wishlist Wednesday: when enough for you!jake and reader were kids, they would show each other’s wishlist for Santa before mailing them.
One christmas Jake got everything he wanted but reader didnt.when they got back from break reader was teased mercilessly because Santa didnt bring her as many presents as the other kids
so jake vows to make sure reader got everything she wanted every christmas going fowsrd
“It doesn’t matter.” It mattered to him. “I got enough.” You had acted like it didn’t bother you and maybe it hadn’t bothered you, but it sure as hell bothered Jake. He couldn’t blame your parents, they had done all they could and they were proud, they wouldn’t have accepted help even if they may have needed it.
Jake vowed to do better, he promised himself that he would never be ridiculed like that again, and he promised that he would never let you feel like that again. It was why he has spent so much time with you while Christmas shopping, because he paid attention to everything you had paid attention to and held for a while, wondering what it would be like if you could have afforded it.
You didn’t know that Jake was planning on buying it for you at a later date. You didn’t know that Jake was going to give you everything you wanted, you had remained good company for him while he tried to find the perfect gift for his mom.
Every year, Jake would continue the tradition of getting you anything you wanted, but you had gotten smart. You had kept the tradition of going with Jake when he shopped for his parents and his sister, but you hadn’t paid much attention to any of the gifts yourself, thinking that t would stop Jake from spoiling you. As if that would stop Jake from treating you like his princess as if that would stop jake from showering you with presents. He knew; he always knew.
When Christmas had rolled around again, and again it was time for you and Jake to go shopping together, you hadn’t said a word, you had kept your list inside your head without uttering a word to a single living soul. The day had progressed as it usually had, Jake buying you an iced latte despite the snow blowing outside and then you would do half the shopping in the morning, Jake would insist you go to lunch and he paid, and when he had finished the day off completing the rest of the list.
You, in all your confidence, thought you had him stymied. You thought this was finally the year where you would win one over on Jake, and when Christmas morning had come all those weeks later and it was time to exchange gifts, you were excited about your victory.
“This is for you,” your gift was personable, it was a photo book of your favourite memories of the two of you, something that may not have had great monetary value but it was meaningful.
“I always knew you liked me,” Jake had beamed, his smile radiant as he opened the present and looked through the pictures, pouring intense speculation into every image.
“You’re my best friend, Jake. Of course, I like you.” you had truly thought you won, and you were eager to celebrate your victory when yet again, Jake Jensen had caught you off guard.
“I love you.” He had whispered against your ear as he sidled up to you and pulled you into his embrace moments before your gift started to wiggle, and a furry black head had poked out of a red bag, two deep brown eyes staring at you.
“A puppy? You got me a puppy?”
“You think you pulled a fast one on me,” Jake crooned in your ear, barely able to hold onto you as you broke free from him and crawled onto the floor, your hands already full of the pup as it wiggled free from the bag, “I know you, princess. I know you’ve wanted a dog since you were ten.”
“Jake Jensen,” when you looked at him your arms holding the excited puppy, he surely thought that he had never known what love was before this moment, “you are…unbeatable.”
“I was going to ask you to marry me,” he mumbled under his breath, confessing his true devotion while you were unaware, “but that can come next Christmas, princess.”
as promised ( threatened? ), the massive grishaverse info post —
PRE-SERIES. Witch, they called her, drüsje, but the woman paid them no mind; she smiled and bared her teeth when someone stared too long, laughed loudly and with abandon, and for all the men who whispered that she was a demon made flesh, there was one willing to test that theory — newly married, visiting his wife’s family from the Wandering Isle. For weeks they remained together, the world outside forgotten in favor of one another’s insatiable hunger, until his wife called for the drüskelle, certain that her husband had been bewitched. There was no magic; he had simply fallen in love. But Veronika knew better than to test her luck, and so she left Elling. By the time she returned to Djerholm, she knew she wasn’t traveling alone.
The child was born Asta Viktoria Grim, and she inherited her Kaelish father’s copper hair and her drüsje mother’s power. The water around her would sing to her, and even as a child, Asta found that it would do as she asked — until Veronika took her little hands one day and kissed her palms and made her promise never to tell a soul what she could do. The neighbors already looked at them strangely: Veronika had never married, and passed her own name to her daughter. She worked, maintaining the little household on her own. When the windows needed fixing, or the door creaked on its hinges, Veronika fixed it herself. The daughter, whose illegitimacy would certainly haunt her, was unlikely to grow up much different. There was no need for them to look further. There was no need for little Asta to give them anything else to look at.
For nineteen years, mother and daughter were at peace in Djerholm, despite the way the neighbors looked at them, but Asta — who had inherited her father’s temper and pride along with his hair, and who had been encouraged by her mother’s independence — wanted more. In her loneliness and naivety, she confided in a friend, who she believed would keep her secret. ( She knew it was a risk, but friends trusted one another, didn’t they? He would know she would never harm him, wouldn’t he? ) She told him she could hear Djel’s voice in the water as it danced on her fingertips. She told him she thought that perhaps drüsje could do something marvelous, and begged him to understand.
He told the drüskelle where to find her, all but brought them to her door. In an attempt to save herself — and her mother — she lashed out, strong but undisciplined. It was easy to find the water in the witch-hunter’s blood. It was easy to make that water boil.
She begged Veronika to come with her, but it would be easier to hunt two witches than one. Veronika promised to lie, to tell the drüskelle who would come looking for their brothers that she hadn’t known of her daughter’s powers, and Asta packed enough to get her through a few days and she fled. A few miles out of Djerholm, another drüskelle caught up to her, and she killed him, too, stole the coins from his pockets and the cloak from his shoulders and left his body for the wolves.
The third found her at the border, with orders to take her in alive or dead. ( And still, she survived. )
She wept when she set foot on Ravkan soil, and she traded the drüskelle’s cloak and coins for clean clothes and food, and when the merchant asked her name she told him it was Astoria. Asta Viktoria Grim had died in the Fjerdan snow. The coins bought her passage to Os Kervo, where she hoped to find a way onto a ship. Not forever, of course, but just long enough that the drüskelle might believe that she was dead, and give up the search.
For weeks as she traveled she thought she was safe — but they found her in Os Kervo, anticipating her next steps, and she offered herself up to the mercy of the first captain she could find at the port. He called himself Sturmhond, and the ship the Volkvolny, and he wouldn’t turn away a Tidemaker, even one being chased by drüskelle. ( She watched from the ship’s bow as they departed, and made sure the drüskelle saw one last look at the red of her hair. It didn’t matter if they thought she was dead; she was free. )
Her loyalty to the captain who saved her was unwavering, and expanded into a loyalty to the crew, to the ship, to their goals; she worked harder than she knew she was capable of working, wore each scar and callous with pride. ( When she learned pieces of the truth about the captain, she kept his secret — after all, he had kept hers, and they were all entitled to a few secrets. )
And when the captain called for volunteers to do the impossible — save the Sun Summoner, betray the Darkling, and return to Ravka — she was among the first to put forth her name.
PRE-SERIES TO SHADOW AND BONE. Astoria is an active and devoted member of the Volkvolny’s crew, deeply loyal to Sturmhond and ecstatic to be free from the drüskelle. Slowly but surely, she learns to trust the rest of the crew — with her freedom, with her safety — and tells them of her history. While on the ship, she learns to read in Ravkan, and learns conversational Kerch, but the majority of her focus and energy go into learning from the other Tidemakers on the ship. ( Her unexpected skill in boiling blood is not forgotten, or ignored. )
SIEGE AND STORM. When Sturmhond calls for volunteers in a venture that could mean death, Astoria jumps at the opportunity, emboldened to take risks and determined to repay the kindness showed to her. She aids in the battle against the Darkling, and when Sturmhond comes ashore to reveal himself as Nikolai Lantsov, Astoria remains in Ravka, offering her support. She remains as a member of Nikolai’s guard, though she acts more often as a spy, moving quietly throughout the palace whenever she can to report back to him. When the Darkling strikes, Astoria remains with Nikolai and the few escaping Grisha, including the other rogues from the Volkvolny, retreating to the Spinning Wheel.
RUIN AND RISING. After months in the Fjerdan mountains, unsure if the Sun Summoner is alive or dead, Astoria is elated to learn of Alina’s survival. She volunteers to join Tamar on the Bittern as they search for the firebird, and it’s only this that saves her when the Darkling strikes again. After the final battle, Astoria remains in the Ravkan court, taking advantage of the opportunity to formally learn about politics in the hopes of someday acting as a member of an ambassadorial team.
* Note: While this verse is built around a specific set of circumstances and assumed relationships, most notably with the crew of the Volkvolny, I am more than happy to discuss, adjust, and compromise on most things in this verse when writing with canon characters, and will not assume any relationship we haven’t discussed. Built with either my own Nikolai and serendpitous’ Alina in mind, or clpdwings’ Nikolai, these are the versions of the characters I’m referencing in any character development posts.
A miscalculation prevented Asta from crossing the border near Arkesk and instead sent her further east. Despite her exhaustion she managed the impossible — she survived. Chased into Ulensk, she managed to avoid detection only briefly before she was found by the drüskelle hunting her.
Fear of a Fjerdan invasion — and whispers of a terrorized Grisha girl trying to keep herself alive — prompted the soldiers stationed at Ulensk to send word to the Little Palace. The Darkling and his modest force found her covered in blood and dirt, dead drüskelle behind her and more to come, and protected her. When asked her name she said Astoria — and when told she would be brought to safety in the Little Palace, her power encouraged and sharpened, she was overjoyed.
She wept when she saw her kefta. ( She would never be powerless again. )
Training amongst other Tidemakers to hone her skill with water, and taught by senior Heartrenders to better hear and manipulate the water in the blood, Astoria’s power — raw, but significant — grew, became deadlier. As one of the many the Darkling had saved she was loyal without question or condition; as a woman who had been hunted, who would never be hunted again, she was quickly identified as a true believer in the Darkling’s cause.
Even the arrival of the Sun Summoner — a saint, a gift, a promise of something better — didn’t sway her loyalty to the Darkling, to his mission, to the Grisha.
PRE-SERIES TO SHADOW AND BONE. Astoria’s power, straddling the line between Etherealki and Corporalki, becomes more focused with time and training. As she spends more time in the Little Palace and learns more of Ravkan politics, she becomes more critical of the Lantsov king and his attitude towards Grisha — and becomes easy to identify as a potential believer in the Darkling’s cause. One of many recruited to the effort, she firmly supports the moves made to dethrone the King, and to subdue the Lantsov forces. When the Darkling expands the Fold into Novokribirsk, she swallows any discomfort she feels at the news — how many Grisha died screaming because they were so desperately feared? how many would be saved with this show of power? — and after his return she joined him in his search for the Sun Summoner.
SIEGE AND STORM. One of the Tidemakers brought aboard the commissioned ship, Astoria witnesses the creation of a second amplifier firsthand, and only becomes more certain in her belief in the Darkling’s goals. She remains on the ship, searching for Sturmhond and his crew, and when they fail to locate Sturmhond and Alina Starkov, she helps navigate Fjerda to launch an attack on the Grand Palace from the North. ( Her memory is sharp, and she remembers the way to Ulensk through the ice and the snow. ) After the Lantsov line is driven out, she remains in the service of the Darkling, slowly becoming one of his favored guards for her ruthlessness and her quick action.
RUIN AND RISING. Astoria’s knowledge of Fjerda proves useful again. Present for the attack on the Spinning Wheel, she is one of many to witness Baghra’s death, and the Sun Summoner’s escape. She joins the march on Keramzin, determined to protect the children brought there and to bring them home to safety, and when the Darkling returns to the Fold to meet Alina there, she remains with the children as their guardian. After the battle, she remains at the Little Palace, watched closely by Zoya and the rest of the Grisha Triumverate, until it’s clear that her dedication to the Grisha as a whole will win out over any political alliances. Once she’s determined to not pose a threat, she volunteers to join excursions outside Ravka to find Grisha on the run and bring them to safety.
* Note: While this verse is built around a specific set of circumstances and assumed relationships, most notably with the Darkling as a leader, I am more than happy to discuss, adjust, and compromise on most things in this verse when writing with canon characters, and will not assume any relationship we haven’t discussed. Built with my own Darkling and Zoya in mind, and unless otherwise specified, these are the versions of the character I’m referencing in any character development posts.
She crosses the border in Arkesk and buys passage to Kerch, desperate to get as far from Fjerda as she can with her limited resources. When she reaches Ketterdam she uses the last of her money to pay for three weeks’ lodging, and she settles in to observe, determined to learn the lay of the land and determine the safest place she could be, and after weeks of deliberation ( and quiet, careful watching ) Astoria approaches Per Haskell of the Dregs.
The Fifth Harbor is promising. So, too, is its savior. Astoria offers an indenture of her own design — something guaranteed to keep her in Per Haskell’s employ for at least the next decade — and her services as a grisha. As a Tidemaker, she can help bring shipments to safety, though Per Haskell is more interested in her ability to manipulate water in the body to boil blood. He agrees, with the promise that if she is of no use to him, she won’t be given access to his protection any longer.
Astoria gets to work — starting with the Black Tips. A months-long affair with Elzinger leads to information: places where they think the Dregs’ control of their territory is vulnerable, plans to intercept shipments, even calculated attacks. ( Men talk. She listens. She finds that wide eyes and a thicker accent tend to help make her seem less threatening. )
After eight months, nearly a million kruge saved, and a parley that nearly ends with Elzinger killing her in his fury at her betrayal, Astoria secures her future, with Per Haskell and the Dregs as her salvation.
PRE SERIES. Proving her worth to the Dregs is difficult, but she manages — the affair with Elzinger gives her an in, and she refuses to waste it. Her role as Per Haskell’s spy morphs somewhat as she becomes known in Ketterdam for her allegiances and for her willingness to kill to protect herself and her newfound family. ( Betraying Per Haskell in a parley becomes far more dangerous when he arrives with his witch in tow. ) She works rarely with the Crows, though she keeps a careful eye on Kaz’s bold moves, and whenever he’s in need of a grisha’s service she’s among the first to volunteer.
SIX OF CROWS. When Per Haskell learns of Kaz’s plans for the Ice Court, he recommends Astoria to join the team. As a Tidemaker she can help secure safe passage to Fjerda; as a Fjerdan refugee she can help navigate the climate and the landscape, as well as the language; as a woman willing to kill, she’s a help in a tight spot. Kaz ( reluctantly ) agrees, intending to make use of Astoria’s skills and her willingness to strike a blow against the Fjerdan state in retribution for what’s been done to her.
CROOKED KINGDOM. Under construction as I read!
* Note: While this verse is built around a specific set of circumstances and assumed relationships, most notably with the Dregs, I am more than happy to discuss, adjust, and compromise on most things in this verse when writing with canon characters, and will not assume any relationship we haven’t discussed. Built with clpdwings’ Kaz and Matthias in mind, these are the versions of the characters I’m referencing in any character development posts.
GENERAL CANON NOTES
I follow a combination of book and show canon. I’m happy to compromise on most elements, but as a general note, this is my default:
Show ages. Alina and Mal are in their early twenties; Genya, Zoya, and presumably Nikolai, are in their mid-late twenties; the Crows are in their early-mid twenties. Overall, I think this makes more sense than everyone being teenagers.
Show characterization. I tend to assume show characterization for the Darkling — I think he’s more dimensional and more compelling in the show, and also a much more frightening villain. I will absolutely defer to any Darkling I write with, but this is my assumption when writing with other characters.
The exception to this is in the Darkling’s interactions with Genya; since I use my own Darkling and Genya as default, unless writing with either of these characters, I default to the characterization in S&B and “The Tailor,” in which the Darkling intended for Genya to be a spy but was more than willing to protect her when he learned of the King’s abuse.
Show and book plot. I like the blending of the kidnapping plot with S&B’s plot in the book, as well as the added political elements ( West Ravka seeking independence & General Zlatan ). I’ll default to book plots, as influenced by the show, for anything past S&B.
I’m still in the process of reading the series — I’m starting Crooked Kingdom for the first time — and so SOC / CK verses will be developed as I read, and Astoria’s post-R&R verses may change as I read KOS / ROW. Please feel free to let me know if I’ve made any mistakes with later plot !!
Some dynamics and plots I’d love to explore —
Astoria and Fjerdans. Especially Astoria’s friendship with the boy who betrayed her to the drüskelle, meeting again when Astoria is in the Second Army. The two of them navigating the aftermath of such a significant betrayal, particularly if one of them is saving the other / if they have to rely on one another. This person being the only one who calls her Asta and her equal parts homesickness and anger at hearing it.
Astoria and the crew of the Volkvolny. Sturmhond, absolutely, but everyone else on the Volkvolny, as Astoria starts to figure out who she is and what she’s capable of when she’s no longer bound by shame and grief surrounding her power and her history.
Astoria returning to Fjerda. As an ambassador, to save her mother, whatever, I just want Astoria going home and dealing with the fact that it’ll only ever be temporary.
Astoria in the Little Palace, training. Training with Tidemakers, training with Heartrenders, becoming a True Believer, all of it.
IMPORTANT NOTES ON THE VERSE
Gen. notes, Astoria in the Second Army
Gen. notes, Astoria on the Volkvolny
Gen. notes, Astoria in Ketterdam
Astoria and Fjerda
Astoria and her mother ( feat. Astoria and Fjerdan concepts of womanhood / her Ravkan alliances as rejections of Fjerda & Astoria’s family )
Astoria and monstrosity