#trauma is a huge setback
furiousgoldfish · 4 days ago
all of the time I should have been spending laughing, bonding with people, being with friends, finding myself, finding love, figuring life out, I spent trying to figure out how to face unbearable pain and trauma and come out the other side alive
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inspired-survivor · a day ago
Chronic emotional abandonment is one of the worst things that can happen to a child. It naturally makes her feel and appear deadened and depressed. Functional parents respond to a child's depression with concern and comfort; abandoning parents respond to it with anger, disgust and further abandonment, which in turn create the fear, shame and despair that become characteristic of the abandonment depression. A child who is never comforted when she is depressed has no model for developing a self-comforting response to her own depression. Without a nurturing connection with a caretaker, she may flounder for long periods of time in a depression that can devolve into The Failure to Thrive Syndrome. In my experience failure to thrive is not an all-or-none phenomenon, but rather a continuum that begins with excessive depression and ends in the most severe cases with death. Many PTSD survivors "thrived" very poorly, and perhaps at times lingered near the end of the continuum where they were close to death, if not physically, then psychologically. When a child is consistently abandoned, her developing superego eventually assumes totalitarian control of her psyche and carcinogenically morphs into a toxic Inner Critic. She is then driven to desperately seek connection and acceptance through the numerous processes of perfectionism and endangerment described in my article "Shrinking The Inner Critic in Complex PTSD" (see link for this article: Shrinking the Inner Critic). Her inner critic also typically becomes emotional perfectionistic, as it imitates her parent's contempt of her emotional pain about abandonment. The child learns to judge her dysphoric feelings as the cause of her abandonment. Over time her affects are repressed, but not without contaminating her thinking processes. Unfelt fear, shame and depression are transmuted into thoughts and images so frightening, humiliating and despairing that they instantly trigger escapist 4F acting out. Eventually even the mildest hint of fear or depression, no matter how functional or appropriate, is automatically deemed as danger-ridden and overwhelming as the original abandonment. The capacity to self-nurturingly weather any experience of depression, no matter how mild, remains unrealized. The original experience of parental abandonment devolves into self-abandonment. The ability to stay supportively present to all of one's own inner experience gradually disappears.
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fazcinatingblog · a year ago
aw broomy
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There were a lot of emotions today. I feel like I need to ackowledge them all, because though they are conflicting in some ways they are all equally important.
My baby is safe and healthy. We made it past the point of my last miscarriage, and are only 2 weeks from clearing the first trimester. That's a huge win.
Seeing my little one squirm around so much that my OB struggled to measure her is still making me beam. I am head over heels in love. I am still scared, but feeling much more hopeful and able to connect with the pregnancy a little more.
We all shed tears of joy seeing the baby today, even my OB. It was really a special moment.
While sitting in my OB's office I got the alert that Roe v. Wade was overturned. My heart sank. I'm sad. I'm angry. I'm scared, not just for me and my reproductive health but for all of my friends and family and every woman in this country. Today was a huge step back for women's rights. The decision made by the Supreme Court today will result on significant trauma for women and families. It's unjust, immoral and sickening.
I unintentionally saw my weight today on my paperwork and wasn't massively triggered. It's at a really good spot and lower than I thought it would be, but I actually feel really indifferent to it. That's a huge win and a HUGE FU to my ED brain.
Today is the first day I have felt truly grounded in weeks. Maybe months even. I feel like I can exist in this life and everything will be ok. Being here is tolerable.
Today was both beautiful and dark. We had the highest highs and some big lows. Meaningful progress was made in some really important areas, while massive setbacks took place in others. This is life. It's messy. I'm still struggling with how to balance the intense contradiction of emotion, but I'm starting to see these can co-exist. I can be happy and excited for the positives in my personal life and feel sad and defeated about these political tragedies. What I know for sure is I'm not done fighting this, and in the meantime I will do everything I can to make sure that the people I love have access to the healthcare they need.
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levantea · 6 months ago
Winter Falls | h.hyunjin
Pairing: idol bf!hyunjin x deceased gf!y/n
Genre: angst, grief, regret, death
Rating: PG
Warning: mentions of breaking down, insomnia, death, blood, accident
Word Count: 3.8k
Author’s note: Well, i am super duper inspired by this song so i am going to write something that is tragedic… if you are not comfortable or had trauma please DO NOT READ! i repeat, DO NOT READ! i do not want any cases of relapsing so ONLY read when you are ready for it!
Masterlist 🌨
I still badly missed you,
I’m still in that place.
Gathering all my memories,
I close my eyes and think.
2 years back
30 outgoing calls.
No matter how many times you dialed your boyfriend, he still did not picked up.
You letted out a huge sigh before walking towards your house’s window and take in some fresh air. The season was turning from autumn to winter, and the wind started to become chiller.
Unsure since when, the relationship between you and Hyunjin had deteriotated. No more sparks, no more kisses, no more hugs, no more ‘mornings’ and ‘goodnights’, no more hanging out, no more staying over. Ever since he debuted, the chance of you meeting him reduced year by year, not to mention calls and messages as well.
You thought you were prepared for it, you thought you were able to cope without him physically by your side, you thought that you were able to silently support him behind his back, you overestimated your ability of being receptive towards a ‘long-distance’ and ‘secretive’ relationship that has lasted for 4 years.
You never complained, as you understood that being an idol is not easy. Your boyfriend became a trainee without any prior knowledge to dancing, singing or rapping, and his path towards debuting was more rocky as compared to others. Initially, he still regularly called you, even just a short while, to catch up on how you had been doing and updating on his side, never forgetting to give you encouragement even though he was suffering in his practice room.
That was what made you loved him the most. He is loyal, kind, empathetic, humble, whatever complimenting words you can use on him. You always anticipated his news on when he would be debuting so you could congratulate him for not giving up on the path he chose and the support you had always gave him, and that day came which both of you shared the victorious moment together.
After he debuted 1.5 years later, the times you communicated with him reduced day by day. He always texted you messages such as “sorry hun, im busy right now”, “sorry hun, i need to go for next shoot now”, “sorry hun, im practicing now”, “sorry hun, i am really tired today, ill catch up with you when im more free,” etc. You always replied with “alright hun, take care, ill talk to you again,” until you barely received responses from him in a week.
Was it because the love faded? Or was it because career is more important than anything now?
Your eyes went red as you recalled the flashbacks of when you both just got together and how you guys spent moments during those days, exchanging promises, gifts to show how much love you both had for each other.
But those were the days that were gone.
If i ever pretend to be strong, it only makes me laugh.
How many times will the 4 seasons pass? Yeah.
It’ll just hurt, even if i search for memories,
I’m only getting shabby, only scars remain.
“One last time,” you told yourself. One last time, you will dial him and if he never answer, you will put an end to it.
When did he last called you? 8 months back? With less than 20 messages within those period. You were tired, disappointed, angry, hopeless in this relationship but still trying to give in your best to maintain that last string of it.
You remembered yourself telling him before, if he ever faces any challenges or setbacks, or he was tired, or he no longer feel the same way as he did initially for you, to tell you straight away so you could give your last wishes before parting.
There is no point hanging onto a relationship that has no communication occured or pure avoidance of conflicts. It takes 2 hands to clap, if one party doesn’t put in effort, it will be worthless to cling onto someone who don’t put you in their heart.
Dialing baby🪄🥰…
“Hi this is Hyunjin, i am currently busy right now, if you have any important messages, do leave in the voice mail and i will get back to you soon, have a great day!” a recorded voice of his sounded in your ears.
Chance was up.
“Hi hun, well, im not sure when to start from, but yea, i hope you have been doing fine. When was the last time we talked through call? If i didn’t remember wrongly, it was 8 months back? Well, I don’t want to be naggy here, but i hoped that, you have been staying safe and healthy, hydrating yourself, remember to wear more clothes as the weather is getting colder. I have tidied up your house, everything in place so that you will not forget or misplace them. I will leave the keys below the carpet, as usual, remember to pick them up when you reached here, take care and… don’t find me anymore,” your voice trailed off at the end as you were on the verge of crying. You bited your hand to control your tears, trying to avoid making any sounds of sobbing which would be recorded in the voice mail.
You quickly pressed the red button before blasting out your cries that you tried so hard to suppress. The moment you ended the unreturned call, you kind of regretted for saying the last phrase, but you were so sick of the whole relationship that has went downhill.
You were not angsty because he was busy, you were disappointed because he did not communicate, or attempt to communicate with you to seek your understanding. You were never an attention seeking person, all you needed was explaination and reassurance, which you were sure that that’s what most girls required from their other half.
After wiping your tears away, you proceeded to the room that you both shared previously to pack all your belongings into your luggage. Thankfully you did not have many things to carry as the rest of them were at your best friend’s house, since your parents were working overseas 3/4 of the year.
Within half an hour you managed to gather all your things and before you leave, you gave a one last, detailed look over this whole house. The house that you both once spent most of your time in, the house that was once filled with laughters, the house that was once you guys shared worries in, the house that you guys showed affection in.
“Good things always come to an end so quickly, what a pity,” you hissed at yourself, letting out a sarcastic laughter to yourself.
And you left the house without looking back. And little did you know that, that would be your last time looking at that house.
Days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer.
On my cold heart, something like ice is melting.
I feel sorry for repeatedly freezing and thawing.
Have you lost your warmth? Well…
“Hyunjin, y/n left a voice mail for you though,” Changbin happened to walk past his phone that was placed on the table in the makeup room that all of the members shared.
They were preparing for their comeback after they won kingdom so they were all busy with shooting and other preparations for it.
Hyunjin who just finished his part walked in and over to Changbin, who was holding onto his phone, waving the lighted screen with a wallpaper of both you and him, as well as the voice mail notification floating.
“Oh, okay since im done with my part i’ll hear it now, thanks bro,” he took over the phone and placed 1 airpod into his left ear to hear the voice message.
Initially he thought that it will be the usual check in message and sharing of how your day went but as the duration of the voice message got longer, he sensed that something was off, and he confirmed his instinct when he heard the last sentence.
He felt that his heart dropped and started to palpitate at a fast speed that he never experienced it before, not even after hours of intense dance practices he had in his whole life.
And he realised that, his heart was not beating at insane speed due to his exhaustion, it was called anxiety.
“Hyunjin, do you want to eat- wait, bro, why your face look so white? Are you okay? You look unwell,” Bang Chan came in to offer him some cookies as they had been shooting for hours and he was afraid that Hyunjin may faint since he did not eat since start of shoot.
“Hyung, i think this time round, i’m really dead, like not kidding, i’m really dead,” he started panicking and his voice quivered. Bang Chan immediately putted down the cookies and sat beside him, patting his back and finding out what had happened.
“Hyunjin, i think, y/n is really disappointed this time… i’ve told you previously right, talk to her. i know you are keeping many things behind from her because you do not want her to worry, but what she exactly needed was your open communication with her… so what is your next step now?” Bang Chan sighed after hearing his younger brother confessed.
He nodded to every sentence that was mentioned by his hyung and he started tearing up. The more he thought of what he did for the past 8 months, the more regretful he became. Ignoring what his manager said to not dial anyone during work hours, he just went out of the studio to call you back, despite wearing thin layers in the rather cold weather.
The tables have turned. He spam called you many many times but you refused to answer, and even switched off your phone when you reached your best friends house. You explained the whole situation to her and she was being a really great listener.
1 week later
Season has changed. Temperature has dropped, just like your heart. You were counting down to the end of the year and there were 25 more days to next year. Of course, you still decided not to answer any of his phone call, despite it keep coming in everyday. On average he called you 50 times a day just to bet on a chance that you will answer.
After a week of cooling down, you felt that it was unfair to just ended things on one sided. It was not like he betrayed you or anything that stepped onto your principles, and you guessed it would be fine to give him a chance to speak up for himself and end things on a formal note, between you and him.
The next time he called again was at 9pm, and you decided to pick up the call.
“y/n? Are you y/n? Can you hear me? You finally picked up my call,” the guy at the other end of the phone spoke with hope.
“I can hear you. Any issue?” you replied him with a cold tone even though your heart and mind told you to be kinder.
“I-i-i, can we meet for a moment? Just 30mins, 30mins to talk, i promise i wont exceed the timing… please?” he was literally begging you. If only you were physically there, he would probably went down on his knees to beg you to spare some time for him.
“…where,when,time?” you kept silent for a moment before replying. You were contemplating if you should agree to it, but you still did.
“The same usual cafe we go to, tomorrow 4pm,” he quickly replied before allowing any possible rejections from you.
“Noted,” you replied with one word before cutting the call.
Being cold was so tough. You wanted to show how ignorant you were to him but whenever he speaks, you felt yourself melting and you hated yourself for being so weak on that.
Shall see how it goes tomorrow, you thought.
Hiding under a quiet sky, emptying my heart.
It’s easier to push than to forget, right?
Did i miss that time? Did i miss you?
The regret of not to knowing my own name.
Next day
You specially woke up earlier to finish your work before meeting him, as you felt that you needed to prepare yourself and master the courage to meet the person you loved and hated after such a long time.
You wore a turtleneck knitted dress that covered all the way down to your calf with a windbreaker over you. You also wore a beanie that was once given by Hyunjin when it was your birthday 2 years back. You adored the beanie so much and you did not dare to wear too often as you were worried it would worn off easily.
Thay day just felt like the day to wear it hence you placed it elegantly over your long brown hair. Taking one last check, you left the house after wearing your brown leather boots that was also given by him as christmas present.
Oh yea, Christmas was in 17 days… and how many Christmas had you celebrated with him? You once thought that you will be able to celebrate Christmas every year with him till the day you both have reached the end of your chapter of life but it seemed like, you will be celebrating without him anymore…
You came to the junction. The cafe was opposite where you were standing, and you saw a familar figure standing on the other side of the street waving at you. He dialed your phone which you don’t understand why as you would be meeting him soon, but you answered the call anyways.
“Y/n, I will wait for you here okay? And, look up in the sky, can you see the snow falls?” he pointed in the air and as you looked up, he was right. It was snowing, and it was the first day of snow in that year. You were still wondering to yourself if you would break the record of being the only one seeing the first snow for the year but somehow, you still caught it with him, even though being a street away.
“Yea i do, it is really pretty,” your lips curved up a little bit as you see more snows falling onto your handgloves.
Even though the weather was cold, but you felt your heart getting warmer because the snow healed your heart and, somehow he was there for you, even though not in the past 8 months.
“It’s green light now,” he reminded you softly and you made your way towards him. Suddenly, you felt that there were so many words that you wanted to tell him despite you trying to brush them off. As you walked closer step by step to him, the feeling of how you missed him so badly rised. You felt like sprinting towards his embrace but, it was too late.
You were so engrossed in looking at him and being on the phone made you neglected that there was a huge truck driving at abnormally fast speed which happened to collide with you so badly, that you were being knocked a distance away, leaving you lying in a pool of blood that originated from your whole body, especially your head.
It felt like the whole time was stopped. Cars stopped, people stopped. Everyone was taken aback by what has happened in seconds and some were screaming as they saw the huge amount of blood started to stain the road that was getting white due to the snow.
You were in awful extreme pain. You felt that your bones were dislocating from every part of your body and you felt your head aching and spinning so badly, and you couldn’t recognise or hear your surrounding anymore.
The only thing you could hear was someone calling your name repetitively in a familiar voice.
Hyunjin was in total shock when he saw you being hit by the huge truck and the impact of you being thrown metres away. His mind went blank for moment before he dashed to your side, to see blood started to flood around you. He felt someone was choking him and squeezing his heart so badly that he couldn’t breathe.
“Y/n? y/n? y/n? Can you hear me?! Please don scare me babe, please, i cannot lose you, i cannot breathe without you being right by side,” Hyunjin started crying as he saw that blood keeps oozing out of your body no matter how hard he tried to stop it.
He was in total depair and he was screaming for help. He couldn’t care less about his idol image that was built over the past few years. What he only knew was, he needed to save you.
You were slowly starting to black out due to the enormous amount of pain that you couldn’t cope and you were running out of breath. You knew that time was running out.
“SOMEONE PLEASE, CALL THE AMBULANCE, IM BEGGING PLEASE!” Hyunjin was in a broken state while trying to seek help from people and coping with the truth of you were being hit and the fact that you would be dying anytime.
He still got so many words that he wanted to tell you but everything were swallowed back when he saw that tragedy.
You tried to master all your energy to use your hand and reached out to his face, but you realised your hands were filled with blood, which was not supposed to stain his beautiful face. You wanted to retract it but he took your hands over and placed on his damp cheeks.
“Hyunjin, can you come closer? I can’t raise my voice,” you squeezed your words out of your mouth while trying not to cry, as it would made you hurt even more.
He leaned in closer to your mouth while soothing your hair. “Yes, i am here babe, i am,” he caressed your hand and placed kisses on them while his tears came in contact with your hand.
“Hyunjin, there were so many words i wanted to tell you, but it seems like, i don’t have time. I just need you to know that, i love you, always, and forever, no matter where i am, my heart will always be with you… what a pity,” you gathered all your last bit of energy to convey your feelings towards him, before you stopped breathing.
And yes, you left the world when the first snow came in that year, leaving Hyunjin alone behind. What you cannot hear was him unable to hold the heartbreak any longer and he was on his knees in a disheveled heap as his grief poured out in a flood of uncontrollable tears.
If only he could rewind the time, if only he could have talked to you more, if only he could spent time with you more, if only he could be the one walking towards you, the whole tragedy would not have happened.
And he knew that, you will never return to his side anymore.
I find you in my memory,
Holding your hand and walking.
It was a warm winter,
Everything was beautiful back then.
Hyunjin suffered almost everyday for the past 1.5 years ever since that accident happened. He was in the circle of guilt and constantly self-blaming for not cherishing you enough when you were alive.
He decided to declare hiatus and move back to the house you both once live in to get a hold of himself. It was so tough initially as he had to live in that house without you anymore. When he stepped back into the house, he couldn’t help but to reminisce the happy moments you both shared when younger at each corner of the house.
Especially the bedroom made him collapsed when he opened the door. He saw all the photoframes that lied peacefully on your study table and the sheets were neatly laid, awaiting for you to come home.
And he did, but alone.
He was also diagnosed with insomnia, as everytime he fell asleep he would always dream of you and ended up crying when he woke up from his slumber. He couldn’t count how many times his pillow was wet from the tears and he felt every second ticking was meant to kill him inside.
“Karma,” he laughed at himself.
It feels like I woke up from a long dream,
It’s snowing and time is flying.
Will the season where I embraced you come again?
I have to send it now, but it’s hard.
Thankfully, his members were all very concern of him and visited him frequently to ensure he was okay and healing from the pain. The older members would always talked to him patiently and hear him out, and the younger ones would prepare little gifts for him to cheer him up.
And now, he managed to gather his courage and stand back on stage, facing STAYs who have been patiently waiting for him to come back. They were all very understanding towards Hyunjin’s situation and gave him encouragements through his SNS.
Hyunjin was able to walk out of the past and live on his life as an idol, bearing in mind that your heart is always with him, even though not on the same world. Whenever he felt discouraged or missed you, he will open the letter you wrote for him when you both first got together and he always keep in his wallet.
“Do what you love and love what you do. I will always be behind your back and support you. Don’t doubt your choices and you are the best, live your life to the fullest as you only live once.”
Moving on
Subsequently, whenever the first snow fall every year, he will definitely space out some time to visit the cafe that you did not manage to meet him that year and buy a cup of americano and a cup of caramel latte that you loved, placing it on the opposite side of the table that nobody seats on.
He knew that you loved corner seats, especially those that were right beside the glass window so you were able to catch the scenic view outside. He also knew you love winter season as it symbolises the end of year is coming and new year awaits for both of you.
“Babe, today is the first winter fall of the year, did you manage to catch it?” He mumbled to himself and probably you who may hear it in somewhere he can’t see.
“I love you, and i miss you.”
I loved you, loved you, loved you,
As you did, loved you, loved you, loved you.
Again it falls, the snow falls,
We fall apart,
But our hearts never.
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© levantea — all rights reserved. No plagarising, editing, claiming as own without permission.
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clumsyyhearts · 6 months ago
least favourite kaz headcanons?
VERYYYY interesting ask anon
Anything that sets Kaz back in recovery permanently or implies that he’s fully dependent on Inej to heal. Though I think he’ll definitely have setbacks (because healing from trauma is not linear! And he has a fucking lot to unpack, from guilt over his brother’s death to his own role as a crime lord to the people he’s killed to his touch aversion… it will certainly take him a long time) and I do think Inej is an integral part of his recovery (in the same way that Kaz is integral to her recovery), I really don’t love when people leave him drowning in his state at the end of canon (or regress him permanently to his emotional state at the beginning of canon) or imply that Inej is the only person he’ll ever be able to be fully emotional and present around (because, frankly, that’s unhealthy for both of them.)
“Kaz is an evil mastermind” or “Kaz is ruthless” or “Kaz Brekker never has a reason”. Or comparing Kaz to the Darkling and saying they’re similar. Kaz is established to be an extremely logical and brutal and cunning character but … he’s human. He makes mistakes, he has a moral code, he doesn’t kill relentlessly and he doesn’t harm for the fuck of it. I’m not a fan of dark headcanons for the most part so I don’t appreciate those headcanons where he’s painted as a violent and psychopathic murderer. I like a Kaz with nuance!
I’m not a huge fan personally of the Jordie Lives AUs but this is mostly a personal thing in that I think the impact on canon is so great that it would shift the entire course of the series. For as terrible as it is that Kaz lost his brother, he would never have joined the Dregs if Jordie lived and thus would never have saved Jesper, Inej, and Wylan from the brutal underground of Ketterdam, or helped Nina and Matthias, etc etc etc… Basically the whole book would be totally different! Which is fine (it’s an AU, it shouldn’t be exactly like the book) but it’s not typically my cup of tea.
I don’t like the characterization of Kaz as someone who would continue to deny his feelings about Inej, TO Inej, post-canon. (He can hide them from everyone else, or at least try, but there’s no plausible scenario where he can walk back the bathroom scene/the final scene in the harbor and deny to Inej that he likes her. Also, he’s not stupid enough to try.) This is a long-winded way to say that post-canon Kaz would absolutely not call Inej an investment. Or anything equally infuriating. He might mess up and be terrified of his emotions and of the implications of their relationship, but he’s not cruel for the sake of being cruel, and he knows damn well he doesn’t and nor did he ever own Inej.
Last one: Kaz does not get a dog or a cat while he lives in the Slat, but I do think he’d like to train a dog when he and Inej eventually retire.
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relax-and-read-on · 4 months ago
Do you have any relationship headcanons about the Primarchs?
Im so mad I had started to answer and tumblr ate my post fndbdnsjaksn
Yes. Yes I have. Plenty. Infinite amount. In my head, every primarchs has reactions that toward every others, and said relationship change depending on a multitude of factor. Ferrus is not gonna act the same in presence of others if Fulgrim is there, etc etc. Exploring complex interpersonal relationship is probably my favorite thing in fiction!
Behold, a few of those (all non shipy! Gasp, I know!!)! As always, Corvus is a trans woman and Fulgrim use they/them, because it's my blog and I do what I WANT. This also take place pre-heresy, possibly in a kinder world too.
Corvus and Konrad: Biological twins, and Corvus HATE it. She wants nothing to do with this... Horrible twisted version of herself. She pity and is disgusted by Konrad, and she can easily see how she could have been him. Meanwhile, Konrad do feel a pull toward his twin sister, and take the rejection from her quite hard. One more person who throw him aside.
Fulgrim and Sanguinius: Bestyyyy! The two pretty mean girls. Most people assume that when they hang out one on one, they do fancy art stuff. That's nit the case. See, they both have very similar, high expectation, controlled image. When together, they can let loose and be ugly and filthy, they probably get into bare knuckle fight with ork war band and end up covered in gore, exausted but happy, laughing on the ground and infodumping all their anxiety. Very, very close.
Angron and Lorgar: Lorgar saw the one brother no one was caring for, and went "I can fix him", because this boy has never learn what a red flag is. He was probably beaten half to death quite a few time early in their relationship, but hey, that's just a setback! Meanwhile Angron finally, *finally* had someone giving a damn about him. It took a very long time for him to fully trust Lorgar, but now... They are incredibly close and trusting, and have huge amount of affection and love for one another.
Horus and Leman: Very, very close. For the longest time, it was just them. They are very similar, and even nowadays, they are pretty damn close. Leman is one of the rare person Horus will confide into, and be physically close. Leman is just a cuddly bastard and will hug the fuck out of his bro.
Leman and Jaghatai: They hate each other. Truly, fully, hate. Get into fistfight if they are as much as are in the general area. They both come from extremely traditional world, and how they approach it and view other and themself is just... In complete clash. And, ofc, they are on opposite end of the Magnus issue.
Mortarion and Konrad: they actually really like spending time together! No, really!! I could see them in a dark room, both in opposite corner, each quietly enjoying a book, and then leaving. Did they talk? Not really. But they understand one another, and ping each other as "safe" and "allie". Their trauma in mistrust are similar they get lower their guard around one another.
Alpharius/Omegon and Roboute: Listen. *Listen*. While yes, the constant infiltration drive him crazy... He can appreciate some hilarious trolling. He's autistic, yes, but also quite social. The twins are one of the rare bros to actually realise that Bobby Blue is just funny af, and they probably love to hang out around him. Also, their paperwork is impecable, and that is a LOT of gold stars in Rob book.
Lion and Magnus: Magnus refuse to be in the same room alone with Lion. Straight up. He can read mind, and the mind of Lion is just *wrong*. Everything is twisted and sharp and there is no emotions. Even animals are more pleasant to mentally connect with. As such, has 0 trust in him. Meanwhile, Lion also has zero trust in the magical bastard, and would *hapily* kill him if he was certain that he could get away with it.
Vulkan and Lorgar: Both are, at their core, non violent and like civilian. Both didn't want to be fighter. Vulkan has a heavy religious background, with the prometeum cult back home. Vulkan might not understand Lorgar, but he would totally respect him, and they would probably have a ton of fun together like, helping refuge and other loyal good paladin actions.
Rogal Dorn and Ferrus Manus: Rogal is a rigid autistic person. Ferrus is someone with a tamper who need regularity to keep himself under check. They respect the HELL out of each others, and can both are very happy to have one brother who is still sane, and yet do not care for polite nicety.
Perturabo and Corvus: Pert want recognitions and honestly, probably hate most people. At the same time, he would probably at least respect Corvus, because she too seem to be often forgotten and her sons are specialised in unique warfare. And while Corvus would haaaate the stupid meatgrinder Pert force his sons into... She would probably be very impressed by his brilliant mind. She's a science gall. They probably eventually have an uneasy friendship.
If you want more detailed ramble or something not on this list, drop in my askbox!
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mostlikelytofangirl · 4 months ago
If NMJ had somehow found out A-Yuan was born from the Wen Clan (idk abt logistics, maybe a god tells him), do you think he would have exposed and killed him?
I love NMJ but his unwavering principles are as much a vice as a virtue. I love him but he scares me (haha totally not bringing my own traumas to my media consumption).
- Regular Anon
Ok, this is bit of a tough one.
His principles as both a vice and a virtue really nails it tbh. It would seem that having such strong morals can have no setbacks, but it really did show when NMJ was so adamant in punishing every single Wen, even when he knew the remnants did not participate in the war.
So, in A-Yuan's case... it's complicated. I would say it would depend on what stage of A-Yuan's life they would be, but I think both scenarios have their own issues.
Let's say, when A-Yuan was a toddler. We know A-Yuan survived the siege bc he was hidden, but if NMJ would have found him, what would he have done? On one hand, A-Yuan's a Wen, and NMJ is set in not forgiving any of those. On the other hand, that's a little kid, what kind of honorable warrior would punish a child? Iirc, there's this scene in the novel where NMJ and his troops made it to a desolated house after a battle, and what they found there was a mother with her children, and naturally they were left alone. Would that had been the same? It's a Wen, but it's an innocent child.
Now, let's say NMJ somehow survives until A-Yuan becomes Lan Sizhui, a respected disciple of the Lan and a promising and polite young cultivator. If he was to find out then, what would his reaction be? That's not a small kid anymore, but LSZ can barely be considered a Wen at all. He had been raised by the Lan, known and loved by all other sects. Would he still denounce the boy? Would it even matter at that point?
In my purely personal and honest opinion, I think NMJ would spare A-Yuan. Yes, he is implacable when he is convinced that he is walking the righteous path and delivering justice (and that can be scary af when it's a 191 cm wall of muscles with a huge ass saber XD), but legitimately thinking that a 3 years-old child deserves death is no longer justice, is cruelty —I mean, you could make the argument that blaming the Dafan Wens was cruel on itself (and it was), but in NMJ's head, they had the chance to take a stand and they didn't. What kind of stand could a kid take?
NMJ can be a lot of things, but he is not a bad person. One thing that is also very prominent in him is standing up for the weak and defenseless, and there's hardly anyone more defenseless than a toddler. Even if A-Yuan was LSZ already, the entire Lan clan would vouch for him, and if LXC could convince NMJ to trust JGY, he could very well convince him that LSZ is a Lan now, his blood is of no relevance.
So no, I don't think NMJ would demand the death of A-Yuan/LSZ.
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zippers · a month ago
well anyway................ lesbians who initially thought we were asexual are not natural enemies with people who are legitimately asexual… we have common experiences that lead to a conflation of labels and using that as an excuse to dislike asexuals or to delegitimize asexuality is self-centered at the very least... my way or the highway? nobody is going to experience life the same way, but their experiences are still happening, and for every lesbian who credits asexuality for encouraging their internalized homophobia, there is an asexual who felt their lived experience be validated for the first time after learning about asexuality. and we can both be telling the truth! there is no actual consequence for being "wrong" about your sexuality. THAT rhetoric is what is causing harm to questioning tweens, not people educating about asexuality.
(As an aside, I think some of this stems from how we've moved from including the Q for questioning to queer -- not that queer isn't also a helpful term, but its a lot more ambiguous compared to questioning, and it's just an upsetting word to a lot of people which makes the word less inclusive for the specific purpose I am discussing. In general, I think it is most inclusive and appropriate to specify that the Q stands for "queer/questioning" but that seems to have fallen out of favor recently.)
(Also in my original essay I made a really good comparison: my autism was misdiagnosed as OCD. I am pretty sure I do not have OCD, and being diagnosed with OCD instead of autism has definitely been a huge setback in my mental health journey. I understand why I received that diagnosis, and I understand why I thought I was asexual (I didn't think Dean Winchester was sexy. LOL. Wish I was joking but that was a major reason why I thought I had to be asexual.) But still, I know there are people with OCD and I know that there are autistic people with OCD. I am just not one of them. The same way as there are asexual people and asexual lesbians. I am just not one of them and their sexuality journey is going to look and end differently than mine.)
We as adults in the greater community have the responsibility to make honest information about sexuality available AND teach that if you do end up experiencing attraction that is contrary to the label you've attached yourself to, you were not "wrong", you were not duped, you just hadn't had the opportunity to collect all the data yet.
Unfortunately, since a lot of these realizations wrt asexuality happen around puberty or during an early relationship, a lot of the people realizing they aren't asexual do not have the emotional maturity to fully consider others' experiences and instead react with anger. Anger at wasted time, whether that is time spent denying yourself a healthy relationship, or time stressing over which MOGAI label correctly describes what symptoms of childhood trauma that is impacting your ability to form relationships (because let me remind everyone that a lack of sexual attraction/libido CAN BE a trauma response and a symptom of depression, and for SOME PEOPLE (me) spending all that time trying to validate something that stemmed from trauma is a form of self-harm. As was reading exlusionist discourse on tumblr, and well, look where that landed me.)
But ultimately, time wasted is time passed. And the 11 year old wearing an ace flag at pride will not be saved by you telling them that asexuality is cringe. (In fact, they've been prepared for that very sentiment by the extremely prevalent but well-meaning messages of "it's not a phase despite what adults in your life will tell you" and it only bolsters their conviction.) Let them make mistakes, or let them be right. Although their body is still changing, they still know it better than you or anybody else. Someone else's sexuality is not something you can live vicariously through.
I have identified both as asexual activist and an ace exclusionist in my life. Do not bother sending me discourse over my lived experience and opinions, as I have heard and said it all. For now, I love all of my asexual friends and trust them to know about their bodies and their feelings. it would be creepy and intrusive if I didn't. To be honest, I'm still working on getting over thinking the asexual flag is cringe but only because I was super embarrassing about it when i was a kid and that's what my flavor of anxiety has always done to me, like, I passionately hated avatar the last airbender for half a decade because I was bullied for liking it in elementary school and started believing the bullies (thank god I got over it, because i started watching korra as a guilty secret and a year later it turned out being what made me finally comfortable to come out as a lesbian!).
LOL this ended up being a good half as long as the original essay that got wiped by Tumblr. not as good or eloquent though. sigh. But i was supposed to work from home today.... oops.... I have spent 4 hours now typing about asexuality like it's 2010 XD
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seriouslysam8 · 4 months ago
Obviously harry suffered from PTSD right after the war. And probably not only from the battle, but from the past 17 years of his life, in which he suffered countless extremely traumatic situations. He underwent a tremendous amount of trauma at such a young age, when his brain was still growing and developing, and I feel like after the war, when all the adrenaline finally died down, he would’ve had a huge setback in his mental health. Literally, you could pick one action scene from any of the books, and it would be enough to give a grown adult PTSD for the rest of their life. He was forced to kill his teacher at 11, fight a basilisk and save his friend’s dying little sister at 12, compete in a deadly tournament at 14 and witness the revival of the dark lord that murdered his parents, and lead a secret army against an abusive teacher and his corrupt school, then got tricked into a battle that led to him seeing his godfather get murdered. This boy literally had a Horcrux living in his brain, an emotional parasite which caused him to have horrifying visions and episodes. He saw through the eyes and felt the thoughts and emotions of a deranged psychopath… who murdered his parents… and destroyed his life. Then he walked to his own death and got murdered during a battle that killed his friends and family. Like holy shit how is he mentally stable? Someone make it make sense! Because that’s not even including the emotional and physical abuse he suffered when he was just a little kid from his relatives. Is there a therapist here who can explain to me how Harry is okay? 
What do you think his symptoms were after the war? Do you think he had flashbacks? Anxiety attacks? Nightmares? Social Isolation? Insomnia? Paranoia? Thoughts of self harm (even if not suicidal)? Guilt? Loss of purpose? Or maybe all of them? After everything he went through at such a young age, and it finally came to an end, when he didn’t even think he would live to be 18… I can’t see him being even remotely okay or stable for a while after it all ended.
Sorry for the long ask!
Oh geeze, I get nervous and flustered with heavy asks and I feel like I never think them through clearly enough or can articulate myself well. But here we go anyway.
I think it’s very obvious in the Moment in Time series that Harry suffers with his mental health. He’s anxious, he’s moody, he’s overbearing, and he’s socially inept. That’s from the WW trauma and from his childhood trauma. Ginny is very patient with him and his mental health issues. Let’s face it, Ginny has a lot less issues than Harry, but she struggles with mental health as well. The difference is, Ginny’s always had the backbone of her family to lean on. Chamber of Secrets? I totally think Molly and Arthur got Ginny the help she needed. She knew to seek out comfort when she was struggling. Sirius’ and Ginny’s late night chats and her willingness to talk to Harry in Effloresce. She has the social skills that allowed her to cope with her mental health issues better. Harry never had that. He flounders way more than Ginny does.
Harry didn’t know how to get help in Brontide when he became addicted to Felix. He just felt like some failure who needed to deal with it on his own. He was too scared of losing Ginny and the kids that he didn’t even consider that they would be supportive of him. His self-worth had been so severely damaged by the Dursleys that he still had trouble seeing that he was loved no matter what. He was so nervous that the love he had cherished for 16 years would suddenly disappear because he had made a very big mistake.
I’ve already started building on Harry’s trauma in Effloresce. He has nightmares nearly nightly and has developed insomnia. Don’t let the cute late night Hinny meetings distract you from the fact that these are both massively messed up kids. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Harry having trouble sleeping in Legerdemain before and possibly even Brontide. His insomnia and nightmares (while they have lessened over the years) are still very much prominent in his adult life.
I think Harry has always suffered from panic or anxiety attacks. While they have lessened over the years as he’s learned to cope a little better, they never truly left him. I feel like he still has nightmares on and off as well. Again they’ve lessened or shifted over the years, but Harry and sleep aren’t really on good terms. I do picture him having a lot of guilt. I’ve written bits and pieces of Lacuna (the year after the war story I’ve told you all about) and one of the first things he says to Ginny is that he’s sorry. He truly feels like he should have died instead of Fred, instead of Remus and Tonks, instead of everyone. He feels so guilty and that guilt never truly leaves. Even in Legerdemain, he’s quick to tell Albus he would sacrifice his own freedom in order to get Albus out of the country if he gets a guilty verdict. That really plays into his guilt of surviving when so many died before him. He doesn’t want anyone else to suffer and is too self-sacrificing for his own good.
Honestly, I think I write Harry too well-adjusted for everything he’s been through. I like to think Ginny’s love keeps him sane and from totally falling apart. Harry wouldn’t be able to live without Ginny.
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wackybuddiemewbs · 6 months ago
OKAY. I have WAY too many thoughts about the mid-season finale. I'm apologizing in advance for the mad rambling that's about to come. And continue. In many posts. Making little to no sense.
Being a hoe for angst... damn, I got treated. And damn, I got treated angst... now I'm feeling angsty. A lot. A lot a lot.
I didn't really see Eddie quitting coming at all, to be honest. Kudos to the writers there. Even though it came as quite a shock... it's still pretty damn good and organic storytelling. They have built up the drifting apart of the team also as a result of shared and individual trauma very well thus far. Eddie “breaking out” by actually quitting the 118 seems like the first peak that may finally open up a conversation here.
A long overdue conversation.
Or five... hundred of them.
Because the lack of talking is the bane of most of it for the team, for the members of the team, particularly for Eddie and Buck.
Also, kudos for all the foreshadowing/callbacks, e.g. Eddie telling Buck that them falling out of touch isn't happening, just for it to happen. The parallels of Buck's and Eddie's recovery arc. The list continues and continues.
Also, blessed be all the metas and gifsets already out there pointing that out. Y'all are amaze-balls.
While it's painful to watch, I'm glad we actually see people being confronted with their traumas and that of their loved ones. As tough as it is, part of the process of healing is talking about it, accepting that things don't go linear in the healing process. That you have setbacks. Christopher dreams of his mom again. He is having panic over Eddie being in danger. Buck is facing some of his inner demons, dealing with his separation from Maddie and Chimney. Athena and Harry working through things, too, etc.
And I pray that Eddie finally takes the hint to find himself a therapist to click with. Coz my dude, you're so close to getting the point, and then take a sharp 180 every damn time.
You don't need another job. You need another therapist. A therapist at all.
While it's surely just a temporary measure for Eddie, I am aching to know how they are gonna tackle this whole issue. Carla basically spelled it out already: Being a firefighter is something Eddie did and does for himself. Thus, neglecting that as well as everything else he has, in favor of Christopher's wellbeing and/or comfort, is going to bite him in the perky ass. So damn much.
Not because I think it's wrong of him to take a break to sort things out with Christopher. I think it's great to see a father not just downplaying his son's trauma, doing whatever it takes to get him what he needs.
But it's a knee-jerk reaction in the end. In the course of 1 episode, Eddie decides to quit the 118. Which is more than a job. It's where his found family is. It's one of the few things he's ever decided for himself. Normally, he thinks things through more carefully, sometimes too carefully (see sticking it out with Ana. Also because of his feeling of obligation to have a “ready-made family” for his son despite not being ready for it with Ana. Coz she's not the right one). But with this, he goes straight away. He doesn't take time. He goes for it. Chop-chop.
Eddie doesn't know how to respond to Christopher's reaction and his fears regarding his father's wellbeing. But Eddie feels like he has to respond in some way, and the only thing he can come up with at that point is to quit the 118. To get out of the danger zone.
He is being triggered (operative word of especially this episode but also that whole season... I mean, how often did we hear that word spelled out this season, hmmmmm?). By that boy asking whether his dad is dead (which he isn't!). He is triggered by Chris being triggered and not knowing how to fix that. List goes on.
Because Eddie wants to fix things. Still, quitting permanently seems like such a huge step perhaps in the right direction (taking time to sort his mess after Ana left all those muffins in that kitchen. So many muffins...), but taking a wrong turn along the way. Because taking time off to search for solutions, not just going through the motions at the job, swallowing it down, that's good. That's the right thing to do.
But he also could have taken leave for a while. He could have taken off for some time, I bet Bobby would have had him covered. And I bet he knows that, too. Chim's doing it.
But Eddie seems set on punishing himself for failing his son. Because his old fear of not being good enough is back in full swing, as he expresses to Buck under the Christmas tree. Because he failed to have that relationship with Ana that he thinks made Christopher feel happy and safe. Because he got shot and Christopher was upset. Because he got panic attacks that his son got to see and deal with. Because he is not okay - and he needs to be okay to support his son.
Dude is spiraling so hard right now.
Eddie feels like he is failing Christopher, so he is seemingly also in part punishing himself for it. Because that job is important to him personally. It's more than a job. It's a calling. It's a privilege. It's a decision he made for himself. And he will give that up in a heartbeat, thinking that this will fix things for Christopher.
Spoiler alert (not really, but I'm feeling like it's gonna be just so): This is not how you're going to fix things, Eddie, my dear.
Because there is a crucial difference between responding to your child's needs and total personal self-neglect. Bobby warned him before (in relation to Shannon) that he doesn't have to lose everything before he allows himself to feel something etc. And I think that's what's happening here. He is giving up everything for his son. He neglects himself, he gives his last for his son, even that one thing aside from Christopher that he cherishes, this job.
But that's not the solution.
Because life is dangerous. That guy that got him triggered? He didn't get buried under a broken house (like that gingerbread house, hmmmmmm) while he was doing a dangerous job. He was going about his everyday life. Most of the calls are just that: People living their lives, getting caught up in sometimes strange situations. Which is not to say that firefighters have a less risky job. They do a very dangerous job. And yes, chances are higher for them to wind up hurt or dead. But I think there's a narrative undercurrent showing that Eddie is wrong by trying to find the solution in quitting this dangerous job.
Because again, life is dangerous. Life is hard. Buck and Christopher got caught in a tsunami while at the peer. He got shot responding to a call that had nothing to do with the sniper other than him having that uniform. And by quitting as a firefighter, Eddie is merely glossing over what's underneath: That he and Christopher have to have an honest conversation. About the traumas they share. About what they lost. About *why* Christopher is upset. Why it's *now* that he reacts that strongly to the potential of his father being in danger on the job. And what *other* possible solutions there are.
Eddie thinks he has to do it all alone - and that's just not true. And I think that may also be the grand Buddie sweetness in it all. Or part of it. Maybe Christopher finally gets to understand that Buck is there for him, not just in the event of Eddie's death but also living up to his promise to be there for him while Eddie is very much around. All of them talking about it... So. Much. Potential.
Makes me wonder whether they are going for a similar trajectory as we've seen for TK on Lone Star. That following an injury, he quits for a while, only to have that epiphany moment, telling him what he has to be and how to be it - and that he needs to be a first responder, that this is his calling. While I don't think that Eddie's solution is going for paramedic necessarily, I could very well see some variant of that trajectory for him.
More to the point, I can very well envision a scenario wherein Eddie e.g. sees the 118 working a job that's extremely dangerous. Maybe they are understaffed. Maybe TV is reporting. Eddie is watching at home, all nervous. Because he should be out there. He needs to be out there, but he can't. The more I think about it... maybe it really will be some variant of TK and Tommy - wherein Chris tells him that he needs to be out there, like Tommy's kids told her.
Bonus points if this involves Buck. ALL the bonus points if it's about Buck, and we get both the epiphany about the job and the Oh moment for Eddie.
A fangirl can dream!
Anyway. More posts. Less cohesiveness. Even more rambling.
See you around.
The next few months are gonna be a not so merry ride.
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aspiringwarriorlibrarian · 10 months ago
Ehat is your favourite rwby moment? Or moments if you are indecisive.
I don't like picking favorites but you gave me the option of Multiple so here's the ones I really really like:
Ren killing the Nuckelavee. I got into RWBY in volume 4 and this was The Moment for me, the one where I really, really respected what the show could do in terms of character and storyline. That entire fight felt so goddamn satisfying.
The triple awakening of Penny becoming the Winter Maiden, Oscar using magic, and Ruby using her silver eyes. That scene was just so goddamn cool how they shot it, and Penny was one of my favorite characters anyway so her becoming the Maiden is just a really cool moment of affirmation. Even if her being the Maiden turned out to be a bad thing down the line, I still refrain that Penny as is was meant to be a Maiden, and the problems came in when people tried to make her into a Maiden rather than let her decide what being a Maiden meant.
Qrow stopping the bomb. Qrow suffered this massive setback at the beginning of the volume, but I liked how even if he thought he was back to square one, the show didn't treat it as such. He opened up to Robyn and admitted he was hurting. He listened to her when she told him that he was better than petty vengeance. He tried to get through to Harriet and he finally made the choice to take a leap of faith that he could be more than the bad luck charm he believed himself to be. Characters in this show get better, get worse, have setbacks, but none of it is ever wasted. No one is exactly who they were before, and all the progress Qrow made before still existed in the middle of his relapse and helped save and transform him. Seeing how his Semblance is a metaphor for depression and I've struggled with the exact same thing, it was a massive balm to see this on screen. I've said before I don't pick favorites, but Qrow's arc is definitely one of the top 3 moments in the show because of how much it resonated with me.
The other shoe dropping in Gravity. I'm a sucker for a good villain arc, and what makes it so good is that this isn't treated as a "well he's evil now ". This is the tipping point and he spends the rest of the volume and volume 8 falling further and further until he's helpless on the floor and it is finally, finally too late to turn back. The ultimate tragedy of Ironwood is that at every moment he had an opportunity to turn back... and yet refused each one. It was the moment when I fully understood where they were going with him and how good it was going to be, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Cinder getting her groove back near the end of volume 8. I always hated how people insisted that Cinder was a useless or one-note villain because her trauma (and bad luck) was interfering, so this felt like vindication. They needed her to be off her game all those volumes because it took them this long to actually match up to her. She has finally, definitely, won. And she's about to find out how hollow that is.
Maria and Neo fighting. I dislike smug villains (not in a case of they're bad writing, more in a case of i just hate smug people in general), so seeing Maria knock her down a peg was quite satisfying. Plus, I'm a sucker for "plain old combat experience trumps tricks" any day, and how it reinforced what Maria said to Ruby about how the most important thing was to keep on training and learning.
Emerald's freak out moment with the Salem illusion. It was just so creepy and cool.
The Apathy, because they hit so close to home and because of Ruby's silver eyes and Qrow's alcoholism intersecting with it so well. While we're at it, the Hound as well. This show does horror very well.
Yang reading Raven for filth, both times. All those years of psychological manipulation and she wasn't having it.
Salem manipulating Cinder into staying on her side after electrocuting her with the arm. It was masterfully done and just underscored what an absolute monster she could be. Doesn't hurt that it was followed up by her shattering Atlas' defenses.
Ren seeing everyone's emotions. I am a HUGE sucker for characters gaining new senses, I loved Ren's entire Atlas arc (introverts being allowed to introvert and gaining power and understanding through that! what a concept!) and the visuals were so goddamn cool. Also, more magical girl powers.
Penny gazing into the stars after she decides to hold up Amity. In a volume about how Penny's choices were limited and the tragedy that followed, it was a great moment that showed how deeply Penny loved the people she cared for and the world she was born into, and how magnificent she could have been if she'd been allowed to fully realize herself. Helps that I'm a firm proponent of the Penny 3.0 theory so I see this as potential foreshadowing for when Penny truly comes into her own.
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ofwearysouls · 3 months ago
SBI and Bench trio Centered Pacific Rim AU. Motivated by a curious encounter with a kaiju and the passionate desire to protect humanity Wilbur and Tommy a pair of orphan brothers join the Jaeger program. They are able to flawlessly drift together to pilot their Yaeger named Crimeboy and become one of the elite drifting teams having not only survived longer than most mech pilots but also having a high mission success rate. Or at least they were before the fateful night when an intense battle lead to Wilbur being ripped out of the mech right before Tommy's eyes, leaving the younger to despratelly fight to singlehandedly control the mech.
Wilbur is assumed dead and Tommy barely survives the encounter but is forever traumatised by the event, his passionate yet playful vigor turning into a deep sated need for vengeance. His recovery is a very long and difficult one and he seems unable to drift with any other pilot due to a combination of trauma and incompatibility. The facility almost labeled him a lost cause when the unthinkable happens, Tommy manages to drift with his best friends the already established drifting pair Tubbo and Ranboo in the first ever three way drift.
Tommy Springs back into action, but things are heating up in the battle for earth ensuring the trio and all other mech pilots have not a moment of peace. It really doesn't help that Tommy's psyche is being given a huge setback due to the reappearance of two Kaiju who had always had a tendency to appear anywhere him and his brother were stationed and this time they brought along a third member, and Tommy can't help but thi k that the new monster feels achingly familiar. Unlike before the normally pretty docile pair+1 have been getting closer and closer to him and his new drifting partners
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maulusque · a year ago
(I started writing this and then it got out of hand and now it’s 3:30 in the morning, rest of it’s under the break so i don’t monopolize your dash)
So for whatever combination of reasons, Maul spits out the kool-aid and gets really disenchanted with Sidious a lot earlier than in canon. He starts wondering things like “why is he not telling me his master plan if i’m so important to it?” and “why do i get nothing more than vague promises of power sometime in the future, when i should be guaranteed a position as his second-in-command, after all I’ve done for this guy?” and “why does he treat me like i’m disposable, and then constantly tell me i’m crucial for his plans?”
and he starts thinking things like “hey wait a minute, none of that childhood torture made me better at anything sith-related, it just gave me crippling trauma that actually impairs my capacity for self-control and incredible violence” and (possibly due to his experiences at Orsis Academy) “oh whack looks like kids learn a lot better and faster when they’re, like, having fun? Whatever ‘fun’ is?”
and anyway by the time he gets to tatooine with orders to “find that stoner jedi and kick his ass”, Maul is pretty annoyed at his master. And when he senses not one, not two, but THREE powerful force-presences on Tatooine, one of which vastly eclipses any other force presence he’s ever felt, and belongs to a nine-year-old slave boy, Maul gets an idea. You know, (he thinks), his master sure would love to get his hands on a force-baby like that. Master Sidious sure would be evilly thrilled to have an extremely powerful nine-year-old delivered directly to his doorstep on coruscant, with the jedi having to do all the heavy lifting of training the kid. Master Sidious would probably want nothing more than to have this kid be taken in by the Jedi, so he can start grooming a new apprentice. 
And Maul, full of spite and an as-yet-undiscovered need to adopt every force-sensitive in sight, decides to deprive Sidious of a potential apprentice. He follows Anakin to Naboo (in this universe, Anakin still wins the podrace, still wins his own freedom), and, after the fighting is over, sees a prime window of opportunity, and kidnaps Anakin right out from under the Jedi’s nose. 
(In this universe, Obi-Wan does not cut Darth Maul in half and dump him down the garbage chute- Maul, unwilling to do his master’s bidding any longer, doesn’t go full out against Qui-Gon, doesn’t kill him, and Obi-Wan doesn’t get that grief-and-rage filled boost that helped him dismember Maul last time. The fight ends, the Jedi are convinced that Maul is dead, and Naboo is freed).
Once Maul has the kid, since he’s a pragmatic guy, he also returns to Tatooine and takes the kid’s mom. Maul doesn’t know how to cook, do laundry, tie shoes, or any of that shit. He doesn’t want to have to PARENT the kid, he just wants to train him. 
Maul has zero money, and also zero subtlety, so he stomps into Watto’s shop, grabs him by the neck, and says “The boy's mother is coming with me. You will disable her slave chip and let her leave unharmed, or I will squeeze your head off.” Watto complies. For Anakin, this is his first real impression of Maul- storming the junk shop and threatening his former master for the freedom of Anakin’s mother.
Maul is determined to do a better job training Anakin than Sidious did training Maul. Because FUCK Sidious. Maul can be a WAY better Sith than Sidious ever allowed him to be. And since Maul is slowly realizing how... unhelpful... the way he was raised was, he’s determined to figure out how to do it better.
So he reads. He reads training manuals, child psychology books, teaching books, studies on motivation and performance, anything he can get his nerdy little hands on. He learns that frightened children don’t perform well. He learns about “trauma”, and how “trauma” makes it hard to control your emotions sometimes. Well, you can’t have THAT in your ultimate sith apprentice. Okay, so no scaring Anakin and no traumatizing him. Maul quickly realizes that literally everything he does frightens Anakin or his mom, and frightening Anakin’s mom also frightens Anakin (cut him some slack, he’s literally never been in a positive relationship, Maul has no model for any behavior other than “evil abuser” and “subservient slave”).
Maul is not an idiot. He knows he’s not doing it right. He’s reluctant to start teaching Anakin ANYTHING until he knows he won’t accidentally damage his precious spite-apprentice. So he mostly ignores the kid while he reads and learns.
He also observes. Specifically, he observes Shmi Skywalker. Somehow, she seems to be able to interact with Anakin without scaring him. She can even tell him what to do without scaring him. She can teach and correct him without scaring him. And she never physically hurts him at all. Maul is kind of blown away- he didn’t even know it was possible to interact with people like that? HOW does she DO it???
So Maul watches and learns. He practices. Shmi helps, guides him, tells him when he messes up and tells him how to do it better. Maul gets a lot better at restraining his murderous urges. Turns out, if you immediately kill everyone who annoys you, it’s hard to ask them for advice after. The other person Maul gets pointers from is C3PO, the protocol droid the kid dragged along. Maul understands 3PO better than he understands Shmi and Anakin. 3PO is a droid. Maul was raised by a droid. Maul knows how to talk with 3PO, whereas talking with Shmi or Anakin feels like wandering around in a fog full of landmines.
So anyway, Maul and 3PO become unlikely friends, and, as Maul, determined to out-parent Sidious in every conceivable way, learns more and more social skills, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills, he truly comprehends how fucked up his own childhood was. There’s rage. There’s grief. There’s murderous desire for vengeance. But there’s also Anakin. Who would be scared if Maul smashed the ship or killed random people to vent his anger. Anakin, who needs something called a “positive role model”, who needs to be taught how to use the Force, and who needs the adults around him to have their shit together. There’s also Shmi, who makes him soup and hot chocolate when he’s feeling bad, and tells him off for breaking things, and who helps him get better at being a real person, and who doesn’t seem to want anything from him other than a general expectation of not hurting her or her son. So Maul deals. He grows. He heals, slowly. There’s setbacks, and gains. And somewhere in there, he starts teaching Anakin how to use the Force.
The problem is, Maul learned to access the Force first through fear and anger. Turns out, it’s really hard to teach someone fundamentals of force usage via fear and anger without first having to traumatize them. So right away, Maul hits a barrier. He doesn’t have any clue how to teach Anakin a different way though. He needs help.
But also, FUCK the jedi. NO WAY is Maul asking the Jedi for help, he hates the Jedi. Maul is still a Sith, he’s just a new, better kind of Sith, the kind that trains apprentices who are gonna kick WAY MORE ASS and be HEALTHY WELL-ADJUSTED PEOPLE while doing it (let him dream, ok?). So Maul starts hauling Shmi and Anakin around the galaxy, seeking out any non-Jedi Force-users they can, to learn Force techniques that the Sith didn’t teach Maul.
They spend time with the Guardians on Jedha, with those weird duck-people from that one episode with Jar-Jar’s girlfriend, with some wacky monks on a tiny island in the ass-end of nowhere, and even some time with a long-lost sith cult in a box system in the middle of the Unknown Regions. Maul learns. Anakin learns. Maul uses what he learns from the other force-users, combines it with what he knows, and teaches Anakin even more. The Jedi and the Sith are really the only two groups who really use the force for Big Impressive Things, like telekinesis and lightning and whatnot, so while the other force groups would have a lot to teach them both, they wouldn’t really be able to teach Anakin how to levitate something. And you can’t be the kick-assiest, bestest Sith Apprentice Ever if you can’t levitate shit. So Maul takes takes all these new techniques, like “being calm and chill when you meditate instead of super pissed off” and “using the Force while not being filled with incredible rage” and “mindfulness techniques” and “who knew you could do cool stuff like floating rocks without having to exhaust yourself by hating everything in existence, including yourself” and applies them to the skills and methods he already has. He and Anakin have to do a lot of fumbling and exploring and mistake-making, but they figure it out. And Anakin learns. And he kicks ass.
When Anakin is 11, Maul hauls him off to Ach-To to dig a crystal out of the roots of an ancient tree. He tells Anakin to hold it and meditate, to let his emotions rise around him, to feed them, to pull them through the crystal, let it resonate, let it take on the shape of his strongest feelings. After all, that is how Maul was trained to bleed his crystals. Maul’s pain and fear and anger yielded him red crystals.
Anakin comes out with yellow. Determination, fierce protectiveness, drive, hunger for justice, righteous fury. That is Anakin’s lightsaber.
Anakin grows up, planet-hopping with his Mom and Uncle Maul in a beat-up freighter with under-the-hood enhancements out the ass (Maul ditched the Scimitar right after Tatooine so his master couldn’t instantly track him down, and Maul and Anakin are both huge mechanics nerds and bond over things like “but what if you put ANOTHER PLASMA CORE IN THE ENGINE”, so this ship is, uh, certainly some sort of thing). Anakin grows up learning a hundred different Force traditions- just about every major Force tradition in the Galaxy (except for Jedi), and more than a few obscure ones. He grows up, tinkering with his droid, learning Juyo from Maul and how to sew a button from his mom. He grows up, beholden to two destinies only: “Help me take down Sidious, because he’s an asshole and a shitty Sith Lord” and “do whatever the fuck you want, because you are a Sith and no one gets to tell you what to do” (”except me.” Shmi interrupts. “Sith Lords still have a bedtime.” “Sith Lords still have a bedtime,” Maul amends, having no desire to repeat what happened when he encouraged a ten-year-old Anakin to ignore all the rules on purpose).
And what Anakin wants to do is what he’s always wanted to do- go back to Tatooine and free the slaves. Maul thinks that a big project like that would be an excellent learning opportunity for Anakin. He also wants Anakin to succeed, so he sits him down and talks logistics. How do you free the slaves without hundreds of slave owners detonating their chips when they hear what is happening? How do you keep them free once you do that? How do you get them jobs, clothes, food, houses? What about the ones who want to leave Tatooine? What about the ones who want to stay? And what about the economic upheaval that will happen when you deprive a whole planet of its cheapest source of labor? When Anakin is fourteen, they start planning.
When Anakin is eighteen, they make their move. Anakin, coordinating with Shmi, who returned to Tatooine three years earlier to organize things on the ground (living with a woman named Beru Whitesun, who is a gateway to the Freedom Path network), activates several massive orbital EMP devices, frying every electrical device on the planet, including slave chips. (The EMPs came from a pirate friend of his mom’s, who seems to do whatever she wants as long as she makes him hot chocolate). All over the planet, lights go out, slave chips fry, and radios go silent. And Shmi’s agents get to work. Ordinary citizens all over tatooine grab their rifles and head out. They meet up with others in their settlement, and the teams sweep the area, following a plan devised by Skywalker and Whitesun. They systematically visit every house in every settlement, city, spaceport, and town that is known to house slaves, and tell the slaves to grab their families and most treasured possessions and follow them.
(Tatooine is a sparsely populated planet- you can count the major settlements on two hands. If it weren’t, this would never have worked.)
Not many slaveowners put up much of a resistance- fifty angry masked people pointing guns in your face tend to make you compliant. The only slaveowner who puts up more than a token resistance is Jabba the Hutt. His resistance, however, lasts about thirty seconds, before Anakin cuts off his head.
Maul meets Anakin at Jabba’s palace, where he’s rounding up the last of Jabba’s cronies. 
“No trouble?” Maul asks.
“Nope,” Anakin replies. “You?”
“None.” Maul said. Turns out, it’s like, super easy to take down an entire criminal organization when you can turn up to a meeting of the Hutt family heads, kill them all, and waltz out past all their security forces without breaking a sweat. (Seriously, it’s kind of hilarious how Maul is literally just that good). 
“The slaves here are freed?”
“Yep,” says Anakin. Then frowns. “Hold on...” He senses a presence. Big, hulking, simple, and starving. He can sense that, whatever it is, it hasn’t seen the sunlight or been able to move freely in years. 
So anyway, that’s how Anakin turns up at Mos Espa at first sunrise, riding on the back of Jabba the Hutt’s pet rancor. “Who’s a good girl,” Anakin says, scratching behind her ear nubs. “You are!” And she is a good girl. Padme (”I just think it sounds like a nice name, you know?”) is very good at dispersing angry slaveowners who look like they might start rioting. 
The slaves freed overnight have been gathered together at pre-designated safe zones-mostly warehouses or large buildings that Shmi has been buying up over the years for exactly this purpose.
(The slaves living in remote settlements, at moisture farms and homesteads, didn’t get a visit from the freedom teams. However, Shmi had a plan for them too. She has made overtures to the Tusken tribes. Once she managed to negotiate her way into speaking to one of the leaders without getting killed, she sold them a story, a dream. A revolution. Free the slaves. Transform Tatooine. She doesn’t promise the Tuskens to expel humans from the planet entirely. She promises them equal rights under the law (she also promises the existence of laws in the first place). She promises them the right to raise Banthas, the right to traverse their ancestral lands and the return of sacred sites taken from them, the right to trade, the right to control who passes over their lands. She promises them the right to water and shade. And, she promises them half the seats on the ruling council she plans to set up. And so, on the night the EMPs blow, Tusken raiders visit every homestead on Tatooine (again, there’s only a few hundred, a thousand at most), and kidnap the slaves. Perhaps not the most reassuring experience for enslaved peoples who have been taught their entire lives to fear the Tuskens, and not without reason, but, nevertheless, it is freedom).
As the new day dawns- Tatooine’s first dawn as a free planet- Anakin, Maul, and Shmi know that the easy part is over. Now, they have to house tens of thousands of people currently cooped up in warehouses with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They have to establish and keep iron-tight control over the planet and its settlements, and quash any violent reprisals before they gain momentum. They also have to completely rebuild an economy completely upended by the overnight emancipation. 
However, Shmi’s not the only one who’s been busy for the past few years. While Shmi was on Tatooine, planning a revolution, Anakin and Maul were traversing the galaxy, gathering resources, using the Patented Maul Method (TM)- breaking into the headquarters of powerful organizations and threatening to kill everybody in charge unless they did what they said.
As the second sun rises, ships begin arriving in Tatooine’s orbit. Pop-up housing is dropped onto the outskirts of Tattooine’s settlements, the kind that mining companies use to set up new bases on mineral-rich asteroids. The accommodations are small and sparse, but each family has a kitchen, bathroom, beds, and private space. Huge generators are hooked up to cool the new housing. Anakin knows that the already-existing slave quarters, made of stone with no windows and mostly underground- are already built to keep the occupants cool, but he refuses to make the former slave population live in slave quarters. Some of the freed people are moved into Jabba’s old palace, some into buildings abandoned by rich business owners who fled the planet when they saw what was happening. Food, water, medicine, clothes, books, toys, tools, and shoes are deposited. (the Republic’s equivalent of the FBI had been utterly baffled when Galaxy’s three biggest criminal organizations started moving cargo that looked less like a drug trade and more like a disaster relief mission). 
Anakin walks among the newly freed slaves, reassuring them- yes, you are free. Yes, you will be fed and housed and clothed as long as you need it. Yes, we will try to find your child/husband/wife/mother who was sold years ago. Yes, you can go home, you can do whatever you want.
He also asks for volunteers. And he gets them. Hardly anyone would say no to the chance to work with the Skywalker, who once was a slave like them, but freed himself and returned, who freed the slaves in one night of glory, and appeared at sunrise riding a rancor.
Anakin sends out messengers, all across the planet. “Tatooine is a free world,” they say. “All slaves are hereby freed, by order of the He who Walks in the Sky. Any slaveowners who, by their own free will, turn over their detonators will not be harmed. Any who resist, will be.” Not many resist.
At the end of that first day, as the suns are setting, once the freed peoples of Tatooine are fed, and given water, and sheltered, Maul comes to Anakin.
“I am proud of you.” He says. “You have come into your power, you have mastered yourself, and so have mastered the Force. You have the freedom and the power to do anything you choose. You are no longer my apprentice. Lord Skywalker, you are a true Sith Master.” Anakin pulls him into a hug. He maybe cries a little bit. Maul maybe cries a little bit. Maul maybe also feels mildly annoyed that Anakin is a full head taller than him now.
(Sidious would be truly, utterly offended at Maul’s criteria for Sith-Lord-ness. “THAT’S NOT SITH” he would have said. “THAT’S BARELY EVEN DARK SIDE ADJACENT, YOU ARE DILUTING OUR THOUSAND YEAR HERITAGE-” but Maul wouldn’t care about Sidious’ stupid opinions, anyway).
And Anakin and Shmi get to work. They employ the newly freed people of Tatooine, constructing permanent houses, tearing down slave markets, building critical infrastructure. Anakin pays them more than a living wage, thanks to the extremely deep pockets of Crimson Dawn. He brings in doctors and teachers, and guarantees healthcare and education for all who want it (whenever one of Crimson Dawn’s higher-ups says “wait, why are we dumping massive amounts of money into this one random-ass planet?” Darth Maul just casually sidles up behind them with his lightsaber until they remember that he can literally just show up anywhere, at anytime, and kill them unless they do what he says. If Maul’s busy, he sends 3PO instead- 3PO’s been outfitted with about ten times as much weaponry as is legal, and can be very convincing when he wants to be).
While Anakin works on infrastructure and supporting the freed peoples of Tatooine, and unfucking the economic trainwreck they caused, Shmi and Beru work on the government. They write down a few, very basic rules-Tatooine is to be ruled by a council of people, half of whom will come from the Tusken tribes, all of which shall be selected by fair and free election. All citizens of Tatooine shall have the right to vote in these elections, and the right to vote shall be guaranteed to all- except for those who have ever owned or sold a sentient being. (it was a huge debate in the Lars-Whitesun-Skywalker household, this matter of restricting voting rights. In the end, it was decided that slaveowners, and ONLY slaveowners, were to be the sole exception for universal suffrage). Every citizen of Tatooine is guaranteed access to food, medicine, and water, and has the right to have their grievances addressed by the council.
Shmi works quickly to gather her council- she knows she has to do it fast, to prove to the Tuskens that she is as good as her word. The first elections are chaotic, and perhaps not completely non-violent, but in the end, there is a council of twenty representatives, with Shmi Skywalker representing Mos Espa.
The Council proceeds to have raging- and occasionally violent- debates about the structure of their future government. What rights to guarantee citizens. Should they have a court system? What about a financial system? How are they to guarantee water, food, and medicine to everyone? What even are taxes?
The Rebuilding of Tatooine is long, and hard, and contentious. There are arguments and rage and fighting- the repatriation of traditional Tusken lands is especially fraught. But Shmi promised, and so she makes it happen (Anakin and Padme may have helped too). Maul, for his part, keeps training Anakin, and keeps managing the criminal underworld with a careful balance of death threats and actual death, but mostly stays out of the way of Anakin’s Senior Project. 
Soon, Anakin is able to re-purpose the pop-up housing, since most people have moved into traditional Tatooine-built homes, suited to the environment. The newly restructured economy is tentatively taking its first steps, and Tatooine’s baby government is becoming less and less dependent on intergalactic criminal funding (partially thanks to Anakin confiscating the entirety of Jabba’s personal fortune). He spends a lot of time in Council meetings, trying not to scream at people while also trying to stop Padme from eating them. The Council debates what is next for Tatooine, and eventually, they vote to petition the Republic for membership. Tatooinians, as a people, including the Tuskens, are fiercely independant, but, as Shmi points out, joining the Republic would guarantee them to certain things like humanitarian aid, a voice in decisions affecting interplanetary trade routes and taxation, legal legitimacy and the right to call on the Republic for aid should their sovereignty ever be threatened. Most importantly, slavery is illegal on all Republic planets, which means that if any slave-owning organizations ever pushed in on Tatooine, there would be another (much better funded) organization to call on to help quash it. 
The Republic requires that a petitioning planet’s head of state visit the Senate on Coruscant to ask the Senate for entry into the Republic. The Council, grumbling, re-jiggers their constitution to allow for a “chief councilor”, and promptly elect Anakin to the position (”Fuck me,”) Anakin says. Maul laughs at him, then sobers and tells him to be careful on Coruscant (”My former master lives there.” he says. “Mind your shields, and do not let him know your true nature. You are not yet ready to take him on, and you have your planet and your people to think of.” “Yes, Uncle Maul.” Anakin says. “I will be careful.”).
Anakin shows up in the Galactic Senate, sandy robes, uncombed hair, and half smirk on his face. “I am Anakin Skywalker, free person of Tatooine,” he says. He presents the case for Tatooine’s admittance to the Republic in a booming, confident voice, drawing on his inner strength- his righteous anger and determination to ensure his people’s future- to keep his voice from wavering.
There are grumbles. Muttering. No Senator wants to be the one to blatantly say “no”- it’s a sort of miracle story, Tatooine, the little planet that rose up and threw of the shackles of slavery and now wants to join the Republic- the exact sort of mythos that the Republic itself is built on. It’s bad PR to vote against that little planet. But at the same time, Tatooine is a sandy, useless dustball that’ll need fiscal support from the Senate, with nothing to offer in terms of economic value. Many Senators are debating with themselves, not whether or not to say “no”, but how to vote “no” without losing ten points in approval ratings.
Until the Senator from Naboo, a diminutive woman who somehow reminds Anakin of his rancor, stands up. She gives an impassioned, off-the-cuff speech, reminding the Senate of how her own planet had thrown off the shackles of oppression not ten years ago, how the Republic was founded by planets like Tatooine, and how, most importantly, they had no legal basis to deny them entry, and if the Senate voted no, Naboo’s lawyers would litigate the issue six ways from taungsday- which, due to a clause in the Senate’s constitution that forbade them from passing legislation while the issue of a planet’s admittance to the Republic was on the floor, would effectively paralyze the Senate until the courts made a ruling. And, as Padme made sure to emphasize, if the court’s decision was not favorable, she would appeal. She could feasibly stop the Senate from doing anything for years, if necessary.
Tatooine is admitted to the Republic.
“Two Senators,” Anakin demands. “In order for my people to be fairly represented, my planet requires two Senators.” When complaints are made, Jar-Jar Binks threatens to explain the complicated dynamics of a planet attempting to grapple with a colonial past. He doesn’t have to. Tatooine gets its two Senators.
Anakin meets with Senator Amidala in her office, to thank her.
“Of course,” she said. “I remember a little boy who helped free my planet- how could I not help you when you needed it?”
“Uhh, thanks, yeah, that’s, really nice of you. Like your hair. Which is nice. In an objective sort of way,” Anakin says, because there is no universe in which Anakin is not a complete idiot in front of Padme. “I named my rancor after you,” he blurts.
Before Anakin is scheduled to leave Coruscant, the Jedi send a knight to scope out the new planetary leader. Obi-Wan Kenobi shows up at Anakin’s hotel room, and goes “Oh. It’s.... you.” 
“Obi-Wan!” Anakin grins. He only knew him for about two days when he was nine, but he still greets him like an old friend, like a brother. They fall into easy, teasing conversation. “I thought you were dead, I confess, after you disappeared from Naboo,” Obi-Wan admits. “I am truly sorry that I was unable to fulfill Qui-Gon’s promise to train you as a Jedi Knight.”
“That’s ok,” Anakin waves his hand dismissively. “I got trained as a Sith instead.” Then he freezes. Oops. He was not supposed to say that. Maul would be so disappointed in him.
“Beg pardon?” Obi-Wan says.
“I, uhh, got trained, as a, uh, sift...er? Instead? A sand sifter? I sift sand for a living?”
“You said Sith.”
“No I didn’t, I definitely said sift.”
“No, you said Sith.”
“I definitely did not.”
Anakin changes the subject, and Obi-Wan lets it drop. He’ll tell the Council, of course, but he honestly cannot fathom the concept of this kid being a Sith. He senses nothing Dark about him- well, at least no more dark than is present in any sentient. Besides, it’s not like there are any Sith Lords around anymore, ever since he killed Maul (luckily, Obi-Wan doesn’t see the picture in Anakin’s wallet, a candid shot 3PO took in the cockpit of their family’s ship. Fifteen-year-old Anakin, at the controls, hyperbrake still on with his hands on the hyperdrive lever, Maul, standing behind him, hands gripping Anakin’s seat and face distorted half-way through a panic-induced rant about flight safety, and Shmi, sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, laughter on her face and knitting needles in her hands).
Anakin contacts his mother, tells her the good news. The Council, moving with alacrity, elects Tatooine’s first Senators. And four days later, one year after the Dawn of Freedom, Senator Shmi Skywalker and Senator Ooutrigh (a Tusken warrior) of Tatooine arrive on Coruscant and address the Senate for the first time. 
Of course, while Anakin has been growing up, planning for Tatooine’s future, and annoying the shit out of Maul, Palpatine’s own plans have continued apace. Barely four months after Tatooine is admitted to the Republic, Obi-Wan finds himself in an arena on Geonosis. The battle goes much differently this time, partially due to the fact that Anakin has retrofitted the cargo bay of his family’s ship to house Padme (the rancor, not the Senator), and descends onto the Arena sands just as Yoda and the Clone Troops arrive, and deposits both Padme’s (the rancor, and the Senator) into the melee. 
“Hi, Obi-Wan!” Anakin calls, whipping out his lightsaber to deflect the hail of blaster bolts (Maul would disapprove, but Maul isn’t here, he’s ten clicks away, chasing down the Jedi dropout Sidious replaced him with). 
“Anakin, what the FUCK” Obi-Wan says, staring at Chief Councilor Anakin Skywalker of Tatooine, riding a rancor and swinging an honest-to-Force yellow lightsaber. 
“Master Yoda, what the FUCK” Anakin says, later, after the battle is over, when he finally gets Yoda to answer his questions about the clone troopers. “You found out about an entire-ass army of slave child soldiers commissioned AND PAID FOR by one of your own council members, and your reaction is ‘oh thank goodness, now we have an army?’ What the FUCK is WRONG with you?!” Yoda tries to explain to Councilor Skywalker that the situation was dire, they’d had no choice, but Councilor Skywalker just keeps repeating “AN ARMY OF SLAVE CHILD SOLDIERS” at him. “No choice, we had,” Yoda says yet again.
“BULLSHIT, you had no choice!” Anakin yells. “You could have chosen to not use the entire army of slave child soldiers that you legally own!”
“Let Kenobi and the others die, you would have? Hmm?”
“PROBABLY, YEAH!” Anakin hollers (”Thanks,” mutters Obi-Wan). “Sometimes the choices you have all really suck, but you still have to make them! You can’t just pretend you didn’t have any options, you HAD OPTIONS, and you chose the one that involved using a SLAVE ARMY OF CHILD SOLDIERS.” He gestures behind him to the battlefield, where clone troopers and medics are moving amongst the bodies, white and red stark against the sand, tallying their dead brothers.
Yoda shakes his head. “emotional, you are, young Skywalker.” he said. “Cloud your judgement, your feelings do.” 
“Yeah, I’m fucking emotional!” Anakin practically screams. “I have personal beef with slavery, so excuse me if I feel emotions about it. Your problem is that you’re able to use an ARMY OF SLAVE CHILD SOLDIERS and not feel bad about it! Your lack of emotions is clouding YOUR judgement!” He stomps off. Yoda shakes his head. Skywalker is young, and too close to the issue of slavery to really have perspective on it. He does not understand. It was a great loss to the Jedi Order when the Council rejected him, all those years ago- if he had been trained as a Jedi, he would have learned to put aside his emotions about slavery, and he would have understood why it was necessary now. If Anakin could have heard what Yoda was thinking, he would have turned right back around, picked Yoda up, and punted him like a limmie ball.
Anakin and Maul return to Tatooine. Maul offers to assassinate the entire Jedi Council, but Anakin says no. He’s still fuming about his conversation with Yoda. He knows he gets emotional. He knows that Yoda isn’t entirely wrong- he knows he lets his emotions cloud his judgement sometimes. It’s something he’s worked hard on, over the years, him and Maul. How to take a step back from the emotions howling in your head, and how to view the situation without them getting in the way. And what kinds of situations you should let your emotions guide you. Anakin thinks he’s damn well entitled to strong emotions about slavery. 
Short of declaring war on the entire Jedi Order, Anakin doesn’t know what to do about the Republic’s slave army. The Tatooine Council releases a public condemnation of it, explicitly calling it slavery and calling for the clones to be freed. The Council seriously debates joining the Separatists, until Padme (the Senator, not the Rancor) and Shmi look in-depth at the Separatist Council, which is buried deep in the pockets of corporate interests. Shmi files a lawsuit, under the Republic’s anti-slavery legislation, suing for the freedom of the clones. It’s a battle of miserable inches, and meanwhile, the war rages.
With Dooku gone, Sidious’s only means of controlling the Separatists is through Grievous and Ventress, both of whom are loose cannons whose loyalty (and competence) he seriously doubts. It’s frustrating for him, and not necessarily better for the Jedi and their army (of slave child soldiers). Sidious needs to keep the war in careful balance, neither side gaining too much ground, to draw it out and grind the Jedi down and manipulate their public image until he can heap all the blame on them. Without Dooku to pass down his orders, he has no way of keeping a firm check on the Separatist Council, and the Seps are in serious danger of completely overrunning the Republic. The droid army is fifty times as many as the clones, and the Separatists have the Trade Federation, the Banking Clans, and all of the major military tech corporations on their side. Honestly, it’s a testament to the Jedi and the Clone Army that they haven’t lost the war in the first month.
Speaking of that first month, Anakin doesn’t spend long on uninvolved in the war. Scant weeks after Geonosis, the Separatist Army threatens to roll right over Tatooine on their way to gaining control of the Outer Rim Hyperlanes. Tatooine has no army, doesn’t even have a police force. It has no fleet, no orbital defenses, and the droid army headed their way has ten times more droids than there are guns on the planet. The Council faces a choice. Ask the Republic to send in the GAR to defend them- ask for an army of slaves to be sent to die on Tatooine, to stain the sand with enslaved blood so soon after Tatooine clawed her way to freedom, or do nothing, and almost certainly ensure the annihilation of Tatooine and her people. To die, or to live by the blood of slaves who died for you. It’s not a pretty choice.
In the end, the choice is taken away from them (and perhaps it’s a kindness, that they weren’t forced to choose, perhaps it’s the coward’s way out, but it is what it is). A GAR cruiser shows up in orbit, and the Council is hailed by a man identifying himself as Captain Rex, commanding officer of the 501st legion of the GAR.
“The Republic sent you here?” Anakin asks, incredulously. 
“Well, not exactly.” Captain Rex hedges. “The 501st is due for leave on Kamino, but the hyperdrive was making funny noises, so we decided to stop off in the nearest Republic system to check it out.” Rex shrugs. “If a bunch of tinnies just so happen to show up, it’s not like we’ll just sit back and watch.”
“Why are you doing this?” Anakin asks the clone captain, once they’ve got him on planet and in the council room. He’s got a lump in his throat, and his eyes are stinging. The 501st has no Jedi on board, no natborn officers, and no orders to go to Tatooine. Rex and the 501st showed up here of their own free will. Because they wanted to. To defend Tatooine.
“Geonosis.” Rex says. “On Geonosis, you saved the lives of over two hundred of us. Including me. We couldn’t stand by and let your planet fall to the Separatists, Councilor Skywalker.”
After the battle, during the cleanup, when Tatooinians are passing through the rows of injured, giving out water- giving out life- Rex tells Anakin the other reason.
“We all know about Tatooine, sir.” He says, quietly. “A bunch of slaves who stood up and said “no,” and took their freedom.” He shrugs. “Stories like that, it gives us hope. For the future.” He fixes Anakin with a stare. “If we let that hope die, we die too. Tatooine cannot fall.”
That is the first time Anakin and Rex fight together. Somehow, when the 501st leaves Tatooine, Anakin goes with them- officially, as a consultant/observer, appointed at the request of Senator Skywalker to observe the GAR and monitor the health and wellbeing of the troopers. Unofficially, Anakin and Rex become a lethal team, making the 501st one of the most effective legions in the Galaxy. Anakin isn’t dumb. He knows he’s being a massive hypocrite, running around with an army of slave child soldiers. Rex, however, insists that it’s different.
“First of all, we asked you to come with us.” he says. “Second of all, it’s not like you staying behind would have made any difference in our situation. And besides, scrapping clankers isn’t the only reason I asked you to come with us.” Anakin raises an eyebrow.
And Rex introduces Anakin to his older brother, Cody, commander of the 212th (Anakin is happy to see Obi-Wan again, but appalled to meet Obi-Wan’s fourteen-year-old togruta padawan, because why would you put a CHILD in a warzone, in a COMMAND POSITION). And Cody brings Anakin in on The Plan. The clones will not remain slaves forever, and they will not wait for some elusive promise of gratitude after the war is over. They will take their freedom, and they will defend their own, and they’re asking Anakin, who freed the slaves of Tatooine, to help them do it. 
“So basically, you want me on as a consultant.”
“Basically, yeah.” Cody says. “And also as a guy with a lightsaber who can leap fifty feet into the air and dodge blaster bolts. Those are always handy to have around.”
So Anakin and Rex and Cody, and Cody’s small circle of commanders, lay their plans. And in the meantime, there’s a war to fight. Shmi’s still on Tatooine, but Maul comes with Anakin and the 501st. He and Rex get along like a house on fire, but you wouldn’t know it from watching them- they do nothing but argue and needle each other. Rex sarcastically calls Maul “Commander Maul” because it pisses him off so much, and it catches on with the whole legion. Maul constantly mutters about murdering and/or poisoning Rex.
But after Ventress almost chokes Rex to death, and breaks into his mind to make him do her bidding, Maul doesn’t leave Rex alone for a week, and clutches his hand tightly in the medbay. Rex doesn’t mention it, so neither does Anakin. 
Padme, on the other hand, makes no secret of how much she loves Rex (the Rancor, not the Senator, though she likes him too). Padme seems to have concluded that Rex is some sort of long-lost hatchling, and can be seen chasing Rex down the hangar bay, trying to corral him into the nest she’s constructed in the corner reserved for her. Rex gets used to surprise cuddles from a massive predator.
The Jedi Council are at their wit’s end with Skywalker, but their hands are full and honestly, he’s a benefit to the war effort, so they assign Obi-Wan to “supervise” the legion, and leave them to it. Obi-Wan and Anakin strike up a deep friendship, unfettered by the baggage that comes with being master and padawan. Obi-Wan finds himself having serious questions about the Jedi’s role in the war, since Anakin is not at all shy about challenging him on the whole “slave army of child soldiers” thing. Obi-Wan is also, quite frankly, too busy to effectively teach a padawan, and by this point, he knows that Anakin’s had some sort of Force training. He’s fought beside him enough to be confident in his skills, and often sends Ahsoka on extended missions with the 501st, and explicitly begs Anakin to help him fill in the gaps in her training. Anakin obliges enthusiastically. 
Of course, Maul helps train her too. Obi-Wan shows up on the Resolute one day to pick her up, and asks how her training’s going. 
“Great!” She says. “Skyguy’s weird uncle is teaching me jar’kai-”
“Anakin has an uncle?” Obi-Wan asks, surprised. “Who knows jar’kai?”
And so Obi-Wan and Maul meet once again. And Obi-Wan is just absolutely pole-axed. 
“Darth Maul?” He splutters. “Is your uncle?” 
“Not biologically,” Anakin shrugs. “He practically raised me, along with my mom. He taught me everything I know about lightsabers and the Force.”
“...you did say Sith, Anakin, you bastard, sand-sifting MY ASS-”
“Oh, it’s you.” Maul says. “I won’t kill you, but only because Anakin likes you.” Obi-Wan throws up his hands.
Somehow, Obi-Wan and Maul come to an understanding. Somehow, Obi-Wan doesn’t turn him over to the council. 
At one point, a giant of a zabrak, easily eight feet tall, with skin a poisonous yellow, shows up, claiming that Maul is his brother, and that he’s here to bring him home to Dathomir. Maul takes one look at Savage and goes “Fuck that”. “I will train you in the ways of the Force,” he says. “I can show you power like you’ve never wielded before.” he says. “You shall be a great and feared Sith Lord,” he says. “Have some hot chocolate, you look cold,” he says. “Put on a sweater.” Savage, slightly bemused, comes to terms with the fact that he’s just been adopted.
It’s Maul who figures it out, of course. How could he not? He was raised by Sidious. He knows how devious he is, how his plans have layers upon layers, backups upon backups, contingencies stacked from here to the Outer Rim. Once Sidious moves, you can be sure that any reasonable outcome will be in his favor, because he has completely engineered the situation before you were even aware it existed.
The Sith caused the war and are playing both sides. The Sith caused the clones to be commissioned (these things are trivially easy to figure out, if you’re paying attention). The Sith want the Jedi dead.
“Contingencies,” Maul mutters. “It’s always a trap, and there’s always contingencies.”
When he finds the chip in Rex’s head, he shakes with rage and refuses to talk to anyone, fearing, for the first time in years, that he will lose control and hurt someone he loves. It is Rex who talks him down, who manages to get close to him, who embraces him and lets him cry on his shoulder, then scream and rage and punch the walls. When Maul is able to explain, Rex has to choke back his own terrified, horrified sobs. He holds them back, and calmly looks at Maul and says “What are you going to do about it?”
The surgery, they discover, is simple enough. An astromech can do it in two minutes (C2PO can do it in seventy seconds, and Artoo can’t stand it). When Anakin is told, he goes quiet for a minute, and when he looks back up, it is not Anakin, Rex’s friend, Maul’s kid, who is sitting at the table in the briefing room. It is He Who Walks in the Sky, Huttslayer, Breaker of Chains, who looks back at them. Anakin Skywalker has always wanted nothing more than to free all the slaves. And Anakin Skywalker’s destiny has always been to do what he wanted.
They tell Cody. They modify their plans. They quietly contact medics throughout the GAR, and Artoo quietly sends the details to every military astromech he trusts. When the army is safe from Sidious’ control, Anakin, Rex, and Maul conspire to lure him off of Coruscant. Maul takes over Mandalore, exiling the duchess and announcing a New Sith Empire. Sidious shows up, declaring that Maul has become a rival, disowning his former apprentice and attacking him, with intent to kill. Savage loses an arm. Maul almost loses his life. But as he lies on the ground at Sidious’s feet, arms trembling with the effort of holding the parry keeping Sidious’ saber from his throat, he hears “We’ve got the face shot! Go, go go!” in his earpiece. Gunfire, real slugthrowers, difficult to block with a saber, erupts around him. C3PO and his arsenal, along with Fives, Jesse, and Echo, the 501st’s best ARC troopers, open fire on Sidious. The Sith is forced to back away, raising a hand to stop the bullets in midair. Maul leaps to his feet, and Anakin joins him, lightsaber drawn. 
The fight is quick, but brutal. Maul’s hands threaten to tremble with terror, facing down the horror of his childhood, the monster whose treatment of him is woven fundamentally into his psyche, whose shadow has haunted Maul all his life, and still invades his dreams. But he reaches out to his family, to Rex, beside him, steady, full of faith in him, to Anakin, a blazing sun of love and anger, a shield of raw power, and to Shmi, all the way in her Senate offices on Coruscant, cool and calm and soothing like a desert spring as ever-present as the stars. His hands do not tremble. He raises his lightsaber against his master, beside the blade of his son. Together, they beat the Sith Lord back. Anakin binds the Sith’s blade, knees him in the ribs, and while Sidious is thus occupied, Maul cuts his head off.
“You were a terrible parent,” he pants, and spits on the corpse. Then, he collapses, and Rex is there to catch him, and Maul clings to him and shakes, and cries. Anakin reaches out to put a hand on his shoulder, and Rex pulls him in with a look, and together, they surround Maul, a bulwark against the rest of the world, a safe circle for him to fall apart for a little bit. At some point, one of them unstraps the small camera that Maul had been wearing on his chest. Ahsoka has, at that point, already sent the footage to every major news office on Coruscant.
That evening, plastered all over the galactic news, is a video of the Chancellor himself, showing up on a neutral world and attacking its sovereign leader, wielding red lightsabers of all things. And it’s obviously the Chancellor; there’s a clear shot of his face when he knocks Mandalore’s ruler to the ground and the camera gets a good view right up into his hood.
It’s a massive scandal. One tabloid shows the footage with a little counter in the corner, counting up every treaty and galactic law that Palpatine violates onscreen. The only thing that saves Palpatine from impeachment and arrest is the fact that he’s already dead. Inquiries are launched, investigators are sanctioned, documents and hard drives and testimony are subpoena’ed. Padme (the Senator, not the Rancor), spearheads the investigative committee, and within a month, they’ve uncovered decades worth of bribes, backroom deals, contracts with droid manufacturers, clear evidence of Palpatine authorizing Republic funds for weaponry that went straight to the Separatists, and even communication records between the Chancellor and the two military leaders of the Separatists. Grievous and Ventress go into hiding (the Tales of Grievous and Ventress, unlikely buddies forced on an intergalactic road trip on the run from the cops, is a story for a different absurdly long post at 3am). The Separatists break down in chaos, and the war grinds to a halt. In the middle of all the political hurricane, Cody enacts his plan, and the entire GAR simultaneously deserts, and fucks directly off to Tatooine. This ignites another scandal, with Senators calling for Tatooine’s expulsion from the Republic. Shmi stands in her Senate Pod, hands tucked into her roughspun sleeves, listening attentively while Senator Burtoni of Kamino accuses her of theft.
“If Tatooine does not return the stolen military assets, the Senate may sanction the use of force!” the Senator from Ryloth threatens.
“Pardon me,” Shmi says, “May I ask what army the Senate is planning sending to invade Tatooine? I was under the impression that the only Republic army was already there.” There’s a bit of an awkward silence.
In the middle of the shitstorm, before Shmi is arrested and Anakin declared an enemy of the state, Shmi’s lawsuit finally receives a ruling. And just like that, the clones are legally free. And the judge orders the Senate to pay reparations. Anakin cackles with glee when he hears. 
Rex and Cody, with the full support of the people of Tatooine, begin the long, hard, work of resettling their brothers and building a life for the vod’e. Shmi files a lawsuit against the Zygerrian Empire. Savage receives a new arm, courtesy of Anakin, who may or may not have added a few extra utilities to it. Ahsoka is knighted, and controversially invites Anakin to be present at the ceremony, along with Obi-Wan. Maul admits, very quietly and where only Rex can hear, that he doesn’t actually want to poison him. “I know,” Rex says, smiling at him. Anakin, meanwhile, finally marries Padme, the love of his life (the Senator, not the Rancor).
And in Mos Eisly, there is a stone slab, pulled from a crumbled wall and stuck upright in the ground in the middle of the square. No one knows who put it there, but someone carved fifty-seven names into the stone. The fifty-seven names of the clone troopers who died defending Tatooine from the Separatist army, at the beginning of the war. The last slaves to spill their blood on the sands of Tatooine.
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prachita079 · 2 months ago
Helloo, I hope your day be going well and that your free readings is still open!!!🌸
I would like to ask: what blockages do I mainly need to clear?
Thank you so much in advance!🥰-CD
Hello there my days going well and I hope yours is going well too thanks for asking. I have done your reading and this is what your spirit guides have to say about the blockages you need to clear.
I feel like your feeling stuck yet not that way at the same time it's like you are confused about something. There is something your burdened with doesn't necessarily needs to be physical. I feel like there is something you that you needs to be talked out. I'm seeing traumas that huge blockage. Fears it seems like this fear has a good control over you and you keep overthinking about it I would suggest that you let go of your fears stop overthinking on them. I feel you should also give your self some respect you are your harshest critic. It's okay to make mistakes and have setbacks but it's important to never give up. I love this quote of Nelson Mandela "Don't judge me by my success judge me by how many times I fell and got back up again". You are a little impatient it seems let me tell you something a plant cannot become a tree in a day you need to water it, keep it in the sunlight & do the necessary work for it to grow into a tree. I see there is imbalance between logic and emotions your finding hard to make decisions I suggest you take out some time and journal maybe practice mindfulness and would be great if you practice living in the present. I feel at times you ignore you surroundings like for eg You may feel no one loves you but when you actually open your eyes and have a clearer picture of our surroundings we get to know that so many people love us. I suggest you practice gratitude.
That's all for your reading. Please take what resonates and leave the rest. If you liked this reading please give me a feedback. Stay Blessed 💚❤
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dyketubbo · a year ago
okay so. some thoughts on recent lore. disorganized bc my thoughts are disorganized but i want to think about this as rawly as i can rn (all /rp of course) this is very niki and wilbur (mostly niki) centric because i'm sorting my thoughts about techno still and i'm taking tubbo's stream in bits and pieces (i'll catch up on others later)
niki is exaggerating about how terrible wilbur is because she's spiraling and hurting. fans should not take her word as gospel, yes, but she does have points in some things and the fact that wilbur and others have impacted her this badly should be noticed by the fandom as a sign that niki needs *help*.
its okay to want to defend that wilbur was not always a terrible person especially because of how horribly his mental health is treated by the fandom, but please remember to still emphasize that niki is saying this because she herself is mentally ill and traumatized. niki is processing wilbur as a terrible person because not only does she not have his full story, but also because she's undeniably been hurt by him and his revival came at a time where she was recently recovering from misdirected aggression towards others (tommy) and herself.
it's hard to take it all in and it's scary to think about whether or not the characters recent thoughts on wilbur signifies a villanization of him by the writers and narrative, signifies a villanization of mental illness. but these are the same writers who wrote a realistic depiction of abuse, cc!tommy is actively involved in the story and we all know how well he's handled his character's shaky mental health. cc!ranboo is actively directing his story in a direction that disproves the idea that his dissociating and memory loss mean that he's a bad person. cc!wilbur has confirmed bits and pieces of outside things that signify that his character is not a bad person, but is unstable and has hurt others for misguided reasons.
it's understandable to want it all to go quickly already, to want an obvious sign of redemption and a happy ending, but a lot of bad things are happening because unfortunately, recovery is rocky as fuck and sometimes what happens is that triggering things and people are reintroduced into your life and you can't process it correctly. it's hard to see people who have hurt you as good people or people with virtues when you're still going through the effects of the trauma they have inflicted on you. niki was healing and then had to deal with a secondhand announcement about wilbur *not even directed towards or for her* being back when she only recently got done with not blaming tommy for it, now all she has to blame is wilbur and it's understandable that she's blaming it all on him. niki needs someone to help her and talk to her, and she's not going to recover or heal by hurting wilbur, she's not.
yes these characters need therapy, but there's only one therapist and she's going through her own emotional turmoils internally. it's implied that she is genuinely helping tommy and that's good, but it does mean that a lot of these characters are going to be processing on their own, and that's a raw and rocky experience. put some trust in the writers, there's a lot of things not communicated between them, but there's a lot that *is* communicated that we can't see. not to mention that they can see what we're saying, they know there's people who are rooting for their characters to heal. these people are very well versed in tricking us and leading us on red herrings, dream smp is a work in progress that's still developing. they know what direction they want to take this whole story. this is the same story that had a suicidal character save himself and assign his own self worth, who took steps towards therapy and healing and is still in the process of healing and understanding what happened and what is happening to and around him. they can write a redemption arc for wilbur, it'll just take a while.
of course there's going to be a lot of tragedy (l'manburg will never come back, there's a strong possibility that once they sort out what to do about dream ghostbur will move onto a proper afterlife in peace, there will be loose ends never tied up and secrets kept that won't be talked about in canon) because that's how life is. but i don't think it's going to end like a tragedy. these characters have a lot to deal with, and it's unfortunate that wilbur is at or near the center of many characters' troubles, but i trust that they won't suffer forever. niki's stream was scripted, the writers know what she's saying and niki chose the music she did on purpose, many of the people prominent in this main storyline are close friends with niki and it's very clear that they don't want her to fall behind. she's going to heal, we just have to keep in mind that she just got a huge setback in recovery and that it's okay if she takes a while to reconcile all of her thoughts.
niki buried the diamonds instead of getting rid of them forever. she's not burning her bridges completely, she's just trying to figure out if she wants to keep crossing them. eret's still clearly a good person with people who have forgiven him and care about xem, they make mistakes and have people who don't and may never forgive her. but we all know that even if the hurt she spread was big and still impactful, that the narrative treats them well. there's hope for wilbur, i promise. the story knows he wasn't always a big manipulative asshole, it's just going to take some time for the characters who've been traumatized by his actions to know that too
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lingering-nomad · 12 months ago
Too sick to sleep last night, so I worked out Astarion's astrology chart. Posing here so I can find it again. If you disagree, please make your own post. I'm feeling too icky for disk horse.
1st House, Gemini – Ascendant
2nd House, Cancer – Mercury
3rd House, Leo – Sun
4th House, Virgo
5th House, Libra
6th House, Scorpio – Venus
7th House, Sagittarius
8th House, Capricorn – Mars
9th House, Aquarius
10th House, Pisces – Midheaven
11th House, Aries
12th House, Taurus – Moon
Notes below the cut
Ascendant: Gemini
The Ascendant is important in Vedic Astrology. It’s the sign on the cusp of the 1st House of the chart and sets the tone for everything that follows. The 1stHouse determines how we are perceived by the rest of the world. It’s our physical appearance, our mannerisms, our way of speaking and our default demeanour toward those we interact with.
Gemini rising tends to be chatty, gesture when they speak and are able to keep a conversation flowing when others might feel awkward, though they lean toward the superficial. These are not people who are going to dive into religion or politics for the hell of it. Astarion barely bats an eye when Shadowheart’s Shar worship is revealed (also influenced by Venus in Scorpio) and quickly brushes it off as everyone being entitled to their secrets.
Gemini rising tends to be quick and nimble in their motions and physically slender. Astarion is an elf rogue. This Ascendant needs to stay well-informed, infiltrated in their social environment, and always have a reason to communicate on issues that impact their immediate experience.
Gemini is a dual sign, representing fluctuation. With a Gemini Ascendant, this fluctuation happens in how the world sees you. Astarion goes from a noble magistrate to a slave. Whatever their circumstances, though, Gemini rising are mentally agile and we see this with Astarion. Gemini Ascendants can talk their way out of/into almost anything. Astarion convinced most of us to let him bite down on our Tav's neck and suck their blood after trying to ambush them in their sleep. It doesn't get more persuasive than that.
There's a restless, almost nervous energy about Gemini rising. They talk fast and tend to have a sharp wit. When paired with Leo sun, there's a theatrical element to their presentation, which Asty has in spades. Despite being persuasive, this placement gives a lot of opposition, but still yields a long life. Astarion got beaten to death (Mars in the 8th) but he’s basically immortal now. These folks tend to be optimistic with a practical, yet vivid imagination. No matter how bad things get, they’re always able to picture something better and never lose the faith that it’s attainable (bolstered by Leo sun, possibly Taurus moon and Capricorn Mars in 8th).
Gemini rising puts mercury in charge of the overall chart, so whatever Mercury does will influence everything else.
Sun: Leo, 3rd House
If the moon represents the mind and the mother, the sun is the soul and the father in a chart. It represents masculine authority, power structures and the core of our identity as we experience it (not necessarily what the world sees).
The sun is domiciled in Leo, which means it’s living in its natural house. The sun feels secure and at home in Leo. Barring any malefic Saturn influences, sun in Leo has a strong sense of identity. Nothing can really shake their sense of self or sway them from their purpose. Astarion was enslaved and abused for 200 years. Most people would have no idea who they are after that kind of trauma. He escapes by pure serendipity, yet is able to reclaim his autonomy as soon as he realizes what happened. To my thinking, only a Leo sun could survive all that and walk away with their personhood intact.
Every sign has a motto and Leo’s is quite simply “I am.” Leo sun doesn’t feel the need to justify itself or earn recognition. Its presence is enough. Leo is also the sign of theatrics, personal expression, ego and nobility, which... yeah.
The 3rd House is an interesting place for the sun in this chart. It amplifies the Gemini energy of the Ascendant, which gives a sense of authenticity to this person’s outward expression. It also aligns the energy of Mercury (the chart ruler) with the soul. This isn’t someone who wears their heart on their sleeve exactly, but their outward presentation doesn’t contradict who they really are. The 3rdHouse deals with close-knit communication, i.e. with peers, family and community. This is someone who likes to express themselves one-on-one. They will share their truth with people they’re close to, but won’t broadcast it for the world to hear. At the same time, the 3rd House is mildly malefic, which accounts for being a bit of a selfish pick, especially when this tendency is amplified by Leo sun.
The configuration of Leo sun in the 3rd with Gemini rising also accounts for a rather unique skillset in communication, administration and martial arts/skills of hands – i.e. a magistrate turned rogue.
Moon: Taurus, 12thHouse
Moon is exalted in Taurus, while the 12th House is known as the house of self-undoing. The 12th House represents needs/abilities we either don’t realize we have or that are suppressed. It’s the house of sudden loss, but also hidden strength. The moon is the mother/feminine influence. It represents a person's inner world, emotions, sense of security and what gives them comfort. In short, the moon shows what we need to feel happy and safe. Taurus is an earth sign, which means it's anchored in sensual experience (as opposed to emotional, intellectual and spiritual). Taurus is ruled by Venus, which represents beauty and luxury, expediency, harmony, love and relationships. With a Taurus moon, Venus exerts a lot of influence over the moon’s domains, which, in poor Astarion’s case (6th House Scorpio), kind of sucks.
For Taurus moon to feel safe and happy, the conditions of Venus must be met in the physical sphere. This drives Taurus moon to pursue material wealth. This moon’s happiness is linked to being around things that look good, taste good, smell good and feel good. Their own physical comfort is a huge priority for them. They're very aware of their environment and this has a strong impact on their mood. If they have to rough it, they'll look for any scrap of beauty/sensual pleasure to make it bearable (like looking at the stars).
Astarion has "noble" as his background, suggesting a privileged and traditional early life, which is typical for Taurus moon. That early sense of security tends to stick with them, giving a sense that everything will eventually be okay. Taurus moons are creatures of habit who prefer stability in their environment. Their home is their castle (sometimes literally, given the drive for wealth acquisition). We know Astarion's greatest wish, along with being free, is to see his home again. We know that despite being alive for several centuries before Caz turned him, he didn't travel much. We know sleeping outside "in the dirt" squicks him out and that he experienced eating rats as potentially worse than having the skin carved from his back. Taurus moon combined with that 6th House Venus are very particular about what they eat.
The 12thHouse is where our Karma catches up with us. When Taurus’ sensuality is filtered through the 12th House, it speaks of someone who likely had a lot of romantic/sexual affairs early in life. They use their sensuality to influence people and accumulate more of what they (think they) want. This manipulative tendency means they have to guard their feelings closely. They seek intimacy (Venus in Scorpio) but this also terrifies them. Often they don’t know what they feel themselves. With a waxing moon in this placement, a sudden, major event in later life likely pushes them to commit to a romantic partner – such as helping them kill the vampire lord who enslaved them for 200 years.
Mercury: Cancer, 2ndHouse
With a Gemini Ascendant, Mercury's house and sign set the tone for the whole chart. Mercury is about communication, ideas and logic. The 2nd House relates to personal finance, material possessions, the concept of value, both material and moral. It’s driven by principles instilled in the home as opposed to society at large.
Mercury in the 2ndHouse shows someone who will accumulate wealth through communication. This aligns with being a magistrate, i.e. giving judgments, but doesn’t engender a sense of justice or fairness per se. 2nd House Mercury is about the letter of the law, rather than the spirit. Mercury here (along with sun in 3rd) endows a practical, “street smart” intelligence (as opposed to the philosophical intelligence and higher learning of the 9th House). Basically, someone who knows how to leverage the domains of Mercury to get what they want.
It implies a rather roguish way of solving problems too, which Astarion definitely displays (especially when you choose the thief specialization). Astarion has some peculiar ideas about who qualifies as “people,” which probably harken back to an eldarin sense of superiority engendered in his family home. It’s also very likely he got his job through nepotism, but that he did it well enough to earn a substantial income, whether honestly or not. 2nd House aspects the 8th. With Mars in the 8th, that probably means ill-gotten gains – i.e. corrupt magistrate.
But there’s a twist. When Mercury is in Cancer, the domains of Mercury are filtered through emotional vulnerabilities. Cancer Mercury takes setbacks personally and will clam up if they pick up on even the slightest potential for criticism. Astarion is all flamboyance until he feels vulnerable. If you don't initiate his illithid convos first, allowing him to hear how the other companions' dreams differ from his, he won't tell you about it. If you do talk to him first, my Tav has to roll 15 persuasions with his 12 Charisma and it's a bitch of roll. Even after making the roll, the best you can hope for is a brusque dismissal. Astarion is a dominant and fiery person (Leo sun), but there's a slightly vulnerable, moody flavour to his whole chart which aligns with having the chart ruler in Cancer. With Cancer on the cusp of the 2nd House, fortune waxes and wanes. Again, Astarion went from a prestigious and well-paying job to being an actual slave.
Venus: Scorpio, 6th House
Venus is what we love and what makes our life easier. It’s about sensual indulgence, love, balance and harmony. Scorpio signifies death and rebirth. It instils a need for deep research and introspection in a quest for total understanding. It’s about interest in the occult and taboo (necromancy, anyone?), power dynamics and sudden changes in circumstances – literally the potential to “go from a king to a beggar and vice versa.” The 6th House covers a multitude of sins. It represents conflict and competition, physical health and a person’s perception of their own appearance. It also signifies an attachment to small/baby animals of all things.
Scorpio Venus in the 6thmakes for intense, turbulent romantic relationships. Scorpio Venus doesn’t bond easily. They view relationships as “all or nothing.” Heartbreak is devastating for them. They expect a partner to prove themselves before they’re willing to commit. Love for Scorpio Venus really is like falling. Once they take the plunge, it’s not about logic or compatibility. It’s all about being pulled by the gravity of attraction. When they do commit, that connection becomes incredibly important to them. If a partner meets their needs, they are loyal unto death. If you betray this person’s trust, they will seek vengeance with the same fervour.
Scorp Venus needs a partner who can handle their intensity, who is dedicated and willing to bend to their desires. It’s like David Bowie said in Labyrinth: “I ask for so little. Just let me rule you, and you can have everything that you want. Just fear me, love me. Do as I say and I will be your slave.” That’s a Scorp Venus in a nutshell right there.
We see Astarion’s enthusiasm for unorthodox dominance when Tav submits to Abdirak. He straight-up tells Shadowheart that he “had his hopes” when she asks what he thinks of Tav’s interest in ritual masochism. Sex for Scorp Venus is an intense experience. It’s not so much about sensuality (domains of Taurus and Libra) as exploring another person in the most intimate, literally naked way possible – “getting lost in each other,” as Astarion puts it. Sex isn’t just physical for Scorp Venus, it’s a deeply psychological and potentially spiritual experience. So yes, letting them fuck you matters more to them than most. This is how Scorp Venus genuinely gets to know someone and decide if you’re compatible or not.
Scorp Venus’ penchant for the dark and taboo can also extend into violence. Astarion wants Lae’zel to eviscerate Zorru because he was “hoping for a show.” He isn’t moved by the tieflings’ gratitude for saving them, but he cheers up if you mention how many goblins he slaughtered. He’s happy when you decide to kill Kagha, Mayrina’s brothers and those acolytes with the dead True Soul guy for no other reason than spilling some blood.
In the 6thHouse, Venus indicates a person who is focused on their outward appearance. Any sign of ageing can cause anxiety for them. They try to do everything in their power to maintain their health and their looks. We know appearance is very important to Astarion. The loss of his reflection is especially painful for him. He straight-up tells Tav to call him beautiful. He doesn’t like being a vampire, but he does like the idea of eternal youth.
Weirdly enough, amidst the vanity and conflict, 6th House Venus also gives an affinity for small/baby animals. We know Astarion approves of feeding the owlbear cub, however much he may bitch about having him in camp. He secretly likes having the critter around. Venus in the 6th House also instils an appreciation for order and enforcing laws that maintain said order. This is the 6th House’s Virgo energy, which invokes Mercury – the chart ruler in this case. Again, this is not about justice so much as keeping society certain and predictable. Venus in the 6th is a good indicator for a career in law, where resolving conflict is a major theme, i.e. a magistrate.
Mars: Capricorn, 8th House
Mars represents our “life force” – literally how forcefully we are able to exert our influence on the world. Mars is the soldier that fights for what we want and pushes through obstacles to bring our plans to fruition. It’s through Mars that we make our desires a reality.
Mars is exalted in Capricorn and is a pretty intimidating place for Mars to be. It signifies a quiet sort of ruthlessness. These are not people you want to screw around with. Cap Mars is comfortable in positions of power and see it as their due. Cap’s desire for control is different from Scorpio’s in that it’s more focused on the self and the environment than on controlling/dominating other people. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which endows the planet of action (Mars) with discipline and self-restraint – very necessary in a chart like this one, which is heavily geared toward self-gratification.
Cap Mars typically has to work hard to obtain positions of power (and hold on to them), but Capricorn gives them the endurance and focus to play the long game. While strategic and patient, they’re also highly opportunistic. They are drawn to influential people and have a knack for knowing which connections will pay off. When Astarion joins you, he mentions that Tav “seems like a useful person to know” – a very typical mindset for this placement. Cap Mars also indicates someone who likes traditional hierarchy and works to get to the top, which definitely fits with being a magistrate.
Like Scorpio, the 8thHouse deals with sex, death, and transformation. Mars in this House is about instinct and base desire, albeit it somewhat tempered by Saturn’s influence through the sign of Capricorn. Mars in the 8th reinforces Scorp Venus’ attraction to the occult, violence and taboo sex, though where Venus simply creates a desire, Mars transforms desire into action. Mars in the 8this more likely to act on dark impulses than just fantasizing about them. It also signifies using sex as a way to manipulate and influence. We know Astarion relies on seduction to bring victims to Cazador.
With Mars in the 8th, the theme of death and rebirth can be quite literal. This placement is a signifier of a violent death, which we know Astarion suffered. Mars in the 8thsignifies sudden changes in influence, which Astarion definitely experienced. It’s a “live by the sword, die by the sword” kind of deal. At the same time, the 8th House creates an awareness that joy is fleeting and should be appreciated while it’s there to be had. Despite all these dark themes, 8thHouse Mars does impart a certain macabre joie de vivre – that “how do you want me to kill you?” convo comes to mind.
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Just wanna talk about Pearl for a second 💜
Tw: mentions of trauma
Pearl is a huge comfort character of mine and I really fell in love with her in 'A Single Pale Rose'. Just all the guilt she was holding on to and all the secrecy surrounding Rose/PD reminds me of my own trauma so it's really comforting to see Pearl breaking away from and letting go of Rose and learning how to become her own person. Also that SU Future episode with Volleyball, that made me SOB, when Volley goes "How did you stop hurting?" And Pearl says "I didn't." So simple yet so impactful. Healing is a constant journey and getting better doesn't mean everything magically goes away. The hurt will still be there but you can learn how to live with it and be a better person because of it. I just love her so much 😭😭 And how even in SU Future, some of those bad thoughts and patterns of behaviour from her past still managed to show up when she continues to defend Rose and denies Volley's claims but the point is, that she recognises this and fixes it and again, healing is a constant journey and there will always be setbacks but that's perfectly okay 💜💜
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mediaevalmusereads · 10 months ago
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Black Sun. By Rebecca Roanhorse. New York: Saga Press, 2020.
Rating: 3/5 stars
Genre: fantasy
Part of a Series? Yes, Between Earth and Sun #1
Summary: In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
***Full review under the cut.***
Content Warnings: blood, violence, gore, body horror, drug/alcohol use, self-harm, suicide, mutilation, reference to child sex slavery
Overview: I came across this book while looking for fantasy novels set in non-European-inspired worlds. I got really exited about the premise: a pre-Columbian, indigenous-inspired story? With multiple perspectives? And crows? It sounded great! Unfortunately, I couldn’t give this book more than 3 stars for a number of reasons: I felt like the writing could have been a little bit better and that character motivations could have been more clear; and I ultimately didn’t feel like the story was a true race-against-the-clock until the end. While I’m intrigued enough to pick up book 2 in the series, I do wish this book had done a little more to make me feel connected to the plot and the characters.
Writing: Roanhorse’s writing reminds me of some New Adult prose styles: it feels straight-forward, clear, and well-balanced, but sometimes tends to tell more than show, especially when it comes to emotion. I really liked that I could follow the prose without issue, but I often felt like Roanhorse was dumping some info on me and expecting me to absorb it right away. For example, Xiala (one of the protagonists) tells us that she’s always felt like an outsider and that’s why she has such an immediate connection with Serapio (another protagonist), but I didn’t exactly feel that. There were also some worldbuilding details that seemed to be inserted to flesh out the world - which was great - but ultimately didn’t feel relevant to what was going on in the plot.
This book is also told from multiple perspectives and flashes forward and backward in time. While I personally was able to follow the voices and time skips just fine, some readers might find it a challenge.
Also, without spoiling anything, the end of this book seemed to rush by WAY too fast, and I honestly didn’t feel like most of the book was building to it.
The worldbuilding, however, was wonderful. I really liked the way Roanhorse described the look and feel of everything from the tastes, smells, sights, etc. and I loved how diverse and rich everything felt. While I don’t know enough about various Indigenous groups to comment on whether or not the cultural elements were incorporated well, I did like that various populations didn’t seem to be monoliths and varied in terms of social structure, dress, and custom.
Plot: The plot of this book follows two-ish threads: in one thread, Xiala must get Serapio to the city of Tova in time for “the Convergence,” a time when the celestial bodies are aligned AND there’s a lunar eclipse. In the other, Naranpa must navigate a plot to oust her from the priesthood while also dealing with rising opposition from clan Carrion Crow (and their cultists, with whom Okoa is involved).
Because of the many POV characters and the flashbacks in time, it was difficult to feel any sense of urgency in either plot thread. Xiala and Serapio’s thread was a travel narrative, and most of the conflict stemmed from the fact that the crew just straight up did not trust Xiala. At first, I thought we were getting a narrative where the crew mistrusts Xiala because she’s Teek, but then they appear to be ok with her in what was a pleasant subversion of my expectations. But then something happens and we’re back to what I expected, and it proves inconvenient for getting Serapio to Tova in time. Because I didn’t feel like I had much of a reason to want Xiala and Serapio to succeed (Serapio’s motivations are mysterious and Xiala mostly wants wealth), I felt pretty “meh” about them potentially missing their deadline. I would have much rather seen Xiala (and perhaps the crew?) be challenged and grow from the setbacks she experiences at sea, and for her to become more personally connected to Serapio so the journey shifts from one done to earn untold wealth to one where Xiala wants to help her friend (even if said friend ends up being deceptive).
The Tovan plot is likewise a little “meh” because there wasn’t a huge sense of urgency or suspense. I felt like I didn’t know the clans enough to feel strongly about their politics (aside from understanding that killing people is bad in the abstract), nor did I have a concrete reason for wanting the institution of the priesthood to remain (once I learned more of their history and the fact that most priests - called “Watchers” - would rather be elitist than minister to the people).
Perhaps that’s why I felt a little underwhelmed by the plot as a whole: while things certainly happened, I ultimately didn’t feel like they impacted the characters’ inner lives much, or if they did, that evolution was told to us more than shown. While I understand that Black Sun is the first book in a series, I still would have liked the plot to have more of an impression on the characters.
Characters: I think it’s safe to say that this book follows 4 main protagonists: Xiala (a Teek sea captain who fills the Han Solo archetype), Serapio (the mysterious blind man with crow-themes magic powers), Naranpa (the Sun Priest who struggles against traditionalists to make the priesthood more active in people’s lives), and Okoa (the son of the murdered Carrion Crow clan matriarch). While I liked all of these characters, I do wish they had been a little less dependent on archetypes (lusty sea captain, Chosen One, etc). Maybe things will change as they develop in later novels, but for now, they’re fun and certainly likeable in their own ways, but not mind-blowing.
Xiala is likeable in that she’s a hot mess with a heart of gold. She drinks, swears, and gets into trouble, all in the pursuit of earning enough wealth to make a living. She is also Teek - a member of a (rumored) all-female island clan, whose members have special sea-based magic. I liked Xiala’s connection to the sea and the way she communicates her people’s stories and cultural values. However, I do wish she was challenged a little more to want something more than material reward.
Serapio is an intriguing character in that he fits the archetype of dark, mysterious Chosen One. While I appreciated that he wasn’t a gruff loner (instead, he seemed eager to connect with people while recognizing that his appearance might unsettle them), I also think his backstory is a little too “edgy” for my tastes. His motivations were somewhat shrouded in mystery, which made it hard to know whether or not I wanted to root for him to succeed, but because he’s not a complete jerk, I found him interesting enough.
The connection between Xiala and Serapio could have been a lot stronger than it was. While I liked that they bonded over their “outsider” statuses, I ultimately felt like this was told to us rather than shown. Thus, when they kind of sort of “get together” later in the novel, it doesn’t feel earned. I didn’t understand what Xiala saw in Serapio other than his physical attractiveness and (maybe?) feeling like he didn’t treat her as a foreigner. While fine, I wanted Xiala to be more attracted to Serapio’s personal qualities, not just that he was nice to her. Same thing for Serapio: I didn’t get the sense that he had genuine feelings for Xiala personally, just that she was intriguing because she was Teek.
Naranpa, the Sun Priest, was an interesting figure in that she was caught up in the politics of the priesthood. While I liked watching her navigate the various setbacks and conflicts with traditionalists, I ultimately wish I had been given a more compelling reason to root for Naranpa to succeed. Trying to make the priesthood more hands-on and philanthropic is all well and good, but it felt too abstract. I wanted Naranpa to have more personal stakes - because she comes from the “gutters” of the city, is she more invested? But if so, how does she reconcile that with her decades-long absence from where she grew up? There was a little of that, but ultimately, I didn’t feel like I had a reason to want the priesthood to continue. I didn’t understand why Naranpa was so attached to the priesthood as an institution; why didn’t didn’t she cut her losses and go elsewhere?
Okoa is something of a late addition. His perspective doesn’t appear right away, but I think that worked out fine, considering when it appeared. Okoa is a warrior who finds himself torn between keeping peace between his clan and the Priesthood and joining a rebellious cult who wants to restore the old religion and seek revenge against the Priesthood for past trauma. While I think his perspective was important, I didn’t personally feel invested in this plot or Okoa’s dilemma. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t feel like the rebels were treated as having a real grievance; we’re told about the past and told that it was harmful, but because we don’t get the perspective of someone dedicated to the Cause, I didn’t feel like I could sympathize with it. Okoa himself is resistant, calling the rebels “cultists” and saying that though he understands their grief, he doesn’t want to support violence. Perhaps if Okoa felt threatened by the cultists, or if their cause was a true threat to the stability and well-being of the clan, then I could feel more involved. But as it stands, Okoa was somewhat wishy-washy, and I couldn’t quite understand the stakes to make his indecision feel justified.
Side or supporting characters were interesting. I really liked that Roanhorse included plenty of queer characters, including trans and non-binary/third gender characters who use pronouns like xe/xir. My favorite was probably Iktan, the head of what is essentially the assassin’s branch of the priesthood.
TL;DR: Black Sun is an intriguing fantasy with intricate worldbuilding and premise. While I personally felt like the inner lives of the characters could have been more developed and the plot more compelling, I think this book (and author) will satisfy many fantasy lovers, and I look forward to picking up the next novel in the series.
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vilkas · a year ago
1, 2, 45, and 48 for f2!
Thanks anon!!! 🥰
1. Why do they care about each other?
Ooh, this is a hard one to answer briefly. Farkas cares about Firien because he can tell she carries a huge burden, and continues moving forward despite it. He can tell that she’s not used to people caring about her, and therefore he cares about her even more to show her that she’s worth every fight, every struggle, any pain, and all the challenges to him.
Firien cares about Farkas because she can tell that he’s a genuinely good human being. She cares about him because she knows he deserves it, and she feels drawn to him in ways she can’t describe.
2. Why should your reader care about them?
I’m using them to portray a healthy, functional relationship. Of course, in current BOTD events, they’re not together yet because of Firien’s trauma and setbacks, but once they are, I want them to be a good example of how relationships work during times of hardship and struggle, and how they have each other to lean and rely on when things get hard.
45. How do they show the other that they love them?
The most important one is the forehead touch. Almost every intimate moment between them includes this, because it’s a simple gesture of love and respect, as well as a representation of their bond. Firien is not one for PDA, so Farkas tends to touch his forehead to hers when he wants to show her affection the most, because he knows it’s acceptable to her. It means love, comfort, connection, and that they’re there for each other. It’s their thing, and no one can take that from them.
Other ways of expressing love would be doing favors for each other, sex, kissing, spending time together, and just being near each other.
48. What was their biggest fight about?
Farkas does something very stupid to ensure Firien survives.
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