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#just finished watching this episode again
blueeyesatnight · a day ago
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Season 4: New Laredo: Episode 1: With Friends Like These
Season 4: New Laredo: Episode 1: With Friends Like These
A sequel to Narcos complete with Voiceovers and Scene Cuts. Consider the warnings and ratings to be equal to the series and proceed with caution.
This is NOT connected to "Paperwork" or "Not Qualified For This".
word count: 6300
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Episode 1: With Friends Like These
Voiceover, Javier Peña:
People everywhere like it when life is easy, predictable, and there’s plenty on the table. In fact, good or bad, most people agree that making a life of relative ease and convenience for their families is a high priority. You would not believe how many people serving time in max security prisons cite family as the key reason they are in there: someone was in need, legal jobs were tight, kids were hungry. Family motivates people. Even Pablo Escobar had been a family man. I knew more than one Narco who would talk about themselves the same way-- as men who wanted to make sure their kids had neatly pressed Sunday shirts, warm blankets, and good schools.
The drug war and other wars, like the Gulf War, tended to have an impact on the American economy. Border towns were powder kegs when times were good--and when times got tough things got tougher faster in places that were seen as easy transitions between worlds. When I was raised in Laredo, Texas there was a sister city in Mexico-- Nuevo Laredo. New Laredo Mexico and Laredo Texas were locked in a staring contest across the Rio Grande. Back in the day there were lots of smaller footbridges and swallows that were so easily passed by ...anyone really. My mother and my grandmother used to go shopping for goat in New Laredo-- apparently American butchers don’t stock it like they should and are stingy about giving you the drained blood in a Tupperware for use in making sauces. This sounds disgusting but I could eat that meal five days a week-- slow braised goat in thick sauce with vegetables and rice. To this day nobody makes it like my grandmother did.
After I was...demoralized by the Colombian government's involvement with the Cali cartel I resigned from the DEA. I was immediately courted for return by several parties but…
I went home.
My mother got sick within the year and I was happy to be free of the collar of the DEA because they would never have let me stay with her while she went through chemo and, eventually, when she passed.
It was a hard time on my father’s ranch. He was lost without my mom and I was feeling like I didn’t have anywhere to go, anything to do, to be useful anymore. So I helped him fix his fences, I lived off my savings for a while. Eventually I moved back in with him fully and I felt at home in Texas again-- I went back into something in law enforcement: I was a prison guard at the nearby maximum security Federal Penitentiary. After years of watching narcos make themselves comfortable in jail, getting prostitutes and drugs and all-day football parties, it was somewhat cathartic to just watch people rot behind bars, bored, trapped.
It felt like someone was getting punished at least.
___________________________________________________________________________
An alarm clock was one of the more terrible constants of life.
Even if he set it every night Javier Peña felt compelled to check the time against his watch as soon as he woke up.
And even though they were both saying the same thing he groaned like he’d been tricked.
He ran a hand over his face and rolled out of bed.
He trudged to the bathroom, the same baby blue and yellow affair that had been there since he was a boy. He noted the chips in the tiles and the grout, a couple of cracks in the veneer of the tub.
I should fix it.
But he didn’t want to touch it at the same time. There was something to fixing it-- he would be patching up and re-finishing the memories of running his fingers through those cracks while he played submarines in the bath and his mother laughed at his silliness.
She was gone. Somehow she was still here in his hideous bathroom.
If he fixed the bathroom something would happen, the little Dutch boy would be taking his finger out of the dam and more would flood out than Javier was prepared to deal with on a normal Thursday.
He avoided looking at the fresh couple of grays in his temple, tried to brush out the ones in his mustache, gave up. Put on his uniform.
Mosied to the kitchen where his father’s ancient coffee pot stared at him. He filled the grounds, filled the water, set out two mugs, just in time to hear his dad’s loud groans and creaky body and mild curses in Spanish. He had toast buttered and half eaten by the time the old man came into the kitchen and clucked his tongue, “A man can’t live on bread. You need real food.”
“I’m fine Pop.” He sucked down the rest of his coffee and kissed his father’s head, “Don’t do anything crazy today.”
Chucho grumbled something indiscenerable as Javier went out to his truck and headed off.
___________________________________________________________________
The Federal Penitentiary was in Huntsville and while it wasn’t Javier’s favorite commute to make they had worked it where he could transfer his pension and the pay was fine and they had hired him right away because they were always looking for staff, especially staff with his kind of experience. He didn’t shake easily, nor was he impressed by criminals. He didn't feel the need to partake in a dick measuring contest with the prisoners.
The Warden wasn’t his favorite person but hell, the checks cleared.
There were benefits to it: the schedule was predictable. After years of the constant all the time work in Colombia it was a bit of a revelation to have a schedule again. He was able to plan things. Have a life. Sort of. The overtime was fantastic and he could leave when the shift ended and not get tacked on for another two days and he frequently took it.
His father had made a litany of jokes about it.
“Does my breath smell? You can’t be around me?”
“Trying to save up and buy the farm, Javi? You don’t need to worry. I’m not as young as I once was.”
But Javi just...he didn’t know how to be so….slow. Farm life was slow life and heavy lifting and the sun on your back and Javier wasn’t shy of hard work but he was more interested in the little puzzles of detective work, of going from place to place, talking to people, and the intensity of the raids. There was an adrenaline rush he was missing out on.
And didn’t miss.
There was a stress to that job that he didn’t relish and yet...a quietness here that he tried to avoid.
Quiet made for thinking time. He preferred when there was so much input in his brain that he couldn’t quite….stop. He couldn’t stop until he was half-fucked out and forgot his own name and then he was able to just take a breath without thinking for a second and feel empty. Of course in Colombia the quiet never lasted. You didn’t get to sit there for long before you remembered that didn’t this girl say she was friends with that guy’s wife and that guy, that one, the one wasn’t he fucking that--
Here the noise was chickens and poorly poured asphalt on the highway.
He liked it.
He liked it...well enough.
_____________________________________________________________
There was something to working at the penitentiary that was unique to it as a place of employment.
Execution days.
Day and stay rhymed, mostly, he suspected, because the hopeful ear of some of the inmates would bend one word into the other. Some guards would slant their words or mumbled them on purpose to try the spirits of someone they hated.
Javier had never enjoyed playing with his food, so he didn’t partake.
Today was prepping for a particularly popular case: camera crews had been lined up outside and when people saw him pull up in a uniform he had been forced to politely wave them off with a practiced "No comment". He'd gotten pegged in the shoulder by a poorly aimed Baby Ruth.
The Candyman was dying today.
The Pen had its share of hard-core cases but Candyman, whose legend haunted Halloween and spawned bad screenplays, was the one who made the footnotes of big textbooks. Javier had been given it as a case study in college and while he felt "starstruck" was the wrong term there was something...scintillating and awful about the first time he'd seen the man up close. The guy was just a sad sack who had given Javier a little wave of hello and asked if he could get a copy of today’s newspaper. Chilling. Fed his kid cyanide sugar. Wanted to read Garfield and check the score on the Bears game.
But today there would be enough gawking, Javi hoped he wasn't put on that rotation.
There was no telling though, you got to know your shift ahead of time but not what you had to do during it.
“Hey Big Shot, you didn’t give the press anything right?” His direct supervisor, Marty, joked as he came in.
“Your wife’s private phone number, that was fine right?” Javier winked and punched his timecard.
Marty snorted and looked out the window at the press cars, “Vultures. Pack of goddamn carrion crows.”
Javier joined him and looked down, “People lose interest quick enough. They’ll be gone five minutes after it happens.”
Marty scratched the balding bit of his scalp, "Listen we aren't used to this kinda excitement here...but I figured you weren't into it so I put you on Pepe duty."
Javier breathed a sigh of relief, "Thanks--"
"But that's only after you let Reynolds take a long lunch, his kid's sick at school and I need someone to just hold his spot until he gets back."
Javier's jaw set and he grimaced, nodding without commentary which Marty knew meant disapproval.
Reynolds had D block. It meant if he didn't get back soon Javier was guarding The Candyman until he was trotted out for the chair.
But it didn’t do to grumble.
Life didn’t ask your permission before she bent you over and if this was relatively quick then he couldn’t really ask for much else.
“Also you got Nelson.”
Javier’s face fell into a mask of annoyance that he was not able to hold in and he said, “I’m quitting.”
“He’s just a kid.”
“He doesn’t shut up.”
Marty shrugged, “I’ll owe you a beer.”
“You’ll owe me more than one beer.” Javier snorted.
Nobody liked working with Nelson.
The kid never shut his mouth and it was going to net him a fist to the face and whether or not that came from an inmate or a coworker was really unclear.
Javier braced himself and started walking towards D Block.
____________________________________________________________________________
Nelson was excitable. This was his first gig out of high school and he only got it because the Warden was his uncle and it was not going to end the way the kid thought in his mind.
The kid had been young and interested when the prison riot happened a decade earlier and thought that every day at a prison must be so exciting. It wasn’t. But the kid’s excitement never waned.
“Hey Mr. Peña!” Nelson waved happily.
“Hey Nelson.”
The kid was bouncing on his heels like a puppy, “Did you hear what today is? For ol’ Ronnie boy?”
The kid mimed being hung, complete with closed eyes and a popped out tongue and a squelch noise and Javier nodded, “Yeah I saw the news vans. They give a time?”
“He’s due at 5 pm. My shift ends at 2. I was going to see if Reynolds wanted to trade off. Think he’ll trade off? I know his kid’s sick, might appreciate it. I wanna be here.”
“Why would you wanna be here?”
The kid looked scandalized, “I mean-- I wanna see the fucker go down, you know?”
He made a buzzing sound and pretended he was getting shocked, “Zzzzap! That’s what you get! I mean...It’s like true evil, do you ever think that? I think that. True evil. Fucker poisons a Pixie Stix and gives it to his own kid. For money. Soulless. Just. I mean, people are so don’t kill but like fuck it why are we letting him live? You know? I mean, it’s just a waste of time and resources and--”
“--your job?--”
“--to keep this dirtbag aliv---what’s that?”
Javier sighed, he shouldn’t take the bait. It was only the start of the shift, “I mean, I thought you loved this job?”
“I do!”
“Why wouldn’t you want to keep people in prison then?”
The kid looked mildly confused, “I mean, only for a little while. Then we should kill them. I mean he’s been here for….like. Too long.”
The kid was….enthusiastic. Too enthusiastic. Javier wondered how he’d hold up when Reynolds took the trade and this twenty year old boy who thought he was tough shit had to watch a grown man shit himself in the electric chair while his brain cooked.
Javier knew death was not glamorous when you were on top of it.
Everyone wanted to say they’d beat the shit out of drug dealer.
Then you’re face to face with one and he’s just a punk kid and your friend is next to you prepping a set of brass knuckles to take a swing at his jaw and the blood gets everywhere and you taste it in your coffee for three fucking days.
Everyone’s big until the shit’s in front of them.
The kid was listening to the news on the radio and turned up a story “--ro and Juan Jose ‘JJ’ Aranda wanted in connection with a body discovered --”
“Like these guys! Just should be all--” The kid cocked his fingers like guns and pretended he was an executioner, “Booooom! Bam!”
Javier wanted to slap the kid.
But.
Time would, that was a sure thing. Kid hadn’t seen shit, didn’t know shit about shit, and didn’t realize he didn't know shit about shit.
Javier glanced at his watch.
Great.
He’d been here less than five minutes.
Marty owes me a fucking beer.
___________________________________________________________________
Marty and Javi happened to exit the bathroom together after Javier had booked it away from Nelson and now they were on a smoke break in the yard. Marty let Javier smoke half his cigarette in silence, recovering from Nelson’s noise and chatter.
Then when Javi seemed calmer Marty blew a smoke ring.
“You do not belong here, man.”
Marty was a good guy. He was Javier’s immediate supervisor on the block, the one who did scheduling and usually ran interference with the Warden. The Warden was a douchebag and a racist to boot, having snorted at Javier’s resume with a dig about already being overrun with Mexicans, even highly qualified ones. Marty had done the legwork to get Javier in the building, get his pension protected, make him stick around. Marty knew that Javier had sea-legs and didn’t want to lose him.
Marty offered Javier another cigarette as Javi’s ran low and asked how Chucho was. Javier appreciated the little bit of humanity. While in Colombia he had learned not to talk about his family at work-- hell, you weren’t allowed to transfer to Colombia if you had kids, if you tried to bring your wife they vetted the hell out of them. It had always struck Javier that Connie never got enough credit-- someone looked at her and said she had enough backbone not to sell out the American government when things got rough. And it was a when not an if.
Here he was able to breathe a little easier.
“Pop’s good. Complains a blue streak about his back, his knees, but he still gets out there.”
“Gotta hire him a hand.”
“Oh we got one. Neighbor pops in.”
Marty nodded, “Good neighbors are worth their weight, ain’t it true?”
Javier blew the smoke out over the balcony.
It was true.
He wondered if his neighbors would say the same about him.
He hoped so.
Around here neighborhoods were like bloodlines, they ran deep and wound themselves around you.
People had long memories.
Long histories.
Marty chewed his lip before saying, “I need you on Pepe Prep.”
Javier pretended for a moment he hadn’t heard it and didn’t let it ruin the end of his cigarette.
____________________________________________________________________________
Voiceover, Javier Peña: Forty years before this day, in Mexico, other bonds of brotherhood and blood were forming. Two young men who had grown up together and both had learned the same truths about the world: there was no justice but what you grabbed with your own two hands. It would be in how they each applied those lessons where we would later find a lot of value.
On a dirt street two boys were playing soccer.
The game was intense in its frivolity. They didn’t remember if they were playing against one another or just playing together. There was well-meaning pushing and elbowing. A few good-natured insults.
One kid tripped over a rock and fell and the other immediately helped him up.
They were having a tremendous time.
Then someone started running.
Not them, someone else.
Running, up the street.
Looking behind him as he ran. Eyes wide with panic. Looking for big obstructions not kids.
Nobody was really looking for a kid.
A noise echoed behind him.
The boys didn’t even pause their game for the trilling popping sounds. They’d heard them before.
But the man in the ugly red suit with wide lapels and filthy shoes barreled through the two of them and fell to the ground, a gun falling out of his pants.
The boys looked to the gun and up at the man in panic. He had fallen over one boy and was now trying to get up but the fall seemingly took his ankle out from under him.
He was cursing at the boys and reaching for the gun but a shout came from down the street.
Stop! Don’t help him!
The boys were frozen.
The man panicked and pulled one in front of him.
Then there were more men in suits. Men with guns.
The man was begging, begging to be spared, begging….and reaching for the gun.
The other boy pulled the gun away, holding it up in unsteady hands, asking that they let his friend go.
Shots were fired.
A kid was crying.
The little boy was holding his cheek where a bullet had grazed him on its path to an older man’s eye.
The adults saw that their business was done and the kids weren’t dead so they felt that was enough.
They left.
And one boy hugged his friend close with the same hand clutching a gun too large and unwieldy for them.
___________________________________________________________________________
Voiceover, Javier Peña: Meanwhile, when the prodigal son comes home sometimes they find things there they had forgotten about. I was reminded of being a kid again when the most difficult part of my life was chucking watermelons. I did that job for years, I had arms like Pop-Eye before I went to Texas A&M -- it was a time where I had been a whole lot of body with a restless mind. There was peace in labor but there was also a lot of silence, sort of made you confront what was on your mind. DEA work was a lot noisier. When I left the DEA I expected to relish the quiet. Overwhelmingly, when I returned I just shoved everything in the closet and been quiet, peaceful. Forced myself to be quiet.
I should have known something would rattle that.
For the rest of his shift he was on Pepe Prep.
He fucking hated Pepe Prep.
But it was part of the job.
Pepe Martin had been the mayor of Laredo for...fuck. Literally Javier’s entire memory. Nobody ever ran against him. He did a great job? Stellar. He did a shit job? Who was fucking coming to fix it? Nobody. So Pepe kept his position through thick and thin. He was not always the straightest shooter and he did, in fact, get convicted of mail fraud several years ago but after an extended dialogue with the judge it was decided that he would serve his sentence in increments. Pepe came to jail every Friday through Sunday, coming in Friday after the business day ended and going home on Sunday before 6pm. His hours were logged. He had his own cell and was allowed books, materials for doing his job like a calendar and pens, and even convinced someone to give him a goddamn television. A little one. But still.
It was Club Pepe but Pepe and the Warden were old buddies and the Warden thought it was a fucking laugh that Pepe had to keep coming here on the weekends. The cell had to be ordered and put together and Javier hated the feel of being the maid and also like this was...cheating.
Sure the bastard got to rot here for 3 days a week and missed his grandkid’s soccer games but Javier often struggled with the inherent difference between this and La Cathedral.
Pablo had hated being away from his family, but he was plenty occupied. Pepe was little different.
However between that and Nelson Javier was nearly done with work.
As he left the shouting from the gathered crowd was so intense that it didn’t have discernible words and Javier was pelted with Skittles and Kit Kats. He did take one bag of Skittles with him. If it was poisoned the irony alone would have been lethal.
He drove home with the bitter taste from the Mayor’s weekend prep.
Pepe’s special treatment annoyed him.
It was small change, right?
These were small infractions in small towns and he was paying his due.
But…
Why have it catered to him?
Because that’s just the way it is.
Javier often wondered if somewhere Bill Stechner was laughing at him all the time. He’d been accused of being criminally idealistic and maybe...maybe that was more accurate than he wanted to admit. Maybe he came home chasing simple ideas about right and wrong that just didn’t exist anywhere now that he was grown enough to see that.
He licked his lips as he pulled up the long drive of the farm to see a lovely form on its knees, tearing at the ground, a wide-brimmed hat blocking off a face but he already knew who it was.
He closed the door and she turned, smiling, “You bring me a beer?”
“Bring you a beer? Where’s mine?”
“I’ve been doing the manual labor, I get priority.” She wiped a line of sweat off of her face, changing gears, “How was it?”
He shrugged, he didn’t want to talk about the Candyman anymore.
She had read the papers and guessed at what he was avoiding but it was also prep time for Pepe and she knew him well enough not to pry.
Margie stood and wiped off the knees of her overalls, then slapped her gloves together.
This was not her farm and purely because she was a lefty she would have angled and organized the rows differently but this was not nearly Papi Peña's first rodeo and he had a good eye for his produce.
He had long lines of string beans, cauliflowers, a row of watermelons, lime and orange trees next to a peach that refused to fully ripen for him. He had roses and marigolds and sweet potatoes. He had corn, carrots. He grew brussel sprouts that could cause blunt force trauma.
Most of them took and took well. He had them in different proportions. He kept his tomatoes tied and shaded. He kept his pumpkins in the sun. He knew.
He just had trouble being everywhere at once.
He had a couple cows, he had old fencing, he kept a handful of fishing lines in the Rio and he now had nobody to help because his wife was gone and Javier had never proved a farmer and his brother, Jorgi, lived in Houston as some manner of lawyer. Javier had done farming as a kid and moved on from it quick, now farming was like how Javi spoke Spanish with a Texas accent. Chucho shouldn't have been surprised that Javier didn't know the cycles for the plants anymore but he still somehow was surprised and even, in small moments of frustration, disappointed.
Margie had been a minor revelation.
First she appeared after her father’s funeral to return a Tupperware and had it filled with a lovely dinner as a thank you. She had looked around, asked the usual questions, gave her belated condolences about Chucho’s wife’s passing. Asked if he could recommend any good food stores in the area, she was just back in town for a bit to organize her dad’s place.
He had thought she was a good natured kid. Not a kid anymore.
He remembered her as a kid, chasing his boys around trying to beat them with a baseball bat during a stirring game of cowboys and Indians in which she insisted the bat was a necessary prop. She’d nearly broken Jorgi’s nose.
His neighbor, Rey, had been a single father to the girl and had more than one beer at Chucho’s house praising her humor and lamenting that he felt insufficient to raising a girl. She had gone into business with a friend after high school in California or some nonsense state. Rey talked less and less about her successes and more about her potential in a way that Javier recognized….sometimes you couldn’t say that you thought you failed your kids even when you felt that way. Something in your child not rising to their potential was a slap in your face, a judgment that was already passed and you weren’t allowed to argue against.
But Margie seemed nice enough.
She started by asking for some spinach and tomatoes to make a salad. Chucho had helped her collect them. Then she was coming by more and asking for this or that and started picking him extra. Preparing him food.
Now she had nestled into the role of field hand on the farm.
She had needed something to do and Chucho needed help and they got on well.
Javier appreciated Margie all the time but he often forgot about her because she was as commonplace as the newspaper showing up.
Still.
There was something to getting to pull up and see that woman in her jeans, knowing his Pop was looked after and in good spirits...something. Something he avoided thinking about and had no word for.
“Anything for dinner?”
“Casserole. Helluva vole problem in the far field.”
Javier nodded, assessing the sight of her. It wasn’t a crime to look.
“Oh, your friend stopped by.” She wiped a little sweat off of her forehead with her sleeve, “I sent him inside to wait for you, looked like he would melt out here.”
“Friend?” Javier’s head popped up from where it was staring at her ass, a look of mild concern on his face which she caught when she looked up at him and laughed.
“Don’t you have those?”
Javier tried to play off the concern and smiled, it was crooked, roguish, “I’ve heard about them. I think. Are those the ones you pay to get naked?”
She rolled her eyes, “Be serious. He had a suit on, looked like a cop. Blonde.”
She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively, “Did you used to have the whole suit-and-tie get up?”
He referenced his uniform, “This not enough?”
She shrugged, “Just wonderin’. You got the shoulders for a jacket.”
Then she unceremoniously plopped the basket of carrots in his arms, “Also, when you go in, bring these with you.”
He scoffed, “That all boss?”
“No. I’m going to need you to come back out and make the rounds for the cabbages.” She held up a trowel menacingly, “This is not my farm Peña.”
He pointed to the long dirt road, “Well don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.”
She cocked a hip at him, “Do I need to threaten to tell your father about how you talk to me?”
Javier winked, “Just call me a bad boy and tell me how you plan to punish me.”
She tossed an under-grown and rotted cabbage bud at his head, “Your friend is waiting.”
For some reason before he went in the door Javier paused on the step.
His chest was tight.
Inside his father’s house, sitting on what had previously been his mother’s favorite chair, was Steve Murphy. Steve had put on a few pounds, his mustache was thicker and longer, and his suit was a little more expensive. He was chewing on gum with the distinct smelly tang of nicotine gum.
“Well, look what the cat dragged in.” Javier said by way of greeting, dropped the vegetables, and held out his hand to shake his former partner’s.
Steve smiled widely, genuinely, “Least I don’t look like what it threw up.”
“Fuck off.” Javier let Murphy pull the handshake into a hug.
After a moment Murphy inspected Javier and proclaimed, “You look good, Javi.”
Javier rolled his eyes, “You trying to get in my pants?”
Murphy shook his head with a smirk on his mouth.
“Can I buy you a beer?” Javier picked up his truck keys and nodded towards the door, which Steve took as the directive: whatever you’re here for not in the house.
Once they were at a local bar, off in a corner table, with a pitcher between the two of them, Steve looked around, “It’s nice here. Kind of reminds me of you, suits you.”
Javier shrugged, “I like it fine.”
But the tone he used was a little...dead. A little flat.
He liked it fine.
Javier sighed, Well, let’s get to it.
“You assigned to Texas?”
Steve leaned back in his chair and exhaled, putting a picture on the table, “Los Zetas.”
“Fuck.” Javier huffed and stared at the ceiling, willing the last few seconds of the conversation to re-write themselves and have Steve say something like No, just visiting.
Murphy shrugged, “You know, funny thing, when they said they would be stationing me in Laredo I had this feeling, right? Like the back of my head, like I was forgetting something. Or I couldn’t find the word. Bothered the ever-loving shit out of me. Took me three days, woke up in the middle of the night screaming Javier and woke up the baby.”
“Isn’t the baby...not a baby anymore? How fast do those things grow?”
Steve’s face broke into a smile and he pulled his wallet out, “We added one.”
He produced a photo of Connie, hair shorter, next to a much bigger Olivia who was proudly holding a new baby that looked just like her. The new baby had a large pink bow covering half its curly head of hair and a sweater on that said Mandy and it made Peña snort to hide his smile, “What did you have a coupon? Half off the second?”
Murphy punched his arm playfully, “We went back to get some medical paperwork for Olivia, thought we’d take a vacation, and before I know it I am outnumbered and I got a baby strapped to my chest on the flight home.”
He smiled and shook his head, “Still not sure how it happened.”
Javi sighed and sipped his drink as he looked down at the other photo.
At least he had already swallowed and it already burned.
He picked it up, looking at it, not offering an opinion, trying to turn off the part of his brain that was already running down a dozen What is it and Who was it and Why did it happen.
The silence was noncommittal. Steve knew he’d have to draw Javi into it if he wanted his help.
"Who was that?" Steve lit a cigarette carefully and sucked it in-- he wasn’t allowed to smoke at home, “Back at your ranch. I expected your pop but I wasn’t sure who she was. You never mentioned a sister.”
“She’s our neighbor.” Javi sipped again, holding it as long as he could, “Margie. Maria-Jean. Call her that she will kick your sack.”
Steve was chewing on that, “You two known each other long?”
“Always chasing Jorgi and I around as kids, but we gave up on her when we got bigger. She’s younger than us-- five years is a lot when you’re sixteen.”
“But at thirty-nine it’s just fine?”
“You got some sort of reason you’re knocking on my door being as gossipy as my grandmother?”
Steve tapped on the picture that Javi still had in his hand, “That used to be Miguel Juarez, he was a mid-level lieutenant in the Zetas. His wife had been picked up in Puerto Rico with some of the product on her, in fact, enough we slapped her with a muling charge and intent to distribute. He turned for us to get her out.”
“So they exterminated their rat.” Javi exhaled heavily. Made sense. The mouth gaped open with no obvious tongue, the body was gruesome-- the arms had skin, and it was obviously burned, but the body had been skinned. The face had cigarette burns on it.
Javier assumed there was an order to these events. Not one Miguel had relished.
"I take it you aren't here by coincidence?"
"Nuevo Laredo is becoming key to the operations of Los Zetas."
"Yeah...for years ever since the Zetas formed." Javi returned fire, "What's the DEA's sudden interest?"
"We believe they have some high level connections and we think that has to do with the new base out of New Laredo. We find out how high this link is we have half of hope of flipping it on itself and burning out the Zetas."
Javier looked unconvinced and Steve clamped his cigarette down in his mouth, leaning over the table for emphasis, “The Zetas are violent. Makes for headlines. We sit on our hands we look complicit, they want the Zetas taken care of or contained to Mexican soil.”
Javier nodded, “So they’re fine with it as long as it stays on the other side of the river.”
Steve held up his hands, “I know….I know. Listen--what you did in Cali...it’s the stuff of legends. More than half the guys in the DEA think you’re a god. You detonated a bomb. Told the bureaucracy to go fuck itself. It was a relief to the schmucks like us who are on the ground and see the hypocrisy and wish it would all just stop.”
“I sense a but coming.”
“But the rules don’t change. The governments didn’t fall, the stuff that was a problem before is still a problem now. You get a few years of some wet-noodle ass kissers in the power-chairs and everything gets fucking worse and it’s just….”
He sighed, “We need someone to help us sort out the good guys from the bad guys.”
“How do you do that?”
“You’ve done it before.”
“I nearly got arrested for treason.” Javier pointed one long finger at Steve before curling it around his glass.
“Washington was a traitor.” Steve didn’t seem concerned, not even a little, “A lot of people, including the regional superintendent, think you’re an American Hero. Depends on who is signing the papers.”
Javier exhaled and then chugged a beer and let it sit for a second, “Say it plain, Steve, let’s not dance.”
"You helped catch Pablo Escobar and the Cali godfathers and you grew up here….tell me if the situation was flipped you wouldn't be knocking on my door asking for help." Murphy shrugged, "You are good at this. I want you on it but I'm not ungrateful or unreasonable. You tell me you're out and I won't call you for anything except barbeque recommendations."
Javier was quiet.
Steve dropped cash next to the pitcher and finished his beer as he stood up to leave.
"No rush. Think about it. It's not a small ask and it's close to home which I know, in this case, may not be appealing."
"It's not close...it is home." Javier didn't look Steve in the eye.
Steve met the gaze and played his ace, “Do you really want these guys in your home?”
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Javier came home late, rubbing the back of his neck, mind thick with the things Steve had said to him. Shown him. He didn’t like the feeling that those things were close to him again...he thought when he outran Escobar and the Cali Cartel that he had outrun it all. Now he felt like he was on a hamster wheel.
His father said his name with the same tone that implied he had done it twice already.
“Yeah Pop?”
"Margie called and asked if I could spare you to help with her dish again. Damn thing goes out when the wind blows wrong, I told Rey to replace it."
Javier smiled a little and nodded, “Alright Pop, I’ll head over.”
“I’d do it myself but I don’t like the ladders these days.” His father settled on his recliner and grabbed the remote, “And bring her casserole dish back.”
Javier smiled, nodded, and grabbed a square orange dish before he headed out the back door and started walking the two miles to his neighbor’s house.
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A/N: End Episode One. I had to drop it before I over-fiddled. MANY MOONS in the Making! Quite pleased.
Not Beta read, we die like Red Shirts.
Tags! Let me know if there's a problem with them, I try my best but >shrug<
Javi
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@lestradeslover​
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kingkatsuki · a day ago
omg jo, i’m watching the beginning of season 5!
when tamaki said he wants to go home i felt that lol. and denki was so good and hitoshi too! god, i think i’m shipping now. i literally wanted to scream all the time, but i didn’t want my roommates to hate me heh. but nevermind.
i just finished the episode where katsuki was fighting. and you know what? my love for denki and tamaki is bigger than the ocean, but…
bakugou katsuki. bakugou fucking katsuki. i think i’m gonna faint. is it normal to see him and all you want is for him to yell at you and call you an idiot and then you’re happy if he does that?
cause i totally wanted that ><
and so i thought about something… there was a discussion about whether deku knows or not knows where the clit is right? and all those thirsts about katsuki helping izuku with learning about sex and making his girl cum.
but what about denki…? (i’m sorry, i’ll never shut up about my precious baby denki, i’m sorry ><)
so- you are denki’s girlfriend, but you totally have a crush on katsuki. and your boyfriend too, because we stan a bisexual king okay. and having a threesome with bakugou katsuki is something that you both really really want. but you’re not sure how to ask him. so denki decides that playing idiot is perfect.
when he tells katsuki that he doesn’t know where the clit is and he never made you cum katsuki just laughs. please, even dunce face is not that stupid. or is he…? (he is not, let’s be honest. that perv knows everything and definitely knows how to put his quirk to good use.) but denki begs katsuki to teach him. and he agrees, because that’s a good opportunity to show you and your boyfriend that he’s not only the best hero, but also the best in bed. it’s a challenge. and he loves challenges.
and yes, bakugou katsuki is amazing in bed, thank you for cumming to my ted talk.
denki is not a bed lover though, but what katsuki does just hits different. sex is more rough, more intense and you can see that something is definitely off. you were prepared for being railed by two doms, but you notice that your boyfriend is a complete mess now. denki’s usual dominating persona is nothing comparing to katsuki and soon you are turned into two whiny subs completely at bakugou’s mercy.
i’m dying here-
We really got some amazing panels of Bakugou in season 5, even if they did mess up my forehead panels😤😤😤
AHHH I LOVE THIS IDEA! But imagine Bakugou going one step further and making you squirt for the first time? Like even Denki hasn’t made you do that before so you’re laying there shocked and completely overwhelmed and Denki is wide-eyed as he begs Bakugou to show him how he made you do that. Watching the way Bakugou curls his fingers as he fucks then inside of you, pressing down on your abdomen as they work to make you do it again. You’re going to be completely broken by the time they’re both through with you.
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icanbeyourjedi · a day ago
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Telenovela
Frankie Morales x F!Reader
Can be read as a part of the ‘To You My Heart I surrender’ Series or as a stand alone. I have to give a huge shoot-out to my best homie @heythere-mel​ for this. If you don’t follow her you should she is amazing. 
I wrote this on my phone, so I don’t know how many words it is. 
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You were eight months pregnant and just started your maternity leave. Frankie had been at his new woodworking-carpenter job for a few months and you found yourself bored at home on the couch with Max at your feet. Protecting you like always. It was exactly what Frankie had trained him to do. Your phone buzzes with Momma M’s face coming across the screen.
“Hola Momma M” you smile as she appears
“Hello mija, how are you and the baby doing?” She questions
“We’re good, just bored out of our minds. Trying to find something to watch till Frankie comes home” you smile at her
“You wanna finish season three of Diseñando tu Amor?” And you can see her face light up “we only have 3 episodes left before we catch up with Helena”
“Uhm yes, yes I do” you set the phone down for a moment and turn on family watch and invite A. Morales to join “ok sent you the invite” you pop your phone up so you can see her and the TV screen
It was a good way to bond with your mother-in-law although she was already perfect in every way and you couldn’t have asked for a better family to become a part of. She was helping you learn the Spanish language. You had subtitles on just for the words you didn’t know yet, but you were doing much better and knowing what was being said and going on without them.
“How can she still believe him? He’s lied so many times??” you shout
“But look at him Mija, I mean if Javier told me he loved me and he was sorry I’d believe him too” she chuckled
“Fair, fair point Javier is extremely attractive. And he can sing…I mean hello Javi”
“Javier Estoy embarazada” Esmeralda says walking into the scene with Javier and his girlfriend Alejandra who were sitting on a couch. Javier explaining to her that he had slept with Esmeralda again
“Whhhhat” you skreetch and you hear Frankie come in from the garage
“Mi Amor?” You hear him ask in a panic “what’s wrrrrr” as he turns the corner and stops seeing you sitting on the couch phone in your hand face timing his mom
“Not now Francisco” you shout
He slowly walks over to you and sits on the couch as Max walks under your legs resting on the coffee table to greet Frankie. Frankie pats his head and scratches him behind the ears which satisfies Max for the time being as he plops down again.
“What are you watching Babe?” He says again
“Diseñando tu Amor” you say not taking your eyes off the screen
“Why?” He asks confused
“Why not? Shhhh Alejandra is about to tell Esmeralda to leave” and he just shakes his head
He leans back on the couch and crosses his arms. He’s happy that you get along with his mother so well, but he never took you as the girl to was a telenovela. You continue to watch as Alejandra stands up and slaps Javier across the face. She’s about to do it again before he grabs her wrist and she yells “Pendejo! Cómo te atreves! ¡Te amaba pero cómo pudiste con ella!”
“Yes girl! You tell Javier!” Momma M says
“It’s about time, it took how long for her to do this?” You question
“Hermosa, mi corazón solo late por ti no por ella” Javier says as he grabs her waist and pulls her close to him. He leans down to kiss her, and her hand goes to the back of his head. Keeping him in place. She returns to the kiss, before pulling away “mi corazón” she responds “siempre”
“Oh my God, what is this…” you hear Frankie groan “you two can’t be serious”
You pause the show before the next episode starts and turn to face him the look of this could never really happen written all over his face
“I told you, Diseñando tu Amor. You see Alejandra is a designer. Javier hired her to redo his new house. He’s this big lawyer guy and the two started to fall in love” you could have swore you heard the eye roll Frankie gave you. “But see Javier, as handsome as he is, is an asshole and a player. Literally sleeps with every client to get the information he needs to win his cases”
“It’s why he’s so good at his job. It see Alejandra thinks she can change him, she felt like she had him being faithful. But Esmeralda keeps coming back and she is now pregnant with his child” Momma M chimes in to finish the story
“You don’t actually believe this Javier guy is truly in love with her right? Real life is nothing like a telanovla” he starts to lean into too “you can’t say ‘mi corazón solo late por ti’ and have it have any meaning just because its said seductively” as his voice reaches a new sexy lower baritone, one you haven’t heard him use before he continues with “eres mi único amor” and he leans closer to you
You put your hand up to his face and playfully push him back laughing along with Momma M. He falls back on the couch smiling along with you as he sits back up.
“I know, but what if I said I did?” You question him you almost forgetting that you are still on a FaceTime call with his mom not only listening but watching you two
“Hmmm I’m not gonna tell with you Ma watching us…” he smiles at his Mom before kissing your check and whispering “it involves us making a lot more babies in Spanish”
Translations: -Diseñando tu Amor—Designing your Love -Estoy embarazada—I’m pregnant -Pendejo! Cómo te atreves! ¡Te amaba pero cómo pudiste con ella—Stupid! How dare you! I loved you but how could you with her -Hermosa, mi corazón solo late por ti no por ella— Beautiful my heart only beats for you not her -siempre—always -eres mi único amor—you are my only love
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Frankie Masterlist Series Masterlist
Taglist:
@heythere-mel @josie817 @lunaserenade @asta-lily @waywardimpalawriter @avschick1937 @librariantothejedi @queridopascal @mswarriorbabe80​ @littlemisspascal @rav3n-pascal22
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carnetsdelaura · 2 days ago
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Journal review series - episode 3
Leuchtturm1917 - 2021
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Wait. Didn’t I already make a post about a Leuchtturm1917?
Yes I did.
But this review series isn’t just about brands; it’s also about what worked or didn’t work for me as a bujo user.
After my last journaling failure, I quitted bullet journal for two years. I even spent a whole school year without any planning system and I still can’t believe I managed it (yes it was the school year 2019-202 with the two months lockdown and online teaching, but still).
At the start of the school year 2020-2021, I bought a teacher planner, and it wasn’t easy to find one that suited my needs. I gave up on it after a few months, and I was planner-less again.
2021 started, and in a really bad way for me. Then, I watched a video of Hannah (A clockwork reader on YouTube) where she set up her next month in her bullet journal. The video was peaceful, journaling seemed peaceful, and I wanted this peacefulness for myself.
Back to bullet journaling it is!
(This was a really long intro)
I had a hard time choosing my journal and I ended with something familiar, a Leuchtturm1917. This one’s only 120 pages though.
It could have been another failure, but I used this journal for 5 months and finished it. If you browse through my blog, most bujo pics came for this one.
What was different this time?
I was in the right state of mind. I needed time for myself, peacefulness, a pretty place just for me and my creativity. I craved all of this, and using a bullet journal gave it to me.
No more « setting up the whole journal in advance ». At most I think I was a month ahead. This allowed to try new layouts, new spread ideas, and let go on what wasn’t working for me. I could adapt my bujo to what I needed and what I wanted to try. I tried Dutch doors, new color schemes… this was my bujo of experiments.
I guess if this one hadn’t worked, I would have completely give up on bullet journaling. But I found what works for me.
I don’t use super artistic layouts with lots of drawings and stickers because I need some space. My journal isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but it suits my needs.
And that’s the most important
(Tagging @thecrimsonacademic)
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stars-self-ships · 21 hours ago
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Well, that post I made last weekend regarding my thoughts on the first few episodes of Centaurworld really got quite a bit of attention, didn't it? Well, I'm pleased to report that on the Sunday of that weekend, I ended up watching the remaining five episodes of the series in one sitting, and... WOW.
As it turns out, as of writing that gush post, I REALLY hadn't seen anything yet. Not only did the lore start to really pick up after the halfway point, but I learned that episode six has one of my favorite songs, 'The Butt of the Joke', and episode seven is officially my favorite of the ten because it has such a big focus on Zulius!
Though, more on that later, because now that I've finished Centaurworld, I could finally start thinking about what a potential Centaurworld S/I would look like, and with a whole lot of attention to detail...
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I've designed myself my very own Centaurworld self-insert!
(Stand-alone artwork and an overview of him are under the cut!)
When I knew that I eventually wanted to draw out a self-insert for Centaurworld, there was one thing that I wanted to keep in mind for when I got around to designing him— I hoped to make the end result look as close to the show's visual style as possible.
By that I mean I wanted his design to look like it could actually be plausible in Centaurworld, like you could stick him in the background of a shot and he wouldn't look too out of place. Of course, this meant that I had to try my hand at drawing in Centaurworld's artstyle, though thankfully that was less of a challenge and more of a fun exercise!
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I mention in the post that I linked earlier that I was anticipating on my Centaurworld sona being modeled after some variety of fauna— luckily, deertaurs do show up for a brief moment in episode five, so I used that as a major reference all the while attempting to match the lineart and coloring style the show uses.
I think what I'm proud of the most is not the fact that I'm finally learning how to draw taur halves (Horse is going to make for a PERFECT reference for when I draw Miles again), but how the shading turned out. I very rarely shade my art because, in all honesty, I don't quite know how to, though the way I shaded the torso and the blush on his face makes him look like he's legitimately from Centaurworld!
And I couldn't just draw him without a background to go along with the standalone art.
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While it doesn't match up 1:1 with the depth and beauty a lot of Centaurworld's background art has, this still is easily one of the best backgrounds that I've ever drawn, even with the fact that it wouldn't have been possible without numerous references I used from the first episode.
I noticed that there's quite a focus on gradients in certain aspects of the background art of the show, so I took that observation and ran with it, creating this Centaurworld-styled background in the span of a single evening. It was quite fun to draw and it looks spectacular with the art of my S/I paired with it!
With art specifics out of the way, I can now take a moment to talk about this particular self-insert— his name is Micah (I initially wanted to put a 'Centaurworld spin' on my name, like how 'Gebbrey' is derived from 'Jeffery', though I figured my name by itself sounds unique in its own way) and he is a droll yet reclusive deertaur. Due to his sheepish nature, Micah tends to prefer seclusion, and is more often than not seen in a large, deep blue sweater (Not pictured... yet) that covers up his top half completely, of which he is self-conscious over.
Perhaps his most unique magic spell is his ability to effortlessly replicate another being's voice, a talent he first learned he had when his voice one day shifted into that of a more feminine tone mid-sentence, making for an embarassing revelation. With enough practice, he was able to maintain when he could use the power at will, and can easily pick up on somebody else's voice and vocal mannerisms by just listening to them for a minute or two.
Micah is also extremely smitten with a certain zebrataur... Zulius. While he hasn't yet mustered up the courage to interact with him directly, he almost always dotes over him from afar. As a result of this, Zulius' voice is one of Micah's most accurate vocal replications, a power he uses to sometimes talk to himself in the zebrataur's voice... perhaps one day he will be brave enough to talk to Zulius.
All in all, I'm super proud of how this all turned out, and was just so excited to show it to those in the Centaurworld community here on tumblr!
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ladamemidnatt · a day ago
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Just watched Joel's first episode, again.
Scar really said “What if we steal the enchanting ta– [ble and sell enchantments I'm exchange of souls ]” And Joel didn't even let him finish, he just yoinked it without a second thought.
THIS. IS. THE. ENERGY. I. MISSED.
All chaos and no conscience duo, my beloveds.
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jekacatrina · 4 months ago
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I mean, are we surprised we didn't get any comments from Deku during Bakugou's match when we see him talking about the previous ones constantly? NO
Besides the fact that it took the team five minutes to beat the other, the poor fucker was probably vibrating in a frequency only dogs can hear since the beginning, and after he saw Bakugou saving Jirou, his soul detached from his body and he saw God.
Honestly, I'm surprised he was still standing, let alone able to rush to compliment him after it was over.
It all comes down to being...
✨ Soulmates ✨
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theamazinglei · a month ago
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Me: Dang it, I cant get the duet between Wammawink and Horse outta my head, maybe if Iisten to the soundtrack while I draw...
Me, approximately an hour later: I *AM* THE SOFT AND FRAGILE THINGS
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#POV: I am going to cry while I try to duet with myself#I wasnt sure if I really liked this show but than that damn taurnado got me with how beautifully animated it was#and that creepy but heavenly choir?#*chef's fucking kiss*#basically if you want to know my fave genre its goofy musicals that have their backgrounds through song#Im so glad I love musicals now#also wasnt feeling Horse's voice at first but now I cant imagine her any other voice#well wait#maaaaaybe estelle just because I though she was going to be strong veteran warhorse protecting her owner#and also id do anything to hear garnet again 😭#but honestly speaking of Steven Universe#I knew of the suicidal idealism and grief is a prime theme of this show#but for some reason I can sit down and feel conflicted about what i just watched and scrambling to figure it out#and there has to be more to this show than LOL UNCLE GRANDPA AND MY LITTLE PONY HAD A BABY AND ITS A DRUG TRIP#anyways I feel better watching this show than I handled steven universe future mentally#like legit I needed to stop after episode 6 I think#and theres nothing wrong with that! if its causing more stress than you had when you started it its time to step back#either way I have Decided that centaurworld... Good 😭😭😭#Its gonna be a wild ride to finish this and post my full thoughts when i finally finish this show#and than demand a second season of course#also side note: CHIBI HORSE IS SO CUTEEE 🥺#LOOKS LIKE A SHETLAND PONYYY#Centaurworld#Wammawink#Zulius#Horse#Rider#Nowhere King#Ched#Glendale
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gulducock · 2 months ago
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just more ppl need to draw phlox i think. bcus hes so sexy and idk why u wouldnt draw someone thats sexy it just doesn makes sense 2 me idk 🙄
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frogsart · 4 months ago
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maybe ive been binging mako mermaids. maybe i realised there are no trans characters so i fixed it
dm for commissions
[ID/ A digital drawing of a merman. He had mid-brown skin, black hair, brown eyes and a golden coloured tail which curls behind him. He has visible top surgery scars and one dangly earring with a blue and a red gem. He has a startled expression, his arms are half pulled up next to him. The background and foreground both have silhouettes of seaweed and fish in different shades of blue and grey. There are some light blue fish around the merman. /END ID]
#i finished watching mako mermaids right before starting this drawing and#to be completely honest i went in for a laugh bc h2o was a silly little show i watched on the disney channel when i was in middle school#so i didnt really expect mako mermaid to be that great#but bro i legit teared up at some points#its so good#like apart from every character being cishet to our knowledge#so this is how i hyperfixated on mermaids during mermay but not because of mermay#i also started rewatching h2o before starting mako mermaids but i was disappointed to realise#that rikki was the only good thing in h2o#everyone else is just. annoying#AND spoilers but#shes in the last two episodes of mako!!! like what i was so surprised#i saw her and i was like huh that looks kinda like older rikki#and it was older rikki!!!!!#best crossover of all times#anyway about the drawing#the background turned out GREAT imo and it made me realise that i need to start thumbnailing#bc im never gonna pull this off again#my all time approach to drawing is draw character and then realise that oh fuck i need a bg too what now#so my compositions usually dont turn out too great#and i didnt do a thumbnail for this one either but i think this drawing drained all my composition luck#so gotta get on that#otherwise uhm#faces turn out greater than usual when i use this pen#gonna have to remember that#also i drew that right (his left) hand like a million times and its still bad but yknow what<3 i dont care#ok thats it sorry to anyone who read all this bye
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niallandtommo · 2 months ago
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watching grey’s anatomy is an emotional rollercoaster and they fucked up so many times but i can’t fucking believe what they did to alex. this is by far the worst thing they have ever done on this show. i just watched the letter episode (yes i know i’m super late) and alex karev would never ever do this shit. NEVER. jo went through hell and back and he does this to her??? he would never fucking do this. alex loved jo more than anything and he would never leave her for izzie. izzie left him ffs!!!!! without a word!!!! and alex just leaves jo because izzie has kids?? and then he writes her a stupid letter????? fuck thisssssss i do not accept this. alex karev would never do this to jo. honestly they should have just killed him. watching him die would be better than this shit. i didn’t spend so many years falling in love with alex’ character for this. i can’t believe grey’s anatomy ruined his entire character development with one episode. 
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jbbarnes · a month ago
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thanks for tagging me @eusuntgratie and @tripl3a
Favourite Colour: right now I'm feeling a kind of dark grey, but one with red/blue undertones?
Currently Reading: liminal space by elisela
Last Song: the lakes (original version) - Taylor Swift
Last Movie: does a video essay count? I can't remember the last movie. But Endnote 5: A Case Study in Digital Radicalism by Innuendo Studios (it's about how gamergate basically laid the foundations for the alt-right online and what a fuckin' mess it was)
Last Series: BBC Ghosts. I love them, I love them, I love them.
Craving: I really need money? That'd be good. I can't keep lying to my bank and extending my overdraft
Tea or Coffee: neither :)
Currently Working On: I literally had an idea before I napped which was like :o this could be angsty and a lot of fun to write but I'm not sure how to actually write it but I know the first sentence and that's always a good sign. But not actively working on anything, because I am a failure as a person. If I'm working on something, I'm not usually on tumblr, I can't multitask.
Tagging: @norationalthoughtrequired @fanfics-fix
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