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#in the scheme of me watching this whole show since tuesday afternoon
skzsauce01 · a year ago
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love you to limx
Anniversary Request Special
Description: Jisung’s secret crush on his childhood friend, you, might not be so secret after all, especially when your tutee starts laying moves on you right in front of his iced americano.
Warning: none!
Word Count: 2.6k
Pairing: fem!reader x Jisung
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“Y/N?” Jisung calls out as soon as you walk past the library doors.
You smile and wave to him while flashing your ID card for the person at the front desk. He waves you over so you go to him.
“Jisung? What are you doing here?”
“I thought I’d make some extra money this semester, so I signed up to tutor underclassmen during this hour.”
You let out a gasp. “Same!”
“What are the odds?” he chuckles, feigning surprise. It isn’t like he bribed Chan, the head of the program, to tell him what time slot you signed up for, nor is it like he fought Hyunjin tooth and nail for this time either. The only reason why you and him are at the same place on a Wednesday afternoon is pure coincidence. Really.
You pull out the seat in front of his and take a seat. “I wonder who’s going to show up,” you ponder mindlessly.
“Someone who needs help with not math, I hope,” he mutters in reply.
“That’s what I’m here for,” you laugh. “There’s a reason why they ask you whether you’re in liberal arts or STEM on the application.”
“Ahh, right,” he blushes and distracts himself with his backpack. After a few seconds of digging, he realizes a new problem.
“Oh, shoot,” he mutters.
“What’s up?”
“I left my pencil case at my apartment!” he panics with wide eyes.
“Honestly, Jisung. You’re supposed to set an example for the underclassmen!” you tch, harshly pushing your pouch between you two to share.
“Thanks, Y/N~” he sings, choosing a pen. This one is bunny capped, how cute.
At that moment, a new voice interrupts,“Excuse me, is this the SKZ tutoring club?” 
You smile at him and shift the organization’s logo for better visibility. “Yes! I’m L/N Y/N. And you are?”
Jisung’s jaw drops when he recognizes the boy.
“Yang Jeongin,” he replies, “and I desperately need help with calculus.”
He takes a seat besides you while smirking at the other male. Jisung knows this kid. He knows him alright; he’s best friends with his housemate and scheming math wiz, Kim Seungmin. The fact that he is here now sending snide looks at him cannot be good.
“Don’t worry; limits can be tricky,” you reassure him, unaware of the tension between the two. “You’ll get a hang of it in no time though.”
“Thanks,” breathes Jeongin innocently. “I’m counting on you, noona.”
“‘Noona?’” you giggle. 
Jisung grits his teeth.
The hour goes by rather uneventfully other than the few times Jisung nearly screamed when Jeongin gets something he was “struggling” with before and your whole face lights up as you compliment him. A student came over with a question for Jisung too, but that only took twenty minutes of his hour. Besides that, he just sat with his head on the table, getting lost in your focused eyes and waiting for Jeongin to leave-- he means, for time to pass by.
Unlike the boy who came for Jisung, Jeongin’s session with you lasts the entire hour. Finally, when the clock strikes five, you two begin packing up your things.
“Thank you so much! I think I finally get it now!” Jeongin bows slightly.
“You’re doing great! Just have a little more confidence in your work, and if you ever get stuck again, SKZ tutoring is here to help.”
“I’ll be sure to come back during this time then. You were so clear and easy to understand.”
Yada yada yada. Save it and leave, Jisung wills while glaring daggers at his junior.
Jeongin doesn’t seem to notice or care as he leisurely zips up his backpack. Even worse, he insists on walking you to the door before you two finally wave goodbye.
“Finally,” Jisung mumbles when the boy at last walks away.
“What was that?” you ask.
“Nothing,” he hums. “Anyway, want to get ice cream to celebrate our first day at work?”
“With what money?” you joke. 
Jisung scoffs. “Come on, I’ll buy if it’s such a big deal.”
“No. That’ll make me feel bad,” you pout.
“It’s fine. Think of it as thanks for lending me a pen,” he suggests, walking towards the shop. “Mint chip?”
“How’d you know?” you chuckle, clutching on to his arm to optimize your puppy-look angle. He is buying after all.
Jisung nearly goes into cardiac arrest the second he feels your fingers around his sleeves. It takes him a moment before he’s able to reply, “You’ve liked that toothpaste ice cream since you were five.”
“Hey! It’s not toothpaste flavored!”
He rolls his eyes and looks at you. You’re smiling. He loves it when you do that, especially when it crinkles the corner of your eyes. You’re doing that now, but not when you were with Jeongin, he recalls to console himself. That’s right; this smile is exclusive to him, your childhood bestie, only. 
Before long, you two are seated on some questionable bench behind the statue of your school’s legendary football coach with frozen treats in hand.
“--and now I have to wait for her to finish that before I can even get started on the powerpoint.”
Jisung lets out a sympathetic hum before eyeing your ice cream. “Ah,” he says, pointing to his mouth.
You groan. “Why do you insult my ice cream then ask for some every time? Just get mint chip yourself if you like it so bad.”
“Hey, I paid,” he reminds you.
“Yeah, yeah.” You scoop some ice cream with your spoon and place it in front of his lips, and he opens obediently before clamping his lips over it to get all the ice cream from the dip of the spoon.
He then watches as you thoughtlessly scoop more of the treat and place it into your own mouth while continuing your story. Jisung turns away because of a creeping blush when you complete the indirect kiss. So what if he’s been tricking you into doing this since forever? He’ll still never get used to it; not unless he gets to try the real thing, at least.
After ice cream, you decide to head home to get in some studying. Jisung heads towards his own complex with feather-like steps. That is, until he opens his front door and sees what-- or rather, who-- is inside.
“Yang Jeongin?”
“Oh, hey, Hyung!” he chirps, not looking up from his game with Jisung’s housemates.
“What are you doing here?” Jisung demands.
“Relax,” sighs Seungmin. “We invited him cause we needed another player and you were too busy with your date.”
“S-she-- I-- It was not a date!”
“Oh really?” Hyunjin challenges.
“Oh really?” Jeongin piques hopefully.
For some reason, Jeongin irks him more despite Hyunjin being the one trying to purposely annoy him.
“Well, I-- uh--”
“You’re blushing,” Seungmin says without even looking up.
Jisung lets out a strangled noise and slams his room’s door behind him.
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For the next few weeks, Jeongin shows up at tutoring a handful of times, each time annoying Jisung more than the last. His favourite days though are not only Jeongin free but tutee free all together because one, he gets paid for just sitting there and two, you.
Today, to his fortune, is one of those days. You lay with your head rested on an arm that’s stretched out in front of you on the table, invading Jisung’s area. He doesn’t mind though, mindlessly playing with your fingers and sipping iced americano.
“I seriously need a tutor myself,” you lament aloud. “That chem midterm is going to kill me on Tuesday.”
“Oh, come on. You still pass every time you say that.”
“But still,” you gasp dramatically.
Jisung rolls his eyes with a smile. “Well, if all else fails, you can still fall back on your education minor and become a teacher. You’re pretty good at that from what I see.”
“You really think so?” you squeak.
He nods.
“That’s only because all my students are so talented themselves. I mean, the only ones who come to tutoring are self motivated kids. Especially Jeongin.”
There his name is again. Jisung doesn’t respond and instead breaks the lead of his pencil against the paper. The motion shakes his hand which accidentally tips his coffee forward, covering the front of your t-shirt in brown.
“D-do you really like him that much?” Jisung stutters.
“Is that important right now?” you exclaim, quickly repositioning the beverage.
Your voice snaps Jisung back into reality, and he apologizes and digs in his backpack for tissues. Minutes later, the mess on the table is thankfully cleaned up before anything leaked to the ground. This means there is only one problem left: your clothes.
“I’m sorry…” Jisung apologizes for the hundredth time.
“It’s fine,” you sigh. “I’ll just see how much I can clean off in the restroom and sit here for another” --you check your phone-- “twenty minutes. It’s pretty quiet today anyway, so it should be fine.”
“But you have to walk home for another fifteen minute after. Wouldn’t it be uncomfortable?”
“Well I don’t have another shirt, so…” You bring your hands up and shrug your shoulders.
“Here,” Jisung offers, taking off his hoodie. “Just put this on. It should be better than a wet sticky shirt.”
You look at him from the corner of your eyes.
“It’s clean! Jeez!”
“I’m just teasing,” you joke, gratefully taking his sweater and promising to be quick in the restroom.
When you returned, Jisung was not ready for what he saw. Sure, he isn’t of large stature himself, but he likes his clothes loose, especially his hoodies, so with it on you, you exuberate hug-ability potential.
“Thanks again for the clothes,” you say as you sit down. You bat your sweater paw around a few times before grabbing your pen, trying to find your hand from under there.
Jisung coughs something incoherent while draining the rest of his beverage.
You two sit quietly as you work on your own things while waiting for students to show up. Jisung can’t stop peeking over his books at you though. That is until he shows up again, right as the two of you are about to pack up.
“Noona!”
“Jeongin!” you return, recognizing the voice. 
He slides into the seat besides you and Jisung reopens his book to duck his head behind.
“You look so cute in that sweater!” he compliments.
Jisung bites his thumb. He wanted to say that!
“I’m older than you, you rascal,” you scold though obviously pleased.
“Age doesn’t have anything to do with the truth,” he shrugs.
You roll your eyes and lightly swat his shoulder.
“So, did you have a quick question?”
“Actually, I just came here to show you this!” The boy whips out some papers from his bag and hands it to you.
At first, you are silent. Jisung comes out from behind his wall to see what has gotten you so quiet. Then you stammer out, “O-oh my. Oh my! Jeongin, you did it! You got an A on your midterm!”
Disregarding your surroundings, you throw your arms over the boy. 
“It’s all thanks to you,” he strangles out from under your embrace.
And then Jisung sees it. He sees it, the smile on your face as you pull away. The smile that crinkles your eyes. Before he can say anything though, Jeongin beats him to it.
“I also came here to ask you something.”
“What is it?” 
“Well I know we have kind of a teacher-student relationship…”
You nod, prompting him to go on. 
“But even so, you’re so patient and caring and smart that I can’t help but ask. Will you go out with me?”
“NO!” 
The entire library turns towards Jisung after he slammed down his book in exclamation. He feels heat rising to his face as he looks around and sees all the eyes on him. He slides his foot half a step back, papers crinkling under the grip of his fingers, before he dashes out of the building without another word.
“Jisung!” he hears you call after him.
He runs and runs until he can’t anymore without even seeing where he is going. Once he finally stops to catch his breath, he realizes he is in front of the football coach statue. He has many memories with you here at this place; not only is it your favourite place to hang out, it’s also where you both opened your college acceptance letters at the same time, promised to be best friends forever as kids, and gazed at the stars whenever someone was feeling down. It’s also where he first realized he is in love with you.
“I knew I’d find you here.”
Jisung looks up and you toss his backpack at him.
“I’m sorry for making a scene back there,” he mumbles.
You either don’t hear him or don’t care, for you sit down at the bench and wave him over.
He defies your wishes and stands in front of you, head down and looking dejected.
“Shouldn’t you be with Jeongin?”
“Why would I be with someone else when my best friend is upset?”
Best friend. Is that all he’ll ever be to you?
“Well I’m okay, so just go.”
“No, you’re clearly not,” you object, taking his hand and pulling him next to you. “So tell me, what’s wrong? Do you not like Jeongin?”
It’s not like he dislikes Jeongin. The younger male is cute and funny, which is all the more reason Jisung hates him.
“No…” he admits quietly.
“Then why are you so upset?”
Jisung can feel his nails through his jeans as you press his head against your chest comfortingly. He’s about to explode; how can you play with his heart like this?
“Fine, you want to know why? It’s because I like you, that’s why! I like you and I don’t like it when other guys take you away especially when they’re tall and handsome and--”
You shut him up by pressing your lips against his cheeks. He turns to you with eyes as wide as discs.
“I didn’t accept his confession,” you tell him. “You wanna know why?”
“B-because of my outburst?” he mumbles incoherently.
“No, because I like you too, Jisung. And only you.”
“Y-you’re lying. Is this a prank? Are there cameras--”
“I’m not lying,” you promise, holding his arms down when they start flailing around in excitement.
“Well then, I think you missed my lips earlier,” he pouts.
“Oh, you cheeky little--”
He cuts you off this time by swooping in and holding you against him.
“Finally!” 
The two of you break apart when you hear the voice. 
“Jeongin?” you call, recognizing it.
A sheepish boy steps out from behind a tree followed by a few of his friends.
“Seungmin? Hyunjin?” Jisung gasps. “What is this?”
The trio look at each other before Seungmin speaks up. “We got tired of you two dancing around each other and not expressing your feelings, so we decided to expedite some things.”
“You mean--” Jisung points at Jeongin.
“Yep. I was all a ploy to get you to break,” he admits.
“For three months?” you exclaim.
“I think you mean, ‘thank you,’” Hyunjin interjects.
You turn towards Jisung. “I have a feeling we’ll be third, fourth, and fifth wheeled a lot.”
“Then let’s make them go away on their own accord,” Jisung smirks. He leans down and locks your lips into another kiss while dramatically tangling your limbs together.
“Okay, ew, bye.” The three yelp and scramble to get away from the scene, making Jisung snicker.
“Shush,” you scold, tugging on his collar with your sweater paws.
Oh, Jisung will shush alright, and he’ll make sure you do too for a good long while.
~ ad.gold
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A/N: Thanks for your (actual) request! Hopefully this brings you back to campus during this shut down. #Pappy Waldorf
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heronwritingx · a year ago
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chapter 4
here is a chapter 4 of my heathney fic. I do believe I called in Raining Lavender on AO3, if you'd like to go over and support it on there too that would be great!
Courtney took a deep breath and shut her car door; she was surprisingly nervous. She wasn’t this nervous when she announced her own campaign for presidency. A part of her was worried this would all backfire. She was worried Heather would stab her in the back, and she was prepared to do the same if need be. She was worried people would see it as a gimmick, she was worried Noah would somehow turn it against them – Courtney was just worried. She couldn’t trust Heather and she couldn’t trust the other students in her school.
She shook her head and made her way into the school, her backpack full of badges as well as a bag in her hand full of the posters they’d designed. It was surprisingly quiet outside and there wasn’t many students hanging out in the carpark like there usually were. She could however hear a commotion inside, there was loud chattering and Courtney’s stomach was in knots.
Courtney entered the building to not so much a commotion but something indeed. She could see cheerleaders handing out buttons, the different sports teams putting up posters and wearing badges. Her posters were everywhere. Her badges were everywhere.
“Huh…” Courtney blinked.
She could hear Heather’s voice blaring through the halls, not over the intercom but as if she was shouting into a megaphone of sorts. Courtney was becoming overwhelmed, was this the plan Heather had!?
“Courtney!” Lindsay called out, the blonde girl bouncing over to her.
Lindsay was Heather’s closest friend, but Courtney never quite understood why. Heather was cunning, cold and manipulative, whereas Lindsay was innocent and rather sweet. She never could quite grasp how two complete opposites could be friends.
“Heather’s been looking for you, for like ever! Hurry up and come with me.” Lindsay told her.
She linked her arm through Courtney’s and pulled her into the cafeteria, where Heather stood on a table surrounded by people. Heather was wearing her usual cheer uniform along with a jacket, and her hair was pulled up into a ponytail with a new ribbon – one that matched their colour scheme. It was…cute.
“Courtney!” Heather shouted into the megaphone she was holding in her hand – confirming Courtney’s theory, “Finally!”
The school hadn’t been opened that long, had Heather gotten here with her team and friends in hand to set this all up? Was she really that committed to this? Lindsay gently pushed Courtney towards the table and gestured for her to step up, like Heather was. She did so and Heather turned off the megaphone for a moment.
“What is all this?” Courtney asked.
“We needed to start with a bang. Everyone is talking about us.” Heather answered, handing her the megaphone, “Now say something – you’re the one who’s going to be president,”
Courtney took the megaphone and took another deep breath, trying to think of something to say.
“Oh, and don’t make it lame, obviously.” Heather smirked a little, folding her arms.
Courtney scoffed and she thought for a moment, she had to say something that would stick. She had done this before, and she lifted the megaphone to her mouth.
“Vote for Courtney and Heather! Together, we’re going to make a difference at this school!” Courtney took Heather’s hand and lifted it up into the air, “We’ll be giving our first speech next Friday and we want all of you to help us! Tell us what you think needs changing!”
Heather noticed Courtney’s huge smile and she never let go of Heather’s hand for as long as they stood on that table. The students around them cheered and Courtney continued to spout her beliefs and her plans for what she would do if she became president. The morning period was coming to an end and teachers had come to end the campaign via megaphone. Courtney kept holding onto Heather’s hand and pulled her away from the cafeteria into an empty classroom. She hugged Heather tightly and Heather’s body stiffened up, her heart stopping for a moment.
She didn’t know what she was reacting too. The hug itself or Courtney hugging her. No one had hugged her in so long that wasn’t Lindsay and Heather usually avoided that as much as she could. She couldn’t even bring herself to lift her arms up and hug the girl back. Her face flushed red and she couldn’t breathe. Her stomach felt so strange – it was fluttering, and she wanted nothing more than to push Courtney off.
“I can’t believe you!” Courtney was giggling and she was so excited, “I would have never thought to do something so bold!”
Courtney let her go and Heather’s feelings got even more confusing. As soon as her arms were no longer around her, Heather found herself wanting that moment again. She didn’t want to be so shocked; she didn’t want to be confused. She hadn’t felt something like that in so long. No one had hugged her, held her in so long.
“It’s called making a statement…” Heather grumbled, turning away, “We wanted everyone to know, after all.”
“I was so surprised when I walked in, I never thought you’d do something like this.” Courtney continued to giggle.
“Like I said—”
“Thank you.” Courtney said.
She sounded so sincere and her smile was so genuine, Heather couldn’t remember the last time someone – aside from Lindsay – was like that with her. She didn’t even know if she could trust it. She’d always said she couldn’t trust Courtney and she still didn’t.
“Whatever…” Heather muttered.
“Now that everyone knows, we need to polish up our speech for Friday. I’ve started writing it, of course, but it can be better. It can always be better.” Courtney said, “I’ll email it to you tonight, then we can work on it tomorrow afternoon and next Tuesday. I know you have cheer practice Monday, Wednesday and Thursday so tomorrow will have to do.”
“Yeah, fine, whatever. Class is about to begin, so I’m going.” Heather said, huffing.
Courtney didn’t know what to say to stop her and the girl stomped off, Courtney still confused by her strange moods. Heather was right though; the bell was about to ring and she wasn’t about to be late to class. Courtney and Heather were in the same homeroom class and Heather wasn’t sitting in her usual seat when Courtney walked in despite the girl leaving first.
Courtney glanced around and there he was. He looked mad. He looked furious. He was keeping it under wraps though. She knew he was bubbling with rage; she knew he wanted to snap at her. Her eyes met Noah’s and the shit-eating grin that crossed her lips was indescribable, she wished Heather was here to rub it in more. She wanted Heather there. She wanted to be able to giggle and laugh about his fury with her. Why wasn’t Heather there? She couldn’t have gone anywhere else!
Courtney’s stomach sank when Heather never showed up for homeroom at all.
Heather found herself sitting behind the school, hidden in a little place where she was sure she wouldn’t get caught. She was on her phone watching videos as she tried to ignore whatever the hell she was feeling before. Courtney left her so confused, yet the entire time she planned her bang of a campaign announcement, she wanted to only impress Courtney. She didn’t care what anyone else thought, all she cared about was what Courtney was going to think. She would never say it but she was happy, ecstatic even when she saw how happy Courtney was. That girl made her heart race and deep down, Heather knew what that meant.
She took a deep breath and leaned her head back; it wasn’t possible though. It couldn’t be. Heather couldn’t have feelings for Courtney. Heather was just overthinking things, that had to be it. Courtney was annoying, she was almost unbearable most days. Yet, Heather liked the competitions they had, and she even wasn’t hating working with Courtney. Heather let out an annoyed groan and she almost wanted to smack her head against the wall, but she didn’t, she was so confused! She didn’t know what to do!
“Stupid Courtney…” Heather muttered.
She waited for the bell to ring and she stood up, stretching her arms high up and made her way back into the school. She couldn’t skip class all day, people would think something may have happened. She stomped into her algebra class, one of the few classes she didn’t actually share with Courtney.
The day passed as well as the next and Heather found herself alone in the debate room with Courtney after school. Courtney, as the captain of the debate team, was allowed to use the room whenever she wanted so they had that advantage. She had her laptop sat on the table in front of her and Heather sat across from her, the pair sharing the table.
Courtney hadn’t seen her since the morning of Heather’s big stunt and although they didn’t really speak during class or at lunch, Courtney felt a distance from her VP to be. Heather’s eyes weren’t on her and she kept them squarely focused on the phone no matter what Courtney said. She couldn’t bring herself to ask what happened, where she went or even relish in Noah’s anger. Heather didn’t seem to care, and Courtney didn’t know why it affected her so much.
“Well, let’s begin working on this speech then.” Courtney broke the silence between them, the girl unsure what to say for a moment or so.
“Go for it.” Heather replied, rolling her eyes.
“My goal is equity. Noah’s whole idea is that he wants these “lower groups” to rise up, to have a say,” Courtney said, using her fingers for quotation marks, “That’s only going to segregate the students even more. That’s why I say we use equity as a big theme.”
Heather kept her eyes on her phone and was definitely not finding the meaning of “equity” but nodded along. After all, she just assumed Courtney would write the speech for her.
“Everyone at this school deserves a chance to strive and succeed, equity is our way to do that. Students like you and I don’t need as much help as some others, I want to make sure those students who really need help are getting it. That’s my focus, that’s my plan. That should appeal to everyone.” Courtney explained, “I want to crush Noah’s notion that one group deserves more than another, I want to crush his idea that the cliques affect this school. He’s blindsided by his hatred of what he calls “popular” people. I think we can challenge that; we can beat Noah but only together.”
“Hm?” Heather blinked, this time looking up at Courtney.
“The two of us working together. We’re from two completely different groups, after all. I think if we could even get someone else on our side, someone Noah would hate for us to have.” Courtney told her, her eyes lighting with joy when Heather finally looked up at her, “We need to prove that his idea of cliques is bullshit. We need to move away from that and support those students who need it most, no matter what group they’re in.”
“Oh, you’ve really thought about this.” Heather said, her lips parting in awe.
She was honestly taken by surprise. She knew Courtney was clued in and beyond smart, but this was something else. Courtney was in all honestly, quite impressive. Heather pushed the thought away however and focused on what Courtney had actually said – they needed someone similar to Noah. Someone like Noah but not so…awful to be around.
And Heather knew just the person.
“Now that you say that, I think I know someone who could help us,” an unnerving (to anyone who wasn’t Courtney) smile crossed Heather’s lips, “Noah would hate it too.”
“Who?” Courtney questioned, almost lifting up off her seat in intrigue.
“Let’s keep it a surprise for now, I need to see if he’ll go along with it, after all.” Heather said, standing up, “You work on your speech and whatever the hell you want me to say, and I’ll recruit them.”
“Wait—”
Heather waved her off and walked out, leaving Courtney alone in the debate room – without even a goodbye. Courtney huffed but begrudgingly agreed to Heather, she somehow knew she’d get stuck with the writing job anyway. Heather’s speeches were half-assed at best, so it was probably for the best – after all, Heather had admitted she only ran to beat Courtney. Courtney turned her focus back to her laptop, but she wouldn’t deny it, it stung when Heather left. This was supposed to be their thing and Heather felt like she was already pushing it away.
Courtney couldn’t lose her. She needed Heather to win. She wanted her to stay.
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popculturebuffet · 12 months ago
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Ducktales 87 Reviews: A Drain On the Economy (CACC Part 1) (Commission)
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Commissioned by @weirdkev27​. The start of a whopping four episode commission as I review the original Ducktales Four-Part Serial, Cash as Catch Can! The Kishke of Macaroon decides the best way to market his once in a life time find of glowing, power producing fruit is to have the two richest men in the world weigh their money to see whose richer. Seems Legit. Glomgold of course can’t play fair but since this is the 87 version he simply hires and outfits the Beagle Boys to steal scrooge’s money instead of leaving a shark filled with c4 on the doorstep of the bin as a distraction while he tries to saw it in half with a giant buzzsaw. Tanks, childen nearly drowning and outbidding yuppies ensue. Full reviewcap with spoilers under the cut. Sadly no Sea Monsters eating Ice Cream Yet. 
Huzzah! Another day another commission! And it’s a massive one too as i’m covering not one, not two, not three, but FOUR episodes of the original ducktales for 15 bucks! Thank you once again WeirdKev27 for the commission. Not saving this for the end this time, if you’d like to commission your own review, just pm me, it’s 5 dollars for one episodes, and now you get 5 dollars off for each episode you commission after 2. So for instance this multiparter was 4 episodes, so Kevin payed for only three, for a total of 15 bucks! Whatabargin! But enough shilling let’s get down to bidness.  As usual for first episodes a quick rundown of my history with the show: Being a fan of the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, which I fully intend to cover here at some point and yes you can commission duck comics too if you were curious, I did want to watch Ducktales for a while but didn’t really try to until the Reboot came out. As a result I got the first season dvd for Christmas, bought the second, and while I haven’t watched all the series, what I’ve seen is pretty good. It’s a fun, fluid adventure show that captures the spirit of the Carl Barks comics while doing it’s own thing with them. Sure some aspects of the time or even of the original comics that this adapted wholesale haven’t aged well, and we’ll get to some of them, but for the most part the series has a timeless quality to it that really makes it work. I may prefer the reboot.. but I still enjoy this series and i’m glad to revisit it. 
So with that, we come to one of the series handful of multiparters. For the most part Ducktales was just one off adventures, episodes that could easily be aired at any time with little regards to a strong continuity. 
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But unlike most shows including the rest of the Disney afternoon that at most had one pilot movie and one or two two-parters, Ducktales had 4 multi-episode story arcs. The episodes were still written with about the same episode of the week format, it’s just instead of being all wrapped up there was an ongoing storyline that tied each episode into the next and drove the action. It’s honestly not a bad format and not all that dissimilar to the Sardonyx, Out of This World, Heart of the Crystal Gems, and Diamond Days arcs Steven Universe would have.. and if your wondering yes I would cover those for the same fees, but that’s not what we’re here about. 
However even among this format this four parter was unique.. and not just for the “A Sea Monster Ate My Ice Cream!” bit we’ll get to next time. The other 3 mini’s were 5-part Season Premires that either set up the show period (Treasure of the Golden Suns) or introduced a major new character for the rest of the series (Fenton/Gizmoduck for Super Ducktales, and Bubba and Tootsie for Time is Money). Though weirdly in the case of season 2 these 5 parters were also the ONLY episodes, but one oddity at a time I suppose. My point is Catch as Cash Can is not only the only one not to start a season, instead coming in mid-way through season one, but dosen’t change the show and is only 4 episodes instead of 5. It’s still from what I can remember, which only came back when watching part 1 as I got it confused with treasure of the golden suns, pretty good.. apart from the third episode but we’ll get to that, it’s just worth noting is all. So with that out of the way is this four parter any good? How do the episodes hold up from a few years ago? Well I was paid good money to find out so let’s do it to it shall we? We open in Macarooon which.. I THINK is a play on Moroco, but still dosen’t make a whole lot of sense given it’s a cookie, this episode about fruit and Hamilton’s accent as the Grand Kishke, the country’s ruler, is a vauge indian stereotype with a touch of middle eastern sterotype. Sing it with me now....
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Still not great having a white guy do a vaugely foreign accent that’s played for laughs, and yes again acceptable at the time, I don’t hold it against Hamilton camp, still dosen’t make it at all comfortable. Though it’s still, and this is VERY faint praise, better than Carbomya, an ACTUAL CANON LOCATION in the 80′s transformers cartoon that’s as offensive and dumb as it sounds and, no joke, caused Casey Kasem, who I was reminded by the article linked above quit over this.. and found out from said article is Middle Eastern himself. Huh the more you know. And SOMEHOW this isn’t the most offensive thing the franchise has ever done, as japan had mexican stereotype transformers and kiss players.. just kiss players you do not want to know, and Micheal Bay later gave us skids and mudflap and I die a little on the inside remembering that happened. Back on point there’s been worse, dosen’t make this okay, but it’s not so offensive it ruins the entire episode. Just makes the Kiskhe’s seens wince inducing. 
Scrooge and Glomgold are having a poker-esque dick measuring contest over whose wealthier but for once i’ts not just because it’s tuesday in duckberg but because the Grand Kishke has called both here. As he explains, and as they know but we don’t, while going down the stairs he fell down and found a vast cavern beneath his pallace with tons of glowing fruit that could soon replace lightbulbs if marketed correctly as they never spoil and never run out, thus putting his country ont he map. While the vauge “wacky foreigner” stereotype thing is unfortunate, the Kiske is likeable and does have good reason for not doing the marketing of his biggest export himself: He’s not a businessman and has a country to run. So he felt going to the richest man in the world was the right call, but Glommy and Scroogie are tied in assets so the Kiske decides to tie break things by having the two weigh their fortunes instead as the two you know.. have large piles of stealable money around for sentimental reasons.. and because they don’t trust banks.  So yeah with the contest set Glomgold sets out to do what he does best... set himself on fire with a hairbrained scheme.. no wait that’s the other glomgold. Cheat.. which this one can actually do without ending up in a bear trap, so we cut to the Duckburg jail.. which is at least in this episode just one giant cell surrounding the Beagle Boys, though given their responsible for 80% of Duckberg’s crime, and a good chunk of this series as a whole, it probably IS just that. But Glomgold using ... a .. giant floating cow balloon.. wait.. 
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I mean I love this because .. just what the hell is this, why a cow balloon.. was it the only one he could rent? Who rents those? Did he buy this thing? How’s he going to get rid of it? How’s he not getting caught for buying this thing? Did he make this? Did he spend a good few hours building a giant cow balloon fortress/ did he dump it in the river? 
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You know, maybe it was schemes like this that made Frank decide to make Reboot!Glomgold into the loveable incompetent maniac he is today. I mean this sounds like one of his schemes: If your going to do something right do it in the most insane, over the top, nonseical, costly, overcomplicated way possible.  As it stands though the rest of 87 Glomgold’s plan actually makes sense: he throws down gas masks and gasses the guards, though the boys think it’s ma at first. However they quickly are fine with it being their dad as Glomgold has a job for them.. though they nearly nope out when they find out it’s scrooge. This is a neat contrast to the comics where, under both barks and rosa while the Beagle Boys would get discouraged or bemoan their defeats they still kept coming. While it’s likely only for this episode it’s nice to see them have some hestiation.. at least about going after the bin directly. Which given the bin is the most heavily guarded location in duckburg no matter the contniuty and while it’s been attacked and broken into millions of times at this point, no trick works twice because Scrooge adapts. It’s what makes the continual nature of the beagle boys assualts on it here and in the comics work and why their still a threat despite always getting beaten down: sure they get in once in a while, but scrooge outwits them and then presumibly offscreen makes adjustments for next time while at the saame time their too stupid and stubborn to ever fully give up and to stop coming up with new ways to get scrooge’s fortune for themselves. 
It’s a good dynamic but I like some hesitation since even the dumbest crooks get wise eventually and their being hired by someone whose utterly ruthless and might kill them or worse if they fail. But Glomgold actually has a resonable counter, that since he’s rich he can suply them with everything they could need instead of whatever they can steal he just needs the manpower and the plausible deniability. They shake on it and the die is cast.  At the bin Scrooge is annoyed at having to put up with the beagle boys again ow of all times, and we soon get the second best scene of the episode as the beagle boys, and cousins storm the bin, basically doing a zap branigan and trying to throw wave after wave of their own boys at them till Scrooge’s defenses falter. It’s a great and tense action scene as the boys send beagle after beagle with some great names I sadly forgot and should’ve written down. It’s a fun sequence, though it does show why the series updated burger as he gets distracted with food... because... 
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That’s literally the joke and I can see why Matt and Frank retired it entirely. But other than that it’s a joy to watch. The finale is notable as Bigtime uses some armor to tank things.. until scrooge actually brings up a tank.. with just one caliber larger shells than what his armor can take, a nice little gag. But yeah scrooge pointing a tank at someone is badass and one of the only two times this episode he really gets to be. More on that in a sec.  But while the boys celebrate Scrooge’s victory Scrooge dosen’t, knowing they’ll just be back in in greater numbers and thus has gone to the ludicrous extreme of setting up an automatic cannon in his money bin that fires at anyone entering.. and then forgot his cane. You can probably guess what happens next. 
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Yup Scrooge is thrown back, because apparently he’s immortal in this reality too, and the bin starts to break down, while the Beagles storm in and seconds up. This scene just.. annoys me. I get Scrooge isn’t unstoppable, if he was the show, and the comics and the reboot of the show wouldn’t be as fun if he wasn’t challenged at all. Scrooge himself would be disappointed if his life had no stakes. My issue here is the beagles go from evenly matched with scrooge, if both using weapons to.. casually brushing past him and the boys. And they HAVE beaten them plenty in the comics, but usually it’s through surprise or threatening the boys.. who they have right there. Instead they just.. easily beat scrooge for no real reason. It just smacks of laziness: they need the boys to get in so like scrooge and his own boys they can see the money go down a crack and thus into the sewers, but instead of having a fight or them just you know hold the triplets hostage or use a ray gun or something since it’s plausible in this setting, their backed by a billionaire for this ep and it’s an acceptable substitute. This just makes no sense to me and really baffling bit in an otherwise great episode.  But as noted the money went down the tubes, so the beagles retreat.. if only because they now can just go fish it out of the sewers like that’s somehow legal. But given how the Calisota supreme court seems to never change the various terrible loopholes that nearly loose scrooge his money all the time, it’s not surprising. Seriously it was used by Carl Barks more than once: Some asshole using a bet, wager or old timey agreement to try and take something from one of our heroes usually scrooge, and other writers followed suite naturally given he set the pace for them on everything else why stop now? Though really “Slimy assholes use loopholes to run roughshod over innocent people” is such a common thing nowadays and presumably was even more so then, I commend barks for not only picking up on it but using it frequently in a CHILDREN’S COMIC. God damn man that’s some balls.  Anyways Scrooge can’t quite literally slip through the cracks, but the boys can and given they are as one, they all go down follow that dough while Scrooge tries to figure out where it is from above. Scrooge goes to city planning or something like that and gets the maps to the water works, and I like the fox clerk here, but the beagles also have them. And while Scrooge chases them above the boys continue their trek bellow eventually finding the cash stash with good detective work and call scrooge , who happens to have tracked the cash and is in the general area, over from above.. but get swept out because the beagle boys open the floodgates and into the city’s reservoir. ON the bright side I now get where “Open the floodgates comes from” Scrooge heads to the pumping plant to pump them out, but finds the beagle boys and a fight ensues to see who can accidently kill some children the fastest as the triplets are buffeted back and forth over, and over, and over and over and over...
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And over again till the valves break and shove the Trips into a swanky condo just as a real estate lady, who according to the Disney wiki also showed up in “Magica’s Shadow War”, good for her with the yuppies naturally wanting the condo, though the boys stop them from buying it, trick them into the elevator and then use the override to shut it down so they can’t get back up. So the Trips hold onto the loot, while Scrooge arrives.. and again since Duckburg legal policy is chosen by spinning a giant wheel and going with whatever it lands on, Scrooge can’t just you know have someone come and get his property. His solution however is clever as after a bidding war over the condo he just decides to buy the whole blasted building. And at first I wondered why their wasn’t a bit of him grumbling over the price.. but then I realized his fortune, and doubling it is at stake. While Scrooge will spend as little as ducking possible, when the chips are down he will throw his money around. And I like that it’s a nice subtle character moment showing that he knows when not to throw a big tantrum about spending money  and that he has more important things going on right now, such as keeping his hands on most of it. But naturally this wins though the real estate lady wonders how he did that. Lady he owns a good chunk of the city, is in the news frequently even in this series, and owns the largest building in town which towers over every other on a massive hill and is frequently broken into or attacked, how the hell do you NOT know who he is?
Regardless Scrooge regroups with the boys but the beagles are close and are even bright enough to cut the power. I LIKE these versions better than the reboots. With the exception of a lack of character actress Margo Martendale and you know the fat shaming and all that, these beagles, while having less personality are more compient, mor eof a threat and more enjoyable to watch instead of just petty crooks who only get involved when the opportunity strikes. IT’s one of the few changes i’m just. eh on. Most of the changes, making Glomgold more insane, making Gladstone just less obnoxious enough to be tolerable, making donald less of a scallywag and more of a responsible father, not having Daisy leave donald at the drop of his hat but be an actual supportive partner.. all good. This one’s just lukewarm though ma herself is awesome, the boys are just incompitent and I forgot when watching the series that while stupid and stopped constantly the beagles just aren’t. It’s something I can give this series more than the original easily.  Scrooge is about to give up and is fading out on them, tired and exausted. This DOES feel in character as scrooge, like anyone can feel worn down and he’s tried damn near everything only to be ready to loose. The boys snap him out of it.. or rather Dewey does by hucking a wad of bills at him as seen at the top of the article and it’s easily the best gag of the episode. Though it’s also the ONLY time i’ve been able to refer to the boys actions by name as while one may do something.. their the same character. Now what they are varies as the show bounces between the classic HDL characterizations: They can be like they are in the barks comics and this episode, upstanding young woodchucks who are clever, loyal to a fault, and bring scrooge down to earth when he needs it as well as an utter asset to him, mischievous young boys screwing up as children often do but learning from their mistakes or short sided goal like they are in the other half of barks comics or the later theatrical shorts.. or hyperactive , sexist little shitheads who are selfish and lazy like in the early shorts minus the sexisim or quack pack. Though I now realize just from writing that that while Huey is based on barks and ESPECIALLY Don Rosa’s version of the boys, just taken to a logical extreme as well as being autism-coded, the other boys are based on other aspects of them with their sometimes scheming nature being given to Louie and their more energetic spells and overly 80′s attitude from this cartoon given to Dewey, with again both amped up considerably. It was a neat way to give them actual personalities instead of being one person sharing the bodies of three characters. 
Yeah as you can tell while I WILL say upfront I love Russi Taylor and none of this is her fault.. i’m not a big fan of the classic versions of the boys. They aren’t BAD It just baffles me why Disney, and i’m blaming theme more as some foreign comics apparently did try as did Quack Pack, never let people differentiate them or thought to really try hard at that until the reboot and it smacks of their stubborn refusal to really change their iconic characters in a significant way. I’m honestly surprised the reboot got away with it and hope the 2017 personalities are the default. I also apologize for that rant but it was going to come about at some point might as well nip it in the bud now.  But that smack to the head got Scrooge back in gear and it gave him an idea.. give them the money.. specifically pile money on the elevator, breaking it, after all he’ll need to fix it anyway might as well go all in, and sending the beagles crashing down.. to the waiting police. Who called them.. probably condo lady to make sure Scrooge wasn’t lying and to report strange men breaking in. Point is Scrooge is exhausted, but triumphant.. for now. TO BE CONTINUED. 
Final Thoughts:  This is a solid 87 Ducktales episode: it’s fun, fast paced, has a simple but enjoyable concept, and feels like a Carl Barks comic come to life without directly adapting his stories. It’s good stuff. I had my problems as mentioned but their outweighed by the great jokes, pacing and action in this one. A great note to start out on.  In the Next Part: A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM!  A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM!   A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM!  A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM! A SEA MONSTER ATE MY ICE CREAM!
Until then, you can follow this blog for more ducktales every monday, check my various sub pages for more ducktales reviews of the reboot, i’ve done every episode of season 3 so far and one season 2 episode as well as a recent review of the first darkwing ep, and as noted before you can comission your own review of any animated series, ones i’ve covered and otherwise. Reblog this to spread it around if you liked it, like it if you don’t want to do that, and until next time stay safe, check your house for gary busey,  and hopefully we’ll meet again. 
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ssurveys · a year ago
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What's your favourite sport? Do you prefer to watch it or play it?: I love pro wrestling, if you count that as a sport. I definitely prefer to just stay in front of a TV – I have never been in a ring, nor am I physically fit to even give it a shot without getting harshly injured. Conversely, I love table tennis but I’d rather play it than watch a game.
Who was the last person to send you a friend request on Facebook?: It was a stranger who, upon checking, seems to be some sort of spam account promoting a pyramid scheme. Happy to nope the fuck out of there.
Have you ever been to that person's house?: Definitely not. I don’t add people I didn’t know on any level, anyway.
How recently did you wash your hands?: This morning when I cleaned up after Cooper.
How many girls do you know named Emma?: Not a common name here, so I don’t know any Emmas.
[trigger warning under this I guess. Lots of angst going on at the moment.]
Are you upset, for any reason at all?: Yeah. I’ve been feeling very upset and under stress lately...to give you an idea, I find it a personal achievement to have gotten up and taken this survey. I’m at least self-aware that this is a temporary slump, but while it’s here hanging around, it really sucks to be in it.
How did you feel when you woke up today?: Shitty. The only reason I got up at all was to feed my dogs but otherwise I’ve been glued to either the couch or my bed.
When you're stressed, what helps you to relax or calm down?: Lately, it’s episodes of Good Mythical Morning. Rhett, Link, and their crew will never have any idea just how much they’ve helped this 22 year old, now-wondering-what-her-purpose-is-in-life fresh college graduate keep sane, but I’m glad they have hours upon hours of content and podcasts lying around to keep me company while no one else can.
What were you doing before you started this survey?: I finished another survey that I abandoned yesterday, and was watching GMM to fill up the silence in my room.
Is there something else you should be doing, that's more important?: I’ve been job-hunting 24/7 but lately I’ve been giving myself a break on weekends since no one will be processing applications or booking interviews on a Saturday anyway.
When was the last time you neglected to do something that you'd planned?: Around noon today.
Is there someone that can always make you smile no matter how bad you feel?: Apparently not. I’ve been a wreck all month so far and nothing has worked. Before September, I certainly thought animals or certain humans worked as cures for me.
Do you have any friends that you feel don't fully appreciate you?: I don’t feel that way about them. I think my friends care for me a whole lot, which I appreciate. I’ve had friends come to my DMs quite a few times in the last few days with messages of support since I’ve been a little vocal about how sad I’ve been feeling these days, so I for sure don’t feel invisible. Making me feel present is the best gift anyone could give me.
When was the last time someone told you that you were beautiful?: Last week when Gab came over.
Who was the last person that apologised to you?: Myself.
What were they apologising for?: Haven’t been looking out for myself recently.
Do you think they meant it?: I guess not, because I still haven’t stopped being destructive towards myself.
Would you be embarrassed if your parents looked at your Facebook?: I have them as my friends so they see everything. But I’m 22, so while they can complain about some of my posts (and it’s usually the political ones lol), they can’t tell me to take anything down anymore the same way they were able to do so when I was younger.
Describe the personality of the person you have feelings for.: She’s very warm, understanding, generous, and immeasurably protective of the people she loves.
What does your pencil case look like? What's in it?: I have a plush dog pencilcase that I use for my pens and pencils (given by my sister) and a pink pencilcase with a floral design that holds my highlighters (given by Jane).
In your Facebook friends list, who is the first person listed under 'D'?: Some girl named Abby whose surname begins with D. She was someone from my high school and we mutually know each other, but we’re not friends and we’ve never even talked.
How did you meet him/her?: I’ve never talked to her but I’ve known of her since grade school I guess? since she’s my sister’s batchmate.
Did the last person you kissed have facial hair?: No.
You're locked in a room with your ex. Any problems?: It would just be my girlfriend too so there wouldn’t be any problems, except that I’d probably break down crying upon seeing her again because I’ve barely pulled myself together over the last week and have had to go through it alone.
Be honest. What are you most afraid of?: These days I’m definitely doubting my capabilities and achievements and all the shit I’ve put on my resumé and portfolio, and now I’m scared if any company will even give me a chance. I’m honestly holding a little bit of resentment for every employed person right now because I have seen absolutely no one talk about how brutal this whole process/waiting game is, lol. This is so SHITTY, is it just difficult for me or what???? I’m so baffled.
In the last 24 hours, have you seen or spoken to anyone you dislike?: I’ve dealt with myself, but that’s it.
What colour are the eyes of the last person that told you they loved you?: Dark brown. 
What is a word or phrase that you say often?: I like saying “I guess” because it makes me sound unsure about most things and thus makes me not 100% accountable if things go wrong hah. I do have another answer that’s more in line with the angst and depression I’ve been going through recently, and it’s that I’ve repeating BoJack Horseman’s ‘piece of shit’ monologue to himself, but this time saying it to myself.
Name 3 songs that remind you of someone special.: Sparks by Coldplay; anything by Mitski; and anything by St. Vincent.
How much chocolate do you have in your house atm, if any?: We have...a lot. We still have the chocolate cake from Nina’s birthday and we recently received an entire pack of various fun-size chocolate bars like Twix, Three Musketeers, etc. from my aunt. We also have chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream that I normally would finish up in a day, but I’ve been saving it for every future job rejection I receive. 
Who is the most intelligent person you know?: Chesca.
Do you have younger siblings? If you do, are you protective of them?: Yes. I’m protective of my sister but I don’t show it lol. We are not showy in this family.
Who was the last person you insulted?: Idk probably a politician on social media.
What are the other members of your household doing at this moment?: I have not gone out of my room all day...I did not miss this sensation. It’s been a while since I’ve locked myself up for this long.
Do you have any neighbours that you don't get along with?: There’s a house behind ours that loudly plays 80s and 90s power ballads and love songs and it gets insanely irritating and makes the neighborhood feel cheap, but I keep my feelings to myself and I’ve never actually confronted them about it and asked them to stop or decrease their speaker’s volume.
How recently did you speak to the last person you kissed?: Like 30 minutes ago. I’m not very talkative these days and it was actually just the second time today that I initiated a bried conversation. I feel bad for her, and I can’t wait to get better so I can start treating her right again.
Who was the last person you told to get lost, or something similar?: I don’t usually tell this to people.
Give me a random line from the last song you listened to.: “We know better so we’d both better go.”
Have you ever had an argument with the last person you Facebook messaged?: Lots. She’s my girlfriend lol.
Do you have any plans for tonight?: I don’t know. If I feel any better, I’d practice and review for my upcoming interview this Tuesday, but if I’m not okay by then...I don’t know. I’ve stopped planning my days out recently and just go where my legs take me.
Where were you at 9 o'clock last night?: I was at the dining table trying to take a survey, but I quickly lost interest in it.
In the past week, have you slept past midday?: Kind of. Like I mentioned, Gabie’s on the night shift so I’ve been keeping her company, which means I occasionally take naps in the afternoon.
Is there anything happening tomorrow, that you're looking forward to?: No. I’m so scared of tomorrows now.
Is there anyone you used to be friends with, that you now dislike?: I dislike Athenna only because of her attitude and the way she treated Angela during the last few days of their friendship. I don’t have any personal beef with her, at least I don’t think I have. She likes stirring up shit though and I won’t be surprised if she was able to make up a story about me to get our other friends to dislike me.
What is your least favourite chocolate bar?: Eh, I’m pretty picky about chocolate bars so I have more brands that I dislike than the ones I do enjoy. I only like Reese’s, Butterfinger, Twix, and Whittaker’s. 
Do any of your friends or relatives have the same birthday as you?: Just this girl I went to grade school with named Mitch. Otherwise, April 21 babies are a rare breed apparently.
Name the last song that made you cry.: O by Coldplay.
Who do you miss at this moment?: The me from like two weeks ago lol. How far I’ve fallen.
Where is that person?: Stuck in August, I guess.
Have you ever dyed your hair an unnatural colour?: No.
Have you had any deep conversations today?: No.
Is your television on atm?: It’s not, but I have my phone playing GMM videos on YouTube to keep me company.
If it is, what are you watching?: It’s one of their product test videos.
Are you wearing anything blue?: My shirt is blue, actually.
Who were the last 5 people to make you smile?: Rhett and Link, and that’s pretty much it.
Do you use Twitter?: Sure.
Tell me about the last YouTube video you watched. They’re pitting brand name cleaning products and natural cleaning products against each other and seeing which one is more effective. I love these videos of theirs, hahaha.
Is there anything else you'd like to say?: No, I feel like I’ve grilled myself enough in this survey.
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latvian-parisienne · 2 years ago
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Day 12-15 - Staying home and doing nothing is also a nice thing to do...apart from visiting Versailles
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After you have spent the first week and a half in Paris and you have seen every monument there is to be seen and are kind of getting tired of purchasing additional metro tickets (because your dearest Navigo still has not arrived) or walking around, you start to also enjoy the joy of being at home... because you feel like you have a home to go to.
Apart from going to a meeting of the school’s journal and cheerleading trial, I decided not to leave the house for two days in a row. And it was amazing! Waking up whenever you like, napping, preparing some food, watching TV shows and doing laundry also should make a part of your stay in Paris.
And then the exhausting Tuesdays arrive, full of four lectures in a row and flour products, because that is the only thing you can manage to eat during the 15 minute breaks. Still nothing interesting happens, nothing worth talking about at least. Life in Paris can get pretty bring once you are used to it.
That is why one needs to explore more and more whenever the time constraints and sleep levels allow. Today we went to explore the beautiful palace of Versailles and it was, of course, breathtaking; however, I had somehow expected something more, something different.
We decided to go on our Versailles mission on a cloudy Wednesday morning, hoping that it would save us from the endless masses of tourists. We were slightly wrong - tourists were still there, stopping at around places, sticking selfie sticks into your face, creating guided groups which just tended to stay in the middle of a small corridor...it was all there even though we arrived at 10 a.m. And it can also be understood since the palace is beautiful and it is definitely worth visiting it at least once in your life. However, the endless crowds of people did not allow us to fully enjoy the beauty of Versailles - it was simply overcrowded and the only thing I managed to capture into photos was ceilings. They also were really impressive and full of various paintings, but most importantly, no one covered the view of them and it was easy to enjoy their charm.
Gold, glass and marble is basically screaming from every corner you see at Versailles. Although some of us might be willing to live in a similar building at some point in our lives, for me it felt too much. I could never imagine someone living there at all, that’s how over-polished and posh it looked. But that’s kind of the case with all of those big castles - they look majestic, not liveable. Maybe that’s even good - what would I do if I decided that I wanted to live in one someday?
The gardens were pretty indeed. Red and yellow coloured flowers were decorating the beautifully cut garden, which created several ornaments and figures in the ground. From the windows of the castle, the gardens looked even better. 
However, if you take a long walk towards the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, you will get a much better experience of Versailles. There are less people, less posh and more of the feeling that someone has actually lived there or at least would be willing to live there. Grand Trianon was my personal favorite, filled with pastel colors, cosier and smaller rooms and beautiful violet-schemed garden. It felt more put-together and less screaming-in-your-face than Versailles palace itself. Petit Trianon was also cute and worth-visiting, since it also gives you a completely different feeling from the vibe you get at Versailles. When visiting the Trianons, you suddenly feel like in a countryside - a small river, owners with dogs walking around, baby swans swimming in the lake, small chapel in the middle of a meadow and no tourists. It’s an amazing feeling when you know that a 15 minute walk away the people are getting crazy over Versailles. It cannot be felt at the Trianons.
So, am I happy that I went there? Yes. Would I have chosen any other day or time? Probably not, since it was still summery and sunny in the afternoon. Would I go there again? Definitely not in the upcoming 10 years. I feel like I saw everything there and there are plenty of castles of similar style around the whole Europe.
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my-one-love-is-music · 2 years ago
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The Proposal Proposition
Summary: Tim knew getting involved with a scheme that required him to be in any form of pretend romantic relationship with Jason Todd was a terrible idea. He'd had a crush on him since they'd met during his first year of college and now they were going to get married to win more financial aid. Tim was an idiot for doing this and he knew the fallout would kill him when it came but he was finding it hard to care when it meant he got to have Jason pressed against his side as they walked across campus and matching rings decorating their fingers.
A/N: My prompt fill for day four of jaytimweek: vegas wedding/college. I had a lot of fun smashing these prompts together and have wanted to write a fic with this premise for a long time so I'm happy to finally share it with all of you!
Also on AO3!
Jason: Okay, so I know this may seem kind of weird and I know you don’t exactly need the money, but have you ever considered those schemes where people get married to get extra help with their financial aid?
Tim stared at his phone, eyes wide and trying to make sense of the text that he’d woken up to. The text that was timestamped at 3:45 that morning.
He didn’t even bother typing out a response and called Jason instead. He didn’t know if he would be up, but he didn’t have a class, so any loss of sleep was his own fault because you didn’t just text people talking about getting married for financial aid and in the middle of the night no less.
He tapped his finger against the back of his phone as he walked across campus, mug of coffee held tightly in his hand. The air had a bit of a chill to it. The cooler fall weather would be coming soon. He’d need to remember to unbox his countless hoodies that he’d managed to collect over the years to keep warm on his way to class.
“Hello?” Jason finally answered, sounding groggy. “Is this…? Tim? Why are you calling so early?”
“Maybe because you decided to text me in the middle of the night asking about people who get married to get additional financial aid benefits for college,” he answered, taking a sip of his coffee. “And I have one question in response to that: what the fuck?”
“Oh that,” Jason said, sounding more awake and Tim could almost imagine him flopping onto his back in bed, one hand resting on his stomach as he stared at the ceiling with his phone pressed against his ear. “Yeah, I found out that you can get added financial aid if you’re married and I know you don’t really need it, but I’ve kind of been struggling with finances and figured that the less debt I have to pay, the better.”
Tim froze, coffee halfway to his mouth. “Jason,” he asked slowly, “are you asking me to marry you for financial aid?”
“Kind of?” he said. “I mean, I guess, yeah. There’s no one else I can really ask, and I know it’s kind of stupid, but I thought…I mean if you don’t want to that’s fine…”
“Okay here’s what we’re going to do,” Tim said, fighting down the butterflies in his stomach. “I’m going to go to class and you’re going to go to class. And then tonight when we’re both done with class, we’re going to order a pizza and sit in your dorm room and talk about this because I’m still really confused.”
“Oh, sure,” he agreed. “We can do that. You want pepperoni and mushroom?”
“Duh,” Tim said with a grin as he rolled his eyes. “And don’t forget the breadsticks.”
“What kind of monster do you take me for?” he scoffed. “We can’t order pizza and not get breadsticks.”
“Is five good?”
“Not today. I have to meet with my advisor after my afternoon class. Make it six?”
“Sure, works for me,” Tim said, finally getting his feet to move again.
“Cool. See you later.”
“Later,” Tim said, ending the call. He slipped his phone back into his pocket and adjusted the straps of his backpack on his shoulders. Today was going to prove to be an interesting day and he knew that his curiosity over what Jason was proposing was going to make his classes nearly insufferable to sit through.
~~
“So, what you’re saying is that you want me and you to get married so that you can get more financial aid benefits for college?” Tim asked around a mouthful of pizza.
“Yeah, basically,” Jason said, finally getting over his initial embarrassment at having to explain the whole situation.
Tim nodded and continued to chew. He was a little amazed at how much work Jason had put into the whole idea and the research that had gone into it. It also explained why he’d gotten the text in the middle of the night and not a more reasonable hour.
The idea wasn’t terrible, and they could get a divorce once college was taken care of. They’d been friends for years so getting along wouldn’t be a problem, even if Jason kind of deplored Tim’s living habits when he didn’t clean for a few weeks.
The only hiccup that could happen would be Tim’s problem. Which could prove to be difficult if he was in close proximity to Jason for a long time.
“You do realize we’re going to have to live together to make this work, right?” Tim asked, trying to make Jason reject the idea instead of him since he liked the thought of them being married a little too much.
Jason shrugged, and Tim squinted when he thought his cheeks turned a light shade of pink. “Yeah, I thought about that. But I don’t have a roommate right now, so you could always move into my dorm with me. I’m sure it won’t be too difficult to work around with housing, especially when we show them our marriage certificate and all that,” he explained, reaching over to swipe a breadstick from the box.
Tim nodded. “Our friends are going to lose their shit.”
Jason nodded. “Yeah, I assumed as much.”
“The media probably will, too. Are you prepared to deal with what comes with being with a Drake?”
Jason shrugged. “I’m sure it’s nothing I can’t deal with.”
Tim nodded. “Okay.”
“Okay?” Jason asked. He leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees. “You’ll do it?”
He nodded again, trying to push down the sour feeling that none of this would mean anything to Jason, but it would mean the world to him. “Why not? It’ll help you and I’ll get some benefits, too. And I think it could be fun. We just have to figure out who’s doing holidays.”
“We’ll probably have to do Christmas with your parents since they throw that big party every year,” Jason said, finally sitting back to munch on his breadstick.
“Yeah,” Tim sighed, rolling his eyes. “Plus, all of the socialites are going to want to see my new husband.”
“Am I allowed to scandalize them?” Jason asked with a grin.
Tim grinned. “Stumble out of the coat closet with our clothes rumpled to make them think we were doing things?” he asked.
“That’s not a bad idea,” he mused. “I was thinking more of sticking my tongue down you throat under the mistletoe.”
“That would give them the chance to take more pictures, but the closet would really get them talking. So, if you want to be the hot topic of all the gossip circles, that’s how it’s going to be done.”
“Sounds good to me,” Jason said, snagging another breadstick. “And for Thanksgiving we can chill here and watch ridiculous movies while we eat takeout in our pajamas.”
Tim groaned. “That sounds so much better than the four-course meal my family usually sets up for the holiday. I have to wear a suit. There’s three of us and I’m expected to wear a suit. It’s ridiculous.”
Jason made a face. “Ew. I’m surprised your parents don’t host a whole charity gala since it’s the perfect time to be thankful and help others be thankful too or some shit.”
“That’s Bruce Wayne’s thing,” Tim said, waving his hand. “And my mother and father don’t want to seem like they’re copying or trying to compete with him. Even though everyone who’s rich is actually competing with each other to hold the best parties and have the best houses and belongings, there’s this unspoken rule that it can’t look like they’re competing. Although we might win Christmas this year thanks to you.”
“We could probably win Thanksgiving too if the media scandal doesn’t die down enough.”
“Speaking of,” Tim said, straightening. “When are we doing this?”
Jason hummed and twisted around, grabbing his planner from his bed. He flipped open to the current month. “We’ve got fall break coming up. We could fly out then and make this happen if you’re good with that.”
“That’s just a couple weeks away, right?” Tim asked, pulling his laptop from his backpack.
“Yeah,” Jason said with a nod.
“Let me pull up flights to Vegas to see what we can do…”
Jason chewed on another slice of pizza while Tim skimmed the flight times and prices to get out there.
“Hey Jay?” Tim asked, looking up with a smirk pulling at his lips.
Jason raised an eyebrow in silent question.
“How do you feel about flying first class?”
Jason grinned. “I think it’s only appropriate for a pair of newlyweds.”
“And the honeymoon suite?” he asked, pulling out the credit cards his parents had given him to keep him occupied and out of their hair.
“Could we really stay in anything less?” Jason scoffed.
Tim snickered. “We can fly out there on a Tuesday morning and fly back on Saturday so we have time to settle in. We’ll have to start working out the legal stuff as soon as we’re back though.”
“Sounds like a great vacation,” Jason agreed. “Do we have to make reservations at Vegas chapels?” He opened the lid of his laptop and started on a quick search of Vegas wedding chapels. He grinned when he clicked on the first service that popped up. “Hey Tim, how do you feel about getting married in a Gazebo at sunset?”
Tim raised an eyebrow. “Fancy.”
“We can get the cheapest package since we’re not going to have any guests. What are we going to wear?”
“Tuxes, duh,” Tim mumbled, reading over something on his computer. “We have to make it look good.”
“Oh my god,” Jason breathed, feeling glee fill him.
“What?” Tim asked.
“You can live stream other people’s weddings,” Jason said, mirth shining in his eyes.
Tim frowned and set his laptop to the side, crawling over to him so he could look at his screen. “You mean you can just watch a complete stranger get married?”
“Yes,” Jason said, laughing. “We should totally do this! The media would go crazy!”
Tim grinned. “I can tweet out the video link before our wedding.”
“We even get roundtrip limo service to the venue from our hotel through this package,” Jason continued.
“What do they have open?”
Jason hummed and clicked on the dates for when they’d be in. We could do that Wednesday at 8?” he asked, looking at Tim who nodded.
“Sounds good. Let me get my wallet and we can reserve it.” Tim grabbed his wallet from where he’d been sitting and leaned against the bed next to Jason, their thighs pressing together as Tim took Jason’s laptop and continued to the booking page.
He typed in his personal information and paused when it asked for a phone number. “Do you want this under your name or mine?”
“Do you know anything about wedding decorations?” Jason asked.
“No. Do you?”
“Nope,” Jason said, crossing his arms. “But you do have more experience with fancy parties and shit.”
“Okay,” Tim sighed and shrugged, putting in his phone number. He waited as the screen refreshed and their package page was brought up. “Do you want to change any of these details or are you fine with the default?” Tim asked, scrolling down the page.
“How do you feel about red roses?” Jason murmured.
Tim shrugged, changing the color scheme and the rose petal choice to red. “Works for me. Anything else? We aren’t exactly going to have any guests unless a sudden influx of reporters show up.”
“What about a cake or reception?” Jason asked. “We can’t not have wedding cake. You only get married so many times.”
Tim chuckled. “We can order champagne and dessert from the hotel. I’m sure they’ll have lots of options that are ten times better than whatever grocery store cake these people buy.”
“Fair enough,” Jason agreed.
“We don’t need their tuxedo rental either,” Tim said. “I have my own and I know a place here in Gotham we can get you fitted at.” He clicked through the rest of the options, confirming the details before he was brought to a payment page. He selected to pay in full and pulled his credit card out of his wallet, filling in his information.
The mouse hovered over the ‘Pay’ button and he looked up at Jason.
“Last chance to back out,” he said.
“Do it,” Jason agreed.
Tim hit the button and the screen changed, wedding bells and confetti floating down over the screen as a large ‘Congratulations!’ flashed.
“You are the one who’s going to carry the bouquet, right?” Jason asked.
Tim rolled his eyes and shoved at Jason’s shoulder as he laughed. “I’m so going to be the one who proposes the divorce,” Tim muttered.
“Damn, we haven’t even gotten married yet and you’re already planning on pulling the plug.”
“I would say I’m marrying you for your money, but you don’t have any,” Tim said, sticking his tongue out at Jason.
“Why you little…” he grabbed Tim around the waist as Tim screeched, kicking out his legs to try and get away from the merciless dig of Jason’s fingers into his sides.
He dissolved into giggles, bucking and squirming in Jason’s arms during the relentless attack.
“Jason noooo,” he cried around gasps for air. “Let me go!”
“Haven’t you realized it yet, Tim?” Jason said, voice low and dangerous in his ear. “We’re about to be married. You can’t get rid of me that easily anymore.”
Tim hoped his shiver was hidden while he continued to try and extricate himself from Jason’s grasp. He didn’t need the lick of heat in his stomach to get the better of him and make him do something stupid.
But he was already doing something stupid. Because he’d agreed to marry his best friend for financial aid when he was already practically in love with him.
~~
School helped to keep Tim’s mind off the countdown to the wedding. What sent him spiraling back into horrified acceptance as he tried to deal with his little problem was the phone calls from the wedding chapel.
“Hello?” he asked, picking up his phone that was vibrating for attention in his pocket.
“Hello is this Tim Drake?” a woman asked.
“Yes,” he hedged.
“Hi Tim, this is Debbie with Chapel of the Flowers. I’m going to be your complimentary wedding planner as we approach you and your fiancé’s big day,” she explained brightly.
Tim’s steps faltered. “I thought that everything was already taken care of through the booking on the website.”
“Oh most of it is,” she reassured. “But in case you want to change any arrangements we can take care of that over the phone. And we’ll also confirm your hotel details to make sure the limousine picks you up at the correct place and time. Now, I noticed that you didn’t include a wedding cake or reception in your service. Is that correct? Because I can assure you the cakes we supply are absolutely to die for.”
Tim smiled wryly at the statement. “We’ll keep that in mind, but at this point we weren’t planning on a reception. This…ceremony,” he said carefully, “is more of a private matter between my fiancé and I. We don’t have any other guests who will be attending the wedding.”
“I see,” Debbie said, sounding unhappy. “Well, if you do change your mind, we have a staff that can come and act as guests for your wedding if you do decide you would like other people present.”
Tim practically gaped, trying to find something to say. “Um, thanks,” he said slowly. “I’ll let you know if that’s an offer we’d like to take you up on.”
“Of course the pricing for that arrangement is dependent on how many guests you would like, but we can work out the details of that later.”
Tim nodded even though he couldn’t see her and rubbed his finger against his temple, wondering what the hell he’d gotten involved in. “Well, if that’s all…” he hedged.
“Right, of course!” she said. “I will mark down that you would like everything as you’ve already specified. I’ll give you another call when we get closer to the date of the wedding and if there’s anything you’d like changed before then or if you’re anxious about the big day you’re more than welcome to call me back at this number.”
“What do you mean anxious?” Tim couldn’t stop himself from asking.
“Oh you know, we have some couples who’ve had anxiety with something that’s such a big commitment and they might have a little bit of doubt after making the deposit. Small cases of cold feet and things like that. I help counsel couples through it.”
“Okay, well if I need to talk to you about any of that I will certainly let you know,” Tim said, starting to feel a little uncomfortable.
“Certainly! Have a good day, Tim!”
“You too,” he mumbled before hanging up the phone. He shook his head and shoved it into his pocket, hurrying up the steps to the dining hall where he was meeting Jason for dinner.
He swiped his student ID as he walked in and slipped around the corner to get to the back corner of the dining hall. The table he usually occupied with Jason was empty. He dropped off his bag and made for one of the food stations, grabbing a burger and fries for dinner.
Tim sat sideways in the chair closest to the wall so he could lean against it and prop his foot up on the chair next to him. He swiped a fry through his ketchup and looked up to find Jason stomping over towards him, fists clenched at his sides and scowl gracing his face like he was on the verge of murdering someone.
“You okay?” Tim asked.
Jason dropped his backpack in the free chair across from him and held up a finger. “I need food first. Maybe dessert before anything else.”
“Grab me a brownie if you’re going over there,” Tim called as he spun around and made his way to the meal lines.
Tim managed to finish his burger and was almost done with his fries before Jason made it back with his own bowl of stir-fry and a generous plate of desserts in tow. He set the plate in the middle of the table and angrily scooped up a bite of stir-fry with a spoon, shoving it into his mouth.
“What happened?” Tim finally asked.
Jason glanced up at him and sagged against his chair. “My fucking science professor has a paper due next week and we were supposed to get the assignment for it two weeks ago and he expects all of us to write this eight-page paper with graphs and an appendix by Monday even though he just gave us the assignment. And that doesn’t even count the fact that he hasn’t returned our last papers so none of us have any idea if we’re on the right track with what he wants as far as writing style goes.”
He huffed and stirred the food in his bowl. “I wouldn’t even be in this class if it wasn’t required. I don’t know anything about science,” he mumbled, finally losing steam.
Tim frowned. “So, he’s making this paper, that he just gave you, due right before Fall break?” he asked.
“Yeah.”
“Shit.”
“I know.”
“Good luck.”
Jason smiled ruefully. “I’m going to die.”
“I’ll mourn you.”
“You’re going to be a widow.”
Tim smirked and swiped a brownie from the plate. “Can’t be a widow if we’re not even married yet.”
“Hopefully the police won’t come after you.”
“If they do, I’ll just tell them what happened: you had a heart attack from the stress of having to write a paper.”
Jason raised an eyebrow. “So, you already know how I’m going to die? That’s not suspicious at all.”
Tim grinned, his teeth glinting dangerously underneath the dining hall lights despite the flecks of brownie stuck between his teeth. “I know how to make things look like an accident.”
“You’re evil.”
Tim shrugged. “Maybe a little bit. But I can’t be that evil if I agreed to marry you for a scam to get more federal loan money.”
“Hey, hey, hey,” Jason said, some of his good cheer returning. “It’s not a scam. We’re actually getting married. We’re not lying about anything.”
“Except our undying love for each other,” he muttered, even though it wasn’t exactly a lie for him.
Jason waved his hand. “That’s what marriages of convenience are all about. By the time senior year rolls around, the stress will have become too much for us and made our marriage fall apart.”
“Now who’s being suspicious and planning things ahead of time?” Tim asked.
Jason scoffed. “You love it.”
Tim rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” He swiped another brownie from the plate just to make a point.
~~
Tim carefully cradled one of the two coffee cups in his elbow to free his other hand to knock on the door. He heard a muffled groan come from inside before something creaked. A shout sounded and a loud thump.
Tim stared at the door when the lock and handle started to rattle. It was pulled open to reveal an exhausted and messy Jason in the doorway. He fought to keep his gaze off how Jason’s hair stuck up in four different directions, wondering how it would feel to run his fingers through it and comb it back into place.
“Oh my god, is that coffee?” he asked, staring at the drinks in Tim’s arms. “I fucking love you if one of those is mine.”
“One of them is,” Tim said, holding out the right cup. “I didn’t buy two coffees for myself.”
“You have before,” Jason mumbled against the lid as he proceeded to chug half the cup. He stepped to the side and let Tim inside. He walked over to the beanbag in the corner of the room and sat down while Jason closed the door behind him.
The coffee table was covered with books and papers, Jason’s laptop sitting open in the middle of it all. Jason sat down in front of it, legs splaying out over the carpet.
“What was that thump earlier?” Tim finally asked when Jason was slowing his coffee intake.
Jason coughed and wiped the back of his hand over his mouth, cheeks turning pink. “I um…I tripped and fell.”
Tim stared at him for a minute before he broke out into hysterical giggles, hand clutching his side as he fought to keep from spilling his coffee.
“Oh my god,” he gasped when they finally started to subside. “How tired are you that you tripped in the middle of your own dorm room?”
“I’m exhausted okay?” Jason snapped, setting his cup down on the coffee table. “I’ve been working on this paper all weekend and haven’t even touched the reading I have to do for my three literature classes.”
“How much do you have left?” Tim asked, taking a sip from his cup.
“I just told you I hadn’t started on it! It’s 600 pages of-“
“Not the literature reading,” Tim said with a roll of his eyes. “How much of the paper do you have left.”
“Oh,” Jason said. He grinned, and it looked as manic as he was probably feeling after foregoing sleep and busting his ass to write a paper over the weekend. “I just have the conclusion left to write and then I need to slap together a works cited page.”
“Then don’t let me stop you,” Tim said, waving his hand. “Get it done.”
Jason looked at his computer and grimaced. “I think I’ll finish my coffee first.”
“Yeah, but the sooner you get done, the sooner you can nap,” Tim pointed out.
“This thing isn’t going to get edited.”
Tim snorted. “Do college papers ever?”
He grinned. “Nope.”
Tim kicked off his shoes as Jason bent over his computer and started typing. It wasn’t long before the last paragraph was done and he was flipping through the articles he’d borrowed from the library to take down his source information.
“There,” Jason said, clicking something on his computer before he sat back. “I’m finally done.”
“Time for a nap?” Tim asked.
“I think I might be too wired from sleep deprivation and caffeine to sleep. Movie?”
He shrugged. “Sure. I don’t have anywhere else I need to be.”
Jason pushed himself to his feet and grabbed his computer. He climbed onto his bed, pushing all the pillows against his headboard as he pulled up Netflix on his computer. Tim didn’t hesitate, climbing into bed next to him and fluffing the pillow behind his head as Jason rested the computer on both of their thighs.
Tim sighed, relaxing into the unforgiving university-distributed mattress as best he could as they settled in for what was probably going to be a t.v. show binge or mini movie marathon as Jason fought to forget the horrors of the past few days.
~~
Jason pushed through the door to Tim’s dorm room, stomping angrily across the floor. Tim raised an eyebrow where he was seated on his bed, shoving a handful of cheeseballs into his mouth while sitting around in one of Jason’s hoodies that he’d stolen and his boxer briefs.
“What’s up?” he asked, setting his business ethics textbook to the side.
“So you know how my professor assigned that stupid paper that he made be due today and I busted my ass all weekend to get done?”
Tim felt his stomach sink. “Oh no.”
“Oh no is fucking right,” Jason snarled, staring down at the floor. “He decided to postpone the deadline until after fall break so now I’ve got this monster paper done and haven’t done any of my literature reading for my classes today or tomorrow.”
“On the bright side…at least it’s done?” Tim offered, knowing nothing he could say would be enough to cool the fury that was consuming Jason. And which had every right to consume him when it was caused by shitty professors and a stupid educational system.
Jason deflated and walked over to his bed, leaning against the edge next to him. “Yeah,” he sighed. “You’re right, but it’s still so frustrating.”
“Cheeseball for your sorrows?” Tim asked, holding out the bag.
Jason gave him a soft smile and reached into the back, pulling out a handful.
“And on the other bright side,” Tim continued. “Tomorrow night you get to leave on an awesome fall break vacation with me that’s going to let us fool the student loan system so we can get more money.”
Jason laughed as he chewed on his snack. “Yeah, you’re right. And at least I don’t have to worry about interrupting our vacation with stupid homework troubles.”
Tim’s stomach twisted at the word ‘our.’ “See?” he asked, trying for a smile that didn’t feel like it was concealing his rolling emotions. “Now you’re thinking!”
“What are you doing anyway?” Jason asked, finally changing the topic.
“Some class reading for business ethics for tomorrow,” he said with a shrug. “It’ll be my last class of the day and I know it’s going to drag, especially with the topic.”
“Which is?”
Tim smiled, knowing it was as ugly as it felt. “Ethical management systems of course.”
Jason made a fake gagging noise and Tim nodded, completely in agreement.
~~
Tim took a shaky breath and held up his phone, his camera open.
“You ready to do this?” he asked, glancing around at the few people in the seats around them at their departure gate.
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Jason said, scooting closer despite the armrest separating them. He threw an arm around Tim’s shoulders and pulled him against his side.
“Smile,” Tim said, holding up the camera. He tilted his head towards Jason and snapped a picture of them leaning close, obviously in the middle of the airport.
“Is that going on Instagram or Twitter?” Jason asked as Tim lowered the phone to inspect the picture.
“Both,” he answered, opening Instagram first. “Might as well cover all the bases.”
He typed out a quick caption. “At the airport with the fiancé! Can’t believe we’re finally headed to Vegas to tie the knot. Been waiting for this for so long.”
He swallowed and added a bunch of heart eye emojis.
“Seems kind of cheesy,” Jason commented over his shoulder.
“Then it’s perfect for you,” he shot back.
“Hey…” Jason said, pulling Tim against his side.
Tim chuckled and switched to Twitter, posting the same photo and message. It had barely been posted before his notifications started to climb.
“What the hell?” Jason asked, looking at the bottom of his screen.
Tim bit his lip, thumb hovering uncertainly over the icon before he opened them. A string of likes and frantic comments appeared. There was a mixture of incredible excitement and shock. More than one person was desperate to know if it was true or not.
“You’re going to have so much damage control to run,” Jason muttered.
Tim smirked, trying to feign more confidence than he actually felt. “Don’t speak too soon. You’re going to have to deal with as much of this as I do. Be glad I didn’t tag your accounts or your stuff would be blowing up. Although they’re probably going to track you down anyway.”
“You can’t be serious?” Jason asked. “That’s kind of creepy.”
Tim shrugged. “Check your phone.”
“I swear to god, I’ll never forgive you if you basically ruin my social media experience.”
Tim laughed. “What experience?” he asked. “You barely post and even when you do it’s pictures on Instagram. You hardly use Twitter.”
“Shut it,” Jason grumbled. He sighed after checking both of his accounts. “Okay, I’m safe for now,” he said, sagging back in relief against his chair.”
“Now boarding for flight 2335 for Las Vegas, Nevada.”
“Well, that’s us,” Tim said, standing up. “Time to get hitched.”
“Don’t sound like you’re dreading it,” Jason said, pulling him over to the gate.
“Are you kidding?” Tim scoffed. “Being married to you is probably going to be a nightmare,” he said, the statement going soft because of the grin pulling at his lips.
Jason laughed and pulled out their tickets, both of them completely unaware of the pictures some of the other travelers were sneaking of them as they passed.
~~
The heat of Las Vegas smothered them when they stepped through the door to the line of taxis waiting outside the airport. The air was cleaner than what they were subjected to in Gotham, but the humidity pressed down on Tim’s chest.
“Are we sure an outdoor wedding was a good idea?” Tim asked as Jason helped the driver load their suitcases into the trunk of the taxi.
“We’ll make do,” Jason said. “If anything, it’ll prove to be a very interesting ceremony.”
“Ah, you two are getting married, how splendid!” the driver interrupted with a grin. “I’ve had many, many couples ride in my car and all of them have stayed together many years! My taxi is very good luck.”
Tim and Jason shared a skeptical look as they climbed into the back of the car, both knowing there was no way he could know the people who’d come here to get married were still together.
“Now, where am I taking the beautiful couple?” he asked, looking in the rearview mirror.
Tim rattled off the name of their hotel, glad it was immediately recognized. He squinted against the bright sunlight when they pulled out from underneath the overhang. He took a deep breath, his heart gaining speed in his chest now that the wedding was on the horizon.
He hoped he wasn’t about to destroy his life with a colossal mistake.
~~
Tim fell back heavily on the mattress of the resplendent bed of the honeymoon suite. The air conditioning was a sweet relief from the few seconds of oppressive heat they had to walk through to get through the sliding doors of the hotel. He could feel the beads of sweat pressing into his back, making a face at the ceiling.
“So,” Jason said, falling onto the covers next to him. “What are we going to do until tomorrow?”
“Hell if I know,” Tim said, rolling his head to the side to look at Jason.
Jason grinned. “Think we can fuck with the concierge?”
“Isn’t there a pool here too?”
Jason nodded. “Think so. Did you bring swim trunks?”
“Nope,” Tim said. “Shopping?”
“Meh,” Jason said.
“Yeah,” Tim agreed.
~~
Tim tugged at Jason’s tie, securing it around his neck as he shifted in front of him. “Stay still,” he admonished.
He let out a long-suffering sigh. “I feel like I’m being suffocated.”
“Well get used to it,” Tim said. “You’re going to have to wear ties at least every other month from now on.”
“Only if you promise to take them off for me,” he said, waggling his eyebrows.
Tim rolled his eyes. “Keep that up and you’re sleeping on the couch over there.”
“Not even married yet and you’re kicking me out of our bed.”
Tim felt himself flush and didn’t say anything. “Let’s just…get going,” he muttered. “The limo is going to be waiting downstairs for us and we don’t want to be late for our own ceremony.”
Jason chuckled and slipped the hotel key into his pocket. Tim stalked past him, valiantly trying to keep his mind off what was coming. And that his first kiss with Jason was going to happen because they were getting married for financial aid and not because Jason harbored any sort of feelings for him.
“Hey, you need to tweet out the link to the livestream, right?” Jason asked as they stepped into the elevator.
“Oh shit, yeah,” Tim said. He pulled out his phone and pulled up the wedding chapel website on his phone, scrolling through the weddings from that day until he got to his own. He copied the link and opened Twitter, typing out a quick message for all his followers before hitting send.
He let out a shaky breath before he shoved the phone into his pocket, knowing he’d have a million notifications before the ceremony even started.
They stepped out of the elevator when it reached the first floor and strode through the lobby. A white limo was waiting in front of the steps of the hotel. A man in a suit holding a sign with Tim’s last name on it smiled at them.
“Welcome,” he said, pulling open the rear door. “Are you excited for the big day?”
“You have no idea,” Jason said genially, placing a hand on Tim’s lower back to guide him into the backseat.
“There is champagne and snacks in the fridge and you’re welcome to help yourself, although I would recommend waiting until after the ceremony in case your nerves get the best of you,” he said with a lowly chuckle.
The statement left Tim knowing that he’d probably witnessed more than one couple spew chunks before or during the ceremony.
Tim took a shaky breath as the driver climbed into the front seat and pulled away from the curb. Jason’s hand found his on the seat and gave it a squeeze. He looked over at him and Jason offered a small smile that Tim returned.
“We can still back out if you want to,” he whispered.
Tim shook his head. “No, we…we already agreed to do this, and I wouldn’t want you missing the chance to get more financial aid. Besides, it’ll be fun. An adventure of sorts.”
Jason chuckled and squeezed his hand again. As they drove through the streets, Tim belatedly realized that Jason didn’t pull his hand away.
~~
Tim was valiantly trying to keep his breathing under control and stave off a panic attack as the officiant made it to the vows. Jason was holding his hands in a death grip as they stood under the wooden canopy of the gazebo. White string lights wrapped around the rafters and the sky was pink and purple above their heads because of the sunset.
He hoped the camera that was carefully sweeping around them to capture the video from all the right angles wasn’t picking up on his inner turmoil because he didn’t need hundreds if not thousands of people picking up on his panic and questioning what he was doing getting married to Jason if his heart wasn’t really in it.
Jason met his eyes, gaze soft and supportive and Tim knew if they were anywhere else, he would’ve been asking Tim if he rally wanted to go through with this. Tim gave him a small nod, hoping the reassurance would be enough to counter the panic in his own eyes.
Jason squeezed his hands tighter as he began to repeat the words the officiant said to him. He released one of Tim’s hands to reach for the silver band resting on a velvet pillow on the pedestal beside them.
Tim swallowed, straining to hear over the blood rushing through his ears and discern the words being said aloud.
The kiss of metal that slid over his finger was shocking and Tim looked down, hoping it didn’t look as jerky as it felt. He wiggled his finger, catching the movement of the light from the string lights as it wiggled and waved over the curved top of the band.
“Tim?” the officiant prompted.
Tim swallowed and nodded, slowly repeating the words that Jason had just said. He picked up the other ring, holding it tightly between his shaky fingers. Jason’s hand was warm under his touch and he slid the band on his ring finger, leaving it to settle into its new home.
As soon as his hand fell away, Jason gripped his hand, linking their fingers together.
The officiant smiled at them both, closing the book in front of him.
“I now pronounce you, husband and husband. You may kiss the bridegroom.”
Tim tried to smile but knew it was shaky. Jason lifted his hand and cupped Tim’s cheek, stroking the soft skin with his thumb. He stepped forward and ducked his head, pausing long enough that Tim’s thoughts started to run in a panic. This was his first kiss with Jason and it was because they were getting married, not because they were actually in love.
It made his heart ache.
The ache didn’t last long when Jason’s lips pressed against his. His eyes slid shut, but they broke apart quickly, Tim mourning the loss of contact. Their first kiss was their wedding kiss. Their first kiss was their wedding kiss that had just been livestreamed over the internet to an unbelievable number of people.
“Congratulations Tim and Jason. I wish you the best in your marriage.”
Tim smiled. “Thank you.”
Jason squeezed his hand and the man held out his hand, directing them back into the main building. Tim was glad to see the camera had been lowered and they were given their privacy once again.
“We can take a few wedding photos inside now that the ceremony is complete,” he continued, walking behind them.
“Sounds great,” Jason said, and Tim wondered if he was imagining the tightness in his voice.
Tim swallowed then the photographer arranged them in front of a tasteful backdrop, directing Jason to keep an arm around Tim’s waist which he apparently had no trouble doing. They were arranged in five different poses, subjected to the click of the camera as they smiled, trying to seem as relaxed as possible.
“Now kiss for me,” he said with a grin.
They both froze.
“Just one little kiss,” he prodded.
Jason was the first to move. He turned to face Tim, placing a warm and comforting hand on his hip. He cupped Tim’s cheek with his other hand, giving the camera an open view of their profiles. Jason’s eyes searched Tim’s and Tim rested a hand on his chest.
Jason ducked his head and then they were kissing again. It was different from the first kiss and he knew in the back of his mind he’d have to get used to this if they were going to make everyone believe they were ridiculously in love.
Jason’s lips were soft, and the kiss lasted longer than the one during the ceremony, the shutter clicking several times as the photographer took their pictures.
Jason pulled away and it took a minute for Tim’s eyes to flutter open. He met Jason’s sharp gaze watching him intently, searching his face for…something.
“That looked wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. If you’d like to head to the front of the building, your limo should be waiting to take you back to your hotel. I can have these developed tomorrow and delivered to your hotel before the day is over.”
“Thank you,” Jason managed since the words stuck in Tim’s throat. He was still watching the side of Jason’s head, trying to capture every moment and movement and feature of him.
He knew they’d be stuck together for three years at least. They had to get through the rest of college and he wasn’t sure how long they had to stay married after they graduated to make sure it stayed legit, but once that day came and they were no longer tied together, Tim was sure he wasn’t going to be the same.
He’d break, coming apart at the seams. He just hoped that Jason could stand to be around him and stay friends once it was done. Because torturing himself for three years was one thing, but torturing himself and then losing one of the few good people in his life would drive him insane.
“Tim, you okay?” Jason asked, meeting his gaze when Tim hadn’t made a move.
Tim forced a smile on his face, aware the photographer was still standing close by, listening to their conversation with intense interest.
“Of course,” he said, making his voice light and airy. “I was just wondering how I managed to snag the best man in the world for a husband.”
He saw the photographer grin out of the corner of his eye and Jason’s expression softened but he could still see the question lurking behind his eyes.
“Come on,” Jason said. “We should get back to the hotel and start celebrating.”
Tim grinned, his stomach tightening as he wished that he was actually going to get a true wedding celebration.
~~
“So,” Jason said as he clacked away on his computer while Tim sat next to him and fiddled with his phone since his Twitter notifications hadn’t slowed down at all. “I’ve already emailed housing to let them know what happened. Once they get back to me you’ll probably be moving in with me in the dorm. Unless they decide to make special arrangements. Now we just need to take care of the financial aid paperwork to get this finished.”
“Do you know what we need to fill out?” Tim asked absentmindedly as he scrolled through several tweets that featured screenshots of the wedding ceremony. Most of them included their kiss.
“Yeah, I’ve got all that pulled up. We just need to change our marital status and submit the forms for review to get more aid. It shouldn’t take too long and if they need proof, we can scan our marriage certificate and send them a copy when we get back on campus and can access a printer.”
Tim nodded. “Okay. You want to get your stuff done first and then I can do mine?” he asked.
“Sure,” Jason said, clicking and typing in the silence between them.
Tim glanced up at him and found all his attention on the computer where he was reclined on the bed of the honeymoon suite that was eagerly provided for them. Although knowing Vegas and this hotel, there were probably a hundred more just like it so everyone could experience their honeymoons at once.
He pursed his lips and looked back at his phone, clicking the link to one of Gotham’s online tabloids that was constantly posting stories about him. They had several screenshots of the wedding video and were making their own suspicions as to the purpose of the wedding, but no one had tried to get in touch with him for a comment and he was more than a little grateful.
He’d already been put through a major emotional step the night before and he wasn’t ready to play the part of the newly married husband yet. He’d get enough of that when they returned to school. The isolation that came with their hotel room was the biggest comfort he had.
Tim’s phone vibrated in his hand and he swallowed when his dad’s name flashed across the screen. He winced and slid his thumb across the screen.
“Hello?” he croaked.
“Timothy, we need to have a talk,” his father said, voice low and stern.
“Yeah, sure Dad. What’s up?”
The sounds of Jason’s typing stopped, and Tim glanced at him. His eyebrows were drawn down in concern and Tim grimaced, catching his thumbnail between his teeth to chew on it lightly. Jason sat up, setting the computer to the side so his focus was on Tim.
“I’m…concerned,” he started.
“Oh?” Tim asked, hoping he sounded innocent.
“Is there a reason that the tabloids are covered with pictures of you getting married and that I’ve gotten calls from more than one socialite asking why you haven’t introduced your now husband at any of the social functions you’ve attended in the past year?”
Tim swallowed. “He’s not exactly partial to social functions and we were aiming to keep things discreet,” he lied easily.
Tim wasn’t sure where his ability to lie was coming from. Maybe from the years of distance he already had with his father. He could say anything, and it would probably sound believable. Most of his antics were overlooked because his father failed to pry into his life, they never came because he needed to make up an excuse for what he was doing.
“And it never occurred to you, or him, to share the little bit of information that you were engaged? He never thought to ask for my blessing or I don’t know, meet me in person before you decided to fly off to Vegas to tie the knot?” his father asked, voice filled with disappointment and what Tim was sure was anger for the trouble their recent nuptials were sure to cause.
Tim winced, trying to pick his next words very carefully. Jason’s long fingers wrapped around his free hand, pulling it from his mouth so he wouldn’t do even more damage to his nails.
“Look, Dad. I’m sorry that this seems sort of backwards and confused. This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision as much as it seems to be. We didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and getting married in Vegas seemed like the best option,” Tim explained, his fingers wrapped tightly around Jason’s hand to try and ground him.
“And you didn’t think that I might want to be there for this? You only get married once if you’re lucky.”
Tim blinked. His relationship with his dad hadn’t always been the best one. There had been times when they’d gone days without talking simply because his dad hadn’t taken an interest in his life. It had never occurred to him that his dad might feel hurt over not being included on such an important day.
“I’m sorry, Dad,” he admitted, a potent sense of guilt weighing down his stomach. “I’ll introduce you as soon as we get back to Gotham. We can go out for dinner and you can sufficiently question and threaten Jason since you missed out on all those opportunities in the past.”
Jason huffed a snort and Tim glanced up at him, offering him a small smile.
There was a pause on the line. “I’d like that. When are you set to get back?”
“We’re flying back on Saturday. Does Sunday dinner work for you?”
“I’ll make the reservations,” he agreed.
Tim nodded even though he couldn’t see him. “Okay. See you then.”
“Bye, Tim.”
“Bye, Dad,” he said, ending the call. He sighed and dropped his hand to his lap.
“You okay?” Jason asked.
“Yeah,” Tim sighed. “Yeah,” he said again, voice stronger. “Dad wants to have dinner with us when we get back. Sunday dinner. He wants to meet with you since we kind of bypassed all of that.”
“Meeting my father-in-law already. We’re moving fast, aren’t we?” Jason asked, raising an eyebrow. “We’ve been married less than a day.”
Tim huffed a laugh, feeling himself relax. Things were going to be fine. Jason was his friend and they were going to work through all of this together. Tim might struggle with his feelings and Jason was completely oblivious to it all, but they had each other.
“Moving’s going to be a bitch when we get back,” Tim mused.
Jason squeezed his hand where he was still holding it. “You’re the one who has to move, but I guess I can help you to make it more bearable.”
“People might question it if you didn’t. We wouldn’t want to seem distant in our relationship,” he drawled, rolling his eyes. “You done with that paperwork yet.”
“Oh,” Jason said, pulling his hand away to turn back to his computer. Tim missed the warmth of their hands together. “Almost,” he said, typing a few more things on the computer. “There. Now it’s your turn.”
Tim took the computer and set it in his lap, logging into his account. Jason waited patiently next to him as he went through the necessary forms, getting everything filled out.
“You haven’t heard back yet from housing, have you?” Tim asked as he skimmed over his information to recheck the necessary changes. He’d never get used to being listed as married. And certainly not being listed as married to Jason.
Jason leaned to the side and pulled out his phone, checking his email while Tim was using the computer.
“Nope,” he sighed. “I just emailed them a few hours ago so should hopefully be hearing back soon. It’s break so I would think they wouldn’t have too much on their plate. Unless they’re making special arrangements for us,” he muttered.
“I don’t know why they’d need to. I’m perfectly fine moving into your dorm room. It’s not like we need our own apartment or anything.”
Jason shrugged. “Who knows? We’ll find out soon, so no use worrying about it.”
Tim nodded and saved the changes in his information as he submitted the new forms for financial aid. “There,” he said, passing the computer back to Jason. “Now, we wait.”
Jason grinned and closed the lid of his computer. “What do you say we have some fun?”
“Might as well. We have the rest of the week.”
Jason slipped off the bed and held out a hand to Tim. He swallowed, trying not to focus on the silver band wrapped around Jason’s fingers as he let himself get pulled to his feet.
~~
“Oh hey, I got a response from residence life,” Jason said as they lounged on the deck chairs next to the pool.
A large umbrella was keeping the sun off Tim and despite the layer of sunscreen he put on earlier, he was glad to have the added protection.
“Really?” Tim asked. “What did they say?”
“They said that they can put us in one of the on-campus apartments if we’d like that, but you can also move into my room. Normally they wouldn’t allow a room change in the middle of the semester but considering we have pretty specific circumstances, they’re allowing it with no added charge. We can get you moved within the next week. I’m sure it’s going to take more than one day to get everything packed up and moved over,” Jason said, typing out a reply email on his phone.
Tim sighed, thinking about everything that would have to get packed up and then he’d have to unpack it again. “I’m not looking forward to this.”
“Don’t worry,” Jason said before locking his phone and tucking it away. “I’ll help you out and it won’t be that bad. At least you’re only moving from one room to another.”
Tim groaned. “That almost makes it seem worse. I won’t even get to ignore the boxes for a few days because I’ll need everything that’s packed up.”
Jason hummed. “You could always put the essentials in a duffle bag to make it easier to live out of and get the rest unpacked as you go.” He smile turned into a smirk that immediately put Tim on the defensive.
“What’s that look for?” he asked, crossing his arms.
“You could always share my bed if you don’t want to make your own.”
Tim huffed even as his chest tightened at the thought of getting to be wrapped around Jason as they slept. They were kind of already doing that, but this would mean it wouldn’t have to end.
“I doubt the two of us could fit in one of the twin beds we get blessed with by the university,” Tim muttered instead.
Jason shrugged. “People do it all the time.”
Tim swallowed, trying not to think about all the implications that statement held.
“Excuse me, sir?”
Tim looked up, blinking in surprise at the hotel waiter that stood in front of him, holding a tray.
“Yes?” he asked.
“I have a bottle of champagne and two glasses for you and your companion. They were purchased as a gift from the pair across the pool.”
He set down the drinks without another word and Tim looked across the pool to see two men with their chairs pushed together. They had their own bottle of champagne and one of the men raised a glass towards them, his other hand twined together with the man next to him.
Tim caught the glint of gold on their fingers. He cleared his throat and tried to ignore the flush that flooded his face as Jason had no issue pouring them each a glass.
“Cheers,” Jason said, handing Tim one of the glasses.
Tim clinked their glasses together before taking a large gulp of the champagne.
~~
“I don’t know how I’m going to get this all packed,” Tim groaned, scrubbing a hand over his face. He was surrounded by piles of clothes. His bed had already been stripped of its bedding and Jason was nice enough to take that back to his room and make Tim’s bed for him.
“You’ll get through it. You have a couple of days to get everything moved over so just worry about the most important things first,” Jason said, rubbing Tim’s shoulders where he was standing over his kneeling form.
Tim swallowed and glanced over at his roommate who was studiously working at his desk and ignoring them. He hadn’t had much of a reaction when Tim had told him he was moving out and Tim didn’t know if it was because of the photo of his wedding that was plastered everywhere on the internet that kept him from being surprised, or because he was never the type of guy to put up much of a fuss.
Tim’s gaze dropped to the piles of clothes in front of him and the suitcase he was valiantly working to stuff them with. He knew that some of his added stress was because he’d be going to dinner with Jason the next night, but nothing could make packing up his life much better.
Especially when it was because he was getting ready to fool the federal loan system with Jason for the next few years to make college expenses easier on them.
He grabbed a stack of clothes and shoved them into the last available space in his suitcase before he let the lid fall shut and yanked the zipper around the edge.
“I’ll take this over,” Jason said, reaching over him for the handle.
“Do you mind taking my backpack too?” he asked, looking up at him and trying not to jerk back at their proximity.
“Sure. Is it ready to go?” Jason said, straightening and navigating the suitcase around where Tim was sitting on the floor.
Tim nodded. “Yeah. It’s got my computer and my schoolwork and books inside. Well, most of my books. I’ll have to shove the other ones that don’t fit into another box.”
Jason slung Tim’s backpack over his shoulder. “I’ll be back in a few. Try to have some more stuff packed by then. We might be able to get this done tonight if you keep going like you have been.”
Tim pursed his lips as they twisted into a smile. “If I do get this done, don’t expect me to have all of this unpacked by tonight.”
Jason chuckled. “Wouldn’t dream of it. I’d have to seriously bribe you with something and since we’re having dinner with your dad tomorrow, I don’t think there’s anything I could use.”
Tim watched as the door shut behind him. He checked the heavy sigh he wanted to heave when he glanced over at his roommate. He went back to studiously packing and was glad when the piles started to shrink and his side of the room looked less like a warzone.
~~
Tim tried not to pace across the floor of Jason’s dorm, but he knew it was futile. Having moved to a new dorm in the span of a day and now being faced with dinner with his father was wearing him down. His nerves were on edge and he’d seen more than one man with a camera hiding out in the bushes on campus.
“Tim, it’s going to be fine,” Jason huffed from where he was sitting on the edge of his bed, tracking Tim’s movement across the floor.
Tim sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He wasn’t ready for this. He wasn’t ready for anything even remotely close to this.
Jason stood from his bed with a squeak and stepped in front of Tim. He wrapped his hands around Tim’s wrists and kept him in place. “Look, I know you’re worried about how your dad is going to react, but it’s going to be fine. He’s met me before and liked me well enough. This isn’t going to be the end of the world.”
“I know, but we’re going to meet him and have dinner as a married couple and he’s already hurt enough that he didn’t know about the wedding let alone that we had to supposedly date before this and I just…I don’t know how this is going to go.”
Jason sighed and threw an arm around his shoulders, pulling him into a tight hug. “It’s going to fine, alright? I promise. And if it all blows up then we don’t have to worry about having dinner again and we can just come back here and goof off and watch movies before we have to go back to class tomorrow.”
Tim slumped against him, his head coming to rest on Jason’s shoulder. “Okay,” he muttered. “I hope you’re right about this.”
“Just trust me on this. What could possibly go wrong?”
Tim made a noise in the back of his throat and Jason chuckled. “I could list about ten different things that could go wrong,” he muttered.
“Think positive, Timbo. Think positive.”
~~
Tim bit his lip as they stepped out of his car in front of his father’s house. He shut the door and Jason walked around to meet him and grabbed his hand, linking their fingers together. Tim jolted and stared down at his hand.
“Married couples hold hands,” Jason murmured next to him.
Tim swallowed. “Right,” he agreed, squeezing Jason’s hand as he took a steadying breath.
Jason took the lead while Tim reluctantly followed and knocked on the door.
It was pulled open moments later to reveal one of the manor staff in all black.
“Welcome home, Tim. Your father is waiting for you in the dining room,” she said, standing to the side as they stepped in.
“Thank you,” Tim said as she shut the door and walked away. He led Jason through the hall to the dining room, surprised to the find the door had been propped open.
His father was sitting at the head of the table with the two adjacent spots having waiting place settings for them both.
“Welcome home, Tim,” his dad said, standing. “I’m eager to hear all about your trip. And Jason,” he said holding out a hand. “Nice to see you again.”
“Mr. Drake,” Jason said, shaking his hand politely.
“Let’s have a seat and we can get our evening started,” Jack said, taking his seat again.
Tim and Jason slipped into their chairs and Tim took a sip of water to steady him as the first appetizer was brought in and set before them.
“So,” Jack started. “How long were the two of you dating before you decided to run off and get married?”
Tim checked a sigh and picked at the vegetables on his plate with his fork.
“We’d been dating for about a year,” Jason supplied smoothly, punctuating the sentence with a bite. He watched Jack as he chewed, and Jack did the same.
“And why didn’t you think to tell me about this little arrangement? The fact that you were dating or that you’d decided to get married?” Jack asked, gaze sliding to Tim.
“I wasn’t sure how you’d take it,” Tim hedged. The statement wasn’t a complete lie but would give them something to work with.
“Were you afraid I’d react badly? Because of how soon it’s been or were you worried because Jason’s a boy?” Jack asked.
Tim hesitated, it was the perfect opportunity. The only opening that would make sense in the grand scheme of things.
“We never really talked about my sexuality or the other politics surrounding the queer community,” Tim said slowly, keeping a careful eye on his father. “And I always thought there was a part of you that would prefer me to marry a socialite who was prominent in Gotham’s business venues.”
Jack sighed and when Tim looked at him he was startled to see he looked older than he’d ever seen him before.
“Tim,” he started, sounding exhausted and hurt. “I know that my views on business have always been intense. But I never wanted you to feel forced to have to comply with my life in who you married. Sure, I had dreams of you marrying someone prominent who attended our fundraisers and that you’d take over the family business one day, but I never would’ve wanted that at your own expense.
“Now I see that I probably should’ve talked to you about other options, but I’d hoped that you never would’ve felt the need to hide something like this because you were afraid of how I might react.”
Tim swallowed, losing his appetite as guilt coiled in his stomach. “I’m sorry, Dad. I didn’t realize how important this was to you.”
A little bit of sadness cleared from Jack’s eyes as he looked between Tim and Jason.
“Thank you, Tim. But I’d like to see you both more often. We should have dinner once in a while,” Jack said.
“I wouldn’t mind having dinner once a week,” Jason broke in. “I know that I’d like to get to know you better now that you’re my father-in-law.”
Jack smiled softly. “Then I’ll expect you here next week at the same time.”
“Sure thing, Dad,” Tim said, meeting Jason’s gentle gaze across the table. He couldn’t help but smile and ducked his head to stare at his food.
~~
“Tim! Wait up!”
Tim looked up from his phone and glanced over his shoulder, finding Jason running after him. He grinned and turned to face him.
“What are you doing here? I thought you didn’t have class until later.”
“I have to get to a meeting with my advisor. I have a few questions about the courses being offered next semester and want to make sure I can take what I want,” he said, falling into step beside Tim.
Tim opened his mouth to reply when he saw a couple of people watching him on the other side of the quad, looking inquisitive. Before he could second guess himself, he shoved his phone into his pocket and moved his coffee cup to his left hand. He grabbed Jason’s hand and linked their fingers together.
Thankfully, Jason kept from looking down at their hands and gave him a curious look instead.
“A group of people are watching us,” Tim whispered. “We have to keep up appearances.”
Jason chuckled and squeezed his hand. The warmth of his palm and the slide of Jason’s callouses across his skin made his stomach swoop and Tim quickly took a drink of his coffee to hide the smile that pulled at his lips.
He was in deep shit with their idea to get married, but he couldn’t find it in himself to really complain while he was walking across the quad to class.
“Are we still on for lunch later?” Jason asked as they reached the main cluster of academic buildings.
Tim nodded. “Yeah. Meet in our usual spot after class?”
“You know it.”
“Cool. Since I get out an hour before you, I’ll probably head to the library to get some work done on my research paper.”
“Don’t work too hard,” Jason muttered. “I don’t need to come and drag you out of the library because you forget to eat.”
Tim rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, don’t worry about it. It’s only October, there’s no reason for me to fall down that hole yet.”
Jason narrowed his eyes. “I wouldn’t be so sure. You’re always on the verge of pushing your boundaries even when you don’t need to.”
Tim huffed and tried to pull his hand back, but Jason tightened his grip. “Are you going to let me get to class?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
Jason hesitated, looking a little uncertain as he glanced to the side. Before Tim could follow his gaze, Jason ducked his head and pressed a kiss to his cheek.
“There are a couple people staring at us,” Jason murmured.
“Oh,” Tim said, hoping it didn’t sound as forced or strangled as it felt.
“See you later?” Jason asked, looking like he was about to be drop-kicked across the quad for offending Tim.
Tim let his expression relax and smiled. “Yeah. Meet you at lunch.” He squeezed Jason’s hand and let it go, turning towards his academic building. His eyes did a sweep of the quad and he saw the people who were watching them, clearly interested in their relationship.
He didn’t look back as he hurried up the steps and pushed through the double doors to the building. Several gazes followed him through the hall and Tim was really starting to regret the huge media spectacle he’d made of their marriage.
Tim slipped into his classroom and made his way to one of the tables in the back. He set up his computer in front of him and curled up in his chair, eyes flicking around the room to gauge the reaction to his presence.
People kept glancing in his direction while talking to their friends and Tim ran a hand down his face, feeling the cool metal of his wedding band. He just had to trudge his way through class and in a couple weeks, no one would even remember that he was married to Jason. And if they did, they would probably stop caring.
He hoped they would, anyway. He really hoped they would.
~~
The door to his private study room burst open and it still took Tim another five seconds before he was able to tear his gaze away from his computer screen.
“Jason?” he asked, brow furrowing. “What are you doing here?”
Jason huffed and crossed his arms. “We’re supposed to be meeting for lunch remember?”
“Yeah, but don’t you still have class?” Tim asked, gaze flicking down to the time in the corner of his computer screen. “Oh,” he said softly.
“Yeah, oh. I knew you wouldn’t be able to pull yourself away from your work once you got started.”
“Sorry,” Tim said, rubbing the heels of his palms against his eyes. “Guess I lost track of time.”
“What am I going to do with you,” Jason muttered. “Let’s go. I’m sure you’re starving and just haven’t realized it yet.”
Tim nodded and packed up his things, tossing them into his backpack with less grace than he normally would. He slipped his arms through the straps and Jason pulled him through the door, keeping an arm around his shoulders as they walked.
Tim fought down a shiver, wanting to lean into Jason’s warmth and plaster himself to his side. Anyone looking at them wouldn’t question it, but he wasn’t willing to have that conversation later when Jason inevitably called him out on it.
“Are you cold?” Jason asked as they crossed the quad from the library towards the dining hall.
“Not really,” he mumbled, burrowing further into his hoodie. The temps had only dropped slightly so it wasn’t bad enough that Tim was at the point he couldn’t get warm no matter what he did.
“You get cold when the temps drop though, don’t you?” Jason asked, tugging him up the steps to the dining hall.
Tim ignored the warmth that spread through his chest that Jason knew that. It was from their years of friendship and not because he cared enough to remember that.
“Yeah…” he muttered.
Jason directed him inside and he relaxed at the warm air that surrounded them. He pulled out his student ID and handed it to the woman working the sign in for the dining hall. Jason did the same and they slipped through the lines of students towards the back where they usually sat.
He caught sight of a few glances that were shot in their direction but ignored them. They would go away soon enough and he didn’t have the energy to worry about it.
“Grab me a soda?” Jason asked once they set their backpacks down in the extra chairs.
“As long as you get me dessert,” Tim countered with a grin.
“Yeah, yeah,” Jason said, throwing an arm around Tim’s shoulders as they moved back towards the lines of food. They split off, going to their favorite food stations. Tim grabbed his food quickly, glad to have missed the lunch rush because of his focus on his homework.
He gripped his plate tightly in his hand and stopped by the soda fountain, filling a cup for him and Jason. He pressed one into the crook of his arm and carried the other one. He made it back to the table before Jason did and set the second drink in front of Jason’s seat.
Tim tucked into his burger, glad for the warm food. Jason offered him a smile when he set the dessert plate between them both and started in on his own food.
~~
“Follow my lead,” Jason hissed next to his ear.
“What-“ he started when Jason pressed a quick kiss to his lips. He kept the shock off his face when Jason pulled back, keeping his head tilted up towards Jason, letting the question seep into his eyes.
“Paparazzi,” Jason explained.
“Where?”
Jason put on a small smile despite their conversation and let his features soften. “Behind you,” he said, the geniality from his expression not seeping into his voice. “They can’t see your face, but other people are watching too since it’s not a small group of people toting cameras around.”
Tim nodded, snaking his arm around Jason’s waist. “Are they following?”
“Not right now. I think it helps that it’s late. Although we are headed back to our dorm so that’ll get them talking.”
Tim sighed, ducking his head against any possible scrutiny. Jason’s arm tightened around his shoulders and pulled him tighter against his side.
“Almost there,” Jason whispered.
Tim nodded and smiled. “You know, you’d think from your attitude, you’re the one with experience dealing with the cameras instead of me.”
Jason chuckled. “Yeah, but I’ve been around you long enough that I know how to handle it without making it into a big deal. We just have to put on a show for them.”
Tim nodded even though his stomach sank at Jason’s words. He didn’t need another reminder that for Jason this was still just pretend and something he was only doing to make sure he didn’t suffer crushing debt for years to come.
Jason trotted up the steps to their building quickly, pulling Tim along until they were safely inside the doors of their building.
“You okay?” he whispered, pulling him into the stairwell.
“Fine,” Tim said, feeling more exhausted then he had in a while. “Just tired.”
“Sounds to me like a night of Netflix in bed is just the thing you need.”
“You know what? I think you might be right,” Tim said.
Jason grinned and pulled his arm from around Tim’s shoulders to unlock their shared room door. He pushed inside, and Tim shut the door behind them. Jason pushed Tim’s backpack from his shoulders much to Tim’s amusement and dropped his own on his chair.
He pulled out his laptop and shoved Tim onto his bed, grabbing his own pillow before he settled down on top of the covers with him.
Tim watched as Jason pulled up Netflix and pulled up a show they’d both been watching, loading the next episode.
Tim wiggled around on the bed as it started, getting comfortable. After a moment of hesitation, he rested his head on Jason’s shoulder, curling into his side slightly. Jason pulled his arm out from in between them and shoved it under Tim’s head, giving him another pillow to lean against.
Tim smiled and lost himself in the show, ready to enjoy an hour or two of relaxation time before he’d be forced to return to the realities of his life and school.
~~
“Tim. Hey, Tim.”
Tim groaned and squeezed his eyes shut, curling into the warmth against him.
A chuckle washed over his head, warm breath ruffling his hair.
“You have to get up Tim. You’re going to miss your class if you don’t get out of bed.”
“No,” he grunted. “Fuck class.”
“You’ll miss breakfast. You won’t get any coffee once breakfast is over.”
“Lies. The dining hall always serves coffee and if they didn’t I could just go to the campus Starbucks.”
Jason heaved a sigh, causing Tim to be jostled where he was suddenly very aware he was leaning against him.
“You can’t stay in bed and avoid class all day, Tim. If I have to go to class, you do too.”
“Noooo,” he whined.
“You can stay if you want to, but I’m getting out of bed.”
Tim made a strangled sound in the back of his throat as Jason pushed him off his shoulder. The bed shifted as Jason swung his legs over the side and stood up.
Tim tried to find a comfortable position and settle back in for a longer bout of rest, but he tossed and turned, rearranging the blanket over him and the pillow under his head, unable to relax now that the warmth against his side was gone.
He huffed a sigh and stared at the ceiling for a moment, listening to Jason in the bathroom brushing his teeth before he shoved off the covers and climbed out of bed.
“So, you’ve finally decided to join the land of the living?” Jason asked behind him.
“Shut up,” he grumbled. “I couldn’t get comfortable.”
He pulled out a change of clothes and was about to push into the bathroom when Jason stopped him with a hand.
“You going to the library later?”
Tim nodded. “Yeah. I’m going to get some work done on my paper later this afternoon after lunch.”
“Mind if I join you when I get out of class?”
Tim raised an eyebrow. “Since when do you need to ask? You usually just come and sit down and tell me to deal with it.”
Jason shrugged, his cheeks turning a light shade of pink. “Sorry, just thought I’d ask.”
Tim cleared his throat and slipped into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. He took several breaths to calm down his heartbeat as it hopped and skipped joyfully.
This was bad. This was so very bad.
~~
Tim didn’t look up when the chair across from him was pulled out and someone took the seat across from him. He assumed it was Jason but when no books were set on the table he paused his own work to look up.
He blinked at the strange, smiling woman sitting across from him.
“Uh…can I help you?” he asked eloquently.
Her smile widened into a grin. “How’s married life treating you?”
Tim raised an eyebrow. “And why would I tell you that?” he asked. “I don’t even know you.”
She rolled her eyes. “You can’t blame someone for being curious. You’re the talk of all the tabloids. Everyone’s dying to know all about your new husband and the things you do together.”
Tim narrowed his eyes and shut his laptop. “None of that is any of your or anyone else’s business,” he said, grinding his teeth as he shoved his computer into his backpack.
“Look, you really don’t need to leave,” she stared, putting up her hands.
“No, I really think I do,” he growled, shouldering his backpack.
Her gaze slid past him, face lighting up with delight. She slapped her hands on the table and stood up.
“Just the person I was hoping to see.”
Tim turned and found Jason standing behind him, eyes narrowed at the woman.
“I really think I’m not who you want to see,” he said. “It looks to me like you’re bothering my husband.”
“I wouldn’t really say I was bothering him,” the woman said, raising a hand.
Jason rolled his eyes and wrapped his arm around Tim’s shoulders. He guided him away from the table even as the woman called for them to wait.
Tim glanced up and saw Jason’s face set in a scowl. They were out of the library before Tim worked up the courage to say something.
“Are you okay?” Tim whispered.
Jason stiffened before he let out slow breath, the tension seeping from his shoulders. “I think I should be asking you that. She wasn’t too much of a nuisance, right?”
“She was just searching for information about us. Wanted to know more about you and our relationship. I’m thinking she was probably a reporter posing as a college student,” Tim explained.
“Sorry,” Jason muttered.
Tim shook his head. “How about we just go back to our room? We can worry about this later.”
“Aren’t you hungry?”
“At this point I’d rather order in than deal with all of the stares we’ll get otherwise. Not to mention the paparazzi that are going to be hanging around campus. Especially after that last encounter.”
“Sounds good to me,” Jason agreed, dropping a kiss onto the top of Tim’s head.
Tim’s heart stuttered, and he forced himself to keep walking and stay calm. Jason was relaxed beside him and Tim glanced around trying to find any paparazzi or students that might have been watching them but couldn’t find any overt gazes staring at them.
He swallowed and forced his feet to keep moving.
~~
Tim’s stomach grumbled as Jason unpacked the bag of Indian food that had been delivered minutes ago. The floor was covered with books and papers and both of their laptops sat open with half-written papers on the screen.
Tim pulled up Netflix and scrolled through the list of movies he had saved that he hadn’t gotten to watch yet.
“Does this look good?” he asked, turning the computer to face Jason.
He glanced up and nodded.
Tim left it to play and took a spoon and the container of curry he’d ordered. Jason pulled two sodas from the mini fridge next to his bed and crawled around to sit next to Tim, their sides pressed together as they leaned against Tim’s bed.
After a moment, Tim let himself relax against Jason, soaking up his warmth and the comfort that came with being together.
Jason stared into his food, stirring it around.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Tim froze and looked over at him. “What?”
“This is all my fault. People are bugging you because of my stupid idea.”
Tim shook his head before Jason even finished talking. “I didn’t have to go along with it. I chose to do this with you. It’s not your fault that people can’t keep their business to themselves.”
“Are you sure?” Jason asked. “I’d understand if you wanted to call it quits and stop.”
The thought made his stomach turn. “Do you want to?” he asked instead.
Silence fell between them. It stretched on, the only sound was the soft dialogue from the film.
“No,” Jason finally admitted.
“Then I’m okay with keeping this going,” Tim agreed, looking down at his food. “Besides,” he said trying for a smile as his tone lifted, “my dad already approves of you.”
Jason grinned. “He hasn’t seen me at any of his fancy parties yet, though.”
“I might never forgive you depending on what you’re planning,” Tim said.
“So what would you forgive me for then?”
“I don’t know. It depends on what you’re planning and how much entertainment I get from it.”
“I will start plotting with gusto.”
Tim chuckled and scooped up a spoonful of his curry, shoving it into his mouth. His earlier anxiety was gone. He was happy. As happy as he could be while trying to pretend his feelings weren’t so real.
“What do you think about a rainbow tuxedo?”
Tim choked and coughed, trying to clear the food from his throat he’d just inhaled. Jason thumped him on the back and offered him his soda.
“What?” Tim asked.
Jason chuckled. “A rainbow tux. It would make any black-tie event I go to with you more fitting for the two of us.”
Tim grinned. “Only if I get to wear one that’s hot pink.”
“I knew there was a reason I married you.”
Tim kept his grin steady even as his heart skipped a beat. The words felt too true to be meaningless, but beyond that Tim knew Jason couldn’t mean he held anything more for him than friendship. Life didn’t work out for him like that.
~~
Tim skirted around the refreshments table. He’d been pulled away from Jason twenty minutes ago and although both of them were wearing black, they’d still been stared at by Gotham’s elite because of their newfound reputation.
He had no idea where Jason had gone and was hoping that being around him would offer a reprieve from the questions being directed at him and the sadness that the parents had exuded over him not being able to marry their daughters. Not that that was ever an option anyway.
He jumped when an arm wrapped around his waist and a low voice chuckled in his ear.
“Looking for someone?”
Tim sighed, relaxing into Jason’s hold. “Just you, you ass,” he grumbled.
He grabbed Jason’s hand that was around him and tugged him towards an array of potted plants, hiding behind the leaves. He glanced back over his shoulder to make sure no one had followed them.
“I swear I need a break from being paraded around this ballroom.”
Jason hummed. “I think I could offer a pretty ample distraction.”
“Oh yeah?” he asked, raising an eyebrow as he turned to face Jason. “By doing what?”
Jason grinned, and Tim blinked, his heart jumpstarting from a mixture of arousal at the heady look in Jason’s eyes and slight fear at what he was about to do.
Jason looked around before walking him backwards. Tim swallowed, feeling heat lick underneath his skin when his back hit the wall. He sucked in a breath and Jason cupped his face. He tilted his head back and covered Tim’s mouth with his own.
Tim grabbed Jason’s shoulders, nails digging into the soft fabric of his suit jacket. Jason bit down on Tim’s bottom lip before he swiped his tongue over the soft skin.
Tim unconsciously parted his lips, letting Jason’s tongue into his mouth. Tim’s eyes closed in bliss and he sucked greedily on Jason’s tongue, earning a low groan from Jason.
Jason pressed closer, covering Tim’s body with his. Their proximity made him squirm as he tested the boundaries and learned how little room he was given to move.
A throat cleared, and Jason pulled back harshly. Tim’s eyes flew open and he tightened his grip on Jason to keep him from moving away. His father was standing a few feet from them.
“Sorry to interrupt but you were drawing quite the audience from your antics Timothy,” he explained.
Tim’s face flamed, and he saw several older women behind his father’s shoulder who were watching them curiously and one camera that had snuck into the mix.
“Sorry, Dad,” he mumbled.
He smiled. “Socialize for a bit longer and I’ll let you leave early if you’re that impatient.”
“Thanks.”
Tim slowly dragged his gaze up to meet Jason’s eyes. Jason grinned at him.
“Care to dance?” he asked.
“You know how to dance?” Tim asked, quirking an eyebrow as the heat in his veins started to dissipate.
Jason chuckled and tugged Tim away from the wall and towards the couples dancing along to the string ensemble.
~~
Tim sighed and opened his eyes when his alarm went off. He stretched his arms over his head and groaned as his muscles tensed and relaxed. Something heavy was draped over his waist and Tim reached down to shove it away.
He froze when his hand touched skin and became aware of the warmth pressed against his back.
“Jason?” Tim asked, voice soft.
“Go back to sleep,” he groaned, burying his face in the back of Tim’s neck.
Tim forced himself not to shudder at the feeling. This early in the morning, Jason had stubble prickling his chin and cheeks, giving Tim beard burn on the back of his neck.
“Jason, I have to get up for class.”
“Since when do you care about going to class. Sleep. Sleep is good.”
Tim couldn’t help himself, he giggled. The change was so different compared to the other morning they’d woken up together. Jason’s grip tightened around his waist.
“Come on,” Tim said, patting his arm. “Let me up and we can go have breakfast before my class.”
“Fine,” he huffed, pulling his arm back.
Tim pushed himself up but Jason didn’t make any move to get out of bed. Tim rolled his eyes and made to climb over Jason, but an arm snaked around his back and pulled him down. He sprawled against Jason’s chest, arms splayed out to the side.
“What are you doing?” Tim grumbled, his face smashed against Jason’s chest and muffling his voice.
Jason heaved a sigh and pulled his arm back, releasing the pressure on Tim’s back.
Tim felt his face heat up and climbed off the bed. He kept his gaze away from Jason and dug around in his dresser, pulling out a fresh pair of jeans and a tee. He slipped into the bathroom and shut the door behind him, shivering as the warmth in his limbs started to dissipate.
He stripped out of his pajamas and shoved his legs into his jeans, jumping in place to tug them up his thighs until he could button the front. He threw his shirt on and quickly brushed his teeth.
Tim stared at his reflection and met his own gaze. He took a deep breath, trying to center himself when all he really wanted to do was throw himself back in bed with Jason. The pull to him never waned and one of these days it would become too much and he’d crash.
He nodded and forced himself towards the door. He pulled it open and blinked when his eyes met Jason’s chest.
“Aren’t you-“
Jason made a noise in the back of his throat and shuffled around him.
“Give me a minute and I’ll go with you to breakfast,” he said, shutting the door behind him.
Tim blinked and shook himself. He stuffed his books and laptop in his backpack and tugged a hoodie over his head.
The toilet flushed in the bathroom before the door was pulled open.
Jason sighed as he stepped out. “Much better,” he said, sounding more awake than he’d been a minute ago.
“Ready to go?” Tim asked, shouldering his backpack.
“Yup,” Jason said, shoving his feet into his shoes. He plucked his leather jacket from the back of his desk chair and grabbed his backpack, following Tim out of their room. They’d barely made it a step before Jason’s arm settled around his shoulders and pressed him close to his side.
Tim smiled and settled into his warmth.
~~
Tim groaned and buried his head in his crossed arms on the table in the study room he’d snagged. The research paper he was working on was killing him even with the head start he’d gotten.
The door opened to his room and he expected someone to splutter out an apology for walking in on an occupied room.
He huffed and raised his head, finding Jason standing in the doorway with his arms crossed.
“Time for a break?” Jason asked.
“Only if I get to take a break from the rest of this semester. This research paper is killing me,” he sighed, letting his eyes slide shut.
“Come on,” Jason said, resting a hand on his shoulder. “Pack up your stuff and let’s head back to the room. You’re going to feel like shit if you fall asleep at this table.”
Tim grumbled but did as Jason suggested. He shoved his things into his backpack and lethargically pushed his chair back, getting to his feet.
Jason grabbed his hand and linked their fingers together, pulling him from the room.
Tim felt heat flood his cheeks and ducked his head, hoping to hide it. Jason squeezed his hand, looking perfectly content as they walked through the main doors of the library.
Tim shivered at the sudden chill of the late autumn air. He stepped closer to Jason, hoping to steal some of his warmth. Almost as though Jason was on the same wavelength as him, he pulled his hand from Tim’s and draped his arm around Tim’s shoulders, pulling him tight against his side.
Tim smiled, finding comfort in the silence between them. Whatever was going on between them, Tim was finding it less heart-wrenching then he had when they’d first gotten married. He was starting to think that maybe he could make it through the next couple years of their marriage regardless of the paparazzi and the other people who made their relationship into a spectacle.
Tim hesitantly slipped his arm behind Jason’s back. Jason tightened his hold on Tim’s shoulders and he slipped his fingers gently into Jason’s back pocket.
He let Jason direct him towards their dorm. He caught sight of a few people giving them curious looks, but he was starting to think their attention was beginning to wane.
They climbed the stairs sluggishly and Jason unlocked their door before manhandling him inside. Tim pulled away from Jason once they were inside and let his backpack drop to the floor next to his bed. He stared at his rumpled sheets, wanting to toss himself onto it, but a hand on his hip stopped him.
He furrowed his brow and turned to look up at Jason who stood over him.
“Jason?” he asked.
Jason pressed their chests together, fingers tangling in the strands of hair at the back of Tim’s neck. He ducked his head and covered Tim’s lips with his own.
Tim gasped, eyes going wide as Jason kissed him. Jason’s tongue slipped between his lips and a high noise sounded in the back of his throat. Jason groaned and wrapped his other arm around Tim’s back and Tim clutched at his shoulders, nails digging into the fabric of his hoodie.
Jason broke the kiss with a sigh, pressing their foreheads together as Tim sucked in desperate breaths, trying to calm his pounding heart.
“Jason?” Tim asked, feeling more raw and vulnerable than he thought he’d ever be with him.
“Sorry,” Jason apologized. He stepped back, releasing Tim from his hold and Tim felt cold.
He turned on his heel and stalked towards the door.
“Jason, what-“
Before he could finish the question, Jason pushed through the door to their room and disappeared. Tim stood frozen next to his bed as he tried to figure out what had just happened.
The door slammed shut with a finality that chilled Tim to his core.
It took him too long to snap out of it before he was crossing the floor of their room. He threw the door open and looked up and down the hallway, but Jason was nowhere in sight.
“Fuck,” he cursed under his breath.
He slipped back inside and the let the door shut behind him, pulling his phone from his pocket. He dialed Jason’s number, pacing back and forth across the small floor space they had around their furniture.
It rang five times before going to voicemail. Tim growled and ended the call before he redialed. The same thing happened and he huffed, waiting for the beep to come.
“Jason, I don’t know why you decided to kiss me like that and walk out but you need to get your ass back here right now.”
He hung up and tried calling him again. It didn’t even make it to the second ring before he was sent to voicemail.
“You fucking idiot,” he hissed under his breath.
Tim opened their text message thread and angrily tapped against his screen.
Tim: Jason get the fuck back here.
Tim: Jason I know you’ve got your phone and you’re seeing this.
Tim: We need to talk about what just happened so don’t fucking ignore me.
Tim: Jason I need to talk to you.
Tim: Answer me you asshole!
He stared at his phone, waiting for a reply even as the read receipts kept coming back to him. But Jason never started typing.
“He has to come back sometime,” Tim fumed, gripping his phone so tightly that if he was thinking clearly he almost would’ve worried about breaking it. “And I’m going to be ready for him.”
Tim made sure his ringer was on so he wouldn’t miss any text or call, as unlikely as they were. He tried to find a comfortable spot on the floor and pulled out his homework, determined to get something done while he waited for Jason to get back.
He managed to last through five frustrating minutes of homework before he gave up and pushed it away, too distracted by what had happened and the lack of response from Jason. He pulled up Netflix and left something to play, not really focusing on what happened on the screen, mind still too preoccupied with thoughts of Jason but needing the background noise.
Tim stared at the door, eyes locked on it as he waited. He crossed his arms. He’d outwait Jason. He could do it. He would do it. And when he did, he was going to get to the bottom of whatever the fuck was happening.
~~
Tim groaned when he woke up. He blinked his eyes open and found his face smashed against the floor. He’d fallen to the side after passing out. He straightened and stretched his arms over his head, feeling his muscles and neck pop from sleeping in such an awkward position. He rubbed the back of his neck, wincing at the kink and the soreness.
He didn’t feel rested at all and going to class was the last thing he wanted to do, both because of how awful he felt and being away from the dorm would give Jason a chance to sneak in and out without him knowing about it.
He sighed and pushed himself to his feet. He grabbed a change of clothes and slipped into the bathroom, turning the water on as hot as it would go in the hopes of washing away the gross feeling that was overwhelming him.
Tim stared at his reflection before the steam eclipsed the mirror. He had bags under his eyes and looked exhausted, face and hair rumpled. He sighed and stripped out of yesterday’s clothes, leaving them in a pile next to the door.
He stepped into the shower and braced his hands against the wall, letting his eyes shut as the hot water beat against his back. He could get lucky if he went to breakfast and Jason ended up being there too. It wasn’t a guarantee that he would catch him, but there were so many places on campus that Jason frequented that there was no telling where he’d be hiding out.
Tim reached for his shampoo and lazily popped the cap, squeezing some into his palm to wash his hair. He didn’t come back during the night which meant Jason had no intention of coming back to the room while he was here.
But most of the time Jason was a stickler when it came to class. There had been more than one day when Jason had dragged Tim from his room to make sure he got his ass to class and got his homework done.
Tim tilted his head back and let the water run through his hair, washing the soap down his back until it swirled down the drain. He was going to fix this. He was going to make it better even if Jason decided to be an idiot about it.
~~
Tim felt like his skin was too tight. He was seated in the middle of the dining hall for once, giving him a view of both entrances. He did a walkthrough of the hall when he got there to make sure that Jason wasn’t already there and found their usual spot empty. His eyes kept shifting, waiting for Jason’s familiar figure to walk through the door but he hadn’t shown up yet.
It was getting close to the start of Tim’s class and breakfast continued for another hour after he’d have to leave. Jason would have plenty of time to sneak in after he was gone to get something to eat and the knowledge that Jason was avoiding him made his stomach twist.
“Hey, aren’t you Tim Drake?”
He stopped chewing and glanced away from the door he’d been watching to find a boy standing in front of his table.
“Yeah?” he asked, raising an eyebrow and fighting not to let his eyes flit to the entrances of the dining hall again.
“Didn’t you just get married or something? Where’s your husband?” he asked, bracing a hand on the table across from Tim.
“He’s got class,” Tim lied, pushing his chair back. “Which is where I need to be in five minutes.”
He slipped his backpack on and grabbed his dirty dishes, heading for the return line as the boy spluttered behind him and tried to call after him.
Tim tossed his dishes onto the belt with little care what happened to them. His stomach was twisting in on itself and his heart felt tight. He swallowed, trying to clear his throat but something was stuck, lodged there and making it difficult to breath.
He glanced behind him and when he didn’t find anyone giving him much attention he slipped around the corner from the doors and into the blessedly convenient single stall bathroom. He locked the door shut behind him and pressed back against it before sliding down to the floor.
Tim tried to even out his breathing, but everything hurt. He wanted it fixed. He wanted Jason.
He hugged his knees close to his chest and tried to let his breath out, but it hitched and stuck, sounding on the verge of a sob.
Tim’s eyes burned, and his vision became blurry. He buried his face in his knees, heart clenching with every hitch in his breath and the first few tears that slid down his cheeks.
“I hate you so much, Jason,” he whispered into the tile around him. “I hate that I love you so much.”
~~
Tim stayed in the bathroom until someone came knocking on the door asking if it was free.
“Just a minute,” he croaked, voice sounding raw.
He pushed himself onto shaky feet and stumbled over to the sink. His eyes looked red and sunken, irises dull in the low light of the bathroom and his cheeks adorned with a splotchy flush. He turned on the tap as cold as it would go and cupped the water in his palms, wiping it over his face to cool his overheated skin.
Tim patted his skin dry with a paper towel and tossed that into the trash. He was steadier on his feet when he moved to open the door.
“Sorry I took so long,” he apologized, unable to meet the next person’s eyes.
“No worries,” she said, voice bright as Tim moved out of her way.
The door snapped shut behind him and Tim wrapped his arms around his stomach. He felt drained and was already late for class. He didn’t have the energy to show up late to his first class and couldn’t even contemplate going to his second one.
What he needed was Jason. Jason, who’d consumed his every waking thought for months. They’d laughed over movies and eaten takeout together and worked to fight off the stress that came with school. And now he was going to lose him.
Tim bit his lip, twisting his wedding band around his finger.
He took a shaky breath before finally forcing his feet to move. He was sluggish at first as he made his way down the stairs to leave the dining hall, but his desperation made itself known when he hit the sidewalk and started sprinting towards the academic building Jason had his morning class in.
Tim checked his watch. He had ten minutes before Jason’s class started and if he was lucky, he could catch him before he went inside. If he wasn’t lucky, maybe he could convince Jason to step out of class to talk to him.
Unless he was done pretending, they still needed to look convincing in front of other people and Tim knew Jason wouldn’t want to jeopardize that my ignoring his supposed husband when he came to talk to him.
Tim took the stairs two at a time and reached the second floor in seconds, bearing a sharp right and barely managing to avoid a couple of tired college students on their way out of their early morning classes. He caught a few looks of pity from them and they were most likely thinking that he was incredibly late for class.
Tim turned the corner, his breath catching in his throat when he spotted Jason stepping onto the second-floor landing. He looked exhausted, hair disheveled and bags under his eyes, movements sluggish as he shuffled along.
He glanced up and froze and Tim took that as his chance, barreling down the last distance between them until he skidded to a stop in front of Jason, chest heaving. Jason’s hands instinctively reached for him to keep him from crashing into something or tripping over himself.
They retracted a moment later as Jason’s eyes became guarded and he stepped back.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, voice cold and accusatory.
“Looking for you, you dumbass,” Tim huffed.
“I…what?” Jason asked, his defense falling away.
“You’re a dumbass,” Tim said. He stepped into Jason’s space and wrapped his fingers around the back of his neck and pulled him down, smashing their lips together.
Jason made a sound in the back of his throat, arms snaking around Tim’s waist to pull him close.
Tim broke the kiss and Jason made a low sound in the back of his throat, trying to follow him.
“Why did you run off last night?” he asked.
Jason blinked his eyes open, processing Tim’s words before he sighed, looking tired. “I thought you wouldn’t want me like this,” he admitted, voice low.
Tim huffed, feeling the anxiety that had lingered in his frame since the night before finally disappear. “Jason, I’ve had a ridiculous crush on you that’s probably bordered on love for at least two years now. I’ve been dying to kiss you since I first saw you. I agreed to marry you. Of course I wouldn’t be against this.”
Jason’s eyes widened, and his lips parted as he struggled to find something to say. Tim laughed and pressed closer, wrapping his arms around Jason’s shoulders.
“So, does this mean you’ll finally come back to our room tonight?” he asked.
“Why wait until tonight when we could go back now?” Jason asked instead, grip tightening around Tim’s waist.
“Aren’t you concerned with missing your class?” Tim asked.
“Nope,” Jason said. “I’d much rather be with you.”
Tim chuckled and pressed a quick kiss to Jason’s lips, stepping back and forcing Jason to release his hold on him before he could get any ideas.
“Go to class,” he said, keeping a hand pressed against Jason’s chest when he tried to close the distance between them. “I’ll be in our room when you’re done. You made me stress since last night. It’s your turn to agonize over being separated and you only have to struggle through an hour.”
“An hour and fifteen minutes,” Jason grumbled.
“Well too bad,” Tim said, smirking at him. “Time for you to learn some self-control.”
“I have plenty of self-control,” Jason argued, trying to get closer even as Tim took a step back for every step forward he made. “I’ve kept myself from kissing you senseless for months. And then from ravishing you in bed these past few weeks.”
Tim grinned. “Go to class. And you can ravish me all you want when you get back.”
He turned on his heel and walked away as Jason groaned behind him. Tim glanced over his shoulder and shot a wink at Jason where he pouted after him.
He felt so much lighter than he had since the night before. He was happy. And he could finally enjoy himself and everything he was going to be lucky enough to have.
Tim bit his lip as he started down the stairs to the first floor. He was giddy and couldn’t wait for Jason to get out of class. There were so many things he could do now. So many things he could do with Jason that he’d wanted to do for so long. And now he finally had the chance.
~~
Tim scowled at his computer when he heard the room door open. He clicked several times, trying to get the program for one of his classes to work properly instead of what it was currently doing shitting all over his efforts to get his homework done.
His laptop disappeared from under his hands and he opened his mouth to shout something accusatory at the culprit when Jason’s smiling mouth pressed against his.
Tim made a happy noise in the back of his throat, arms automatically going around Jason’s shoulders as Jason crawled onto the bed, forcing him backwards.
Jason swiped his tongue along Tim’s lower lip and he parted his lips eagerly, letting his tongue slide inside to brush against his own.
“And to think we could’ve been doing this for years,” Tim grumbled when Jason pulled back to kiss across his cheek and down under his chin.
“Well we’re doing it now,” he mumbled into Tim’s skin, dragging his teeth along his pulse.
Tim shuddered, tightening his hold on Jason’s shoulders.
“You better not try and leave again,” he said, voice low and serious despite the arousal that was starting to flood his veins and cloud his mind.
Jason pulled back, meeting his eyes and Tim wanted to mourn the loss of contact but Jason’s gaze held him in place.
“I agreed to stay by your side in sickness and in health, Tim,” he said, reminding him of the vows they’d shared in Vegas mere weeks ago. “I meant those words with every fiber of my being even if you didn’t think I was serious. I’m not going to leave you again. Not now that I know you feel the same. You’re stuck with me the rest of your life so you better get used to it.”
Tim beamed, smile nearly painful as his eyes crinkled in happiness. “I wouldn’t want it any other way,” he whispered before he pulled Jason’s lips back to his.
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ssurveys · 11 months ago
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1028
survey by lets-make-surveys
1 - What was the last thing you watched on TV? The last TV show I watched was Friends, but the last thing I saw on TV was the evening news, as is always our companion when having dinner.
2 - Do you have the heating or air conditioning on at the moment? I have the fan on, like always. I just turn on the aircon in the evening because I want to be comfortable after a long day and when trying to fall asleep.
3 - When was the last time you did something to help someone else? Andi was having a dilemma about an already-secure job offer for a position they don’t 100% like vs. a job they know they would enjoy a lot more but isn’t guaranteed at all. I helped weigh out the pros and cons with them, but I didn’t necessarily stick to a position as I didn’t want to dictate a choice for them.
4 - If you have a job, have you been busier or quieter since the whole COVID thing hit? I was a student, then was unemployed, then got hired throughout this COVID fiasco so far. For the first two, life had been quiet for me and I really hated feeling like having no contribution at home. My plate is definitely a lot fuller now and I’m glad I have things to do and earn for myself while doing so.
5 - Do you spend more time on your own or with others? Are you happy with that? On my own. I think it’s best for me at the moment.
6 - Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with autism? Yes.
7 - Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? What about your tonsils or your appendix? None of these. I’ve had a tooth removed, but it wasn’t a wisdom tooth.
8 - Are you scared of needles? Very. I hate most sharp things, and I am an embarrassment whenever I’m at the hospital and need to be pricked with something.
9 - Do you dress more for comfort, fashion or practicality? I try to strike a balance between comfort and fashion, but sometimes I’ll prioritize comfort and sometimes I’ll prioritize fashion. But practicality is definitely barely in my criteria when picking outfits.
10 - When was the last time you smoked a cigarette? I think it may have been February. I only smoke with other people and I’ve never bought my own pack.
11 - Would you rather drink tea, coffee, hot chocolate or water? In the grand scheme of things, water. But right now, a hot chocolate sounds heavenly.
12 - Do you have a lot of ornaments around your house? Yes. We also have our Christmas tree already up, so that has also boosted the amount of ornaments we have.
13 - Do you own more books or DVD’s? Books. While I have a number of DVDs, I never really an avid collector of them. My dad introduced me to torrent websites at a young age so that’s how I’ve been getting movies for the longest time.
14 - How often would you say you took surveys? Throughout the quarantine I had taken surveys daily. But with me now having work and usually being too exhausted by the end of the day, I think I’ll be back to taking surveys only on weekends now like how it was when I was in school. 
15 - Have you ever worn a uniform to school or work? Yes, I had to wear a uniform in my old school.
16 - Who was the first person you had a sleepover with? Are you still in touch with that person today? It would have to be either Angela or Gabie. Yes, I still talk to both.
17 - When you were growing up, did you have any friends who were almost like family to you? Katreen’s and Angela’s families were second families to me. For a time back in grade school, Katreen’s mom actually used to pick me up alongside Katreen every Friday and then I would stay at their place until around 9 PM, when my mom would get back from work and pick me up. They did such a wonderful job making me feel like family, and I hope they’re all doing well today.
18 - Could you cook an entire Christmas or Thanksgiving Dinner entirely on your own with no help from other people or recipe books? Yes but it would not be edible.
19 - Do you cook from scratch or do you rely more on ready meals or frozen food? I rely on people in my family who can actualy cook, ha.
20 - What’s your favourite type of fast food? Is it something you eat often? KFC would have to be my favorite. Those 11 herbs and spices don’t fuck around, man. It’s not the cheapest of fast food options, so I don’t get to have it a lot and it’s usually tradition for me to get KFC only when I feel like I deserve a reward for an accomplishment or after a grueling week.
21 - If you’ve been under a lockdown or stay-at-home order, what did you find the most difficult about it? Not having been able to see my friends, go out as a group, and stay out late. Also, not getting a normal college graduation and being unable to spend my last semester as a college student just being a dumb college student doing dumb college student things.
22 - Do you still buy or read any magazines? I’ll sometimes read the online versions of magazines especially if one of them comes out with a compelling article, but I don’t follow any of them religiously.
23 - As a teenager, what did you spend most of your pocket money or allowance on? I went out with friends on the weekends, so my savings mostly went to food and Uber (back when we still had Uber, and back when none of us could drive yet).
24 - Do you have much of a sweet tooth? I have my moods for sure, but I love savory a lot more.
25 - Are there any common “popular” foods that you don’t particularly like yourself? Have people ever told you you’re odd/strange for disliking that particular food? Fruits. I get judged for it all the time, but I honestly live for the reactions hahaha. To this day it’s still my go-to fact to say whenever I have to share something about myself. There’s also sinigang, but that is such a universally-loved food and is such a huge source of pride for Filipinos that I just keep it to myself because people get genuinely annoyed/offended when they hear that I don’t like sinigang LOL
26 - Likewise, are there are any commonly hated foods that you love? BALUT
27 - Would you rather eat pizza or pasta? Pizza. Easy.
28 - Do you own a lot of store loyalty cards? I just have the one for my gas station, so no.
29 - When was the last time you read a newspaper? I had to view a newspaper article for work yesterday, but I have not read a full newspaper in years.
30 - What kind of noises can you hear around you right now? There’s the fan in my room and construction outside our house.
--
survey by lets-make-surveys
1 - Do you have a car? How long have you had it and how much did it cost? Yeah but it’s technically not mine; my parents made the purchase and they gave it to me as a high school graduation present. They’re also the ones who take care of and pay for its maintenance, like taking it to oil changes; so literally my only contribution has been to drive it HAHAHA. I’ve been driving it since 2016 and I’m pretty sure it cost them less than a million bucks. It was probably around P800,000–900,000.
2 - Who was the last person to send you a message on Facebook? Andi was checking up on how I’ve been. I appreciated that.
3 - What did you have for breakfast this morning? I haven’t had it yet but I will probably skip it. I might make myself coffee, though.
4 - Do you have any scented candles lit at the moment? I never have any scented candles.
5 - When was the last time you left your house? When will be the next time you go out? Yesterday afternoon. There was nothing left to do for work and my superiors hadn’t been asking me to do any tasks anymore, so I went out to get myself Starbucks before my shift was actually over, haha oops. I might be going out next Tuesday to pick up my new card from the bank.
6 - Does anyone in real life follow your survey blog? If so, does it make you think twice about some of your answers? If not, are you ever paranoid that someone will find your blog and read your answers? No. My sister has been wanting to make a survey blog but she just never got around to making it because she thinks she’ll end up being inactive; but that’s about it on the irl people front. If she ever makes one, I’d prefer we didn’t follow one another as doing so would make things awkward.
7 - When was the last time someone stopped talking to you? Have you made up with that person since? Gabie doesn’t speak with me regularly anymore. We’re not on bad terms so there’s nothing to make up, but she has told me it’s out of shame that she doesn’t initiate conversations with me these days. 
8 - Who was the last person you argued or bickered with? I haven’t had an argument with anyone in a while.
9 - Do you have anything planned for the rest of the day? If you’re about to go to bed, what are your plans for tomorrow? Catch up on surveys as I haven’t done them all week, anddddd figure out what to do with my embroidery kit as I’ve run out of the provided thread :(
10 - Did you have any e-mails in your inbox the last time you checked? It’s the weekend so no, I haven’t received anything new.
11 - What time did you wake up this morning? Did you have to set an alarm or did you wake up naturally? It was 7:08 AM when I had checked. I just woke up naturally.
12 - When was the last time it snowed where you live? Probably when it was still a part of Pangaea or something. We don’t get snow on this side of the world and the nearest place that does is probably like South Korea, which is not near us at all.
13 - Does it bother you if you’re wearing odd socks? Like, mismatched ones? No, I find it cute actually.
14 - Is there anything small that bothers you way more than it should? Right now. I had sent out an event invite to certain media last Thursday for work, and one of them replied only by 6 PM last night. I only saw it by 9:30 and replied, then she got back with a question by around 9:50 PM, and at that point I decided against replying because it was already nearing 10 PM and I didn’t want to be rude. I want to reply today but it’s the weekend and I don’t wanna be the jerk that brings up work on the weekend, but I also don’t want to leave her hanging because I had technically cut our conversation short. 
OK I spent the next 30 minutes thinking about it and I ended up replying hahaha. It just didn’t sit well with me to blow her off for the weekend when her last message was a question for me. So I answered her for her clarification, but I just made sure to let her know there’s no pressure for her to get back to me this weekend.
15 - Would you rather read a book, watch a film or play a video game? Watch someone play a video game, tbh.
16 - Why did you last attend a doctors’ appointment? Because my fever wasn’t going away and I wanted to get rid of it so bad.
17 - Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? The person from Pizza Hut who took my order, I think? lol
18 - How many different colours have you dyed your hair over the years? is your hair your natural colour at the moment? I’ve never had it dyed, so it has always been black.
19 - Do you prefer sweet or savoury snacks? I have moods for both, but as a whole I think I’d go for savory.
20 - When was the last time you got up to use the bathroom? A couple of hours ago.
21 - Do you spend more money on shoes or clothes? I spend more often on clothes but they aren’t always necessarily expensive. I don’t buy shoes often, but when I do they’re usually quite expensive, so. I’m not sure how to answer this question, but it goes two ways for me.
22 - Are you glad that Biden won the 2020 elections? I’m glad he won but at the end of the day he’s still just the lesser evil. I won’t really know anything until I see him and his moves in office, so I’ll have to wait until then.
23 - What kind of things do you do to try and save the planet? I segregate, turn off the faucet when it isn’t being used, never turn on my bedroom light, and before Covid I’d pick up trash I’d see at the mall.
24 - Are you, or have you ever been, vegetarian or vegan? I haven’t been either but I do opt for vegan options when I see one on the menu.
25 - What was the last thing you threw in the bin/garbage? A cotton bud.
26 - How many times a week do you exercise? Do you think that’s enough or should you really be doing more? I never do. I know I should probably do so, but eh.
27 - When was the last time you had to cancel or re-arrange plans you'd made? What was the reason behind it? LOL well...I’m currently having to rearrange and revise and adjust my entire life plans because of this stupid breakup.
28 - Have you ever had to wear braces? Yes. But I’ll have to avail them again because I did a terrible job keeping my retainers on.
29 - What cut of jeans do you prefer? Mom jeans that are a little more loose than skinny jeans, but aren’t too baggy.
30 - If you’re planning to spend the day at home, do you get properly dressed or just wear pyjamas? I wear my usual getup of a t-shirt/tank top and shorts.
--
survey by lets-make-surveys
1 - What’s the biggest argument you’ve ever had with a family member? Did things ever go back to how they were beforehand? It was an argument with the entire family, sans my sister who stayed silently watching during the whole thing as she hates conflict. We had just flown back to Manila from a vacation and we were all just tired and impatient and hungry, my mom found a way to shift the blame on me as per usual, some words were exchanged, and my brother ended up slapping me and it was on hell on earth from there. Things weren’t ok for a whole week, but slowly life went back to normal without us ever acknowledging it because we’re dysfunctional as fuck. The one thing that never ended up changing is my dynamic with my brother, with whom I stopped speaking permanently after what he did.
2 - Have you ever experienced some kind of natural disaster? A lot; my country is a big hot spot for typhoons, so we don’t really have a choice but to go through several of them every year. Sometimes it’ll get bad enough for us to make it to international news because our government doesn’t really do anything to help out victims.
3 - If you have pets, do you feed them human food or do they just get regular pet food? If they do get human food, what’s their favourite thing to have? They both get human food. I’m not sure what Cooper’s favorite is as Nina primarily feeds him; but Kimi is most obsessed with chicken.
4 - Have you ever been in a physical fight? Who won? Just play wrestling matches with my cousin when we were kids. He always won as he was older and a lot bigger than me.
5 - What were you lighting the last time you used a lighter or matches? I don’t light stuff up on my own because I’m scared of fire, but the last time we used matches was for lighting up our emergency candles because of the power outage from last week.
6 - What’s the weather currently doing where you are? It is annoyingly humid. I had to open my windows and roll up my window blinds today, which I hate having to do because it makes neighbors able to see my room and what I’m doing here -_____- I feel like I’m giving away my privacy every time I have to have the blinds up just to have colder air in.
7 - The last time you got up from your seat, what did you go and do? Before doing this I came from bed. When I felt like doing a survey I just got up and headed to my work desk.
8 - Name five things you’ve done so far today: Received a package for something I bought online, made myself a sandwich, ate cheese-flavored corn chips, watch a half-season of Friends, and bought another embroidery kit online (I’ve been calling it ‘cross-stitch’ this whole time but apparently that is wrong, whoops). Not a very productive Saturday, but it’s honestly ok considering I’m left exhausted from the past week.
9 - What’s the mode of transport that you take or use the most? I drive myself.
10 - When was the last time you got caught in a rain or snow storm? Were you dressed for it or did you end up getting soaked? Start of the month. I was driving to take Cooper to the vet when it suddenly started raining super hard, but it was only upon arriving at the clinic that I realized there wasn’t any umbrella in the car. Had to make a quick dash from the car to the nearest shade, all the while keeping Cooper under my jacket so that he stayed dry. I was soaked as shit but he was kept dry, which was all that mattered.
11 - Did your favourite Disney film come out before or after you were born? I have two favorites: Toy Story came out three years before I was born, but Tangled came 12 years after my birth.
12 - Are you a fan of musicals? No, I never saw the appeal.
13 - What the last thing you spent money on apart from necessities? My favorite coffee from Starbucks. It’s a win-win situation for me at the moment: my mom is asking for a Starbucks planner for Christmas, which means all I need to do for her gift is to keep ordering coffees from there until I’ve collected enough stickers to be entitled to a planner, heheh.
14 - Are there any sequels to things that you prefer to the original? Ooh, I’m not the biggest fan of movies that come in multiple parts so I don’t know if I have any picks. I can name covers that I like than the original songs, though.
15 - How often do you lose the remote control? I haven’t really sat down in front of a TV to watch shows since high school, so I haven’t temporarily lost a remote control since then.
16 - When was the last time you had problems with your internet connection? Last Thursday and Friday but only because the power went out.
17 - What games do you play on your phone, if any at all? I play 1010 the most, but I’ve got tons of other games that are just sitting in my menu just in case I’m suddenly in the mood to play them.
18 - Aside from family, who was the last person you spent time with? How do you know that person? I dunno, I guess the people in my work meeting video call yesterday afternoon? It was my first meeting with that particular team as the newbie at work, so I don’t actually know all of them that well yet.
19 - Are you currently warm, cold or just right? I am hot and irritated by it.
20 - Do you prefer showers or baths? When was the last time you had either? Showers; my last one was yesterday. My last bath was...no clue. Two years ago, maybe?
21 - Do you spend a lot of money on your appearance? I used to spend a lot on clothes, yeah, at least before Covid. But right now there really has been no point in upgrading my wardrobe, so I haven’t been buying any new pieces.
22 - When was the last time you spent more than £100 on something? Was it a necessity like a bill, or a treat for yourself? I have never spent ₱6,408 in one sitting, whether it be for myself, for a necessity, or for someone else. That’s crazy and will probably take a couple more years before I see myself making transactions that huge.
23 - Would you rather swim in the sea, a lake or a pool? Seeeeeeeea. I always feel at peace in the sea, and ugh I miss it so much.
24 - Have you ever had a zoo keeper experience or anything where you’ve been able to go behind the scenes and look after/feed the animals? I wouldn’t call it a zookeeper experience, but we went to some sort of animal park in Bali that let me carry and interact with all sorts of animals.
25 - Would you ever want the responsibility of being a politician or a similar position of power? Probably not. I don’t think I’d be able to handle it.
26 - How many times a week do you go to the grocery store? My parents go at least once a week to buy groceries.
27 - When was the last time you got a takeaway coffee or drink? Last night. Being able to earn money and spend it on myself and never have to ask from my parents anymore has been one of the highlights of my year so far, aaaahhhhh
28 - Do you quote films or TV shows as you’re watching them? If I love the film and memorize a chunk of the dialogue, yes. The movie I quote the most as I watch it is most definitely Titanic.
29 - What’s something your parents do that really annoys you? My dad doesn’t really do anything that annoys me. My mom doesn’t knock.
30 - If you had to quarantine for two weeks tomorrow due to testing positive to COVID, would you be able to survive on the things you had in your house? Yes. I’ll be locked in my room but my dad will probably be bringing me food, just the way he did when I got sick last May and had to isolate myself.
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areswriting · 2 years ago
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a x e : xxvii
Sunday
@dyer: yeah? So is malachi…
@dyer:  do you think they’re planning a mass murder/suicide instead of a wedding?
“Abram,” says Malachi from over my shoulder. “How about you put your phone down and spend some quality time with your old man?”
I lock the screen and respond only by turning to face him. He wears a smile, too big and teeth-y to be genuine, and clamps a firm hand on my shoulder. Guiding me to a rack of suit jackets, he swirls his glass of whiskey but has yet to take even a sip of it.
“There is no way I’m wearing this!” Jason shouts from the dressing room.
“At least let us see, Jase.” Malachi looks at me and winks. “Come on.”
The dressing room door flies open and Jason steps out—and I can’t stop the laughter that follows, even when I realize it sounds a lot like Malachi’s.
“I look like Don Cherry!” says Jason as he looks down at his soft pink, paisley suit.
“You do,” I say, hand over mouth, as if it will hide my amusement.
“Cerise picked the color scheme,” says Malachi. “She was very specific—peach pink, light grey and white.”
“Dad—please—I can’t wear this,” Jason pleads.
Malachi shakes his head and waves him away. “I just wanted a good laugh and the suit is too small for Abram. Go change into the grey suit.”
Jason doesn’t hesitate and within seconds I’m left alone with Malachi. He sets his glass down and pulls a suit jacket off of the rack.
“I think we’re about the same size,” says Malachi. He pulls the jacket off of the hanger, but instead of handing it over, he prompts me to turn and helps me into it one arm at a time. I pull it together and fasten the buttons, and I’m not sure why I’m surprised that it fits so well. Because lately I’m more my father’s son than my mothers.  
“It’s honestly surreal,” he says, looking at my reflection in the mirror. “How much you look like your mother.”
I close my eyes and my whole body tenses. Beating me in a store is bold, but not unbelievable, and I wait for the first blow.
“I think you should wear a bow-tie with it,” he goes on. “Mia adored them.”
I catch his gaze in the mirror. “Mia?”
“Emilia, I called her Mia,” he says.
The truth hits me square in the chest. My mother had a life outside of being my mother—a life before being my mother. A life that I know nothing about. A life in which Malachi might have been the center of.
“I want to show you something,” Malachi says, pulling his wallet from his inner suit pocket.
He produces an aged photograph that he doesn’t look at, but offers to me. My heart is in my throat as I stare at the picture of my mom, a man and a little boy.
“Is this…”
“You, Mia and me,” he says. “You look surprised. I suppose she never told you.”
I press my lips together and shake my head.
“You were too young to remember, and she was always fond of creating her own version of things.” He sits on the edge of an armchair and folds his hands, his eyes fixated on the knuckles that have left me bloodied and bruised. “Before she—before the accident, we were speaking again, and I was doing better—”
“You and Mom were talking?” I say, face screwed up.
He looks at me and breathes out a laugh. “She didn’t want you to know, she was adamant about that. At first, anyways. But there’s a reason she left me custody, and I think we both know it had nothing to do with money.”
▲ △ ▼ ▽
Tuesday
“Are you ignoring me?”
Elise stands in front of my table with her dinner tray shaking along with her hands. “Because if you are, I understand, but you could at least tell me you’re going to ignore me—”
“I’m not ignoring you,” I say with a mouth full of broccoli.
She slams her tray down so hard that food flies off of it. “Then where have you been?”
“Malachi kept me out of school yesterday,” I reply.
Her demeanor changes from anger to concern and she quickly takes a seat. “Why—oh my God, Abram. Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”
I shake my head. “No—not physically at least.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just some stuff he said about my mom,” I reply. “Look, I really don’t want to talk about it.”
Elise nods and reaches across the table to squeeze my hand. “Have you heard about Sophie and Jason yet?”
“No?” I say, my eyebrows creasing together.
“Someone caught them kissing in the library,” Elise says. “I thought maybe it was just hearsay but their absence leads me to believe otherwise.”
“You know, I think she would be good for Jason,” I say, poking my food around my tray. “He needs someone like her.”
“I agree,” she replies, smiling fondly. “She’s loyal and supportive and beautiful.”
“So are you,” I say.
“Abram.” Elise says my name like she’s chastising me. “Friends, remember?”
I roll my eyes. “Please, Elise. I’ve said more romantic things to Brody.”
“Then treat me like you treat Ellie,” she says.
“That would be impossible, because I don’t think about kissing Ellie,” I say.
“How’s Sylvia?” asks Elise, taking a sudden interest in her dinner.
“I wouldn’t know,” I say. “I blocked her like a week ago.”
A look of relief smooths Elise’s features, but she only nods in response.
▲ △ ▼ ▽
Saturday
I watch the ice instead of the clock winding down—and I swear, two minutes has never passed any slower. The Cornwall Coyotes are dominating the puck so effortlessly that I wince every time they shoot at our net.
“Five seconds,” says Roger.
I jump to my feet and out of the door as soon as it opens. By some miracle we killed our fourth penalty—three of which belonged to me—and I skate into the action.
“Abram, go left!”
I look over my shoulder to see Jason rushing behind me, the puck dancing at his stick’s will, and I veer left, allowing him to pass me. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in agility, darting by two eager Coyote defensemen and into the offensive zone. A third goes in on him and he shoots the puck backwards, giving me control.
I swing my stick back and send the puck soaring over the goalie’s left shoulder—only stopping when it crashes into the back of the net.
We come together to celebrate our first goal in a three goal game, and while I’m the one who scored, Jason is who we are really honouring. Even Coach has nice things to say to him when we settle on the bench.
“That was amazing,” I say, knocking my shoulder into his. “Seriously.”
Jason, of course, is too modest to admit how genius his set up was, and simply shakes his head.
Unfortunately it is our first and only goal that night and the Coyotes leave the building with a four to one win. Coach reams us for an hour before he allows us to shower and leave the locker room.
Walking alongside Jason, who stares diligently at his phone, I nearly trip over my own feet when my eyes fall on Gigi standing between two men in expensive suits.
“Finally,” Gigi sighs. “I was about to send them in after you.”
Jason stops in his tracks, his mouth hanging open. “What are you doing here?”
“I was watching you two play, of course,” says Gigi, smiling. “And as luck would have it, I was sat between these two.”
“Mitchel Greene,” says the shorter of the two as he offers me his hand. “A college recruiter from Notre Dom.”
I take his hand, just as the second man introduces himself to Jason as Rhys Darling from Boston University.
“We weren’t supposed to come for another week, but we were informed you two wouldn’t be playing in next Saturday’s game,” says Mitchel.
“Did you have them come here?” I say vehemently, my eyes burning into Gigi’s.
“Mr. Dyer, that isn’t how this works,” says Rhys. “We aren’t swayed by anyone other than the players we are looking to recruit.”
“We noticed you when we were in Boston—we were there scouting one of their players and you two really caught our eye,” says Mitchel. “Is playing hockey in college something either of you are interested in?”
▲ △ ▼ ▽
My sneakers screech against the floor as I come to an abrupt stop. Fingers balling into a tight fist, I bang on Elise’s door until it flies open.
“Abram, it’s after one in the morning—what are you doing?” She yelps as I pick her up and nearly throw her over my shoulder.
I kick the door to a close with my foot and squeeze her legs as I spin around her room.
“Did you take something?” she says, digging her nails into my back as she clings to me. “Are you drunk?”
Setting her down on her bed, I straddle her legs and hold her face between my hands. “The college scouts came and talked to me and Jason. We just got back from a long meeting with them. It’s happening, Elise!”
She gasps and places her hands on my face—shocking me with a kiss that she pulls away from too quickly. “Sorry—I—I’m just—”
I silence her with my lips; and soon the only thing punctuating the quiet is our separate heavy breathing and the noise me make shifting on her bed. She lays underneath me, hands in my hair, less hurricane and more the calm before. This is the first time we aren’t crashing into each other’s bones—reckless and destructive. We are careful, soft. We are exactly what we need to be.
“Êtes-vous sûr?” I whisper.
“Oui,” she breathes.
▲ △ ▼ ▽
Monday
“Is it really necessary that we miss the whole week?” Elise says. “The wedding isn’t until Saturday afternoon.”
“Since when do you complain about missing school, Mon Cher?” says Cerise as she pinches Elise’s cheek.
“We have a lot planned for this week,” Malachi says. “Prepare yourselves, because you won’t be doing much relaxing.”
“Oui,” says Cerise. “At least not until the reception.”
I turn my attention to my phone, because I want nothing to do with this conversation or this car ride.
@Dyer: still kinda hoping for that murder suicide.
@Dyer: please, distract me.
@liselaire: I wish I could shove a sock in her mouth.
“Abram,” says Cerise. She doesn’t look at me, but instead her black finger nails. “Are you excited to have finally have Elise as your sister?”
I look between the Allaires, my tongue against my cheek. Elise looks out the window, while Cerise smirks, moving her engagement ring around her finger.
“As excited as I’m sure you are to being a step-mother to five children,” I say, forcing a smile.
“I’m overjoyed,” she says as she looks at Malachi. “Nothing makes me happier than family.”
0 notes
aproleetattoo · 3 years ago
Text
By benching Eli Manning, the Giants have now completely lost their way
Eli Manning deserves so much better than Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese.
Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, the New York Giants compounded a lost season by losing their way. As a lifelong Giants fan, every moment of this 2-9 fiasco — one that began with legitimate Super Bowl hopes — has been painful. And yet, nothing compared to Tuesday’s decision to bench Eli Manning.
For 14 seasons and 210 consecutive starts, through Super Bowl trophies and six-win slogs, Manning has been the constant for the Giants. Some weeks he’d hit every receiver in stride; other times he’d hit the back of their heads. But that, like his goofy facial expressions, just made him more endearing. He wasn’t perfect. He was Eli.
And no matter the obstacle, he found a way to play. Manning separated his shoulder during the 2007 opener in Dallas and was supposed to miss the next month. The following Sunday, No. 10 was back under center. In 2009, he played through most of the season with torn plantar fascia and notched the first of six seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing. Somehow, in a league built on violence, Manning endured.
Now the Giants are rewarding his durability by turning him into a scapegoat. The Giants have long held themselves up as a model franchise, one that resisted the temptation of emotional decisions and prized loyalty and commitment. Just look at their rivals to see the difference: The Eagles, Cowboys, and Jets have started 12 quarterbacks apiece since 2004; Washington has started 10. The Giants had been different, but not any more.
Benching Manning is just the latest example of bad judgment by head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.
Those two failed to address a woeful offensive line that needed to be fixed if the team wanted to return to the playoffs after last year’s 11-5 run.
The results shouldn’t be surprising. According to Next Gen Stats, Manning averages just 2.53 seconds to throw per attempt this season, which is less time than all but four opening day starters. When he isn’t forced to rush a throw, no one is open. Manning has operated for most of the season without his top three targets — Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard — because of injuries. A successful play these days is one where Manning doesn’t end up in concussion protocol. Yet this mess is somehow his fault?
McAdoo couched the move as a chance to evaluate Smith and rookie Davis Webb, but get real: Smith has produced more than enough evidence that he is not a starting-caliber QB and Webb was a third-round pick last April. This isn’t exactly Aaron Rodgers waiting behind Brett Favre.
Nor is this a good environment to be evaluating passers. It’s like trying to decide whether you like coq au vin when it’s been prepared by a 4-year-old over a campfire — there are no rational conclusions to draw from anyone playing in this environment. That the Giants think they can gain any meaningful knowledge about Smith or Webb shows the same critical thinking skills that led them to believe Ereck Flowers could be a foundational left tackle or that McAdoo was fit to lead a team.
That’s the other illogical aspect of this whole debacle. McAdoo, the man primarily responsible for the decision to bench Manning, would inspire a riot from Giants fans if he coaches another year. And that was before he opted to start Smith. Yet he’s being allowed to make a decision that, at a minimum, tarnishes the relationship between the franchise and its quarterback, and might forever alter Manning’s legacy.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with former NFL QB Chris Simms last winter
Back when I worked at Bleacher Report, I would see Simms at the office. We were discussing the Giants and how they seemed to run only a handful of pass patterns — all slants and shallow crosses. I had assumed that was McAdoo’s way of scheming around the team’s porous O-line. Quick passes helped make up for the fact that the linemen couldn’t block.
But Simms said that wasn’t the case: This was McAdoo’s offense, and it was as bland as any in the league. Simms told me McAdoo did nothing to aid his line in pass protection, nor did he utilize sophisticated route combinations to create space for his receivers. It was just the same, antiquated version of the West Coast offense that most of the league had long since abandoned. And it played to none of Manning’s strengths.
Watching this season, it became clear that Simms was right, and the results have followed. So maybe it isn’t surprising that McAdoo would make such a short-sighted decision. And Reese hired McAdoo, so maybe he’s not capable of thinking clearly either.
But John Mara should know better. He is the guardian of the Giant Way. He learned the value of stability from his father and celebrated four Super Bowl victories as an outgrowth of that philosophy. He has been around this franchise long enough to know what Eli means to Giants fans, to recognize that even if this move were strategically valid, it would still lead to a PR nightmare.
Yet Mara allowed this to happen on his watch. And predictably, New York exploded in anger. Fans burned up talk radio lines to bash the move. Former Giants, from Tom Coughlin to Sean O’Hara to Justin Tuck, lashed out publicly. The future has never looked so bleak. And to what end? A chance to play Geno Smith?
Manning’s days in New York may not be done. Ownership-willing, the Giants will have a new GM and a new coach next season and, if they don’t take a QB at the top of the first round, Manning could be back in his old job at age 37. But after fighting back tears on Tuesday afternoon, how can he ever look at his bosses the same way? How can he trust the Mara family? How can he view himself as a Giant for life?
This is not the way to treat a man who has given so much to this franchise for so long. Eli Manning deserved better. And we Giants fans won’t let them forget it.
0 notes
junker-town · 3 years ago
Text
By benching Eli Manning, the Giants have now completely lost their way
Eli Manning deserves so much better than Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese.
Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, the New York Giants compounded a lost season by losing their way. As a lifelong Giants fan, every moment of this 2-9 fiasco — one that began with legitimate Super Bowl hopes — has been painful. And yet, nothing compared to Tuesday’s decision to bench Eli Manning.
For 14 seasons and 210 consecutive starts, through Super Bowl trophies and six-win slogs, Manning has been the constant for the Giants. Some weeks he’d hit every receiver in stride; other times he’d hit the back of their heads. But that, like his goofy facial expressions, just made him more endearing. He wasn’t perfect. He was Eli.
And no matter the obstacle, he found a way to play. Manning separated his shoulder during the 2007 opener in Dallas and was supposed to miss the next month. The following Sunday, No. 10 was back under center. In 2009, he played through most of the season with torn plantar fascia and notched the first of six seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing. Somehow, in a league built on violence, Manning endured.
Now the Giants are rewarding his durability by turning him into a scapegoat. The Giants have long held themselves up as a model franchise, one that resisted the temptation of emotional decisions and prized loyalty and commitment. Just look at their rivals to see the difference: The Eagles, Cowboys, and Jets have started 12 quarterbacks apiece since 2004; Washington has started 10. The Giants had been different, but not any more.
Benching Manning is just the latest example of bad judgment by head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.
Those two failed to address a woeful offensive line that needed to be fixed if the team wanted to return to the playoffs after last year’s 11-5 run.
The results shouldn’t be surprising. According to Next Gen Stats, Manning averages just 2.53 seconds to throw per attempt this season, which is less time than all but four opening day starters. When he isn’t forced to rush a throw, no one is open. Manning has operated for most of the season without his top three targets — Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard — because of injuries. A successful play these days is one where Manning doesn’t end up in concussion protocol. Yet this mess is somehow his fault?
McAdoo couched the move as a chance to evaluate Smith and rookie Davis Webb, but get real: Smith has produced more than enough evidence that he is not a starting-caliber QB and Webb was a third-round pick last April. This isn’t exactly Aaron Rodgers waiting behind Brett Favre.
Nor is this a good environment to be evaluating passers. It’s like trying to decide whether you like coq au vin when it’s been prepared by a 4-year-old over a campfire — there are no rational conclusions to draw from anyone playing in this environment. That the Giants think they can gain any meaningful knowledge about Smith or Webb shows the same critical thinking skills that led them to believe Ereck Flowers could be a foundational left tackle or that McAdoo was fit to lead a team.
That’s the other illogical aspect of this whole debacle. McAdoo, the man primarily responsible for the decision to bench Manning, would inspire a riot from Giants fans if he coaches another year. And that was before he opted to start Smith. Yet he’s being allowed to make a decision that, at a minimum, tarnishes the relationship between the franchise and its quarterback, and might forever alter Manning’s legacy.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with former NFL QB Chris Simms last winter
Back when I worked at Bleacher Report, I would see Simms at the office. We were discussing the Giants and how they seemed to run only a handful of pass patterns — all slants and shallow crosses. I had assumed that was McAdoo’s way of scheming around the team’s porous O-line. Quick passes helped make up for the fact that the linemen couldn’t block.
But Simms said that wasn’t the case: This was McAdoo’s offense, and it was as bland as any in the league. Simms told me McAdoo did nothing to aid his line in pass protection, nor did he utilize sophisticated route combinations to create space for his receivers. It was just the same, antiquated version of the West Coast offense that most of the league had long since abandoned. And it played to none of Manning’s strengths.
Watching this season, it became clear that Simms was right, and the results have followed. So maybe it isn’t surprising that McAdoo would make such a short-sighted decision. And Reese hired McAdoo, so maybe he’s not capable of thinking clearly either.
But John Mara should know better. He is the guardian of the Giant Way. He learned the value of stability from his father and celebrated four Super Bowl victories as an outgrowth of that philosophy. He has been around this franchise long enough to know what Eli means to Giants fans, to recognize that even if this move were strategically valid, it would still lead to a PR nightmare.
Yet Mara allowed this to happen on his watch. And predictably, New York exploded in anger. Fans burned up talk radio lines to bash the move. Former Giants, from Tom Coughlin to Sean O’Hara to Justin Tuck, lashed out publicly. The future has never looked so bleak. And to what end? A chance to play Geno Smith?
Manning’s days in New York may not be done. Ownership-willing, the Giants will have a new GM and a new coach next season and, if they don’t take a QB at the top of the first round, Manning could be back in his old job at age 37. But after fighting back tears on Tuesday afternoon, how can he ever look at his bosses the same way? How can he trust the Mara family? How can he view himself as a Giant for life?
This is not the way to treat a man who has given so much to this franchise for so long. Eli Manning deserved better. And we Giants fans won’t let them forget it.
0 notes
rungpswatch · 3 years ago
Text
By benching Eli Manning, the Giants have now completely lost their way
Eli Manning deserves so much better than Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese.
Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, the New York Giants compounded a lost season by losing their way. As a lifelong Giants fan, every moment of this 2-9 fiasco — one that began with legitimate Super Bowl hopes — has been painful. And yet, nothing compared to Tuesday’s decision to bench Eli Manning.
For 14 seasons and 210 consecutive starts, through Super Bowl trophies and six-win slogs, Manning has been the constant for the Giants. Some weeks he’d hit every receiver in stride; other times he’d hit the back of their heads. But that, like his goofy facial expressions, just made him more endearing. He wasn’t perfect. He was Eli.
And no matter the obstacle, he found a way to play. Manning separated his shoulder during the 2007 opener in Dallas and was supposed to miss the next month. The following Sunday, No. 10 was back under center. In 2009, he played through most of the season with torn plantar fascia and notched the first of six seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing. Somehow, in a league built on violence, Manning endured.
Now the Giants are rewarding his durability by turning him into a scapegoat. The Giants have long held themselves up as a model franchise, one that resisted the temptation of emotional decisions and prized loyalty and commitment. Just look at their rivals to see the difference: The Eagles, Cowboys, and Jets have started 12 quarterbacks apiece since 2004; Washington has started 10. The Giants had been different, but not any more.
Benching Manning is just the latest example of bad judgment by head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.
Those two failed to address a woeful offensive line that needed to be fixed if the team wanted to return to the playoffs after last year’s 11-5 run.
The results shouldn’t be surprising. According to Next Gen Stats, Manning averages just 2.53 seconds to throw per attempt this season, which is less time than all but four opening day starters. When he isn’t forced to rush a throw, no one is open. Manning has operated for most of the season without his top three targets — Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard — because of injuries. A successful play these days is one where Manning doesn’t end up in concussion protocol. Yet this mess is somehow his fault?
McAdoo couched the move as a chance to evaluate Smith and rookie Davis Webb, but get real: Smith has produced more than enough evidence that he is not a starting-caliber QB and Webb was a third-round pick last April. This isn’t exactly Aaron Rodgers waiting behind Brett Favre.
Nor is this a good environment to be evaluating passers. It’s like trying to decide whether you like coq au vin when it’s been prepared by a 4-year-old over a campfire — there are no rational conclusions to draw from anyone playing in this environment. That the Giants think they can gain any meaningful knowledge about Smith or Webb shows the same critical thinking skills that led them to believe Ereck Flowers could be a foundational left tackle or that McAdoo was fit to lead a team.
That’s the other illogical aspect of this whole debacle. McAdoo, the man primarily responsible for the decision to bench Manning, would inspire a riot from Giants fans if he coaches another year. And that was before he opted to start Smith. Yet he’s being allowed to make a decision that, at a minimum, tarnishes the relationship between the franchise and its quarterback, and might forever alter Manning’s legacy.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with former NFL QB Chris Simms last winter
Back when I worked at Bleacher Report, I would see Simms at the office. We were discussing the Giants and how they seemed to run only a handful of pass patterns — all slants and shallow crosses. I had assumed that was McAdoo’s way of scheming around the team’s porous O-line. Quick passes helped make up for the fact that the linemen couldn’t block.
But Simms said that wasn’t the case: This was McAdoo’s offense, and it was as bland as any in the league. Simms told me McAdoo did nothing to aid his line in pass protection, nor did he utilize sophisticated route combinations to create space for his receivers. It was just the same, antiquated version of the West Coast offense that most of the league had long since abandoned. And it played to none of Manning’s strengths.
Watching this season, it became clear that Simms was right, and the results have followed. So maybe it isn’t surprising that McAdoo would make such a short-sighted decision. And Reese hired McAdoo, so maybe he’s not capable of thinking clearly either.
But John Mara should know better. He is the guardian of the Giant Way. He learned the value of stability from his father and celebrated four Super Bowl victories as an outgrowth of that philosophy. He has been around this franchise long enough to know what Eli means to Giants fans, to recognize that even if this move were strategically valid, it would still lead to a PR nightmare.
Yet Mara allowed this to happen on his watch. And predictably, New York exploded in anger. Fans burned up talk radio lines to bash the move. Former Giants, from Tom Coughlin to Sean O’Hara to Justin Tuck, lashed out publicly. The future has never looked so bleak. And to what end? A chance to play Geno Smith?
Manning’s days in New York may not be done. Ownership-willing, the Giants will have a new GM and a new coach next season and, if they don’t take a QB at the top of the first round, Manning could be back in his old job at age 37. But after fighting back tears on Tuesday afternoon, how can he ever look at his bosses the same way? How can he trust the Mara family? How can he view himself as a Giant for life?
This is not the way to treat a man who has given so much to this franchise for so long. Eli Manning deserved better. And we Giants fans won’t let them forget it.
0 notes