i'm trying so hard not to have a complete meltdown
all the issues w my dad have made me VERY insecure lmao its embarrassing
Always inadequate in some way.
ok LAST when you said he was a very angsty man,, do you ever think he's genuinely disappointed or upset at himself sometimes that he can't love you like other people do? he thinks he lacks on the sight abilities, and feels bad about not being able to TRULY see you,, describe how beautiful you are,,etc (is that why he tries to make it up with touch and acts of service?? IDK WHERE I WAS GOING WITH THIS BYE) imagine having to constantly assure him that he has loved you more than enough </33
okay so yes i think he feels inadequate in his ability to love you a lot.
and i'm sure at times he wishes he could see you, see the way he just knows your eyes twinkle when you're giving him shit. but honestly at this point he's so far beyond like missing his sight like that because he's long since come to terms with the fact that he is simply blind.
the reason i think those are his love languages is because a. of examples we see in the show (ie. the way he crumples like a house of cards when he lets karen hold him, or and this one is vague and big but still i think that being daredevil is in and of itself an act of service to the city- fourteen blocks- of hell's kitchen) and b. just who he is as a person or who i at least imagine him to be.
i'm sure you could take those things out of context or even contextualize them to mean different things, but i personally think matt is someone who just desperately needs touch and affection. that he is constantly wanting to be close to people despite his fear of being close to them. he's someone who just wants to be plastered up next to you on the couch, in bed, at the coffee shop, or at josies in a booth where he can just push his thigh up against yours and live off the rush of dopamine involved in even the littlest of touches.
i think his feelings of inadequacy with you would be centered around this idea that he's broken and dangerous. that he's more trouble than he's worth, or that he ruins good things when he gets his bloodied hands on them. that matt and daredevil are so intertwined its a bad thing, a thing that's ugly and unfair to put on someone, a thing that could be so dangerous for them if people knew that he had a weakness in you. he would really struggle and fight with himself at times to shut these thoughts down, to just live in the happiness of the moment and not expect the pain of failure.
it's not that he'd suddenly stop thinking them, just that he'd try to ignore it so he could enjoy you while he had you. fine with dealing with the fall when it came, because he was so convinced it would come.
and you'd remind him a million times.
"i love you matty, you absolute fucking mess; my mess,"
"i can't tell you enough, but i'll tell you as many times as you need to hear it. you're good matthew murdock, good, at your core. at the very center of your being, the foundation for which all of the rest of you is built, is good."
"you go out and you protect the city you love, and you go to work and help the people who need you. i know you hate the word, especially in reference to yourself, but if that's not a hero i don't know what is."
"you're a whole person, you know that right? no big chunks of you missing, not a single puzzle piece lost over the years. you're whole, and here, and i fucking adore you."
"you know i'm proud of every single thing you do, but you might just have outdone yourself this time murdock. this might just be your best work yet,"
it was hard for him to feel inadequate when your contradictions were almost violent in certainty. how could he doubt you when you were so sure. so convinced he deserved love, and that he loved you well enough, and even just enough in general.
"there's no one i love more than you matt, there's no one i'd rather be with. every day that i am with you i thank a god i'm not even sure i believe in."
and how could he question that kind of conviction
i don't know how that turned into a tiny drabble but i just get carried away, with him. usually and specifically off the rocker on my sleep meds i just be like ah finally some good fucking food and i shit some stuff out and call it a night
Why you should NOT date AOT boys...
Headcanon on what kind of headache you're bound for when dating the AOT boys, and why I advise you NOT to date them! Enjoy, loves!
levi - eren - armin - reiner
part two here | erwin - zeke - jean - connie
He's an incredible man with a lot of talents and he'd be doing real good at his job, that dating him would give you a huge sense of pride. However, this man suffers from being emotionally constipated. He'd always keep you in the fine line of "are we or are we not?", even though you’ve been seeing each other for a long time. He’d never say “I love you” or any type of flashy display of affection. His love language is acts of service and quality time, so if you’re the type to wanting outward reassurance of how someone feels about you, Levi’s not gonna be the person to give you that.
This problem stems from his deep, unresolved insecurity about the nature of relationship. It’s not just the “Am I good enough?”, he genuinely thinks that he is not a good person, and thus the inherent belief that everybody will abandon him in the end — something he picks up from his traumatic childhood. He’s wary about establishing relationship because he’s afraid to succumb into his own feelings and vulnerability. He fears at certain point he has to feel and suffer the emotional consequence of being left by someone he cares for. He dreads the idea of getting caught off-guard with being fragile.
You gotta be extremely patient and understanding when it comes to Levi, the reassurance needs to come from you, and frequently too. Bluntly saying, “I’ll stick around” or “I’ll accept your shortcoming” is really soothing for Levi, because although he never shows it, he really thinks he does not deserve you.
If you wanna be frustrated in a relationship where you constantly feel like you’re in an endless coaster, then dating Eren gotta be your poison. Sure the honeymoon phase was intoxicating, sure he makes you feel like the prettiest girl in the world. The morning text, the playful neck peck out in the public, the butterflies you feel in your tummy when you catch him staring at you even from afar with those oh so enthralling green eyes. But once the honeymoon phase over, Eren is quick to get bored. Especially if you’re an unproblematic, matter-of-fact type of person. Eren likes to fight, he gets thrilled by it, and he’s high with the rush of adrenaline. He likes it if you’re jealous, if you sulk, if you argue. He likes you to be ‘childish’ because then he gets to be the adult, the savior, the knight in shining armor. It grinds his gears. If you’re unfazed by his antics, if you’re easy to forgive, if you’re chill, Eren will think that you’re not really into him, and will exit the closest door out before his ego gets bruised even further.
Eren is sort of babied by people around him – his parents, his friends, and constantly being compared to his older brother doesn’t help either. He realizes that he got saved a lot of times by a lot of people. And this creates a deeply rooted insecurity with him that turns into an incessant impostor syndrome. The constant thought of not being good enough and the idea that all the achievement he’s ever got was the result of someone else’s help really crush him. You can shower him with praises and reassurance, but he would completely dismiss it, because he thinks your compliments are not based on objective views and that he does not deserve it. He painfully seeks for approval from any authority figure that (he thinks) does not have any emotional connection with him. And it can be really hurtful when he constantly dismisses your sincere compliments while desperately chasing from others who don’t care about him.
It’s really hard to hate Armin. He’s a really nice man through and through, but what is his strength can also be his deepest weakness. He’s too nice and unsure about a lot of things. He knows he is knowledgeable, but he often doubts himself for being too ‘text-book smart’. Which is a valid cause, because at times he would get very oblivious to how relationship works, and treat feelings like it’s a quantifiable system. It will literally take years for him to finally get down and say how he feels about you, because all these times he was so busy filling the check-list in his mind to convince himself whether you truly like him or not, even though you couldn’t be any clearer with your intention towards him.
He is perceptive with what you think and how you feel, unfortunately this does not materialize into any action as he doubts his own intuition when it comes to his significant other. He fears that his own sentimentality has affected his intuitive judgment and thus deems it invalid, which is completely untrue because every hunch he has about you has always been accurate! That’s just how much he understands and knows you from years of quietly observing and taking each of your word into account.
He really relies on you sitting him down and telling him in details how you feel and the things you expect from him. He will do it, in a flash with no hesitation, but really, he just needs that verbal affirmation that he is doing the things that you want, and it’s not just based on his assumption. So, if you like sweet surprises, impulsive dates and expect your significant other to read your mind, Armin might not be the person.
Oh my, truthfully, he is such a sweetheart, and can be completely smitten for the entirety of his life if he has found that one person. However, it’s a treacherous road for both Reiner and you to get to that stage. Initially, when you start to get closer to him, he may seem rigid and uninterested. The first date you had with him probably went awkward and although you really liked him, you were pretty sure he didn’t like you back, until he texted you the morning after, asking for a second date. That’s basically how being with Reiner is, a series of you being sure that he feels nothing towards you, only for his following action to prove the otherwise. He is really awful in displaying his emotion, he tries to be stoic all the time, and it often frustrates you because you cannot really tell how he feels, and you fear that you might have hurt him without realizing.
He may start to open up, only when you open up first about yourself. He thrives in romance with someone who he thinks shares his inner pain, and that’s very important for him, because he is always in a position where everyone expects him to be strong, and to have a significant other that understands his struggle is all he wants. But this gets hard for you, because sometimes Reiner’s sadness can be quite extreme and you cannot match that. Once Reiner realizes that you’re not on the same boat, he may become withdrawn, as he thinks he’s a burden and inadequate for you, and may end up self-sabotaging the whole relationship he has with you.
Although he does not like to admit it, but Reiner often slips into his sadness too deep, that it almost seems like he victimizes himself with his self-hatred. He will be the one to say stupid shit like, “You deserve someone better.” Or “I cannot make you happy.” When in fact you are perfectly willing to be with him all the way through.
With Reiner, you gotta be the bigger person, with bigger gestures and bigger patience. It’s because Reiner needs an anchor and a figure to lean on. In returns he would be the best lover that you will ever have for he is selfless and will be helplessly devoted to you.
Racking my brain writing for the rest of the boys (Erwin, Jean, Connie, Pocko) because they're the ones we SHOULD date.
Update: Thanks thanks thanks for everyone who read this! I received a lot of love and you dunno how much this encourages me to keep going. Anyway, 2 things:
- My Masterlist
- Talk to meeee ♡
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. fudge .
. arthur x mc . 1.2k words . hurt/comfort .
My life with my boyfriend was perfect. Every girl wants a life full of hugs, cuddles, kisses, gifts, comfort, and fun with her lover, and that’s exactly what I had. Arthur Conan Doyle was wonderful. He had flaws, like anyone does, but he was full of love and a deep regard for me and the people he cared about. He took every opportunity to make me smile, whether that was leaving love notes on my desk, stealing kisses when I was off-guard, or dedicating entire stories or poems to me. It made my heart pound. It made me want to cry how badly I loved him.
And also with how inadequate I felt.
Obviously I was grateful for everything Arthur did for me. He was the biggest light in my life, and the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. But no matter how hard I tried, I felt like I couldn’t ever deserve his love. My responses to his notes were sloppy, I became flustered with surprise affection (although I love it so), and my writing skills were mediocre at best. I wanted to match Arthur’s efforts. He was so smart, so handsome, so funny, so sweet, and treated me like I was the most special person to walk the earth. Like I said, my life was perfect. But I never felt like I ever deserved it.
I was trying my hand at making homemade fudge. The sweet was fairly new to this time, but Sebastian had managed to record a heavenly recipe that I was determined to replicate. If I could make some fudge and coffee all by myself and bring it to Arthur, I’d be pretty damn proud of myself. It wasn’t a fancy necklace or beautiful dress, but hopefully it would make him happy like he made me.
Had I been in my time, I could just throw everything in a microwave and call it a day, but I was limited to the kitchen tools of the late nineteenth century, which I wasn’t exactly familiar with. The stoves were awkward, the mechanisms for cooking were foreign to me, and Sebastian wasn’t around to help. No matter how hard I’d tried, I couldn’t make the treats turn out right. The sugar was crystallized, and I’d wasted all the butter before I even knew it. Great.
I stared helplessly at the disaster I’d created, eventually admitting defeat and cleaning it all up. Hopefully Sebastian wouldn’t be too upset that all the butter was gone. I sniffled and made my way to the library, not being able to look at my mess any longer.
As I settled down in the library, I stared at a book cover. It was made of leather, with gold lettering engraved in it. Comte had gathered a large collection of beautiful books across time. We had two legendary authors living under the same roof. And one of them had my heart. I looked around for his books, eventually picking out one penned by an “Andrew Christopher Davis.” A smile tugged at my lips. That was Arthur’s pen name in this time. He couldn’t publish under his real name, so he’d come up with another “ACD” name. It was too cute, really. Arthur looked nothing like an Andrew.
This book was about Sherlock Holmes, as expected. He and Watson teamed up with a mysterious woman in this series, and embarked on plenty of exciting journeys together, and even adopted a dog. I know Arthur hated his own creation, but this series just captured my heart. It was like a secret message was embedded in every page. A way for Arthur to get out his feelings, and only I knew the real meaning behind the stories that these characters created. I held the book close to my chest. God, once again my heart was pounding so loud I could feel it in my whole body. Why did he have to be so kind to me? Why did he make me feel like the most special woman in the world? It wasn’t fair how he could write an entire series dedicated to me and I couldn’t even make a batch of fudge.
God, not the tears.
I was standing in the middle of the library, hugging a book and crying like a child. I couldn’t help it, it just hurt so bad. Why couldn’t I ever match up to him? Why was I constantly disappointing myself with my own mediocrity? I sank to my knees and hugged the book tighter, wailing my little heart out.
“Eugh-!” I gasped and turned around to Arthur’s gorgeous blue eyes, deep with concern. He knelt down next to me and gently pried the book from my arms. “This book? Didn’t you like it?”
“I loved it,” I sputtered, the tears still streaming down my face. “You’re the most talented man in the world.”
He reached out and wiped my tears, but they just kept coming. He frowned and pulled me in for a hug, rubbing my back as I wailed even harder. He kissed my forehead and rested his head on mine.
“A-Arthur, I love you! I love you so much! And I’m sorry for not being able to be a good girlfriend for you! Y-you have every girl in the world to pick from and I don’t know why you picked me! I don’t have any talents, and I can’t do the things you can! You deserve a better girl than me!” I gripped his shirt and looked down, unable to meet his gaze. I felt so pathetic, finally letting out all my insecurity and self-hatred. Poor Arthur, having to come in and see me like this out of nowhere.
“Sweet love, what are you talking about?” he whispered, trying his best to hide the shakiness in his voice. He lifted my chin up to look at my face. God, I’d never seen him so worried in his life. He shook his head and kissed my nose. “Did I make you feel like this? Did I do this to you?”
“No, you did nothing wrong! You’re the best thing to ever happen to me-” I whispered. “You’re so wonderful that I don’t think I deserve you. You should have someone as wonderful as you are…”
He scoffed a bit, sniffling a bit himself. “You’re a better person than I ever could be,” he whispered, continuing to wipe my tears away. “My darling, your smile is why I wake up in the morning. Your hugs and kind words and the little things you do for me are more than a rotten man like me could ever deserve. I love you. I love you so much that I don’t remember who I was before I met you…” He swallowed and gently pressed our foreheads together. “You are enough for me. You’re more than I deserve, my sweet love.” He closed his eyes and forced a smile. “I suppose we were feeling the same thing, then?”
“I guess so. But you mean it? All those things you said about me?”
“Of course!” he whispered. “You’re my other half. I couldn’t live without you. Never forget that, okay?”
I smiled and wiped my tears. “Okay.”
He grinned and stood up, scooping me up in his arms. “Now I smell some fudge in the kitchen! Shall we go and investigate, my gorgeous assistant?”
I shook my head, burying my face in his chest. “Ah, let’s not.”
What Would it be like to Switch Bodies with the Brothers
In honor of the swap event I suppose (but also needed an easy prompt because I’ve been really busy trying to clean/fix our house and the exhaustion is getting to me)
… Feel the power.
They would literally be so tall and so strong it’d be insane. The kind of body that’d make them want to break things because it’d just be So. Easy. They feel like they’re one of the strongest people in the room and they’ll start to believe it too!
But also, so much fatigue… Lucifer probably deals with muscle tension and back pain because of all the paperwork and stress so they’d be feeling all of that too...
Using his commanding powers would also be hella fun (and easy to abuse) so someone like Barbs is probably going to have to follow them around to be sure the mere mortal doesn’t get drunk on the sudden power...
Lucifer wants out of their body NOW. He hit his toe against a wall and is STILL limping it off… It’s humiliating and he hates feeling this fragile so somebody fix this!!!
Why can’t I stop stealing things…?!?
Mammon’s hands practically have a mind of their own… The MC keeps walking by places and casually slipping other people’s things in their pockets without realizing it. It’s like a reflex!
It’s kind of bizarre for everyone else to watch because, from the outsider’s perspective, it’s scumbag Mammon taking their things… then apologizing like five seconds later then handing them back. He’s losing some thief cred over this for sure...
Aside from that, they have almost never-ending energy too so even the sleepiest MC is going to be bouncing off walls… Good luck to everyone else.
Mammon is now literally in the body of his favorite person and has zero clue how to feel about it. If he hugs himself is that like getting a hug from the MC…? 🤔 One thing is for certain though, he’s going to be glued to their hip the entire time. I hope they’re used to seeing themselves (literally).
aaaaaaAAAAAAAAaaaAAAAAaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhHHHHHHhhhh STOP THE RIDE!! I want OUT of this nightmare!!!
They find out very quickly why Levi distracts himself so much: they feel inadequate All. The. Time.
If they can doubt themselves in any capacity, they will. If they walk into a room, they’ll instantly feel the (non-existent) judgement. If something makes them feel even slightly bad then it can snowball out of control. It’s… It's hell, it’s actual hell.
Chances are they’re going to end up a blubbering mess about as often as Levi if they don’t find a way to distract themselves too… 😔
Poor Levi is trying his best to help them manage being him but it’s not like he was super good at it either… 😥 At least in their body he feels more confident than ever so if nothing else he can step up and comfort them like they would him. Talk about role reversal… 🤷♀️
I can’t stop grinding my teeth and wOULD YOU PLEASE SHUT UP OVER THERE OR I SWEAR THAT I’LL-!!!
Their emotions are chaotic and they have no idea how to control them. At best, they’ll feel a steady level of irritation and at worst it'll snap into full blown rage. It’s like being a toddler all over again!
They’re going to end up counting to 10, 200 times over… and that might not even help.
On the plus side, though, they’ve never felt smarter! If there’s any time to sit in a wingback chair and ponder the meaning of life, it’s now so take advantage of it!
… Is this what normal is? Is this what CALM is?? A guy slammed into Satan on the street the other day and he didn’t feel the sudden urge to commit homicide… This is great!! Excuse him, MC, as he hijacks your body to go zen out around the House… 😌 Human Satan’s chill meters give Belphie a run for his money, who knew?
*they’ve been staring at themselves in the mirror quietly for the last twenty minutes… and they feel the odd urge to moisturize…*
Being Asmo is actually a little freaky for the uninitiated. Suddenly SO MUCH attention is on them! They can’t walk into any room without being noticed, most of the time by total strangers. 🤷♀️
They also notice that people are waaaay more friendly to them now, though whether it's they're gorgeous or the accidentally charming them is anyone's guess…
It seems a lot of Asmo's beauty routine has also been absorbed into his very being because they may start autopiloting toward his bathroom if they don't catch themselves first...
Their body has never looked better than the day Asmo got into it. However they take that information is on them.
*too busy chewing silverware to say anything*
If Levi is emotional hell then Beel is physical. Being constantly on the brink of starvation is a real chore… 😩
Though at least they get to walk around in what amounts to a tank. They can look Lucifer in the eye and even feel like they can literally uproot trees! (which they may actually do if they got some fruit out of it...)
They also learn pretty quick that Beel can digest right about anything so the brothers try really hard to keep them fed. Otherwise, there'll be bitemarks in the drywall… (they don't even have Beel's marginal self-control so they're screwed! 😓)
Poor baby is doing whatever he can to keep then fed because he gets it. He doesn't envy being in his shoes, though he does feel a little guilty for enjoying being full for change… 😔
So tired… Body heavy… Whhhy….
Belphie's body apparently runs with exactly ¼ the energy needed to get through a 12 hour day by default.
It WILL make them go to sleep. Even if they think they're fine one minute, they might blink and be passed out for an hour.
It's also somehow immune to all forms of caffeine and probably even cocaine. 🤷♀️ Someone else is going to have to fix this, because the MC can't be bothered… Please just let them sleep…
Belphie's boooored... Days feel twice as long now and he can't get this human body to take naps right! Lucifer is going to have to fix things soon because an idle Belphie is far worse than a crafty Satan... 😣
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stuck with you | yoongi
title: stuck with you
pairing: yoongi x reader, taehyung and jimin as side characters
request: “Can you do a idol!Min Yoongi of BTS request of his crush being best friends with Jimin and Taehyung and him and his crush consistently fluster the other but they never realize until one day he does and finally make as move despite everyone telling them for weeks that they like each other?”
word count: 3.3k
warnings: some cursing, mentions of the pandemic
a/n: i’ve been actively avoiding writing anything concerning the pandemic/lockdown cuz let’s be real, we’re all here to have fun, not think about real-life shit...but i decided to try it here
i wasn’t sure how to write their living arrangements tho since most of them seem to have their own places? so i just used the hannam the hill house for reference 🤪
“How have things been for you guys lately?”
Taehyung and Jimin exchange skeptical looks with each other, which you don’t catch because you’re too busy picking over your food.
“We’ve all been stuck in the same damn place for weeks now, so you tell me.” Taehyung chuckles, shaking his head.
You visiting their house right before the stay-at-home mandate was issued ended up with the three of you—plus Yoongi, to your luck—being cooped up in the same house for almost two weeks now. It wasn’t wholly a bad thing, since you got to be with your two best friends, but living with three men was pretty much as messy as you’d expected it to be. “Wow. Never thought we’d run out of things to talk about.”
Jimin tries to humor you. “Things have been fine, you know...same as always. Except for Yoongi-hyung acting like a lovesick weirdo. But you wouldn’t know about that, would you…?” Jimin feigns an innocent look.
You look up from your plate. “A lovesick weirdo for who?”
“We’ve been through this like 20 times already, Y/N,” Jimin sighs.
“Yes, and every time I tell you you must have the wrong person because that makes no sense whatsoever.”
“He’s lovesick over you,” Taehyung reiterates, like you didn’t catch the gist the first time around.
“I don’t think Yoongi likes me.” You shake your head and make a face at the notion of it, trying to disguise your irritation at them constantly trying to provoke your emotions.
“Why not? There’s a lot to like about you, don’t downgrade yourself.” Jimin insists.
“He doesn’t even act like he does. If anything, he gets all odd around me.”
“That’s just how he is,” Taehyung says, leaning back in his chair. “You’d think you’d start to catch onto this after being here for so long, but…”
“No, she’s too busy being too embarrassed and intimidated to even get within 4 meters of him.” Jimin and Taehyung both giggle at that, and you shake your head.
“You guys are like little schoolkids. How many more big tales are you going to think up before our quarantine lifts? You could probably write a book by the end.”
Taehyung shrugs, putting his arms behind his head. “I might do that, as long as you let me make you and hyung the star-crossed lovers who are too dumb to tell each other how they feel.” He stretches his leg under the table to nudge your shin with his toes, knowing how you hate when he puts his bare feet on you, and he cackles when you protest loudly.
“Will you stop trying to get my hopes up for nothing—?”
Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Yoongi steps out onto the terrace with the three of you a few minutes later. He shields his eyes against the sun’s sudden brightness after he slides open the glass door, holding his other arm up.
“Look who’s appeared!” Jimin says excitedly, his eyes glittering with enthusiasm.
“You’re loud,” Yoongi grumbles, though he’s mostly speaking to Taehyung and Jimin. “I can hear you laughing from downstairs.” Your body tenses up and melts all at the same time, and suddenly you feel like you don’t know how to do anything right—like hold your chopsticks correctly. They shoot out of your hand when you try to use them again and hit the patio floor. You look at them forlornly.
“You good?” Yoongi asks, a smile fluttering across his lips at your clumsy actions.
“Uh, yeah I’m fine.” You can only glance back at him, embarrassed that you’ve made yourself look like a clown. Jimin laughs like he’s just witnessed the funniest thing on Earth. You shake your head and push away from the table, wanting—no, needing—a quick exit. “I’ll just find some more of those…”
Jimin shakes himself free of his sudden bout of laughter and jumps at the opportunity. “Wait, I’ll get them for you.” He bolts up from the chair before you can even think about it and goes back into the house, already planning to take his sweet time on his mission to get you new chopsticks. Taehyung picks up the hint almost instantly.
Yoongi turns back to the doorway after Jimin disappears through it, his movements a few beats too late—as if he’s just now realizing the other man left. “What was that about—”
“Oh shit!” Taehyung’s exclamation cuts into Yoongi’s question. In a sweeping motion, Taehyung “accidentally” elbows your water off the table, sending the bottle splashing out onto the patio in sad little streams. You jerk away from the splash, but the water droplets have already gotten you.
“What the hell?!”
Taehyung shrugs like it was inevitable and gives a sheepish smile. There’s an undeniable scheme lingering in his eyes, though. “Looks like I’ll have to get you another one.” He stands up to get your aforementioned water, though you begin to form the idea that you’re not getting any water at all.
You sigh and rub your fingers across your forehead. The heat of the sun has turned from pleasant to uncomfortable, and you don’t even have your water to take the edge off. Great.
Yoongi turns back to you, his eyebrows creased. “That was weird.”
“They’re just trying to…” Force us together? You’re too embarrassed to say anything like that, and your words trail off in a stammer. Why did they ever think this would be a good idea? Yoongi raises his eyebrows in curiosity at your bitten-off answer. “An-anyway, that doesn’t matter. So...what are you doing out here?”
Yoongi shrugs, smirking slightly. “Well, I do live here.”
You snort to cover the way your stomach cuts a flip at his smirk, and you reach for your food in a nervous gesture before you remember your chopsticks are still gone. “You sorta seem like a vampire, though. I’m surprised you came out to get some sun.”
Yoongi mulls over that thought. “Hmm…a vampire, huh?” He runs a hand through his pitch-black hair, and even though the gesture is just an afterthought, it makes your heart skip a beat. You almost want to roll your eyes at your reaction to that simple movement. “Don’t tell me you were one of those obsessive Twilight fans over a decade ago.”
“And if I was?”
“Would you enjoy being bitten by a vampire?” Yoongi regrets it as soon as he says it, and you ducking your head into your hands doesn’t help the flaming embarrassment. “Fuck, that was stupid—sorry.” Your shoulders are shaking with laughter, and even though it’d be cute in another context, he feels like he’s about to combust. So he decides to make a run for it. Maybe a cowardly move on his part, but it seems like the best one right now.
“Hyung, you can’t be serious—” Jimin calls out to Yoongi as the older man brushes past once he gets back indoors, but the other man tries his best to ignore Jimin as a blush crawls up his neck. “Go back and tell her. It was the perfect moment!”
“There’s gonna be a lot more of that mess until we can leave,” Taehyung says, peering through the glass at your now confused expression and shaking his head. “God, one of them needs to say something before I lose my mind.”
Like Taehyung predicted, there’s a lot more of “that mess” over the next week. You and Yoongi continue to tip-toe around each other, unsure of how to appropriately handle each other and never unable to shake the awkwardness that colors every interaction.
The most notable incident of all, however, occurs when Yoongi does his laundry one day and somehow finds a pair of your underwear mixed in with his clothes after taking them out of the dryer. How the hell did they even get there, and how did he not notice them before?
Bound to his usual fierce overthinking, he stands there for a few long moments, wondering what he should do. Obviously, the only answer would be to return them to you. But then what if you think that’s weird, him somehow having your underwear? Or what if you assume he’s some pervert who’d taken your panties on purpose?
And to his great luck, that’s precisely when you walk into the laundry room. You give him a timid smile and greeting, which melts away into pure embarrassment when you see him standing there as if he’d just been framed for murder—and your deep red panties sitting in his laundry pile.
Yoongi’s gaze darts between the laundry and your eyes, his jaw working aimlessly as he tries to come up with something that makes sense.
He decides on “I didn’t know they were there,” though this feels just as inadequate as it sounds.
“M-maybe I threw them in the wrong bin,” you rush out, and in the same breath you cross the room to practically snatch them out of the pile of his clothes. You know you couldn’t have done it, though, which leads your mind back to those two sneaky men who’ve been trying to exercise their terrible matchmaking skills as of late.
“A-ah, yeah—maybe,” Yoongi agrees half-heartedly, rubbing the back of his neck.
You both pause for what feels like an eternity, for a reason you can’t decipher, and you think you might burst from the sheer discomfort of it all. “Well—th-thanks. One less thing to wash, I guess.” You try to laugh, but the sound comes out high and forced. Similarly, Yoongi’s answering smile is tight around the corners.
The next few days after that, you are both unable to maintain any kind of eye contact. Taehyung and Jimin are endlessly amused by the way you and the older man dance around each other like two ghosts struggling to inhabit the same space.
You make up for it slightly by turning all of Jimin’s white shirts into a splotchy pink once you find out that this was indeed his terrible and silly idea.
You’ve been sleeping in Jimin’s and Taehyung’s beds since you’ve been barricaded in their home with them, which none of you really think twice about. You’ve been friends with them for years and don’t see either of them other than platonically, so it’s not awkward for you or them. Although it was originally intended for you to mostly stay in Jimin’s bed, you end up alternating between the two, climbing into whoever’s bed you feel like that particular night. Neither of them mind the switch-up, and Taehyung likes using you as his personal pillow, so it all works out.
If there was anyone who minded at all, it was Yoongi. It wasn’t a burning jealousy, because he knew he had no right to feel like that about you—not when he couldn’t even admit to you that he liked you. But it didn’t make him want to jump for joy to know you were in either of the younger men’s beds, even just as friends.
He spent many nights imagining you were beside him instead, warming the empty spaces of his bed, whispering to him and telling him about your day. It didn’t matter if he already knew everything you did that day because you’d all been living in the same space for weeks. He still wanted to know.
But until either of you made a move, he didn’t know when that would happen. If ever.
He didn’t even know if you’d be interested, or if you saw him the way he saw you. You were never as close to him as you’d been with the other two men, and although that could be explained by you being best friends with them for years, he honestly chalked it up to you not liking him as much. Taehyung and Jimin had tried to tell him the exact opposite several times before, but he wasn’t really convinced. Not with the way you seemed to lock up around him—like if you said or did the wrong thing, he’d hate you forever.
If only you knew he could never feel that way about you.
You decide to sneak your way to the kitchen for a late-night snack one night, your socked feet scuffing quietly on the floor as you make your way to the kitchen. However, your plan is derailed when you run into Yoongi in the hallway, who has apparently just taken a shower. He’s fully clothed—thank God, because you’re not sure how you would’ve survived it otherwise—but the towel on his wet hair speaks to his recent shower. Your immediate response is to jump in surprise, feeling like you’ve been caught red-handed; although there’s no law stopping you from getting something to eat in the middle of the night.
“You’re still up?” he asks, pulling the towel away from his face so he can see you better.
“Uh, yeah...I was just getting something to eat, I guess.”
“No crime in that. You’re tip-toeing around like you’re nervous about it, though.”
“I didn’t want to wake anyone up.” You shrug your shoulders, trying to appear more nonchalant than you really feel. “But I see you’re already up…” Your words trail off behind you as you walk into the kitchen. Yoongi watches your retreating back before making the split-second decision to follow you. He’s not really sure why, previously intending to go back to his own room.
“Were you getting something to eat too?” you ask, turning back to glance at him when you hear his footsteps behind you. You’re admittedly happy at the idea of spending a little more time alone with Yoongi, though you’re still nervous as hell.
It’s probably not the best idea to say I just came because I wanted to be next to you, so he nods to your question. "Uh, sure, I guess. What were you gonna get?”
“I don’t really know, just whatever’s in here…” You open the fridge and stare into it absentmindedly, your eyes raking over the food but not really seeing it—not with Yoongi’s presence hovering behind you.
Eventually you settle on some leftover rice and kimchi—which there’s always plenty of—not wanting to expend too much energy on cooking anything new.
You and Yoongi sit at the table together, using the light of your phone’s flashlight and the under-cabinet lights to illuminate the room instead of the overhead. Maybe it’s a little strange, but you like the ambiance of it more than having the harsh overhead light on.
The room is quiet for a while as you both eat, which you don’t initially mind. But you can’t ignore how Yoongi keeps stealing glances at you, like you aren’t going to notice, like he isn’t sitting right in front of you where you can see. It makes you antsy, but not necessarily in a bad way.
“Is something up?” you finally ask, keeping your eyes on your half-empty bowls, too nervous to look straight at him.
He hums like he’s thinking intently about it. Then he decides to rip the band-aid off and says, “You’re always tense around me.”
He chuckles at your short response. “Why?”
You feel like you’ve been backed into a corner, and you hesitate. “Well, you’re always weird around me. Why is that?”
“Touché.” Another tense pause where he thinks of what to say, and then, “Jimin and Taehyung swear you like me.”
You try not to react so obviously, but your spoon clatters against the side of the bowl. If he’s acting weird because of the idea of you liking him, how can it be possible that he returns the feelings? Maybe he doesn’t know how to let you down easily. You suddenly feel ridiculous, like you’ve been wasting your emotions on nothing. “...I see.”
“I thought they were...trying to play some game. But, since you’re here now...is it true?”
Maybe if you close your eyes hard enough, you can poof yourself out of existence. If you felt trapped before, you really are now. You blurt out the first thing you can think of, trying to save yourself.
“Before you think I’m stupid for liking you, you should know they’ve been saying the same thing to me about you. So. Yeah.”
Yoongi looks at you full-on. “They told you I like you?” A nervous grin fixes itself on his lips, which makes you second-guess yourself. At this point, your head and heart are tangled in a knot. Why does your love life have to be this difficult? “So that’s it, then.”
“We like each other.” That makes your heart rate pick up. “...and didn’t even figure it out until just now, despite everyone else’s ‘help’.”
You take a shaky breath. “You like me.”
Yoongi nods, glancing between his hands on the table and your face. “I should’ve said it sooner.”
Despite yourself, you feel the corners of your mouth twitch into a slight smile—one that’s colored with relief and a tinge of lingering nervousness. “Later is better than never, I guess.” You find yourself laughing from the way all your stress slowly unwinds itself from your body, and Yoongi joins you, his eyes sparkling in the dark.
“So. This means we’re dating now, right?”
“I hope this isn’t considered our first date.” You snort, looking around the kitchen.
Yoongi shakes his head, placing his cheek in his hand with a sleepy smile. “I promise I’ll take you somewhere nice...after the pandemic is over.”
“We might be waiting a while, then.” Finished with your food, you go to quickly wash the dishes in the sink, and Yoongi slides in next to you to do the same. Another silence falls over the two of you, but for the first time, it’s not uncomfortable or pulled taut with words unsaid.
When you finish, Yoongi leans against the counter, his eyes openly tracing over you, wearing just a big T-shirt and shorts. It’s a simple outfit, but it warms his heart.
“Come sleep with me,” he says suddenly. You crack an awkward smile at that, and he’s blushing before the last syllable even leaves his lips, because he understands how that sounds. “I mean, actually sleep. It’s late.”
You pretend to hesitate on it. “I don’t know, Taehyung might miss me…”
“Taehyung and Jimin have had you all to themselves the past few weeks. It’s my turn now.”
And with that, you let him take your hand and guide you back to his room, maneuvering carefully through the dark house. His bed is new to you, but it’s instantly comfortable—like home. The smell of him surrounds you, as does his arms when he pulls you closer. You smile against the fabric of his shirt as you tuck your face into his chest, his chin on top of your head.
“Goodnight,” he murmurs, his fingers curling around your shoulder. His voice is soft and low, already halfway to sleep.
What are your opinions on JFM & YZY’s parenting? I’ve never been totally sure, given that YZY is definitely abusive emotionally & physically, to what extent it goes beyond the fact that like, it’s culturally (in Untamed-land) normalized to hit your kids (&...servants?) as punishment and parental authority is HUGE. I know she’s off-base (though also that so is WWX by kid standards - not that that means he *deserves* it), but how off-base is she when it comes to playing her kids against each other & constantly tearing them down (it seems like)? Is JFM’s favoritism vs ignoring his heir also weird?
okay so I’ve been sitting on this for a while because I just didn’t have the mental capacity to talk about this.
Disclaimer: What I say regarding YZY and JFM will probably be coloured by my own experiences growing up with Asian parents. I had a good life, with strict but loving parents. I never questioned my parents’ concern and love for me, though when I say they were strict, I do mean they were strict. Despite fights, I continue to have a good relationship with my parents, and as I grew up, maturity and experience gave me some perspectives I didn’t have a child.
The fandom, at least the English speaking one, in my opinion, interprets YZY and JFM in a way that is often removed from the cultural and context under which these two characters are written. It is no one’s fault, but it does speak to the fact that there is a lack of understanding of familial dynamics that naturally exist in an Asian family. Sometimes, I feel like people also project whatever displeasure they have with their own folks onto YZY and JFM.
^ This statement will invariably piss off some people, and I am recognizing this in advance. Rather than arguing, you can just block me. It will save both of us a lot of grief.
1) Jiang Fengmian absolutely care about Jiang Cheng. No matter how much JFM favours WWX, Jiang Cheng is sect heir and that has never been a question.
Sometimes I would read a fanfic and ppl would have wildly outrageous plot points ie: JFM not inviting JC to an important sect event. I can’t even finish the sentence in those cases. I just ‘nope’ the heck out of there.
I’m sure if JFM had a choice, he would’ve chosen to have children with a woman he loved from the beginning. But just because his children aren’t born by the love of his life doesn’t mean he doesn’t love and care about them. Jiang Cheng is his son and heir, and that means something not just in Asian culture, but across cultures. To say that JFM doesn’t care about JC is...baseless. I certainly never saw any evidence of that in the show. The relationship a sire has with his heir is more than just that of father and son; it will never be a simple familial relationship and that’s not just in The Untamed. I would even say that a sire can’t love his heir the way a regular father loves a son. There is not just familial love between them but a delicate power dynamic, and a greater expectation and demand for excellence and respect. It would be more obvious when there are multiple sons, because then Power will play a much bigger role within the sibling and father-son relationships.
Jiang Fengmian favours Wei Wuxian. I think that much is obvious and without question, but he would never make Wei Wuxian his heir. Jiang Yanli would inherit before Wei Wuxian. WWX has no chance in hell in replacing JFM’s legitimate children even if he was JFM’s bastard child, because that’s just how inheritance works. Now, parents have favorites. Every parent does, unless you’re an only children. Parents are people, and they’re imperfect. If I have learned anything in life is that... we’re all the winging it as we go. Every single one of us. We only go through each stage of life once. There are no do-overs. Parents are no exception. Each child will have a different personality, and to think their parents will like all of them equally is... unreasonable. There is a difference between like and love. Parents can love their kids equally, but they will like some more than others. That’s just fact.
Now, did JFM make JC feel like WWX embodied their sect’s motto more than him? Not overtly, but that’s certainly the effect I think his favoritism caused. And also, JFM probably just vibed with WWX more as a parent. The entire fandom is like up in arms about that, saying how he neglected JC, but here’s the thing: making your child feel inadequate is like the bedrock of Asian parenting. If I could have a dollar for every time my parents use “other people’s children” to tell me how I should do better, I’d make a significant dent into my student debt. (To give you some context: I graduated high school in the top 1% of my province and I scored in the 97th percentile on the MCAT). Now you can tell me that’s so toxic and abusive or whatever, but a lot of Asian kids will just shrug it off. It is such a shared experience we can laugh about it in hindsight and turn it into a meme ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. (TwoSet Violin fans: no matter how good we are, we can never be as good as Ling Ling.) Now I’m not saying that it’s a very...effective parenting method or one that should be condoned, but I certainly didn’t bat an eye at it when I saw it on The Untamed.
2) Physical discipline is a frequent trope in cdrama and not considered abuse. You will not see this in modern dramas, because it is no longer acceptable in many asian families. But when it’s a historical drama, people don’t usually care bc....it’s....historical...and fictional.
That being said, Yu Ziyuan is certainly not the world’s kindest stepmother. But to say that WWX grew up constantly abused is... conjecture. Your Honour, objection, insufficient proof. If WWX did something wrong, if he misbehaved or broke the rule or caused trouble, I’m sure YZY wouldn’t hesitate to deal with it as was the custom of that time, but Wei Wuxian wasn’t scrubbing no floors like Cinderella okay. He’s clearly a well-fed and respected young master of Lotus Pier. I remember so distinctively when JC and WWX came home, and one of the maids ran through the halls, calling out “The gongzis have returned!” If you wanna be really granular, technically speaking Lotus Pier only has one gongzi, and that’s JC, but as we can see Wei Wuxian was treated like a second son, and that’s 100% above his station. He ate at the same table as the main family. No other disciple was allowed to do that.
Yu Ziyuan will be eternally salty about this, but no she wasn’t verbally and physically abusing her kids 24/7. She was mad because Wen Ruohan was asking the sects to send their heirs and Jiang Fengmian was once again being avoidant and quiet, and she was up in arms. In her opinion, JFM should stop being a bitch and do something. And honestly, being yelled at while eating is also one of those fundamentally Asian experiences. IDK what to tell you. That part of the script was so good - I literally both loled and cringed - because that’s exactly what an average asian family looks like when shit hits the fan.
3) And finally: Love. Asian families just aren’t verbally affectionate, but damn do we show up and pull through when we need to.
If there’s anything we gleamed from the Jiangs is that, fuck I may not really like you, but I will die with you if that’s what it comes down to, because I am your husband/wife/son/daughter/brother/sister, and I won’t leave you behind. It’s hard thing to explain: I love you even when I hate you. Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan died holding each other’s hand. I think that says plenty.
I’ve never told my family I love them, because I don’t have to. Love has nothing to do with it. My folks always said that western culture focused too much on love, that there are more important things. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I do see what they’re saying in. Like: you visit your old and dying grandpa in the hospital even if he was an asshole to you his entire life, not because you love him, but because he’s your grandfather and you have to. Under this point of view, you’ll never be free of your family. There’s a saying: even if you break the bones you’ll be connected by tendon. I don’t know if that’s healthy, but who’s to say? It’s just the way it is.
Like I said, that’s just my two cents. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I can only speak from experience, which is of course not generalizable to everyone. Take from it what you will.
Witch Hats and Prejudice Part I
So I have meta. I have so much meta I have divided it into two parts. Our main objective today is to do a bit of couple therapy for Qifrey and Olruggio, and try to see what went wrong in chapter 40. Before we get into the meat of the subject, I’ll have a quick go at discussing the place of prejudice and power imbalance in Witch Hat Atelier, and how it impacts the relationship between Qifrey and Beldaruit in particular.
Then in part II we will look into how prejudice and power imbalance is creating tensions between Qifrey and Olruggio. I’ll analyse volume 7 and chapter 40 in particular to dig into the various examples of miscommunication on display.
Intro: the place of prejudice and power imbalance in Witch Hat Atelier
Power inequalities and prejudices as a breeding ground for misunderstanding, resentment and neglect, have been an underlying theme in the manga, and became more prominent in volume 8 with the Coustas arc. In principle, witch society aims to use its hoarded power and knowledge for the greater good, “to bring the blessings of magic to the people” while protecting the ignorant masses from the temptation of dark magic. However, their rigidity and elitism blind them to the suffering felt both outside and within their own community. Ruling over the world as kindly demigods is condescending to the people they claim to help. And besides, their mindset is harmful to the witches themselves, who strain to live up to an impossible ideal, and in the process become judgemental and distrustful of their own darker impulses.
The Great Hall is a physical embodiment of that mindset: beautiful and awe-inspiring at first glance, but oppressive the longer you spend there. It is both an ivory tower where witches live apart from common folks and material concerns, and a self-chosen prison where they bury themselves to protect the outside world from their power. It stands in contrast to Qifrey’s atelier, a remote, tiny cheerful place full of outcasts, a safe haven where they learn empathy and teamwork rather than competition, and where they can embrace their unique motivations and strengths.
The revelation that Qifrey is as much an outcast as his students is a big paradigm shift in volume 7. As the mentor figure and main source of exposition, we initially expected him to be well-respected within the society of witches. Signs of his isolation are at first interpreted as him being a bit of an eccentric, then presented as suspicious: a way for him to pursue darker, selfish goals away from prying eyes. His morality starts to appear chaotic: his efforts to make his students feel safe and valued are sincere and almost frantic, but at the same time he rushes to confront the Brimhats alone, lies about his health, defies authority figures, and steals memories from his friends when they press him about his actions.
His actions become a lot more coherent if we take his pariah status into account: he doesn’t expect to be treated fairly, and doesn’t even believe he deserves fairness (interiorised inferiority and guilt is another recurring element in the manga). You can’t really blame him for being wary of authority figures: they tormented him as a child, forbade him from investigating the source of his problems, THEN blamed him for his failure to integrate. Worse, they are now repeating that same abusive treatment towards his students. And when he tries to keep them away from the Great Hall and all that abuse? That’s considered suspicious, too.
To make matters more complicated, the people who try to act as his support system (principally Beldaruit and Olruggio) have direct power and authority over him. And despite their sincere love for Qifrey, they have interiorised their society’s paranoia for anything that disrupts the order of their world. Qifrey, an outsider with ties to forbidden magic and rebellious tendencies, stirs their personal insecurities and fears. This leads to a lot of miscommunication between them and reaches a breaking point in volume 7, as I’ll try to discuss in here.
Beldaruit and Qifrey: a tense relationship born from the fear of forbidden magic
Beldaruit fears that his disciple might succumb to the temptation of forbidden magic, but perhaps more than that, he is afraid of being tempted by healing magic himself. There is a striking contrast between Beldaruit’s behaviour in volume 6 and 7. At first he promotes the joy of magic, creativity, freedom and experimentation, then he gives a fervent monologue about his thirst for knowledge, which briefly frightens Coco. And finally, he shifts to very stern warnings about the dangers of believing yourself boundless and omnipotent.
It’s not outlandish to suggest that he is afraid, on some level, of being tempted by forbidden magic himself. For all his social clout and magical power, he is limited by his health: he is often restricted to his bed and only able to experience the world through avatars made of smoke. He is talented enough to invent a spell to heal himself, but so doing would make him an outlaw and cost him everything his current prestigious status affords him. That would explain his uncharacteristic harshness when he warns off Coco and Qifrey: he is using the same words he uses to berate himself, instead of the gentler words we would expect him to use on students.
(Interestingly, I wrote this paragraph before the fan translation for chapter 46 came out, but Qifrey’s musing that everyone is on some level tempted by forbidden magic backs up my point)
Beldaruit’s mistake is that he does not consider how different Qifrey and Coco’s experiences are to his, and how his advice might be inadequate and even harmful. Contrary to Beldaruit, Qifrey and Coco are not merely tempted by forbidden magic, they are already victims of it, and the consequences of that magic is still looming ahead of them: in Coco’s case the need to undo the petrifying spell on her mother, and in Qifrey’s case the need to investigate and undo the magic tested on him by the Brimhats. Beldaruit warns them that any contact with forbidden magic is a slippery slope that will only lead to greater and greater grief. However, when Qifrey and Coco hear that argument, it doesn’t read like a cautionary tale but rather like a condemnation: they are already damaged goods, stuck on a one-way journey with no hope of forgiveness at the end.
Beldaruit jokes that he finds Qifrey scary, and it seems truer than he himself likes to admit. The way he describes young Qifrey to Coco in chapter 36 is strikingly unkind: he describes him as hateful, obsessed and desperate. It’s bad enough that he would say these things to Coco’s face, but based on Qifrey’s reaction, he is used to hearing similar speeches. So, there’s this, um, strong possibility that Beldaruit has been repeatedly berating his young student grappling with the consequences of trauma for being hateful, desperate and obsessed. Sweet. Helpful.
And the worst thing is, I can actually see it happening if Beldaruit is truly afraid of his own buried desire for healing magic: he was probably seeing a lot of himself in Qifrey, and was afraid that Qifrey’s dissatisfaction might rub off on him. Maybe (wouldn’t that be interesting?), he used to fear he might be tempted to use Qifrey as an excuse to research healing magic for his own benefit, like he now accuses Qifrey of doing with Coco.
Obsessed as he is with this imaginary future in which Qifrey succumbs to the temptation of healing magic, Beldaruit misunderstands Qifrey’s actual needs and the ways he’s been neglected. He makes a big deal of Qifrey’s inability to overcome his own trauma, and doesn’t seem to reflect on what he could have done to better support him. Like, say, not keep the drowning survivor at the bottom of the ocean? How hard would it have been to move to Karoon and raise Qifrey there? We’ve seen that his chair is sturdy enough to go through uneven terrain and even forests. Yes, he would have faced more opposition from his community, and he might even have had to renounce his chance at becoming Sage of Education. However, as Qifrey’s sole adult support, he had a responsibility to find a home that wouldn’t constantly re-traumatise him. But here again, the pervasive narrative that the Great Hall is the natural home of witches and a bastion against the temptations of dark magic, blinds Beldaruit to the harm the place does to Qifrey.
In the present time, Beldaruit hasn’t really let go of this vision of Qifrey as a manifestation of his own darker urges. So he tries to protect Coco from both Qifrey and the Brimhats by keeping her at the Great Hall, arguing that Qifrey’s past ties to forbidden magic make him unreliable. The irony there is that Qifrey is trying to protect Coco from both the Brimhats and the Great Hall, because he knows from personal experience how the Great Hall’s prejudices against victims of forbidden magic can make it a miserable place to live. Beldaruit’s assumptions end up endangering Coco, while Qifrey’s own struggles with trauma, guilt, hope and despair, allow him to connect with her and bring her back.
A lot of the tension from the first half of volume 7 comes from the attempts at keeping Qifrey and Coco apart: the volume starts with Qifrey calling out for her after he hears her in a dream. Both of them then spend the entire first chapter being interrogated by Beldaruit and Olruggio and having their teacher-student relationship challenged. We see traces of tension and lingering doubt reflected in the panelling during their reunion in chapter 37: at first they don’t make eye contact, and are restricted to their own narrow, shadowed panels – until Qifrey crosses the border that separates them and rushes to take Coco in his arms. From that moment on, they start sharing more eye contact and soft touches; the panels get larger and brighter, warp into circles or even dissipate to make space for them both. It highlights not just Coco’s aching need for connection and trust, but Qifrey’s as well.
Speaking of needing trust, I am a bit bothered by how flippant Beldaruit acted about this whole endangering Coco business. Beldaruit failed to learn his lesson when raising Qifrey and wounded Coco’s feelings in exactly the same way. Then Qifrey had to go rescue her from a lake full of giant snakes while injured and fresh out of a coma. And he doesn’t even get a “thank you for cleaning up after me, sorry for the hasty judgement and stuff” for his trouble. We do get his “I may have misjudged him, look at him being a good teacher and risking permanent injury for his child, how sweet!” speech to Olruggio, but wouldn’t it have been more meaningful if he had said these things to Qifrey’s face? Try some positive reinforcement for a change? Because maybe one of the reasons he is so uncaring of his own safety is because you and the rest of the Great Hall have made him feel like a hopeless mentally damaged danger to society, and maybe he would be happy to know that you don’t see him as completely monstrous? Because he does love you, and your opinion matters to him? Maybe?
YES THERE IS NEED FOR WORDS YOU THEATRICAL ASSHAT APOLOGISE TO QIFREY AND COCO THIS INSTANT YOU’VE BEEN BREAKING THEIR HEARTS ---
There are signs that despite everything, the relationship between Qifrey and Beldaruit could well be mended later in the manga. I’m insisting a lot on the ways Beldaruit has let him down, but it’s also clear how he has been a positive role model for him by sharing his love of magic and teaching, and that Qifrey finds comfort in that mindset even to this day. Coco comments that their teaching styles are very similar. However, in order to have a meaningful exchange with Qifrey, Beldaruit first needs to stop hiding behind his grand aura of showmanship, and reflect on his own deeper feelings and why he becomes so defensive and harsh at the merest mention of forbidden magic.
I also imagine that Coco, and possibly the other girls from the atelier, will play an important part in changing the narrative around Qifrey – he surrounded them with all the respect, empathy and trust he never had, and so without realising it, gave them the tools to understand him in a way the witches of the Great Hall aren’t able to. It’s a nice thought that, despite all the rash actions he commits, all the anger and guilt, the answer to his problems may well come from his nurturing side.
Of course, the other source of tension in volume 7 is that Qifrey is seemingly offered the very things he has been aching for: connection, respect, empathy and trust, in the form of Olruggio’ renewed pledge of (betrothal) friendship, but pushes him away to walk his own dark path alone. What makes it doubly shocking is the contrast between Qifrey’s efforts to connect with Coco, earnest enough to break past the panels’ borders, and his rejection of Olruggio.
That turnabout also casts a shadow of doubt over the previous heart-warming scenes between Qifrey and Coco. If he rejected a perfect show of friendship, if he truly believes in nothing but solitude and revenge, was he lying to Coco the whole time when he praised her for seeking new answers with her friends? Or is there some deeper, older issue with his friendship with Olruggio, which prevent them from truly connecting?
--> Part II
let’s talk about perfuma. imo, she’s one of the best characters in the show despite being underdeveloped, and i wanna explain why. she could’ve been extremely average, just some lanky flower girl that doesn’t believe in violence and loves everyone, but she is so much more than that (and it pisses me off that y’all reduce her to that).
in her introductory episode, perfuma is clearly in denial about the horde almost destroying plumeria. she doesn’t want to acknowledge the problem, wants someone else to take care of it for her. she’s scared of change, and that is because change makes you vulnerable. if things always stay the same, there’s a whole lot less danger and uncertainty, and therefore you’re safe. secure. perfuma’s kingdom is dying and she can’t bear to accept it because it is unknown to her. it’s putting her in a position where she is no longer secure. this fear of vulnerability can also be seen at the beginning of 1x10 when the princess alliance falls apart and she literally says ‘being together makes us vulnerable.’
the thing is, perfuma isn’t wrong. look at her choice of words. she says that being together makes them vulnerable, not weak. here, she kind of has the words mixed up, but we see that by s5 she has come to understand the difference. that’s what’s so great about perfuma, her motivation to do better, her hunger for self-improvement. it’s why she’s such an important part of catra’s redemption, actually, because she embodies the kind person catra is or wants to be.
let me explain: perfuma is an angry, impatient, short-tempered character. we are shown this again and again with her passive aggression to others and how easily mermista can annoy her with trivial things (sitting in her seat in the war room, for example). catra is also an angry, impatient character, but perfuma works every day to manage those emotions. she knows she needs them, she uses them as a tool (calling catra out, for example, is a time they were practically pivotal for getting her point across) but she also acknowledges they can hurt the people she loves. we know she does a meditation ritual each morning and we see in 4x02 how quickly she can unravel without it. she wants to be better. she puts the work in. that is such a valuable lesson for a character like catra who has always felt she’s just not good enough, she’s always going to be this angry and unlovable and no one can do anything about it.
so, 4x02. it’s a brilliant episode for perfuma’s character, really, and the first proper development we’ve had since 1x04. we see her anger, her impatience, but we also see her self-doubt. her belief that she’s inadequate, ‘just a flower girl.’ this is also when we get introduced to her little mantra that becomes a bit of a motif later on, ‘i can do this.’ we know perfuma doesn’t wholeheartedly believe this, but she says it anyway because she wants to. perfuma wants to be better. she will do whatever she can to be her best self, whether that be actually conquering her gripes with cacti or realising there’s a loophole with the roots (love that conflict resolution by the way, another good deconstruction of hero bs by spop).
this episode is also significant because it comes back to perfuma’s fear of change, of vulnerability. she’s thrown into a situation she doesn’t want to be in, one she feels miserably unprepared for, and she hasn’t done the one thing that puts her at her best beforehand, but she pulls through in the end because she is surrounded by people that support her, that listened to her and consoled her when she was vulnerable. 4x02 teaches perfuma the power of self-worth and the power of true, mutual, unconditional love, which can only come with vulnerability.
and this is where her character gets really interesting, in my humble opinion. ngl, one of the reasons i love perfuma so much is because she’s a pisces and i am too. i’m not gonna go astrology hoe on you rn, i’m just using this to demonstrate the part of her character that teaches others. pisces, if you don’t know, love to play therapist. we like to help the people around us with whatever strifes they may have because we think we’re fucking great at it. perfuma actually is.
you know how i said perfuma learns the importance of self-belief and vulnerability? yeah, she teaches both of those lessons to other characters in s5. like i said, perfuma is a character who values self-betterment and also happens to be a pisces, so when she sees scorpia, riddled with so much self-doubt and such low self-esteem, her immediate response is just i’m gonna teach that bitch how to love herself. and she does!
i’ve seen some people say they don’t like scorfuma because it seemed as though the writers just decided to ‘fix’ all of scorpia’s problems by giving her a girlfriend. that’s very dumb, first of all because they aren’t even together by the end of the show, they’re just interested in one another. second, the whole point of she-ra is that we’re stronger together. scorpia doesn’t go through growth in s5 because a girl likes her, she goes through growth because someone is showing her support and love for the first time in her life and that empowers her. you know, the worth that scorpia finds in herself doesn’t hinge on perfuma, like it did with catra. it’s about her as an individual, and perfuma so clearly makes it about that when her big lesson revolves around singing. scorpia loves singing. perfuma tells her she should do it because she enjoys it, a sentiment you’d never hear in the horde, and when scorpia does sing, she is actively rejecting the people who did make all her self-worth hinge on them catra. she’s doing something for herself, because she enjoys it, because it makes her happy, because she can.
it’s that same mantra: i can do this, i can do this. i really love how this was brought back from 4x02, how perfuma repurposed something that taught her such a valuable lesson for someone else. perfuma and scorpia are great foil characters actually, both constantly underestimated and thought of as weak by their groups, but some of the strongest characters in the show due to their deep value of love and self. i can do this, and i know i can because you believe in me, because i believe in myself. it’s brought back again in 5x10, when the last thing perfuma says before scorpia breaks the beam is ‘i know you can [pull through]’. she tells catra she believes in scorpia. it’s that belief, that support from other people that empowers the self to believe it too. we are stronger together, you know??
anyways, onto vulnerability. return to the fright zone is in my top ten episodes of the whole fucking show and you might think that’s a bit weird but i don’t. 5x10 encompasses so many important themes of spop so well and tells them with scorfuma and spinnetossa, our two side lesbian couples. this is significant since perfuma literally draws a parallel between her and catra at the end of the episode, and catradora and spinnetossa have always been significant to one another. i’m gonna say it, perfuma is the reason catra is finally able to confess to adora in 5x13. i’ve already talked about how important perfuma is to catra’s motivation to improve, but she literally makes catra rethink everything about strength and vulnerability, two words catra has a lot of feelings about.
catra fears vulnerability. we know this. she has such a deep love for those important to her but is never able to articulate it because she worries she’ll be taken advantage of, shot down, laughed at, whatever. all of this stems from the abuse she suffered at shadow weaver’s hands and her attachment issues, and it’s also why catra pretends to hate scorpia’s very open displays of affection and love: she sees it as weak because she has been taught to, but it’s all she ever really wanted to be.
we also know perfuma used to fear vulnerability. she doesn’t any more. the entirety of the episode leading up to her and catra’s heart-to-heart is her being vulnerable, putting herself in a position where she’s in danger but believing it’s worth it. and it is. despite what everyone said to her, perfuma is right: it was worth it. she got through to scorpia, even if it was only for a moment. she literally spells it out to us and catra with one of the best lines in the whole show: it’s hard, keeping your heart open. it makes you vulnerable, but it doesn’t make you weak, and i have to believe it’s worth it.
back in 1x10, perfuma was right: being together makes you vulnerable. horde prime tries to use people’s relationships against them, that’s literally the plot of save the cat, the point of pitting catra and adora against one another. he sees them as weak, just like shadow weaver deems adora’s feelings for catra ‘confusing’, just like light hope insisted adora was a danger to her friends as long as she was around them. they were all wrong. yes, they’re vulnerable. perfuma acknowledges that vulnerability puts you in danger, that it’s difficult to do that, but she knows it doesn’t make you weak. weakness vs strength is a big conflict in 5x10 literally introduced to us with netossa’s theories on everyone’s weaknesses in the first few minutes.
like perfuma says, friendship isn’t a weakness. it’s her greatest strength. her belief in love is literally what saves her and adora’s lives, it’s what saves everyone who got chipped, glimmer, bow. belief in love, both of others and yourself, is what saves adora in her dying moments. perfuma summarises she-ra’s entire fucking message to us repeatedly in 5x10 and she tells it to catra because catra is the one who will do the most with it. that glance at adora, it’s obvious what it means. perfuma is telling catra she should be open with adora about her feelings because you have to believe it’s worth it.
you won’t get anywhere waiting for other people to make the move. she-ra couldn’t heal plumeria’s lands, so plumeria had to fight their own battle alongside her no matter how much they felt unable to. the rebellion couldn’t move mara’s ship, so perfuma had to despite thinking she wasn’t strong enough. the reason they always win in the end is because they have each other, they have love and support and people motivating them to do better. just like perfuma motivates herself to do better.
it’s the mantra. i can do this. i can be vulnerable and still win, because i have love. and it’s hard, it’s so fucking hard to be vulnerable when you’ve feared it all your life and you’re so angry, so hurt, but you have to believe it’s worth it. and it is. it is, it is, it is, love is stronger than anything and being vulnerable for the people you love is the only way you can ever get what you want from them. perfuma as a character embodies that, having learnt it herself, and teaches the lesson to one of the characters who needs it the most.
adora is dying, and catra loves her, and she knows she does, and she just has to believe. adora is dying, and she loves catra, and she knows she does, but she doesn’t believe. not until catra teaches her too, in that moment, to realise they were all wrong, light hope, shadow weaver, horde prime. adora doesn’t need to let go, she needs to hold on and believe she will be pulled back up by the girl she loves. she needs to believe she deserves it. that it’s worth it.
and it is.
good enough (draco malfoy x fem!reader)
Draco Malfoy x fem!Slytherin!Reader
*based loosley on the song ‘line without a hook’ by ricky montgomery*
Request: can I ask for Draco x reader where the reader is sassy, but also kind Slytherin (like one of the kind Slytherin)?? And Draco has a huge crush on her? Super fluffy? ~ @lennylangdraws
Warnings: low self-esteem, angst, smidge of house stereotyping, i don’t know the meaning of fluff im so sorry
Authors note: you asked for fluff and I have no excuses for how this turned out except this song has been stuck in my head for weeks now. I hope you like it anyway despite the angst... i tried to make it fluffy make up at the end?
Also, I’m not saying this is a prequel to vulnerable love, but it kinda fits... pretty sure it makes vulnerable love hurt more though.)
Draco wasn’t sure it was possible to want back what he’s never had.
He never knew being stuck in the awkward phase of being an ‘almost couple’ is something he could miss, that he’d ever long to feel the heat that would creep up his cheeks when their eyes met, to feel the nauseating butterflies flap in his stomach when she smiled at him or the jolt of nervous energy that would rip through him whenever their fingers accidentally grazed each other’s under tables or in corridors.
Yet now that those little things are beyond his grasp, he’s desperate for them again, desperate for her. It might be easier to miss her if she were gone, rather than just sitting at the other end of the Slytherin table, or across the room during classes, it would be easier not to see her, the constant reminder of what he’s allowed him self to ruin.
They weren’t supposed to get along, every conflicting personality trait dooming them to a life as enemies. Everyone knows her, the ‘nice’ Slytherin. It’s a title given to her by her classmates, the too-cocky Gryffindors who can’t see past Slytherin’s bad reputation as bullies and snobs, a bad-reputation fuelled by Draco Malfoy himself.
No one could have expected them to end up the way they did, dates in Hogsmeade or hushed conversations by the common room fire in the early hours of the morning and afternoons spent by the lake. No one could have expected them to get along so well.
Draco knows that everyone has expected this though, for them to fall apart before they’ve even had the chance to begin. It’s what they’ve expected of him all along after all, to break her heart.
He’s pretty sure he hasn’t got the right to be looking for her like this, seeking her out desperately to get her back, once again deluded into believing he ever had her in the first place. He’s the one who called it off in a moment of certainty that it was the right thing to do, a selfless act. And so it’s wrong for him to be here right now, back in their secret spot.
She’s exactly where he assumed she would be, curled beneath the tree she was always affectionately calling theirs. His entire body tenses painfully at the sight of her, face hidden in her palms and body shaking, not from the cold, but from the trembling of barely silenced sobs.
He wonders if it’s his racing heart that she can hear that alerts her to his presence and has her looking up from her hands, teary eyes meeting his in surprise. Then, she pulls her brows into a well-justified scowl and a lump forms in Draco’s throat that he can’t seem to swallow.
“What are you doing here?”
An incredibly valid question for which Draco can only provide selfish answers. It seems silly to tell her that he’s hear to win her back, and futile given her growing anger. Yet he won’t be able to live with himself if he doesn’t, miserable without her.
“I miss you.” He gulps honestly. “Truthfully, I’ve been a mess without you.”
“Merlin, Draco.” She gasps out a laugh of disbelief. “Maybe you should have thought of that before you started ignoring me. Frankly, that isn’t really my issue.”
“I know.” He sighs apologetically. “I know, I didn’t mean-“
“Just get it over with, Draco.” She rolls her eyes. “Say your piece and leave me alone.”
He nods, taking hesitant steps forward towards her, the frost coated grass crunching under foot. She avoids his eyes as he takes a seat beside her, staring determinedly at her lap and making a conscious attempt to hide the quickly accumulating tears.
“Aren’t you cold?”
She lets out a loud exasperated sigh and refuses him an answer. He agrees with the sentiment of it, regretted the stupidity of it the minute it left his lips. Still, he leans forward to pull the Slytherin scarf from his neck and twists himself to allow him to wrap it loosely around hers, fussing with it until he’s reassured that she’ll be warmer for it.
“You looked cold.”
“Tis’ the season.” She mumbles sarcastically.
Her sarcasm is another thing he’s missed from her, and it draws a momentary smile to his face. Then, the moment is over, and his eyes have fixed on the tear stains painting her cheeks, proof of his own fatal mistake.
“I’m so sorry, (Y/N).”
“Two weeks overdue.”
“I know.” He agrees sheepishly. “I know, (Y/N).”
“Then why are you only here now?” She questions. “Why did you do it in the first place? You can’t just act like you have feelings for someone then disappear and ignore them for weeks!”
Her voice wobbles and cracks at the end, much to her own dismay, and each breath she takes is jagged in the way one’s always is when trying to conceal tears. He watches her press the balls of her palm to her eyes in frustration, letting out a small whimper that has every inch of him aching with remorse.
Part of him, a self-preserving part, tells him to lie. It’s a side of himself he’s grown to hate recently, the side that pushed him into this mess in the first place, and so he knows better than to bargain with it again. So, with a deep breath, he chooses to tell the truth, he chooses to be vulnerable.
“I’m not good enough.”
Although exhaled in a whisper the revelation is startlingly loud. Perhaps its due to the serene quiet always felt on crisp cold days like today, where the sun hangs low in the sky and the lake lies unimaginably still, or perhaps it’s the raw honestly in the statement that makes it seem so alarmingly bold.
She blinks at him, lips parting in surprise and brows furrowing in confusion or concern, Draco isn’t sure. He can hear his pulse in his ears, a slight trembling in his hands that he knows has nothing to do with the chilly breeze. He’s done something profound, terrifying even, and opened that vulnerably part of himself to someone, with no control over what happens to it next.
“What?” She manages.
“Everyone knows it, (Y/N).” He explains nervously. “I’m a terrible match for you.”
“Who the hell is everyone” She frowns. “Since when did they matter?”
There is a certain protective edge to her voice that he doesn’t deserve, but it replays itself in his head over and over, clinging to it for hope. It takes him a moment to let it go again, to push it down and answer.
“They’re right.” He sighs. “You’re too good a person for me, I’m too Slytherin.”
The concern instantly leaves her eyes, she sits forward with an urgent look of disbelief and another of her signature scoffs. She’s giving him an inspective look, trying to figure out if he’s serious, or if he’s suddenly picked up a new, strange sense of humour.
“You’re kidding, right?”
He isn’t quite sure what to say and his silence fuels another disbelieving shake of her head.
“I am a Slytherin, Draco.” She exclaims. “No matter what those big-headed Gryffindors are always saying, I was sorted into Slytherin and I’m proud of it- you’re supposed to be proud too, not agreeing with those stupid stereotypes.”
“It’s different.” He exhales in frustration. “I am those stupid stereotypes!”
Draco Malfoy has never been considered modest.
Self-confidence isn’t a trait earned in the Malfoy family clan, but rather inherited between generations, a birth right bestowed upon them the minute they are old enough to understand. It’s a confidence Draco has always been comfortably protected by, unwaveringly sure of his own self-importance gifted to him by his ancestors
Yet something about the infamously kind (Y/N) (Y/L/N) has him constantly falling apart at the seams with the need to be good enough for her. He’s never met anyone like her, no one so capable of making him question the unwarranted self-importance he was raised on as a Malfoy.
Even now, wrapped unceremoniously in his scarf, late falling orange leaves lying in her hair and her cheeks stained with tears, he’s never felt so undeserving of a person in his life. She’s a lady, and he’s just a boy, he’s heartbreakingly inadequate.
“I just want to be someone you can be proud to call yours.”
With his eyes solemnly fixed on his lap, anywhere other than her reaction, he jumps slightly at her cold fingertips on his hand, prying them from the tightly curled fists he has no recollection of clenching and slipping her fingers into his.
“Draco, look at me.” She pleads softly. “Please.”
He does so slowly with her encouraging squeeze of his hand, she’s smiling at him, sympathetic, but unpatronizing.
“I am proud.” She states softly, but confidently. “I don’t want some perfect golden boy, I want you, Draco.”
Three words he never knew he needed from her, ‘I want you’, and they fill a space in his chest that was gaping for reassurance. She’s amazed him again as she always does, she has a talent for making him speechless than no one else has ever mastered.
“You’re so harsh on yourself you haven’t even realised how much you’ve grown, Draco.” She informs. “You’re not the bully you used to be, you’re not the carbon copy of your father anymore, and I’m sorry that no one has allowed you to move on from your past to see your present.”
She smiles sheepishly at his dumfounded expression and gives him the moment he needs to collect his thoughts and process it all. Then, slowly, he’s shaking his head in surprise, letting out a soft sigh.
“You’re too good to me.”
“Don’t make me repeat myself.” She jokes. “I think I straightened that misconception out already.”
“No but- you’re just so…”
The heat burning his cheeks is worse than ever before, he feels almost overwhelmed by it all, her compliments, her smile, that genuine look in her eyes that convinces him she’s unwaveringly sure of every word she’s said.
“Thank you.” He blurts finally. “Especially after I- well I ruined it all.”
“Yeah, I won’t lie, you really fucked up.” She admits. “But you’ve made an honest recovery…”
“Thank you for giving me a second chance.” He exhales gratefully. “You didn’t need to do that.”
“I was going to tell you to piss off after the ‘are you cold’ bit to be honest.” She chuckles. “Stayed because you gave me your scarf- which I’m stealing by the way.”
“Take it.” He urges, a smile finding his lips for what he’s sure is the first time in two weeks, since his misguided decision to end their almost-relationship. “Take whatever you want from me, it’s yours.”
She lets out a shaky breath and gulps. She purposely drops her gaze momentarily to his lips before retuning them to his eyes again, a gesture that has his eyes widening and the tips of his ears turning scarlet. Slipping her fingers from between his, she tentatively cups one of his cheeks, fingertips grazing the red colour blossoming on his pale skin.
“Can I kiss you?”
“I-“ He chokes. “Yes.”
She smiles nervously, reassuring him that he’s not the only one flustered. Then, curling her free hand around the lapel of his jacket, she pulls him closer with eyes shut. Their lips are cold when they meet, and slightly chapped by the cool air, but neither care. Draco places a hand on her waist, pulling her somehow closer as their lips begin to move hesitantly together. She lets out a soft content sigh, sending a breath of warm air into the kiss and causing him to positively melt inside. She’s done it again, completely incapacitated him with such a simple thing as a kiss.
“You’re going to be the death of me.” He exhales.
She lets out a giddy laugh as she pulls back, forehead still pressed to his and eyes still shut.
“There are worst ways to go than my lips.”
He knows, he’s very quickly decided that’s the only way he ever wants to go. She presses her lips to his again for a split second before pulling back completely, he aches for the feeling again, greedy for it now that he’s felt it once.
“Next time, talk to me.” She pleads. “If you ever feel like you’re not good enough, I’ll be there to convince you otherwise, but don’t just disappear.”
“I won’t.” He assures. “I never meant to hurt you.”
“I know that, Draco.” She smiles sadly. “I just want you to know that you can talk to me.”
The hard part, that initial step, is over. He’s leapt into the unknown, flung himself into the terrifying depths of vulnerability, and there is no going back, but he never wants to, he never wants to leave her again.
“Also if I ever hear you speaking shit about our house again I swear to-“
She’s cut off by his lips once again on hers, startled only for a minute before she’s grinning, grateful to see his confidence returning. She can feel his own grin on her lips and the vibrations of a light laugh before he’s pulling back again.
“Consider me warned.”
“Good.” She exhales. “Or I’ll be confiscating your tie next.”
(Authors note: its not my favourite but if i rewrote it one my time i was flinging my laptop out my window... its not particularly proofread.)
The Black family / Walburga Black / canon.
As I said before I do not care that much about canon/fanon/headcanon because transformative works by definition include a wide variety of different interpretations. However, I am forever perplexed when I see uncompromising opinions on the Black family - particularly the unwavering certainty that Sirius Black’s parents were psychotic abusers. All personal opinions aside - why is this so popular?
I mean - it’s absolutely ok to headcanon this version and to play with it - but saying 'don’t you dare say they did not physically and emotionally abuse Sirius' is a little strong, isn’t it?
This is a mystery to me. So…let’s discuss my favourite subject…Again.
Let’s stick to the facts. The frequently cited things proving the abuse in the Black family are as follows:
Sirius said his parents were awful maniacs (pureblood ideology)
he ran away from home
he was severely depressed in OoTP
So…when you say that Sirius’s parents were abusive…you mean exactly what? These people got cold feet when they saw the real nature of Voldemort - I guess it somehow implies that they did not share his methods…that they were against violence as a tool to get purebloods in charge.
But then it usually goes this way: ‘well at least he was verbally and emotionally abused by his family’ - but is it so? Is this based on the portrait of Sirius's mother? She insulted strangers who took over her house and her runaway son - how does this prove anything about how Sirius and Regulus were raised and treated when they were kids? I agree it’s rather impolite - jkr did a good job showing how purebloods perceived others ( those below them) -but in all honesty, this has very little to do with Sirius and his childhood.
Why to make Sirius a victim at all? - c’mon he was tougher than this, he spent 12 years in Azkaban; are you actually saying that a portrait throwing insults at everyone is worse? I doubt that. And is it such a surprise that a mother who lost her son (that said son actually ran away and abandoned his duty) would be that furious at him when seeing him again...even if it’s only a portrait...I believe it to be a rather unpleasant experience for a parent when a child runs away.
We already talked about the portrait a lot - I don’t even want to mention it here- - I feel we should rather pay more attention to the fact that Sirius himself was not an angel.
I am not saying the colourful vocabulary of Walburga Black should be used…but Sirius himself upon seeing Snape immediately recognised his weakness and went for it without any hesitation …we are talking about Sirius who in fact was quite a renowned bully ( I mean - we know for a fact that from time to time Sirius and James got carried away)…
And it was Sirius who sent Snape to meet and chat with a real werewolf (yes, I agree - he was not thinking this through - he probably was just vexed and fed up with Snape and thought he wouldn’t go there, would get cold feet or idk run away…But it actually changes nothing. If a drunken driver hits someone it will be 100% his fault whether he means it or not. Whether he is in a fragile mental state or not - such situations are definite. It’s the same with Sirius - even if he did not mean anything bad he should have understood the cost of his mistake - all teenagers make silly things but not all of them send their classmate to meet a werewolf - James thought it not a very good idea as I recall… -
So we see that Sirius was not an angel from the start and I can hardly believe he was a victim by nature. His behaviour loudly manifested that he used to get what he wanted with no thought of the consequences.
And all those pictures of bikini-clad girls on the walls in his room prove that he was quite a spoiled boy who had nothing to fear from mum and dad. Harry himself noticed «Sirius seemed to have gone out of his way to annoy his parents». All this shows that Sirius was not afraid of his parents at all. What kind of masochist would suffer for motorbike posters? That would be ridiculous.
Let’s move to Kreacher: If Sirius’s mother had been a monster why even mention her heart? JKR wrote this for a purpose and this heavily implies that Sirius's situation was never meant to be ‘the abusive heartless parents vs the poor helpless victim’.
The fact that Sirius ran away and hence broke his mother’s heart says against the popular idea that he was not loved by his family, that he was always the second one, that they abused him. I’m 100% certain that Kreacher told the truth in that scene. Why would he say something like this if it were not the truth - something like…that his beloved mistress having been so upset over Sirius running away that it broke her heart. Just tell me one reason that would have justified such a lie - why to say this at all?
Then this: “Leave?” Sirius smiled bitterly and ran a hand through his long, unkempt hair. “Because I hated the whole lot of them: my parents, with their pure-blood mania, convinced that to be a Black made you practically royal … my idiot brother, soft enough to believe them … that’s him.”…. “He was younger than me,” said Sirius, “and a much better son, as I was constantly reminded.”
I’ve already said it before - this ‘better son than me’ is exactly what insecure 14-year old kids like to say. Well...he’s a bit older but it’s not as if he had a life and a chance to mature. Moreover, I don’t know if it comes as a great shock but a lot of teenagers like to badmouth their parents…usually, it involves something like ‘those bloody uptight retrogrades know nothing of the real world’ (it fades away when they get closer to thirty).
To be serious, I find that it’s just another example of similarities between Sirius and his mother. They clearly did not know what it means to be composed, polite, and respectful. Yeah…I think that, on the whole, parents are owed their children’s respect (unless they are completely inadequate - somehow I don’t believe this was the case). Someone should teach both of them what mutual respect means. Anyway, there is nothing in this quote that says that Sirius was subjected to any forms of abuse - it’s about how Sirius justified his running away, how he saw the situation.
There’s also the fact that Sirius was incredibly unhappy because he was back at his childhood home and having to spend time around anything that reminded him of his family: “Hasn’t anyone told you? This was my parents’ house,” said Sirius. “But I’m the last Black left, so it’s mine now. I offered it to Dumbledore for headquarters — about the only useful thing I’ve been able to do.” Harry, who had expected a better welcome, noted how hard and bitter Sirius’s voice sounded”.
Here it comes…the severe depression that makes people question the severity of his abuse… I have thought a lot about this because it is the reason why some consider ‘the abusive blacks' canon while others believe it was more of a tragedy of the family rather than the banal brutality.
Of course, Sirius was upset in that house - but I don’t think he suffered the memories of his unhappy childhood - I think he suffered from the strong feeling of guilt. Being in that house meant an everyday reminder that he was a failure. And it’s not even a lie. If you look at his whole life you’ll see that he literally failed everyone in his life: he failed James and Lily - they were dead and he unwillingly became the reason. It was his plan that turned everything into a tragedy.
And, to some extent, he failed Harry- he was not around him like James and Lily would have wanted. Sirius did not give him the real family - he only promised they'd be the one «when it’s all over».
And finally - he failed his parents, his brother, his own family.
Is it possible to live with so much guilt in your heart?
I don't think that Sirius completely forgot who he was born to be. If the family keeps traditions and can trace its existence back in centuries you can't shake it off even if you want. I doubt Sirius switched it off just because he had griffindor friends. He was the last Black - it is tragically poetic that he was once the hope of his family and then this family died with him. If Sirius had heart (and I truly believe he had a heart) he knew exactly what it meant to be trapped in the house that represented the death of his family. A constant reminder that he was the last one.
“The others’ hushed voices were giving Harry an odd feeling of foreboding; it was as though they had just entered the house of a dying person”.
I think that the scene when he threw his father's ring away - he threw it away because it was all over for his family. It was the end of the dynasty - and for him it was all over long before he met Bellatrix for the last time.
Well, I admit Sirius' situation is open for wide interpretation but I don’t think the abusive black household is a canon thing - of course, it’s fanon. It makes Sirius a hero who broke the chains when in fact he ended up being a victim of his own life.
You know, it always seems strange to me that fandom when discussing Walburga usually overlooks the simple truth of life - that even if you are clever enough and mean good for your loved ones it is still possible to end up on the losing side, on the dark side. However, mistakes don't automatically turn humans into monsters.
To some extent Sirius’s story represents the consequences of war. No-one is protected; the whole families could be wiped off the face of the earth. It’s a simple yet profound idea. It correlates with the main idea of hp books far better than the ‘abusive psychopaths’ (there are already Voldemort and Bellatrix - there is no-one who can beat them in this department).
All I say - it’s okay to imagine them bad if you want- your right - but don’t write everywhere that it’s canon because it is not.There is no need for such inflexibility especially when it comes to the fandom - a place where everyone should be welcomed and their views on the books be respected.
Well, in the midst of one of my lovely downward spirals. My weekend has been dull and uneventful.
But I had an epiphany of sorts.
One of the major problems I have is that I have no agency.
I have no power, I make no major decisions, I just float around, going through the motions, feeling empty as shit and completely out of control. I do what's expected of me, and that is it. I don't even feel empowered enough to go out and make a moderate purchase, like some silly piece of decorative furniture I might like.
My husband makes all the major decisions. Not that he doesn't consult me, but I usually defer to him because I see him as being more knowledgeable, more savvy when it comes to nearly everything. I feel like a child sometimes. Yet, I run a household. I keep my kids fed, clothed, generally happy.
I don't know wtf that says about me, my marriage, or my husband. This isn't meant to trash him, either. I could go into more detail, but frankly I feel like my life us such a damn mess.
I feel that way here, too. I write my fics, my one outlet that involves no one IRL. But I feel terribly inadequate. I feel like an idiot most times, and I think it's got a lot to do with self confidence (I have exactly NONE.) I have no college degree, and that's bothered me for so long now. I feel stupid, beneath everyone. I'd like to remedy that but how the hell do i do that?? I barely have time to shower 🙄
After I had a breakdown over Christmas last year, I told my husband I wanted two hours each weekend to myself. I don't think that's asking a lot.
But surprise surprise, that's just kind of gone out the window, and I'm afraid to bring it up. I couldn't take my two yr old to school Thursday because of a flat tire and I was really bothered by the fact that my three hours of solitude were taken from me because of it. Husband thought I was being silly. He doesn't see how much I need that time. I'm intensely introverted, so my alone time is very precious.
But I just get pushed aside. Constantly, all the time, by every fucking body. I feel invisible; I'm guilt tripped by my mother when I bring this stuff up, like I'm not an individual anymore, I'm merely an extension of my kids, and my husband, and anything *I* feel or say isn't to be paid attention to.
Last night I was left home with the kids while husband went to a ball game. Gone for 6 or so hours. He got back, kids were asleep and I was exhausted. I was irritated but he expected me to hop out of bed all rainbows and sunshine, watch TV with him, etc. And I was the hateful one because I wasn't interested in the game?!?!?!?!
Had to get this the fuck out because I had nowhere else to go with it.
I was wondering if you had any advice for me. I'm a teacher (female, relatively short, 25, smaller than most of my students even) and until last year, I've always loved teaching and spending my days trying to help kids navigate their lives. After my first year, I had a rude awakening but I stayed purely because I cared about the kids so much. But I've reached my limit...After being harassed by anti-mask parents calling us lazy indoctrinators and liars, after spending 12 hours a day working- after school clubs and taking masters classes to be a better educator and grading and making lesson plans during my weekends constantly, after looking at the power dynamic between a predominantly female workforce with a majority male supervisors, after having middle school boys shout comments about my body and sex life and being told to brush it off because they're kids, after being cussed at and shouted at and physically attacked by students and parents, after witnessing how horrid the socialization and the harm that is being done to young women in schools is, after all of this and constantly more- no time to use the restroom, going hungry through my day because we had meetings during lunch, having to write sub plans while throwing up when I call out for being sick, missing weekends with my partner and family members and pets due to work, I'm trying to get out...But I don't know how...I've taken to drinking heavily after work just to get through the week, and even then, even hungover the next day, I go to work and nobody knows and I try to give it my all for my students because they're such UNBELIEVABLY precious kids and even the "trouble" students, I love so so SO much...But I don't know what to do anymore. I know others will judge me for not being "the perfect sacrificial do-anything-for-the-job teacher" but I don't want to do this anymore and have come to hate anything to do with teaching. I don't know how to get out due to my financial situation, or my confidence level...I feel like I'm stuck and miserable and have become the entire world's punching bag since I can't even bring myself to do what other teachers do and scream at my students to make them stop talking over me or to take me seriously. How do I stop being so pathetic?...And how do I find another career?...
Youre not pathetic, you're experiencing burnout!! Its unfortunate and unfair the lack of government support that teachers are given - between inadequate pay and overworking, burnout is super common. There are a number of paths available to you right now.
First, you could look into going into the private sector. It sounds like an all girls school with smaller classroom sizes, less uneducated parents, less violent environments, and less obnoxious little boys might take a level of stress off your back.
Secondly, you could look into becoming a private teacher. I have read that wealthy families are hiring private teachers for their children during the pandemic to essentially do homeschooling where they are not the educator. Its something to chew on.
Third, you could look into becoming a trainer at a larger company. For example, most technology companies need on-site trainers to bring new employees or customers up to speed on their software. This training is done in classroom settings. Often, these trainers were previously in the education field. Its a little better pay and you're working with all adults. They often travel as well.
Fourth, you could jump ship completely and take an office job to work from there, or return to school for another degree!!
You have options! Don't be too stressed!! The world is at your fingertips, you just need to grab it :)
Verde Agua de Mar
moodboard by: @punkrocknpearls, thank you for this fabulous edit, it fits the story just right 💚 and thanks for putting up with my indecisive ass 😅
requested by: @lilosstuff, I'm so sorry if this is not what you had in mind 😅 It turned out to be more angsty than fluffy, but it's still cute, I think? Tho I'd totally understand if you never request anything from me ever again 😂
pairing: Hvitserk x Hispanic Selkie!Reader (don't ask, just go along with it! 😂)
word count: 3582
spotify playlist (the story is particularly inspired by these two songs that I love: Más y Más by Robi Draco & Open Water by blessthefall)
warnings: angst & fluff, hurt/comfort, love at first sight, descriptions of birthing, re-imagined inaccurate mythology; and nudity, I guess?
summary: As he raids a seaside town abroad, Hvitserk stumbles upon a mysterious girl about to give birth in a cave and he realizes that she's just what he's been missing.
a/n: HUGE thanks to my fantastic beta @xbellaxcarolinax, idk how she manages to give me just what the story needs every time I hit a wall but I'm gonna go ahead and call this a collab, okay? 🥺💚
taglist: @mirthful-sonnet, @xbellaxcarolinax, @davairys, @flowers-in-your-hayr, @flokisdaughter, @alexhandersen-marcoilsoe-fandom, @punkrocknpearls, @pieces-by-me, @belovedcherry , @lordsexmachine
Hvitserk strolled along the shoreline of this foreign land, his boots slick with blood sliding over the tiny dark rocks of the pebbly coast. Despite that one small similarity it held with the cold lands he’d roamed in countless voyages through all the trading ports of his native Scandinavia, this beach could not look any more different from the steely grey ones that were most familiar to him.
Here, there were no soft ripples in a tranquil fjord. In Hispania — as he’d learned this place was called — the sea battered against the shore constantly; its foamy water spritzing Hvitserk’s face in a baptism of salt. The breeze swayed the few bushes that delineated the boundaries of the beach and the hot sun shone brightly in the center of the firmament with the intensity of a thousand angry fires. It warmed his skin on contact and made more sweat drops drip out from his pores than his elaborate fighting routines in battle could ever procure.
It was this same sun — so absent from the pale vastness of his homeland — the one making all the colors around him pop like nothing he’d ever seen before. Everything seemed more vivid, more alive. He couldn’t remember the infinite sky ever being that blue or the puffy clouds that white, or the blood covering his light leather armor that crimson.
He inhaled deeply; even the air felt foreign. It was much more humid and thicker than what he was used to, but somehow, he didn’t hate it. With no one around in sight, Hvitserk smiled melancholically to himself, gazing across the arresting landscape, taking in its virgin, almost oppressive beauty.
Despite the vision in front of him, Hvitserk felt a little disappointed in Hispania. The blood of Ragnar painted the inside of his veins with a longing desire for adventure. He had barely made port in this strange country a few hours ago and overtaking this fishing town had been way too easy for his liking. After having sailed with Bjørn, Floki, and Rollo across the tempestuous black sea, itching for weeks to step foot on the land, he realized that raiding it had been nothing but another meaningless routine.
It didn’t fulfill him as it once did, which was a problem because there was a part of him — one that he constantly fought to keep under wraps — which longed to settle down with a good wife and have his house bustle with children and be desolate no more. This side of him made him feel conflicted and inadequate, given his history of tragic romances. So, for now, he threw himself into the throes of battle to keep his mind from thinking too hard about what his heart was missing.
Hvitserk’s muscles felt weary and his skin was sticky and damp with blood and sweat so a refreshing swim was sure to make him feel brand new. He wandered up to a secluded cove on the other side of the beach where the waves didn’t assault the shore so brashly.
Once there, he dropped the belt that held his sword and daggers in place and he removed all the leather that constricted his flesh. His shirt and trousers reached the small pebbles some moments before he left behind his boots to feel the texture of the stones underneath the balls of his feet.
The brine water was warm but significantly less hot than the air and his body welcomed the cleansing wash of the waves lapping against his body. He cupped the translucent liquid in his hands and rubbed the blood off his face with a pleasured groan. It felt good to reclaim himself, the normal Hvitserk of every day, the one who laid dormant whenever the sanguinary berserker came out in a rage.
There he stayed for almost a half-hour until he perceived the skies turning to a menacing leaden silver. Within a few minutes, the sea on the distant horizon began to roil and Hvitserk knew that the storm’s landing was imminent. That’s why at first, he wasn't sure if the noise he’d heard had been even human. But he heard it again, sharp and clear.
And even though the wind slammed against his ears something fierce, the shrill noise cut through the air and made the skin on the back of his neck prickle. He made haste to shore and slipped his trousers on in a rush just as the clouds opened up their heavenly levees to unleash a fierce downpour on him, the only person around for miles.
Hvitserk grabbed the belt with his weapons in one hand and his boots and shirt in the other, forsaking his leather armor in favor of running behind the bushes to look for cover and for the source of that strange noise.
He didn’t have to wonder for much longer because the second he stepped behind the shrubs, his eyes detected the concealed entrance to a cave, just a few steps removed from the waterline and he set foot inside without stopping to think of the danger. Even shirtless, with pants half-open, and his weapons clutched awkwardly, Hvitserk wasn’t afraid of any man he could encounter in that hole.
But what he saw was no man. Shrouded only in a fluffy animal hide wrapped haphazardly around her naked body, Hvitserk spotted the protruding belly of a soaking-wet girl about his age. Her skin was smooth and shiny like a seal’s and she looked as if she’d just been washed ashore to undress with trembling fingers in haste.
Hvitserk’s eyes traveled upwards from her spread legs to her round hips and bare breasts until they met her gaze and she recoiled, the pain and the confusion mashed into one single gesture deforming her exquisite features. He stood awkward and frozen in the entrance of the grotto almost in a trance. Despite her grimace, she was the most fetching creature he’d ever seen.
Didn’t his mother use to tell him stories of mythical women that roamed the seas enchanting men? For a moment, Hvitserk wondered if she could’ve been a marooned selkie before deciding that he was too old to believe those stupid fish tales anymore. He wasn’t sure of how to proceed, whether to approach her or to back away and into the storm outside.
That is until she shrieked again and uttered one single word in a tongue he did not know. Still, he’d heard it enough times in battle during the day to know what it meant.
It was a cry for help. Both of her hands cradled her stomach and she pressed on it, perhaps hoping to accelerate her contractions, and her features twisted once more.
“Hey there!” He uttered in his mother tongue and she raised his face to look at him and all he could see was pure distress swimming in the liquid iris of her unnaturally beautiful eyes.
Whether it was because of her state or because of his intruding presence, it was unclear. Hvitserk was willing to bet that it was both. Normally, when faced with a cowering enemy, he would laugh, thrusting his weapon without remorse into their stiff bodies to extinguish the light from their eyes.
Yet, this time, Hvitserk got rid of his belongings by pure instinct. He discarded everything he was holding for the second time that day and he stumbled to kneel by her side. There was something about her calling him forward as if she were a siren and he was nothing but a malleable sailor.
“I’m Hvitserk. What’s your name?”
She shook her head in a gesture that probably meant what he was already suspecting. I don’t understand.
So he touched a hand to his bare chest and repeated. “Hvitserk.” A moment later, she mimicked his gesture with a quivering hand and told him hers.
An intense cry followed suit and he found himself wincing. If her screams were any indication, she was in excruciating agony. He’d seen men die in battle by the dozens and their keen wailings never bothered him. If anything, they fueled his precise movements meant to slake the bloodthirst of the brutal warrior inside.
But the way her big eyes shone with crystalline tears tugged at his heartstrings. She was not an enemy on the battlefield; she was but a young woman in pain and alone who only needed someone to comfort her.
“What are you doing here?” When she didn’t answer he pointed to her and gestured to the improvised shelter of this poor parturient girl.
“¡Tribus de bárbaros! ¡Hombres malos!” [“Tribes of barbarians! Bad men!”]
Hvitserk swallowed when she nodded her head in the general direction of their boats, anchored far away in the horizon. She must’ve been running from his people when her birth pains started. He had no idea where the father of this babe was or whether he was going to burst in at any second to find him there. If he did, Hvitserk was sure a fight would ensue. Which was fine by him. If there was one thing he was good at, it was fighting.
Then another thought crawled into his mind: perhaps it had been one of his own, the one to sire this child forcefully... Hvitserk seemed to remember another raiding party that had sailed from Kattegat some nine months earlier. With a clench of his jaw, he discarded the notion, not wanting to grapple with that possibility and its implications at the moment.
Instead, Hvitserk focused on her; he scoured the place for anything that could help ease her agony but there was nothing but solid rocks.
She kept huffing anxious breaths through her nose.
“What do I do?!” In his panic, Hvitserk touched her anguished face and then her neck and shoulders briefly, not sure of where to put his hands or how to console her. “What can I-”
“¡Ayúdame!” [“Help me!”] She snatched his hand in hers and held onto it while she huffed and strained.
He was in over his head.
He’d never seen a woman in childbirth, so he had no clue of what to do. He made a point to sneak out of the Great Hall whenever one of Aslaug’s servants delivered a baby, their shrill shrieking more annoying than a horde of banshees. Besides, every time they gave birth, Hvitserk could only think of Margrethe’s demise, and Thora’s miserable end, and Amma’s untimely departure to the halls of Valhalla, and how much he wished he could have made their bellies swell with his children before they died.
He used his own discarded shirt to pat dry her face and neck. Her entire body was drenched in sweat and saltwater and he wanted to absorb all of it but he stopped when he realized she probably wouldn’t want him to be touching the rest of her naked body so intimately.
There was stillness for a while, an extended moment where she merely gazed down at her belly and inhaled in a steady manner but Hvitserk knew that the worst was probably yet to come. He turned his head to the outside to see the rain still pouring down aggressively. The tides had risen enough to not let them walk out without at least having to waddle their calves through swirling water.
The wind was making high-pitched noises that resonated on the walls of the cave. If she had anyone at all in the world, they weren’t coming back now. And there was no way he could take her into town to see the nearest midwife. She couldn’t walk like that and he couldn’t carry her for so many miles either. He would just have to help her through it and pray to Freyja that she would bestow upon this sweet creature her protection.
Another cry coming from her parted lips made him crease his forehead in sympathy but the only thing Hvitserk could think of doing to ease her suffering was to hold her and make sure she felt his presence there with her. It wasn’t like he’d ever seen this woman before in her life but he felt the urgent desire to protect her and make sure that she and her baby were alright.
Her breast started heaving again and he decided to sit behind her and cradle her body. Much to his surprise, she sank her back into his chest and rested her head on the crook of his neck. By Odin, her frame fit perfectly inside his arms. There was no logic behind his thoughts but Hvitserk found himself wishing to be the father of this child and the husband of this sweet girl.
He experienced a strong desire to deliver the baby and snatch them back to his home in Kattegat. Hvitserk knew he could protect them and care for them in a special way. He thought about how whenever one of his nieces or nephews ran with wide grins into his open arms, he felt half of his heart swell with pride and the other half wither with sadness and longing. He’d wanted to be a father for so long that this situation was almost tragically comical.
Her whimpers increased by the second, her hands reaching out to grip tightly at his forearms. Hvitserk almost yelped in pain at the deadly slash of her fingers against his skin, her strangely sharp fingernails ruthlessly digging into his soft alabaster flesh and drawing scarlet blood.
But Hvitserk had no further time to register the strength of her hands nor the thin stream of blood running down his arms as a wave of pure panic settled over his frame once she began to cry out again. Her back arched away from him as she tilted her head back to howl towards the heavens.
“What do I do?!” Hvitserk asked for the second time in terror.
The feeling of dread seeping into his bones was like nothing he’d ever experienced before, not even on the eve of battle. War had always come too easy to him. And yet, here he was, afraid of losing a complete stranger he’d only just met. Hvitserk shifted away from her, being mindful to set her carefully against the rocky cavern wall.
He looked between her perspiring face and the thing poking out from between her legs with anxiety. He could only watch in horror at the sight before him, her body expanding to release the child that was fighting his way into the world. He could barely make out the head covered in the blood and juices of its mother, her hands grabbing for purchase against dirt and sharp gravel.
“¡Ya viene!” [“He’s coming!”] She squealed through gritted teeth; her eyes screwed tightly as tears leaked down her flustered cheeks.
There was a word he would hear the midwives yell right before he’d make haste to leave the Great Hall...
“Push!” He urged as he threw aside the animal pelt that she was half-hiding under to place his hands between her legs, awkwardly cupping together to secure the baby’s fall. “Push!”
Somehow, despite the language barrier, she knew what he was asking of her and she complied reluctantly, her teeth gritting so harshly he thought she might shatter her jaw.
Three powerful screams later and the child slipped from his mother’s body and into Hvitserk’s waiting hands. Sharp cries engulfed them still as the cave walls echoed with the baby’s wails. The boy had a healthy pair of lungs.
“It’s a boy!” A laugh burst from Hvitserk’s lips, his eyes raking over the tiny wrinkly human in his arms.
The baby’s skin was flushed, little legs kicking in the air as his arms reached for something to hold onto which they found in Hvitserk’s long hair. Thick braided strands were fisted in his chubby little hand, his toothless mouth wide open as his cries battled against the thunderous rain.
Hvitserk’s face scrunched at the dull ache blooming on his scalp as the baby tugged on his braids mercilessly. Laughing, he ripped his hair away from the newborn's fingers, bringing his large thumb to swipe down his tiny button nose with another smile curling on his lips.
“He’s precious.” He spoke softly, his instinct telling him to rock the babe in his arms in the way he’d seen his mother do with Ivar many times but the baby continued his crying fit. He wanted his mother’s bosom and he couldn’t blame him.
Hvitserk brought his mossy green eyes to hers and found her looking back at him with a tired loving gaze and a lazy smile on her lips as he engaged with her son.
“I think he wants you.” He muttered sheepishly, returning the smile and feeling his heart accelerate under her stare. “And he’s starving.” The baby easily slipped into his mother’s arms, tiny lips latching quickly onto her bountiful chest.
She hugged her child closely, her eyes closing and her chest rising and falling in exhaustion. Pressing light kisses over her son’s head, she brought her watery eyes to regard Hvitserk, bowing her head in reverence. “Gracias.” She uttered the foreign word bleeding with her thanks.
A warm feeling took hold of him and Hvitserk leaned forward to kiss her cheeks innocently then he wiped his hands on his trousers before handing her his shirt to swaddle the baby. He moved again to sit beside her, his arm curling over her shoulder as his cheek rested on her sweaty brow.
It was peaceful to watch the child be nourished by his lovely mother. He could feel her damp skin against his, and how her long lashes tickled his neck when she turned to nuzzle against him. Gods, her allure was bewitching.
But their peaceful moment was interrupted by the restless sea. In the midst of their commotion, he’d forgotten all about the tempest outside. The tides that licked the shore were so high now that in mere seconds the water reached them and carried away the few objects inside the cavern that it could find in its path.
Hvitserk feared for their safety so he grabbed her and made her stand up. He embraced her softly but tightly as she tucked the baby in the crook of her elbow. They turned their back on the cave’s entrance to hop over to the high ground of the rocky recess. But the angry sea came rushing in, hitting his back like a traitorous enemy and everything turned black.
•• ━━━━━ ••●•• ━━━━━ •••• ━━━━━ ••
Hvitserk woke up abruptly and he sat up in bed seizing the sheets to anchor himself. For one miserable moment, he clung to the vivid bad dream and he felt wretched and empty. He breathed in and out of his nose while the vision slipped away from his mind like muddy water between his fingers.
Then a warm hand slid across his naked chest and touched his cheek and he broke into a lopsided smile. His treasured wife brought her enchanting lips to kiss the corner of his mouth, her breath brushing against his light mustache and he groaned in pleasure. She grabbed his neck with strong fingers to make him focus on her and not on his often-turbulent mind as she stared into his pupils.
“Tus ojos, amor.” [“Your eyes, my love.”] She hummed with a smile.
“My eyes? What about them?” Hvitserk asked as he received her hot loving kisses and the rigidity abandoned his body to leave it pliable once again.
After many many months by her side, he’d learned enough words in her tongue to at least understand her when she spoke, even if his mouth was still incapable of reproducing those same foreign noises. He wished he could be more like her who had adopted his culture and his language as a second skin, although she still communicated with him in her native language when it was just the two of them.
“Tus ojos son como verde agua de mar…” [“Your eyes are like green seawater...”] Her voice was sultry and low, partly seductive, partly careful to not wake up their newborn twins and little Hvitserk, her firstborn.
“...me recuerdan al color del océano — ese que tanto extraño — antes de una tormenta...” [“...they remind me of the color of the ocean that I miss so much right before a storm...”] She brought a hand to his chest again, this time to pull him on top of her and he flipped over willingly.
He settled between her thighs and kept on grinning like a fool. He often wished he could melt into her. The way Hvitserk longed to have her close went beyond proximity; he actually wanted to disappear in her and make his home on her entrails. He would gladly give up his body… He could live through her if it meant their souls would never ever separate.
“...y nunca me canso de mirarlos.” [“...and I never get tired of looking at them.”]
Hvitserk’s heart leaped at the sound of her words because he adored her with a searing passion.
She was his rock and safe harbor. The fragile ship of his life that had run aground so many times was not stranded on some doldrums at sea anymore. She brought him peace and his heart had never been more full of love to give.
okay so since its annabeth's birthday today, i'm gonna make a whole ass essay about her and how perfectly imperfect she is.
okay first off, all characters had great character development. but i think annabeth is the one the fans can relate to the most in terms of this. annabeth went from 'immature 12 year old who judges everyone for everything they do and all she thinks about is winning' to someone who is way more open with her emotions and whom the seven look up to and depend on. this is just like how every one of us grew up to be more open-minded, mature, and empathetic. we all grew up and got to learn more about the world, just like how annabeth got to explore the outside world when percy came to camp and she finally got to go on a quest. (btw! imagine how Annabeth ‘constantly waiting for a quest’ Chase felt when this scrawny kid with zero training and insanely green eyes, who's been there for like, 2 weeks, got a quest so damn fast. no wonder she was kinda rude i mean, annabeth must’ve been like “WHAT DOES HE HAVE THAT I DON’T????” her pride was going crazyyyy)
thinking about it now, we aren't so sure about annabeth's 'legit' personality in pjo, she seemed so scary and unapproachable, but when you look at other books, she actually makes friends pretty fast, and people seem to really like her.
percy once said something along the lines of "we all love annabeth" in botl. when sadie and annabeth met, they became INSTANT BFFS, i remember piper saying she's never had a friend as great as annabeth, frank went to her for help with the chinese handcuffs because he KNOWS she will drop everything to help him, reyna and annabeth would definitely, without a doubt become best friends, i also think reyna had like, a really small crush on annabeth but lets not talk about that now. leo and annabeth are definitely dorky best friends who intimidate everyone with their intelligence, nico literally said "he wanted to hate annabeth, but he just couldn't. she'd gone out of her way to thank him at epirus. she was genuine and sincere. she never overlooked him or avoided him like most people did". jason definitely respects her, it's pretty obvious, and hazel was so relieved to see annabeth safe and alive after she got out of tartarus. grover and thalia love her and are basically her parents in a way, and PERCY, percy is someone who values personality, he obviously wouldn't be as in love with her as he is if she wasn't a good person. and i'm sure there are so much more examples but i'm not gonna put them all here, and plus, i can't remember them all aksjaksj.
it's honestly so disappointing how some in the fandom give annabeth shit for how she acted when she was 12-13 years old because she's matured so much since then. she's much more open-minded and empathetic towards her friends. and anyway, in defense of botl annabeth, you would be irrationally overprotective and jealous too if everyone you thought loved you (luke and her father) ended up leaving you and making you feel unloved and inadequate. annabeth thought that percy was gonna die at 16, she obviously wanted to spend his last days on earth WITH HIM. rachel made annabeth feel the way she did because she thought percy would do what luke did, and leave her for 'something better' and that 'something better' is a world away from the gods, which rachel (who is mortal), could provide him.
i honestly think that the people who don't like annabeth think what they do about her because of fanon. fanon annabeth is so far from canon annabeth. fanon annabeth (in a nutshell) is: 'a bitch' 'scary' 'unapproachable' 'cold-hearted' and so much more things that she simply ISN'T. canon annabeth on the other hand is super sweet, she cares so much about her friends and she would sacrifice herself for their happiness, she cries a lot because she has a lot of emotions (she literally cried when she left cerberus, and hugged a kitten in tartarus), she absolutely adores her boyfriend and thinks very very very highly of him, she is so in love and is not at all 'cold-hearted'.
i have so much more to say, but this is getting too long, i might make a part 2 when i feel like it but who knows? anyway, happy birthday to annabeth chase, the loml.
do you do poly ships? if so, headcanons for kawasemishira?
yes i absolutely DO write for poly ships
i ship pretty much all of stzw together so,, yeah
tw: insecurities, some crying, past abuse implications if you squint
- kawanishi was the one who suggested it
- he knew shirabu was too afraid of rejection and semi overthought everything too much
- but they all just have such good chemistry, y’know?
- and they hang out constantly
- so one day he just pitched the idea to shirabu
- and poor kenjirō was r e d
- “semi wouldn’t want to do that.”
- “prove it.”
- shirabu only agreed to ask because for a brief moment, his need to be right overwhelmed his insecurities
- oh boy, he’s never been so happy to be wrong about something
- they all had a long talk that night, and each came out of it with 2 boyfriends
- now for the actual relationship
- semi is overprotective as f u c k
- someone makes fun of shirabu’s bangs?
- semi’s behind them
- they compare taichi to tendou?
- semi’s there
- they call his boyfriends uncaring or emotionless?
- i’ll let you guess
- they’re not allowed to be hurt
- shirabu asks semi to help him with his sets
- it starts one of their deepest conversations
- shirabu feels really inadequate compared to semi
- and semi’s not having it
- by the end of the night, shirabu’s crying and semi’s holding back his own tears, just holding him
- kenjirō is more open after that
- taichi is the first one semi lets touch his face
- he just doesn’t like it, y’know. bad experiences
- they both cry
- taichi has stretch marks from growing really fast
- he’s super insecure about them
- but lord, shirabu loves them
- he likes to draw on them
- shirabu likes to draw
- he draws all over both his boyfriends
- eita loves it
- taichi does too, but he’ll never admit it
- shirabu and kawanishi fight over who gets to lay on eita’s chest
- because he’s warm and his heartbeat is nice, and if they’re lucky he’ll sing them to sleep
- semi’s v o i c e
- they’re both in love
- whether it’s a song he heard or wrote or just a commercial jingle that got stuck in his head
- he sings them while cleaning and his boyfriends will just be in the doorway like
- 👁👁 👁👁
- kawanishi gets sick often
- semi never gets sick
- shirabu gets sick sometimes, but he’ll never admit it
- semi takes care of them both
- kawanishi loves semi’s little sister and low key hates shirabu’s little brothers
- only because he knows their parents favor them over his boyfriend
- but little miss semi?
- they’re best friends
- she adores him, too
- every time eita comes home
- “is taichi coming?!?!”
- *sigh* “nice to see you, too”
- shirabu and semi are super neat
- kawanishi is a disaster
- but shirabu and semi also argue the most so y’know
- it’s even
- shirabu wears their clothes
- he’s the smallest. when they started dating, his wardrobe increased x3
- he starts to understand why semi wears such tacky clothes
- they’re so comfortable
- kawanishi likes cooking shows
- semi likes competition
- shirabu likes drama
- the solution?
- gordon fucking ramsay
- hell’s kitchen
- masterchef jr
- they binge them
- semi pays for food
- he also drives everywhere
- he straight up refuses to make them pay for anything
- so they randomly pay him back when he’s not looking
- he has no idea
- they love his generosity
- they love him
- he loves them
- they all love each other
- i might add more later but i just love this ship