you can’t save everyone.
(but intention sometimes outweighs outcome and, if only for that, the effort is still worth it in the end).
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A Knight, a Padawan, a Captain... and Boba
Where's my stupid AU where 14yo Ahsoka and 20yo Anakin somehow end up with custody of 11yo Boba because [handwave] reasons?
This can include time-travel to, like, The Bandomeer Incident and just everything being terrible for everyone, and at least one clone (Rex, it's always Rex) that treats Boba like a Weird Baby.
Preferably this would mean that Anakin and Rex, ostensibly adults, are separated from Ahsoka and Boba, which is a problem because all of these people are prone to causing trouble, but Boba is a very angry and violent young child that hates Ahsoka on principle, and she's having a bit of trouble keeping him from, like, blowing up entire buildings.
Boba shouts his head off about Galidraan happening in a few months and Rex and Anakin are like "Huh... preventing that would probably keep Mandalore from becoming as completely unstable as it eventually does... fuck, okay, we'll go keep that from happening; Ahsoka, keep an eye on The Brat."
And she does! Mostly! But they're on Bandomeer, and Xanatos shows up, and then Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon arrive, and she has to just Defend Her Decisions while also keeping Boba from throwing himself at Xanatos for Biting Purposes.
Does Boba know much about Galidraan? Or how to contact someone about it and how to avoid it? I guess Anakin and Ahsoka can help on the Jedi side of things but if the Mandos are still trigger happy it’s not going to go great either way.
I guess not approaching them in the first place would help… or maybe approaching with less people?
I think Boba only knows that it was a big bad situation that happens this year because Jango always got really maudlin on the anniversary and told stories about his dead friends. A few of the other surviving members (in the Cuy'val Dar I guess?) were maybe the same?
But also like. I feel like just having Rex show up and take his helmet off would cause enough confusion that everyone just kinda Stops.
Anakin wanders into frame the area and makes fifty people float, and goes "Huh, this is cool. Everybody shut up, I'm supposed to be stopping a massacre. Apparently. Rex, we're stopping a massacre, right?"
"I've been told it's a massacre, sir."
"Right, we're stopping a massacre!"
Galidraan: Two young idiots show up and forcibly induct your army and your enemy's army into their subpar comedy routine.
Bandomeer: There is a feral child trying to bite a wannabe Sith while the babysitter he loathes apologizes to said wannabe Sith's estranged father for her charge's behavior. Also tiny Obi-Wan is here.
I don't know much about Bandomeer but I want to say that Baby-Wan is unnerved and overhwelmed by the fact that this random Jedi Padawan he's never met--but SHOULD know of since she's not much older than him--is overjoyed to see him for inexplicable reasons.
There's also going to be a random knight that's going to coo over how adorable he is, but said random knight is currently several systems away trying to keep a massacre from happening and isn't going to show up for A Hot Second.
Xanatos would absolutely go down if he had to face Qui-Gon and Ahsoka at the same time. She's admittedly still very baby, but she also held her own against Grievous at that age, so...
She could probably beat him. The question is whether she or Qui-Gon would be like, emotionally able to kill him. That being said Ahsoka has decapitated people and Xan is hurting kids so maybe she wouldn’t have a problem.
I really do like the idea that Anakin and Rex, by nature, devolve into what appears to be a completely natural and only semi-competent stand-up routine to everyone who doesn't already know them/their circumstances.
Jango and Dooku's primary point of connection ends up being "oh my god can they please just shut up."
Ahsoka calling up Anakin like "hey,,, a darksider showed up but so did, uh, Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Agri-Corps Member Obi-Wan Kenobi......"
Anakin assures her that everything is fine and he's proud of her and she did a good job and, anyway, put Master Jinn on--
And he hands off the comm to Dooku like Yeah This Is Your Problem Now.
"Okay, Snips, don't freak out, and remember that Tyranus isn't a thing yet and the CIS doesn't exist? Okay? Anyway, give the comm over to Master Jinn so we can get this Xanatos situation handled."
[shoves his comm at Dooku] "Handle your damn kids."
"Your lineage, your problem."
"...general, aren't you--"
"Shhhh, not yet technically, c'mon Rex, work with me here."
This would somehow go Rexwalker because uhhhhhhhh yeah
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John Rogers (@jonrog1) Tweeted: LEVERAGE fans young and old, this is who you should be thanking. New show runner @NobleRorick Now follow her and shower upon her your terrifying nerd love. #LeverageRedemption
Kate Rorick (@NobleRorick) Tweeted: Seeing as how it's #LeverageRedemption Eve (and we got our presents early!) I'm gonna take this opportunity to flood your timeline with maudlin sentiment and shoutouts to an exceptional writing staff. Ready? Go!
If you know Leverage, you know @deandevlin. I do not believe there is anyone else on this earth who could have gotten this show made during a global pandemic and through 5 hurricanes. It was a superhuman feat and he guided our incomparable crew through it all.
Also, If you know #Leverage, you are familiar with @jonrog1 and @ChrDowney. Incomparable creators of the original, they were there every step of the way for Redemption as consulting producers, offering guidance, jokes, and the occasional shoulder as needed (which… was needed).
.@joshuaschaer1 is an everyman workhorse who brought his knowledge of the original #Leverage to the room as well as his deadpan delivery and consummate pitching chops. He also laughed at my worst jokes, and I did not think less of him for it.
.@jillybobww was our final addition to the staff — but we could not have done without her incredibly thoughtful approach to story and emotion… as well as her uncanny ability to give things awesome names! (A highly specialized and undervalued room skill.)
.@TeagWall knows things. Her very big brain is full of very, very useful information for planning a con or heist… er, I mean, writing a con and heist show. She can explain the Ideal Gas Law while churning out beautiful drafts and teaching us how to count cards in blackjack.
The one & only @mattogoofingoff is a human lightbulb. I swear I saw it go off over his head a dozen times when he fixed the problem we'd been staring down for an hour. Also gave some of the most I'm-not-crying-you're-crying scenes their heart wrenching dialogue.
Marque Franklin-Williams is not on twitter. But if he was, I would tell you his ever-present room calm that made you feel like you'd just taken the *best* quaaludes belies his intense story chops. Give Marque a "what if…" and he'll take you through Act 5.
I have no idea where @MyJTim came from — rather, I know he hails from Indiana, but to find someone that could crack a joke that made me choke on my LaCroix *and* turn in startlingly mature drafts for a first time staffer *and* rewrite on the fly? Where did he come from?
And finally, @alaynaheim kept us all organized and on task when we converted to Zoom. Also, you know that Halloween ep? Guess who pitched it? And co-wrote it? I will be extremely disappointed/relieved if Alayna has not been hired away by someone come (knock on wood) season 2.
All of this is to say, as a first time showrunner, I got extremely lucky. I'd work with any/all of these folks again in a heart beat. They deserve all the accolades I can throw at them. Cheers on making a great, great show!
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Silly prompt: anything from Lil Apple’s perspective
Some people don’t know what’s good for them, it thought grumpily. Stupid humans.
Mostly just one human in particular.
Now, it’s always been rather fond of its new human, even if the asshole did continuously hold apples out of reach in order to get it moving and occasionally stole them for himself. In the long run, it was still getting considerably more apples than it had gotten back at Mo Village, which was to say none at all except for when it got really lucky and one fell off the tree and rolled close enough for it to grab, so – fine.
Human conditionally deemed acceptable.
Especially since the human was a giant softie – he could’ve defaulted to trying to beat it into compliance, which was doomed to failure since donkeys were one of the few creatures on earth that could out-stubborn humans, but he had opted towards bribery instead.
Human was still an idiot, though. The human fancied himself an equestrian, which he very well might be, but all the fancy horse bullshit in the world wouldn’t convince a donkey to move if it didn’t want to – and it didn’t want to, thanks.
Except when apples were involved.
As for the human’s current idiocy…well, there were still apples, but far fewer.
Why in the world would the human prefer trekking through mountains and valleys, towns and countryside, over staying in a very nice place with very nice grass and lots of humans clad in rabbit-white willing to come bring apples and carrots at every turn? The human even had a perfectly good mate waiting for him back there!
What sort of stupid species willingly left their mate behind in the spring?
Didn’t the human know that a mate left all on their lonesome might be taken by someone else?
And then someone else’s donkey would get to rest in the nice stable regularly refreshed with fresh thatch, with lots of nice things to chew on and rabbit-white humans coming to pet its mane and brush its coat and clean its hooves and gossip about how things were progressing between its human and its mate…
Just about the stupid one would expect from this human, who didn’t know what was good for it.
So, naturally, there was only one thing to be done about the whole fiasco. There wasn’t any choice: it had to take matters onto its own back – literally, as the case might be.
The human was inclined towards drinking wine until he became maudlin, and then to climb onto its back and make grandiose proclamations to the stars and moon about how he was completely without attachments, that he’d been left behind by the world, that no one cared where he resided, etc. and so forth, that sort of thing, and then to weepily inform it that it was the only creature that remained by his side and that it might as well determine the course of their ongoing journey because it didn’t matter where he went – he did rather go on and on and on when left to his own devices, probably out of lack of a conversational partner.
Actually, no, maybe that was just the speed this human’s mouth worked at? From what it remembered, the mate the human had picked was an especially silent human, so maybe it was just a matter of breaking even for a maximum amount of noise, and its human had ended up with the bulk of it.
Human mating rituals, right? Who even knew how thathorseshit worked?
Certainly not humans, that’s for sure.
It would have charitably assumed that maybe all the ridiculous and unnecessary vocalizations were some sort of mate-attracting technique – except, of course, the stupid human already had a perfectly good one with a very nice stable, which it had left behind for, as far as it could tell, absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Either way, every time its human made speeches of that variety and fell asleep on its back, it would sniff at the wind and figure out where it was, then turn its hooves and head straight back towards the mountain where the human’s mate was waiting.
It got pretty far the first time before the human realized where they were and insisted on going another way – listen, okay, sure, it had a plan, but it was also very weak to apples, and short term gains (namely, its belly) always beat out long term considerations – but it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth time that the human started getting suspicious.
“Lil’ Apple,” the human said. “You need to stop doing this.”
“How are you even finding the pathway back to the Cloud Recesses?! If it was just you always going backwards, that’d be one thing, but sometimes you just take a brand new path that’s actually just a shortcut back there!”
Well, yeah. If the human was just going to go around in circles, there wasn’t any point in going backwards.
“Sometimes I feel like you understand what I’m saying.”
Nooooooo. It’s just a dumb-ass donkey. What could it possiblybe understanding?
Especially about what was better between, on one hand, a comfortable stable, lots of food, and a nice mate, and, on the other, trudging through the muck for no discernable purpose?
“…also that you’re judging me. You have a very judgmental stare for a creature that thinks it can live entirely on apples.”
If the human let it live in an orchard, it was willing to give that diet a shot.
“Well, either way, it’s not happening. So give it up!”
It wouldn’t do it again.
(Not when the wind suggested that the human’s mate was waiting patiently for him along the very next mountain rise, anyway. Maybe he would have better luck getting the human to give it up and go back already!)
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ya know, the whole incompetency is a huge trend in dc these days and IMO i think it's because dc writers cannot/will not take the time to write intelligent villains anymore
like, dc has to dumb down their heroes in order to give the villain any sort of credibility, or give the hero some insane morals that they have either a) broken before or b) are insanely unrealistic considering who they deal with/where they live (*cough* Batman *cough*)
it's either make both the villain and hero dumb or make the villain somehow extremely thorough in everything they do, like the joker planting a billion bombs for the batfam to disarm and the only way he'll give up the detonator is if Batman holds a gun on TV or something because it'll prove that he's just as bad as joker (which, holy heck, that's pretty much the whole she-bang isn't it? just joker going "hee hee-hoo, Batman held a gun and I hold guns all the time, so he's just like me!! i'm just some twig dude on a perpetual acid trip and Batman is a very sad man doing his best, but we're the same!! tee-hee, we're besties!!")
like, dc, you already have established and much loved and very intelligent heroes!! you already know their characters!! it's okay to invent new villain now, i promise the whole world won't go crazy as long as it's not joker 3.0
I felt that way during Tomasi’s recent run in Detective Comics! Hush managed to take out Dick, Babs, Jason, Cass, Duke, and Kate all at once?? Like are you fucking kidding me? I’ll admit, his plan to cut out their organs and to donate them so that Bruce couldn’t bring them back to life via the Lazarus Pit was pretty devious, but everything before that was just... what the hell.
I think a lack of understanding for the character definitely plays into it as well as the writer not knowing how to progress the story without dumbing the hero down to move them along from point A to point B. Like, hm, how does the hero get locked in the cellar? I don’t have time to write some long fight scene, so how about I just pretend like they can’t do This, This, and This so the villain can take them out easily.
😭 We already have Joker 3.0 😭 They really did that. They really decided to give us Punchline even though everyone is fucking sick of the Joker 😭.
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I’m Writing to Inform You
Pairing: Draco Malfoy x Hermione Granger
Tags: 8th Year, drabble
“Take dictation for me.”
“We literally just—”
“I literally mean take dictation.” Draco conjured quill and parchment. “Your script’s better.”
“It isn't. You’re being lazy.”
“My arms are tired.”
“You play Quidditch for hours, but twenty minutes in my bed wears you out?”
“Quidditch doesn’t usually end that way. Here, I’m your desk.”
Hermione spread the parchment across Draco’s back. “Go on, then.”
“My esteemed and venerated Pater.”
“Dear”—the quill scuttled—”Father.”
“This should properly enrage you.”
“I’m writing … to inform you … ”
“I’m in love with a Muggleborn. You might know her. It happened like this: while exercising beside the Black Lake, I discovered a naked know-it-all.”
“While … wandering the grounds … maudlin … as is my way … I encountered a woman requiring assistance.”
“Her knickers and wand were irretrievable due to—”
“—a malevolent swan.”
Hermione's quill paused. “That bird came out of nowhere.”
“It attempted to fight me,” Draco continued.
“I needlessly … antagonized … the swan.”
“I received … a black eye … and … three … stitches.”
“The maiden’s methods of expressing gratitude are palatable, to say the least.”
“Are you suggesting something?”
“We just finished—anyway, nothing suggestive happened until January.”
“Focus, Granger. In January, a bottle of Ogden’s informed me it had developed feelings of a romantic and/or libidinous nature. When did these feelings start?”
“How long before? When you exposed yourself?”
“No, I still hated you. And a private swim isn’t an exposition.”
“You were comprehensively displayed. Your bum is delectable underwater, by the way.”
“Don’t roll over,” she said, “you’ll wrinkle the parchment.”
“But you’re exposed, and I want to see your bum."
“We’re both exposed.”
“Back to your letter.”
“Fine.” Head nested in his arms, Draco closed his eyes. “Take comfort, Father. She’s terribly wicked and brings me only misery.”
“I’m wicked?” Hermione sat up. “Write your own letter.”
He rolled onto his back. “Look at yourself.”
She considered her form. “I’m—”
“A succubus.” He grabbed the parchment and quill and threw them over the mattress’s edge. “Come here and make me unhappy.”
Seventeen minutes later, Hermione’s cheek rested on his abdomen.
“Do I make you miserable?”
His belly rose and fell.
“Knowing I’ve hurt you makes me miserable.”
She dipped her fingertip into his navel.
“Not soon enough.”
“Not thoroughly enough.”
“Take dictation for me,” she said.
He traced letters between her shoulder blades. “Draco … my … carnal … beloved.”
Shifting upward, her hair fell around them. “Kiss me.”
“Walk with me,” he whispered. "Hold my hand."
“You wanted to tell your father first. That involves sending a letter, not endlessly drafting them.”
“I don’t care how he hears.”
“If you’re disinherited?”
“Stuff the fortune if I can’t have a naughty swot.”
“How am I naughty?”
“You keep an ill-behaved man in your bed.”
“I suppose I do.”
"There are swans."
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Outside the Lines
for @archivalpride month! the prompt was ‘sharing clothes’ so I decided to add on a bit to my More than Enough archives polycule fic. you don’t need to read it beforehand, though. 2.2k words, cw in the tags.
Jon likes Sasha’s clothes. Particularly, her cardigans.
They’re warm, oversized things in pastel colors, chunky cable knits and ancient pullovers, smelling faintly of jasmine and sandalwood. There’s always one draped over the back of her chair at work, at home. Sometimes a pile of them.
“Just in case,” she said knowingly, when Jon mentioned the teetering pile on the back of her office chair.
“Of what, a blizzard?” he replied archly, to which she had no response.
But Jon runs cold, so it makes sense that he’d like them. And eye them. And eventually, borrow them.
“You look good in pink,” she said casually, walking by him cozily wrapped up, surrounded by books for his latest case. “You should wear it more often.” Jon just grumbled in response.
It now sits on the back of his chair.
Point is, they’re not strangers to sharing clothes. Once they move in together, the lines blur even more. Jon’s scarves become hers, her jackets become his. It’s nice when the someone’s scent begins to remind you of home. Embarrassingly, he’s come to think of it like a hug when she’s not around. Perhaps she feels the same way, but Jon’s not going to bring it up. He’s not that maudlin.
“You need to stop me from online shopping,” she groans one day, dropping a pile of clothing into his lap that must have been from the newly-arrived and altogether giant box he found on the steps of their flat. Jon had raised an eyebrow as she guiltily hauled it to her room and got to work. “I swear, I don’t remember ordering half of this.”
“Far be it from me to get between a James and her phone,” he replies, picking through the pile of utterly un-Sasha-like clothing. It’s all floaty tops and tiny skirts, nothing like what she usually gravitates toward. She certainly has more...adventurous tastes, when she’s intoxicated.
“Don’t look at me like that.”
“I’m not looking at you at all,” Jon retorts, picking up the most offensive piece from the pile with his thumb and pointer finger: a muted brown, and yet somehow sparkly miniskirt. He raises a judgmental eyebrow. “Really?”
“I was not in my right state of mind, you know that.” She ran a hand over her face, refusing to look him in the eye. “Anyway, see if there’s anything in there you like. Otherwise, it’s all going back.”
Jon very much doubts there’s much in here for him - not a chunky knit in sight. The tops aren’t too bad, but a bit too sheer for his liking, and if he’s going to layer, he’d rather be comfortable than fashionable. He pushes the pile off his lap when something catches his eye. Buried beneath two very loud shirts is something black, with bits of lace. He pulls it out to find a simple black dress, high-necked with pearl buttons and slightly puffed sleeves. It’s modest, but covered in a delicate lace pattern. His grip tightens incrementally. “You don’t like this?”
Sasha peeks her head around the corner. “S’bit short on me. You should try it on, though. It’s cute.”
Jon flushes. It’s something he might’ve worn in uni, when he and Georgie made a night of it and Jon had just enough liquid courage. Now, though, it doesn’t fit with his professional persona and strict uniform of blazers, vests, and button ups. He needed to be taken seriously, and he didn’t feel he could do that if he was...experimenting, as his grandmother would phrase it. His hair he still wears long, the only vestige of that life he kept. “Oh,” he responds automatically, “I couldn’t.”
Sasha blinks. “I think you’d look really nice. Put your hair up, maybe add some earrings.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“I’m not.” She comes behind his perch on the sofa, gathering his hair up in her hand and pulling it from his face. “Leave a few pieces out, y’know, artfully messy.” She takes the dress and pulls it up against his body. “What do you think?”
“Um, maybe,” he barely manages to whisper. It feels nice, right. He can see it in his mind’s eye - it looks very him. Not feminine or masculine, just pretty. Just Jon. “I’ll think about it.”
He thinks about it. The dress hangs in the back of his closet, untouched and passed over many a morning. He tried it on and Sasha had been right- of course she was, she’s good at that sort of thing when not inebriated. Maybe one day he’d wear it out - not to work, but to drinks or something.
It’s not until months down the line that he tugs it out, on one of those days where he feels like his body doesn’t make sense and names sound wrong in his ears. Drinks with Tim, the newest recruit to their department. Hard won drinks, if Jon might add; Tim was just starting to open up to them. He tugs the dress over his head and digs through a plate on his dresser for the long silver earrings Sasha gave him last Christmas. He studiously avoids the mirror on his way out the door, throwing his bag over his shoulder and standing in the doorway, as if waiting for Sasha’s reaction.
This was a bad idea, he thinks as his palms start to sweat. You look ridiculous, you shouldn’t have- his thoughts are interrupted by a gentle hand tucking a piece of hair behind his ear. Sasha smiles at him.
“Oh, you’re perfect.”
Tim thinks so too.
“Oh man, I’ve got to get rid of that.”
Tim motions to the blazer in Sasha’s hand. “Hasn’t fit me since uni. Y’know, when I got these guns.” Sasha rolls her eyes as he makes an exaggerated motion with his arms. They’ve been cleaning out Tim’s apartment for the past few hours, she and Tim in the bedroom while Jon sorted through his books in the living room. She suspects he’s doing more reading than sorting.
“Why’d you keep it, then?” She holds the hanger up, smoothing the fabric out with her hand. It’s heavy, quality fabric. A shame to get rid of it.
“Dunno, just one of those things,” he shrugs, throwing another pair of joggers onto the bed. “It was expensive, but I only ever wore it to interviews for internships and the like. You can toss it in the donate pile.”
She hums idly, making no motion to get rid of it. She’s rather fond of blazers, has quite a few in her collection. They’re nice when she wants to be a bit more dressy and professional. A woman’s outfit can occasionally be her armor, particularly in academia, and nothing says ‘take me seriously’ like a nicely fitted jacket and skirt. Never mind how it makes her feel. But this is very much a men’s blazer, barely a nip at the waist and with nothing to outline the curve of her body. And yet.
She shoves it in her bag. If she doesn’t like it, she’ll throw it out.
When Jon and Tim are tucked in bed, she tries it on.
She doesn’t know why she’s being so secretive about this. It’s not like Jon and Tim will care, it’s just clothes. Lord knows she’s encouraged Jon to wear whatever he wants, and there’s no surefire way to get Tim blushing like wearing one of his pullovers. But there’s something that feels a bit transgressive about it. She was generally drawn to more feminine looks, growing up as a tall girl there’s an inherent (perhaps taught) idea that making herself look smaller and delicate would make her more appealing. Appealing for what? She always wanted to ask. But she knows the answer now. It’s taken near a decade to get the slouch out of her posture and to get comfortable wearing heels.
It seems silly to feel so cowed by a blazer. She’s thirty years old, unmarried and living with two partners. She stopped playing by the rules a long time ago. Her hands shouldn’t be shaking. For Christ’s sake, just put it on.
She slips her arms into the sleeves, pausing to inhale the leftover scent of Tim, his laundry detergent and the after shave he occasionally wears. Her entire body warms, like stepping into a bath. She slips the rest of it on, pausing to adjust the shirt underneath. When she looks in the mirror, she can’t help the grin that fills her face. She looks good. Her broad shoulders fit the line of the jacket perfectly, her curves hidden and barely even suggested by the cut. It is decidedly not feminine.
She likes it.
It takes her twenty minutes to drag herself from the bathroom and back into bed. She lies awake through Tim’s light snores and Jon’s murmuring, filled with a strange, nervous excitement. It’s just a blazer, she thinks to herself somewhat giddily. It’s just clothes. But when she throws it on that Monday morning and steps into the kitchen, she starts to think it might be more than that. She walks a little taller, feels a bit more at home in her skin. Tim choking on his orange juice when he sees her is just an added bonus.
“Glad you kept it,” he stutters out, once he manages to stop gaping.
She’s glad too.
Martin’s sitting on Jon’s bed, watching as he runs a brush through his hair.
Jon’s hair is lovely, long and shiny. His own he keeps rather short, though the curls are getting a bit unruly these days. When he was a child, his mother insisted he keep it long, just like she insisted on a great many other things. But he shed all of that, got as far away from it as possible. And yet, eyeing the silvery tray on Jon’s dresser, he has to admit he’s curious.
It’s full of delicate, pretty accessories- hair clips and necklaces and earrings. Jon’s like a magpie, collecting shiny things; though this collection is mostly gifts from the three of them. It’s a little dance they like to do- Jon sees something in a store, stares a little too long, insists he doesn’t need it, and eventually it ends up in their flat.
Their flat. He’s still getting used to it. He’s never felt at home anywhere, but he’s starting to think he has one now. Listening to Jon hum as he cooks, Tim reading aloud from his recent article deep-dive, Sasha butting in with a comment - these are all good things. The background noise to his days that used to be filled with silence.
And he’s never been around people so at home with themselves. Martin is so used to putting an effort into how he presents himself in the world, he’s never enjoyed being misconstrued. A strange, delicate balance of pride in who he is at war with a desperate need to be understood and accepted. Palatable. Easier to put yourself in a box with clear labels than to deal with the confusion and the questions. Any passing thought or fleeting impulse that goes outside the lines is dismissed.
But nothing about his situation now is easily labeled, to be honest. It’s hard enough explaining his relationship status to others, though Sasha has a little spiel ready to rattle off at a moment’s notice. They’re all so comfortable with each other, with themselves. It makes him both a bit braver and a bit more afraid.
While Jon scurries off to flick through his closet, Martin gets up, walking over to the collection and picking up the small moth broach he’d gotten him on one of their first dates, before Tim started to come along. The memory brings a smile to his face.
“Oh, it’s lovely, Martin.” Jon had immediately pinned it to his jacket, before reaching down to grab a bag at his feet. “And ah, actually- I got something for you too?”
A little Highland cow plushie. So he had been listening to his rant on Scotland the other day. It still sits in place of pride on his desk.
“Do you want to try one?” Martin jumps at the sound of Jon’s voice, dropping the pin unceremoniously back into the pile as if he’d been burnt. He turns around, prepared to voice a thousand excuses, a knee-jerk reaction.
But Jon’s already sorting through the pile with clever fingers, hand lingering over a thin barrette with a tiny, gold flower. Pretty, simple. Martin’s hand itches to reach out but he draws it into a tight fist. Admiring is one thing, but actually wearing it-
“C’mere.” He thinks he should refuse but instead he leans down, lets Jon’s fingers wind their way through his hair and feels a settled weight against his head.
“There.” Jon smiles. “That’ll do quite nicely.”
He looks in the mirror. Oh.
It’s barely even noticeable, just a small clip bringing the longest of his curls behind his ear. But Jon’s right. It looks nice. It goes with his hair and it doesn’t feel feminine or wrong, just a comfortable weight against his head reminding him he belongs, he’s loved. And that Martin’s still himself, even if he steps outside of the box every now and then.
“You don’t have to keep it in if you-”
“No. I like it.” He straightens his spine, tilts his head. Smiles. Jon smiles back.
Yeah. He likes it.
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Wanted to draw something messy, but I also wanted to draw dick/kori too, and I crave milk teas. So I drew all three! (the height difference is exaggerated by the way...?), just love the idea where kori is taller than dick. Also thanks to @romanticism-is-maudlinism ‘s idea, you know where it came from ;)
Also I hope I did dick’s ass justice :(
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When I saw 09 my mind immediately went Jaskier bending down and accidently (or not ;)) showing off the thong peeking out of his jeans, paired with either Geralt or Eskel -your choice really!- who is absolutely flustered and very intrigued to see more♡
rThank you so much for this lovely prompt! I went with Eskel because I have been in a very Jaskel mood lately lol.
18+ under the cut, Warnings for public sex (bar bathroom), 2500 words.
Eskel shouldn’t be pissed that the bar is crowded tonight, mostly because it’s his bar. Only Aiden, one of their bartenders, got sick earlier in the night, and they’re all scrambling to make due. He’s used to more of a hand’s off approach at this point, but there’s no way he was forcing Geralt to talk and be nice to people. Lambert had dropped everything to take Aiden home, even as his boyfriend protested that he was fine. So here he was, stuck pulling beers and mixing drinks while he and Zoltan tried to stay out of each other’s way.
The crowd breaks out into applause, drawing Eskel’s attention to the reason why they’re so busy tonight. At Lambert’s suggestion, he’d begrudgingly started bringing in live music on the weekends. Turns out his little brother is smarter than he looks, because they’ve been doing well - really well - and he’s finally able to stop worrying about bills and focus more on life.
He puts on a fake smile and lines up shot glasses for a group of younger ladies, laughing loudly when one of them comments on his muscles. He’ll probably have to cut them off soon if they’re hitting on him of all people. Eskel knows his body is pretty decent, but his face kinda ruins the whole package. His looks are a little too rough, just a tad too eerie, for most people. Turns out being jacked only makes up for so much, and most people don’t want to spend more than a wild night with a man with a facial scar that shows too much teeth when he smiles.
There’s a bit of a break, and he can finally look up at the small stage they had installed in the back of the bar. If he had his way, he’d be sitting at one of the high top tables in the back, sipping on Jameson and staring at the singer. He’d booked Jaskier and the Buttercups (stupid name but fantastic band) at Zoltan’s suggestion, and he’s been absolutely enthralled with their lead singer ever since.
It’s been a long three months.
Jaskier is introducing their next song, rambling a bit and gesturing wildly as he speaks. He catches Eskel’s eye and his smile widens. He winks - actually fucking winks - at him, and Eskel ducks his head to avoid making a fool of himself. Because Jaskier is everything he isn’t meant to have. He’s loud and bright and unfairly gorgeous in his obnoxiously bright shirts that he never bothers buttoning up properly.
Sighing, Eskel forces his customer service smile back on his face - one that’s barely a smile so he doesn’t scare anyone with his fucking scar - and takes the next order. Geralt thinks Jaskier is into him, but Geralt also didn’t know his wife was into him until she was already knocked up, so he’s probably not the best judge here. Why on earth would someone with such brilliant blue eyes and pink pouty lips want someone worn out like Eskel?
Beauty and the Beast is just a fairy tale.
Fuck, he’s getting maudlin now. Eskel brushes the hair out of his face and grabs another pint glass. This keg should be kicked soon, so he’ll have to run down and switch them out, which will give him a nice break from the crowd. Only when he looks back up, Jaskier is staring at him from the stage, his gaze heavy as he wets his lips and sings something deep and growly. Eskel shivers and busies himself with another drink.
“You’re a fucking idiot, you know that, right?” Zoltan asks as he leans closer.
“Not a great way to address your boss,” Eskel spits back, but Zoltan just laughs at him.
“You two have been giving each other goo goo eyes for weeks now. Get over yourself and get under him,” Zoltan tells him, reaching up to slap him on the back before heading to the other end of the long bar. Eskel shakes his head, because clearly everyone around him is losing it, but part of him still wonders, still hopes if there’s really something there. Tonight he’ll say something. Probably. Maybe.
After the band finishes, it starts to clear out a bit. Zoltan kindly tells him to fuck off and leave the bar to him, so Eskel wanders back towards the stage. The band is efficient as they pack up their gear, and they’re more than half done by the time Eskel makes his way over. He’s not sure what to say in greeting, but it doesn’t matter, because Jaskier shuts his guitar case and quickly scurries down from the stage.
“You looked pretty distracted tonight, but what did you think?” Jaskier asks, beaming at him like he’s something special. It pulls at Eskel’s heartstrings and he can’t help grinning back.
“You’re always great. Looks like you had a lot of fun up there tonight,” he says with a shrug. Because how do you tell someone their voice is the one you hear when you’re laying down to sleep every night? He doesn’t know how to put what he feels into words without sounding creepy.
“It helps to have some extra motivation, and this place seems full of that,” Jaskier tells him. He’s playing with one of his silver rings, spinning it around his slender finger, and Eskel can’t help watching him. He’s cute when he fidgets. Only then he slips, drops the ring and it tumbles to the floor, spinning slightly before settling down behind him.
Jaskier giggles and holds up a finger to tell him to wait before turning around and bending down to pick it up. But then Eskel’s whole world stops, just freezes in its tracks, because Jaskier’s shirt rides up and there is a very distinct red band stretching from hip to hip. He seems to stay bent forever, and Eskel stands there, mouth open as he stares at the thong peeking out from Jaskier’s jeans.
“See something you like?” Jaskier asks coyly, and Eskel realizes he’s been played. He swallows thickly and watches as Jaskier slides the ring back onto his finger. He’s spent months studying those delicately skilled hands, has watched him play guitar and fuss with his hair and fiddle with the buttons on his stupid shirts, and Eskel can’t take it anymore.
He’s moving before he can think, just surges forward and drags Jaskier into a kiss. Jaskier’s hands fly up and grip his shirt, pulling him closer as their mouths slant together. He licks into Jaskier’s mouth, chasing the taste of cherry wheat beer, and sighs happily into the kiss.
“I have been waiting ages for this,” Jaskier huffs out as he pulls back, “But we should really find someplace better for this.” Eskel stills, because he hadn’t even given a single thought to making out with someone in his work. Hell, his staff is probably eating this up. Geralt’s in the office, so he has to improvise.
“Bathroom,” Eskel mumbles before taking Jaskier’s hand in his and leading him down the dark hallway. He steadfastly ignores the loud laughter coming from the bar and practically shoves Jaskier into the men’s room. Thankfully, it’s empty, so he slams the door shut and flips the lock.
“Can you do that?” Jaskier asks, eyes comically wide as Eskel just shrugs at him.
“What are they gonna do? Kick me out?” he laughs before catching Jaskier in another kiss. It’s just as heated as their first, and Eskel moans into Jaskier’s mouth as he quickly falls apart. He nips at Jaskier’s lower lip, tugging gently before soothing it with his tongue. Jaskier moans and pushes him up against the door, pressing kissing along his jaw before scraping his teeth against the sensitive skin under his ear. He runs his palms down Eskel’s chest, toying with the bottom of his shirt, his fingertips dragging across the skin of his stomach.
“Wait,” Jaskier pants, pulling back, and Eskel knows how this one goes. It’s been nice, but not he’s just not what Jaskier is looking for. The scar looks cool, but he’s sure it feels weird, can’t be that fun to kiss.
“It’s ok, we don’t have to-” Eskel starts, but Jaskier shuts him up by darting forward and kissing him quickly. He grins as he pulls back and shoots Eskel a look that’s drowning in hope.
“I just want to...I’m not just looking for a hook-up,” Jaskier admits, avoiding eye contact and rubbing the back of his neck.
“With me? People don’t. I mean, er,” Eskel spits out quickly.
“Well, I’m not about to blow anyone else in the bathroom, am I?” he asks, giggling as he looks down at where his fingers are playing with the hem of Eskel’s shirt.
“I’d very much like to take you out,” Eskel confirms, and Jaskier lights up.
“Good. I see how you treat everyone around you. You’re a good man, Eskel. If others haven’t seen that, it just means more for me. Now I’ve spent the last couple of months dreaming about this dick, so let’s get back to it, shall we?” Jaskier looks flushed, but he’s still grinning as he slides to his knees.
“You’re so gorgeous,” Eskel tells him softly, and Jaskier blinks up at him through his lashes, looking like he’s made of sunshine and sin.
“I wish you wouldn’t say that like it means I shouldn’t be here with you,” Jaskier says, and Eskel chews on his lower lip as he looks down at him. “Guess I’ll just have to spend my time showing you how attractive you are to me.” And Eskel doesn’t know how to respond so he just wets his lips and watches as Jaskier undoes the button on his jeans and slowly lowers the zip.
He’s half hard already, and Jaskier whines as he tugs his jeans and boxers down his thighs. It’s like he’s in a dream, like time slows down when Jaskier wraps his long fingers around him, and Eskel groans as he starts to stroke him to fullness. It doesn’t take long, because the image of Jaskier sitting on his heels while he jacks him off is the hottest thing he’s ever seen.
Jaskier leans in and presses a kiss against his hip bone, and Eskel can feel the smirk against his skin when he groans and bucks his hips into his hand. Jaskier laps at his skin before sucking hard, making his mark on him. He laps at the bruise, and Eskel gasps for breath as he teeters on the edge of pleasure and pain. But the thought that Jaskier wants to mark him as his, wants to leave him a reminder, is enough to make him shiver.
And then he’s ducking down again, and Eskel has to bite his fist as he watches Jaskier suck the head of his cock inside his mouth. He looks so pretty, those sinfully pink lips wrapped around him, and Eskel already knows he’s not going to last long, not when he’s been dreaming of this moment. Jaskier laps at the head and then swallows down more of him, eyelids fluttering closed as he swirls his tongue around him.
He forces himself to keep his eyes open, because he can’t miss a single second of Jaskier down on his knees for him. His mouth is warm and welcoming, and he does something wicked with his tongue before he starts bobbing his head and swallowing more of him down. There’s a high-pitched whine and it shocks Eskel to realize that it’s coming from himself. He gasps and slides a hand down to thread his fingers through Jaskier’s hair, not guiding him but just needing to touch him more.
Jaskier looks up at him and Eskel can tell he’d be smirking if he wasn’t too busy sucking him off. He groans and can’t help rocking his hips slightly, encouraged when Jaskier moans wantonly and brings a hand up to grip his hip. And then he loses time to the wet heat of Jaskier’s mouth and the pretty image of his mouth stretched wide around him. He looks desperate as he stares up at him, eyes starting to water even as he presses forward and takes more of him.
Pulling back, Jaskier wraps his fingers around the base of his prick and starts pumping him while he teases his slit with his tongue. Eskel stills his hips and grunts out a warning, but he’s too far gone for words. He shouts Jaskier’s name as he comes, fire dancing up his spine as he empties himself in Jaskier’s eager mouth. He swallows what he can and jerks him through it, murmuring praise as he licks the dribbles he missed off of Eskel’s balls.
“Fuck, get up here,” he growls and Jaskier jumps to his feet. Eskel has his jeans around his thighs before he can think and his dick gives a very valiant effort to get hard again when he remembers he’s wearing that goddamned thong. He palms him and Jaskier keens as he rubs him through the silky red fabric. There’s a tell-tale wet patch on the front of it, the thong clinging to his leaking cock.
“Close,” Jaskier pants out before sucking on his neck. He rakes his teeth over Eskel’s sweat-slicked skin, whimpering when he shoves the thong down and frees him. He looks gorgeous and desperate and Eskel needs to make him come, needs to see his face when he’s blissed out and satisfied.
He wraps a hand around him and starts stroking him slowly, but then Jaskier is moaning in his ear, thighs trembling already, and Eskel knows he meant it. So he tightens his fist and cups Jaskier’s ass, pulling him closer as an encouragement to fuck his fist. Jaskier lets out a low groan and starts rocking his hips, driving himself into Eskel’s tight fist. He babbles a constant stream of praise against Eskel’s neck, mouth wet and open as he clings to him.
It doesn’t take long, just a few hard thrusts, and then Jaskier sobs as he comes between them, coating their thighs in ropes of hot spend. Eskel strokes him, working him through it until he whimpers again. They’re both panting harshly, and Eskel just rubs a hand up and down his back, loving the way Jaskier is leaning on him for support right now. Any chance to hold this man is more than he thought he’d ever get.
Turning his head, Jaskier kisses him again. Only this time it’s soft, just a lazy slide of mouths, and it’s been years since Eskel’s felt this trusted. He tries to push all of his feelings into the kiss, tries to show how into Jaskier he really is, and when Jaskier leans back and beams at him, he thinks the message got through. He has a crazy feeling that Jaskier is just as gone over this as he is. Sure, they have to clean up and face a bar full of their closest friends who definitely know what they just got up to, but he thinks this just might work out.
Tags: @tothedesert @mayastormborn @feraljaskier @allinthebones @selectivegeekwithstandards @saphiramalbec @trickstermoose67 @dapandapod @theweirdlynx @tedrakitty @sharinalein @iamaqt314 @silvermidnightprincess @honeysuckletook @rockysstupidity @live-long-and-trek-on @larawrmonster @thesynysterunknown @rebard-main @gryffinqueen @fangirleaconmigo @marvagon
Please let me know if you’d like to be added/remove. Thank you!
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I recently saw a twitter post where it was alleged that "Mary Sue" was just a tool used by adults to bully children on the Internet about their OCs. That.....hasn't been my personal experience (9 times out of 10 when I've seen stuff like that it's either been kids hassling kids or adults hassling movie studios ala Star Wars and Rey) but said experience is pretty limited. I know the term started in a Star Trek fanzine in the 70s to satirize stories they were getting so obviously it's a phenomenon that predates the internet but apart from that I don't know much. I'd be really interested to hear your take on it, and if you have any related stories or knowledge to share! :D Thank you so much, I hope you're having a good day/night.
LOL. How cute that they think children were even on the internet at the height of mary sue hate.
I vaguely recall the coiner commenting years ago (in some interview I read) that her original parody was loving and she wasn't wild about how much hate was being flung at women's wish fulfillment later on, using her term.
Sue hate was big in the 90s and early 00s. The term was constantly used to hassle people, but it was probably mostly 20-somethings bugging other 20-somethings. There were ~helpful~ guides to how to avoid writing the dread mary sue and people MST3Ked sue fics cruelly, sometimes with violent commentary about wanting to murder the sues.
This kind of thing is more typical of FFN culture and related places, not so much the LJ and later AO3 flavor of fic fandom. TV Tropes falls more into the former sphere, for example:
People in AO3-y space have backed off the Sue hate in recent years, though I still see a lot of discomfort with too-obvious teen girl-sounding wish fulfillment. TBH, I attribute this to AO3's high percentage of m/m shippers who associate trashy het fic with their own adolescence that they then grew out of. Wattpad is like 95% obvious mary sues, and nobody cares. Het wish fulfillment for a female audience is what they're there for.
In terms of the phenomenon itself... it dates back basically forever. I once read an article on 19thC women's magazines and reader-submitted fiction that was all a Too Pure For This World girl who was Cruelly Mistreated by [writer's target of choice] and expired melodramatically and nobly as A Lesson To You All. When Mary Sue isn't marrying the canon character of your choice, she's generally sacrificing herself and making everyone else look bad in exactly this maudlin way.
Heavy-handed wish fulfillment cheese looks remarkably similar in different times and places.
Overall, any current twitter message about "adults" bullying "children" raises red flags that someone is a whiny-ass fanpol trying to say that women over a certain age should leave fandom... However, "stop being mean to the teen girls about a normal phase of writing everyone goes through" is a meta essay/rant that fandom has been writing for a very long time. Here's an example from back in 2008:
7 Reasons the Mary Sue Witch Hunt has to Stop
I'd say if one was on Fiction Alley Park circa 2005, one would have run into experienced writers sneering at the dumb newbies and their too-obvious American exchange student OFCs.
As with so many other anti-sounding things, it does remind me of something... just something hella old.
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I just know he's up to something. He looks so gaunt and maudlin.
He knew it was me! Why didn't he say something to Bellatrix?
That was a rather heartfelt apology. Unexpected but sincere.
Is that- No, it can't be! Oh right, they're cousins... He's so at ease bouncing Teddy around singing French rhymes.
That smile kills me every time.
I just wanna kiss those plush lips, Merlin!
He's so beautiful, so soft and pliant and giving.
I- wow, we made it!
"Knut for your thoughts?"
"I love you."
"Love you, too. Now let's get married, you sap."
July Prompt #6 - @drarrymicrofic | Prompt - Thought
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"Spellwork is not unlikely to murder you. And, if so, oh, well."
The Magicians | S01E01: Unauthorized Magic (2015)
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Fic: Pomp and Circumstances
some words; msr + william; big feelings about graduation and family
Scully didn't know where all the happy graduates had come from, but they and their families spilled over the sidewalks in clusters, laughing, grinning. Some of the seniors were still wearing their mortarboards, or had put them back on after the traditional toss. The points lay askew on their foreheads. Tassels flopped willy-nilly, heedless of the status they indicated. Their blue gowns billowed open, revealing ties with shoddy or precise knots, slacks without pleats, dresses too short and heels too high or gently dowdy frocks paired with flats.
Mulder was looking at the parents, the decades-older mirrors of their children in the same assortment of finery and not-so-finery. "That would have been us," he said, and the wistfulness in his voice made Scully's chest ache like she'd just swallowed something too cold.
"What makes you think he would have graduated?" she asked, keeping her voice even.
Mulder tsked. "You would have pulled him through," he assured her. "Our boy wouldn't have disappointed you."
"Our boy," she said, still aching. "Need I remind you that our boy used his wits for pursuits more criminal than academic."
"The academy is a wide world, Scully," Mulder said solemnly.
"Oh, yes," she agreed, looking out the window. They were still crawling along the road. She wished they'd go faster. She wished Mulder would park. "I've read the writings of one M.F. Luder. Voluminous, one might call them."
"Highly regarded," Mulder said, amused.
"In some circles," she clarified.
"In some circles," he agreed, but at least now he was more merry than maudlin. Scully preferred that. Mulder could play what-if for hours and she'd done too much of that, too many lonely nights in a half-empty bed. She couldn't bear to think of their boy - William, Jackson, whatever name he might have chosen as he reinvented himself as a recent orphan with long-lost parents - in the past tense, or in some other timeline where Mulder hadn't left, where Scully hadn't surrendered their child into the loving arms of strangers, for all the good it had done.
Mulder started humming under his breath as the traffic oozed down the road. "Pomp and Circumstance", naturally.
"It's for the best," he said as the cars began to move. "I would have cried. The kid would have been embarrassed of his old man. Would have refused to be seen with us. Even when we offered to pay for dinner."
"My father cried," Scully said.
"That's different," Mulder said. "Your father was, by all accounts, a stoic and upstanding man. He would have wept a single glistening tear. Real manly stuff. Meanwhile I'm a messy crier. All composure out the window."
"I'm aware," Scully said, a wry tone in her voice.
"I'm amazed your father made it to your graduation," Mulder said. "From what you've told me, he wasn't home much."
"He wasn't," Scully said. "I don't know if it was happenstance or a special effort. I preferred to believe he requested the time. He missed Melissa's graduation and Charlie's." She paused. "I'm sure your parents fussed over you."
"They didn't show up." Mulder gazed out the windshield, into some middle distance beyond the ruby glow of the taillights in front of them. "Dad had some urgent meeting at work. Probably trying to save the parts of the world he liked and make a profit at the same time. Mom...I don't know where Mom was. At the club, maybe, having dinner with her friends. The Wives." The muscle in his jaw jumped. "We took pictures later. They'd hired someone. I put the stupid cap and gown back on and held up my diploma and smiled. But they weren't there. When I asked Mom about it, she said something like, 'Oh, Fox, how dull,' and we left it at that."
Scully rubbed his arm. She had never felt that Teena Mulder had done a good job of caring for her sensitive and brilliant son, but it had still been strange that Teena had trusted her with him. Perhaps she would have been a doting grandmother, some sort of atonement. Scully tried to imagine Teena fussing over the baby William had been, taking shifts with her own mother to spoil him. But even the fantasy came out grainy and posed, the smiles forced, and she abandoned it. She had earned her present, every minute of it. If their son wasn't in the backseat, ignoring them in favor of his phone, at least he was in the world somewhere. She knew it, somewhere deeper than truth or fact.
"I was going to say we should go to dinner," Mulder said, finally turning off the road where Scully could still see the drifts of graduates reflected in the side mirror, "but I think most of the local places will be packed."
"We could go somewhere less local," Scully said.
"That's my girl," Mulder said admiringly. "Adventure Scully. My favorite."
"I thought Ass-Kicking Scully was your favorite," she said.
"They're all my favorite," he assured her.
"We would have been good parents," she said, only a little wistfully.
"The best," Mulder said, and then amended, "the best we could be."
"That's all we can ask," she said.
"Anyway," he said. "We're still parents." He reached out for her hand. She curled her fingers around his.
"We always will be," she said, and looked out into the crowd. Somewhere, she hoped, their son understood: he was loved, he was wanted, and he could always come home. There were still a thousand milestones to celebrate. They had world enough, and time, and all the rest: the lovely words they said like prayers, the sonorous tone of the announcer's voice over the sigh of the familiar melody or the priest's voice under the high-vaulted roof. They'd write their own ceremonies one day to mark their reunion, solemn words and tearful ones, and they'd all be whole at last.
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A Drinking Song
Chapter 1: Wine Comes in at the Mouth
Summary: Two months after ACOFAS, pre ACOSF fic. If Cassian had actually tried reaching out to Nesta during these months.
Masterlist, Chapter List
Slip and slide this into your Wednesday evening.
She was drunk on ale, and he was drunk on the sight of her. Not because she was beautiful, but because she was a walking disaster and all he could do was drink her in.
Nesta wore calamity like a navy-blue dress that clung to her figure, sleeves rolling down her arms. To hide those bones of hers, Cassian thought, but not well enough for him to not notice the way she’d become smaller then when he’d last seen her. As if she were trying hard to disappear and couldn’t get close enough.
She blinked at him, and he opened his mouth, nothing witty or wise escaping his lips. All he could think was that she was here. In this place between tavern wall and tavern wall. The bricks quieting the maudlin voices to dull throbs.
He hadn’t seen her since solstice, after he’d thrown that present in the sidra and hoped that the ache he’d felt had been carried out to sea, along with the words he’d stupidly said out loud… because he couldn’t help himself—couldn’t stop himself from hurting where he’d been hurt but… it hurt to see her like this.
How are you? He wanted to say.
Let me help you.
Are you okay? He wanted to ask.
Let me help you.
Do you want to go home? He inquired in his thoughts.
Let me help you. Let me help you. Let me help you.
Instead, Cassian swallowed and Nesta blinked. “You come here often.”
It wasn’t a question, gods help him, but it sounded like one. As if he was a young boy who had his first run in with a beautiful female and that was the best pick up line he could come up with.
Nesta only raised a brow.
“I meant... I’ve seen you around here before.”
In this tavern, walking these streets.
Because he had seen her, hadn’t he?
The shadows formed around them and they could tell too, that he’d kept whispered words inside of him, buried them so far in his lungs he could barely breath let alone speak them aloud. He didn’t want her to know—to see how much he wanted to remember every detail of her face even as he tried to forget.
How many times did he wish to forget her? To get the feel of her skin off his, the soft touch of her lips as they lay dying.
He wondered if Nesta remembered—if Nesta could forget.
She merely stared at him, glazed eyes and all, and Cassian shuffled in his boots. He had too many flaws, he decided, for the way she looked at him as if she could count them all. Name them and proclaim them if he said one word out of place.
No, Nesta did not remember--Nesta would not want to remember.
“Why do you come here?” Cassian managed to get out. Some voice in his head answered for him. You know why, why do you keep coming back?
“Because I can’t stay away—”
Cassian blinked up at her. “What?”
“I told you to stay away,” she repeated, the arch in her brow filled with enough queenly arrogance that she might as well have banished him right then and there.
Cassian smelled the stale liquor in the air and wanted to laugh, some half-mad sound. Sweat stuck to his skin, his hands shaking as he clasped them together, and the female in front of him looked as if he’d already been mad, insane from the start.
It was fitting, he thought, that this is what he would remember. Velaris’s summer heat flaming his cheeks. No sunshine. No soft rains. Just darkness written on her face—drawn in her protruding cheekbones, in the shadows under her eyes.
He could hear the tap of her shoes on the cement, but he didn’t move—didn't let her see that he was frozen in place, trapped in creation instead of the chaos that Nesta had held onto like an outstretched hand.
Cassian opened his mouth to speak.
Tell her! His mind screamed. Tell her that she means something, that you feel like she does, that you know what she’s going through!
Cassian turned to face her, her figuring cutting through the shadows, flittering through the pale light of the streetlamps.
Gone, but not so easily forgotten.
“I can’t,” he choked. “I can’t.”
Cassian stood in front of her apartment door, practically breathing on the surface. He was already tired, and he’d only walked up the stairs. Perhaps he was out of shape, but no... it was that the mere idea of this that made his body ache and his stomach turn uncomfortably.
He might have laid his forehead there, on the wood, if he could guarantee he would not make a sound, because Cassian did not want to make a sound. He wanted to be invisible, to float through the walls, to be in her presence without having to beg for it... but in truth, he would have settled for Nesta knowing he was already there, her sensing him enough to open the door to her apartment as if he was welcome. Even if he was not.
He took a breath, eased himself out of his thoughts, before lifting his fist where it lied on the green peeling paint.
Cassian lowered his hand.
No, he couldn’t do this. Couldn’t make himself reveal what he already knew—that she would not open the door and even if she did, she would not be happy to see him. She’d slam the door on his face, and he’d run away with the confirmation that he’d been right all along. Cassian didn’t want to be right.
Cassian wanted to be wrong, begged and prayed he was wrong... begged and prayed she wasn’t even in the room to hear him pacing in his thoughts.
But it had been a wrong choice to come here, he thought.
So, Cassian walked away. He had to walk away, or he’d never recover...
Five flights turned into four, then to three. A whole other world ahead of him, that he could see in the window of that little door at the bottom. A world that didn’t seem to include her, or... recognize her or... want her to be a part of it. She didn’t want to be a part of it and Cassian ached at that too.
But a thought entered his mind... some revelation that made him pause in his steps.
What if she did want to be included?
What if she wanted to experience it all?
What if she was scared--too scared to reach out a hand--too scared to do something before she finally go the nerve?
What if it passed her by--a missed opportunity that she’d never get back?
She didn’t have to be scared.
Cassian didn’t have to be frightened.
Nesta could sense him there. Was perhaps waiting for him to knock, because she’d wanted this as much as him. Because she’d cared for him. He knew she did... or just because she wanted the company. He’d take that too. Anything she’d give him.
And it was that thought that made him want to run back up there. Try once more.
Cassian turned back, his feet pounding on the steps until he stood in front of green. A color that made him nauseous. He tried to breath, to imagine fresh air and the wind on his face--in his wings.
His hand was poised to knock...
He should have brought food.
The last time Cassian had seen her, she was thin. Nesta had always been on the small side, but she’d been smaller and thinner lately. She could use some muffins... or... What was her favorite food?
Cassian didn’t know, but he’d ask Feyre or Elain, and come back with food and... tea. She liked tea; he knew. She’d always gotten peppermint at the townhouse. Always drank it when she was at the House of Wind.
Tea and food, he could do that. It was early now anyway, Nesta could be asleep for all he knew. She did always have late nights. He’d get food and tea, and when he came back Nesta would surely be awake.
Cassian lowered his hand. A mission on his mind as his feet pounded along the stairs with the smell of baked bread in his nose, the feel of hot tea on his palms...
But Cassian paused, halting near the last step.
What if she wasn’t even there when he came back? She could have something to do during the day. He didn’t know. He didn’t know anything about her. He didn’t even know what she liked to eat!
Ask her what her favorite food is, his mind roared, tell her your coming back!
So, Cassian ran up the stairs once more. The clinking of metal and concrete and the sound of his steps filling his ears. He wouldn’t lose his nerve.
He was almost at the last step, and then he'd knock. He’d knock this time.
“Would you stop that racket?” A fae yelled from beneath the stairs. Cassian peered over the railing. A stout male carried a broom stick like brandishing a sword, and the male hunkered back at the sight of him.
Cassian couldn’t help the way he stepped along each foot as if the nervous movement might somehow make him seem smaller. He never liked being so tall... And the height of the stairs didn’t make him seem less intimidating. On a battlefield and in the bedroom, his physique had come in handy—advantageous even. To trapezing through the city and to Nesta’s tiny apartment building, his size had made him no friends.
“Oh, it’s… you again.”
Cassian chose to ignore those words, didn’t let them hit him like a door to the face. Because he had been there, hadn’t he? Too many times. Too many pep-talks that went unrecognized for he could never find the nerve to knock—to be what she needed.
The fae male lowered the broom, sweeping casually, moving back and forth as if the interaction—Cassian being there—wasn't odd at all... or perhaps was too odd, and he couldn’t fathom not doing anything while the minutes passed by.
The male started to whistle. A tune that reminded Cassian of old days, though he couldn’t remember which. There’d been so many, too many that Cassian wanted to forget. The melody drifted past his ears until he could only hear shouts... screams... war tunes... and drums. There’d been too many who whistled that tune until they could whistle no more. Cassian couldn’t remember them all.
He could only think of one--who’s voice had quieted so much that he would have taken any shout, any cruel word to hear her again. To see her awake, alive, and fighting. Because she had stopped fighting, hadn’t she?
He watched as the male paused, looked at him, and began the sweet tune once more.
Cassian turned back to the door, raising his fist to the wood.
Just one knock.
“She’s not here, you know.”
Cassian knew that was a lie.
He felt her there. A string pulled taut and tight to where she lied in that room of hers. He wanted to grasp it, tug on it and see if she’d answer... Cassian couldn’t bring himself to wonder what he would have done if she’d ignored it, if she tore it apart like the rest of her.
And it was that thought that made him lower his fist...
He’d try again another day.
Cassian didn’t try another day. He merely came back when he knew she wasn’t there, when he couldn’t feel her in the pit of his stomach and the nausea had gone away. He’d given the crotchety fae male a bag of coins to turn a blind eye, so he’d have free reign to sit there and wallop while Nesta gallivanted through taverns, males, and wine.
Knowing Nesta she was probably scamming some rake out of his wallet, because he knew she was good at cards... Or at least that’s what Feyre had told him when she’d seen her last.
He had no doubt that Nesta would win, of course.
Why wouldn’t Nesta win when she was so good at games?
Cassian could only sigh in the dark.
Unfortunately, he was the only one playing them right now. Three days in and she was already winning... perhaps had won already if Cassian never got the nerve. He didn't want to think about what that meant--what it cost him by not knocking on her fucking door.
So, Cassian, instead, imagined Nesta and that cunning mind of hers... Cards splayed out like throwing knives, as if she’d choose the perfect weapon before she slaughtered her opponent. He imagined the look the male would make as he lost, as each lethal card sliced through him because he was too busy staring at her breasts or her lips or her neck. And Cassian imagined the smug satisfaction that would chase him for days, her eyes brightening like she’d known all along how to bring a male to his knees.
He already knew what to call that look and Cassian couldn’t help his laugh.
The sound was too fond for his own ears.
But then he thought of where the night would inevitably lead, and the stairwell seemed to darken at his mood.
Cassian stared at the door where he’d watched for hours now, the rain streaking across the window. It was almost peaceful, the echoing sound drumming across the rooftop. Maybe this is what Nesta found appealing about this place. Cauldron knew he kept trying to find a reason. She didn’t seem like the person who would settle for anything less than mansions or gleaming chandeliers… and here she was living… here.
Not that there was anything wrong with here, he thought, chastising himself for sounding like a snob. He’d been spending too much time with Rhys, Cassian decided, or maybe it was Mor. She always did have a taste for the flashier things in life… and he’d been raised on nothing so he shouldn’t have hated this place so much. But he did and Cassian didn’t want to think about why.
Cassian didn’t want to think about why he was here either.
Maybe it was because he knew she’d be drunk again, and a drunk Nesta was a Nesta that was bound to send him away. She’d leave him standing there after a few harsh words or just a cold lingering stare that would chase him all the way back to the House or the townhouse, whichever he chose tonight to get that feel of her gaze off his skin.
Cassian had chosen to lose today and that’s why he sat here. That’s why he couldn’t sit here any longer.
He had to leave.
Before she came back. Before she saw how her look—her words would slice right through him.
Cassian jumped up, his wings rising as his heart raced unconsciously—as if it could sense her there—
As if she was near—
As if —
The door opened with a slam on its hinge.
Nesta walked in... and she was not alone.
Cassian watched as she kissed the male and the male gripped the skirts of her dress, bunching them up in his fists. Cassian bunched his hands into fists at the same time that he looked around for some place to hide.
This was a mistake, and Cassian breathed deeply, trying to quell that part of his chest that wanted to roar like some unhindered beast. Cassian was not a beast and Nesta was free to do what she wanted—whoever she wanted. But damn them both if it did not make him see red where the male’s lips met her neck, where her hands lingered on his chest.
They turned, heading towards the stairs, their lips interlocked, and Cassian sat there utterly frozen. Nesta blinked as her eyes opened and she met his gaze. Cassian could only hold up a hand in greeting.
He watched as her brows furrowed as she continued kissing the male, staring at Cassian as if he’d grown two heads.
But Cassian couldn’t control himself, his brain shutting down as his mouth opened wide. “I hardly doubt your partner would be happy about you staring at another male.”
The male in question shrieked at the sound of his voice.
He pulled away from Nesta and Cassian took in the brown hair, the built frame, scanning his face as if he wished to memorize it. He hadn’t seen him before and maybe that was for the best, because if he knew where this male lived, he might have found himself circling above that place. He could almost hear the rumors of some big crow in the sky.
“Ow! You bit my lip,” Nesta said as she held a hand up to her mouth.
Indeed, Cassian could smell the welled-up blood, and he had to clench his fists even tighter.
Cassian only looked up to the male, painting on that calm, stoic expression. The one he knew would make this male shit his pants. He didn’t give him an answer as the male squirmed and looked to Nesta who was still touching her fingers to her mouth, pushing on the perfect pink skin to stop the bleeding.
Her eyes were glazed over like they had been before, and Cassian could tell she’d been drinking heavily as she bunched up her brows, tilting her head to look at him. Her hair stuck to her skin from where she’d been caught in the downpour, and Cassian wanted to give her his jacket, sure that she must have been cold.
“What do you want?” She asked, her words slurring together.
“To make sure you came home safely,” he replied, his voice rougher than he meant.
Cassian turned to the male, “You heard her. Scram!”
The male lunged for the door, looking to Nesta only for a moment, “I’ll--”
Cassian glared harder. He could smell the fear reeking off of him like the ale that stained his clothes, and Cassian’s wings flared unconsciously. Promises of talons and teeth and fists if he did not bolt. .
“See you around!” He added and ran.
Nesta crossed her arms even as she frowned, the male disappearing into the night. Cassian could name that look too, and he couldn’t help the accusatory tone that came out of him. “That male is not nearly as drunk as you.”
“Why would I want them drunk?” She mused not turning away from the door, “They can barely keep it up as it is.”
She must have found that amusing, because she smiled lightly as she looked to him and Cassian stored that look away, even as he grunted at her vulgar mouth. Her head twisted to the side. “I said go away.”
She went to lay a hand on the railing, and Cassian shot up.
“Let me help you,” He called. “You’re too drunk to be climbing up four flights of stairs. I can carry you.”
“I can do it myself,” she responded petulantly, holding on tightly as she pulled herself up. “And I’m not drunk.”
As she said the words, Nesta leaned forward where she’d tipped too far ahead. Her hand settled on a step above.
“Yes, I’m sure you always fall over like this.”
But Nesta continued the climb. Cassian watched as she gripped the rail harder when her foot caught on the step below. He reached for her arm then—couldn't help himself.
“Do you ever worry you’re going to break your neck on these stairs?”
She huffed a laugh, and the sound surprised him enough that he accidentally tripped on the next step, himself, banging his knee. Cassian yelped even as he tried to keep Nesta upright when she moved with him.
Cassian grunted. “You would choose an apartment on the fifth floor. I’m guessing you don’t tell this to potential suitors.”
Nesta only frowned, waving a hand. “You talk too much.”
Something about that look, too, made him chuckle and Cassian cleared his throat, swallowing down the discomfort—the need. He supposed he was talking too much, but he’d barely talked to her before, and the sound of her voice comforted him in a way that nothing else could. He wanted to keep her talking—wanted her to talk his ears out.
He might have bit a little, the image of the male still fresh in his mind—but Nesta... Nesta smirked and huffed and frowned. And the longer he stared at her, the longer he knew it would be harder to leave. He didn’t want to touch her, feel her, look at her for too long.
Still, he reached out a hand, “You really want to climb up the rest of the way?”
Nesta looked to the top, where it curved to three more flights. Why the building had to be so tall, he’d never know. She sighed, a loud sound that had him swallowing a smirk, and leaned her had back in defeat. Cassian steadied her then, too.
“Fine,” She drawled, holding out her arms.
Cassian picked her up easily and as Nesta wound her arms around his neck, he tried not to pull her closer, once again remembering that male. He bet that louse wouldn’t have been able to carry her up four flights.
“Where are your keys?” He asked as the stood in front of her door. Cassian was lucky Nesta didn’t ask how he knew it was her door. Only centuries of training had kept him from dropping her as her scent washed over him. Alcohol and lavender. He didn’t know what he’d do if she started asking questions he didn’t know how to answer.
Nesta patted at her shirt and then her waist. When he heard the jingle of keys, he sent a thanks to the mother that he didn’t have to go searching for them through Velaris or worse, wake that crabby old fae. He certainly didn’t have another bag of coins floating around his pockets.
Cassian kicked open the door with his boot and nothing about the scenario made this seem matrimonial. He almost laughed as he imagined it. A drunk Nesta with a veil and permanent scowl.
Her apartment was freezing, and Cassian zeroed in on the windows. Open and letting in the cool night air. Nesta tucked herself closer to him, her hair brushing his neck where she’d laid her head.
“You’re cold,” he said as she started shivering.
“You’re cold,” she huffed back in challenge. Cassian wanted to roll his eyes.
He refrained from brushing her hair away from her face as he set her back down—refrained from pulling off her coat to hang it on a little knob he’d seen by the door—refrained from helping her with her boots as Nesta plopped on the floor, untying them haphazardly, and swaying backwards in an effort to pull them off.
Cassian almost smirked at that too.
“Let me help you.”
Nesta didn’t argue this time, just sighed in defeat as her brows set into fine lines. That annoyed look that he would think of a name for later.
Cassian gestured to her wet clothes, “you should change into something warmer. You’ll catch a cold sleeping in that.”
Nesta blinked up at him, but began stripping off her jacket. She threw it on the ground, and Cassian took a good look at the rest of her apartment as he picked it up behind her.
Her apartment was large and empty, high ceiling which explained the stairs. There was a bed in the far corner, cut off from the living room only by an archway. It had not been made, and just like last time, he could smell that she did not wash her sheets.
Clothes were strewn across the floor, but she didn’t have much. He thought she should have had more than this.
“Stop snooping,” she said as she pulled down her skirt.
“What are you doing?” He asked in a rush, holding up her jacket to block the view. Her shirt was too big, so it covered her lower half, and Cassian realized it was because it was a male’s shirt. How nice, he thought, that the males in the bar didn’t care about such things.
“Changing,” she said as if it were obvious.
“In front of me?”
She shrugged, not the least bit perturbed, “Someone was going to see me naked at some point tonight.”
Nesta laid her fingers on the top button, pausing to blink up at him. “You ruined it.”
“I didn’t mean to,” he said, though he could muster no guilt.
She stared up at him as if she didn’t believe him, but Cassian held up his hands. “Not my fault he ran off.”
“You scared him away.”
“Me?” He gestured to himself, incredulously, “I'm harmless.”
She gave him a look, and Cassian couldn’t help but grin this time. But he dropped his smile as soon as she started fiddling with those buttons again.
He searched for the bathroom, anything to distract himself. Just the small part of her skin had him ready to combust and he doubted Nesta would have liked to clean up his ashes... or that she would based on the trash bin that hadn’t been emptied.
“Do you have aspirin?” He called out. Cassian didn’t want to search through her cabinets. That might have been taking his luck too far.
“Kitchen,” she answered, without further explanation.
Cassian frowned at that, but he went looking, only glancing at Nesta quickly to see that she hadn’t taken the shirt off, just merely loosened the collar.
Cassian should have loosened his too.
Her kitchen was not at all messy, he found, but that might have been because it was mostly empty.
When at last he found the bottle of aspirin, it too was empty... and so was her cabinets and her refrigerator, save for an apple tart, a loaf of bread, and a jar of what he could tell must have been jam. Grape? He thought. He would pick up some more of that.
“I’m going to go get you some,” he called, waving the bottle as she looked over. “You’re out.”
Of food, he thought. Because she certainly needed some of that. He doubted she’d like him grocery shopping on her behalf, but Cassian couldn’t find it in himself to care. Better a grumpy, full Nesta than a grumpy, hungry Nesta.
He’d stop by Sevenda’s too and get her some hangover soup. Some spicy broth that had always helped him. Did she like spicy food? Cassian didn’t know but the worse she could do was not eat it.
Actually the worst thing she could do was throw it at him, Cassian thought, but he shook it away. His thoughts wouldn’t deter him this time.
“I’ll be right back. I’m going to get some supplies.”
“Don’t bother,” she said, waving him off, a pin in her hand. Nesta was unraveling her braid, and Cassian stopped short as he neared. He watched as she set the pin on the little side table, where it collected with the rest. She combed through her hair with her fingers and it fell down her back in waves and Cassian had to force himself to swallow.
“I’ll be right back,” he repeated, his mouth tasting like cardboard, “I’ll... I’ll uhh leave it outside your door if you’re not awake.”
Cassian wondered if her hair was as soft as it looked.
“You’ll lock the door?” he made himself ask.
“Course, I will,” she said, her voice haughty and a little more like the Nesta he knew. He wondered if she’d regret this in the morning, and some part of him already knew that she would not be awake when he returned—that she would not welcome him back inside even if she was not.
“Okay.” He fiddled with his jacket, not knowing what to do with his feet rooted to the spot. “I’m going to leave it outside.”
“You said that already,” she huffed, moving towards the door. Cassian followed her, watching as she opened it, standing over like a dutiful guard. A beautiful guard with her hair down and in another male’s shirt.
His wings dropped on their own accord. The situation settling back in.
Cassian was never supposed to be here. He was not and had not been welcome.
So, he walked through that doorway though his body screamed to stay, but Nesta didn’t slam the door immediately on his face. Instead, she raised a small hand, her face drawn and tired. “Good night, Cassian.”
He tried not to reach out at the sound of his name.
Nesta shut the door and Cassian waited for her footsteps to retreat but they didn’t. He could almost feel her right across from him.
Only the green of the door laid between them, now a cool dark color with the mixture of the night’s shadows. He leaned his head there--couldn’t help it even if it made a sound. He could only think of his name on her lips.
“Good night, Nesta,” he whispered.
“What are you doing here?” Nesta asked, her voice straining with accusation.
Cassian settled back into his chair, lifting his chin in greeting—casually, like the sight of her didn’t make him want to order five drinks. He gestured to the table in front of him, where the red set was already splayed out and ready.
Choose your choice of weapon, he thought.
“Playing cards,” He said as if it were obvious, “Someone told me I would be in for a good game with some of the players here.”
“Didn’t someone also tell you to leave them alone?” She sneered.
Her voice was practically venomous, and Cassian knew Nesta was not far enough along in the night to be loose lipped and incautious.
Cassian didn’t want her to be either. He wanted her to see him, to talk to him again, to know that he came to play a round of cards at this public tavern where everyone was welcome as long as they brought cash.
“I didn’t hear that part, unfortunately.” He picked the deck up at the center, the checkered print on the back distracting him for the moment.
Keep talking, he urged. But Cassian didn’t know if the words were meant for himself or a wish to Nesta Archeron, who crossed those navy-blue sleeves.
Cassian split the deck apart, bending them so they’d fall together. It was a move he’d seen Az do, and... Cassian wished he’d practiced this trick. The cards fell haphazardly on the table, and Cassian gathered them back together, feeling the skin of cheeks burn.
Nesta scoffed, “Do you even know how to play?”
The words came out of him before he had a chance to breathe, and he nodded to the seat across from him. “If you wanted to see the extent of my skill, sweetheart, you only had to ask."
Her brows furrowed, but Cassian continued in a rush.
“Loser buys the next round of drinks,” he said, already counting out the cards, placing one by himself and what would be Nesta’s seat. His hands felt sweaty, but he continued--couldn’t stop himself from moving forward as if that alone might stop her from noticing how much he seemed to shake.
But Cassian was cut off by a small, pale palm. He paused; the cards still stuck in his hands. It took every ounce of power in his body to not reach out and grasp it in his own.
Nesta tapped her foot impatiently, “Give them to me. You can’t shuffle for shit.”
Fic Taglist: (If you are on this list, it’s because I don’t remember if you told me you wanted to be tagged in everything or just this fic. If you do let me know)
@champanheandluxxury, @ladynestaarcheron, @moodymelanist, @lovelynesta, @spoilersteph, @teagoddess99
@my-fan-side, @sophilightwood, @nestaarcher0n, @duskandstarlight, @soitsgorgeous, @ekaterinakostrova @swankii-art-teacher, @lordof-bloodshed, @arinbelle, @thewhelk, @daisy-in-danger, @simpingfornestaarcheron, @drielecarla, @regolithheart
I honest to god don’t know where this is going or what happened or how this was written and I just split the long fic into two against my better judgement and it’s the most dramatique thing I’ve ever written and has way too much comparisons and now I have anxiety so... Good luck getting another part of this out of me... but at least I didn’t have Nesta kneeling to Amren... so it can’t be that bad 🤷🏽♀️
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"he scours the portraits for anything else that might be even more important than Obi-Wan Kenobi being a part of a family"
Im-- hello, I cant COPE. The way that Obi-wan keeps dropping these lines in his narration that make me cry...Does Anakin notice he gets floored every time he's included or is he too busy having his own crisis?
ahhh yes thank you i love trying to differentiate between anakin and obi-wan narration styles and obi-wan just in general is a lot more introspective/maudlin so im glad you're liking it!!!
as for rather or not anakin notices, i think he does to a certain extent, especially after they kinda talk and decide the Skywalkers are going to stay for at least another two years (they sign a "lease" on receipt paper with luke's green crayon, and after they get married obi-wan gets it framed). anakin would probably want to beat the idea into obi-wan's head that he isn't alone and he has family, but he doesn't think that would work well in the long run, so he probably launches a long campaign and includes the twins in it with the end goal being that Obi-Wan Never Feels Insecure About His Place In Their Family Again
Battle strategies include:
attending parent teacher conferences as a unit (making everyone else think they're together even MORE)
first day of school pictures with obi-wan in the middle (because technically obi-wan as a professor still has a first day of school every year so while the twins each have signs that say 'first day of 1st grade!' he's holding a sign that says 'first day of 39th grade!'
family halloween costumes (Obi-Wan is Professor Indiana Jones the twins are Adventurer Indiana Jones, and Anakin is the love interest)
christmas cards (highly professional looking because Anakin spent seven hours on them) + taking Chewie the dog to see Santa Paws (stressful for everyone and probably would have resulted in Anakin sleeping on the couch if they were together),
breakfast in bed on Obi-Wan Day (Luke and Leia don't think it's fair that Daddy gets a day and Mommy gets a day but Obi-Wan doesn't get a day, so they pick some day in November for Obi-Wan Day and surprise him) (it does make him cry, which Anakin does get on video)
Anakin knows this is gonna hurt for him because they're not together during this and it's making him fall even more in love with Obi-Wan. But that would definitely be worth it if the result was that the man he loves never ever doubts that he is loved ever again. <3
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Sneak Peek: on the sea we'd be forgiven (wouldn't you like to know how far you've got left to go)
“You can take mine.”
She almost forgot he was here, and when she turns to look at Zuko he’s got an expression she can’t quite place. His jaw is rigid yet his eyes are soft and searching under the moonlight, and under the stars Katara can admit he really is quite handsome. All sharp, angular lines masking soft smiles he gives when he thinks no one is looking, and piercing amber eyes that never stray too far.
Glancing down at his outstretched hand, she finds a half eaten bowl of fire flakes and stares back at Zuko. She has an overwhelming urge to laugh because of course he would take an analogy literally and of course he would offer a bowl of food right after she vomited her maudlin thoughts out to him. But he continues to stand there, unwavering in his awkward support, and Katara takes a handful because this is Zuko’s way of letting her know he’s here. And that is enough for her.
She pretends to cover up her cough as she struggles to swallow the spicy food, and she swears Zuko snorts at the effort. As seconds pass and Katara takes in his silent company, a small part of her wonders whether he meant she can take his love—a love that could devastate her, consume her whole, or create a bridge between two nations. The thought sends her into a tailspin, her stomach rolling while her heart pounds beneath her ribs so loud she can’t think. Katara does not want to think about It or even begin to comprehend the implications of It, nor does she have the emotional capacity to dwell on It for a moment longer.
But she would be lying if she said It didn’t bring her comfort in more ways than one.
Interested in seeing the full piece? The fic and completed art will be posted on June 1st, and the writers' identities will be revealed on June 15th!
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Coming up: In From the Cold Chapter 2
“Oh, I’m not functioning at all.” Tony shook his head, held on to Thor just a little tighter. “Not even a little bit. Not even close. I am about the furthest thing from functioning and the only reason I’m here at the compound and not self destructing in some spectacularly public fashion is because Pepper and Rhodey banned me from it. Literally banned me. Told me not to leave the compound or they’d house arrest my ass.”
Tony was laughing again, trying for the usual spark and snark Thor had come to expect, but it felt nearly maudlin echoing around the empty compound, felt tragic with the way Tony kept rubbing over his heart where the arc reactor used to sit. “Thor, I uh-- I’m sorry. About all of that. But I’m glad you came here. Glad you still consider this place home even if it's-- if it’s empty.”
Tony’s voice caught, cracked. “I'm glad you’re here.”
“I am glad too, Anthony.” Thor settled a heavy arm around Tony’s shoulders, and when the smaller man felt crumpled beneath the weight, Thor simply pulled him into a one sided hug, giving in to his own need for physical affection as well as supporting Tony’s splintering self control. “Would watching me lift various pieces of furniture from storage cheer you up?”
“Would showing off an actual godly amount of muscles while being oohed and ahhed over cheer you up?” Tony returned, and Thor managed at least half a smile. “Alright then. I’ll go watch you lift furniture. You know, forr mental health reasons.”
“Mental health reasons. An excellent plan to be sure.”
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She was drunk on ale and he was drunk on the sight of her. Not because she was beautiful, but because she was a walking disaster and all he could do was drink her in.
Nesta wore calamity like a navy-blue dress that clung to her figure, sleeves rolling down her arms.
To hide those bones of hers, Cassian thought, but not well enough for him to not notice the way she’d become smaller then when he’d last seen her. As if she were trying hard to disappear and couldn’t get close enough.
She blinked at him, and he opened his mouth, nothing witty or wise escaping his lips. All he could think was that she was here. In this place between tavern wall and tavern wall. The bricks quieting the maudlin voices to dull throbs.
He hadn’t seen her since solstice, after he’d thrown that present in the Sidra and hoped that the ache had been carried out to sea… along with the words he’d stupidly said out loud, because he couldn’t help himself—couldn’t stop himself from hurting where he’d been hurt... But it hurt to see her like this.
How are you? He wanted to say. Let me help you.
Are you okay? He wanted to ask. Let me help you.
Do you want to go home? He inquired in his thoughts. Let me help you. Let me help you. Let me help you.
Instead, Cassian swallowed. Nesta blinked.
“You come here often.”
It wasn’t a question, gods help him, but it sounded like one. As if he was a young boy who had his first run in with a beautiful, simpering female, and that was the best pick up line he could come up with.
Nesta only raised a brow.
To be continued...
I started a new fic again... (exhausted sigh)
I legit hate that the IC went from “giving Nesta time” to straight intervention. It doesn’t make any sense to me, because an intervention is after you’ve already tried many things. It’s not usually the first thing that happens. What did they even try to do? It doesn’t make sense. So I’m going to make it make sense, and maybe after this ficlet series, I can get on with my life. Also, we’re going back to ACOWAR Cassian who flew everyday to theHOW to see Nesta. We’re bringing him back.
I tried so hard to ignore ACOSF, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I can’t do that. I’ve decided to go back to the source of my pain. As in, I’m going to start four months after ACOFAS and go from there.
I love writing this right now. So hopefully the momentum stays...
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Kingsley’s novels contain no mention of “white chimpanzees.” He had the Imperial method: save that stuff for letters to your wife.
His real work, and I wish to God people would see this, was to write sentimental, virtuous porridge. Right through the Famine years, Kingsley wrote about every kind of maudlin nonsense he could find, the more meaningless the better. He did NOT attempt to justify the genocide. He dangled baubles in front of the popular audience instead.
How did Dickens deal with the Famine? Take a guess. Yup: “What is truly remarkable is that in the sixteen novels of Dickens, there is not a single Irish character.” That quote is from a book written long ago, unknown now.
I’m telling you — probably annoying you with my shrill insistence — that this method works.
No matter what that mush-headed crypto-Christian Terry Eagleton says, there is no trace of conscience in this list of popular novels from the Famine years or its aftermath. The nun who wrote a summary of this literature back in 1939 was more honest and correct when she said: “In the fiction of the nineteenth century by English novelists the Irishman is not a significant figure.”
There. That’s the truth.
Gary Brecher, Amateurs Talk Cancel, Pros Talk Silence
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super quick idea that evolved into this monster post: edgy witch daughter wants to act all tough but secretly loves her pet angel’s cookies
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