#long post
gin-juice-tonic · 23 hours
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this is what theyre saying, a continuance of todays shenanigans
its missing a lot of in-between context which is why i didnt bother with the dialogue at first but thats okay
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papermonkeyism · 12 hours
This post is still a draft, feel free to ask questions or add feedback, I'll remove this paragraph once I'm satisfied it has everything needed. Thank you!
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The funny little griffin-y things colloquially known as wingbeans are flightless, roughly cat-sized, seemingly mammalian creatures with curious nature.
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They resemble bipedal cats with chicken feet, but not quite. They are usually covered in soft, floofy fur, except for their hind legs and pawpads. They have soft snoot covering their mouths, which they will boop into things and people they like. Snoot bumps are their way of saying hello.
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They have big, bright eyes with vertical slit pupils, and their nostrils are hidden beneath the floof of the snoot. They trust their sight and hearing more than their sense of smell.
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They have short arms with three fingers, that are usually held tucked against their chest. The fingers usually have hidden cat claws. Their wings are small and covered in soft, fluffy feathers, that are used mostly as display and as an additional pair of arms when climbing. The wings have five fingers in a fluff mitten, each having a paw pad, which is where the name wingbean comes from. Usually only the thumb of the wing has a retractable claw, like a cat, to use as climbing grip and for defence. Their legs are usually hairless from ankle down, and have four toes, three pointing forwards and a small dewclaw pointing backwards. The foot claws are dull, and non-retractable.
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They usually have long floofy tails, though there are short tailed and even bobtailed variations. It is also possible to have a tuft tipped tail.
Wingbeans are omnivorous, and as a species aren't picky about what they eat, though personal preferences vary wildly.
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Wingbeans can have anywhere between 1 and 4 kittens (also called beanies or beanlings) at a time, most often 2. The kittens are born within a soft leathery egg shell, and they hatch usually within few hours after birth. They nurse their young like mammals.
Mom takes care of the kittens untill they're big enough to fend for themselves, though the offspring often stays nearby even as adults. The 'beans are social creatures who enjoy hanging out with friends.
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Wild wingbeans come in a wide variety of markings and their colors cover all shades of browns and grays, but some have been bred to display brighter colors and strange markings. All coat types and lengths are possible; short haired, long haired, curly coated, maned, etc.
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Gender appears to be an optional feature to them.
Wingbeans are not meant for making money. They can be created freely, and they may be gifted, but they shall not be sold.
If you want to get rich by making weird little griffin-y things, make your own species.
Can I make my own wingbean?
Yes you can!
What if I want my wingbean to have rainbow colors?
Sure. Maybe your 'bean was bred by a wizard or something. Have fun!
Can my wingbean have horns?
Did your 'bean wander in the way just as you were about to cast polymorph, didn't it?
Can my wingbean have raptor claws?
Sounds awesome. Go for it!
You said they are flightless, but what if I want my wingbean to be able to fly?
Sounds like it was either born with bigger wings, or it can levitate. Either way sounds cool.
Do they have whiskers?
They can, if you want.
Are there any rare or limited features or markings?
The rarity of those depend entirely on what kinds of 'beans people create. If half the people making wingbeans decide to make theirs blue, then I guess blue isn't a rare color at that point, now is it?
But how will I know if my wingbean is special?
It's special because it's yours. No wingbean belongs behind paywalls.
What would a hairless wingbean look like?
Considerably less fluffy.
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carrotkicks · 22 hours
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Okay, I started the recording. What do think we’re expecting from – 
Well, this certainly isn’t something you see everyday.
Oh my god… what is this?
Bodies, Atsushi-kun. Really, really dead bodies.
A murder scene like this comes once a blue moon.
Have you ever seen anything like this before, Mr. Dazai?
No time for that Atsushi-kun! Get that camera out, you know what to do. 
Hh... Okay, deep breaths. Through the mouth.
*click* *whirr*
*click* *whirr*
*click* *whirr*
Oi! What are you two doing?
Ah! He-hello, we were ju-just –
Deputy Inspector! Hello, do you remember us? We’re from *rustle* the Armed Detective Agency, you commissioned us for this investigation? 
The ADA.. That’s right, you’re that freak from the river. We specifically requested Edogawa, not you. 
Ranpo-san would have loved to join you here today, but he was obligated to other arrangements and asked me and my associate, Nakajima Atsushi, to go in his stead. But I assure you can trust me with this case. You are looking at the second greatest detective at the agency, after all.
Hmph, very well. Demonstrate your deductive ability. You, kid. Get back to work. 
Ah, right!
Of course.
*click* *whirr*
*click* *whirr*
*click* *whirr*
It seems the victims were impaled quite rapidly. The material they were hung from is a blend of polyester and… *sniffs* wool. It’s in long strips, seemingly torn from a longer sheet. It’s the kind of textile you’d find on a winter coat. It’s far too warm for this sort of cloth. 
How do you figure? 
Oh my coat is made of the same material. 
*click* *whirr*
Anyways, the way these bodies have been sliced looks like they were cut by the fabric itself. On some of these dismembered parts, there are traces fibers along the serrated edge. 
This is the work of something inhuman. 
*click* *whirr*
That’s impossible.
Is it? 
*grumble* Edogawa would have at least given us something that was grounded in reality to work with. 
The effort is appreciated, Dazai. Tell your photographer to give us his copies and get the hell out of here. 
Sure thing, Inspector-san!
*click* *whirr*
*click* *whirr*
*click* *whirr*
Hey Atsushi-ku– AH
Oops, sorry Mr. Dazai!
Right in the eyes! I’m blinded! I’m blind!
Really sorry! I was really occupied with these photos, I didn’t see you! Really– ah. What’s with the scary look?
*hiss* next time pay more attention to your surroundings protege-kun. Careful where you point that flash. Whatever. We’re gonna blow this joint. 
So soon? 
Thank goodness.
Yeah. We’ve done as much investigating as we could for now. 
Do you have any ideas as to who caused this Mr. Dazai? This crime scene is… more elaborate…  than anything that I can imagine. 
I just might… Atsushi-kun I’ll be leaving you here. I want to do some further sleuthing.
Huh? You’re taking on more work on purpose, Mr. Dazai? That’s… new.
Yep! I trust you can make it back to the Agency on your own and log the evidence for us At-su-shi! You are our star at documentation!
Bye now, Atsushi-kun! 
There it is. I guess I never had a choice huh? I’ll see you tomorrow then, Mr. Dazai.
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Mr. Dazai has been in and out of the office since Monday. I’m kind of worried he’s avoiding me, because I tried to speak with him and he just brushed past me. Maybe he’s just stressed from this case. With this job as a crime scene photographer, I’ve seen some truly horrific sights but I have to agree, there’s no way a human being could have caused this sort of brutality. The problem is, that it just makes no sense. I wonder how he’ll figure this out. In other, better news, Junichirou will be coming to the office after his school tomorrow. I want to see if he can help me fix my camera. It’s been really finicky since Monday, and I can’t figure out why. Maybe the internal components got a bit corrupted or something. In any case, I hope it’s not too difficult of a repair.
That’s all for today, then. See you around!
N. Atsushi
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earthstellar · 14 hours
just thinking about how fucked it is in TFP that June is unaware that Jack escaped the attack on the base for a decent period of time
so like for at least a few days, she is fully fighting off the despair of the very real possibility that her only child has been ground into human paté by an evil space robot warlord who is actively (and thus far, mostly successfully) attempting to violently take over the planet
yeah Fowler is there but I cannot imagine the amount of government shit he was buried under the entire time
she would have to cope those few days (longer than a week? can't rewatch atm to establish any rough timeline) of just thinking "my son was the first human casualty of an impossible war against giant mechanical alien invaders"
if she believed him dead, if her hope slipped for just a moment, the mental gymnastics needed to cope, even if just to assist Fowler the best she could, would be devastating-- the hospital is gone, the town has been evacuated, has anyone else been killed? is it just Jack? what about the other kids?
it would be easy to start thinking down a dark path, and I think Fowler kept June around instead of evacuating her because not only is there no way she would go, but because he realises that she very seriously may have just lost her son. she needs distractions, support, someone at least somewhat familiar, a sense that her input is needed and will be genuinely considered in order to gain any semblance of control over a situation that just took her son away from her. either for now, or forever.
realistically, Fowler is military, and could have forced her to leave. but he didn't. there are pros and cons to that approach, but given the circumstances, it was almost certainly the right call. good guy Fowler!!
Fowler knew Jack. Fowler did his best to keep them safe on base. She doesn't blame him. He might struggle with some guilt himself, though.
There's no blame, really; What can anyone do when giants from the sky descend and touch the Earth with pointed metal claws, raking at the ground and the people on it, like pulling weeds to clear the land for purposes beyond them?
the situation in general may have been so overwhelming, and both June and Fowler are fairly stubborn, that combined with their need for proof before mourning all of the general stress may have been enough of an active focus to keep them going
but there is no way June didn't have a complete fucking breakdown over the possibility of Jack's death at some point during all this
which is why I can sort of accept Jack's dumbass move of trying to call her
given how anxious we see her on screen most of the time when it comes to the kids (and not unreasonably so), and how little we know about the Darby family history, we can assume Jack could easily imagine how distraught his mother might be
that's a lot of emotional stress to place on a teenager who almost got extremely killed not too long ago and is currently on the run
so yes, it was a bad call (literally), but one that is totally understandable. I would expect a teenager with a close and generally positive relationship with their parent to want that parent to know they aren't dead, that there's still hope, that they're ok.
it's easy to shit on Jack for making the call when he did, but realistically, he's a teenager and real serious shit is happening and there are emotions and worry and who knows, the deceptions might get him soon anyway. it's hard to stay hopeful. and his mother is really the only relation he's got, in terms of direct family, that we ever see or hear about.
he had the opportunity to risk a final call before things may have gotten even worse no matter what, regardless of anything, and he took that chance to call his mom.
I can understand that, even if it was a dipshit move given the risks. Not a great idea, but a totally understandable one.
they couldn't play up any of this on screen for obvious reasons, not just time constraints, but because this is heavy shit for a show aimed ostensibly at a majority youth demographic, and it's understandable that they didn't focus too much on the darker aspects of this whole arc
but still, it reminds me a lot of what it's like after a bad hurricane. lots of people who are missing family members, no homes to go back to, lots of confusion and injury with no communication, it sucks. the destruction of Jasper definitely has that vibe.
I'm willing to bet June, at some point, was crying in the shower of some military temporary barracks or even shitty FEMA accomodation (I hate those fucking trailers, I've had to deal with them myself) thinking "my son is dead" over and over in a moment of despair, until walking out and thinking to herself, "he's not dead until we know he's dead" (even if she increasingly struggles to hold on to hope) and putting her clothes back on--
--they might be dirty, and Fowler may have offered some spare uniforms for her to wear from whatever soldier gear they might have had peppered around-- but Jack would recognise her scrubs, so she put them back on no matter how gross they felt
and just doing whatever she could to back up Fowler when dealing with his superiors, anything she could think about or do or focus on
either to find her son, or confirm that he had died
just really grim
anyway my break's over! back to work
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This is one of the funniest things I’ve stumbled across on Pinterest 🤣
The comment section is pure comedic gold:
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I owe Soundwave at least $70 for losing a bet. lol
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citrongarde · 11 hours
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HAPPY BDAY REI EVANGELION!!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🎈🎈🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🎂🎂🎂🎂🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
REBLOG IF U LOVE REI ‼️💙💓❤️‍🩹💖🏳️‍⚧️🌙🌕🌀🫂🔷
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the-gingerbread-lee · 21 hours
Results of "Wake Up, Tword Asks"
From @softleesam's post!
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Neck won first as the spot most people enjoy for giggles, then sides, then tummy!
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This is fascinating! Lotta people love tummies heehee
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Congratulations to @sleepysheepytea, @fluffomatic, and @bigdumbtickler03 for collectively getting first place!! According to (my audience at least), you are the most flustering content creators! In second place, there's @mushiewrites and @made-by-jade-222, who are both so awesome!! And finally, congrats to our runner-ups: @ticklepinions, @lovelymessybubbly, @altheadajoysoul, @sweettallahassee, @coy-lee, @otomiya-tickles, @wormonastriing, @fluffystuffies, @twordish-ler, @parker-fluff, @obsessedwithseb, @touched-starved-switch, (myself! yay!), @massive-uwu-energy, and @shyticklemonster!!!! Each of you were mentioned by name at least once as being the most flustering!!! Congratulations, mwah mwah heehee
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Yeah, this is about what I expected heh- If there's anything everyone agreed on, it was that YOU MUST RESPECT PEOPLE'S BOUNDARIES. NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS. Some people like tickling as a fun sfw activity that makes them happy, and for others, it's a kink. THAT IS OKAY!!!!!!!! Please just be kind, be understanding, and be respectful of people's boundaries.
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Again, as expected, since most of you are lees xD I would like to take this opportunity to shout out the people who don't get enough attention!! Teasy Lees (*biiiiiig stretch, showing midriff to ler and smirking* "whatcha lookin at~?"), Shy Lers ("u-u-uhm,, c-can i tword you pleaseee? its okay if not but you look really twordish and i wanna tword you!!"), Stoic Lers ("Why are you laughing?" *as they poke*), and Gentle Lees ("You're doing great!! I love the way you're tickling me!" *through laughter and giggles*) But if there's one thing we love here, it's playfulness, and I wholeheartedly agree!!
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Once again, you're all mostly lees, so the gravitation towards the 'very easily' side of the chart makes sense heehee (gosh i love trendlines look at that awesome trendline)
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Wow! Almost a 3/4 split! That's pretty neat heehee
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Interesting!!! Most people wanted to watch an animated movie (Disney, DreamWorks, Studio Ghibli, etc.), but a lot of people wanted to watch horror movies so that the tickles could help them relax!!
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okay i know this is ugly but this question produced so many hecking characters i just wanted to include a lot of themmm (im sorry if i didnt get yours on theree) also Featuring: The Marvel Corner in the bottom right cuz you guys love marvel characters heehee
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checks out!!! i wish i saw more back tickles in art and fics cuz they need more attentionnnnnnn
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its getting very late and i had a lot of trouble trying to adapt this question into a chart but i did my besttttt (gosh im so tired im almost to the enddd)
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(for context, the question is if you could choose one spot to tickle/be tickled in, which would it be) ooooo it's a tie between Sides and Tummy! and neck not far behind! interesting!!!
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This was very flusteringg heehee you guys sure are creative with all the variationssss >/////////////<
the "how does tickling make you feel" question has a lot of really personal responses, and i dont feel comfy sharing them, even if they are anonymous
and the last question is sorta vague so everyone answered it however they chose, so I couldn't really make a chart out of it
so uhm I don't usually beg for people to reblog stuff but I put so much time and effort into this so if you'd be so kind as to, y'know ahem ahem, I'd really appreciate that, thank youuuu~!!!!!!!!
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lee-haechan · 11 hours
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wangxianficfinder · 10 hours
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In the mood for...
1. Thank you for this wonderful blog!! It's such a fantastic resource and I really appreciate all the work you put into it <3
I'm in the mood for soulmate/arranged marriage/etc. fics where wangxian is paired up and LWJ is not happy about it (at first! happy endings only, please). Maybe he doesn't like that WWX is so boisterous. Maybe WWX marries into the Lan Sect and keeps breaking rules. Maybe LWJ rejects him on principle because he doesn't want a soulmate/arranged match. Anything in that vein! Thank you!! @kirk-spock-in-the-impala
Deconstruct by flowercity (FaoriE) (T, 11k, wangxian, soulmates au, fluff, light angst, pining)
2. itmf fics where jc strangling wwx has consequences? i.e. seizures, loss of/impairment of voice, panic attacks, etc that kind of thing?
a star called sun by thelastdboy (E, 120k, WangXian, Canon Divergence, Heavy Angst, Self-Worth issues, Amputation, Situational Mutism, Slow burn, Angst with a happy ending)
🧡 the river brought you here by chilianxianzi (Not Rated, 11k, WangXian, Canon Divergence, POV Outsider, Amnesia, Past abuse, Strangulation, Found Family)
3. itmf jealous lan zhan pls!! he instantly hates anybody who flirts with wei ying or vice versa. thank you :)
4. Hello!! I'm in the mood for fics where the Lans are protective of WWX, and are equally dark when someone hurts him. Long fics (at least over 10k words) would be appreciated, but shorts are also fine. Thank you for your time.🐇 @utxqia
Hey this is #4 on the recent IITMF. I was wondering do you have any other recs than "Stunted, Starving Juvenility" for my req? Because it's an amazing fic and I've already read it several time and it's not even completed. I apologise for bothering you 🫣
🧡 Stunted, Starving Juvenility by TomatenMark (E, 548k, WangXian, WIP, Fix-it of sorts, Talisman master WWX, Not JFM Friendly, Study Arc, Getting together, Fluff and Angst, Engagement) I love being able to rec this fic, it's one of my favorites!
5. Hey mods! Wondering if you have
a) non-Jiang WWX
b) WWX is tired for being the punching bag for the Jiangs, so he either resent them or left them to go on his own rogue adventures/get adopted by other sects (bonus point if the Jiangs also needed his help in the future that he refused/reluctant to help)
c) although I am a wangxian-heavy reader, I'd also like to read some WWX and WRH moments, bonus points if both WWX and WRH are dominating the cultivation world (slashfic or gen is acceptable!)
d) always a demonic cultivator WWX
e) HuaLian + WWX family
every cloud has a silver lining by thelastdboy (G, 8k, WWX & Wen remnants, WQ & WWX & WN, wangxian, canon divergence, wen remnants live, WWX pov, wen WWX, friends to lovers, childhood friends wangxian, angst w happy ending, homelessness, volcanoes, earthquakes, natural disasters, genius WWX, healer WWX, pen pals, fluff)
tall as the mountains that sheltered us by thelastdboy (M, 4k, CSSR/WCZ, CSSR & WWX & WCZ, wangxian, canon divergence, CSSR & WCZ live, crack treated seriously, childhood friends to lovers, genius WWX, inventor WWX, bg character death, happy ending, WCZ pov)
6. Hi! This is my first time using this method, but do you know any fics where wangxian time travels and then leaves the sect to become rouge cultivators? It can just be one of them leaving the sect too.
7. Is there any fics where Wei Wuxian is vegetarian? I know there's plenty of Lan Wangji ones but I want to read one where Wei Wuxian is 🥰 Thank you in advance!
my life's journey is far from over by lastdboy (E, 148k, wangxian, modern, canon divergence, everyone lives au, Madam Lan lives, post-sunshot, selectively mute LWJ, wen remnants live, LWJ saves the Wens, whipping, neurodevergent LWJ, stimming, hurt/comfort, angst, coming of age, slow burn, recovery, mental health issues, references to depression, single parent WWX, eventual smut)
8. Cuddle fics. I am on the hunt for the most emotionally fluffy and domestic and sweet cuddle fics that exist, please. It is a very Mighty Need. Please and thank you!! (also, tysm for keeping this blog going like you have!) @amynchan
Just You, Just Me (Just Us, Just We) by wincechesters (E, 19k, WangXian, Modern AU, Cuddling & Snuggling, Fluff, Pining, Misunderstandings, professional cuddling, now with added papapa, Anal Sex)
rain. you are here. by thelastdboy (G, <1k, wangxian, pov WWX, rain, insomnia, fluff)
9. Hi mods!! For the next itmf can I ask for fics where WWX isn't all that sane? Like, he comes out of Burial Mounds a little bit crazy? Or even after MXY makes the ritual. Not crazy as in YL-murdering-everyone crazy (but I'm fine with that too), more like he isn't completely aware of what he does or where he is (maybe hallucinations and hearing voices?) and his siblings and LWJ take care of him (or the juniors). I want some family fluff and angst with wei ying not being ok and being cared for, just no JC or LXC bashing, please. Thank you!!! @jiangclaritybell
10. Hii, do you know any fics where A) wwx is adopted by hualian from tgcf? B) Or a fic where basically everyone is protective over wwx while he thought his wellbeing didn't matter? Thankss
11. hi! i went through basically all the truth serum/curse/mirror/etc as well as telepathy, core reveal, body swap fics ahaha but i still feel like there are ones im missing!!! i just want ppl to shake wwx for his secrets (homelessness, treatment by mdm yu, burial mounds, core, anything!!) and then care for him about it. im sure people came up with a bunch of creative premises that i couldnt find.. thank you so much 💚💚
12. Hi, I would like a wangxian fic where madam yu marries Wei wuxian to lans for alliance and think Wei wuxian won't be happy but is shocked and hates seeing him happily married
Alliance AU by Ilona22 (E, 17k, wangxian, ABO, arranged marriage, intersex omegas, canon Jiang family dynamics, not JC friendly, matchmaking, night hunts)
13. im the mood for lbh hc and wy as siblings. wy is the youngest and lbh and hc are so protective of him @ooosamness04
14. Are there any really good fics that has Jin Ling and WWX family bonding?
Rotten Work by ShanaStoryteller (Not Rated, 63k, WangXian, WWX & JL, Post-Canon, Protective WWX, Protective JL, Yunmeng Bros Reconciliation, Reluctant Matchmaker JL)
15. hi! can i request some recs for fics of Nielan (exclusive) where it shows Nie Mingjue just being absolutely smitten with Lan Xichen 🥺 @makkachiin
16. hii!!! for an iitmf, i’ve been wanting to read something lan jingyi centric; he’s just too under appreciated!! (i’ve already read “The One Body Problem” and “Lan Jingyi’s Sixth Sense” so they don’t need to be recommended). :D
Give Me A Reason by useless_slytherclaw (M, 251k, ZhuiYi, heavy angst w happy ending, post-canon, friends to lovers, pining, violence, night hunts, travel, death, PTSD, dreams & nightmares, rogue cultivator LJY, injury recovery, Love confessions)
17. hi, do you know any fics where everyone is just mesmerised by how pretty Wei Ying is and I mean everyone, but Wei Ying only ever pays attention to Lan Zhan, making everyone else super jealous.
For the Sake of a Smile by Reikosama7716 (Not Rated, 94k, WIP, WangXian, Minor everyone/WWX, CSSR/WCZ, Older!WWX, Oblivious WWX, Top LWJ, Jealous LWJ, Possessive LWJ, Protective!JC, JZX's Attempt in Public Confession, WWX and his ducklings, Everyone is young and gay for WWX, WWX and Jiāng siblings are cousins, Canon Divergence, Implied/Referenced Character, Death Third wheeling of unfortunate sect disciples, Somebody Lives/Not Everyone Dies, Disciples peeking at WWX, Cinnamon Roll WN, Shameless WWX, Implied "Everyday is everyday", Sect Leader WQ, JYL being dark and maybe a secret sadist?)
If you didn’t get an answer to your ask here, don’t forget to make use of @mdzs-kinkmeme and MDZS KINK MEME on Dreamwidth. Authors actually do use them for ideas. You may get what you order!***Your prompt doesn’t have to be kink! Fluff, crack, whatever - it’s all good!***
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bluedalahorse · 11 hours
Philosophies of Justice and Narrative Catharsis in Young Royals
Do you ever just have… conversations with yourself at 2 am?
Me: Wow. August did some bad shit. I want him to get therapy and help, but I also want him to face some kinda legal punishment.
Also me: Oh, self. You don’t trust cops or judges or prisons. The legal system would be way harsher on Simon about the drugs. Doesn’t that give you anxiety?
A third me, thousands of words in and possessed by a hyperfocus demon: Well fuck. We might be doing a meta about it. It’s okay, this can just be building blocks for our graduate school thesis on YA literature. Ahaha it’s fine.
The following meta looks at philosophies of justice, both retributive and restorative, as they appear in the worldbuilding Young Royals. This is a monster of a meta, like ~6500 words long, so be aware of that going in. Content note for discussion of all the usual crime topics in YR, as well as the injustices present in real world legal systems.
Intro: Shifting the Focus
Fandom loves discussing—and disagreeing about—the redemption arc. Who can blame us? As human beings, we’re wired to notice novelty, and redemption arcs involve a character experiencing some sort of dramatic transformation. This transformation could be gradually built up to for a series of chapters or seasons, or it could be sudden and jarring. It could involve one big dramatic gesture or a series of small changes. Whatever happens, fans end up debating what they see onscreen.
Now, I love a good discussion. I also love stories that poke beyond simple notions of good and evil, where characters are capable of change in multiple directions, And yet, as someone who has spent years in fandom, I increasingly find the discussion of redemption arcs unsatisfying and even boring. Everyone seems to have their own definition of what constitutes “enough” good deeds for a character’s redemption, and even their own opinions of who is worthy of redemption in the first place. It seems we can’t entirely agree on what the term means, and everyone gets bogged down in discourse.
At first, my dissatisfaction prompted me to ask what I considered a well-written redemption arc. Well, no, that’s not accurate. There was a little arrogant voice inside me telling me that I, the great bluedalahorse, who has devoted many hours of academic study to various literary texts and even made complicated spreadsheets to track ideas in my favorite books, could use my genius analytical skills to find out what a perfect redemption arc is supposed to look like and develop a formula for it. And then I stepped back and laughed at myself. Since when did good writing ever follow a formula? All the best writers know how and when to break the rules. Also, I am not as much of a genius as I think I am. I’m literally just hanging out here and overthinking my fictional faves like the rest of fandom.
A lightbulb moment switched on when I attended a workshop focused on restorative justice in schools, back in the summer of 2022. As I listened and processed the things I was learning, my storyteller brain kept poking me. Hey, it was saying to me. Heyyyy can we use restorative justice principles to write better character arcs? Particularly redemption arcs? I talked to my MFA adviser about this as we began to workshop ideas for a critical thesis in Young Adult literature. We started to explore the ways that restorative justice principles showed up in books like Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. I got a little further along in my theories, identifying techniques authors used to show characters confronting their privilege, unlearning old behaviors, and making amends for harm that they caused others. Still, something was missing. I just wasn’t getting where I wanted to with my analysis.
A few weeks ago I had a second lightbulb: what if we stop looking at justice in relationship to character arcs alone, and start looking at worldbuilding?
That clicked. Oh, boy, did it click! You really can’t talk about characters without understanding their world. Once I attended a panel on writing villains, and one of the panelists asserted that you can’t develop your villain as a character until you’ve developed your world. (Whether villains are outcasts hellbent on revenge, or oppressive tyrants at the top of their society, their world plays a role in shaping them.) Since what we call redemption arcs so often involves taking a character out of a villainous space and into a more heroic one, naturally worldbuilding has to be a factor in that kind of story. I also realized that the framing of the “redemption arc” frustrates me because on some level, it’s still tied to the Western Christian idea of individual salvation. I didn’t want to necessarily focus on what what one character does or doesn’t do individually without also focusing on that character’s relationship to other characters and their communities.
So I decided to experiment with shifting the focus of my thesis research. There were only two things left to do: come up with a framework for exploring my ideas, and test those questions out on Young Royals. Because it’s my favorite show, and it has a lot to say about justice. That said, a lot of what I say here and the methods I use could be applied to other shows as well. I’m curious to hear what it might have to say about your other favorite works of fiction!
The Framework
After some drafting during early morning bus commutes, I came up with three questions I wanted to explore when looking at Young Royals and other texts. These questions are:
What is the authorial philosophy of justice? What principles of justice are at play in how the author constructs the characters, world, and storylines?
How is justice enacted (or not) through the legal system(s) in this story’s setting? To what extent do the ideals of that legal system match up with its reality? To what extent should they?
What are the individual characters’ experiences of justice in their day to day life? What social norms do they end up creating in their smaller communities to enforce their ideas of justice?
What I like about this series of questions is that it allows a text to speak in multiple voices. There has been a lot of fandom discourse over the last ten years (and even longer, honestly, this shit goes back at least to Plato’s dialogues) about authorial intent and whether depiction equals endorsement and so on. I don’t think I’m going to end those debates today. Still, I do think it’s worth pointing out that a TV show or a book or a movie is able to tell a story and make a point in a different way than an essay or campaign speech does. You can have different characters own different parts of the truth. A particular setting can be positive for one character and negative for another. Fiction is really good at exploring paradoxes, contradictions, and tensions. I created these questions because they force me to tease out the tensions in a narrative and where there might be meaning in them.
Come on, Blue! you say. We know Young Royals has a lot of tension in it. When are you gonna start talking about your fandom? Okay. Fine. I’ll get to the sad teenagers now. Put on your school uniforms, everyone. We’re going to Hillerska!
No Good or Bad People, Only Good or Bad Actions
The title for this section comes from me paraphrasing Omar paraphrasing Lisa in an interview.
Two questions you may have about this section are: 1. What makes authorial philosophy (a term I am pretty sure I just made up for the purposes of this meta) different than authorial intent? 2. What’s the relationship between the author’s philosophy and their worldbuilding?
To answer question 1, I am defining authorial philosophy for the purposes of this meta as what the author intends + how effectively they convey that through their storytelling and craft. So like, authorial intent, but we’re also holding the author somewhat accountable for how their message comes across. Generally I read Lisa and the rest of the team as pretty intentional in how they craft their stories, and I can see how their ideas play out in practice, so I am more likely to give credence to authorial intent. I might not do that for other authors. As someone who reads heavily in the YA novel field, I’ve seen plenty of books with surface progressivism that end up being kinda reactionary when you scrape beneath that surface. Usually it’s a craft issue or the author not being intentional enogh. Young Royals, so far, has not been that kind of text.
As for question 2, authors can use their worldbuilding to reinforce their authorial philosophy, whether that’s through having characters in the story espouse said philosophy, or by using the story’s plot and character arcs to test their story, or by some combination of the two. Lisa is a writer who affords her characters a lot of grace, but I also see her as willing to test that grace and our her personal philosophy on trial. She’s very aware that ideals don’t always match up with reality, and those tensions are part of what she explores so well in her writing.
Now that we’ve addressed those questions, let’s address the authorial philosophy of Young Royal.
Young Royals stands out from other school dramas because it handles nuance so well. But how do Lisa and her team achieve that nuance? Part of it is the way their approach to characters resonates with the philosophy of restorative justice.
Restorative justice can be defined as “a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.” This website has some additional information about what restorative justice looks like in theory and practice. (Plenty of other websites do as well.) Restorative justice is really hard to pull of IRL, but philosophically it does ask us to think about the ways in which more retributive and punitive justice systems are failing people.
Now, before I get too far into my explanation, I don’t know if Lisa chose a restorative justice approach to her writing on purpose, or how much she’s read about the subject. But a lot of what she prioritizes as a writer lines up with certain RJ principles anyway. For example, RJ practitioners believe that every human being has worth and dignity, and that leaning too far into a retributive justice model (more on that in the next section) can be dehumanizing for both victims and offenders. In Lisa’s writing, each character is humanized, there are no characters who are caricatures. Everyone in Young Royals has their own reasons for behaving why they behave—even when they make choices that harm others. There aren’t excuses, but there are explanations.
Two other important ideas in RJ are accountability and dialogue. Season 2 of YR deals a lot with the question of accountability. Wilhelm’s positive growth is signaled by his willingness to be accountable for his actions; August’s more tragic arc is characterized by his baby steps toward accountability followed by his dramatic backflip away from it.
Regarding dialogue, Wilhelm’s growth is fostered by important and vulnerable conversations with others. Sometimes these conversations are with the people he harmed or impacted in a negative way. He and Felice have to talk their way through the weirdness of that kiss, while he and Simon have to talk about… well, everything. TBH they’re not done talking yet. But they’ve started, and that’s where the progress and catharsis is happening. Other times, Wilhelm’s conversations with other members of the Hillerska community—Nils and Boris come to mind—help him to see things in a new light and clarify his ideals. When we cheer on Wilhelm as he comes to better understand his privilege in the world and the weight that his actions have, we’ve been enlisted by Lisa to support restorative justice philosophy.
No one character represents Lisa’s philosophy entirely, because she’s so committed to all characters being fallible in their own ways, but I would say that of the main cast, the Eriksson siblings and Felice are the most likely to express different parts of restorative justice philosophy. All of them strive to look for people’s human side instead of relying on stereotypes. They want the people close to them to be accountable for their actions. They talk things through. They recognize the needs of multiple people in a situation. This doesn’t happen all the time, with every person, in every instance. They get distracted and led astray. There may be times where it would benefit them to get outside help and they don’t. Sometimes their efforts blow up in their face. But they’re trying, and I think Wilhelm has definitely joined them by the end of season 2.
So sure, all the characters in Young Royals might brush up against the principles of restorative justice, but they still “live in a society” as we may or may not still say on the internet. In order to understand more, let’s talk about the legal system as it’s presented in the show.
Call Your Lawyer Stepdad
As a writer, Lisa may believe in restorative justice principles, and this likely guides how she depicts the characters in her story. The legal systems she depicts in her work, however, are not restorative. What’s more, they are applied unequally based on the identity of the person who breaks laws or rules. Young Royals is very clear about the distinction between the ideals of the law and how the law actually gets enforced.
Obligatory disclaimer: I’m not a law student or someone who’s studied much comparative politics, so I can’t say for sure whether Sweden’s legal system leans more retributive or more rehabilitative. I also can’t say whether the ideals of its legal system match its reality, but I am making a safe guess that they don’t entirely. (Sweden, my ancestral homeland, I love kanelbullar and ABBA, but your current right wing government and your response to the COVID pandemic and your history of colonization, among other things, shows that you are just as capable of bullshit as any other nation. Forgive me if I approach your legal system with caution. If anyone from Sweden or another Nordic country has more info and can weigh in, feel free to weigh in.) It’s also worth mentioning my own preconceived notions here. I live in a country with a massive mass incarceration problem and a legal system that was specifically created to reinforce white supremacy, so my trust in law enforcement and courts and the like is… not high.
What I can say about the legal system in Young Royals is this: the writing of the show primarily focuses on the retributive aspects of the legal system. In a retributive justice system, those who break the law are criminals, and they are punished for their crimes. Punishment is seen as a way of deterring crime and keeping it from happening in the future.
We see the impact of a system like that when legal consequences motivate characters and the choices they make. Simon is afraid of getting caught and prosecuted for bringing drugs into school, while August fears being put on trial and imprisoned for leaking the video. What’s interesting to me, though, is that it isn’t just that both characters fear punishment. They also fear the stigma that comes with being publicly convicted of a crime. Simon doesn’t want to be stereotyped as the poor kid who comes into school and pushes drugs on the rich kids. He knows how dangerous drug addiction can be from witnessing his dad, and he brings the drugs into school out of financial desperation. August, meanwhile, wants to think of himself as an untouchable elite who is discreet about secrets, and probably (more sympathetically) also wants to think of himself as a relatively helpful guy who showed Wilhelm around school and took care of him the way Erik would have wanted. I think it’s very clever how Lisa had Simon and August each break the law in ways that betray their respective core values, because it brings this issue with a retributive justice system to light. Once someone has committed a crime, how do they move past that stigma and make themself into the sort of person who doesn’t do a crime again?
This leads to another issue with retributive justice. We often equate legality with morality subconsciously, but these two ideas are not the same thing. In August’s case, leaking the video is easy enough for us to label—it is both illegal because it is against the law and immoral because it violates Simon and Wilhelm’s right to sexual privacy. Simon bringing in his dad’s drugs—that’s against the law, sure. But is it immoral? Simon is up against a corrupt teacher who rewards students who can pay more with better grades. He needs to pay for tutoring if he want to succeed. He’s at a disadvantage because of his socioeconomic status, and he also probably hasn’t had time to process trauma around his dad’s addiction. From the point of view of a Hillerska parent, however, they’re just going to see Simon as a threat to their kid’s well-being.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Simon’s reasons for breaking the law are absolutely more sympathetic than August’s reasons. I cannot stress this enough. We see the way the system screws Simon over, and how it drives him to do what he does. Simon gets drugs to students who consent to take them, but when August films him and Wilhelm it’s without their consent. Moreover, August is complicit in Simon’s lawbreaking because he ends up being the guy who sells drugs on Simon’s behalf. (Jesus, August, sell a painting or something.) But who is the legal system in the YR universe more likely to give grace to? August. Who is it more likely to come down hard on? Simon. Simon does not have the wealth to afford a trial. He doesn’t have a lawyer stepdad on speed dial. He doesn’t have an in with the media like the royal family does, so he can’t control the public narrative of his life the same way that they can.
On a purely literal level, August dangling the threat of the pill bottle in front of everyone is the most textbook example of August being a little shit. On the thematic, level, however, this reminds us who the justice system really serves. It’s a caution against relying on the justice system—or at least relying on the justice system alone—for narrative catharsis in this story. Instead, we should be looking for narrative catharsis elsewhere. And, we should definitely be looking at more than one character arc if that is the case.
The Only Person You Can Truly Control Is Yourself
While season 2 includes the retributive justice of the legal system as part of its worldbuilding, we also see Wilhelm embody the philosophy of retributive justice through his actions. Wilhelm starts his arc in a place where he wants to punish August for what he’s done by taking away everything he cares about. He justifies this by pointing out the problems with the legal system—rich kids never actually face the consequences of their actions. While Wilhelm is correct to call that out, he ends up transforming himself into a more extreme agent of the retributive philosophy in order to pursue what he sees as justice.
Now, this is a writing gambit that could have failed spectacularly. We’ve all seen versions of the “if we are awful to our enemies, we’re just as bad as them” story that end up reinforcing an icky status quo. But that’s not exactly what happens in Young Royals. The first thing to notice is that Wilhelm’s approach works… initially. August has lost a lot at the beginning of season 2, part of it due to Wilhelm’s efforts, and that’s made him more willing to reflect and be vulnerable and listen to Sara when she tells him he can preserve his self-respect by turning himself in. I actually don’t think Sara’s being entirely naive when she points out that January August would have turned himself over. The problem is that as January August becomes February And March August and starts to gain new things to protect (an in with the palace, a new relationship with Sara) he becomes afraid of losing everything again, and starts to go back to his old ways.
The other thing to notice is that Wilhelm mostly acts alone. Felice is his confidant, but she’s not working alongside Wilhelm, suggesting they swap out August’s hair products with toothpaste. (I kinda wish she would have, though.) In spite of the fact that the video probably hurt Simon even more than it did Wilhelm (reminder: Wilhelm has access to a press team and hired security that let him walk away at first) Wilhelm doesn’t center Simon in the process of doling out punishment. He does it with the best of intentions—he doesn’t want Simon getting hurt—but that moment where Simon’s like “You did ALL THIS TO HIM when we could have reported him together???” Yeah. That’s extremely valid. And it hints at one of the central ideas of s2—yes, dealing with August is important, but priority number one for Wilhelm is Wilhelm taking accountability for his own actions (denying that it was him in the video) and making things right with Simon in that way. With that relationship restored (see what I did there? restorative justice?) they can lean on one another as they slay their next monster. At the end of the day, the person who Wilhelm has the most control over is himself. That’s why we end season 2 on him making the speech and publicly acknowledging his relationship with Simon, not with the arrival of cop cars at Hillerska.
Speaking of the choices Wilhelm decided to make, I invite Young Royals fans to consider how Wilhelm’s role as crown prince give his actions symbolic weight. The royal family may not have real lawmaking power, but they’re still supposed to represent Swedish values and traditions to the general public. If Wilhelm starts pursuing a kind of justice, then he’s making a statement about what justice looks like in Sweden whether he wants to or not. If he had shot August in the field, that would have been more than a murder—symbolically that would have been an execution, in a country that banned capital punishment in the 1970s. (Then again, Stella and Fredrika would probably be okay with that.)
I want to make one more point here as I transition into the next section. I don’t think Lisa is necessarily saying that August shouldn’t be punished or face consequences for his crime. But I do think she’s being very clear that a retributive justice philosophy is going to hit marginalized people without the resources to defend themselves—people like Simon—a lot harder. And that opens up the question of where we’re supposed to find catharsis. Can we really exhale at the image of jail cell doors clanging shut, knowing that this same legal system can come for Simon using the same tools? If Simon somehow manages to evade prosecution, can he ever really find relief? How long will that last? What’s to say the system won’t screw him over in other ways, and what’s to say that other rich kids won’t get away with what August did, or worse?
It would be one thing if a crime only harmed the individuals involved, but restorative justice philosophy reminds us that this harm also impacts communities and involves communities. So, without further ado, it’s time to zoom in and examine how justice plays out (or fails to) in the Hillerska community.
Snitches, Stitches, and Scapegoats
In the microcosm of Hillerska, students have organized their own justice system in miniature. Conformity gets rewarded, while open nonconformity gets ostracized. While there is some understanding among the students that individuals will deviate from heterosexual, traditionalist, rich kid norms, this deviation is generally only tolerated when students do it in secret. In this climate, Hillerska students do a lot of self-policing. Stella and Nils cover up their sexualities in ways that may not work for them long term. Felice frets about her physical appearance and how people will perceive her if she pursues boys a certain way. You get the picture.
Because of the pressure to maintain a pristine image of the school (gotta make those admissions brochures look sparkly clean!) the student body as a whole sweeps crime and “deviant” behavior under the rug by closing ranks and agreeing not to snitch on one another. The elite status of Hillerska students allows them to get away with a lot their public school peers would not. While gossip flourishes within Hillerska’s walls, woe betide anyone who lets it escape into the outer world.
On occasion, there are crimes that can’t be covered up, and it may be that more than one student is involved. We’ve seen what happens in this case. Hillerska students do not collectively assume responsibility, but instead agree upon a narrative about what happened and choose a scapegoat to pin the problem on. We see this most clearly in episode 1.5, when Alexander is found with the drugs that the Society used for their party. August suggests they pin the drugs on Simon, while Wilhelm breaks with tradition and says Alexander should take the fall, because Alexander can easily bounce back from an accusation like this. Sure enough, Alexander is back at Hillerska next season, far less innocent than before and far more likely to engage in political intrigue. Wilhelm’s considerations about how Alexander can more easily absorb the blame for the drugs are well thought out and in some ways compassionate—and we’re happy to cheer him on for defending Simon and to some extent we should. However, Wilhelm’s willingness to participate in the scapegoating system backfires on him nonetheless, and also entrenches him in one of the most toxic parts of Hillerska culture. He’s cut off one hydra head and two new ones have sprung up to take it’s place.
One obvious danger of scapegoating is that innocent people are often blamed for things they have nothing to do with. We’ve seen this negatively impact Simon on the rowing team and elsewhere. Vincent makes Simon the scapegoat for the rowing team’s loss in episode 2.3 and uses it as an excuse to bully him. Simon doesn’t get to sing his solo because people will recognize him from the video and that will affect the school’s image and the royal family’s image. Simon is innocent in these areas, but he’s being made to take on blame for situations that are a lot bigger than him. Of all the individual students at Hillerska, Simon’s probably getting the shortest end of the stick, and that’s directly related to the fact that he lacks privilege.
Feeding the Myths
There’s other ways to make people symbols of crime or deviance, however, that can damage the fabric of social groups in other ways. Since scapegoat isn’t quite the right term here, because it tends to presume innocence rather than superlative guilt, I’m going to borrow some season 2 language and refer to this as the Worst Person in the World Phenomenon. Now, this is where I’m going to go out on a limb a bit and ask a question the show might not engage with in season 3. They might do it. They might not. It may be beyond the scope of the story Lisa feels she is able to tell. I’m going to ask this question all the same:
If August faces public consequences and punishment for leaking the video, what impact will that actually have on the culture of Hillerska students? Will it prevent such a thing from ever happening again? Will it at least encourage self-reflection?
You could argue that a high profile case like August’s could deter his classmates from engaging in harmful behaviors. He may affect some students that way. I mean, what he did is Very Bad on the Bad scale. You might even call him… the Worst Person In The World. Who would want to be like the Worst Person In The World?
The flip side of the Worst Person In The World phenomenon is that can actually discourage people from taking responsibility and holding themselves accountable. Because gosh, what I did isn’t that bad. It’s not serial killer bad, or Vladimir Putin bad. Do we realistically believe that other students at Hillerska aren’t doing problematic things? That the rowing team has zero boys who will show a topless photo of their girlfriend (without her consent) to some of his bros while they chuckle over it? That some of the girl groups aren’t spreading wildly inappropriate and homophobic rumors about classmates that seriously damage reputations? That kids aren’t paying one another for test answers or putting pressure on one another to unsafely experiment with alcohol and drugs, even when students express boundaries and don’t want to? That kids don’t collectively work to bully teachers at times? And generally the kids aren’t getting in trouble because they’re the children of rich, elite parents, who will grow to be the rich people who run the systems and structures in society for the next generation.
Now, none of the Hillerska kids (that we know of) are doing bad things on the scale that August did when he leaked the video. This is important to stress. But it’s also important to stress that this “getting away with bad behavior” culture of Hillerska and rich people in general is part of what made August who he is. Are the other participants in that culture willing to reflect on that and actively work to change the culture in question?
Again, this does not mean that August shouldn’t face consequences or punishment, or that he shouldn’t go to prison and undergo some sort of rehabilitation. There are excellent reasons for him to face consequences. He did revenge porn FFS. But I think it’s worth acknowledging that the punishment of a very obvious, high profile offender can feed the myth that the legal system is finally working toward justice when in fact the system is continuing to perpetuate injustice. We can see how this works when only a few select predator men were convicted to placate the #MeToo movement, we can see how this works with corrupt cops when only a few who kill are ever convicted but most get away with it, and we can see how this works with political parties taking advantage of the fact that other political parties are, well, worse.
And yes, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, no ethical consumption under capitalism, etc etc. I think we can keep that in mind while also keeping in mind that we still bear a responsibility to Do The Work in whatever way we are able. This is wandering off of Young Royals a bit. But I’ve given a lot of thought to the way we point at glaringly bad examples of human behavior and say “at least I’m not that guy” while not really doing the reflective work about what we can do to be better and how we can change our culture and systems. This kind of rhetoric is what allows people, especially people like the Hillerska kids who are at the top of society and the peak of privilege, to sleep at night. And maybe they shouldn’t be sleeping so well.
I think a lot about how the scene with Sara warning August that Simon is going to call the police (which is about Sara giving August one more chance to embrace accountability) is followed by a scene of Henry showing up to his group project meeting with no work done. Henry might not have done his work on a literal level, but as a symbol, he’s doing a lot of work. Not only is Henry foreshadowing that August isn’t going to do the right thing and turn himself in, he’s also lampshading the broader culture of Hillerska itself. For all the fancy plaques about responsibility, the students use their privilege and power to avoid doing what’s right and keep the status quo going. This is who they are. This is what they are going to have to overcome to be ethical humans who make their world better.
Working for Catharsis and Healing (A personal opinion section)
I don’t make predictions. The idea of making predictions for season 3 is in fact pretty stressful for me. But what this intellectual exercise has opened up for me is a question of where I would find catharsis and healing in the narrative. It’s not in the sound of police sirens. Maybe that’s different for you. That’s okay. I think we can learn a lot from the discussion in question.
Let’s start with the obvious jerkface himself and the question of him facing punishment. I think it’s worth separating August from other people for a time, to prevent him from doing additional harm to others. If we’re going to call that prison, then sure, let’s call it that. But let’s unpack what that separation looks like. In order for Wilhelm and Simon (and Sara and Felice for that matter) to heal, they’re going to need to be away from him. They should not be the ones responsible for his rehabilitation. As a restorative justice nerd deep down (at least, mostly, but fictional teenagers are well within the broad spectrum of people I’ll offer grace to) I still think he deserves a chance to heal from at least his drug addiction and his eating disorder and his trauma over his dad’s suicide. I also think he needs to understand accountability and the impact his actions have on others, and needs to learn to act in ways that repair the harm he’s done and prevent future harm. This is what he owes the world. There’s not time enough for us to see that whole journey, but I feel like the writers could show us the first few steps.
I’ve seen some people try to argue that August can’t change because he didn’t respond enough to Sara treating him like a person. I can see their point, and I can see the show using the Sara subplot as a shorthand for the idea that August can’t change. Writers often have to use that kind of shorthand to make a point about a character. (The relationship between redemption arcs and romantic love is one of my ongoing problems with redemption arcs in fiction, just for the record.) The way I see it, though, Sara is just one neurodivergent girl with a family history of abuse experiencing her first romantic love. She’s not a team of trained mental health professionals and social workers and other help-minded adults who’ve studied up on how to de-program systemic nonsense. After all, we can accept that although Simon loves Wilhelm very much, Simon’s efforts alone weren’t enough to fully dislodge Wilhelm from his place of privilege. Wilhelm needed Boris and therapy, and a mom who made him go to therapy (Kristina often does more harm than good, but her making Wilhelm go to therapy is the broken clock being right twice a day), and Felice as a friend and confidant, and Nils as a different sort of confidant, and a literature teacher like Fröken Ramirez who’s assigning him books with queer representation. Wilhelm’s journey is still ongoing. Romantic love may be transformative, but individuals in love don’t change people on their own. Communities change people. I am an aromantic relationship anarchist and I will die on this hill.
Speaking of the Eriksson siblings, I want Sara and Simon to have a chance to repair their relationship and build it anew. This would be another point of catharsis for me. I’ve seen a lot of people saying “Sara needs to do xyz tasks…” like we’re in a confession booth and a certain number of Hail Marys will save the day, but step one is that Sara and Simon just need to start communicating again, and communicating honestly. I think it’s easy to point to August as being the root of their relationship struggles, but there were a lot of unspoken tensions between the Eriksson siblings long before he entered the chat. They would have had some other falling out even without Hillerska. Simon’s been led to believe he should parent his sister, and Sara’s been convinced she’s a burden to her brother forever. They both are still reeling from trauma related to their dad, and it may need that they need different things to heal from that. Even without all that, they’re both maturing and defining their values and exploring romance for the first time, and Sara’s getting friendships of her own without always tagging along with Simon and Rosh and Ayub. Simon and Sara are getting to the age where they may not always be the most important people in each other’s lives, and they need to learn to grow up without growing apart. That doesn’t always happen automatically; it takes self-reflection and commitment and listening. I don’t think we’ll ever be back to the innocent days of Sara teasing Simon about his fairy tale prince. But I do think they can move their relationship forward in a new direction, and bounce back stronger.
I also think both Eriksson siblings need to come to terms with the fact that they violated their own values. Sara didn’t do anything illegal, but she did do something that violated her own morals, and you can tell that she feels pretty awful about that when she’s alone on the bus and driving away from school in 2.6. As for Simon, I don’t know if he’s fully gotten a chance to sit with the fact that he violated his own values when he brought his dad’s drugs to school. Again, I don’t want Simon to have to go through legal trouble, or deal with the prison system. The legal system is stacked against Simon in ways that are not fair. But Simon values accountability, and Wilhelm basically rescued him from being held accountable in season 1. I imagine that’s caused cognitive dissonance for Simon he’s still sorting through. I wonder what that’s going to be like for him.
On Wilhelm’s end, I’d like him to continue growing in the ways he’s grown in season 2. He’s learned not to be a symbol of extreme retributive justice. What would it look like for him to model restorative justice practices instead? (Note: this doesn’t mean that he personally has to forgive August. That’s entirely up to Wilhelm.) How can he encourage his community to act differently?
For Felice—well, one of my few issues with season 2 was how they handled Felice, and how they made her ancillary to others’ arcs instead of having her own, but that’s a post for another time. All the same, I think Felice is learning to trust her instincts, push past her biases, and take a unique point of view on things. She’s able to look at the video and see the broken pixels rather than the scandalous gossip scene everyone’s talking about. She can sense Sara’s hiding a secret from her and knows Sara needs to talk. Even if the conversation they end up having is deeply upsetting for her, it brings truths to light that need to be shared. Felice doesn’t have every tool in the toolbox yet, but what she observes and how she interacts with people can be helpful in delivering justice.
I don’t have meta space to consider every parent and adult on the show and things they can do differently. But I expect in season 3 we’ll start to see some adults (I don’t think it’s likely that we’ll see all of them) consider the roles they play in perpetuating systems and cycles. At least, I hope so. It shouldn’t be all on the young people to achieve change in society.
As for the Hillerska culture, it needs to change too. It’s worth asking if a place like Hillerska should even exist. Every secondary Hillerska student is going to act a little bit differently in response to the events of the plot, and I don’t know if I’d buy it if the show tried to tell us the Hillerska culture changed overnight in a magical ripple of self-consciousness. We might see individual students taking baby steps toward responsibility and liberation here or there. We might just see status quo as usual. I think of all the threads in this story, this is the one I would be okay with seeing Lisa Ambjörn leave things unresolved or in a place of tension, as long as that tension feels intentionally placed. Because changing the world is hard, and not everything changes all at once.
Young Royals doesn’t have to tie up every loose end by the last episode of season 3, but I do think it’s already raised a lot of questions about the relationship between justice and storytelling and where we find catharsis in fiction and our own lives. These questions are worth us considering, even if the answers point toward all the work that still needs to be done for the future.
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distort-opia · 10 hours
I love how both batman and joker pretended to be each other's henchman/ally at some point and both expressed some type of fondness towards the other. batman pretending to be one of red hood's henchmen and joker pretending to be eric border.
Hah, you're right. They both went undercover to deceive the other. Joker pretending to be Eric Border will never cease to be amazing to me though, because... imagine. You're Batman. You've been fighting this guy for almost two decades and he's been pulling some absolutely terrifying shit, but you thought you knew him. You thought you could at least predict how he worked, even if you didn't really understand him. But then the fucker shows himself capable of fooling you so thoroughly you hadn't had the slighest clue it was happening. I am 10000% sure Bruce's trust issues and paranoia got so much worse after this, and let's be real, who could blame him.
But, digression aside, I must mention that Bruce has technically done this more than once! Some of their first encounters contain a lot of disguises, interestingly. Brubaker's Batman: The Man Who Laughs is the most prominent modern Joker introduction arc, but before that there was O'Neill's Images. The stories are similar, with the exception of Bruce being way flirtier and fooling Joker with a disguise for the first and last time ever as far as I know:
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Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #50
Almost immediately after, Batman Confidential: Lovers and Madmen takes place. It's basically the aftermath of Joker being brought into custody after trying to poison the Gotham reservoir. And Bruce, in an attempt to understand how Joker's mind works, disguises himself as Matches Malone and gets himself put in a cell next to him. But Joker clocks him immediately:
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Batman Confidential #24
And then, in Batman: Joker Time, Bruce goes undercover in Joker's gang once more, impersonating an unfunny comedian (who he pays off to stay in a hotel as he does it). If you ask me, the comic paralelling them "putting their face on" together is... something:
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Batman: Joker Time #2
But a truly hilarious thing happens:
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Batman: Joker Time #3
So basically, Joker had been expecting that Batman would pull this move, and asked someone to keep an eye on the people in the gang. And he immediately figured it out, because Bruce-in-disguise-as-Oscar was too funny. Joker didn't even need to see Bruce to identify him.
All in all, Joker kind of wins when it comes to figuring out Bruce's true identity. I'm only counting times in which Bruce or Joker deliberately tried to fool the other, and not... cases like temporary amnesia (e.g., Batman #48 or Going Sane). This is one of the most interesting aspects of Batjokes, and one that certainly is a big drive behind Bruce's obsession with Joker-- the fact he doesn't truly know Joker. Joker himself mocks him about it more than once, but most recently in Endgame:
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Damn, this ended up way longer than expected. But I hope this was a fun answer, Anon!
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elliejoel · 19 hours
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TERI HATCHER as LOIS LANE Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman— 1x01, Pilot
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jazzelsaur · 9 hours
hi!! i’m the anon who messaged sil about the angst fics & i saw your reblog!!! i’ve added between the raindrops to my TBR list, so keen to read it, but can you also please give me your angsty recs? like, i want to have my heart shattered and i want to ugly cry lmao. thank you 🤍🤍🤍🥺🥺
Hiya there, nonny! I haven't been reading much lately, but here are a few of my fav angsty/good cry fics that I have come back to time and again (also, I couldn't link all the ones I'm thinking of because tumblr made some changes that broke a lot of masterlists and finding all the fics is impossible right now):
Funny Girl by @radiowallet — Dieter Bravo x SNL Writer F!Reader — While not dripping in angst, this story has its moments that really just wrench your heart right from your chest. There's a particular scene with an open mic night that still fucking haunts me, and I love this story so much. It's an ode to SNL and one of my favorite characters all in one go, and I like to believe Cat manifested Pedro on SNL with the power of her beautiful writing.
Home by @radiowallet — Joel x Tess — I still yell at Cat for breaking me with this ficlet. IDK, man, I always get called a queen of angst but my besties really take the damn cake.
once again in your arms by @foli-vora — Joel Miller x f!reader — this was a big-time ouchie that hurt so good. Really, you can't go wrong with Foli's entire masterlist - she has routinely ripped my heart out (and she's kind enough to sew it back together too!) I highly recommend her Signs AU with Frankie!
Anywhere but Here by @prolix-yuy — Joel Miller x Tess Servopoulos — An angsty character/relationship introspection that hurts so good.
Telltale Heart by @astroboots — Frankie Morales x F!reader — this fic was my introduction to my bestie, and dear god, she writes angst better than anyone I know. It's maybe my most favorite angsty fic of all time (and the smut is off the charts, too!)
Not Alone Enough by @pebblesmustard — Jack 'Agent Whiskey' Daniels x M!OC — a truly beautiful introspection on learning to trust and love within a relationship, even when (especially when) things get heavy. This fic is so beautifully written, and while it has its angsty moments, they truly serve to enhance the beauty of this story.
Across the Bridge by @wyn-n-tonic — Ezra & Dave (billed as brothers) — A gorgeous, heart-breaking character study and introspection on addiction, grief, and family dynamics. O really put a lot of thought behind this one, and it shows in the words on the screen.
Psychomanteum by @whatsnewalycat — Dieter Bravo x F!OC (Reader POV) — not only does this fic deliver on the angst, but it is phenomenally well-written and thoughtful and considerate as it grapples with sensitive subjects. Aly's Dieter is incredibly nuanced and I love him not a normal amount.
How to Kill An Immortal by @whataperfectwasteoftime — Marcus Pike x Multiple Characters — This is a story about love. About what it means to love. About what it means to love even when you know it won't last. About how, even if the world wouldn't blame someone for becoming bitter, in the end, love is what impacts us the most, and the way we love is how we leave our mark on the world. It's simply stunning.
Better Love by @disgruntledspacedad — Javier P x F!OC (Reader POV) — A painstakingly well-written exploration of Javi's time in Colombia and an incredibly well-fleshed-out original character in Ears. This one will pull you in, get your heartbeat thrumming, break you, and then slowly put you back together. It's gorgeous.
Lastly, I can suggest my own fic that, to date, I've been yelled at the most for: Stay On the Screenplay — Dieter Bravo x F!OC (third person POV). I had a lot of feelings about Dieter. I wrote them. I apparently broke people's hearts. 😅
If you read any of these fics and if you're able, remember to reblog and show your appreciation for these works to the respective authors! Everyone on this list put a lot of work into their words, and even just a simple 'thank you' or 'I loved this!' can go a very long way.
I hope this helps in your quest for angst, nonny. Happy (or sad? lol) reading! 💜
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thank u for the tag, @maddsmallow !!! KISS KISS
Rules: Tag 10 (or less) people you want to get to know better
relationship status: LOL
(ok but fr) i'm single, married to my work (GOOMT) and Silent Hill as a whole, it's true 😩😔 i'm not opposed to relationships, have been in them before, and would welcome one if the right person and right time were to wander over - but it really, really does have to be The Right Person, as i've discovered that i do Not play well with others for a prolonged period of time in my own space (i need my Alone Time, after all!! LOL), i get spooked easily when Deeper Feelings Happen, and, well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ idk. i haven't been in the right mindstate for it during the past lump of years, but like i said, i'm open to it if the right person strikes, god willing. LOL
favorite color: vibrates intensely GREEN. GREEEENN GREEN GREEN GREEENNNSSs dark forest greens moss greens pastel greens some 70s olives greens but a lot of those PLS do not interact LOL. but i also lose MAD shit over pastels, purples, YELLOWS!!!!!!!! LOVE THAT BITCH and maroons (stop. do NOT look at me) and ofc. black. bc i grew up not only a theatre/musicals kid, but a New Age fuck (AND when Hot Topic was starting to pop up everywhere!! mall goth 4lyfe) and that piece of me has never died (LND especially don't interact). i'm all over the place, but have definitely grown a deeper and broader appreciation for pink within the last decade 🥺🥺🥺 pink my beloved (and P!nk too, just because <3) i'm so sorry i ever snubbed u 😩😔
(Roll The Old Chariot (sea shanty))
three favorite foods: fmxkghgh uhhhHHHHH. a bitch loves to eat, so. this is DEFINITELY kinda hard, LOL
i've got a MASSIVE sweet tooth so i rly do love my cakes (very particular and picky about pies tho, top faves are lemon meringue and classic apple (tho lately i've kinda been into cherry :3)), with faves being opera cake, gingerbread, red velvet, and this really fucking bomb-ass Chinese white cake with cream and strawberries in the middle. my parents would always order that cake for my birthday from an incredible place down in LA's Chinatown, and they even did my Bat-Mitzvah cake, too LOL. it was amazing. i'm absolutely fucking DYING to try a lot of the Korean and Japanese cakes i see in mukbangs (don't judge me), and especially the Castillo cake and also those cream waffles. the cream they use is very different and i'm just. absolutely chomping at the bit to try them (tho i know one of the common bakeries they go to for their videos has opened in Chicago tho the name slips my mind atm, but Anyway, i gotta go try it and Hopefully it'll be an Authentic Experience™️)
i'm an ENORMOUS fan of freeze-dried fruit, btw. Target sells these big bags of freeze-dried mangoes and i'm. yeah i just shove 'em into my face constantly LMAO
i also pretty much exist on energy drinks. yeah i take adderall XR at the highest dose they allow. And What About It
once upon a time tho i was really dallying with the idea of becoming a Food Blogger™️ and got SUPER into junk food review websites, but.. MAN. i got a LOT of complaints about that scene, lmao. but i also sure did know my protein bars!!! LOL. can u believe i used to be super fit?? well i'm working on that again, stay tuned
last song I listened to: Santiano (ft. Nathan Evans) (youtube link)
yes it's a sea shanty. .. look. ........ l-look-- LOOK I CAN EXPLAIN--
dream trip: chinhands. hard to say. i'd really like to travel, be Typical and want to go to see Paris and Ireland and Germany and yadda yadda. but i also really want to travel the US as well, i want to go up to Vermont and Maine and the Pacific Northwest (i am a deep forest fuck at heart), but i also........ want to head over to Ohio and see the holler of Knockemstiff. because i read Knockemstiff (Donald Ray Pollock) and it's actually, hands down full disclosure absolutely serious, my favorite book. (and it's a book i recommend but HIGHLY ALSO DON'T because of the content. there is a lot of content that could be triggering for many people, and it's extremely unapologetic and frank. don't even get me started on Donald Ray Pollock's work, we'll be here for 10 thousand years)
but yeah, i'd like to see Knockemstiff, lmao. i'd like to see a lot of places within the US before they're Gone.. if u get what i mean. :\
last thing(s) i googled: uhhh. well i had to search youtube for the two songs above LOL and i'm not sure that counts. uhhhhhhhhhh
oh: i searched "listed" for definition and usage because i was in the middle of writing GOOMT and i needed to know if i was using the appropriate version of "listed", which i apparently wasn't (despite all my time watching videos on the Titanic and other ships :\ bless my heart, LOL). so i went with "list".
.. yeah :3c!!!
now uhhhhh. fuck. this is seriously always the hardest part i ALWAYS end up going back to tag more people as i either see them in my notifs or remember. god bless this mess (me)
here we gooooo (obligatory U Don't Have To If U Don't Want To, Tho™️):
@agent-jaselin @bawnjourno @baronvonriktenstein @twinvictim @heather-garland @wishhouse-in-your-soul @acapelladitty @voiceboss @lycansoffspring @glittershvck @dinoswordsb @midnightsingvogel @birdiesbirdies @georgiespapers @mardotmov @magnolian-gold @apocokat @agdab @happyheidi @4toldbygyromancy @amandabe11man @heatherchasesyou @gilles-is-my-husband @vagabond-thulhu @evrart (absolutely hate you for snagging this honestly LOL the absolute fucking legend that you are) @teyvat-writer @storyweaverofgondor @dooderuvent @phantastus @okami-117 @mutodaes @slushieplanet @rkefiko @gilamasan @comicducky @patches998 @frogyjones-art @skywalkerangst @madamtrashbat @robotic-maid @watercubebee @chrisitsraining @silentpurgatory @scionsthings @champion-of-kirkwall @everye and uhhhhh others TBD bc brain :\
ok byee ilu byeeeee~ <3
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redundantz · 10 hours
What are your thoughts on how the characters were written for stampede? You sounded kind of :/ about Meryl at one point.
Hello! Yeah it was a bit of a rollercoaster for me personally. ⚠ STAMPEDE SPOILERS ⚠ BUT they really pulled it together in the end i think (for the most part) Since we now know for sure this is a prequel and where its now going after the finale it puts more perspective on things. I have OG Trigun brain so take my own opinions with a grain of salt. I think if people enjoy this new series on its own merits thats wonderful. HOWEVER I still think the series has severe pacing issues and we miss a ton of important character moments imo. And I wish we got to see more interaction with uhh actual humans. After the first 3 eps and then the one with Rollo we basically dont interact with any other humans who live on the planet and its so weird. (also my god we need more fun time in this show was a depression speedrun istg) Have a graph of my emotional journey:
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Vash: oh man haha this one is tough. now that the season is over and we got a HUGE payoff with him so I am very happy now but yeahhh. Some parts I was like wow this is Vash he's perfect. But then as the episodes went on I was getting so frustrated. Because he just would stand there giving everyone UwU eyes and not do anything. Especially for his flashback with Knives. Which I understand it was "shock" but he basically stood there with a blank expression the whole time and it was so...??? Being a pacifist didn't mean he is a limp noodle and doesn't take action. Like don't get me wrong he did have a few moments where he fought Livio and the Badlads but that was about it. I think a lot of my frustration might be because he kept using hand to hand combat compared to using his gun which I am used to. again though, they really brought it back in the end 10000% and brought it into perspective so I can forgive some of the previous stuff. Meryl: She was made more cutesy and naïve. Which definitely got on my nerves here and there. But I was okay with it for the most part ( im not immune to cute lol) They got the most important part of her character where she is touched by Vash's convictions, and his love for humanity. She didn't start off jaded and roughened by the planet this time so I think it has a bit less impact in that regard. But I think the best thing they did for her is she is basically the stand in ambassador for humanity and its strength of character. Wolfwood: I don't have to much to say for him personally. but dude needs to have some fun. First ep with him was pretty great but after that was just a lot of angry yelling and nasty looks. Like...for awhile I couldnt even see how him and Vash are friends besides the fact that Vash is nice to him. Him and Meryl almost had more nice moments than both of them. I LOVED finally getting to see more of his backstory though esp with Livio that was so great. But I really wish we got to see how much he cares about kids and him interacting with them. All we would get is NOT THE ORPHANAGE!! but we never get to see it in action really. Besides him giving Zazie a lollypop that one time and the flashbacks but those only included Livio for the most part. Roberto: NGL I loved him he was cynical and grumpy LOL I was pretty offput at first because it felt like he was replacing Milly. I dont think he wasnt really utilized to his full potential though. Especially because he dies later. I feel like we didnt get enough time with him or character moments. I think it could have made his death hit harder. Also just a shame that he was just there to further Meryls arc. But i think he was meant to mirror Meryls drive to help against his pessimism. Milly: millyseason2millyseason2millyseason2!! That's the main group anyway. Thank you for the ask!
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Chapter 15 of 'Artificial Wingman'!
For the full story, click here!
There was no way in Hell that Jazz was just gonna sit tight and wait for her danger-magnet of a brother to be brought to her. As trustworthy as Jason and his… brother? Yeah, she was ninety percent sure that Robin was Jason's younger brother. As trustworthy and honest as they appeared, she wasn't about to take chances.
She didn't think they would hurt her baby brother, they didn't seem like the types. In fact, she was more worried about them getting hurt than she was about Danny getting hurt. Danny was practically indestructible, unless you had the right equipment. And seeing as they were in a different dimension? The odds were really, really low. But low didn't mean zero.
Pacing the living room, she glanced at the TV. 'Out of everything that could have happened here, why did it have to be clowns?' Her little brother hated clowns just about as much as he hated their Godfather. She bet that the clown would at least be injured by the time the cavalry arrived, if not half way dead. This world didn't have antibodies for ghost bacteria, right?
Sitting back down, Jazz thought about what she might be able to do. The dot that marked her little brother's location blinked on the screen, drawing her attention. 'Wait a minute,' she tilted her head as she squinted at the dot. 'Is it just me, or is the dot moving?' Sure enough, the dot was moving.
Earlier, when she had told the two vigilanties that she had found her brother’s location by tracking the blindspots, she hadn't exactly been telling the truth. Yes, she would have easily been able to track the blackout radius of her brother's influence, something had told her to track her brother's signature instead. While she wasn't the best with technology, the system Tucker had shown her was relatively simple, as long as you know what you're doing.
So at this moment, she knew that her brother was on the move, the blinking red dot tracing his path. 'It can't be Jason and Robin,' she thought. 'It hasn't been long since they left.' her eyes followed the dot as it wound through what seemed to be back alleys and subway lines before coming to a stop quite a ways away from the warehouse district. When it didn't move after a few minutes, Jazz made her decision.
The woman grabbed a loose notepad left on the coffee table and snagged a pencil from a ceramic mug next to it. Writing quickly, she explained that the dot moved after they had left, and that she was going after it. Underneath the note she jotted down the address that the laptop showed and promised to meet them back here if they didn't meet up with her.
Signing it, she folded the yellow paper and set it on the keypad of the laptop. A Second sheet of paper later and she was on her way out the door, a rudimentary map of the area drawn with the path she needed to take marked.
'I hope Jason won't be too mad about this…'
Danny wasn't sure when he came back to himself, his consciousness fading in slowly. His mind was still fuzzy, whatever was in that gas still affecting him greatly.
Opening his eyes, the teen blinked blearily. Confusion was the first thing that really registered. 'Who turned out the lights?' He wondered. That had to be it, right? Someone turned out the lights or something? Man, he hoped that was it. It would suck if he was just blind now.
'Maybe I have something in my eye?' Damny tried to rub at his eyes, only to frown when he found his wrists trapped by something. An annoyed grumble escaped him as he tugged again, not quite understanding why his wrists wouldn't separate. After a minute, he just gave up. He really didn't have the energy to care all that much.
A few moments later, he became aware of a presence in front of him. Something about the presence rubbed him the wrong way, like someone had shoved salt-covered lemons into his mouth after a large gulp of a kelp smoothie. Or something equally as gross. He didn't have much of an opportunity to react as the icky presence got closer, as all at once color came back to the world.
A light angled towards his face had the teen squinting, a whine of discomfort building In his throat. Before it could escape, there was a hand twisting his face in a certain direction. Danny could do little more than stare, dazed, at what he thinks is a camera. Above him, a nasaly voice drones on about… something. He can't really focus on the words. Too much effort for his cotton-covered brain at the moment.
When he had finally released his face, Danny let his head drop back down. His instincts urged him to do something about the foul presence that was behind him now, but he couldn't really find it in himself to move. For now, whoever the presence was, was safe. But if they came any closer…
Danny was startled out of his instinct-driven thoughts by something beside him moving. Glancing over, his blurry vision made out something pale, with blond, blue, and pink. '...a person,' he realized after a moment. 'A familiar person.'
Whoever it was, they were squirming and struggling against something, their arms moving awkwardly behind their body. Almost like their hands were stuck or something. His jaw dropped open slightly, an offer to help that surely would have come out slurred, if not for the hand from before gripping him once again. His head was tilted once more, upwards this time, and Danny found himself staring at something. Someone?
The most prominent colors he could make out were purple, white, and green. A wide red line that he thinks is a smile splits and, oh, they were talking again? 'Why is a moldy eggplant talking to me?'
Almost as if the eggplant man could read his thoughts, the nasally voice stopped. Beside him, the squirming person paused, before they began to shake. Laughing? Yeah, he could hear the muffled chuckles coming from his side. But why were they laughing? 'Did I say that out loud or something?'
"Yes, you did." The eggplant growled. The fingers squeezing his face dug into his cheeks in what should have been a painful way, but he didn't really feel it. Is that what the gas from earlier had done? Was it like an anesthetic or something? Who would release an anesthetic on a city anyways?
The man tipped his head upwards again, bony fingers grinding into his jaw. "Now, that wasn't very nice of you. Someone should teach you some manners." There was an uncomfortable amusement in his tone that brushed Danny the wrong way. The longer the man talked, the more his urge to attack him grew. Finally, the man let go, letting the blood rush to the places he had pressed on. The teen couldn't help but flex his jaw sluggishly at the odd feeling.
"Whatever," the eggplant said, turning away from him. "It's not like insulting me is gonna do you any favors, kid. We just gotta wait for the Big Bad Bat to show up." The icky feeling of the man's aura retreated as he walked across the room. Clicking noises, beeps, and the smell of some sort of explosive wafted across the space, and began to grow stronger as the man approached again.
"Now, while we wait for Batsy, why don't we set up a surprise for him, hmm?" The man laughed at a joke Danny wasn't privy to as he reached past the teen with something in hand.
What happened next, Danny blames his drugged out state for.
The man's arm came too close, and Danny didn't hesitate to lunge for him. Eggplant guy fell backwards with a short, high-pitched yelp, dropping what he had been holding and dragging the teen's body with him.
The purple fabric tasted nasty, like the time he had eaten Dash's underwear. Only, if Dash's underwear was covered in chemicals and gunpowder instead of sweat. Despite the gross taste, he bit down harder. His fangs easily sliced through the fabric, sinking into the pasty white skin of the man's arm.
The man cursed vehemently as the pain finally registered, frantically waving his arm and pushing at the teen in a desperate attempt to free himself.
By this point, all rational thought had left Danny's foggy mind, replaced by the instinct of an adolescent ghost. The hand shoving at his face made him growl, his jaw automatically locking harder on the arm. This, obviously, hurt more, if the man's sudden change from pushing at his face to trying to sling him off using gravity was any indication. The force, combined with whatever drug he was being affected with, made his jaw ache. A few seconds later, he found that he couldn't hold on anymore. His teeth slid free from the man's arm, and Danny's limp form went sailing.
He landed in a jumble of tied together limbs, hitting the ground not too far from where he started with a dull thud. He grumbled at the feeling before it faded away like every other pain had so far, pushing himself half way up to look around.
The first thing his eyes focused on were a set of wrists, bound in some sort of scratchy-looking rope. It took Danny a moment to realize that those pale wrists were not his own. Looking up, his eyes trailed over a black, blue and red leather halter-cut jacket, a familiar pale neck, and up to split dyed blond hair. 'Where have I seen that before…' he thought, trying to fight the fuzz clogging his head.
'Flowers? Something about a date? The flower shop!' He realized with a tired grin. 'But, what is the flower shop lady doing here?' He glanced back down at her bound wrists, eyeing the bruises and red marks that were already forming. 'That doesn't look good.' The teen glanced back up, eyeing the eggplant man, who was examining the bite mark Danny had left.
The teen couldn't help the flash of pride that ran through him at the sight of it, sluggishly oozing with a mixture of blood and ghost venom. Did people here have the same resistance to ghost venom that people back home did? Oh well, Danny couldn't really bring himself to feel bad about it. His own fault for thinking a young ghost would be easy to threaten. Besides, not like the venom would kill him. Just him really, really sick if he didn't get the right medical treatment.
His eyes went back to the lady's wrists. That bite gave him an idea. With the man still busy whining over his wound, there was nothing to really stop Danny from sliding over to her. Closer now, he looked the rope over before leaning over and biting down. He paused when he felt the lady jerk against him, startled from the suddenness of his attack. When she settled again, he went back to work chewing through her bindings. His fangs helped to make quick work of the cheap rope, twine snapping easily under the constant barrage of sharp toothed attacks.
As soon as the last thread was snapped, the woman pulled her arms away, tugging at the strip of cloth in her mouth before going for the rope around her ankles. Task complete, Danny let his body fall back to the floor. The fuzzy, numb feeling he had been fighting off rushed back in, leaving him able to do little else than lay there, staring absently into space.
He managed to move his eyes when the eggplant man stood up, one hand hugged to his chest while the other aimed something black at him. A… gun? Yeah, Danny is pretty sure that that's a gun.
"You feral brat." The man snarls, his earlier amusement replaced by a pained waver in his voice. "Don't you know who I am? What I do to rats like you?" The gun clicked as he stared closer. "Why don't I show you?" His creeping painted lips stretched into an eerie smile as he pointed the barrel at Danny. The teen had enough presence of mind to brace himself for the bullet that was sure to be fired.
Only, the bullet never came. Instead, something metal slammed into the man's hand, causing him to drop his gun in surprise. The gun went off as it hit the floor, a flag shooting out of the barrel before embedding itself into the wall not too far from Danny's prone figure.
Another loud thwack had the man falling to the ground, his hand holding his knee. The pissed off woman above him looked like she was tempted to hit him one last time, but she obviously decided against it. Instead, she flung the pipe away from herself, kicked the downed man, spit on him for good measure, and walked over to crouch next to Danny.
Danny looked up at her as she sighed. "Man, when I said I hoped to see ya again, I didn't mean like this." She joked as she slid one arm under his knees, the other wrapping around his shoulder. With a small grunt, she stood up, readjusting the still tied-up teen with a small frown. "Jeez kid, ya really need to eat more. Ya way about as much as a sack of feathers!" She exclaimed.
Danny just grunted in acknowledgement. Behind them, the eggplant guy groaned. The woman's head snapped around for a second, before turning to look at the teen again. "Alright, let's get outta here before Mista Jay gets back up, yeah?" She didn't give him a chance to respond before she was off, jogging towards the only obvious exit in the building. A few goons tried to stop them, but were easily taken down by a few swift kicks to their lower bodies. If Danny had any more awareness, he would have winced in sympathy as they went down, curling up in pain.
The door was found open, and almost immediately Danny was assaulted by stray splatters of cold water. He hissed at the feeling, causing the woman to giggle. "Dontcha worry, kid. I'll get us somewhere nice and dry until ya feel better." She promised, turning down an alleyway and crouching behind a dumpster as four men ran by. A thought seemed to strike her as she looked to see if the coast was clear. "Hey, ya wanna meet my girlfriend?" She asked.
When Danny didn't respond, she giggled. "I'll take your silence as a yes." Standing back up, she dashed back out into the rain.
"Don't worry." She said after a minute. "Ives is gonna love you!" That was the last thing Danny heard as exhaustion tugged at him, pulling him under before he could try to respond.
Jazz stared up at the cloudy sky, wincing as the first raindrop fell. From where she was now, it would take her a while to get to the address Danny had stopped at. If she could even find it in the first place. 'I will find it.' She shook the negative thoughts from her head, turning down an alleyway she hoped would get her there quicker.
"Maybe I should have just waited for Jaspn to get back." She grumbled, rounding a corner to find herself at a dead end. "Ugh. This is why I hate big cities." She groaned, turning back the way she came. Maybe she should just stick to the streets. So far her 'shortcuts' hadn't been much help.
Spying another opening, she berated herself mentally as she jogged into it. 'Third times the charm.' Aaand another dead end. Great.
At this rate, she would make it to Danny by nightfall.
"...Harley? Who is that?" Pamela Isley thought she was used to her girlfriend's unexpectedness, but showing up at their shared apartments with rope burns, a bloody lip, a bruise on her temple, and a tied up teenager? That was something she didn't think she would ever have to expect.
"Surprise! It's the boy who picked out your flowers!" Her girlfriend exclaimed cheerfully as she set the teen down on the couch.
Ivy sighed, grabbing the first aid kit they kept by the door. Honestly? She probably should have expected this.
(I know that there are probably some spelling/grammar mistakes. It's okay because I did my best!)
For the amazing person who made the prompt for this story, as well as the lovely people following along!
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