the algorithm might not be as messed up as you had originally thought. The bad news? Well, you’re not surprised, but you definitely weren’t expecting this either, that you and Yangyang are supposedly a 97% match.
You chew on your lip while your professor drones on, aimlessly scrolling up and down the spreadsheet. Yup, there’s Yangyang at the top, then twenty points below him, there’s Lucas, Donghyuck, then Dejun.
Of course, everything would be so much easier if you knew why the results look like this, or if there was an intuitive explanation, but in reality, all you’ve done is teach a computer to get really good at guessing.
From the corner of your eye, you see your phone light up with a text. Ripping your eyes away from the riveting content on your laptop screen for a moment, you glance down to find a few messages from Yangyang, definitely memes, and one from Donghyuck.
why are you facebook stalking yy during class 🤔🤔🤔
You immediately whip around and look behind you, only to be met with the sight of your friend sitting two rows behind you. He throws you a peace sign, and you roll your eyes before turning back to face the front, where the professor is still droning on in an impossibly boring monotone.
😡 why are you spying on me in class
But i think i figured out what you were talking about on our boba date
dont call it a date
what did u find out tho 😜
i think i have a crush on yangyang
wait whats with that reaction
what do you know that i don’t
tell me!!!!!
Donghyuck Lee!!!!!
;) its a secret
but i’m glad you finally realize that you and yangyang are fated to be in love
omg no i’m pretty sure he doesn’t like me like that
or else why would he be trying so hard to find me a boyfriend?
if we weren’t in class rn i’d roll my eyes so hard, i’d be able to see my actual cerebellum
but i promised kun i wouldn’t interfere so
kun????? Interfere?????
Wtf is going on
You’re interrupted by the sound of general shuffling and zipping of backpacks as people pack up. Turning back to shoot Donghyuck one last withering glare, you turn back forward and start to pack up, getting ready to head out.
As soon as you leave the dim, air conditioned building and enter the sweltering afternoon heat, you head towards the Nu Kappa Tau house like a woman on a mission. Because you are on a mission.
Luckily, when you get to the house, you run into Jeno Lee returning from a run, so he saves you the awkwardness of having to wait outside for a brother to let you in. When you enter the musty old house, you ignore the smell of burnt rice (you suspect Mark Lee might have something to do with that) and head directly upstairs to where you know the president’s room is.
“Open up,” you pound your fist on the door, sounding as angry as you can, when in reality, your mind is swimming with all sorts of confusion and anxiety.
The door opens and Kun peers out at you, his face plastered with an expression of mild bewilderment.
“Oh, hi,” he says, blinking rapidly at you. “Do you need something from me?”
Without responding, you barge in his room and close the door behind you. His room is neat and smells like febreeze and plywood. The ceiling light has finally been replaced, after two whole years of just being a bare bulb after the incident with Taeil, the president before Taeyong, who apparently was a real party animal before he graduated and became the beleaguered PhD student you know him as now.
“You know I’m always glad to see you,” Kun says, sounding like he’s your TA and not your friend, “but can you please tell me what’s going on.”
“I should ask the same of you,” you cross your arms over your chest and frown at him. “Donghyuck let slip” (“God,” Kun pinches the bridge of his nose at the mention of his problem child #2) “that you know something that I don’t about Yangyang. So, tell me.”
“Why is this my life,” Kun groans as he sits back in his chair. “The only reason I ran for president is because nobody else wanted to, and now I’m here playing relationship counselor for all my underclassmen.”
“I want to know,” you insist, ignoring his existential crisis.
“Aren’t you best friends with him,” he says drily.
You bite your lip. “Well, last week I had a revelation. The revelation is that I have a big fat crush on him. So, to answer your question, yes, I am best friends with Yangyang.”
“Okay, well,” Kun says slowly, as if he’s picking his words carefully, “I think you should tell him how you feel.”
Resisting the urge to groan in frustration or roll your eyes, you whine in response. “But I don’t want to ruin our friendship. I don’t want to make things weird between us or anything.”
“How do you know it’ll make things weird if you tell him how you feel?”
“He sees me as a bro,” you insist, “I’m just one of the guys. There’s no way there’s even half a chance of him liking me back.”
Kun sighs, something he’s very good at doing. “Well, I promised Yangyang I wouldn’t tell anybody–”
“Saying that makes me want to know more,” you interject.
“–But,” Kun levels you a steely gaze, “I think if you just talk to him about your feelings, things might not go the way you’re expecting. In a good way.”
You stare at him.
“Now,” he says, turning back towards his monitor, “can you let me study for my exams in peace?”
“Fine,” you huff, turning on your heel. “Thanks for nothing, I guess.”
For someone who so frequently finds herself at the frat on Friday nights, you’re not exactly the biggest fan of frat parties.
There’s a big difference between the Friday night get togethers (chill parties) and their registered parties (way too many people, way too much cheap gasoline-tasting vodka). Either way, half the frat ends the night black out drunk and you usually end up cuddling with Yangyang in his room, watching old episodes of Bob’s Burgers.
You typically avoid registered parties, but you’re here tonight only because Yangyang had asked you really nicely, saying something about not wanting to be forced to interact with the pledges. (You don’t understand this. Sungchan, Chenle, and Jisung are perfectly nice, and you’d much rather be wine-drunk with Yerim than in the over-full frat house.)
Everybody is out on the front lawn, squeezed together like a human pack of sardines, while you hang back in the kitchen with Yangyang, sharing a large bag of hot cheetos. He looks like he just rolled out of bed, but he’s still radiant. It takes everything in you to keep yourself from shamelessly staring at him, pulling him towards you and kissing him.
You presume everything would be easier to bear if you could look at him through a haze of alcohol instead, but you don’t trust yourself enough for that. Not when his lips look so pink and soft.
“It’s wild,” Yangyang says, mouth full, “that we have the budget to throw this party, but Kun still won’t pay to fix that hole in our wall.”
“I don’t think it’s because of budgetary issues,” you point out, “and more because Dejun punched a hole in the wall just to see if he was buff enough to.”
“And he was,” Yangyang nods, “it was great.”
“What was great?”
“Oh, Ningning,” Yangyang’s face brightens up in a grin as a freshman steps into the kitchen, “you made it!”
“Yeah,” she grins back, trailed by a girl in your year you recognize as Eri.
“<Y/N>,” Yangyang turns towards you, “this is Ninging. We went to the same high school in Düsseldorf!”
“Nice to meet you,” Ningning says. “Yang ge’s told me a lot about you.”
“Sure,” you narrow your eyes at your best friend, who puts his hands up defensively.
“Nothing bad, I swear,” he insists. “I just told her about that hackathon you and your CS 2310 group won freshman year.” He clears his throat, giving you a nervous glance, before turning back towards the pretty freshman. “So, Ningning, how are you liking college so far? Your classes going okay?”
Eri makes eye contact with you, glances at the pair, then rolls her eyes. “Drinks,” she mouths at you, pointing at the kitchen island cluttered with liquor bottles. Brushing past you, she pats your forearm reassuringly. “Don’t worry, I’m sure he likes you better,” she murmurs in your ear, before prancing off to mix whatever vodka soda she’s in the mood for tonight.
You frown to yourself. Are you really that obvious? You try your best to re-join the conversation, but it’s hard to think when Yangyang grins so brightly, you can see all three billion of his teeth flashing like stadium lights. And anyways, Yangyang and Ningning are busy talking about their high school memories in Germany, not exactly a topic that you can contribute much to.
As they chatter, you can’t help but to think to yourself. Ningning is the perfect girl (for Yangyang, you add, but the thought makes you sick to your stomach). She’s pretty, she’s petite, she’s funny. And worst of all, you can’t hate her for it, because she’s sweet and friendly and makes Yangyang beam like a lighthouse.
You’re jealous, you realize, gut twisting with the realization. Jealousy is ugly. It’s not a look you like on yourself, especially when you have no reason to be jealous.
Luckily, as Eri rejoins the party, before the kitchen door swings shut, you see a flash of familiar bronze skin passing by. Your escape ticket.
“Hey, Yang,” you brush your hand against his shoulder to get his attention, “I’m gonna go say hi to Hyuck.”
“Oh,” Yangyang blinks at you, “sure. See you later.”
“Yeah, later. Nice to meet you, Ningning,” you wave at them as you head out of the kitchen and into the crush of bodies.
It’s dark, and the bass makes it hard to hear anything, but you manage to spot Donghyuck and make your way to him.
“Yo,” he grins at you, shoving his solo cup your way. You wrinkle your nose at the smell of liquor – whatever mixers he’s put in, it’s clearly not doing enough to cover up the taste of cheap whiskey.
“No thank,” you tell him, “I don’t trust myself to be drunk tonight.”
Donghyuck frowns. “Why not?”
Shrugging lamely, you search for an excuse, but end up telling the truth anyways. “I don’t trust myself to behave around Yangyang. I don’t want to get drunk and do something stupid. Like kiss him or something.”
Rolling his eyes, Donghyuck takes his cup and tips it back, gulping some of the mystery liquid down before turning to you. “Fine then. Do what you want. Do you wanna dance with me?”
It’s not who you wanted to dance with, but it’s attention nonetheless. And anyways, if Yangyang isn’t going to pay you any attention, you might as well have fun with someone who will.
“Sure,” you shrug. Donghyuck grins and finishes the rest of his drink, grimacing as he forces it down and wipes his lips with the back of his hand.
It’s moments like this when you’re reminded that Donghyuck is actually a good friend of yours. You can tell that he knows you’re feeling upset about something, so he doesn’t try any of his usual quips or scathing remarks.
“You’re grumpy,” he notes, his breath tickling your ear as he leans in close to be heard over the sound of music. “Does it have anything to do with your big fat crush?”
“No,” you lie stubbornly, hooking an arm around the back of his neck. “I’m not grumpy.”
“Oh come on,” you can hear the eye roll in his voice, “you came out of that kitchen frowning so hard, I thought your face was going to rip in half for a smaller, stronger you to emerge.”
“Shut up,” you scowl, but then you give up the pretense. “Fine. I was jealous, okay? Yangyang was talking to a girl.”
“Ooh, extremely juicy,” Donghyuck grins at you, hands firmly on your hips. “Was there a catfight?”
“Don’t be sexist, Hyuck.” You scowl harder, then remember what he said about how hard you were frowning, and carefully rearrange your face into a neutral expression. “She’s better for him than I am. I didn’t do anything, I just left before I could get too bummed out.”
Donghyuck raises a perfect eyebrow at you. “Doesn’t look like that worked.”
“That’s why I’m dancing with you.”
“The only good decision you’ve made tonight,” he grins at you. “You should talk to him, you know. About your giant crush on him. I feel like it won’t go as bad as you think it will.”
“Why do I feel like everybody is telling me that,” you complain. “I don’t wanna ruin our friendship.”
Donghyuck’s eyes flick to the side, like he’s noticing something going on behind him. You turn to see what he’s looking at, but he stops you with a hand on your jaw, his fingertips curling into your hair.
“We’ll see about that,” he smirks at you, and then suddenly, he’s kissing you.
You’re taken off guard by his abrupt action and freeze, not sure of what to do, because Donghyuck is kissing you. Hyuck, who once said that he would rather eat dirt than kiss you, a sentiment that’s returned tenfold by you.
“Hey!” You’re shaken out of your thoughts by Yangyang’s voice as Donghyuck abruptly pulls away from you. You turn and see Yangyang approaching, his face set with unbridled furor. “Back off,” he snarls at Donghyuck, shoving his shoulder. He smells like liquor and his cheeks are flushed pink.
Donghyuck stumbles backwards a few steps, clearly surprised at Yangyang’s sudden reaction. “Woah,” he puts his hands up, “chill out, dude.”
“Yang, you’re drunk,” you mumble, putting a hand on Yangyang’s arm, but he just shrugs you off and rounds on Donghyuck.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing,” Yangyang snaps. “After I just fucking talked to you yesterday.” You’ve never seen him this angry before.
“It’s not what it looks like,” Donghyuck starts to say, the cliche of cliches, but Yangyang clearly doesn’t buy it.
“I walked in to see you kissing her, if it’s not what it looks like, what the fuck could it be?” He shoves Donghyuck again by the shoulder. By now, the squabble is gathering some attention as people turn towards the source of the yelling.
“Yeah, well what were you going to do about it? Keep on being a coward?” Donghyuck cocks his head tauntingly, and with a sinking feeling, you realize that he’s drunk too.
“Shut the fuck up!”
It feels like the world moves in slow motion, and all you can feel is that queasy feeling of watching a train wreck right in front of your eyes, until, mercifully, a hand encloses around Yangyang’s wrist, yanking his arm to the side.
“Stop this,” Kun hisses, glowering at both of them with a truly terrifying expression on his face. At the sight of him, Yangyang immediately deflates. You look towards Donghyuck and see him being dragged towards the kitchen by Johnny, undoubtedly to get a drink of water.
“Yang,” you frown, tugging at his arm, “let’s go out back.”
Yangyang’s eyes are still wide and he still looks angry, but he follows you as you lead him away from the party. Glancing backwards, you catch Kun’s eye and silently mouth “thank you”. You’re going to need to buy him a drink.
The cooler air of the night seems to calm Yangyang down a bit as the two of you step out the back door and onto the concrete steps leading down to the basketball court and alley. The music blasting from inside is muted and muffled out here, reduced to the sound of the house vibrating with bass.
You round on Yangyang, the events that had just transpired only now really setting in. “What,” you glare at him, “the fuck, was that?!”
Yangyang doesn’t respond. Swaying slightly, he scowls at you and only asks a question in response. “Why were you kissing him?”
Losing your temper, the words come out faster than you can think. “What does it matter to you who I kiss? It’s not like we’re dating! You don’t get to tell me who I can or can’t kiss!”
“Fine,” he slurs, still frowning stubbornly, “if you like him so much, go date him then.”
“I don’t like him,” you say to Yangyang, emphasizing each word.
“Then why were you kissing him?”
“It’s–I don’t know,” you sigh, frustrated.
“Then how do you know you don’t like him,” Yangyang points out.
“Because–” you’re so upset, you blink back tears. “Because I like you, okay? I like you, Yangyang,” you blurt out, finally cracking, tears spilling down your cheeks, “more than just as a friend. I really like you and I’ve just been too scared to tell you this whole time.”
Yangyang stares at you blankly, mouth slightly agape. You roughly wipe your cheeks with your hands, not caring if your makeup gets smudged. “Say something, Yangyang,” you plead. “Please.”
But he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he just turns and walks back inside the house without another word.
The week that follows is worse than a breakup.
You’ve never realized how ingrained Yangyang was in your everyday life until it’s suddenly gone, and you’re faced with the ever-present Yangyang-shaped hole. It’s like an open wound that you keep brushing against, the constant ache of knowing that you fucked up, that everything is fucked up, and now you’ve lost your best friend.
You try your best to go through your normal routine, but it’s hard when everything reminds you of him and sends pangs right into your heart. Your whole life is a constant reminder of Yangyang. It’s when he doesn’t show up to junior design lab and you’re left to sit alone for an hour do you finally break.
As soon as you get back to your apartment, you collapse on the couch and cover yourself with a blanket and vow not to get up until you die. Or until you eventually have to go to class for an exam, whichever comes first.
In the entire week, the only time you get dressed and leave the comfort of your bed or couch is when Donghyuck takes you out for boba. He pays for your mango green tea (light ice, 50% sweet, with boba and coconut jelly) and hands you a box of macarons from the expensive french bakery down the street from the business building.
You stare down at the pink macarons dusted with gold flakes. Then, you look back up at Donghyuck.
“I’m here to apologize,” he says sincerely, “for the way I acted that night. I was drunk and didn’t know what I was doing, but that’s no excuse.”
A week ago, you would have expected the heat death of the universe to occur before you got a sincere apology out of Donghyuck.
“Thank you,” you tell him, trying your best to convey sincerity in your voice. “I accept your apology. Is…” you hesitate, but it’s been eating away at you, so you continue. “Is everything okay at the house?” The subtext in your question is clear. Is Yangyang okay?
Donghyuck shrugs. “I mean, I talked to him after and we’re chill again. Explained that the kiss didn’t mean anything, and that I initiated it and I was drunk. Actually, the reason he was so pissed at me was because he and I talked a few nights before the party and he told me ab–,” he catches himself mid-word and pauses, like he’s considering his words. You stare at him blankly, not quite having the energy to dig further. “Uh,” he backtracks, “nevermind.”
“What happened that night, though?” He peers at you curiously, “Yangyang’s been holed up in his room all day. I don’t think he’s been to any of his classes. I saw Dejun bringing food up to his room the other day.”
You blink, furiously willing the tears just behind your eyeballs to dry up and go away. You’ve cried enough this past week, replaying that moment over and over again in your head. You’re a grown adult, you’re too old to be crying over fuckboys like Yangyang. But he’s more than that, a voice in your head says. He’s everything to you.
Sighing heavily, you slump forward, resting your chin in the palms of your hands. “I took him outside and… I told him I liked him.”
Donghyuck’s eyebrows shoot up all the way and disappear in his sand-colored bangs. “Oh, hell yeah! I’m proud of you! What’d he say?”
You stare at him miserably.
“O..oh,” Donghyuck reads your expression and connects the dots. “Didn’t go well?”
“He didn’t say anything,” you sniffle. “He just turned and left. And since then, he’s ghosted me.”
“Oh,” Donghyuck frowns, “that’s a dick move.”
You shrug. He’s right. But you’re not mad at Yangyang, only at yourself. “It’s my fault,” you say dejectedly. “I shouldn’t have said anything. We had a good thing and I ruined it.”
Donghyuck’s frown deepens. “I would say that Yangyang ruined it by reacting like a dick,” he points out.
“Maybe so. But I still had to go and spill the beans and put him in that position,” you respond gloomily. “It’s my fault, and I feel terrible.”
Donghyuck sips on his boba pensively, his eyes unfocused and gazing into the middle distance vaguely as he weighs over something in his head. You watch him, not really interested in talking that much more about how you had pushed away the best person in your life.
Placing a hand over your forearm reassuringly, Donghyuck leans in and looks you in the eye. “Everything will work out,” he says, “I promise.”
You smile at him. “You’re a really good friend, Donghyuck Lee.”
#Nu city in the houseeeeeee
[menace #1]
yangyang 📣
[menace #2]
what’s up?
[menace #1]
this is a public callout for yangyang liu
ooh spill the tea
jaehyun did you steal my face masks?????????????? imma fight u 🤪
[menace #1]
shut up yuta i’m trying to shame yangyang
[menace #2]
[menace #1]
i had boba with <Y/N>  today
[menace #2]
O fuck
[menace #1]
she told me that she confessed to you and you just straight up ignored her and ghosted her?
wtf yangyang i raised you better than this
really??? after you’ve been secretly in love with her for,,,, like, forever??!
yikes 😬😬😬😬😬😬
[menace #1]
drag this bitch
then tell him to go talk to her before he loses her completely
Yangyang, I’m really disappointed in you. You know better than to do something like this.
[menace #2]
I know kun, i just… freaked out, okay? And now she probably hates me
There’s nothing i can do
[menace #1]
ummmmmmmmmm you could just talk to her
[menace #2]
I fucked up so bad
I ruined everything
Regardless of if she still wants to be in a relationship with you after this, she still deserves an explanation.
your mother’s right, yangyang
Don’t call me that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[menace #2]
Ok ok i’ll do it i’ll talk to her
[menace #1]
[menace #2]
[menace #1]
if you don’t do it by the end of tomorrow, i’m going to go to her and tell her myself. Then i’m going to tell her that she should dump you because you’re too dumb to face your own feelings
i’ll also kick you out of the frat
No you won’t
[menace #1]
i’ll also kick ur ass
[menace #2]
I’ll do it, then
i’m crying in the club rn
my baby yangyang is learning emotional maturity
now that that’s done
jaehyun drop ur location
pick up ur phone and fight me
pick up
By the time Saturday rolls around, you’ve listened to enough Beyonce (Yerim had to forcibly tell you to stop after you had listened to the Lemonade album on repeat for three days straight) and eaten enough junk food to move from the denial stage to anger.
“You’re right,” you say through a mouthful of raw cookie dough, “I don’t need a man.”
Yerim nods sagely, still scrolling through Netflix in search of something interesting to watch that won’t make you burst out into tears again. “Men are functionally useless,” she tells you. You nod your head vigorously, feeling a surge of righteous indignation that won’t do much to help your situation, but will definitely make you feel better for a while.
“Let’s face it,” she goes on, “if Yangyang didn’t have you to spoon-feed him problem set answers and help him study for exams, he wouldn’t have gotten through the first 2 years of college.”
“You’re right,” you say, opting not to tell her that Yangyang is actually really smart, he’s just not good at sitting still in class and doing homework.
“So forget him. You’re smart and you’re going to be rich someday, so who needs him?”
“Right, right,” you nod, becoming more convinced by the moment.
“All men do is lie and refuse to develop any emotional intelligence,” Yerim announces, popping another hot cheeto in her mouth.
Nodding along, you shovel another spoonful of cookie dough in your mouth and dig your phone out from between the couch cushions. Just as you’re about to reach a comfortable post-breakup(-but-not-really-a-breakup) level of misandry, your heart simultaneously sinks and soars to see a notification bubble with Yangyang’s name at the top.
Yerim continues complaining, but you’ve stopped paying attention to the steady stream of words that comes from her mouth. Instead, you stare at the text on your screen, trying to formulate an emotional response.
wanna go to dennys?
“Um, hello?” Yerim waves a hand in front of your face. “Earth to <Y/N>!”
You look up at her and wordlessly flip your phone outward to show her your notifications screen. She blinks and furrows her brows, squinting as she reads the tiny words. Then, she rolls her eyes. “Denny’s?!”
“Typical,” she huffs, standing up. “I’m going to play some PUBG,” she says as he heads towards her room. “Come back when the two of you are in a relationship.”
Thirty minutes later, you’re dressed in sweats sitting in a booth in the corner of Denny’s, seated across from Yangyang. It’s 1am and there’s only two other groups in the restaurant – a calm before the storm of drunk college kids bound to come flooding in at 2am when the bars start to close.
You’ve been chattering away nervously, eager to fill the silence while Yangyang stares at the table and quietly sips at his milkshake. The moment you saw him, any resentment you were holding instantly melted away – it’s impossible for you to be angry at Yangyang when you’re actually with him. Something about being in his presence calms you, reassures you. Makes you feel like things are fine.
“–so it’s 3am,” you blabber, neurotically stirring your untouched milkshake with the straw, “and it’s just Sooyoung and me in the old law library’s east tower, and it turns out the whole time, the ghost was just Taeil studying for his midterms.”
The uneasy grin slides right off your face when Yangyang doesn’t react, still looking down.
“Yang,” you frown, shoulders slumping. “Talk to me.”
“I’m sorry,” he says abruptly, finally looking up and making eye contact with you. His eyes are puffy too, and he clearly hasn’t been sleeping well judging from his dark circles. “For that night.”
You watch him silently.
“Um,” he fidgets with the hem of his sleeve. He’s wearing yet another oversized sweatshirt and a bucket hat, a Yangyang look if you’ve ever seen one. “Both for what happened in the party and outside. It was a dick move. I was drunk and angry and jealous.”
At his words, your head snaps up, eyes wide. Jealous?
Yangyang continues explaining, “I was mad because I talked to Donghyuck a few days before that party and told him…” he trails off, sucking on his lower lip nervously. His eyes flick back down to the table. “Told him that I…really like you. A lot.” he admits.
Your jaw drops in disbelief. What is this, a Wattpad fanfiction? This can’t be real.
“I’ve lowkey had a crush on you since the day we met,” he continues, still looking down, “but I was too much of a coward to do anything. And you deserve better than me, which is why I’ve always tried so hard to be your personal matchmaker. I guess I was just being a masochist,” he says bitterly.
“And when you pulled me outside, when you told me you liked me too, I just… I didn’t know what to say. It’s like I had been fantasizing about it for years, only for it to actually happen under the worst circumstances. And I just… kind of shut down. And ghosted you. And that was really shitty of me, and I apologize.”
His voice is low and quiet. “So if you hate me now and never want to see me again, I understand. And if you don’t… have those same feelings anymore because of what I did, I also understand.”
“You like me,” you say flatly, mind still reeling at the revelation.
Yangyang looks up, furrowing his brow. “What?”
“You like me,” you repeat, still tasting the words on your lips. “I didn’t know.”
“I… okay, I think I gave Donghyuck less credit than he deserves,” he admits. “I expected Kun to keep the secret, but I thought Donghyuck would have told you by now.”
“God,” you can’t help the smile that uncontrollably spreads across your face, “I’m so stupid. We’re so stupid.”
You reach across the table and swat his arm, your palm making contact with the limb with a solid thwack sound. “Ow,” Yangyang jumps, clutching at his spot with an affronted look on his face. “Your hand feels like a fucking claw hammer. What was that for?”
“It’s for making me pine after you,” you shake your head incredulously at the notion. “Me. Pining after you. And you liked me back the whole time. You fucking jerk.”
Yangyang’s eyes are as wide as saucers as you feel yourself having a mini breakdown in the Denny’s at 1am.
“Oh my god,” you put your face in your hands, pressing your sweater paws into your tightly shut eyelids. “I can’t believe you made me go through this only to confess at a fucking Denny’s,” you laugh, shaking your head at the absurdity of the situation.
“So, um,” Yangyang sounds confused. “Should I… go?”
“No!” You jump up, not caring if the 4 other people in the restaurant are now looking at you. “No,” you repeat at a more reasonable volume, sitting back down. “Don’t go.”
You swallow and lick your lips, staring into his eyes with a steely gaze as you extend your arm across the table and grab a fistful of fabric from the front of his sweatshirt. You’re determined to end this now. “Liu Yangyang. Do you want to be my boyfriend?”
He blinks at you, mouth opening and closing like a fish.
“Don’t shut down,” you say, still staring him down. “Yes or no question. First answer that comes to mind.”
And then, like the sunrise or the streetlights at 6pm, a smile spreads across Yangyang’s face. “Yes,” he says.
You pull him forward by his sweatshirt, fingers clutching into the fabric as you kiss him.
His lips are chapped and taste like his cookies and cream milkshake. You’re sure your mouth still tastes like mouthwash. You think you could kiss him forever.
Pulling back, you let go of Yangyang and let him fall back into his chair, and this time, you can’t help but to grin too.
“By the way, I put your socials into our lonely hearts columns algorithm, and we’re 97%.”
Yangyang’s jaw drops. “Yes,” he pumps his fist in the air, “it works!”
408 notes · View notes
softomi · 11 months ago
now accepting boyfriend applications.
based on my fic idea: you’ve just become newly single, in a drunken fit, you posted a status indicating you’re accepting applications for your next boyfriend. Oddly, three boys take you up on that; sending in their most professional resumes for the position. It seems there’s some fierce competitors. 
next up: literature
It hurt, why wouldn’t it hurt. Your boyfriend of almost two years dumped you over text message with no warning and his reason? He just wasn’t feeling it anymore, what the fuck. Well, twenty phone calls, a hundred text messages sent to him, and a pretty nasty voicemail. The moment you realized just how crazy you were being was when you began pounding on his door at almost ten at night. His neighbors poking their head out to stare, and it really smacked you in the face how stupid you were being.
So you threw caution into the wind. it’s a Wednesday night, your first class tomorrow didn’t start until noon and you’re literature teacher was more of a lecturer so she probably won’t notice if you’re hung over. If anything, you could always ask the guy next to you for the notes.
Thus, you decide to throw back shots to your heart’s desire, sitting in the middle of your tiny studio apartment, on your bed to scream and cry at the romance movie. Love is dead. You groan loudly when your neighbor knocks against the wall, trying to tell you to promptly shut the fuck up.
Halfway through the movie, your mind is already swaying. Your throat stings just momentarily and you sip your cheap wine in hope it’ll dull the shots you had taken previously. When the male protagonist kisses the beautiful female of his dreams, you promptly chug the rest of the wine in your glass. Upset at their love, you wrap your lips around the tip of the wine bottle, drinking straight from it.
“I can find someone better.” You’ve reached a different point in your post break up sadness, you were mixed with anger, sadness, and an overall feeling of I’ll find someone with a better dick.
It’s never a good decision to post on social media while drunk, but it’s a great decision right now. You were going to post a ‘newly single’ status. Just to be nice and not spam everyone, you think you’ll just post it to your private account for your five friends to see. You’ve clearly neglected that step when you press post and it uploads to your public twitter account.
The urge to hurl takes priority over the sudden notifications on your phone. Your hair disheveled as you’re trying to hold onto the toilet, hold onto your hair, and throw up at the same time. The romance film comes to an end once you’ve fully emptied your stomach. You shove all the things off your bed, food falling onto the floor, empty bottle of wine rolled under your bed, remote lost somewhere. You fall asleep despite your cell phone going off.
The alarm jolts you, it causes you to scream, your palm slapping the snooze button and you aggressively pull the wire so that it comes out of the socket. Your head is throbbing and your cell phone is ringing at the same time. Annoyed, your hand stretches along the bed trying to find your cell. When you come emptyhanded, you sit up. Your hand steading the pulsing of your brain and you spot your phone ringing and vibrating on the ground.
“What?” You spit out, not bothering to look at the contact as you try to block out the sun.
“What do you mean what?” The voice snaps at you, “You post about boyfriend applications all of a sudden, did you guys break up?”
Of course he would be the one calling you, the person who loves gossip more than you do, “Tooru, can you like shut up for a second.” Your brain is dying and he’s over here trying to get the latest dish on your love life, “He dumped me okay.”
“That asshole.” He gasps, “Do you want me to come over?”
You look at the time on your cell briefly, “No. I have class all day. If you’re free later?”
“Of course!”
The phone call ends and rather than getting ready for the class you have in an hour, you’re checking your notifications. You have about twenty missed calls from Oikawa, another thirty text messages from him, he even left a voicemail; god he must have been desperate. Facebook is bland, you spent most of your time on Instagram deleting the photos of your now ex, and rarely do you ever get Twitter notifications. Oddly, you have fifteen notifications; all coming from your public account.
haha, boyfriend applications are official open. only taking serious apps lol
“No.” You sit up.
It wasn’t your post that freaked you out, it wasn’t that somehow it ended up on your public account, no you could delete it and pretend as if no one saw it but people saw it.
Is she serious?
If she is, I’m down.
What does serious applications mean?
Three comments, five likes, and four retweets.
And three unread messages.
Your finger rushes to delete the tweet before it can be retweeted even more by random classmates. All was good now. Your finger presses onto the message icon, you’re confronted with the icons of three of your classmates.
The most recent is from Miya Atsumu, a terrible flirt in your biology class. He chose the seat next to you in lab when his friends ditched him and hoarded their own table. He spun around in his chair, shooting you a cheeky grin when you briefly looked at him.
His first sentence was, “Hey you’re cute.”
And yours was, “I have a boyfriend.”.
You skip over his message upon spotting his use of sweetheart in the preview.
The next icon is of the guy in your intro to business class, Kuroo Tetsuro. The first time you saw him was outside of the classroom, you two ended up accidentally reaching the doors at the same time. He lets you go in first and the both of you chose the seats farthest from the board, and closest to the door. Despite his bed hair that made him look like he was going to sleep the entire class, he was a rather studious guy; chill but smart, he was a business major after all.
“Did you understand anything he was saying?” You murmur to him as you grab your bag.
“Of course!” He states, “I don’t look at twitter on my laptop when he’s lecturing.” Ah, he caught you.
Your eyes briefly scan the preview, he’s saying something about a resume and you think he’s talking about the homework assignment. You’re about to click on his first when the last catches your eye.
It’s from Akaashi Keiji. On the first day of class, you were late due to waiting in line for coffee. You awkwardly opened the door to the classroom, everyone turning to stare, and you lower your head, choosing a random seat that now you’re stuck with for the rest of the semester because that’s just how college works. The professor goes over the syllabus and suddenly announces that the person sitting to your right will be your revision partner for the semester.
“Hey.” You stop him and for a brief minute you feel your heart skip a beat because he was absolutely pretty, “Sorry, I’m Y/n. Since we’re going to be partners, do you want to exchange info?”.
“Uh. Sure. I’m Akaashi Keiji.”
“I’m going to be late for my business class. Do you have twitter?” You were never a fan of giving your phone number out. Before he can answer, you’re scribbling your username onto a piece of paper, placing it on his desk before running out to catch your next class.
His message is brief: Did you get my email?
You click his message first; it must have been urgent if he messaged and emailed you. There’s nothing else to his message, his previous one dates almost a week before his current one, telling you that he finished reading the book you recommended and that he enjoyed it.
The screen is pulled up with your finger, alternating apps to your personal email. The subject of his email simply reads Application.
Curiously, you click the attachment he’s sent with no body text. Your jaw dropped, hand placed over your open mouth and a small scream emitting.
“Is he fucking serious?”
His name is displayed at the top, along with his birthday, star sign, zodiac sign, age, even the pronouns he uses. There’s a short sentence under it. I am submitting an application for the position of Boyfriend. You’re internally screaming, blinking fast hoping that this was a joke but his ‘application’ reads like a resume. It lists his education from middle school to his current, his previous jobs, his skills, and his own personal goals for the future.
Your blushing profusely, you want to pull your hair, scream, even throw your phone but you shove down the feelings that want to have you die of embarrassment. You don’t have the energy to sadly explain to him that you were drunk and weren’t serious; ugh and you’re going to have to continue seeing him for the rest of the semester.
You revert back to twitter; your heart suddenly drops when you think about Kuroo’s message. Quickly, you pull up the messages, clicking his and suddenly you want dig yourself a grave because he’s sent a link to a pdf and it’s simply titled Resume. He probably used a resume template and never changed the title.
And sure enough, it’s a fucking professional resume declaring the certain skills he has to be your boyfriend. In fact, like the professional business major he is, he includes a letter of intent; indicating his reasons of interest for the position. It details the little quirks he finds cute about you. You want to break your phone in half with how red in the face you feel.
As you exit his message, you’re slowly praying that Atsumu’s message is just a random flirty comment that he occasionally likes to throw you once in a while or perhaps you’re hoping that he fell in a ditch and you won’t have to work with him for the rest of the semester since he almost blew up the lab station last time.
Nope, it’s a link to a google document. Oddly, you click it. Your heart has sunk to the pit of the earth because when you open the document, you see his fucking name in the upper right corner indicating he’s still on the stupid document.
Fuck fuck fuck. You’re running away from the document, aggressively leaving the page but it doesn’t help that when you end up back at your twitter messages, you can see the three dots, telling you he’s typing.
Morning sweetheart hope you enjoy the app
He sends it with a flirty wink and you stare at it for five full minutes. Curiosity gets the best of you and you click back onto his link, he’s no longer on the same document and you sigh safely. For someone who’s barely passing biology, his document was rather professionally detailed. Damn, he’s on the school’s volleyball team? Weirdly the page cuts off halfway, you continue to scroll until the next title page boldly states: Bedroom skills.
It didn’t help that you were scrolling a little too fast and caught sight of an image showing off his toned upper body. There goes his professionalism.
Your phone suddenly blares low battery, your screen turns black and now your anxiety is through the roof. You jump on your bed, trying to plug in your phone and you’ve just now realized that it is thirty minutes until your first class starts and it is literature. You’re scrambling to find your laptop, you trip on the bag of chips from last night, awkwardly trying to stand as you reach for your school bag.
“Shit!” You scream. You suddenly remember letting your stupid ex-boyfriend borrow your laptop.
You fall to the floor, fingers pulling your hair as you suddenly think about the deep shit your in. First, your boyfriend dumped you, now you randomly have three guys who sent you applications to be your next boyfriend and you’re still going to have to see them for the rest of the semester if you reject them. Lastly, you’re going to have to go to your ex’s place to get your laptop after having made a scene yesterday, and your phone is dead so you can’t cry to Oikawa about the deep shit you’re in.
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aziraphales-library · 2 months ago
Hello there!
Do you happen to have any fics that center around Aziraphale being in a relationship with Gabriel, it not going so well, and Crowley coming in at some point? I’d like to recommend A Bit Of Crumpet by Fyre, it’s pretty much what I’m looking for but I’d love some more like it. Thanks a lot! I love your blog and appreciate the efforts you people put into it!
Hello, here are some fics for you to choose from:
Make It Easy On Yourself by PeturbingPrism (T) (WIP)
Prompt from the Facebook group "Scribbling Vaguely Downwards: Good Omens Fanfiction": "Anyone down to take Couples Counseling and see at what point the therapist realises we don't even know each other?"
Aziraphale and Gabriel's relationship is on the rocks. When Gabriel cancels last minute, a chance meeting with a certain devilish red-head changes his point of view.
Crowley is a journalist who is trying to stop the end of the world. He meets an Angelic man one night and is instantly smitten. Problem is, for a journalist, he is very bad at communicating how be feels.
come on darling, let's be lovers by shoebox_addict (E)
“I love the waistcoat.”
The man beamed at him. “Thank you. I know it’s a rather old-fashioned style, but it makes me feel put together for the day.”
“Makes you look put together, too,” said Crowley, and nearly bit his own tongue. “I mean, that always look very nice.”
Now it was definitely not his imagination; the man’s eyes were practically twinkling.
[Written for the Good AUmens Fest]
Come Set Me Free by Slow_Burn_Sally (E)
Aziraphale, a humble, inexperienced bookstore owner, marries Gabriel, an up and coming spiritual and relationship guru, author of a wildly popular series of books on maintaining a happy marriage in the new age. They move together to New York state to help support Gabriel's flourishing career, and Aziraphale finds himself a kept man in a stilted marriage.
Gabriel inherits a sprawling Victorian manor house up in the Catskills and a faded greenhouse when his father passes away. They hire Crowley, a talented horticulturist with a shady past to bring the greenhouse back to life, and Aziraphale is instantly smitten. He's also dedicated to his marriage, even though he is coming to terms with the fact that it's unraveling. Anyway, it's a moot point, Crowley is straight... or so Aziraphale and Gabriel assume...
Devotion by AnnaTheHank (T)
Gabriel married Aziraphale, not that anyone in their circle was excited about it. They moved away to a new town to escape the 'shame', yet the rumors of their sorted past followed them. Things get interesting when painter Crowley comes into the scene, eager to steal Aziraphale away. But Aziraphale's strong devotion to Gabriel is a problem, one that Crowley can't seem to overcome as the truth of Aziraphale's past starts to reveal itself.
Stuck On The Puzzle by venomly (E) (WIP)
All Crowley wanted was a hot date. He's not too sure how it turned into a rescue mission.
Serpents and Pyramids by boredom (E)
Ever since he was young, Ezra Fell dreamed of adventure. He dreamed of far off destinations and dashing heroes. He dreamed of danger and excitement. He dreamed of exploration and romance. Now, as an adult, his life is much less exotic locales and much more boring political dinner parties with his fiancé, Gabriel Messenger. But a chance meeting with a literary agent might be his last chance at the adventure he sought as a child.
Gabriel would surely support him.
And he could never fall for the brash and abrasive Mr. Anthony J. Crowley.
It was just one silly little trip to find a silly little amulet in Egypt.
Coming into Bloom by pinkplaidmoonshine (E)
Ezra Fell is trapped in a mentally abusive relationship
Crowley has loved him from a distance for much too long.
Can Ezra break away for something so much better? Or will his own fears and insecurities keep him where he is?
- Mod E
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action · a year ago
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#BlackExcellence365 Spotlight: Dee Williams
We’re back with our third spotlight of the year: @shotbydee, a Brooklyn-based photographer. We sat down with Dee as she discussed her creative process and how we can continue to support Black female photographers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did your passion for photography start?
My name is Dee Williams, and I am a portrait photographer with an emphasis on documenting Black and LGBTQIA+ life. My overall goal is to disrupt the white male gaze within the photo industry. 
My passion for photography started in high school. I was influenced by my uncle, who had a point and shoot film camera and took photos of EVERYTHING. The joy that I saw in his face whenever he showed me his developed film is what sparked my interest. In high school, I was that girl who always had a camera on me and had thousands of photos on my Myspace and Facebook pages.
Black female photographers have been pioneering our creative industries but are still hugely underrepresented. What have you found that works in increasing that visibility?
Social media will always be a free and easy way to increase visibility. Consistency works, and the luck of that one huge follower RT’ing your work also helps (LOL). Entering online contests is a great way to get new eyes on your work, from photo editors or curators. Lastly, submitting your work to sites that center and uplift photographers of color. A few examples are Diversify Photo and Women Photograph. I have gotten many bookings via being seen on these websites, or a specific editor recommending me for a gig.
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Your particular shooting style is portraiture. What kind of beauty do you find in portraits?
I love getting up close and personal in people’s faces. Black people are so beautiful! It is honestly a blessing being able to capture the essence of a person’s existence in a photograph. Skin texture, blemishes, eyes, jawline, etc.—I find beauty in everything, to be honest.
How do you embody the mission of #BlackExcellence365 in your everyday work?
I embody the mission of #BlackExcellence365 by waking up every day and doing one thing that brings me joy. In a society with systems in place that want to see you fall down, focusing on your internal joy is excellence in itself. Sharing that joy with others around you is the next step in keeping that going for the whole 365.
How has Tumblr enabled you to showcase your work and connect with other Black creatives?
Aside from being my safe space and favorite social media platform, Tumblr is where my photography gets the most views, reblogs, and comments. I get so much love on this platform. It is my mood board, my getaway from other toxic platforms, and a place in which I have found work from some of the most amazing Black creatives. I’m in my own Black creative world on Tumblr, and I wish everyone could enjoy what I do on Tumblr.
Thank you, Dee, for sharing your talent and your love of portraits with us. Make sure to check out and support Dee's work, Tumblr. What are some of your favorite portraits of Black people? Use the tag #BlackExcellence365 for a chance to be reblogged to Action.
This interview has been condensed for clarity.
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the-dragongirl · 7 months ago
Hello tumblr. I have returned from a long period of inactivity, because I must bring the good word to the corner of the Star Wars fandom that used to be my main fannish home: there is a new era of Star Wars canon that was made just for our taste. It is called the High Republic.
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The High Republic is an giant multi-media project being carried out by the Lucasfilm story group to create a brand new era of Star Wars canon. It is set a few hundred years before the prequel era (so, a long time after the Old Republic era), in a period of peace and stability within the Republic. It currently includes several English language adult novels, a YA novel, two serialized comics, a manga, some short stories, and some short video blurbs published on facebook and youtube. A TV show for Disney+ has also been announced, but is a few years off. This project is unique in Star Wars, in that all of the different parts are being written together by one writing team, and are coordinated to tell a cohesive story. Also, what has been announced is just the beginning – they have stated that there will be three different sections of the High Republic, and everything we have had announced so far is just part one. As a note: this is an era for which there was NO pre-existing canon in Legends, so it is totally new territory.
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There are SO many reasons why the High Republic is worth your time to explore. I will try to outline some of them here below the cut (without any significant spoilers).
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This is the era for everyone who loves the Jedi and wants to understand how they got to the point they did in the prequel era. It shows Jedi at their best: saving people, working together, being completely in tune with the Force (in so many beautiful and original ways), demonstrating creativity and flexibility and being rewarded for it, actually thinking through the ethics of things like the mind trick, and DEALING with their emotions rather than repressing them. It shows us how the rigid Jedi culture was saw in the prequels was a corruption of something that was originally healthy and uplifting. Jedi in this era are allowed to be flawed, and to grow, and have a community that supports them in doing so. This is the Jedi culture so many of us created as fix it fic for the prequel era, but made canon.
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There are some serious problems in the High Republic Era. Without spoilers, the era opens with a terrible humanitarian crisis, laid over the Republic equivalent of the New Deal from US history.  We see a lot of examples of people doing their best to be good to each other, and working for a more just and kind galaxy. They acknowledge that things are not perfect, but people from many different backgrounds (Jedi, politicians, farmers, pilots, business people) work together to try and make things better. I don’t know about you all, but with the darkness we see in the world today, I NEED some of that optimism in my escapist media. The High Republic provides that.
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The existing material so far is structured to really let you emotionally invest in the characters and their struggles. Unlike with many eras of Star Wars canon, characterization is not sacrificed for the sake of plot (though never fear, there is PLENTY of plot). That means there is huge scope for empathy. I’m not going to lie; I cried within the first three chapters of Light of the Jedi, as did several other people I know. It is POIGNANT in a way that feels truly genuine.
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The writing team understands that, in the end, Star Wars is space fantasy. If your space fantasy is nothing but serious, gritty grimdark, it becomes pretentious and unbearable. So, for all that there is some heavy content in the High Republic (VERY heavy content – the Nihil should really have their own content warning), it has many moments of levity that keep it from taking itself too seriously. For example, the High Republic made Jedi bodice rippers canon. Also, characters like Geode exist (yes, that rock there is a CHARACTER). The result is something which honors the spirit of Star Wars, and keeps you engaged without being tedious or ridiculously depressing.
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The main writing team consists of five people: Justina Ireland, Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Daniel José Older, and Cavan Scott. You will note that includes two people of color, two women, and one out Queer person (in fact, one of the writers is all three of those things). This is a far cry from the white-cis-straight-man-dominated writing teams we have seen in the past. And when they bring in other people to the project, they make a point of looking for perspectives that aren’t represented on their team – for example, the manga is being co-written between Justina Ireland and Japanese writer Shima Shinya, and Ireland has stated in interviews that Shinya is taking the lead on the writing.
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That diverse writing team means a cast that looks WAY more like the real world than any other era of Star Wars we’ve seen, in terms of representation. There are multiple characters of color, who are both heroes and central to the story. There are at least five canonical queer characters to date (a MLM couple, an Ace character, and two NB character).  [EDIT: Thank you @legok9​ for letting me know about the NB characters]. Among binary gendered characters, there is a very even balance of men and women. The writing team has also stated that they will be incorporating more representation of disability in the works to come. And the story is so much better for it – representation is included here BECAUSE it makes for more creative, believable, and original storytelling.
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Because of the multiple formats, and the fact that it doesn’t rely on you knowing any prior lore, the High Republic offers many avenues to engage for people with all kinds of needs. Know nothing about Star Wars canon and feel intimidated about catching up? The canon is all new in this era anyway, so you’re fine. Can’t handle flashing lights? No problem – the little bit of video content that exists is totally free from the strobing effects that caused seizure and sensory issues. Need purely audio content? You can still have a full experience of the High Republic with the gorgeously sound-scaped audiobooks. Don’t have the attention span for books or long movies? Then the comics are your friend.
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Between the books aimed towards adults and teens (and their respective audiobooks), the kids books, the comics, the manga, the short stories, AND the eventual TV show on Disney+, there is going to be content in the High Republic that suits most audiences. And that is just what has been announced so far – there is still more to come for phases II and III. This isn’t Star Wars written towards one group or demographic – it is Star Wars for everyone.
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Because cosplayers and fanartists? This is the era for you. We are getting Jedi in silks with elaborate gold embroidery. Jedi with jewelry other decorative elements. Even the practical field uniforms have tooled and embossed leather. If you want to draw or make Jedi that have some of that that sweet LoTR-esque high fantasy aesthetic, the High Republic has your back. (Not going to lie – I am ALREADY imagining the time travel AUs. Put Obi-Wan in fancy clothes!)
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I strongly recommend everyone looking to get into the High Republic (who is old enough to be on Tumblr) start with Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. I alternated between the physical book and the audio book, and found it delightful in both formats. After that, you have a lot of options. You can read or listen to the audio book of the YA novel A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland. You can check out the currently running Star Wars: The High Republic comic from Marvel, or the Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic from IDW. Or you can skip straight to Into the Dark by Claudia Gray. Honestly, there is no wrong order to try out most of the High Republic.
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The High Republic is Star Wars written for people who DON’T want Star Wars to be a good ‘ol boys club for salty white dudes who don’t want to see anything but more of Luke Skywalker. It offers broad representation, and optimistic narrative, and whole bunch of awesome Jedi content. If you are someone who fell in love with Jedi in the prequel era, the High Republic will give you more of what you loved. And if you are totally new to Star Wars? The High Republic is here for you too.
So, go check it. And then go write fic for it (please, there are only, like, 14 fics on AO3, I am dying).
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dramionecommentfest · 8 months ago
Dramione Comment Fest: Assignments!
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THE FEST IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you to all 81 readers and 34 authors who are participating, this is beyond my wildest imagination for this fest 😭 I am thrilled to announce that groups are organized and the fest is LIVE! All you lovely people have until March 15 to read your fics and leave comments. 
A few rule reminders before we begin:
You must leave at least one comment per AO3 chapter
Your comment must include “Comment left as part of the Dramione Comment Fest” 
Based on the emojis, you will know whether to leave your reviewer only WARM FUZZY comments (🥰) or have the option to leave CONCRIT comments (🤓).  A note on concrit (constructive criticism): Authors have requested concrit *only if you have something productive to share* and fic-bashing will NOT be tolerated. For tips on how to give helpful concrit, I recommend checking out this post or this one. And if you don’t have any feedback on their writing, a warm fuzzy will always do! 🥰
A Few More Notes on Fest Structure
Because I really don’t know how to be brief. Okay, so! As this is Edition 1 of the fest this is all a bit experimental. I divided all the readers into groups of 5-6 based on reading preferences. I then assigned each fic to two groups (so each fic will be read by 10-12 people). I’M NOT REALLY SURE WHAT HAPPENS NOW. I’d love for this event to be interactive & community-building-y so I welcome any and all ideas of how to make that happen. Some of my ideas:
Screenshot a comment you leave and post it on tumblr. You can tag the other readers in your group or the author to chat about the fic! Tag this account & I’ll reblog it. You can use my *professionally-made* header image if you like.
Reply to other DCF readers in the AO3 comments and have lovely conversations about the fic there.
I don’t want to admin a Discord server/Facebook group for this fest but do you???? Let me know!
????? Seriously any more ideas are welcome. Tag me & I’ll reblog so other fest-ers can see!
And without further ado....the groups!
Group 1
Readers (AO3 / tumblr): 
Elpiniki / @elpinikikappa
TakingFlight48 / @takingflight48
MellC / @foxfoots
houseofpercypotter / @houseofpercypotter
pandora_rose_xo / @pandora-rose-xo
ln4747 / @ln4747
Fright or Flight by @nztina 🥰
Perfect Moment by @tanchimo 🥰
Crumbling Bricks by @caitlincheri 🤓
A Book Club Tinted Green by @ptwritesmore 🤓
The Two Sided Triangle by @canttouchthis87 🥰
Group 2
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
herelysiansoul / @herelysiansoul
NotAMuggleMiss / @notamugglemiss
BlossomsFlaming / @obliviateandremember
Cassiopeya / (no tumblr)
Cassiopeia_Red / (no tumblr)
The Path Unexpected by @magicaltraveler3 🥰
Fight me, Ignite me by @vofastudum​ 🤓
The Soulmate Test by @thebemoon​ 🤓
Carpe Piscis by @tygermine​ 🤓
Catching the Seeker by @mydearestprongs 🥰
Group 3
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
earlgreyhot / @mydearestprongs
ButterfliesAndHurricanes / (no tumblr)
lonelyhuntress / @dreamerprincessa
Kiwi05622 / @kiwi05622
Ghostlyharmonypenguin / @ghostlyharmonypenguin​
lilhawkeye3 / @lilhawkeye3
Blind Affairs of the Heart by @niffizzle​ 🤓
XXXXII, or: the answer to life, the universe, and everything by @thelastlynx​ 🤓
Temptation by @sweetestsorrows​ 🥰
The Thing About Overthinking by @amarillis39​ 🤓
On Nights Like These by @dreamsofdramione​ 🥰
Group 4
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
beautyberry / @beautyberrywrites
likefireinwater / @likefireinwater
dreamsofdramione / @dreamsofdramione
Athena_5 / (no tumblr)
cnova / @eccentricallyfabulous
LouisaCaraballo / (no tumblr)
Poison & Wine by @xdarkofthemoon 🥰
Fallin’ (Adrenaline) by @leilahmoon 🤓
The Secret Admirer by @faeorabel 🥰
[wet] by @thesuperjane​ 🤓
Bound To You by besmirchedmaiden 🥰
Group 5
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
cupsofgreentea / @mialfoy17
FandomsAllDayEveryDay / (no tumblr)
Worldcrawler / @worldcrawlerhp
internct / @internct
niffizzle / @niffizzle
Cleopatra123 / @callamelli
three questions by @houseofpercypotter 🥰
What Lies Beyond the Light by @her-co 🤓
I know, I know by nevertoosweets 🥰
Rake, Pile, Leap by @beautyberrywrites​ 🤓
Uncontrollable by ButterfliesAndHurricanes 🤓
Group 6
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
JLaLa / @jlalafics
ehlara / @ehlara
maia_scorpio / @maia-scorpio
Jadefrostflower / (no tumblr)
AmyPC / @amypc1
EllieBear / @elliebear75
people fall in love in mysterious ways by @pandora-rose-xo 🥰
Glowing Embers by @o0sarena0o 🤓
Skin Deep by @eccentricallyfabulous​ 🤓
Droplets by @hslades​ 🤓
Late, but Just on Time by @takingflight48​ 🥰
Group 7
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
Caitlincheri28 / @caitlincheri
Curiouserniffler / (no tumblr)
VoltronGal9189 / (no tumblr)
Vofastudum / @vofastudum
PTwritesmore / @ptwritesmore
MrsKissyT / @the-og-mkt
Healing Hands by arwrite 🥰
Moments by @notamugglemiss​ 🤓
Uncontrollable by ButterfliesAndHurricanes 🤓
I know, I know by nevertoosweets 🥰
Blind Affairs of the Heart by @niffizzle​ 🤓
Group 8
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
Breakfast / @whimsyandmayhem
Canttouchthis / @canttouchthis87
Maria81 / @mariakov81
princessofmerchants / @princessofmerchants
ThebeMoon / @thebemoon
millie1213 / (no tumblr)
All the things by @elpinikikappa 🤓
Fright or Flight by @nztina 🥰
The Path Unexpected by @magicaltraveler3 🥰
Fight me, Ignite me by @vofastudum​🤓
XXXXII, or: the answer to life, the universe, and everything by @thelastlynx​ 🤓
Group 9
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
fantasizewithme_0719 / @all-consuming
feelingofthesea / @feelingofthesea
thelastlynx / @thelastlynx
Estesue / (no tumblr)
jukiajukia / (no tumblr)
bri_h / @sheblooms-bri
Perfect Moment by @tanchimo 🥰
people fall in love in mysterious ways by @pandora-rose-xo 🥰
The Soulmate Test by @thebemoon​🤓
Temptation by @sweetestsorrows 🥰
The Thing About Overthinking by @amarillis39​ 🤓
Group 10
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
DarkoftheMoon / @xdarkofthemoon
inwildernessandsea / @inwildernessandsea
thefifthmaurader / @thefifthmaurader
FaeOrabel / @faeorabel
TJ_Dubs / @teacher-with-bad-handwriting
DayaneStyles / (no tumblr)
Crumbling Bricks by @caitlincheri 🤓
A Book Club Tinted Green by @ptwritesmore 🤓
Catching the Seeker by @mydearestprongs 🥰
Droplets by @hslades​ 🤓
Bound To You by besmirchedmaiden 🥰
Group 11
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
peaceisalwaysbeautiful / @peaceisalwaysbeautiful 
Dadosix / @dadosix 
reylomama87 / (no tumblr)
tanchimo / @tanchimo
Wanderiing_wonder / @wanderingwonderuniverse 
Lucysway22 / @goldengirl22 
The Two Sided Triangle by @canttouchthis87 🥰
Poison & Wine by @xdarkofthemoon 🥰
Carpe Piscis by @tygermine​🤓
The Secret Admirer by @faeorabel 🥰
Rake, Pile, Leap by @beautyberrywrites​ 🤓
Group 12
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
Realjane / @thesuperjane
AlmondMilkTeaDoubleBoba / (no tumblr)
chAoticgood18 / (no tumblr)
ARPrexy / @hogwartstrolleydolly  
Amarillis39 / @amarillis39
HouseElfPsychiatrist / @ambystomatidchanterelle
Fallin’ (Adrenaline) by @leilahmoon 🤓
All the things by @elpinikikappa​ 🤓
What Lies Beyond the Light by @her-co 🤓
On Nights Like These by @dreamsofdramione 🥰
Late, but Just on Time by @takingflight48 🥰
Group 13
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
Anilcadz91 / @anilcadz91 
Shinyteef / @monaiargancoconutsoy
blueeyedsue / @blueeyedsue
bethelson / @bethelson
MeganM1977 / (no tumblr)
Glowing Embers by @o0sarena0o 🤓
Catch Me Always by @lilhawkeye3​ 🤓
three questions by @houseofpercypotter 🥰
[wet] by @thesuperjane​ 🤓
Group 14
Readers (AO3 / tumblr):
Smozark / @smozark
SlytherinHermione / @her-co
Ofkingsandqueens / (no tumblr)
whimsymanaged / @whimsymanaged
nevertoosweets / (no tumblr)
ash_robles / @ash-robles
Catch Me Always by @lilhawkeye3​ 🤓
Healing Hands by arwrite 🥰
Moments by @notamugglemiss​ 🤓
Skin Deep by @eccentricallyfabulous​ 🤓
WHEW THERE WE GO. That was a lot. Have fun!!! <3
Questions, comments, concerns, or I messed up a link? DM me or email dramionecommentfest AT gmail DOT com
114 notes · View notes
kumkaniudaku · 7 months ago
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17
Recommended Listening: Understanding x Xscape, Purple Emoji (ft. J. Cole) x Ty Dolla $ign, My World x Asian
Word Count: 2,137 
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If you were going to win an award that afternoon, it’d be for attire, not confidence. Your expertly crafted golf outfit was the only thing willing your feet forward once you parked your car in front of Senior’s golf course.
Black women and men dressed like modern Jet magazine ads waltzed in and out of the clubhouse while you scanned the area for your party. You’d been to your fair share of golf courses, but none as exquisite as The National. Marble accents complemented modern brass finishes and unbeatable views of the city. The desire to take photos for your father was almost too much to shake, but you managed to play it cool. Acting out of place was surely some type of faux pas for the wealthy.
Across the way, Senior sat at the bar sipping a glass of water while thumbing through a newspaper. His furrowed brow was identical to Yahya’s whenever he was knee-deep in work or a good book. The mental comparison made you smile before ushering in a tinge of sadness. For two people so undeniably similar, they were miles apart physically and mentally.
You navigated through groups of young and old alike on the way to the bar.
“You made it on time,” Senior spoke without looking up from a story on education budget cuts.
“I made it with time to spare.”
“You don’t get praise for doing what’s right.”
“Think of how much better things would be if we did.”
Senior paused his reading to take a deep breath and shake his head. You mentally berated yourself for overstepping so soon. Not even five minutes into the outing and you had already committed an avoidable infraction
Yahya I prolonged the unbearable silence as he continued to read through another article, reading each line painstakingly slow while you watched in agony.
“I apologize. That was unnecessary.”
“I’ll ask you again,” he spoke, finally looking away from the newspaper to study your face. “Let’s leave the character right here. We’re here for a purpose, so grab your clubs and follow me to the first hole. I hope your game is as good as you are at running your mouth.” Taking his retort in stride, you quickly grabbed your set of clubs and followed with no objections. “After you.”
Senior found himself immediately impressed though he wouldn’t verbalize his feelings. He watched you breeze through each hole with near expert precision, opening a series of questions at hole 5 during casual small talk.
“Where’d you say you were from again?”
“A tiny town in South Carolina that you probably wouldn’t know.”
“Try me,” he answered while taking stock of his position on the fairway.
“Anderson, South Carolina. Home of Larry Nance and the great Chadwick Boseman.”
“Can’t forget James Kennedy, Young Lady.”
You cocked your head back in surprise. “What you know about Radio? I mean outside of what the movie says?”
Senior remained quiet long enough to take a hard swing. The loud “whiff” of his driver slicing through crisp, clean air didn’t match the stroke’s output. Both of you watch the golf ball sail high into the air before making a landing well short of the intended destination. Senior shook his head at the miscalculation before turning to answer your question.
“Black folks from all over are connected, even without all that Snapgram and Facebook foolishness.”
“I could argue it’s helped, right? How else would you be able to share your granddaughter’s first steps with the whole family?”
“In photo albums. You might not remember those, but they did us just fine.”
“Yeah, but it’s instantaneous conversation and information. Who wouldn’t want that?”
“Maybe instantaneous conversation is the problem. We aren’t making enough time to stop and really think about what we’re saying to each other.”
“Mm.” You let the conversation naturally taper before following Senior to his golf cart. The rolling hills provided enough scenery to keep you interested while you sorted the words in your head.
“I think we may have started off on the wrong foot.” You spoke once the cart came to a full stop. Senior trailed behind in silence, gathering a new club while watching you examine the other golfers in the area.
“You’re rather observant.”
You chuckled and plucked a club from your bag. “I’ve been told. Yahya calls me Eagle Eye when I catch something he’s already talked about ten minutes ago.”
“It’s what his Big Mama used to call his Pop-Pop for the same thing. That man was notoriously late to the punchline.” The nostalgia in Yahya I’s voice caught you off guard though he didn’t see your minor fumble. Something in his retelling appealed to your sense of compassion in a way that you considered long gone when it came to him.
“Let’s not beat around the bush. You have an issue with my presence that we should discuss. Because I can assure you, I’m not going anywhere.”
“Bold,” Senior responded with a sarcastic laugh. He gestured to nothing in particular as you squared up to take a swing and nodded. “And direct. Continue.”
You took a moment to hit a line drive toward the green in the distance, using the movement as an outlet for the unexpected nerves churning your stomach. Both of you quietly watch the golf ball for its final resting place before you turned to speak.
“You are extremely hard to please, and it is literally ruining your family. Yahya does everything in his power, and, excuse my French, you don’t seem to give a fuck. Why is that?”
“What makes you think that my love isn’t what makes me push him to be the best that he can? It may not be the fluff and frills you’re used to in your home, but it’s what he needs to get him to his potential.”
“Did it help you?”
Senior mistakenly allowed a quick moment of confusion to take over his features. “I’m here, aren’t I?”
“You tell me. When’s the last time you enjoyed a laugh with your family or felt like you could You’re carrying a weight that is crushing the people around you, and you don’t even see it.”
“You don’t…” Senior caught his words and bottled them behind his lips. He took a deep breath as he approached his golf ball and took a half-hearted swing. Noticing his misstep, he shook his head. “I’m from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My father, Yahya’s Pop-Pop, moved my mother and me to a shotgun shack to find work when things weren’t quite shaking out back home. He was in and out of trouble and such. Couldn’t get right, but he had a natural knack for building and design.”
A nearby group of golfers erupted into laughter, helping to break up some tension.
“So architecture’s been in the family for a while,” you asked. Yahya I curled the corner of his lips into a far-off smile.
“A long, long time. It got us out of that shack when my siblings came along and into a house with our own rooms and a backyard. But, my father was a hard man. Hard to please, you know,” he laughed, making a reference to your earlier words. “He wanted the best from me, and he made damn sure he got it. I needed that to get my head out of the clouds.”
“You also needed some reassurance.”
“Perhaps. But, what’s done is done. I look at what I’ve built with no complaints, especially when it comes to my boys. I couldn’t be more proud of the men they’ve become.”
Senior’s proud smile almost looked foreign on his face. You’d never seen more than an indifferent expression or the slight twinge of anger smoldering behind his eyes.
Leaning on your club, you kept your eyes forward to gaze out over the course.
“Yahya would love to hear that. I don’t know if you know this, but he is desperately searching for your approval. There is not enough praise from me or anyone else that could replace knowing that you’re proud of him. Yet, as much as he would like to tell you these things himself, he’s afraid that you’ll think less of him for being vulnerable.”
“I could never think less of the boy. Tough love is still love.”
“Maybe for you,” you added, shrugging. “But, what good is continuing this cycle if it’s hurting the children you claim to love and the grandchildren after them?”
Senior dropped his head in thought before looking up with an unreadable expression. “Deuce will be fine. He’s all the best parts of his mother. I...I’m confident he’ll figure out fatherhood on his own despite my shortcomings. We raised him well.”
“Forgive me if I’m overstepping -”
“That has never stopped you before, young lady.” His light-hearted chuckle invited you to follow suit.
“Fair point,” you laughed. “So, let me cut to the chase. Allowing Yahya to just ‘figure things out’ is a passive existence. Yahya says you’re constantly reminding him to take things into his own hands. Sounds like you should take your own advice. Be the parts of your father that you needed at 33.”
Instead of acknowledging your advice, Senior twirled his club in his hand on the way to the golf cart. He maintained an impenetrable poker face that even the most skilled readers couldn’t interpret. You silently hoped that at least some of your words had made it through his thick skull, but you chose to let the discussion meet a natural end.
As he started the cart, Senior turned to you and smiled. “How the hell you learn to swing like that? I know it wasn’t in Anderson.”
“Hey, we play a little golf here and there!”
“Where? Out in the woods?”
“No, out in the Bayou like you did.”
A small smirk crept across your face as Yahya I chuckled at your joke. He sounded identical to Yahya, full of mirth and beautiful melodies.
“The ole Bayou,” he repeated in a thick accent. “You ain’t seen a place more beautiful in your life.”
“Maybe Yahya and I could visit one day.”
He quickly looked over and shrugged. “Maybe. For now, you focus on defending this lead. I think I’m getting back into my rhythm.”
Senior couldn’t make a convincing comeback, but he did show glimpses of a softer, more personable disposition. He cracked jokes on occasion and asked questions that turned the conversation from a therapy session to banter between associates. Your mind traveled to the possibility of civil family dinners or vacations during the ride home. Though it seemed silly to create imaginary scenarios after one conversation, you couldn’t help the urge to see a better future.
Your happiness helped you float into your shared apartment, making Yahya smile when he caught a glimpse of your wide grin and short skirt.
“Damn, girl,” he hollered from the couch with Leche cradled in his arms. “If Tiger was out there cheeked up like that, I might’ve paid a little more attention to the golf network.”
“Oh, really?”
Your raised eyebrow made Yahya kiss his teeth once he caught on to the joke. “You know what I meant. Where you been anyway?”
“Oh, I was just out doing a little golfing...with your dad.”
“Right. That was today, huh?”
Even Yahya’s best attempt at feigning interest, his question came out in a flat drone typically used on annoying coworkers. You dropped your purse and keys against a nearby barstool on the way to his spot on the couch.
“It was today. I think we had a good time,” you answered as you slid your arms around his neck from behind, placing a gentle kiss behind his ear. “He didn’t yell at me.”
“You must’ve kissed his ass the entire time.”
“No. We talked about how great I am at golf. I mean, I kicked his ass.”
“Good on you, baby girl. Bring honor to our house.” In a surprise maneuver, Yahya pulled you over the couch and into the space beside him. “Is that all?”
Silence blanketed the room, allowing the college basketball game in the background to have center stage. You considered your options carefully, weighing the pros of a potential argument against a peaceful Saturday indoors. Yahya turned his attention back to the television as he waited for a response.
“Did you hear me, baby? He didn’t say anything rude to you, did he?”
“No!” You blurted. Taking a deep breath, you slowly slid the remote off the coffee table and pressed the power button. Yahya blinked twice at his reflection on the black television screen before turning to you for answers. Your fingers danced across his thighs to interlock with his long digits.
“I think...I think we need to have a real talk about your dad.”
A/N: I hope this is better late than never. Only two more chapters left! Really striving to have those to y’all by the end of the month.
Let me know if you want to be tagged or untagged!
@earthformelanin @mufasathatniggatho @hidden-treasures21@justanotherloveaffair @jozigrrl @essaysbyciara @chaneajoyyy@determinednot2fall @honey-lamb-k @scrumptiouslytenaciouscrusade @walkrightuptothesun @ghostfacekill-monger @trillistb@shaekingshitup @purplehairgawdess @xo-goldengirl@steampunkprincess147 @twistedcharismaaa @fandomfavesss@bugngiz @lifelover4u @ljstraightnochaser @l-auteuse @itsjustyazz@energy-innerg @lahuttor @sagittariusroyalty@chrisgalore @grandadchadwick​ @blowmymbackout​@supersizemeplz​ @just-peachee​ @itskikilove​ @eyeknowmywrites​ @aanairb​ @blackburnbook​ @leahnicole1219​ @lovedersha​ @cant-decide-at-this-moment​ @jasmindaughteroftheworld​
83 notes · View notes
kaylasbooknook · 22 days ago
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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is the second time I read this book, but this is my first time putting the review up on Instagram and Tumblr. So, I read this is 2019. Story time: I was given a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas from my In-Laws and I couldn’t figure out what the heck to buy with it. However, Starsight was just released and I kept seeing people talk and recommend it on a few Facebook groups I’m in. So, I looked them up on B&N’s website and purchased them and picked them up in store. I just read my original review on Goodreads and I flew through this book in 2 days and found reading other books was troublesome due to my depression (not diagnosed with bipolar for another year at that point), but this book really helped me and kept me on my toes. I really loved the battle scenes back in the day. I still do and I have a bigger appreciation for M-Bot and how hilarious he is. Someone on a discord group said he reminds them of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory and I so agree with that. One thing I really loved in this reread is seeing the growth of Spensa and how far she comes just by the end of the book. I laughed and almost cried at many parts of the book. I felt angry at times at Ironsides. I just love how brilliant Brandon Sanderson is with crafting his worlds and characters. The one thing I do regret from reading this book in December of 2019, is not picking up more Brandon Sanderson books. It literally took me until this year to learn about The Stormlight Archive series and fall in love with it as well as say Brandon Sanderson is my favorite author. I wish I picked up more books from him back then, but I didn’t because in 2017 I tried reading Mistborn and felt eh about it and never finished it and then in 2019 I wasn’t a huge fan of Starsight, which I’m totally looking forward to rereading to see if my view changed on that. I will be reading it in October. Anyway, this book was a great book to finish while I am laying on the couch sick and I loved every moment of it.
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thebibliosphere · 10 months ago
I couldn't find a lot going through your tags so I was hoping you could give me some recs/post this question in case your followers have recs! My dad's friend got COVID and it triggered CFS so now she's Going Through It. My dad asked if there were books/movies/etc. I could recommend that helped me deal with my conditions but I can't think of a whole lot outside of Unrest. If you or anyone else has suggestions, I would love to hear them! Thank you!
I’m sorry to hear that :(
Unrest is the main one I can think of right now, and the ME/CFS community both here and on Twitter are wonderful places. Facebook has some good groups too, but I’ve also had bad experiences with charlatans on Facebook, and prefer Tumblr and Twitter. 
If anyone has any resources or links to places, please feel free to chime in either in the comments or in reblogs. 
125 notes · View notes
nopefun · 9 days ago
Interview #496: Hiroyuki Takenouchi
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q: How did you first start with photography? a: I liked drawing when I was a child, so I started taking pictures to collect materials for drawing, but soon I became more fond of photography.
q: For your photobook "Things will get better over time", why was the book printed in blue on blue paper? And was there a reason for the blank pages in between spreads? a: It was originally an idea from the book designer, I thought it was a challenging endeavor. In Japanese, there is a word called "blueprint" that means a plan or a vision for the future. Together with a large number of blank pages, I think it is a mechanism to inflate dreams and delusions.
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q: I have both photobooks for "Things will get better over time" and "The Fourth Wall", and I love both. I noticed that there are some photos that are repeated across both, but are presented differently. "The Fourth Wall" is full of life and colour while "Things will get better over time" is just one colour and almost faded into the paper. Was there a reason for this? a: “Things will get better over time" comes first in the order of publication, but “The Fourth Wall” started production first, so I decided to make an orthodox photobook and show my work straight. We were focusing on it. I decided to make different books at about the same time, and I thought that I could create a different world by changing the way the same photos are shown.
q: I like how your photos seem direct and honest in your observations. Would you say it reflects you as a person in some way? a: The photograph is from the photographer's point of view, and the subject is confronting the photographer, so I think it is greatly reflected.
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q: You also often include animals and insects in your personal projects, and relate to them in a personal way in your writing. Why? a: I've always thought it would be nice to be able to communicate with things that I can't communicate with, so I feel like I'm doing that in a pseudo manner.
q: In another interview you mention you prefer smaller digital cameras, why? Or what camera(s) do you like right now? a: Because I carry the camera with me when shooting, I prefer something that fits my body better. Actually, I think it's good if my eyes are shutters or if everything can be completed with the iPhone. The camera I'm using most now is the Sony α.
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q: You shoot both personal projects and commercially. Do you feel there are similarities or differences when shooting for either? a: When I'm on a commercial project, I'm sometimes asked to shoot in my own style, and at that time I try to relax my shoulders and shoot in a relaxed manner. But shooting a commercial project can't afford to fail, which may be the difference from a personal project. However, the tension can produce better results than the work. Nobody is in trouble if I can't shoot anything for a personal project that day.
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q: Upcoming projects or ideas? I can't really talk about the next idea, but now I'm interested in video works and writing
q: Any music to recommend? a: I often listen to the early music of SHINJI HARADA.
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his website and Instagram.
Get more updates on our Facebook page and Instagram.
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aura-flare · 4 months ago
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So there's this awesome shop in Norwich, England, that's been around since 1988. Honestly it’s just really cool. Unfortunately it might be closing down soon due to covid (in like 2 weeks), because of the lack of foot traffic. It does ship worldwide, so if you want to support this place do go and buy something from there. 
They accept Paypal, you just have to message them and they'll help you find what you want. They have literally hundreds of photos of their stock.
Even if this place doesn’t survive, I honestly just want to talk about it cos it’s a cool place that I personally think should be remembered. Keep reading if you want to read my ramblings about this place.
So I see you have chosen to read my ramblings, a brave choice. 
The amount of stuff they have is insane. They have over 600+ tarot cards, crystals, incense, jewellery and books. To be honest there's so much stuff in there that I definitely missed something. I mean look at this place. 
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It’s full to the rafters. If you want something, they probably have it. They stock a bunch of incense so it always smells divine in there. 
The lovely woman who runs this place is honestly so knowledgeable. Her name is Naomi and I swear she’s like a walking encyclopaedia about everything she sells. If you like Tarot, she can tell you anything you want to know or point you in the direction of a good book on the subject. She used to do tarot readings before Covid, she knows what she's talking about. My friend asked her if they had and books on ghosts, immediately had around 50 different recommendations. 
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The jewellery they stock is beautiful. Some of it is admittedly on the expensive side, but there are cheap options too. Like look at some of this.
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I mean are you seeing this? I could go on for hours about how beautiful at this stuff is. Look at those flower earrings, they're adorable. 
Have I mentioned the crystals, I feel like I need to mention the crystals. I swear to god they're so pretty.
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There's so many stones! I LOVE IT.
Have I mentioned that this shop is just really nice, just in general. Like when me and my friend brought some stuff from the shop yesterday, we were given free chocolate. People who give you free chocolate should be cherished and respected. 
This isn't a new thing either I went in to buy a gift for a friend a few years ago. It was Chinese new year and I was given themed chocolate. THEMED CHOCOLATE. I love this place. I mean look what was put in the book I brought yesterday.
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It’s just so nice. I don’t really follow this stuff myself, but its just such a nice gesture, you know? I also now have a really cute mini apple. Who doesn't want a cute mini apple? 
So yeah to summarise, I really love this shop. It would be a shame to see it go.
So if anyone wants some pins, crystals or just something really cool, I highly suggest checking it out before its too late. I mean they ship worldwide and everything. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Thanks for reading, I hope you lot enjoy this place as much as I do.
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unironicduncanstan · 7 months ago
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Randi’s Kustom Kandi! (Comes with free stickers!)
🌈💖 Hello, I’m a queer autistic low-income artist selling completely customized Kandi bracelets for $1 a piece ! 💖🌈
😘 Details and how to start your order below 😘
💲 COST: Pony bead bracelets, with colors, b&w words, or plain star beads, are $1 each, no taxes, just $1.00 flat. The use of colored letters and iridescent stars are $1.25. As of right now to keep stock up, bracelets consisting of Only star beads aren’t available to order. Charm options are not yet available, but will eventually be added, and prices may range. This is all just based on how much it costs to buy the beads to make these bracelets! 💲
📦 SHIPPING: Each order will end up with a different estimate for shipping costs, based on where you live, and how many bracelets you order. I ship through USPS and I should be able to ship almost anywhere, but the further away you are, the higher shipping will be. I’m shipping out of Kansas. Domestic shipping will probably start at around $3 - $8, international shipping will just have to depend. If you want an estimate before starting an order, just give me your address and an idea of how many bracelets you might want, and I’ll get back to you asap. 📦
🤷‍♀️ AVAILABILITY: I have a full rainbow array of pony beads including b&w, some neons and pastels too, I have a nice color range of star beads including b&w and transparent, and some iridescent star beads as well, and then for letters I have black on white, white on black, color on black and color on white. A lot of these can be seen in the example image above!  🤷‍♀️
IMPORTANT TO NOTE;;; My pony beads are all around 6x4mm, and the letter beads are 6x6mm. This is considered somewhat Small for kandi bracelets. This isn’t a choice I made to skimp out, this size is actually more expensive and harder to find than the usual 6x9mm, I just very much prefer this size to work with and wear. It’s only a tad bit more subtle, but it fits most people a lot better and I would Definitely recommend it for people with smaller wrists or who are just starting out with Kandi.
🤔 HOW TO ORDER: So basically, how you choose to tell me the pattern you want is up to you, you can draw it out if you want or just try to explain it with words, or whatever else works. Once you explain what you want, I’ll show you what beads I have that match your request, and you can decide what you want out of those options. 
An example could be; “I would like a bracelet with a repeating pattern of red and blue pony beads, with the word PLUR in black on white letters, and two pink stars on each side, just like this!” 
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To which I might say; “Ok, here I have 2 shades of red and 4 shades of blue, and I have plain pink stars or iridescent pink, which ones would you like me to use?” and then I’d show you a picture of all of these colors for you to decide! Once we have all your bracelets planned out, I’ll ask for a few more details to give you your total price. Then once the payment goes through, I’ll start working! Whenever your bracelets are all complete, I’ll send you pictures of the finished products to make sure you like them (if not I’ll redo at no extra charge). After you give the OK, I’ll ship them out! (You can also ask for some ‘random/surprise me’ bracelets if you aren’t sure of any patterns, of course.)
What I have in stock might vary, I will try to update this post as that goes, so please make sure to visit this posts SOURCE instead of a reblog before you start an order to check for availability. Please send your order requests to THIS blog, through PM if you can. If you want an alternate way of communication, contact me however you can and we’ll go from there. I have discord, facebook messenger, email, etc. 🤔
🤷🏻 WHAT ELSE I NEED: When confirming your order, I’ll need your shipping address. I’ll then be able to calculate shipping cost and give you a full price. (Again, zero hard feelings if you can’t afford the price I give, like, bad vibes in the NEGATIVES, been there done that, and I’ll be available if you ever do have the funds, but please understand I can’t change shipping costs, I really would make it free if I could.) After that I’ll ask for your paypal and send a payment request, once that payment goes through is when I start your order! I’ll have to ask a few more questions, like your wrist measurements (or an estimate, since the bracelet is made of elastic it’ll have a decent amount of stretch, but this may warp how spaced your beads are if it’s too inaccurate.), and i’ll need your first and last name (it doesnt have to be a legal name, just something to put on your package). 🤷🏻
📫 SHIPPING TIME: Once again, this will depend on how far you are, and because of c0v1d it may be more delayed than expected. I’ll try to send you a tracking number as soon as your item ships. 📫
📿 CHARMS: If you’d like more options, the best solution I’ve been able to think of for now is that if you’d like, you could surf Ebay, Etsy, Etc. till you find some charms you’d want me to use, and then if you’re okay with covering the cost to get them (typically $5 to $15 for a decent lot) and then waiting a bit extra for me to receive them, I would have no problem using those for you! :) Someday I’d really like to stock up on popular charms to have more choices available, but I don’t quite have the funds quite yet. Thank you for your understanding. 📿
😷 ALLERGY/SENSITIVE SKIN NOTICE: I seal small parts of my bracelets to reduce the chance of breakage. I use a very tiny drop of Loctite Super Glue Gel on the knot. This glue does not keep the beads from moving freely or lock them into place, it’s used sparingly as a sealant. If you ever receive a bracelet that is locked or sticky, I would fully refund you and offer to send another. You can also absolutely opt out of this, Just add “No glue” somewhere to your order. Just be warned that your bracelet will be less protected from breakage. 😷
❗ DISCLAIMER: Either way, I cannot take responsibility for a bracelet eventually breaking down. Kandi and elastic bracelets in general are a bit prone to snapping, but mostly over time and especially if used in rave settings. I use high quality jewelry elastic from amazon, very high rated and recommended by other Kandi makers, and I knot them 3 times, so mine should last as long as they possibly can. Please make sure your wrist measurements are as accurate as they can be, and please be gentle when taking them on or off, just being careful will help prolong it’s usage by a lot. Now if a bracelet arrives broken, I will of course replace it, no extra charge. ❗
🦄 STICKERS: Order 5 bracelets and get one free sticker! Order 10 and get two, so on and so forth in a pattern of 5. The stickers are hand cut by me from large books and sheets, so the edges might look odd but the sticker itself should be unharmed. These are completely random, and based loosely around a scenecore aesthetic. Most are pretty ‘medium’ sized, but they do range quite a bit. 🦄
✍ CONTENT: Kandi, scene and rave culture, is in a general sense, a very upbeat and supportive based environment. I do not want to make bracelets with negative messages on them. I will obviously NEVER make any with hate speech or rude remarks, but beyond that, please keep your phrases positive. If you want something thats meant to fight hate, like “kill all n*zis” or something, I'm not opposed to that as it’s for justice, it’s just that most Kandi is focused on ‘happy party vibe’ messages. As far as media or interests, like if you want a bracelet that says “Gir” or “100 gecs”, or uses ship names, etc. I will not deny you any interest you choose. BUT, I am personally uncomfortable with d.dl/g and won’t make bracelets based on that, nor will I ever make bracelets supporting ped0ph1lic or 1ncestu0us content, including if they’re based on medias or fictional ships. As far as pride bracelets, I would LOVE to make those for you, and I will Never deny working with your identity, pronouns, etc. once again, unless it’s a p/ed0 flag or something. I will never deny working with any mental or physical disability/illness or other kind of divergency pride. Race and/or religion pride is also great except for “White pr1de” because of the violent connotations behind that concept. NSFW Kandi is fine, cussing is fine, I hope this goes without saying but please only ask for Kandi with a slur on it if you can reclaim that slur, and overall, just be mindful with what you ask for if you plan to wear it in public settings like raves. If you have any controversial ideas you felt this didn’t cover, please feel free to ask, I will not get angry at you for your request, even if I have to deny it. ✍
Thank you for reading! I look forward to doing business with you 😊
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agrarianradfem · 5 months ago
hi, this is random but what do you like to read? I'm in a rut, so was wondering if u have recs or current reading list or tbr or smth? I rmbr u saying that u read 3 hrs a day? :)
Hi!! I do read a lot! Mostly nonfiction, romance, and a little bit of fantasy and contemporary/literary fiction. I’m currently reading The Hellion’s Waltz, the third in Olivia Waite’s Feminine Pursuits series (all three are ff historical romances set in England - Hellion’s Waltz isn’t out yet but I have an advanced copy). I would absolutely recommend the first, The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics if that sounds interesting.  In general, here are some of my favorite books: Nonfiction:  - Sweetness and Power by Sydney Mintz: A history of sugar, colonialism, and power dynamics in its production and consumption. Is rather academic but it is readable and slim. - Who Cooked the Last Supper?: This book is always recommended among radfems with great reason - women need to learn that the male way of thinking is wrong in so many ways, and that women have been making vital contributions to humanity that have been misattributed (purposefully and incidentally because of patriarchy) to men.  - Milk by Kurlansky: This is the history of milk. It includes a wrong fact about the history of cheese (Kurlansky misattributes it to a man as part of Myth of Man the Hunter - see Who Cooked the Last Supper? to learn more about misattributions. Cheese was absolutely developed by women who were at home caring for children). But otherwise it’s a great and very readable history of one of humanity’s most important foods.  - In The Shadow of Slavery: All about how enslaved Africans brought their foods and food traditions to the Americas and how food was a key part of resistance. Great information about things like rice cultivation in South Carolina and food as resistance in Brazil.  - Invisible Women by Criado-Perez. Excellent book on the ways in which failing to sex disaggregate data (aka not separating out data on women vs men instead of lumping it all together) fails women, from car design to snow clearing plans. Great as an audiobook.  - Fran Lebowitz Reader: This audiobook is amazing.  - In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. He brings his humor to Australia and you’ll want to purchase plane tickets immediately. (Can’t wait for Australia and NZ to open to vaccinated travelers!) I also love Thunderbolt Kid, At Home, and The Body by him.  - The Emperor of All Maladies: This is a history of cancer and its treatment. This is a tome, but is absolutely fascinating.  Romance:  - A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics: Really a lovely novel about female empowerment (like the real kind: standing up for oneself in the face of male efforts to hinder women, women becoming the best patrons and confidants for each other, etc) - Ravishing the Heiress: This is a straight romance, and one not the best intro to the genre for lesbians who don’t read any straight romance. But for fans of the genre (or even just romantic subplots in books and fanfiction) this is a masterclass example of a marriage of convenience and slow burn romance.  - Devil in Winter and Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas. For those who loved Bridgerton, these are amazing. DinW is one of the most beloved historical romances of all time, and Marrying Winterborne is from her newest series and that book is becoming beloved as well. 
Fantasy: - When Women Were Warriors: This is a story told in three parts (it’s not three books, you have to read all three parts to complete the story) set in pseudo-medieval England about a matriarchal, matrilineal society where lesbianism is common. Great for fans of fantasy who don’t need magic, creatures, or space travel, etc.   - All the books written by Tamora Pierce. Her books are mostly YA/Middle Grade but they have excellent pacing, plots, and character development. My favorites are the Alanna books and the Immortals series. These are great if you’re someone who likes shorter books where for attention purposes or just for a fast read. I reread these all the time - Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: TW sexual assault at the 1/3 point in the series (and for basically every book in the sister Alpha and Omega series). This is Urban Fantasy for all the fans of werewolves, vampires, fae, fairy tales, wendigos, and all the other scary legendary creatures. Features a great female lead, a straight romantic subplot, inter-species alliances and wars, fighting for good, and is set in the Pacific Northwest. There’s a billion of these books (read in order) so you’ll have plenty to keep you reading if you like the first.  - Daughter of the Forest: TW graphic sexual assault. This is a famous retelling of The Six Swans story. Straight romantic subplot. This book is constantly recommended as one of the best retelling stories and I agree. I would recommend reading rather than listening to an audiobook of this one because there’s no reason to read the assault scene - just get to it and skip a few pages and resume. I fully believe that if this book was written now it wouldn’t have the descriptions, but it is important to the plot.  Contemporary/Literary Fiction:  - Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters: TW for abusive relationship and prostitution. This story of the underground of London at the turn of the century is a lesbian classic for a reason. Happy ending! Great exploration of the time.  - Bastard Out of Carolina: TW graphic sexual assault of a child. This book is a really hard read about the ways in which women pick men over their own daughters, religion oppresses women, poverty is worse for women than men, women are expected to be quiet and just suffer their burdens. I read this for the first time in a Women’s Writing course in college and it made me bawl my eyes out. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.  - The Well of Loneliness: I love sad books and this is no exception. Sad lesbian at the turn of the century. Historically important book.  - Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver: This ecofiction book is not the usually recommended book by her. This takes inspiration from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and interweaves three stories of women, life and death, and the health of the environment.  I use goodreads and Kirkus reviews to find books all the time. If any one of these sounds interesting, put it into goodreads and you’ll be able to find other books by the author, books similar to it, and lists that contain the book (for instance, if you look up prodigal summer it’s probably on an ecofiction list and you can find a ton of ecofiction books that way!). Kirkus is amazing for finding new and upcoming books. The online reviews are free (I think - my mom is a paid subscriber to the magazine). For nonfiction I also look through Washington Independent Review of Books.  Another underrated way to find books is Facebook and Reddit! If there’s a genre you really like, then find a facebook group for it. This is a great way to find what others love, new releases, and you can save posts (underutilized thing fb does) and have something to scroll through the next time you are looking for a book. Reddit has a bunch of subreddits for different genres. Many of the large genre groups run books clubs (fantasy runs a bunch of structured book clubs, romance runs buddy reads, etc.).  Hopefully this gives you some place to start!
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retromafia · 10 days ago
hi sweetheart <3 💓
how are u today? Have your class already started?
I saw your post saying that you're writing love and duty lasts chapters and I was like 🥺🥺😫 but I remembered that I haven't finished reading yet, so I can still enjoy more of Tonia and Tommy like it's something new 🥳 (does it make sense? lol I'm so bad with words)
anyway! I just wanted to ask you something 🥴 how do you do your researches? I mean, to write historically accurate characters. I've seen you talking abt this topic more than once and I'm curious abt where do you search and read abt this, if it's possible to you to give me some tips it would be very nice!
hope you're doing fine and having a great day 💓
Hello love! I've just come back from my first day in uni this semester and I'm dying ughhh I'm so exhausted and sadly I couldn't use my phone during my classes today 😂
(Yes, I've finished writing Love and Duty last two chapters and now I have to edit it... I can't believe it's over 😭)
So, when it comes to historical accuracy:
-> period dramas HELP but they're not necessarily accurate, not always. they help a lot though to feel the vibe. honestly, after watching some period drama I recommend searching on the internet some articles or YouTube videos about it, to find out what was accurate in the movie and what was not
-> vintage history / fashion bloggers, vlogers or Facebook pages/groups help a lot! I follow lots about female aspect of history so I often get recommended videos about childbirth, housewives duties etc.
-> reading or watching (when we're talking about early XX century) art from that period of time is the best in my opinion. because I can read 10 articles about XIX ladies to find out what they're like but I can also read one book from XIX century like Dostoyevsky or something and that's where that lady is the most accurate — written from the perspective and by a man living in those times, without any modern additions
I hope it's helpful!!! Lots of love 💗💗
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dearingbooks · 6 months ago
The Difference one Woman can make.
Late Friday night in June, we had stopped for a burger on the way to the cinema, we used to do family movie nights at the cinema when a new film came out that the majority of us wanted to watch, this time I was the one who was reluctant to go, sadly we do this significantly less now.  So, stubborn 2015 me, rolling her eyes and dragging her feet up the cinema steps to find our seats to watch the new Jurassic World movie. Pathetic! I thought, why pay money to watch a movie about a dinosaur theme park! My parents had completely lost it! Huffing and puffing I took my seat on the aisle and sipped my blue raspberry slushie and looked up at the big screen. Ugh! I wanted it to be over, quickly. I sat down and shut my mouth, despite not wanting to watch it, I wasn’t going to spoil it for the others; but I didn’t get why they would want to watch it, I watched the trailer before going, was not impressed, it looked dumb!
However, as much as my pre-Jurassic self would not like, I found who I was during that movie, I discovered a whole new admiration for actors and movies. I found that I related to the main female protagonist, Claire Dearing. She did not need a man, or children, she was so focused on her career and let no one boss her around. She was top dog, and I completely fell for this fictional character. I evolved through that movie with her character, I felt content with being a strong female who put career over family. I wanted to embody this fictional woman; I wanted to be her.
On the journey home I typed ‘Claire Dearing actress’ into google and saw this stunning redhead- Bryce Dallas Howard. I immediately recognised her from movies I had watched prior, and I was completely astounded at her range of characters she can portray and portray them well. After scrolling through her Wiki page and reading news articles about her, I learned that she is the daughter of Ron Howard, one of my parents’ favourite people in film.
“Dad, that woman in the movie is Ron Howard's daughter”, I needed to inform my family that my now favourite woman in film is the daughter of my parents’ favourite people in film. My parents were shocked that I enjoyed the movie despite my loud vocalisation of not wanting to watch it.
Googling ‘Bryce Dallas Howard’ became my new after school routine, learning that she applied to acting school as Bryce Dallas to avoid people knowing she is the daughter of an already famous actor and director, and she had met her true love at nineteen and is still happily married to him. Yet what most stuck out to the self-conscious, body hating 2015 me, was that Bryce wasn’t a skinny twig of a woman that you see in most movies, she had classy curves and promoted body positivity despite some backlash the media gave her. I made a connection with this woman I had never met because I too received negative comments about my figure, yet Bryce took that on the shoulder and learned to love herself. I wanted to feel that self-love about myself that she acquired.
After watching Jurassic World, I explored many more fandoms, and from there I became obsessed with movie franchises and TV shows, actors and directors. I could not give you a full list of all of the fandoms I am in, there are too many to count, and they have all played a role in helping me evolve to who I am today. All because I latched onto one character from one movie I did not even want to watch, one film got me hooked on this life: it’s like a drug. I cannot stop. I also went back and forth with my hairstyle due to this woman; in the movie Bryce has a stunning ginger graduated bob with a fringe, however I never had the guts to go ginger until now; shame the hairdressers are all shut.
Now, almost six years later Bryce Dallas Howard has had great success in directing two episodes of The Mandalorian. Over the Christmas break I watched the show with my dad, sat on the sofa, fire lit, the chocolate Labrador curled up between us, peach vodka and diet lemonade in my hand, hot cup of tea in my dad’s. We binge watched both seasons in a week (it’s amazing) and he was shocked to see ‘Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard’ at the end of one, let alone two episodes. “Shit, she’s come far in the past few years” he said putting another episode on.
Bryce allowed me to find my best friend, Iz, through Instagram; Bryce has brought so many people together it is so surreal. And when I found out that Iz was going to Southampton University in 2019, a 20-minute drive from my house, I was finally able to meet her, because of one woman we both adore. I was friends with Iz for three years before I was able to meet her, I asked my school friend to come along with me so she could film the moment Iz, and I met! We got pancakes and watched the second Maleficent movie at the cinema, it was one of the best days of my life. I was so thankful that I met a truly hilarious and loving girl through this one actress! Because of Bryce Dallas Howard, I have made so many other friends from all over the globe as they too idolise Bryce and together we have created the ‘BDH online family’. A small group of us do regular zoom calls to catch up and chat about the recent photos and updates that Bryce has posted on Instagram, talk about Covid-19 and the types of restrictions and lockdown rules each of our countries has. During one of our calls, we had the craziest idea- Invite Bryce to one of our zoom calls. Bryce said yes! And after a few months of organisation, we had the date. The date was-
The day came around and I was so nervous, it was 11pm exactly. The Wi-Fi had cut out fifteen minutes before the call. I was in tears. Mascara down my face, puffy eyes, I joined the call with a few minutes to spare before Bryce joined it. My mum hung around off camera for the first 5 minutes to double check the Wi-Fi was stable, luckily it stabilised. The other girls had never been so glad to see me, everyone was panicked for me; I could not miss it for the world (despite telling my parents, in floods of tears, that I cannot join and that it’s the end of that).
“Kat! You’re here!” “Happy birthday!” “Are you okay? The Wi-Fi sorted?”
They all chimed, happy to see my little face in the bottom right corner of their computer screens. Luckily Iz was there, otherwise it would have been extremely awkward with only one of us since we are known as a duo in the online family, we have to do everything together, we come in a pair and there can’t just be one of us.
“Shit girls, that was stressful”
I hadn’t realised I was holding my breath until I exhaled the large breath when my    Wi-Fi settled, and I was on the call, I fixed my makeup and was ready to meet Bryce.
The few minutes we had before Bryce joined were intense, two of the girls left to get a drink and we weren’t sure if they would be back in time, luckily they did return.
“No way!” One of them, Anna who was hosting the call, gasped “Bryce is in the waiting room!”
We all freak for no more than 10 seconds, we compose ourselves then our faces are reshuffled, and we see this stunning glowing face that we all admire smiling at us. Omg, it's her.
“Hi girls!”
I have never smiled for so long in my entire life, my cheeks hurt afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining at all, it just hurt as I thought I would only be smiling for half an hour, since that is how long we were told Bryce had. However, we were speaking to Bryce for nearly an hour and a half, she just kept talking and asked us questions! She was so lovely to talk to, so relaxed; it was if I was talking to a friend that I had known for years!
“Before we go I want to all sing Kat a happy birthday!”
My idol wanted to sing me a happy birthday! The other girls were really ecstatic for me, I still can’t believe to this day that The Bryce Dallas Howard wanted to sing to me!
It was both the best and the worst happy birthday song that has be sung to me. It was the best because, well my idol was singing to me! And proposed the singing! It was the worst in terms of the actual song as they were all out of sync and lagging, it was bloody hilarious!
At 10:27pm the next evening, watching a rerun of Game of Thrones on Sky, I got a notification ‘Brycedhoward just posted’, I clicked the notification then see our smiling faces on her page, she posted a screenshot of our call on her social media! The call was supposed to be a secret so other fans weren’t upset. There’s a few snotty comments on the post, but they’re just jealous and to be frank, I don’t care! My smiley face is on her page forever! All ten of us have printed the screenshot of Bryce’s post off and put it in a frame, one day all ten of us hope to congregate somewhere, most likely in America, and sign the backs of all of our photos. I’m still in utter awe and shock-  How many celebrities have you seen that would do a free zoom call with some fans? Not a lot, and that amount is even slimmer when they talk for an extra hour than scheduled. Bryce truly is one of a kind and the best idol anyone could ever hope to have.
Compared to a zoom call with Bryce herself, the few times she has liked my comments on her posts feel like nothing in comparison! I remember being so excited, running downstairs to my parents.
“Mum! Dad! Bryce liked my comment! She knows I exist!”
“Was it actually her? Remember when you got a Facebook request from Robert Downey Jr and it turned out it was a fake account?”
I rolled my eyes at her, it was Bryce, it was her verified account. The comment was a book recommendation I had for her, she posted on her hashtag BDHbookshelf and I thought I’d take a chance and comment a book recommendation I had for her, and the chance paid off.
I cannot wait to see what the future holds with Bryce, she has been such an inspiration to me for the past few years, and she promotes such wonderful causes and body positivity! I hope to one day meet her and thank her in person for changing my life for the better, and I think I’ve come up with the perfect opportunity to meet her- Iz and I have decided to travel up to London for the Jurassic World Dominion premiere in 2022 (if Covid lets us!), we’d get a hotel and actually meet Bryce in person, as well as meeting other members of the online family!
Words cannot fully contain the admiration that I possess for Bryce, her soul is utterly and truly exquisite, she has been such a visionary while I’ve been transitioning from a girl who had no idea who she was with no dreams or aspirations, to a woman who has now found so many new friends and now knows who she wants to be.  
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healingcptsd · a year ago
7 Subtle Signs Your Trauma Response Is People-Pleasing
In a nutshell, “fawning” is the use of people-pleasing to diffuse conflict, feel more secure in relationships, and earn the approval of others.
It’s a maladaptive way of creating safety in our connections with others by essentially mirroring the imagined expectations and desires of other people.
Often times, it stems from traumatic experiences early on in life.
1. You struggle to feel ‘seen’ by others.
If you’re a fawn type, you’re likely very focused on showing up in a way that makes those around you feel comfortable, and in more toxic relationships, to avoid conflict.
But the downside to this is that you’re not necessarily being your most authentic self. The more you fawn and appease others, the more likely you are to feel unknown to others, even in your close relationships.
If no one sees your authentic self, it can lead to feelings of being misunderstood, and even resenting the fact that no one really “sees” you.
The painful irony is that often times, you’re the one obscuring their ability to see you in the first place.
2. You don’t know how to say ‘no’ to people.
Fawn types are almost always stretched thin. This is because we’re so eager to make others happy, we blurt out “of course!” and “yes!” before it even occurs to us to say “I can’t right now” or “no thanks.”
Your catchphrase might even be something like “it’s no trouble at all, really!”
Meanwhile, you’re silently dreading the mountain of favors you’ve signed up for — a list that only seems to get longer as the day wears on.
You’ve got a love/hate relationship with being helpful, and no matter how many times you try to break up with the word “yes,” saying “no” just doesn’t come naturally to you.
3. You’re either spewing emotions out of nowhere or unloading them onto distant strangers.
This might seem paradoxical, but it’s not, if you really think about it.
You want to make those closest to you happy, which means you’re reluctant to open up when you’re struggling — so you only do so when you’re on the brink of totally breaking down, because you’ve held it all in for far too long.
On the other hand, distance makes it easier to have feelings, too.
Which is why people we’ve just met can suddenly become as intimate as a best friend in a single conversation (and why I became a blogger, let’s be real).
A kind stranger in a bar? Sure, I’ll tell you all about my trauma. Oh, here’s a Twitter thread about the worst thing that ever happened to me. Here’s a frightening Facebook SOS — I mean, status.
We need an outlet for our emotions, but having emotions can be sooo off-putting, right? So we unload them onto people we aren’t yet invested in, that we won’t see again, or where a safe distance (like on social media) is in place.
That way, if someone bails on us for being messy or “too much” — otherwise known as being human — it stings less, and the stakes don’t feel as high.
4. You feel guilty when you’re angry at other people.
You might make a lot of excuses for the lousy behavior of other people, defaulting to self-blame. You might get angry, only to feel like an Actual Monster for having feelings at all five minutes later. You might even feel like you’re not “allowed” to be upset with other people.
I did this just recently when I was almost hit by a car, and immediately went to a place of wondering if I’d simply misunderstood what happened.
It’s pretty hard to “misunderstand” someone hitting the gas pedal when you’re crossing in front of their car, but I was convinced that somehow, some way, it had to be my fault.
If you struggle to get mad at people, opting instead to blame yourself or justify someone’s cruddy behavior, you’re actually fawning — because you’re pushing your feelings down, and rewriting the story, all in an effort to appease the other person involved.
5. You feel responsible for other people’s reactions.
Whenever I recommend a restaurant or a book to someone, there’s a moment or two of intense panic. “What if they hate it?” I wonder. “What if it’s not as good as I remember?”
Sometimes I just let other people make decisions on where we go and what we do together, because if something goes awry, it won’t be because I “failed” to make a good choice.
I once felt guilty because a friend of mine spent 30 minutes looking for parking near the cafe I chose to meet them at. As if I somehow control whether or not a parking space is available.
It’s a little nuts if you think about it, right? Because you can’t arrange someone else’s taste buds, magically know their book preferences, or anticipate whether or not that art exhibit you want to see is actually worth going to.
Yet I take a ridiculous amount of responsibility for whether or not people are having a good time — so much so that I forget that I’m supposed to be enjoying myself, too.
This is just another sneaky manifestation of the “fawn” response in action (and a dash of codependency added in there, for good measure).
We’re trying to anticipate someone else’s happiness, because deep down, we feel responsible for it — and are trying everything in our power to ensure that the people we care about aren’t disappointed.
6. You find yourself compromising your values.
This can be difficult to notice at first. You might think of yourself as being agreeable, good at compromise, easy to get along with. But if you pay attention to the conversations you’re having, you might notice you’re a little too agreeable — to the point of validating viewpoints that you don’t really, fully agree with.
Sometimes it’s benign things, like saying you don’t have a preference for where you get dinner when you actually do. Other times it’s a deeper issue, like validating a perspective or behavior that you don’t agree with.
“Sure, the sexism in that movie really only bothered me a little bit, but you’re so right, the cinematography was top-notch.” “Oh yeah, she probably isn’t being a good friend to you, I can see why you sent that angry text.”
If you find yourself sitting on the fence as not to upset anyone, you’re likely fawning to some degree — and it might be time to self-reflect on whether or not you feel OK continuing to do so.
7. You sometimes dissociate in social situations.
Fawning often requires that we shut down emotionally. The less we have distinct feelings of our own, the easier it is to adapt to and accommodate the emotions of other people.
Sometimes this can lead to dissociating, where we disconnect emotionally. This can show up as daydreaming, spacing out, withdrawing, or even “going blank” when we’re overwhelmed in social situations.
This is also why fawn types can relate so much to other trauma responses, like flight or freeze.
If we feel that “fawning” is failing us in an argument, that it won’t work with a particular person, or that we just don’t know how to please someone, we might check out emotionally, or rely on other “escapist” mechanisms so that we no longer have to engage.
We’re more prone to anything that involves dissociation because we’re already distancing ourselves from our own emotions for the sake of others.
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