#[ you can go down the layers ]
inkskinned · 1 year
the thing is there's like, a point of oversaturation for everything, and it's why so many things get dropped after a few minutes. and we act like millennials or gen z kids "have short attention spans" but... that's not quite it. it's more like - we did like it. you just ruined it.
capitalism sees product A having moderate success, and then everything has to come out with their "own version" of product A (which is often exactly the same). and they dump extreme amounts of money and environmental waste into each horrible simulacrum they trot out each season.
now it's not just tiktokkers making videos; it's that instagram and even fucking tumblr both think you want live feeds and video-first programming. and it helps them, because videos are easier to sneak native ads into. the books coming out all have to have 78 buzzwords in them for SEO, or otherwise they don't get published. they are making a live-action remake of moana. i haven't googled it, but there's probably another marvel or starwars something coming out, no matter when you're reading this post.
and we are like "hi, this clone of project A completely misses the point of the original. it is soulless and colorless and miserable." and the company nods and says "yes totally. here is a different clone, but special." and we look at clone 2 and we say "nope, this one is still flat and bad, y'all" and they're like "no, totally, we hear you," and then they make another clone but this time it's, like, a joyless prequel. and by the time they've successfully rolled out "clone 89", the market is incredibly oversaturated, and the consumer is blamed because the company isn't turning a profit.
and like - take even something digital like the tumblr "live streaming" function i just mentioned. that has to take up server space and some amount of carbon footprint; just so this brokenass blue hellsite can roll out a feature that literally none of its userbase actually wants. the thing that's the kicker here: even something that doesn't have a physical production plant still impacts the environment.
and it all just feels like it's rolling out of control because like, you watch companies pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into a remake of a remake of something nobody wants anymore and you're like, not able to afford eggs anymore. and you tell the company that really what you want is a good story about survival and they say "okay so you mean a YA white protagonist has some kind of 'spicy' love triangle" and you're like - hey man i think you're misunderstanding the point of storytelling but they've already printed 76 versions of "city of blood and magic" and "queen of diamond rule" and spent literally millions of dollars on the movie "Candy Crush Killer: Coming to Eat You".
it's like being stuck in a room with a clown that keeps telling the same joke over and over but it's worse every time. and that would be fine but he keeps fucking charging you 6.99. and you keep being like "no, i know it made me laugh the first time, but that's because it was different and new" and the clown is just aggressively sitting there saying "well! plenty of people like my jokes! the reason you're bored of this is because maybe there's something wrong with you!"
#this was much longer i had to cut it down for legibility#but i do want to say i am aware this post doesnt touch on human rights violations as a result of fast fashion#that is because it deserves its own post with a completely different tone#i am an environmental educator#so that's what i know the most about. it wouldn't be appropriate of me to mention off-hand the real and legitimate suffering#that people are going through#without doing my research and providing real ways to help#this is a vent post about a thing i'm watching happen; not a call to action. it would be INCREDIBLY demeaning#to all those affected by the fast fashion industry to pretend that a post like this could speak to their suffering#unfortunately one of the horrible things about latestage capitalism as an activist is that SO many things are linked to this#and i WANT to talk about all of them but it would be a book in its own right. in fact there ARE books about each level of this#and i encourage you to seek them out and read them!!! i am not an expert on that i am just a person on tumblr doing my favorite activity#(complaining)#and it's like - this is the individual versus the industry problem again right because im blaming myself#for being an expert on environmental disaster (which is fucking important) but not knowing EVERYTHING about fast fashion#i'm blaming myself for not covering the many layers of this incredibly complicated problem im pointing out#rather than being like. yeah so actually the fault here lies with the billion dollar industries actually.#my failure to be able to condense an incredibly immense problem that is BOOK-LENGTH into a single text post that i post for free#is not in ANY fucking way the same amount of harm as. you know. the ACTUAL COMPANIES doing this ACTUAL THING for ACTUAL MONEY.#anyway im gonna go donate money while i'm thinking about it. maybe you can too. we can both just agree - well i fuckin tried didn't i#which is more than their CEOs can say
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medicalunprofessional · 2 months
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never change, man !
#phantom of the paradise#potp#swan potp#nightmaretheater#65 layers and about 24 hours . Eeeyyuppp#Look into my beautiful mind boy#Its a bit unusual to what i usually draw#but i had to push a specific look for this piece#hopefully you all are picking up on the corperate look . the advertisment look#Sneeze. Anyways my point is industry destroys creative people. This includes swan#I feel like phrases like these ; how he was put on a pedistal…. it lead him to be Like That#as awful as he is he desperately needed help#it might seem like vanity on the surface#but i think its… more than that#long story short: we need to destroy the beauty industry. the skincare industry. the anti-aging industry#It ruined his psyche forever and he cant let go of the ideal version of himself he will never truly be again#i dont think he can at this point. hes in too deep and hes suffering for it no matter how much he feels hes fixed his problems#he cant accept a version of himself that isnt that perfect young man. because he never confronted his problems. he just ran away#anyways . Hi swath *punches him**kicks him*#i dont care if nobody gets me lalalalla my truths and headcanons are awesome forever and i live in my own reality lallaallal#sorry i think im gonna be posting about swan alot for a few months hes making me sick#i wass gonna post this earlier but my internet was real bad#*lays down in my pile of pillows* eat up boys. haha#sidenote: drawing white blond people is horrifiying. Boy your skin and hair are the same color. Introduce some contrast to yourself. Please#adding on: its inportant to note this focuses on him looking st himself in the mirror alot on purpouse#to remind himself what he ‘’’’really’’’’ looks like#the 4 middle pannels all represent that too . u have to be in my brain ri get this#sorry for unleashijg another swan essay in my tags. will happen again lol
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egophiliac · 4 months
hi! this is Insomniac Anon here!!! I noticed on some of ur artworks (specifically the unique magic posters), that u have a textured look to em, like paper or grain ... i wanted to ask how u get that effect? is it a brush, a filter, or like an overlay/png u use ... ? pls tell me!! ;v; I really like how the texture looks, so i wanted to know how 2 do it since ure a very big inspo 2 me LAWL ... I've been doing art practices in diff styles i find, so, i wanted to know a bit more how you do it :^D
thank you! :D :D :D it's usually photos/textures of paper that I've messed around with; I have a bunch of free/paid/ones I took myself. anytime I see good photos of paper I add it to the collection...it is my weakness. 😔
I mostly use Photoshop, but this should work in any program that supports blending modes (also I did this in like an hour to use as an example, please forgive it :')
image by itself before texturing:
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with the texture pasted in (for this one I'm using this public domain one from Pexels):
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then mess around with the blending mode to see how it looks -- in this case I went with overlay, but soft light and hard light are usually good ones too, it really depends on the texture:
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then with a bunch of messing around with opacity/colors/saturation/levels/adding in a bit more texture until I like how it looks:
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et voilà, texture! (waves hands)
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wigglebox · 5 months
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Watching over you 💙💫 [x]
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curioscurio · 23 days
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my favorite part of the Voynich Manuscript is this little nymph bathing in a pitcher plant and making a rainbow with the water spray
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morganbritton132 · 1 year
in the EMTTS, does Diane ever find out about the death threat letters to Steve? if her daughter watches Eddie’s tiktok she would’ve seen the videos about it so did she tell her mom? how would Diane react? would her reaction annoy Steve or would he actually find it sweet?
Oh man, her daughter would show her Eddie’s TikTok and Diane’s response would be the same one she has for a death in the family and divorces: desserts and being a pleasant presence in their lives.
Steve doesn’t immediately put two and two together because he kinda assumes that Eddie told their friends about it and that’s why people knew, not that he posted about it on the internet. He honestly just thinks that Diane is being her usual annoying self and thus, following the rules of upper-middle class etiquette, keeps having to bake for her.
She stops by one evening and brings them a plate of macaroons and spends an hour standing on their front porch talking about the neighborhood watch. They gained three new members. Steve interprets this as dig about his sleepwalking and then spends the rest of the evening hate-baking her a pie.
Steve is sitting outside waiting for his carpool one morning and she accosts him to have him try this new doughnut recipe she’s trying out. They’re begrudgingly delicious, but her interrupting the only peace and quiet he’ll get all day to talk about the neighborhood watch again is unforgivable. Steve makes her brownies.
Steve is laying with his back flat against the deck in the backyard, listening to Eddie chase Ozzy around the yard. His eyes are shut but he can feel the sun shining on him, and it’s the first time in a long time that he doesn’t feel like complete shit. So, of course.
“Yoohoo, boys,” Steve hears called over the fence and when he cracks his eyes open, he can see her waving at them. She has a tin of cookies with her and is already handing a homemade dog treat to Eddie, and Steve just sighs so deep within himself that he can feel it in his toes.
When he peels himself off the deck and drags himself over to have a pointless conversation by the fence, he can hear her talking about the neighborhood watch. Again. She is saying something about Suzanne down the street seeing a car circle the block a few time this week with their lights off, and Steve’s just had enough.
He doesn’t have it in him to bake another fucking pie.
He cuts off her rambling about being bad at guessing the make and model of cars with some barely concealed frustration, “That’s Ryan and Jackie’s kid. The one that just got a permit. He and his friends take their car out and joyride it around the neighborhood because Ryan refuses to teach him to drive.”
“We live in a cul-de-sac,” Steve adds because he thinks that she’s being a little ridiculous. He says it like he was no longer a person that had trouble leaving the house, that could open the mail without their hands shaking, that wasn’t in their backyard instead of on a run because they’re afraid – Wait.
Steve’s eyes flicker over to Eddie and then to Diane, and everything slots into place like the most obvious puzzle. Of course, she knows. Everybody probably knows. That’s why the neighborhood watch is suddenly so popular, and yeah.
Later when Steve can think about it all more rationally, it is sweet that their neighborhood is looking out for them and that they’re concerned. But in the moment, Steve feels like he’s been hit with a tidal wave of pity, and he gets frustrated. He gets angry.
He barely registers that he drops the cookie tin on the ground or hears Eddie’s blasé response about Steve’s clumsiness. He knows that he’s about to get mean and he doesn’t want to, so he just turns around and goes inside.
Eddie follows him a few minutes later, asking questions and says that it’s not a big deal that people know. He says that it’s actually better because it means there are more people looking out for him. Steve tells him that he’s not talking about it and goes to bed early.
He wakes up early too. He puts on his shoes and he goes across the street, and he tells Diane when she opens her door, “This needs to stop.”
“Oh good, you’re awake. When I saw you on the porch, I thought you might be…” She trails off, making a twirling gesture at her temple and then frowns. “Oh, that’s not correct, is it? April is always trying to teach me these new rules. I mean nothing by it, dear.”
“I’m not – I’m not broken,” Steve says. “I’m not sick, or weak, or – and I don’t need you to bake things for my husband or form a neighborhood watch for me. I need-“
“Dear, that’s simply not true,” She says, voice dropping into something serious. This might be the first time that Steve has ever seen her not smiling. “I heard about those awful letters you got sent to your door and you may not like it, but at times like these. You need people. You may not like that it’s me, sweetie, but that’s what you got.”
Steve hates how he feels like he’s ten years old and making up excuses for why his parents didn’t pick him up, “I can look after myself.”
“I’m sure you can, but do a girl a favor and let us look after you too,” She says. She must see that he’s not thrilled with that statement because she tells him about a sorority sister she had and the anonymous notes she used to find, and how they buried her two years after graduating.
So, she takes his hand and gives it a squeeze, “Let me do this. For me.”
Steve doesn’t pull his hand away and admits maybe for the first time, “I’m so scared all the time.”
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tcfactory · 8 months
Please imagine:
[5k words of an outline for a big Bingge centric AU, mentioned QiJiu and MoShang and potentially one-sided BingQiJiu. Time travel, fix-it(?)
Warning for canon typical child abuse and torture, mention of sexual abuse, minor mention of cannibalism, Bingge is his own warning let’s be real]
Binghe goes insane from Xin Mo and abandons his humanity completely, then devolves further into a rabid beast until Mobei and the Wives all work together to put him down. Xin Mo is so entangled in him that it can’t exist past its host anymore, so it unleashes all that it has left to prevent Binghe’s death.
That’s when the reset happens.
It’s like coming back from the brink, when your head breaks the water and the dark recedes from the edge of your vision as air fills your lungs. Sanity is a cold thing when surfacing from the depths of madness, but it keeps the warm animal-hunger of bloodlust and beastly instinct on the edges of his consciousness and that’s fine.
He’s a child again when he regains conscious thought, standing in front of the tea set, about to make that first cup of tea for his future Shizun, and he can’t afford to be a beast right now. There’s a part of him that feels different, the parts that Xin Mo devoured alongside his sanity have now been returned to him, soft and squishy and human. It’s strange, coming back to humanity after so long - how long? Decades? Centuries? Time has lost all meaning to a beast that could hunt and breed whenever it pleased.
Binghe doesn’t remember how to make tea. He’s not certain he ever knew at this age, but the beast in him recoils at the memory of scalding tea dumped on his head. He looks around, as subtle as he can, to find something that might help him avoid that. Shen Qingqiu is talking to Ming Fan, rattling off the necessities they need to provide the first new disciple since Ming Fan became head disciple, but Binghe can feel the man’s attention on him. Shen Qingqiu has noticed his hesitation and he’s waiting to see what Binghe is going to do next. There’s no help to be had there.
Ning Yingying lurks around, too curious of the new shidi to stay away, and Shizun indulges her as long as she stays close enough that he can track her. She would know how to make tea. She has always been one of his smartest wives - she made the array that pinned him down and stripped him of fang and claw and poison so Mobei Jun could shove portals under his skin, drain him of his healing blood and finally unmake him.
It was an agonizing way to die. He deserved all of it and more.
When it seems like an opportune moment he quietly asks Yingying shijie how to make tea fit for their Shizun. She pretends to tie his hair for him - shidi can barely see through this fluff, this won’t do, here’s how you tie it properly - and tells him the instructions in a whisper so quiet even he can barely hear it. 
Shen Qingqiu notices, of course he does, but he pretends that he doesn’t. The tea is not great, but it’s palatable and Shen Qingqiu drinks all of it while he runs Binghe through the rules of the peak and the expectations placed on a scholarly disciple of Qing Jing. It’s such a jarring difference from the first time when he got sent away right after the tea incident that he can’t help but drift in his chaotically spinning thoughts instead of listening. This is not the kind Shizun, he thinks. So why did the tea make such a big difference? (Years later Yue Qingyuan happily tells him how he blackmailed one of the rich boys into showing him how to make tea for his own peak’s tea ceremony because he didn’t trust the adults enough to ask and couldn’t afford to seem lesser than those of higher birth and Binghe finally Gets It.)
His thoughts are interrupted when Ming Fan arrives and shoves the ‘new disciple care package’ in his arms. Binghe is still not used to being tiny again, so he tries to hold all of it like he would as an adult and can’t, dropping his manual and the writing kit in the process. Yingying immediately hops to pick it all up, scolding their shixiong for bullying the new shidi while Shen Qingqiu watches with a cold mask of indifference.
The manual has fallen open and it gives her pause when she picks it up. “Shizun, I don’t think this manual is right.” Shen Qingqiu says nothing, but he takes it from her and glances at the pages.
Binghe is certain that he’s the only one who notices how Shizun’s hold on the book tightens in anger until his fingers turn white. “It’s an older manual,” he says, neither voice nor expression giving away the rage he must feel to grip the book so tight. Luo Binghe knows even his smallest tells and the man is seething. “Go to the library pavilion and pick up the proper edition for your shidi. Dismissed!”
It’s a few days later when Binghe is trying to find a good spot in the library to practice his calligraphy - he knows how to write, in theory, but he forgot so many of these mundane little rituals in his madness that he needs to refresh the memory - when he walks into the range of a silencing array. It’s obviously a fluke that it extends into the corridor, but if Binghe puts his ear to the wall he can clearly hear Shen Qingqiu rage at his hallmasters and the head of the library pavilion because of the manual. The fake, harmful cultivation manual, one of many that have ruined and killed lonely disciples before, the ones who didn’t have friends or other support to notice that something was wrong.
Manuals Shen Qingqiu has ordered removed and destroyed when he became peak lord. Orders that the hallmasters ignored. Does Peak Lord Shen think they have the time to waste on something like this when the peak is already short staffed? There are more important parts of the collection to maintain than the beginner manuals - the only ones who would ever fall prey to the false manuals anyway are the charity cases, and they are not the ones who fund the scholarly peak. Really, this wouldn’t even be an issue at all if Shen Qingqiu didn’t let Liu Qingge goad him into taking on a dirty beggar child. Don’t they all know that things crawling in the dirt are never worth the trouble? Once filth, always filth.
Luo Binghe is almost bowled over when Shen Qingqiu storms out of the meeting, blind to his environment. The man’s qi roils, razor sharp like shattered glass, his anger driving him to the cusp of a qi deviation. Binghe has a hunch that whatever this is about, it’s not about him. Shizun would not be so angry on his behalf.
He could never figure out why the man mistreated him, could never break Shen Qingqiu open enough to get the answer he needed. This feels like an opportunity, a chance to unravel this puzzle, and it tickles his instincts to have something to chase, to press his nose to the trail and hunt.
So he starts to sniff around. People overlook children so easily, it’s almost effortless how he finds piece after piece. He learns that the people on the peak - the cultivators from his generation in particular, the pavilion overseers and the hallmasters - don’t respect Shen Qingqiu and often undermine his authority when he’s not there to personally force them to adhere to his standards. There’s an especially tense period every time after the Peak Lord leaves for the city - for the brothel, they say, to drown in his lust or to use some hapless girl as a cauldron and bolster his own mediocre cultivation - when they seem especially bold, holding his indulgence over his head like a finely balanced sword.
He learns from Yingying that he’s the first disciple to get into the peak through the selection for the last decade. All the other disciples are young masters and scholarly prodigies who come recommended by their mentors. They don’t need their Shizun’s encouragement to try and bully Binghe, even when he’s not rolling over like he did in his first life. He fights back, tooth and nail, a rabid little thing that leaves scratches and bruises on anyone who would provoke him and he doesn’t have to worry about sleeping in the woodshed because more often than not the dormitory overseers isolate him from the others as a form of punishment.
Shen Qingqiu doesn’t interfere. He looks with the same disdain at both perpetrators and victim, bruised black and blue, and forbids them from leaving the peak until they are presentable again. It’s not until a particularly bad fight when Binghe takes a bite out of one of them, digging his teeth into a soft cheek and swallowing both the bloody chunk and the screams of terror with dark satisfaction, that Shizun’s hand is forced. Binghe is thrown into solitary confinement until the boy’s parents can come and demand fitting punishment for permanently disfiguring the rich brat. Binghe is grateful for these few days of isolation. He needs them to shackle the instincts screaming for blood, to calm his demon side that’s straining against his seals. It wasn’t like this the first time, but he came back as a beast in a boy’s skin so it’s not surprising.
He puts on the face of a lamb when they lead him outside, to the cold morning light and then to the punishment hall. The boy’s parents - a high-ranking official in the mortal Emperor’s court and his lady wife - look at him like he’s less than dirt, but there’s a glint of cruel satisfaction in their eyes when the stone faced Shen Qingqiu announces his punishment: by their demand, Binghe is to receive ten lashes with the discipline whip, or fewer if he passes out.
The Sect Leader came to oversee the punishment and the horror on his gentle face is obvious to all. The disciple whip is a cruel thing, one that can cripple even advanced cultivators, and will set Binghe’s cultivation back by years if it doesn’t ruin it altogether. The Sect Leader gives Shen Qingqiu a pleading look and Binghe lifts his head to tell him not to bother - when could Yue Qingyuan ever influence Shen Qingqiu for the better? - so he catches the Sect Leader’s expression when Shen Qingqiu flicks the case open and takes out the whip. Just for a moment, his expression flickers into surprise, then relief, before it turns into a blank mask. Binghe has no time to ponder what the hell that is about, because Shen Qingqiu swings the whip with the ease and confidence of practice and the line of fire down his back startles a scream out of him. He lived a whole life as a warlord and demon, but this body is that of a human child, unaccustomed to this sort of pain.
The world fades to black after two more strikes.
When he comes to, he is laying in a soft bed. The bedding smells clean, but oddly stale - like a guest bed they only air out every other day, but never use. He turns his head and the bamboo house comes into focus. It’s Shizun’s room and Shizun’s bed, but that makes no sense - where does the man sleep if not in his own bed? His cultivation isn’t good enough to forgo sleep altogether. There’s something here, a corner piece to this puzzle Binghe is struggling to fit into the big picture. Is this why Shizun keeps going to the brothels? Can he only find rest in the embrace of women? Binghe, formerly a very active master of a harem with hundreds of wives and concubines, can’t judge him for that. He already dismissed the rumors about Shizun abusing a cultivation cauldron; dual cultivation is one of the few methods to mend ruined meridians and Binghe still remembers how wrecked Shen Qingqiu’s cultivation was when he caught him.
There is yelling from the main room, Mu shishu’s incensed voice and the low rumble of the Sect Leader as he tries to calm him. Eventually a blank faced Shizun leads both of them inside and Mu shishu ignores all etiquette to rush to the bed and take stock of Binghe’s injuries. 
“These… these are not the marks of a discipline whip,” he says, confused and relieved. 
“Of course not,” Shen Qingqiu scoffs. “I don’t keep one of those wretched things around on my peak. As if those fools could tell the difference between a discipline whip and a regular slaver’s whip. All they wanted was to hear the little beast scream.” 
The Sect Leader hurriedly reassures Mu shishu that the whip strikes are painful, but with the right treatment they won’t even scar. 
“Zhangmen-shixiong, are you saying that from experience?” Mu Qingfang asks, massaging his temples and startles a little when Shen Qingqiu and Yue Qingyuan say “Yes!” in perfect unison. Another corner piece for the puzzle.
After his injuries are treated and Yue Qingyuan shepherds the healer outside, Binghe is left alone with Shen Qingqiu.
“What am I to do with you, little beast? If you don’t learn to rein yourself in, I will kick you off my peak before you can drag our reputation down.”
“He deserved it. They started it.”
“And? This is not Bai Zhan. You are in no position to make such a ruckus about things. Your stunt lost Qing Jing almost a tenth of our yearly funding. My own shizun would have beaten me to death if I pulled something so idiotic.” 
“Then why didn’t you?” He’s starting to understand Shen Qingqiu, the wretched little slave, who clawed his way up to become Peak Lord despite his ruined cultivation and digs his teeth into what’s his so nobody can take it away, but he still wants to hear it from the man himself. “Do I remind you of yourself, Shizun?”
“Little beast, you are asking for a beating.” Shen Qingqiu forgot his fan, or else he’d be hiding behind it, as always. Binghe’s Shizun has such a terribly thin face. “You have potential and drive to make something of yourself. I want to see how far it will take you. If you learn how to hide your claws better.”
Oh, Binghe knows exactly how far he can go. But he humors his Shizun and does a demonstration of his White Lotus routine. Shizun fetches a fan just so he can smack him over the head, but says that it’s an adequate act, for now. However, if Binghe can’t fool the peak into believing that he mellowed out from the punishment, then he shouldn’t expect help from his master!
They settle into an understanding over the next few years. They are not of a kind, but they are both beasts after a fashion and now that he finally peered under Shen Qingqiu’s unbreakable armor, he doesn’t resent the man as much. Is he himself not a violent, monstrous thing once you peel off his pleasant facade? What filled the human child with fear and resentment entices the adult demon that now lives in his skin. Besides, Shizun hasn’t hurt him in this life. Shen Qingqiu usually lets him be, only interacting with him as much as any other discipline, but sometimes under the guise of chores he takes remedial lessons to perfect his act. The years he let go of his humanity took their toll and he needs the guidance to set some of the details right.
“I think I might be part demon,” Luo Binghe says one day, sipping tea in the bamboo house. For two hours straight Shizun poked and prodded at his insecurities, reaching for a level of unpleasantness he doesn’t often aim at him and Binghe kept his mask of a perfect, demure youth all throughout. At the end of it Shizun poured him a cup of tea and reluctantly praised his acting. It’s a thorny thing, Shizun’s praise, but it has set a warmth in Binghe’s chest that refuses to go away.
“You are fifteen. It’s probably just puberty.” Binghe laughs at his Shizun’s expression of disgust. Shen Qingqiu is technically not wrong either, because it’s his steadily growing sex drive that keeps aggravating his demon half. “I have met men who wish they could be demons. I don’t care as long as you don’t tarnish the reputation of the sect.”
“The sect or Qing Jing Peak?”
“The sect. Drag me down with your madness if you want. I chose to take responsibility for you as your Shizun, but leave the others out of it.” 
The others in this case, Binghe has learned, means Yue Qingyuan. Binghe is not sure what ties the two men together (ten thousand arrows and a throat split open on the shards of a blade) but it’s a kind of devotion and he wants it for himself. He set this thread of fate against Xin Mo’s blade and it remained unbroken, so he wants to tangle himself up in it until he can forget that he has no thread of his own. He couldn’t find true peace in the embrace of a thousand women, but when he imagines himself sandwiched between Shen Qingqiu and Yue Qingyuan, the most resilient and the strongest man the human realm can offer, he thinks he could be satisfied. Shen Qingqiu’s sharp edges stimulate the demon part of him that wants to court with his fangs and claws bared and Yue Qingyuan’s soft brotherly manners soothe the neglected human boy he tried to rip out of his soul, but never managed. They would be perfect.
But first he has to find out why Shen Qingqiu keeps pushing the Sect Leader away and mend their relationship somehow, and a crucial step to that is making sure Liu Qingge lives. Binghe now suspects that the Bai Zhan War God’s death was an accident, but it drained Shen Qingqiu of any will to stand up for himself and he can’t allow that to happen this time around.
“When I passed Liu shishu earlier I sensed that his qi was unbalanced. He is heading to a deviation soon.” He can blame it on his Shizun that he learned to sniff out impending qi deviations, because Shen Qingqiu had them often and always, always tried to cover them up. “I know he is going to Lingxi caves for isolated cultivation and I overheard Mu shishu say that Shizun is following him in a fortnight. I want Shizun to be prepared to call for help if Liu shishu turns violent and attacks him.”
It’s a battle to convince Shizun to take the emergency talismans, but Binghe eventually wears him down. He spends the whole night before Shizun enters the caves drawing the talismans; it’s his punishment for bothering Shen Qingqiu so much in the past two weeks. Soon after, the Sect Leader leaves and Binghe doesn’t remember the exact timeline anymore, but it sounds like things are happening the way they did before; Liu Qingge’s death and the demon invasion was barely a week apart and Yue Qingyuan was absent for both. So Binghe loiters around the emergency medical team and waits.
Nobody notices it when he slips into the backline of the emergency team, keeping pace with them through the winding pathways of the Lingxi caves until something calls out to him, his instincts suddenly on high alert, and he falls behind, just as unnoticed. The side cavern is almost completely blocked off and once Binghe squeezes inside he can’t see anything, but he doesn’t need his eyes to tell what happened. Poisonous, disturbed qi saturates the cavern, heavy on his tongue with pain and fear and desperation, the rage of a dragon trapped in a bottle, thrashing to break free. He can feel the marks gouged into the walls when he touches them, can taste the blood saturating the surface when he licks along a deep crack.
A beast was trapped in here, a beast that tastes like Yue Qingyuan.
The discovery makes him giddy and he has to tear himself away from the cavern before the qi could damage his human cultivation or the sweet song of blood could awaken his demon half. Outside he finds that things happened as he expected, and to his relief both Peak Lords live. Liu Qingge seems unbearably insistent on undoing the damage he did to Shen Qingqiu’s reputation in the past, but Shizun seems just as annoyed by his attempts as Binghe, so it’s fine.
The demon invasion happens just on schedule and Binghe goes in with a plan to use the demon elder’s poisonous attack to pretend that was what awakened his demon half. It's a good plan, one that's immediately dashed by Liu Qingge, who can't bear to sit and watch when Shen Qingqiu gets to fight. For a blissful moment Binghe entertains the idea of revealing himself anyway and ripping Liu Qingge limb from limb, but he restrains himself and moves right on.
The encounter with Meng Mo is different. In the dream realm Binghe is not a child and he shuts off access to the dream before the old demon can pull anyone else in with them. Then he bows to the elder with all the respect his old mentor earned in that other life. “This Binghe is overjoyed to see Meng shushu has found him again.”
It’s strange, to explain what happened to him to someone who can’t possibly remember those events, but Meng Mo takes it all with grace, even when Binghe admits that Xin Mo trapped the demon in his own nightmare and slowly consumed him. Binghe doesn’t strictly need the grandfatherly old demon in his head - because as much as Meng Mo would deny it, Binghe has met enough demon families to now recognize him for the very typical demonic grandfather that he is - but his presence feels right and his power can tide them over until Binghe decides to break the seals.
Together they hatch a plan to trap his Shizun and his Shibo in a dream until they are forced to talk to each other. It’s easier said than done, because with Liu Qingge nipping at his heels again to demand a spar (get a hint already shishu, Shizun doesn’t see sparring as a bonding activity and you never told him that you mean it that way!) Shen Qingqiu refuses to go down to the brothel to sleep. Finally, when sleep deprivation is driving Shizun to the brink of a qi deviation, Binghe has enough and bluntly presents him with a sleep tonic. “You can take it willingly or I can hit you over the head and take you down to the city. Your choice, Shizun.”
It’s enough of a threat that Shen Qingqiu allows Binghe to distract Liu shishu with a barrage of very specific questions about an upcoming nighthunt and sneaks out to the city himself. The distance would usually be a bit bothersome, but Binghe can grasp the thread tying Yue Qingyuan and Shen Qingqiu together and pull them into a joint dream in the middle.
It’s worse than he expects. He gets a front row seat to their worst nightmares and even fully knowing that these are only memories, his demon blood burns to rip their enemies apart. Meng Mo bodily drags him outside of the dream so his enraged howling can’t disturb the long overdue reconciliation between Xiao Jiu and his Qi-ge.
“He was so cruel to me in that first life, I never imagined that he ever had it worse,” Binghe admits quietly when his rage has cooled, pale as a ghost as they watch the shade of Qiu Jianluo force himself on his child slave.
“Have you ever…?”
“No. Even I had my limits. I made sure they wanted me, even if they regretted it afterwards.” How many women did he feed to Xin Mo’s endless appetite over the years? He never counted. Meng Mo just hums and then shoos him away; the old demon can maintain the dream until the humans are done sorting themselves out and it’s probably not good for Binghe’s psyche to watch all of this.
The next few years are a blur. Binghe keeps his distance from Shen Qingqiu when it becomes clear that the reconciliation followed them out of the dream. He doesn’t want Shen Jiu to think of him as a disciple, a child, he wants to leave and return as a dashing suitor, so he watches from afar as things slot into a much more pleasing picture than before. With Yue Qingyuan’s broad shoulders propping him up, Shen Qingqiu finally gains the power to back up his words and a genuine confidence to match his proud bearing. He kicks all his detractors off Qing Jing and calls an audit from An Ding to clean up all the leftover filth before the new hallmasters take their post. Yue Qingyuan shuts down a nasty comment during a peak lord meeting about Shen Qingqiu’s brothel visits by reminding everyone that they are allowed to visit their family outside the sect if they want to, and this is everything the sect gossip talks about for the next sennight. It prompts Ning Yingying to bashfully admit to her trusted Luo shidi that her mother is one of Shen Qingqiu’s 'sisters', that she joined the sect on his recommendation. Maybe A-Luo would like to meet her sometime? He’s like a little brother to Yingying and she wants him to meet her family. 
Not everything is perfect, of course. Qing Jing is still heavy on the physical punishment, second only to Bai Zhan, because the fear of pain works extremely well on the rich brats, but Binghe’s growing restlessness sees him punished more than all the disciples put together and on him it has a very different effect. He can’t help it, his libido is out of control and the people he wants are out of his reach, so the only things he can channel his restless energy is aggression and too long nights of masturbation that leave him too tired to function the following day. At one point Shen Qingqiu even threatens him with the whip again if he doesn’t cut it out, and the thought of Shen Qingqiu whipping him bloody fuels his fantasies for the next several weeks.
It’s three months before the Immortal Alliance Conference when Meng Mo digs his heels in about the course of their future.
“We are not getting Xin Mo.”
“I need it if I want to become strong again.”
“I reviewed all of your memories and I can confidently say that’s not true. The wretched thing hurt you more than it ever helped.”
“I will never get out of the abyss without it. I need it for that long and then I will lock it away.”
“If you pick it up you will never be able to put it down again. Just like in that other life.”
“Then what do you suggest? Am I to just stay in the abyss and perish?!”
“No, of course not. Ask Xiao Mobei to teach you his portal trick.”
“... Let’s start with the obvious that it would not work and let’s not go into the logistics of how I’m even supposed to get hold of him.”
“You have actively used Xin Mo for fifteen centuries.” Was it really that long? It didn’t feel that long. “You have absorbed enough of its residual energy that with the right teacher you should be capable of learning portal manipulation. Whether the Mobei boy is willing to teach you or not is another matter.”
“We were friends before I went insane.” Before he merged the realms and accidentally destroyed Mobei’s entire kingdom and all his subjects in the process. “I think I have a way to convince him.”
Thus starts the long chase to get into Shang Qinghua’s house so Binghe can talk to him in private. It’s much easier said than done. Much as Qinghua has made his peak self-sustaining, he is still busy as hell and when he's not then he's in his leisure house which is the most well-warded building in the entire sect. They only manage a meeting with two weeks left to go before the conference.
At least convincing Shang Qinghua is easy enough. “I recently found out that I'm part demon and I want your prince to help me get away after the conference” is a clear motivation why Binghe would want to talk to Mobei and “I can see from your bruises that he's trying to court you - very carefully, by his standards, I don't see any frostbite - I can make him understand that you are not interested or how to do it the human way, whichever you prefer” makes Qinghua’s expression twist into something both calculating and flustered. The wonders a millennia lived as mostly a demon does, Binghe muses. He was too young and too human to realize that Mobei was pining hard for his little snake of an advisor the first time around. He's not surprised when it all turns into a Human Courting Dos and Don’ts 101. He's not sure if Qinghua is really interested or he's just too scared to turn Mobei down, but when he comes to finalize the details of his getaway the leisure house stinks to the high heavens of happy ice demon, so it's working at least.
He talks Mobei down from letting his entire menagerie loose on the disciples (Qinghua breathes a sigh of relief. He might be able to keep his position as a spy and not lose all his enrolled disciples after all) and shows him where to send the most dangerous beasts for a more targeted attack against Huan Hua’s adult cultivators. Binghe doesn't much care about the disciples, but the least amount of damage done against the sect, the more likely Shen Qingqiu will take him back soon once he returns.
The night before the Conference he finally visits Shen Qingqiu in his dream to show the man his true self. “I told you that I'm a demon.” In the dream Qingqiu is scrawnier and not quite the perfectly polished image of a peerless immortal. Binghe revels in tracing his eyes over all the scars he can see that have been long erased from his skin in the waking world. “I need to leave for a time, after the conference. But do not fret. When I return I will be Junshang and lay the demon world in front of you and Sect Leader Yue as a courting gift.”
He keeps Shen Qingqiu in the dream long enough that his Shizun can't talk to him in person before the event begins. It would spoil the fun to have a fight with his future intended before the hunt.
This plan, unlike the demon invasion one, goes off without a hitch. When Qinghua is portaled into Mobei’s palace a week later for one last report before Binghe leaves, the man has only good news - the sect only suffered injuries and no deaths, and as an added bonus the Iceclaw Assassin Wolf they dropped into the Huan Hua ranks took out the Old Palace Master and his most trusted people before it self destructed. It’s a better outcome than he dared to hope for.
Mobei refuses to teach him portals (for now) but gives him a token that can portal him out of the abyss if things get dicey or Binghe is done training, so that's fine as well. All is ready. Binghe is going to go into the abyss and then seven years later he’ll come back out, fully in control of his heavenly demon heritage and as much of a beast in body as he is in spirit.
The Northern Consort greets him coldly, glaring at him from under a huadian painted with Mobei Jun’s blood that leaves no doubt in anybody’s mind about the king’s devotion to his little human husband. “What took you so long?” Shang Qinghua asks, unwinding one of his many layers of fur and dropping it on the shivering Binghe. The pelt barely covers his shoulders, but it warms Binghe all the same. “Zhangmen-shixiong has been hounding me day and night about your return. Shen Qingqiu refuses to hold their wedding without you there.”
“Ah, but Shang shishu.” Binghe spreads his arms wide, showing off his new physique with a grin. “I promised to lay the demon world before their feet. I couldn’t possibly return before I was capable of upholding that promise!”
Consort Shang is unimpressed.
“Next time, just get them a stick of tanghulu to share. Much easier to get and I bet you anything they would appreciate it more.”
He might not be wrong about that. What is the demon world to a pair of slave boys who rose to the top of the cultivation world on their own power? Comfort food made by his own hand is a much sweeter gift.
Binghe is still going to conquer the demon world for them regardless. He promised, after all, and what kind of husband would he be if he went back on his promises?
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babyblueetbaemonster · 4 months
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A fanart for @hannahcbrown's Oblivion fic Thiefguard!
They're having the Cheydinhal's famous thirty layer cake
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floorpancakes · 11 months
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zmediaoutlet · 4 months
trying to articulate something here --
I dig the experience of reading meta that is coming from a well-reasoned place but I nevertheless fundamentally disagree with, and I think that comes down to a willingness to sift down and down and down until you come to an essential Thing about the text-genre-intent-characterization-whathaveyou. Like -- I can see how you got there, but wait, you didn't consider [xyz].
Top of mind example: Dean's masculine because he's trying to act like John. On the surface -- absolutely! He's trying very hard to mimic Dad because his universe centers around god Dad. He's also often operating in a world of trying to do what Dad would want, and making assumptions of his own about what those wants would be, which is a slightly different operating structure.
...But. What's actually driving that? Is it dad qua dad? Or is it -- Dean is essentially loyal-obedient-conformist? Is it that, in the cultural context of growing up in the '80s-'90s with a father who grew up in the '60s-'70s, this is what being a certain kind of man meant and so it is essential to lock into those tropes and characteristics?
We look to how Dean acted like a certain kind of boy when he was an 18 year old and then a 26 year old; we look to how that is updated by the time he's 40, and operating under what is the correct kind of man to be in 2020 vs 2005 (use of language, acceptable levels of nerdiness, fashion sense, etc). From there we can look to how he's not being John, he's being... a normie, more or less. And bless his heart for it. He just wants to Fit. If he were sticking with Acting Like Dad, he wouldn't cheerfully cosplay through a Panthro case, you know? So what's actually driving the behavior, when you look to the heart of it?
So then, if Dean were Deanna--
You can extrapolate. And this stuff is outside the text -- you have to decide What Dad Would Want from a girl-child (given cultural context and norms, given how the young version of John was characterized, given how John and Mary might have operated when they were 'safe' for those first 5 years, given how John might have then shifted his expectations and needs for his kids upon entering the hunting life), and then whether What Dad Would Want fits against a fairly normal conformist presentation (in the way that Dean is intensely normal, if a little wrong-side-of-the-tracks), or if John flips the script and for some reason decides that his kid should not fit in and have what's actually a much harder time, for a traditional gender presentation in the culture they live in, etc.
All of this boiling down to: what matters most in the meta consideration? What's key for characterization and universe structure? Does it actually matter? --no, not at all. But it's very fun to tease apart.
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nosferatufaggot · 7 months
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My collection is growing.
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Mel for the unhinged character bingo!
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#ask me#so Mel is in the unenviable position of being a very strong character whose rights I support and whose wrongs I also fully support#BUT the way she's treated broadly in the fandom is so pervasive and so consistent and so frustrating to me that#I am in full -must protect my blorbo- mode with her at all times#-Mel's story is over so the only thing left for her to do is die-#-if Mel dies then J can get together with V and they will appreciate her for her sacrifice bc she died a hero who rejected Ambessa-#enough! enough I say!#what about proving to ambessa that she can take the throne for herself? what about the angst of defying her mother and her home country#and opposing those in Piltover who DO want war and want to raze the undercity#what about the magic that she's heavily foreshadowed to have and how it's different from hextech#and how it directly opposes but also parallels what is happening to Viktor#what about her -friends- abroad and the plot Mel was cooking through all of season 1 that has not been revealed yet#there's so much potential for her to have to confront the fact that J was slowly becoming a monster through season 1#and that she can't ignore the undercity forever#also what if whoever Ambessa says killed her brother comes after Mel too!#it is very frustrating to see Mel get dismissed as dead or evil or irredeemable or whatever when she is consistently#the most interesting person in the room in every single scene she's in and the character who shows the most conviction and change#so yeah i will take a bullet for her she is my blorbo I will despise any character who hurts her#and I would cradle her in my arms if she gave me a chance - which she would never! - but a girl can dream#however I also enjoy leaning into the idea that Mel is perceived as being a devil from the outside - Mel leans into it too when it serves#but it's in direct opposition to her ironclad values and the personality that she keeps hidden a layer down#I genuinely think that Mel will have a happy ending - or at least as happy an ending that an Arcane character can get lol#like I fully believe she will take the throne (Piltover) in the end but I can only guess at this point what that will cost her#I love putting Mel in situations but mainly to play with both how creative she can get and also how fucking far she will go to win#which is ANOTHER thing we know is probably true about Mel but has not been put on display yet#also Mel has already done a great job at separating what she wants for herself as a person from just being Ambessa's daughter#but Mel still deserves to get plenty of great therapy for that situation because OH GOD THAT CHILDHOOD FLASHBACK#also Kino is dead? maybe dead?? at least Mel fully believes he's dead so she needs therapy and hugs for that too#I am super normal about her can you tell
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icequeenlila · 7 months
'Smother' by Daughter is Gojo Satoru's song. You can't tell me otherwise!
(Sitting in my room, blasting this from the speakers and breaking my own heart by thinking about my child)😭🤍🖤
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p5x-theories · 6 months
I mean, how many characters have models that you haven’t posted yet? Bc I would like to see all of the models but if there’s a ton then I wouldn’t ask that of you
To be clear, literally every character in the game has one or more 3D models. Every single NPC, those faceless people that you walk by/through while walking through the city, every playable character (and every outfit they have; every single one of Wonder's outfit options), every shadow, every Persona, etc. The game's all 3D models (with 2D images over them making up the UI and portraits), and the files are where those 3D models and 2D images are stored, so quite literally, anything you see in the game is somewhere in the files, and something I could theoretically extract for you.
There's also a ton of stuff in the files that doesn't show up in the game (yet?), like 3D models and portraits for a bunch of the Confidants and Palace rulers in P5. Even stuff you only see for a few seconds, like the table and tea set that appears for Noir during her AOA finisher in the split second before it swaps to the 2D image people usually think of for her AOA, have their own 3D models.
So I appreciate that you're not asking me for all of them, haha!
I just focus on posting the interesting things and the new stuff; new portraits for main characters, 3D models for civilian outfits of the Phantom Idols that we haven't really gotten to see, characters indicated as future Phantom Thieves/Idols, stuff like that. And then if anyone asks me for specific stuff outside of that, I don't mind going back for it, because I noted down where everything is in the (massively disorganized) files, so it theoretically shouldn't take me too long to hunt down the pieces for any given character and put them together to post.
All that to say, I try to post the things that I know myself and others are probably most interested in seeing. You're not really missing much in the rest of the files, unless, for instance, there's a sidequest NPC or something you have a particular interest in and want to see the full portraits/model for.
#anonymous#I think the only models I grabbed just because *I* thought they were fun and wasn't going to bother posting#are the nameless kokatsu students that play instruments in the background with wonder during the music minigame#they are quite literally nameless. their files don't even have a name or nickname for them they're just student_drum and etc#posting the portraits and models is also kind of tedious though not difficult#because the portraits are broken up into a head base + a bunch of eyes + a bunch of mouths + a mask where applicable#so I have to put those files back together and layer them correctly to give you a complete portrait#and 3d models need 2d textures to show up as anything but featureless grey#so for those I have to hunt down all the 3d model pieces (hair face eyes body. usually) and then match up all their textures to them#it's a lot of work haha!#but I don't mind it too much because I know most people don't really know how to get into the files and do it themselves#in fact I learned *for* the sake of datamining p5x!#I basically haven't done anything but sort through files. watch gameplay. and put things together to post. since the beta started haha#my life sort of goes on hold (as much as possible) each beta until I'm done with the files so I can get them posted asap!#but this is partially because *I* want to see them as bad as you guys do haha#so uh. yeah! that's probably way more of an answer than you wanted but that's the true reality of the work going into this behind the scene
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aroaceleovaldez · 2 years
i think about the fact that Nico’s powers randomly include temperature control way too much. he can make stuff cold! and is apparently immune to cold himself, at least to some degree! why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯probably ghost reasons! even though it is not inherently tied to ghosts at all and he can just Do That!
#pjo#riordanverse#nico di angelo#its probably ghost reasons for the whole ''oh ghosts are cold'' and ''ghosts make enviornments color'' thing#the other theoretical reason is ''something something mythology'' cause yknow. the whole myth of how the seasons happened#but based on that alone then Nico shouldnt necessarily have that power?#itd be more of a cabin 4 thing#idk i just like his weird cold powers. theyre so random. he is immune to cold and can drop the temperature around him. good for you bud.#it's fun to mess around with too cause Nico is basically completely unaware of it#he just does it by accident like his killing grass thing#''Nico why is there frost everywhere and its below freezing all of a sudden?'' ''oh sorry i thought i saw a bug''#my favorite part though is the temperature powers thing seems to not be inherently tied to nico himself just naturally running cold#though it could probably affect that as well. nico naturally running cold is most likely his vitals run slower than most people's#cause we know he can control that re: Death Trance#which is another interesting thing. Nico can control his vitals! he can just go ''im gonna take five on MY HEART FUNCTIONING real quick brb'#Nico's bleeding out? no problem! just. turns off his heart. crank that puppy down a bit. cant bleed out if the blood's not moving!#this could also be why he passes out so much. his powers make his blood pressure inherently low and then uses them more. whoops. hes asleep.#i do v much like the hc that Nico just. cannot perceive external temperature. he's just always A Little Chilly cause of his powers#doesnt matter what the actual temperature is. he'll be fine. just also Slightly Cold thus Always Needs Layers
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halforcdad · 2 years
Really loving how the show is exploring the beginning of Kate and Lucy's relationship and all the insecurities that still lurk in the shadows of honeymoon bliss. There's a lot to love in 2x02:
Kate blurting out, “I want to tell my boss we’re dating,” and Lucy being completely thrown off. It’s Kate’s version of “I want to be intimate,” and Lucy pointing at the coffee shop and going, “Here???”
Lucy being a supportive, stabilizing force for Kate only for us to find out she's equally as freaked out and worried later in her own time (says it to Jesse and then, as pointed out very nicely here, she punches her girlfriend's boss's arm then tries to recover by nervously complimenting his corny apron).
"No, no it's not fine, Lucy... You make it look so easy," is giving "You're always doing nice things for me... I just wanted to show my appreciation." (Both of them feeling like they're not doing enough/doing it as well as the other and trying to do something big to make sure they're reciprocating properly, resulting in them making "mistakes" they feel the need to apologize for.)
2x02 is likely an intentional callback/parallel to 1x07 to show how far they've come:
Kate hesitantly whispering in a dark corner about being compartmented  after Lucy invited her out in front of people vs. Kate, in public, outright saying she wants to introduce Lucy to her boss and coworkers and inviting her to the barbeque (and wanting Lucy's input)
Lucy being all hush-hush with Ernie in the empty hallway vs. Lucy rambling loudly to Jesse about her girlfriend possibly losing her position because of conflict of interest concerns while walking down that same hallway (and then the bullpen) now full of coworkers
Kate not wanting anyone at work, especially Lucy’s team, to find out about them (”Ernie’s not people”) vs. Kate jumping at the chance to ask Jesse for advice despite him giving her an out (in general, Jesse, who labelled Kate 'the Mean Girl™️' in the pilot, now watching her lament over her own incompetence because of a silly misunderstanding all while making silly faces and asking him how to not piss off his teammate/little sister/friend)
"You make it look so easy." "We don't have to do this today." "No, no, I want to, it's just—it's a lot for me,"
is a less combative version of,
"I'm trying to do this your way, you know, be all expressive and smiley, it's just—it's hard for me to be-" "Human?" "I'm trying here, Lucy."
They're both self-deprecating scenes for Kate. She admits she's embarrassed by herself in 1x07 and we see it in 2x02 after she confesses that this is the first time she's ever introduced a girlfriend to her coworkers. In 1x07, it's like Kate's begging Lucy to see her and understand her. In 2x02, it feels more like deep shame (especially when she looks down at "It's a lot for me") over disappointing and failing Lucy again after saying she’d do things differently this time. Lucy, who’s the most amazing woman she’s ever met, who’s crazy about her, who’s still trying to reassure her when Kate can’t even do something as simple as correct her boss when he assumes she’s dating a guy. 
A big difference is that in one, Kate knows she hurt Lucy and is delivering a necessary apology after a disagreement and in the other, Kate thinks she’s hurt Lucy, even though Lucy's tells her it's fine. Kate still insists that it's not, is quick to say “it’s my fault”, and is stressing out big time over a small mistake. It also feels like the difference between the two Kacy scenes is this feeling of Kate “has to” vs. Kate “wants to”. S1 Kate is sharing because she messed up and is trying to cling onto the potential this relationship has and S2 Kate already knows the pain of losing Lucy to her own bad choices and wants to be better (1x07 ends with Kate in that state because she was prompted, but in 2x02 she starts the episode already having decided on her own that she wants to involve Lucy).
In 1x07, Lucy’s hurt and upset, so even when Kate’s being vulnerable (after Lucy offered up some vulnerability first) and turning her assumptions on their head, she lashes out. Ernie’s advice earlier in the episode is light-hearted ribbing, but also coated in the fact that maybe Lucy was wrong to make assumptions from her own insecurities. She can’t be sympathetic towards Kate just yet. Eventually, she recognizes the effort Kate’s putting in and agrees to terms that’ll make her the most comfortable. Kate’s asking for a lot of things in this scene: forgiveness, understanding, another chance, time. 
In 2x02, Lucy can clearly see Kate's distress and realizes the big leap Kate's trying to make for her, for them. Sees the workplace stakes 1x07 Kate might have been worried about and spirals a little too before Jesse course-corrects her. When Kate admits how new this type of milestone is for her, despite it being something Lucy's wanted since s1, she prioritizes Kate's comfort and says they don't have to do this today. It's only when Kate makes it absolutely clear that this is something she wants to do, something they both want, that Lucy switches the type of support she offers.
Kate puts herself out there, lets herself be vulnerable, and Lucy meets her halfway: in 1x07 when she agrees to being a secret and in 2x02 when she's supporting Kate's decision to be transparent and open about them.
The first is a compromise in the dark, in the closed-door break room tucked in the corner of the office, after their coworkers have gone home. Lucy flirts and teases, but she walks away, leaving Kate to chase after her. It obviously means a lot to both of them, but they don't say that out loud, instead choosing to be all coy about it and deflecting. They probably spend the night together, Kate showing her appreciation in the comfort of her own home.
The second is a reminder and a promise that Kate isn't alone anymore because they're in a serious, committed relationship. Lucy reaches out, leaves no room for doubt as she links their hands together, and tells Kate earnestly that she's right there by her side, that she's here to stay no matter what. In the light of day, out in the open, on their way to meet Kate's coworkers. Then, she walks with her into the bbq, stands by her the whole time, and uses that Lucy Tara charm on everyone. And Kate repays all that by being brave, by being openly sweet, loving, and affectionate with Lucy in front of everyone.
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