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ok but what if

the tolkien dwarves invented the printing press

give me that fic

I never thought about it, but, I mean…of course it’s the dwarves.  

The elves would never think of it, fading out of Middle Earth with their perfect memories entirely intact, bearing the lore of ages in their own lifetimes.  Elrond would never think to write down the story of his life, for all that it stretches back to the Silmarils’ crafting.  When they do write things down, they believe in taking the time to inscribe the words with their own hand–no one knows the hard truths of permanence and impermanence like the Firstborn, and if you are going to take the time to make something ephemeral into something lasting, you do it right.  And besides, Quenya and Sindarin and forgotten Noldorin, all are made with elaborate curling letters, intended more to be written with a brush tip or a calligrapher’s pen than printed for clarity.  A printing press would never capture the fluidity quite right.

The race of men…well, they’re still trying to recover.  The great kingdoms of the human race–hard Gondor and broken Arnor, wild Rohan and poor shattered Harad to the South–took the brunt of the Ring War hardest of all.  Even the strongest of them is left in fragments.  New rulers, damaged walls, burned cities.  Not many have time, in those first years–and it does take years–to worry about the lore that might have been lost or muddled by water and fire and falling stone, not when there are still leaderless orcs roving and people starving as they try to stretch the harvests.  By the time they do, they’re trying to piece together what they used to have.  No one thinks twice about trying to piece it together the way it was, and the way it was, was handwritten.  Someday the race of men will be great innovators, reaching toward the stars with sure hands and bright eyes.  Now, though, the race of men is enduring, is rebuilding and making alliances, trying to prevent the losses of the war from reappearing ten, twenty, a hundred years down the line.  They are doing well, at enduring–pragmatists, grim and tough and determined–but they hardly have the time for mechanical marvels that don’t aid building, speed farmwork, or otherwise smooth the path.

The hobbits persist in being stubbornly hobbitish.  Oral history is what they do, and their memories for family ties and dramatic gossip could give the oldest Eldest a run for their money.  Who’s going to bother to write down the story of the time Athella Proudfoot–no, not that one, the other one, Odo’s great-great-great aunt–drank half the tavern under the table, got up on the bar, did a jig in nothing but her bloomers, and then settled in to drink the place dry?  (And still looked fresh as a daisy, if quite a bit less sober, the next morning.)  No one, because anyone you ask knows the story of everyone who ever did anything worth knowing the story of.  What do the hobbits care for legends and lore?  They know who they are and where they come from, songs and stories and all, and there’s a certain level of strength in that.  Strength enough to walk into Mordor, strength enough to reclaim the Shire.  

The dwarves…the dwarves are a people who once had libraries, sweeping and beautifully full of knowledge.  The libraries in Khazad-dum have rotted, by now, ransacked by orcs and goblins or burned entire by Durin’s Bane.  Books and scrolls, illuminated with precious metals and expensive inks by the finest scholars, are worth nothing to a dragon, nothing but fuel for amusement, things to send sparking.  The library where Dis learned to read, where Thorin and Thrain before him learned statecraft, are nothing but ash.  The Iron Hills, Ered Luin, those places were filled by a people seeking refuge.  Few dwarrows snatched tomes as they fled Erebor.  Fewer still kept them at the ruin of Azanulbizar.  The dwarves escaped their ancestral homes with the clothes on their backs and scraps of bread baked on stones, with the pyres of the burned dwarves still smoldering behind them.

It’s a survivor of that flight who scratches down the first idle plans.  She remembers seeing Dain Ironfoot, barely more than a child–but then he seemed such a grown-up to her, at the time, when she was still a beardless babe only just walking–bloodied and limping on a crutch as he stood up to claim the leadership his father had left in his wake.  Dain and Thorin, young dwarrows still, but already old with the weight of the world.  She remembers that better than the dragon, better than the battle.  Her mother died in Ered Luin, but not before writing a poem for the burned ones, a poem for the two dwarves who had surrendered their own youth for the sake of their people.  She can’t stand the idea of her mother’s poem being lost, the way so many things were lost in flight after flight.

That dwarrowdam dies, an old dwarf in her bed with her loved ones around her, and it’s her best friend’s daughter who comes across the plans, many years later.  Yes, she thinks, looking at the levers, at the vague notes about possible lettering methods, yes, that could work.  

It doesn’t work, at first.  It doesn’t work a lot, really, but the dwarves are a stoneheaded bunch and not in a rush to be put off by a few petty failings.  Or by a total collapse of the base mechanics, the first time she tries to pull the lever.  The dwarrowdam unearths herself from a pile of metal and gears and wood, with the help of a few other folks who heard the complicated crash and weary cursing, and starts again. 

It takes most of two years and a lot of brainstorming–first with her friends, then with her guild, then with any poor fool careless enough to wander into her workshop–but the scribe-machine works.  She shrieks and bursts into tears when the first page comes out crisp and clean and beautiful, and sprints into the great hall waving it triumphantly over her head.

The paper says, in kuzdh runes, plain and clear, We are Mahal’s children, and we are yet unbroken.
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We all know that Hoth was a simmering mess of hormones and stress and I would pay good money for a soap opera about them. Here are some things which Definitely Happened: 

There’s a betting pool going on who takes Luke’s virginity. The favourites are Han and Leia, but Wedge Antilles has pretty good odds, and there’s a small contingent of aliens who are convinced it will be Chewie (after all, who could resist that Wookie musk? Headcanon: most alien races consider humans soft and gross. Most alien races find Wookies absurdly attractive. Han Solo isn’t the ladykiller; Chewie is.)

Leia and Han scream at each other in every corner of the base. Everyone is desperate for them to fuck. They do not. The sexual tension is so thick that it could be cut into blocks and sold as wall insulation. More than once they are ‘accidentally’ locked in a supply cupboard in the vain hope that claustrophobia will act as the catalyst that enables their frustration to spark into true love – or at least nasty raunchy cupboard sex. It does not. All that happens is that the offender has legally changed their name to escape the Wrath of Organa. 

Someone paints a shirtless Han Solo on their X Wing. Leia is furious. Han is delighted: both at the highly flattering portrait (he has an eight-pack, he is shredded) and at Leia’s fury (you’re jealous princess/no I am not/you’re jealous, hey I can pose like that for you if you –). Hoth’s winter had nothing on the chilly silence that followed that suggestion. 

Luke and Leia both have very graphic dreams about Han Solo. Han Solo has very graphic dreams about the twins –  individually, together, he’s thirty fucking years old, why is his brain doing this to him.(Later on they will, individually, realise that due to Luke and Leia’s Force-bond they probably created a circle of Han Solo Sex Dreams: Leia had them, so Luke sensed her lust for Han which intensified his own lust for Han, which led to Luke having Han Solo sex dreams, which led to Leia lusting – and so on, and so on. For the sake of their sanity, they never share this revelation which each other.)

Luke is SO COLD. All the time. WHY DOES NO ONE APPRECIATE HOW COLD HE IS. He comes from a desert world. Of course he’s cold! What is all this white stuff? It was pretty for the first fve seconds but holy fucking Force it is so cold it burns and what the hell is going on with that? He bundles himself up in so many layers that he waddles rather than walks. Fearsome Last of the Jedi indeed.

Luke tapes a knife to a cleaning droid (disc-shaped things that swish around the base, sucking up dirt) and names it Stabby. Why, says Leia. Luke, the boy from Tatooine, shining and happy despite everything says why not. Why not indeed. Stabby is very fond of chasing Han. Han wants desperately to shoot the fucking thing– but then he sees big-eyed Luke and sharp-toothed Leia cooing over it and, well. A little bit of light stabbing is nothing, compared to those two smiling. 

STABBY THE SPACE ROOMBA!

I am torn between wanting Stabby to be grabbed and evacuated along with the Rebels and make it to the next base, and wanting Stabby to get Vader.

Compromise: shortly after losing the Millennium Falcon, Vader, storming through the Rebel base, is startled to feel a sudden jolt of pain from the artificial sensors on his left leg prosthetic: a sharp sensation on his ankle. Surprised, because he sensed no threat–is the limb malfunctioning?–he looks down, and there is a cleaning droid with a knife taped to it, a little painted-on Rebel lieutenant’s insignia, and the word STABBY written on it.

He stares down at it, completely and utterly taken aback for the first time in over a decade. Fearlessly, it chitters back at him, sounding very triumphant.

He picks it up.

Off in the fractal weirdness of hyperspace, Rebels on several ships are surprised to find an update on Stabby’s kill-update feed, and then thoroughly shocked at the accompanying image: the upward-pointing camera has captured an image of Darth Vader staring down at the droid.

It’s the fastest news ever to travel through the Rebel grapevine, the mix of triumph and loss that is, they are certain, Stabby’s heroic last stand.

Until a day later, when the thing updates again, this time showing an extremely confused Imperial officer. And another, and another, and another, day after day.

They cancel the funeral.

Vader hasn’t done much just for the fun of it in two decades. Watching Imperial officers swear and clutch their ankles as a cleaning drone with a knife taped to it, an Imperial emblem, lieutenant’s insignia, and the word STABBY painted on it, bumps into them and then chatters triumphantly, he’s figured he’s earned.

STABBY FIC!  STABBY STARWARS FIC!  YOU HAVE MADE MY DAY!

But do they send in a rescue unit to reclaim their most honorable POW?

no, the rebels are all too happy to have vader backing one of their most valuable psychological weapons.  stabby’s antics are invaluable for their ability to escalate tension within imperial ranks, and vader’s personal amusement means stabby will get to keep running his miniature interference mission for a long time to come

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSS

STABBY LIVESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Grand Moff Tarkin limps into Vader’s quarters. Again. “Lord Vader, enough of this.”

“I have altered the droid; pray I do not alter it any further.”

(If there’s one thing young Anakin Skywalker can appreciate, it’s a hot-rodded maintenance droid, c’mon.)

VADER PUTS A LIGHTSABRE ON STABBY

HE CALLS IT HIS APPRENTICE

MY SON WILL NOT TURN TO THE DARKSIDE BUT MY SON’S STABBY SON WILL

Stabby is eventually recovered and given a medal after the defeat of the Emperor, but his poor little chassis is too badly damaged by then to even hold onto the knife anymore. His internal mechanism is removed and upgraded, and then the Master Droid Tech charged with fixing him casts around for a new casing to put him in.

“Hey!” calls a teenaged Poe Dameron, walking into the Droid repair shop. “I got this decommissioned BB-8 chassis they said to bring in here. It needs a new owner. Captain said I can have it if I can find a new mechanism for it.”

The Master Droid Tech looks at Stabby, then at the BB-8 chassis, then back at Stabby. Stabby turns his unsheathed ocular sensor to Poe and beeps adoringly. (This is a common if relatively new reaction to Poe Dameron, who has just graduated from his Awkward Stage.)

“Yeah, I got one for you right here,” the Tech says, grinning. 

Shortly after Poe gives in to the pleading beeps and whirs and upgrades BB-8 with a miniature welding torch he starts noticing a lot more people limping around the base…

Poe takes BB-8 on a mission to a trade world. He is unfortunate enough to make himself a gang target, and in the ensuing fight he almost the guy sneaking up behind him. The shockingly loud scream of agony and furious beeps are his only warning…

Poe wonders sometimes at why so many cities are banning welding torches smaller than a spanner. He was there just last week and didn’t have any problems, and BB-8 had so much fun, he was trilling excitedly for hours on the way back. Now if he ever wants to go back he won’t be able to bring BB-8 along…

ADDITIONAL HEADCANON APPROVED. 
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you know what would have been great? if ron got sorted into slytherin.

imagine– we have this kid on the train, the first friend harry meets, with his corned beef sandwiches and smudged nose. ron is eleven years old and he wants gryffindor, because he’s a weasley and that’s what always happens. but it doesn’t happen.

what a way to redeem slytherin house– or, god, at least complicate it. because ron is petty. he is mean and sharp and ambitious and jealous– and he is loyal to the ends of the earth. he is all those things, and he is and always has been good.

potter becomes before weasley in the alphabet, so harry says not slytherin please and gets told might as well be gryffindor. percy and fred and george are all sitting there in red and gold, ruffling the already-ruffled hair of the boy who lived, smug, and then ron sits down and the hat spits out slytherin!

c'mon it’d be fun. just imagine–

the weasleys freaking out– but even that first christmas molly sends him a sweater in beautiful green and silver.

snape taking points from gryffindor when ron breaks rules or mouths off. “i’m in your house.” “hm, couldn’t tell which weasley it was…” /drifts away

sitting with harry in potions and in flying– whatever classes they happen to share. meeting up to study. scarfing down their breakfasts at separate tables so they can go hang out in the empty classrooms before the day starts. hermione reads while they play exploding snap.

the trio signing up for all the same electives third year. this friendship being something they earn and work for; not just the one that looked easiest. (not to bash canon ron&harry, the bros to end all bros, but by putting this very obvious obstacle between them– it makes it that much clearer to the reader that this is a love worth fighting for, because they’re fighting for it).

ron being jealous that harry and hermione get to share this house, this home, these hours, while he’s stuck with malfoy and parkinson and goyle– because that would eat him up some days, some months, this insecure kid who’s been the last at everything all his life. this kid who always leaves and always comes back.

ron, who constantly compares himself to his brothers– not as smart, not as popular, not as good. one more nail in that coffin, here, yeah? he’s not a prefect, not a quidditch star, not a troublemaker– and even when he becomes those things, someone else has always gotten there first. 

well, i guess he got to this house first at least

ron still snaps at snape in potions, after hermione’s been ignored three times, “you know, sir, i think hermione might know the answer.” he still pulls the bars off harry’s window with a stolen, flying car. he still shows harry around the burrow shyly, not knowing what a wonder a warm home is. he still stands up in the shrieking shack as best as he can with a broken leg and tells a mass murderer that if he wants harry he’ll have to go through him first. 

ron weasley is a lot of things, but one of them is absolutely a true friend.

in their second year:

when everyone calls harry the heir, they eye ron at his side and sniff.

when hermione lays petrified in the medical ward, ron sits at her side and reads her homework assignments aloud and thinks my house this was my house. 

when ron hugs ginny’s damp, shaking frame after the chamber, ron says sorry and sorry and are you okay and i’m so sorry and ginny calls him an idiot.

the trio spends more time in the library with hermione, since ron can’t come to gryffindor tower to study, and homework remains a thing that has to happen. fred and george constantly try to sneak him into the tower anyway. 

“c'mon, ronnykins, you belong here, you deserve it, no one’s gonna fuss, it’s your BIRTHRIGHT,” and ron fusses and rolls his eyes at them

and then in fourth year in one of those periods where he’s not talking to harry and harry’s not talking to him– he just snaps at the twins

because it’s not, alright?

not his birthright, not his house, and maybe no one would fuss if he snuck in, maybe no one would care, and that makes it worse not better, because then he’s just that weasley who should’ve been gryffindor

and isn’t

(and harry overhears this caterwauling, feels his heart fall to his toes, and goes and awkwardly asks ron if he wants to go a few laps on his firebolt). 

(because, god, harry-the-chosen-one, harry-in-the-cupboard-under-the-stairs, harry-who’ll-save-us-all– he knows what it’s like to have should have beens on your shoulders, and he knows what it’s like to not be wanted).

ron cheers for gryffindor during quidditch matches in those first few years, and sits with hagrid and hermione and neville. harry’s seeker, and fred and george are beaters, and ginny becomes chaser eventually, and honestly screw the slytherin team. they have each and every one of them said disparaging things about ron’s mother.

harry and hermione badger ron into trying out for keeper fourth year; he and harry have been practicing on the quidditch pitch because its a non-library-shaped place to hang out where both of them are allowed. ron makes the slytherin roster, and malfoy grudgingly provides ron a team broom after the captain chews him out for a bit.

“he may be a weasley, but he’s our keeper, don’t you want to win, draco”

but the sort of things they spit in the locker room, the words the players hiss or snigger, the slurs that come easy to their tongues– ron would like to say that he considered just walking out of the cesspit, but instead he snipes and sasses and shouts and sometimes tries to spell slugs at the worst of them. 

it doesn’t do much, that one irritated voice of protest– except that it does. and he’s got a new (hand-me-down) wand, after the gilderoy fiasco, so the slugs even come out the right end.

fred gives him a black eye with a bludger one time (though ron does manage to block the quaffle) and molly sends a howler to gryffindor table with the morning post. (“RON DID YOU TATTLE”) (“IT WAS CLEARLY PERCY, FRED, SIT DOWN”)

(the weasleys often have family conversations across the great hall, with hufflepuffs and ravenclaws covering their ears long-sufferingly between them)

in the lake, it’s still ron hanging there in the water, still and bloated. it’s still harry’s heart that stutters in his chest, for all it’s just a game, just a game, just a game, right?

ron listens hard and tries to talk himself out of fist fights, all that next year in the slytherin common room as they read aloud rita skeeter articles.

when hermione calls dumbledore’s army to its first session in that pub, there are green scarves in that crowd– ron and one of the beaters who ron’s gotten to help glare to rest of the slytherin quidditch team into submission.

ron beats draco to being prefect (i think i remember it was dumbledore and not mcgonagall who seemed to award prefect status– snape doesn ’t get a say).

percy is SO PROUD, as usual, but so are fred and george. “did you see the little malfoy git? green with shame, my god.”

when harry has the dream about sirius, ron isn’t there to wake. but when draco’s pulled out of bed to be a professional bully– er, i mean inquisitorial squad member– ron follows at a careful distance and curses draco from behind. 

they ride thestrals over london. harry finds the prophecy and ron thinks about the sorts of things that get decided at your birth.  

sirius black was a son of slytherin who had a lion living in his chest that he couldn’t hide away. 

ron was meant to be gryffindor, and through a haze of injury and fear he watches sirius die just out of harry’s reach.

just imagine: ron with his temper and his sharp words and his fierce loyalty. ron who looks into the mirror of erised and sees house cups and prefect badges and ambitions earned– he could belong in slytherin. there is nothing wrong with wanting things, and he wants them so bad.

there are so many reasons to fight a war, and so many ways. harry and his sacrifices, his loving resignation. hermione’s good right hook and bottomless bag of supplies. luna, brilliant and a bit batty. lee jordan’s radio and mcgonagall’s burning patience and brittle, certain bones.

just imagine: when the last battle comes, there is a slytherin on the field who is not snape.

when draco and his parents walk away, in that last battle, ron–

who slept in the same dormitory as the boy for six years

who heard draco’s nightmares and saw him paling and desperate all sixth year

who is as pureblooded as lucius’s spoiled whelp

who remembers grimacing at the thought of squibs

who has known magic all his life

who spotted draco penning letters home to his mother every sunday and hiding them when the other boys could see–

ron sees them going.

he sounds no alarms. he says no farewells.

he turns back to his friends, and his fight, and lets them be.

just imagine: when harry kneels on the train platform and his second son asks him “but what if i get sorted slytherin, dad?” harry can say, “the bravest man i ever knew was in slytherin house. whatever you are, wherever you go, we’re going to be so proud of you.“ 

and they can both gaze over to where ron is squawking beside his daughter’s trolley of luggage because crookshanks (who will live to be forty eight million years old) has latched onto his shins with a violent fondness.
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AU where the Justice League forms like usual, except Batman maintained his “totally a myth” status and has in fact been active for years before the JL forms. He’s very cautious about trusting them, but still joins, and the others sort of accepts that as long as they trust that Batman has a really hard time with trust, it will all work out in its own weird way

Then, one day, in the middle of a JL mission, the League gets in a tight spot. Out of nowhere, this blue and black blur swoops in and saves everyone’s ass. Maybe breaking some shackles that were proving very difficult, maybe disarm a bomb that the League was just a hair’s breadth too slow to reach without help, but whatever happens, the shadowy figure pauses just long enough to say, “Hey, Batman, you know you there are these things called cellphones now and you can just call sometimes, it doesn’t have to be this dramatic?” and bounds away after shouting ‘let’s do brunch! Bring your new friends!’

Batman is mortified.

No one lets it go.

The entire rest of the mission, the whole League is asking so many questions. Who was that? Do you know him? How do you know him? What’s going on? I didn’t know there was a vigilante in this area?? They don’t let up until he talks.

“That was Nightwing.” Batman is mumbling. The JL forces him to bring them to the Brunch. Brunch happens to be in a run-down apartment on the edge of a bad neighborhood, at five in the morning, in costume. Nightwing introduces himself as Batman’s lovechild with justice.

“I did not realize Batman had a child,” Martian Manhunter says, calmly enough that no one’s sure if he’s accidentally plucking a really loud thought out of the air or if he’s trying to make a joke.

Nightwing stares for a moment falling over laughing. He doesn’t get up. Batman starts trying to apply anti-Joker venom but Nightwing just kicks him and laughs until he cries. He keeps trying to wipe his eyes and his mask keeps getting in the way, so he asks everyone to leave so he can please get a hold of himself

He is still laughing when they leave. Everyone is confused. Batman is furious.  Nightwing manages to breathe long enough to say, “We’re just so glad you’re socializing now, Batman.”

Superman turns to look at Batman very slowly. “…’we’?”

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Here’s a story about changelings: 

Mary was a beautiful baby, sweet and affectionate, but by the time she’s three she’s turned difficult and strange, with fey moods and a stubborn mouth that screams and bites but never says mama. But her mother’s well-used to hard work with little thanks, and when the village gossips wag their tongues she just shrugs, and pulls her difficult child away from their precious, perfect blossoms, before the bites draw blood. Mary’s mother doesn’t drown her in a bucket of saltwater, and she doesn’t take up the silver knife the wife of the village priest leaves out for her one Sunday brunch. 

She gives her daughter yarn, instead, and instead of a rowan stake through her inhuman heart she gives her a child’s first loom, oak and ash. She lets her vicious, uncooperative fairy daughter entertain herself with games of her own devising, in as much peace and comfort as either of them can manage.

Mary grows up strangely, as a strange child would, learning everything in all the wrong order, and biting a great deal more than she should. But she also learns to weave, and takes to it with a grand passion. Soon enough she knows more than her mother–which isn’t all that much–and is striking out into unknown territory, turning out odd new knots and weaves, patterns as complex as spiderwebs and spellrings. 

“Aren’t you clever,” her mother says, of her work, and leaves her to her wool and flax and whatnot. Mary’s not biting anymore, and she smiles more than she frowns, and that’s about as much, her mother figures, as anyone should hope for from their child. 

Mary still cries sometimes, when the other girls reject her for her strange graces, her odd slow way of talking, her restless reaching fluttering hands that have learned to spin but never to settle. The other girls call her freak, witchblood, hobgoblin.

“I don’t remember girls being quite so stupid when I was that age,” her mother says, brushing Mary’s hair smooth and steady like they’ve both learned to enjoy, smooth as a skein of silk. “Time was, you knew not to insult anyone you might need to flatter later. ‘Specially when you don’t know if they’re going to grow wings or horns or whatnot. Serve ‘em all right if you ever figure out curses.”

“I want to go back,” Mary says. “I want to go home, to where I came from, where there’s people like me. If I’m a fairy’s child I should be in fairyland, and no one would call me a freak.”

“Aye, well, I’d miss you though,” her mother says. “And I expect there’s stupid folk everywhere, even in fairyland. Cruel folk, too. You just have to make the best of things where you are, being my child instead.”

Mary learns to read well enough, in between the weaving, especially when her mother tracks down the traveling booktraders and comes home with slim, precious manuals on dyes and stains and mordants, on pigments and patterns, diagrams too arcane for her own eyes but which make her daughter’s eyes shine.

“We need an herb garden,” her daughter says, hands busy, flipping from page to page, pulling on her hair, twisting in her skirt, itching for a project. “Yarrow, and madder, and woad and weld…”

“Well, start digging,” her mother says. “Won’t do you a harm to get out of the house now’n then.”

Mary doesn’t like dirt but she’s learned determination well enough from her mother. She digs and digs, and plants what she’s given, and the first year doesn’t turn out so well but the second’s better, and by the third a cauldron’s always simmering something over the fire, and Mary’s taking in orders from girls five years older or more, turning out vivid bolts and spools and skeins of red and gold and blue, restless fingers dancing like they’ve summoned down the rainbow. Her mother figures she probably has.

“Just as well you never got the hang of curses,” she says, admiring her bright new skirts. “I like this sort of trick a lot better.”

Mary smiles, rocking back and forth on her heels, fingers already fluttering to find the next project.

She finally grows up tall and fair, if a bit stooped and squinty, and time and age seem to calm her unhappy mouth about as well as it does for human children. Word gets around she never lies or breaks a bargain, and if the first seems odd for a fairy’s child then the second one seems fit enough. The undyed stacks of taken orders grow taller, the dyed lots of filled orders grow brighter, the loom in the corner for Mary’s own creations grows stranger and more complex. Mary’s hands callus just like her mother’s, become as strong and tough and smooth as the oak and ash of her needles and frames, though they never fall still.

“Do you ever wonder what your real daughter would be like?” the priest’s wife asks, once.

Mary’s mother snorts. “She wouldn’t be worth a damn at weaving,” she says. “Lord knows I never was. No, I’ll keep what I’ve been given and thank the givers kindly. It was a fair enough trade for me. Good day, ma’am.”

Mary brings her mother sweet chamomile tea, that night, and a warm shawl in all the colors of a garden, and a hairbrush. In the morning, the priest’s son comes round, with payment for his mother’s pretty new dress and a shy smile just for Mary. He thinks her hair is nice, and her hands are even nicer, vibrant in their strength and skill and endless motion.  

They all live happily ever after.

*

Here’s another story: 

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stories for the ladies of hogwarts, who cry, waver, giggle, trespass, and who deserve our respect all the same



overemotional: in defense of cho chang

Cho’s was not that kind of grief. Hers was the grief of the living. She was flying and learning and loving and, yes, crying. Cedric was not. Her pretty world, at fifteen, had been shattered. It was darker than anyone had ever warned her of, but she was growing into it. She was growing up. Sometimes that takes tears. 

Mourning is not selfless. We do not weep for the dead. We weep for the living–what could have been and the tragedy that is. We weep because our hearts are breaking. It is not selfless but neither are we. We are selves.

-

naive: in defense of hannah abbott

Hannah went out every few nights to breathe in green and work on her own projects. Sometimes Neville was there and sometimes he was away running defense lessons in the Room or, god forbid, sleeping. Sometimes they worked in companionable silence. Sometimes they talked about the DA, or wondered where Harry was. Neville told her about his disastrous early attempts with every non herbological magic. Hannah told him about her mother.

“This is where everything starts,” Professor Sprout had told them, back when Hogwarts was still a place of light, smiling under that frizzing grey hair. Professor Sprout had buried her hands in dirt and said, “This is what everything grows from. The ground up.”

Life is something you bury. Life is something you bury your hands in.

-

silly: in defense of parvati patil (in memory of lavender brown)

“Have you ever been Crucioed?” she asked.

The Auror opened his mouth to speak, but Parvati kept going, calm, dismissive: “I don’t mean in training, in a nice padded room with an instructor who will take you for beers after. I don’t even mean by some criminal in a dark alley when you don’t know if you’re going to make it to the end of the day. I mean have you ever been Crucioed in a classroom, in front of your sister and a bunch of terrified children. Have you ever been Crucioed by someone who enjoyed it, when you were expendable? Have you ever gasped yourself back to life when they were done and known the next morning you were going to walk right back in and sit at your desk, and wait, and hope it happened to you and not some kid half your size?”

The Auror had gone silent.

Parvati looked him over slowly. “I have been an object lesson in disobedience from people I couldn’t get away from. I have watched children scream, and done nothing, because I was in a war and it wasn’t strategic and they were soldiers too. They would survive. And most of us did. But we are not the same as we were. You will respect our war.”

-

lost: in defense of ginny weasley

She and Harry had both done what Voldemort could not—died and come back. Harry sacrificed, a lion’s death giving him a lamb’s rebirth. Ginny was risen in the Chamber of Secrets at the strike of a fang to a poisoned diary but she was not reborn then. Leaving the Chamber, she was as much a shade as Tom Riddle’s desperate ghost.

It was not Harry’s heroism, Ron’s desperation, her mother’s love, or her brothers’ toilet seat humor that brought her back (though the toilet seat helped). Ginny breathed deep at night. She wept. She remembered how to rage. She snuck out at night and stole each of her brothers’ brooms in turn. She took to the skies and brought herself back to life.

-

ugly: in defense of pansy parkinson

“Why are you here?” Parvati asked Pansy once. People asked her a lot, when they found her in Flourish and Blotts, or at work on the Prophet. Their eyes raked her, looking for green, for silver, for venom. Sometimes she’d smile back and let them see the danger.

“Because I’m not fifteen anymore,” said Pansy. “God, do you know what precious Potter Sr. got up to at school, the bully? But boys get to grow up to be men, you see, and us girls just grow up to be bitches.”

-

turncoat: in defense of andromeda tonks nee black

When Andromeda got married, it was in a dress that was silver, not white. The guests called her luminescent, but her cousin Sirius, who spun her with comical and affectionate abandon across the dance floor later that night, smiled, and said, “You thought green would be too obvious?”

“Too garish.”

“A snake changes it’s skin, but it’s still—”

“I’m not going to pretend I’m anything I’m not, cuz,” she said.

-

wallflower: in defense of susan bones

You have to make things your own, laying out new earth or filling your too-small kitchen with song. You have to live in your skin. It’s worth living in.

Susie learned the lines of scar tissue on her arm, like cracks in a ceiling, like the specific pattern of fissures and gouges that made a place its own. She traced her fingers over the raised scars while she studied obscure legal texts in her first little office, and felt like she was flicking her wand, casting ward circles, like she was circling this and claiming this, calling it her own.

-

loony: in defense of luna lovegood

In the spare bedroom at Shell Cottage, Ollivander made Luna a new wand. They hiked, slowly, through windswept bluffs until he found a tree he approved of.

“Willow?” Dean asked. “Or reed? I mean, it’s Luna, she’s kinda bendy, isn’t she?”

Ollivander went on Transfiguring his toolset out of bits of driftwood and sea glass. Luna smiled back, wide.

Bend and bend and never break. She could almost touch the tip of the wand to its hilt, when he was done. Ollivander gave her some oil to rub into it to keep it supple and one day, after the war, Luna curved it into a perfect circle. She held it up to her eye and thought about the last riddle she had ever used to open up Ravenclaw’s tower. A circle has no end. 
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buckykingofmemes:

Or, how Tony Found Out About Bucky’s Blog. 

Tony couldn’t seep. Sometimes he managed a few hours if he was tired enough, so usually he went to the gym and worked out until he was exhausted. Tonight, though, he found the gym already occupied: Barnes, with his hair tied up, working steadily at the heavy bag. Normally Tony would make an awkward comment and leave him to it, but instead he just heads for the opposite side of the gym. After setting up at one of the far treadmills, Tony worked his way to a easy run. Barnes was laying his fists rhythmically into the bag, and the quiet thumping was sort of strangely soothing. Between the running and the thumping, Tony slipped into a near-trancelike state.

 And then Barnes let out an ungodly howl, drew back his left fist, and slammed it straight through the heavy bag with a roar of, “DIE A THOUSAND BURNING DEATHS!”

Tony fell off the treadmill, scrambled to his feet, and booked it to the elevator.

kingofmemes posted:

holy shit you guys there was a spider on my punching bag !!! thanks to my many years of combat experience & martial arts training things are okay now

Posted at 4:47 AM, 37294 notes

Keep reading

kingofmemes posted:

have you ever met someone so incapable of taking care of themselves that you have to physically stop yourself from picking them up and bundling them in blankets??? yes i know you are a big strong man but you just walked into a door and said sorry to it without noticing that it had bloodied your nose. this is clearly a cry for help

Posted at 8:26 AM, 36850 notes

Bucky and Tony are friends now, and I wanted to draw something like I did for Closet Softie. Tony got a little handsier than I had planned, but… This drawing will eventually be available in the Coloring Buck.

(This fic is also here on AO3.)
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?&i, all i can write anymore is two people in a room having a conversation

Bill got most of her stuff back. The photographs of her mum, enough of her wardrobe, her laptop. Still down her independence and impending adulthood, though.

She felt like a little kid who’d tried to run away from home and only got as far as the end of the block.

Keep reading
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I will never forgive them for cutting out this scene.

Tumblr app doesn’t show this gif set but I already know what it is. No need to hesitate to reblog.

And he did this just before a road trip, stuck in the car with his parents asking what he was thinking.

The look of utter defiance Dudley gives Vernon as he steps over the fence though 

And how he does it really slowly as well as if to say “What you gonna do about it huh?”

The phone rings. It was an absurd wedding gift from his father in-law, and one which much to Harry’s surprise, had actually worked when he’d plugged it into the landline. Arthur had taken to phoning him on it, just for the pure novelty of the thing—though how they’d managed to get a BT engineer out to the Burrow without causing an incident, Harry doesn’t know. He’s not sure he wants to.

“Hello?”

“Uhm,, is this…is this the Potter residence?”

There’s a beat of silence as Harry adjusts the receiver against his ear, not quite sure he’s heard who he thinks he has. “…Dudley?”

“Yea…uhm, Harry?”

“Dudley.” Harry repeats numbly, turning to look at Ginny who is looking at him expectantly, eyebrows raised. “Uh…Christ, Dudley, hi how did…how did you find this number?”

There’s another beat of silence and the crackle of static that might have been a sigh or simply just the line breaking up. “Hi, sorry I know you probably…sorry this was stupid. I uh, I put your name in the computer and this was the only thing that came up.”

“Oh.” Harry breathes, still trying to recover his equilibrium. Ten minutes ago he’d been using his wand to clear away dinner, he’d been getting ready to sit down and read through some reports before putting the kids to bed, and now somehow, he’s talking to his muggle cousin who he hasn’t seen since… “How, how are you?”

“Good, yea” Dudley replies, seeming to rally, “You?”

“Yea, uh, doing well…”

The conversation lasts maybe a half hour, faltering and awkward. But they’re going for a coffee at the end of the week and Harry supposes…that’s…that’s a thing that is happening.

*

“Harry…”

Harry turns and looks up, and looks up some more at the looming figure blocking out the light. 

“Dudley,” he says, standing up and hoping the pang of something awful doesn’t show on his face. For a moment he thought he’d been looking at Vernon. “It’s good to see you.”

Dudley gives him a look that says he clearly knows Harry is lying, but is thankful for being humored. “You too, you’re looking good…”

They pass the  first few minutes with awkward pleasantries and even more awkward silences. But it’s…nice would be too strong a word, but it’s not bad either. He even manages to get a smile out of him when he calls him Big D, the other man shaking his head with a self depreciating eye roll.

“Dad died,” Dudley says after a while, and Harry feels an icy hot flash go down his spine, curdling in his gut.

“Oh,” he says, not quite sure how he’s supposed to feel about that, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Dudley snorts into his coffee. “Somehow I doubt it.” and it’s not accusing, but Harry still can’t help but feel like he should defend himself. The words they locked me in a cupboard are on the cusp of his tongue but Dudley gets there before him. “There’s a lot of things…looking back…lot of things…” and it’s not an apology, not really. “Took me a long time to realize certain things weren’t right…too long.” 

Harry nods at that, because yes, it had also taken him a long time too to understand the full of extent of what had gone on in 4 Privet Drive. He still doesn’t like tight spaces.

“You realize things though, when you have kids,” Dudley carries on, shaking his head, “Like they’re just kids, how can you do that to a kid? They need you for everything.”

And Harry can relate to that too. Lily is three and Ginny is pregnant again and James already has an alarming alacrity for finding trouble and with or without magic Harry doesn’t have enough hands to deal with it all. But he loves it, and he loves them, and the thought of anyone ever treating his children the way he remembers his first eleven years of life is enough to make the electric lights over their head flicker. 

“You’ve got kids?”

“Two,” Harry says, “third one on the way. You?”

“Nice. Just the one, so far.” He hands over his phone, the image of a bright young girl with dark skin and tight ringlet curls staring back at him from the grasp of Dudley’s arms. “Effie.” He smiles ruefully at Harry’s obvious surprise. “Dad wasn’t too happy about that either.”

“She’s gorgeous.” Harry says, handing the phone back and pulling out his own wallet to reveal the moving pictures inside. 

Dudley flinches a bit at that, but he guffaws broadly when he spies James. “Cor, he don’t half look like you. No glasses though.”

“No,” Harry says, pushing his own glasses back up his nose. “He’s got his mother’s eyes, thankfully.”

“Actually, Harry, there was something I was hoping we could…talk about.”

And ah, there it is. “What about?”

“It’s…it’s about Effie…”

And when he’s done talking Harry just wants to lean back and laugh and laugh and laugh, because of course Vernon Dudley’s granddaughter is a witch, of course she is. But he doesn’t, because Dudley is doing the one thing he can think of to try and help his child, and Harry can’t fault him for that.

*

They keep in touch after that. Christmas cards, postcards—gifts for the kids on birthdays. The year Effie turns eleven—the same as James—Harry drops a casually long thought out text into the familial void.

“Diagon A this weekend, if you’re up for it?”

The text comes back quickly, a little too quickly for the way Dudders pecks at his phone whenever Harry has seen him typing. “Snds gd, 1st pint on u ;-) - Big D 🍺🍺🍺👌👍”

It’ll be painfully awkward, it always is. But it’s something.
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The phone rings and Special Agent Kwan picks up.

“Hey, sorry to bother you,” says a voice on the phone, “but I’m David Diallo and I’m a Deputy Sheriff from Monroe County in New York? I’m just calling to check the bonafides of a couple of agents?” The deputy sounds a little bored.

Kwan is about to tell them they’ve got the wrong extension. He’s gotten calls before. He’s in a field office in Wisconsin and figures he’s one number off from whoever actually does this. But the deputy says, “It’s agents Angus and Young.”

Kwan almost laughs. What sadist partnered guys who end up making up the name of ACDC’s lead? An then it clicks.

“Um…hold on,” he says and puts the guy on hold.

He leans back in his chair. “Hey Chapman!”

When she doesn’t look up he tries again. “Jules! I think it’s those two psychopaths!”

She looks up, frowning. Lever and Godowsky do, too.

Kwan asks, “Is there some crazy shit happening in Monroe County, New York?”

Lever and Godowsky wander over to his cubical while Julie Chapman types. “Hell yes,” she says. “Something about people going into comas and murdering other people while, hold on, ‘in a persistent vegetative state.’ Why?”

He puts the phone on speaker. “Deputy, what did you say their names are?”

“Angus and Young?” The deputy says. “Sam and Dean?”

Godowsky mouths ‘Angus and Young’ and has to cover his mouth and turn away to keep from laughing.

“Uh, yeah,” Kwan says. “Yeah. Sam and Dean. Good guys. Um good luck with whatever the hell is going on there.”

“Thanks,” says the deputy. “I’m just glad for the help, you know? This is like something my grandmother would call an exorcist for.”

“Well, if anyone can clear it up, those two can,” Kwan says and ends the call just as Chapman and Lever lose their shit. Godowsky is laughing so hard he’s crying. Chapman fist pumps. Lever pounds his fist against a filing cabinet.

“Oh my God,” Chapman says. “How in the hell did you end up getting that call?”

“I don’t know. You know anybody in…” Kwan googles Monroe County, “…in the Rochester office? I mean, should we call them?”

“No way,” says Lever, six feet two of Mormon morality and the person who Kwan assumed would be the first to want to nail these guys. “Let ‘em clean that mess up.”

“I gotta call Boydell Kimball,” Chapman says. “I think he’s keeping a database.”

“Wait a few days,” Kwan says. “Let them clean it up first.”

Kwan goes back to the counterfeiting scam he’s tracking, feeling that the morning at least got better. Maybe his phone will ring again soon.
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The morning after her father died, the first thing Laura saw upon waking was Bobby, curled up around his Wolverine doll–the one that he’d carried out of the lab, through a sewer, bundled into the fake bottom of a crate in the back of a truck, up the 5, across the deserts of Utah, the Rockies, and the long flat north that came after. He had carried it through these woods, through this fight and this flight, and there he was sleeping, pudgy hands curled close around it.

Laura had read the comics Gabriela and the other nurses had brought in for them. They had been assigned to learn how to read briefs, maps, instruments, but Gabriela had brought Laura comics about heroes.

In the lab, they had taught Delilah how to drag poison from green veins, how to find the sharpest edge at her beck and call, to strangle. The day before, Delilah had shredded the life out of men with a screaming rain of pine needles. She had wrapped long grasses around Rhodes’s ugly bolo tie and dragged him down and down. But that next day, that dawning day, Laura woke up to see Delilah calling small yellow apples down from a tree blooming out of season.

It had been a story in a comic book, Eden. It had been fiction, a fantasy, a dream, a random set of coordinates. Logan had suspected they would find nothing when they got there. He had been sure.

Sometimes promises are fiction. Sometimes they’re written on the backs of twice-folded photographs. Sometimes the nurse with the steadiest hands whispers to you in the middle of the night come with me child, wake up child, curl up in this duffel bag, stay quiet child, believe me child, we’re going, we’re going, I’ll get you somewhere safe.

Laura had curled up in that fabric-walled darkness, clutching her backpack to her chest. She had her ball, the paperwork that was her life writ out, two battered comic books. A photograph with a list of whispered names. They were not supposed to have names any more than they were supposed to have birthdays or comic books or childhoods.

Kind hands were waiting for them at the end of this journey. There was refuge. There were new names, visas and school where no one should bleed for anything except loose teeth and ignored blisters.

Logan had scoffed, and Laura hadn’t listened. She had said her friends’ names over and over. He had pointed to coordinates in a comic book, and she had said her family’s names over and over. She knew, the way Logan never did, the way Logan never would, that some days stories save you. Sometimes a nurse calls you child instead of by number, and gives you flimsy precious pages to read in the dark.

They knew the comic books were comic books. Laura knew, before she ever met Logan and his smelly, hopeless self, that the X-Men were no gods among men. Flimsy pages—she understood flimsy. She understood the way things tore–pages, clothing, skin and ligaments.

But sometimes you can make the story real. “Eden,” they said. They pressed the coordinates hand to hand, whisper to whisper, and they ran. They promised each other, and they found each other there, at coordinates that had been nothing until they made them a waystation, a place to rest. A watchtower.

Laura had carried so little out of that lab. She had the metal that lined her bones. She had her family’s names. She had a set of coordinates in a battered old comic, and she would carry that forever. It wasn’t real, but she was. It wasn’t real, that Eden, that haven, but she had been there.

She had run shrieking into Rictor’s arms. She had cried on Bobby and danced around the hard cracked dirt with him, each swinging the other in wide circles. Logan had slept safe there for the last time. She would carry it forever. Fading, flimsy pages. A tired man with a funny beard.

They would go next over shallow valleys and dry rocky peaks. Delilah would hunt down a deer in the woods, walking silent on fallen leaves and little sprouts, calling death down green and blooming. Rebecca would cook it up over the fire Bobby raised from sparks, and Laura would lie on her back with her hands on her full rounded belly and pretend she was a lion. When they came down from the mountains, the wide low fields would roll out below them for miles. There would be so much sky.

But for now, in this morning, this dawning day–there was a little boy in a wood, who was the safest he’d ever been. There was a little boy in a wood, with a yellow Wolverine doll held to his chest and Laura sat there in the waking light, watching him breathe.
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you’re like the fourth person to ask about the tale of Steve And The Chicken, so, despite the blood oath i swore, i will tell the tale. 

it turns out that i like pie better than i like keeping blood oaths. 

steve will insist that he didnt ‘lose’ the fight, but as me, the howlies, and one poor austrian milkmaid can attest, he totally lost a fight with a chicken. 

as many of my stories go, the howlies and i were running ops behind enemy lines in german territory. we did that a lot. for a bunch of really unsubtle guys, we did a ton of covert action. anyways, we were trying to get to a rendezvous point that was sort of in the middle of some farmland. the problem with that is that farmland tends, by nature, to be pretty open, and we were pretty unsubtle guys (see above). so we were as disguised as a multinational commando squad armed to the teeth could be. but rural austria was not exactly known for its cultural diversity, and no matter how they dressed, our non-white squadmates kinda stood out. that being the case, we tended to sort of…lurk as much as we could manage, in hopes that nobody would see us at all, and if we heard somebody coming before they saw us, we’d all just hide till they passed by.

the way im describing this sounds really not very badass at all. but it was. trust me, i swear, we were badass. 

well. steve wasn’t. not this time, anyway. 

so we’re crossing some back farm yard when we hear somebody coming, and we all dive for cover. luckily, there were a whole bunch of outbuildings to hide in, so there were lots of options. me and the rest of the howlies took cover in what i assume was some sort of shedlike shelter for the cows, and steve dived into this tiny little red barn thing. 

steve and i were from brooklyn. neither of us had any idea what a chicken coop looked like. 

we hunkered down and waited for the person to pass, and just as it sounded like they were nearby and all of us were getting nervous, the chicken coop exploded open. 

out tumbles steve, a rooster, a dozen chickens, and the fattest, angriest bird ive ever met. and im including both clint and sam. 

all the chickens are squacking. steve is yelling. the person–a milkmaid–is screaming, because a huge blonde dude just busted out of her chicken coop and appears to be going crazy.

steve insists that when he dove into the coop, he hadnt realized there was livestock inside, so when something suddenly jumped on top of him, he’d startled, and jumped right out the door. the chicken on top of him had not appreciated that. 

you might think chickens are dumb. they are. they have tiny little brains and big feathery bodies, but it turns out that being dumb as a rock makes you completely fearless. (i would say that that sounds remarkably like steve, but he knows where i sleep and im gonna be in enough trouble for telling this story) steve and the chickens came out of the coop and that fat hen went right for steves eyes. and he can punch his way out of almost anything, but it turns out that ten pounds of furious chicken to the face will take out even captain america. he went down screaming and flailing, and landed directly in a fresh pile of cow manure. the worlds angriest little dino went with him, pecking all the way. 

then she pooped right on the star on the front of his uniform and wandered off,  having achieved victory where the entire german army failed. 

the poop was the final blow. steve just laid there, completely defeated. gabe went over to the milkmaid and explained things, which went well, because–like the rest of us–she was laughing at steve. and it turned out that she’d had her jewish neighbors hidden in her hayloft for three months.

the op was time-sensitive, so steve had to run the rest of the mission wearing the shame of chicken poop on his front side and cow poop on his back. strong and brave and here to save the american way, everyone. provided the enemy doesn’t have any chickens.

frankly im shocked that im the only howlie who died during that war.
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I still think it’s hilarious that the reason nobody ever figures out Superman’s secret identity or where he lives or what he does when he’s not saving the planet, is because he already told them all the Kryptonian stuff that can’t be tied to any of his human friends or family. I guarantee you the in-universe wikipedia article on Superman lists his name as Kal-El and the “personal life” section says that he lives full-time at his private fortress of solitude at the north pole. Nobody in the world looks at Clark Kent and thinks “oh my god, maybe he’s superman!” for the same reason nobody ever starts to suspect that their coworker who looks KINDA like Barack Obama is actually secretly Barack Obama – They know who Barack Obama is and know what he does and they know their coworker Greg is Greg and not Barack Obama. They have no reason to assume Barack Obama secretly moonlights as Greg The IT Guy at their workplace even though they’ve never seen Greg and Obama in the same place. At best, “Greg is secretly Obama” would be a running joke at the office, and the same is true at the Daily Planet. “Kal-El of Krypton, who lives in a CRYSTAL PALACE at the NORTH POLE and whose dayjob is SUPERMAN, sometimes puts on a suit and pretends to be a clumsy reporter and lives in a one-bedroom walkup in Metropolis” is a ridiculous concept to anyone who doesn’t already know it’s true

@unpretty

“Hey, that— that guy, in the corner, is that— is that Superman?” 

Clark looks up from his computer at the new intern. “Oh, no,” he says. “You caught me.”

“Clark, you pull this shit every time, man,” his desk neighbor Steve says. “Shut the fuck up.”

“No, the kid’s right, I’m Superman,” Clark says. He gets out of his seat and cracks his back out. “I guess we’re gonna have a superhero fight.”

“Clark, sit back down.”

“Nope. Superhero fight.”

“Clark if you don’t sit the hell back down and finish your article by lunch I am going to tell Perry on you.”

Clark points at the intern. “You get off easy this time, buddy,” he says, and sits back down. 

“So…” the intern says, very lost. “Uh…”

“That’s Clark,” a slightly older and more experienced intern says. “He’s Superman’s asshole twin.”
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ok so Leia was heading to Obi-wan before the Battle of Scarif, and before she ever knew she or anyone would have the plans. It wasn’t just a last resort, “vader’s bout to get us we gotta go somewhere” decision. the fact that she was going to Obi-wan is probably the reason she was with the rebels and not on Alderaan.

so think in the context that a) Bail was knowingly sending his daughter, who has the genes of one of the most powerful force users ever, to go get a Jedi, b) Bail knew that he was sending the biological child of Anakin to Anakin’s former master and friend, c) Obi-wan definitely would knows who Leia is, d) Bail knows that Obi-wan is keeping an eye on Luke.

I’m not saying Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother, but Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother. Because he and Mon Mothma decided things had gotten to this point.

Someone in the tags said “Bail didn’t send the plans to Obi-wan. Bail sent Leia.”

YES. The Death Star plans were a last minute bonus. Bail’s actual plans for dealing with the Empire and the Death Star was LEIA

Could you imagine being Bail and making that decision, though?

There he is, sitting on basically the last hope of the galaxy. Or rather, she’s sitting on him, because she’s two-and-a-half years old and her adopted father’s shoulders are the very best place in the world. They’re listening from Alderaan as Palpatine announces that the senate will be stripped of even more power, that the never-ending series of emergencies across the galaxy will continue.

Time feels broken, somehow. The planet rotates, the sun rises and sets, but the galaxy is frozen in a slow slide into oblivion.

Not yet, is all he can think. He’s working with the young Senator from Chandrila, spinning the wheels, trying to buy more time. Years and years more time.

~

There he is, introducing his family to a man with a black uniform and absolute control of the sector. Leia is six, and looks up at him suddenly serious, a far cry from her normal mischievous self.

“And my daughter, Leia,” he says, while his thoughts race between please don’t question her adoption and please get off my planet and the Jedi were insane to start training so young, she isn’t ready.

Bail has trouble sleeping. He’s waiting for a signal from Obi-Wan, that the time has come for him to give up his daughter. It doesn’t appear.

~

There he is, watching as his dark-eyed daughter hurls a datapad across the room in a sudden fit of rage. He’s tried to teach her peace and calm, she’s learned the watchful patience and silent stalk of a hunter.

She’s nine. He hasn’t beaten her at Dejarik in a year.

He takes her for walks, out into the parts of Alderaan where the downtrodden live and the refugees gather. He shows her what suffering is, what the Empire means. He tries to avoid thinking about her father. He tries to give her the education he thinks Jedi needed more of.

~

There he is, lying to Tarkin’s face as they walk through the halls of the palace. Leia, thirteen, is following them. Bail knows it. Tarkin does not.

See who he really is, Bail is wishing, even as he says words that toe the line of compliance with Tarkin’s demands.

The Rebellion is starting to rise. He keeps telling Mon Mothma he needs more time, that they’re moving too fast. He doesn’t tell her why.

~

There he is, welcoming his daughter back from Coruscant. She’s a rising star, already accumulating power as a junior legislator. She’s fifteen - one more year before she can run for Senate, and he knows she’s already planning it.

She has staff now, and her pretty smiles and polite manners almost perfectly hide the casuality with which she issues orders.

He’s not sure if she reminds him more of her mother or father.

Obi-Wan remains silent. Bail’s agents tell him that Tatooine is quiet, a backwater, no Imperial activity. He doesn’t find it reassuring. He waits.

~

There he is, talking to Mon Mothma. She’s laughing, charmed by his daughter, the Senator, the rebel. It’s a rare moment of levity - the Senate’s days are numbered, even as the token body it has become. The Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy is unquestionable now.

And his daughter is nineteen. Her father had been a Jedi by now, roaming the galaxy and falling, falling towards the darkness.

The galaxy is full of darkness now, and Bail makes up his mind. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe it’s too early. He’s not Jedi, he doesn’t know, but it feels right.

“Go to Tatooine,” he tells his daughter. “Find Obi-Wan Kenobi. He can save us all.”

He thinks, but does not say, you can save us all.

Reblogging for that last addition.

Here’s another thing:

Bail Organa sent Leia away from Alderaan right before it was destroyed.

But he was not sending her away from danger.  He had no idea that Alderaan would be destroyed–nobody did. Even the people who knew that the Death Star existed could not have guessed that Tarkin would destroy Alderaan simply to spite one young woman. Alderaan was a peaceful planet, a core world, a major galactic hub. No one could have predicted that the Empire would destroy, of all places, Alderaan to display its power.

Tatooine, though?  Tatooine was a backwater, ruled by Hutts and crime lords and Hutt crime lords, where the major population centers were wretched hives of scum and villainy, and the places that weren’t major population centers were bleak wastelands in which one might easily die of thirst, if one wasn’t killed by Tusken Raiders first.

Bail Organa’s actions did in fact accidentally save his daughter from that breathtakingly evil moment in which “a million voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.” But he didn’t mean to send her out of harm’s way. As far as he was able to know, he was sending her away from a relatively safe core-world planet, to a dangerous edge-world planet run by the mafia.

And he sent her anyway.  He trusted her with that–he didn’t just trust her with his life, but with her own life. He had faith that his daughter could handle herself, wherever she ended up. 

And he was right.

ficlet

Jan. 31st, 2017 01:34 am
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Brucie Wayne. Multi-billionaire. The media’s darling. Patron of Gotham City. Womanizer.

Bruce Wayne hasn’t been seen with a young model on his arm for forever, it seems. But after all that time, what has changed?

Simple, really.

“And who might this hot toddy be? Share, won’t you, Brucie?“ 

Bruce chokes on his drink. Dennis Faber, resident playboy since ‘98 and fellow Princeton graduate, is leering at Cassandra. Cass is taking it in stride, smiling politely if uncertainly.

Bruce, however, is NOT. 

“This is my daughter,” he growls in a scandalized undertone.

Dennis gulps. His eyes widen and he steps back. “I-I see,” he stammers. He considers this for a moment, then collects himself and smiles winningly. “You’re eighteen though, right?” he addresses Cassandra. 

Bruce doesn’t even think. He steps forward. 

In a blink of an eye Dennis has collected his date, keys, and overcoat and is GONE. 

Bruce clenches his fist, teeth painfully gritted. Cassandra hovers behind him. He takes a breath. It wouldn’t do to lose his temper now. He turns around to look at her, wilting a little because she never should have been there to suffer through that. 

The girl is pursing her lips thoughtfully. “I,” Cassandra announces after a moment, “am a hot toddy.” 

“Oh, sweetheart…” And Bruce is at her side, sad and sympathetic. “No, you are not,” he tells her, looking into her dark eyes. “You are my daughter, a fiercely talented individual, and a young woman deserving respect.“ 

Cassandra is silent. She looks up into Bruce’s eyes, nods a little. “Yeah…”

Bruce exhales in relief.

Then Cass smirks. “And a hot toddy.”

Bruce balks as she sashays off. He closes his eyes. Nothing will be the same ever again.

Ring ring!

“No, don’t, Cassie, pleas–”

“Wayne Residence, hot toddy speaking.”

“Cass that’s Gotham Hearth and Home Magazine!”
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#that is a human as a rat as a cup

That was a long 12 years for Wormtail.

Can you imagine how differently their lives would’ve gone if Ron, in trying to transfigure Scabbers, had actually transfigured him back into a human?
Just take a moment to imagine McGonagall’s reaction if Peter Pettigrew had abruptly appeared in her classroom from Ronald Weasley’s rat.
Take a moment.

Or if Ron had fucked it up a little worse and couldn’t get ‘Scabbers’ back and McGonagall had take him to disenchant him and next thing we know there’s a naked Peter Pettigrew sitting on McGonagall’s desk and the kids in that class learn six new swear words, a hex they will never dare to use, and a fear of Minerva McGonagall’s wrath that will be with them until the day they die.

Ten and twenty years later first years are being pulled aside and warned never mess around in Transfiguration seriously the last time a kid mucked something up in that class Professor McGonagall used two semi-legal hexes, took down a Death Eater and sabotaged the rise of the Dark Lord before Potter had time to get his wand out.

What most of Hogwarts learned first on that otherwise-unexceptionable day was that Professor McGonagall could sure scream loud.

Professor Flitwick’s Charms 5th-year Charms class was close enough to catch the full effect, and the door had been left open besides; en masse the students recoiled with shock and a miscast Hiccuping Charm broke one of the windows (out which the entire flock of ravens they were practicing on escaped to the Forbidden Forest where they only had to worry about centaurs, rather than annoying young humans with wands).

Up in the Divination Tower, Sibyl Trelawny preened over her foresight to have warned her students of an unprecedented catastrophe likely to occur before the hour was out.

Out in Greenhouse Five, a NEWT-level Herbology class looked up in puzzlement, and most of them were subsequently bitten by the Venomous Tentaculae they were attempting to propagate. It does not do to ignore a Venomous Tentacula when you’re prodding at its intimate parts with a cotton ball held in tweezers, so the class was cancelled while two-thirds of the students headed for the infirmary and the rest of them headed into the castle because if they stayed with the Venomous Tentaculae they’d be outnumbered, and nobody wants that.

And down in the dungeons, Professor Snape turned away from comparing Lee Jordan’s Pepper-Up Potion to spoiled cream at what sounded like a woman screaming from the entrance hall. At the second scream, he ordered the class to remain where they were and behave, sweeping out of the room just in time to miss Theodore Nott suddenly jumping up and yelping as if someone had put a crocodile heart down the back of his robes.

Fred Weasley stepped back from the unfortunate Slytherin, shared a smirk with his twin, and stuck his head out the door to make sure Snape had rounded the corner before leading the way out of the classroom.

-

Back in the Transfiguration classroom, about four minutes ago, it had started innocently enough. Ron Weasley, possessed of a broken wand and a lurking suspicion that most of the family’s magical talent had been soaked up by his siblings before he was around to get any, had attempted to turn his pet rat, Scabbers, into a teacup.

Scabbers had not become a teacup.

Scabbers, blast his useless furry little backside, had become a furry, vaguely teacup-shaped monstrosity out of which absolutely no one would have been tempted to drink, and to make matters worse, he still had a tail.

It was moving.

Harry was hiding a smile behind his hand. Dean and Seamus weren’t even trying to hide, elbowing each other and laughing. Parvati and Lavender were looking with disgust and horror at either Scabbers or him, and Hermione was opening her mouth, no doubt ready to tell him exactly what he’d done wrong.

Which only made it worse that he really thought he’d done everything right this time.

He snatched Scabbers off the desk (eww, the base of the cup had the same texture as rat feet) and turned away from Hermione. He made the wand movement again, picturing in his mind the way McGonagall had demonstrated it. “Erreverto.”

“Erreverto. Erreverto. Erreverto.”

It didn’t work. It didn’t work when Professor McGonagall stopped by and gave Hermione two points for Gryffindor for getting the spell perfect in both directions. It didn’t work when Harry made his successful transfiguration (Ron looked; the pattern was a little bit furry but it was definitely a teacup). Ron’s lips formed the shape of a word that would’ve made his mother box his ears had she heard it and attempted the reverse transfiguration, which didn’t work either.

Finally, faced not only with the indignity of failure but the threat of Scabbers being stuck like that, he’d gone up to Professor McGonagall’s desk.

“Um, Professor?”

Professor McGonagall looked up from the paper she was grading and looked from him to the squirming teacup. “Problems, Mr. Weasley?”

“Um, yeah, Professor. I can’t get it to work in either direction and it’s not fair to Scabbers to make him stay as a teacup just because I can’t do a spell right and can you maybe … ?”

“I suppose so, Mr. Weasley,” she said, and waved her wand in the exact manner Ron had been doing all along.

Nothing happened.

Professor McGonagall looked very, very puzzled.

“Now that’s odd,” she said softly.

As one, the other students rose from their seats and quietly moved closer.

She did not attempt the transfiguration in the other direction. Instead, she made a complex motion with her wand and murmured an incantation that possibly only Hermione recognized. The teacup squeaked. Professor McGonagall looked more puzzled than ever, and made a sweeping wand movement that ended with a sharp jab and uttered, “Arcanum finite!”

And there was a loud bang, and there was a pale, pudgy, and very naked man sprawled out on her desk, and she jumped back hard enough to knock her chair into the wall and screamed.

-

Having taught a particularly rigorous course of magical study to children and teens for quite some time now, Minerva McGonagall had become accustomed to certain things. Students who didn’t listen. Students who did rude things to the mice when they thought she wasn’t looking. Students who accidentally turned a frog or a raven into a flock of starlings or a school of strange slimy South American fish (and tried to solve the immediate problem by filling the classroom with two feet of water, neglecting to consider the gap under the door). Students who tried to transfigure their noses into a more appealing shape and wound up in the hospital wing regrowing their nostrils.

Naked men on her desk was something Minerva McGonagall had never had an occasion to get used to. What made it worse was that she recognized this one, and he’d been dead for more than a decade.

Inferius! was her first thought, followed shortly thereafter by Animagus, which collided with Peter Pettigrew! and produced the utterly horrifying thought of what if all four of them were Animagi? which didn’t bear thinking about at all, so her brain jumped to if he wasn’t killed by a Dark Wizard then why didn’t he say so? and realized there was only one possible explanation why, and about that time her eyes registered that parts of Peter Pettigrew she really doesn’t want to know about were flopping about in front of her face, and she was screaming as she jumped back.

The flow of invective which followed somehow failed to surprise her one bit. Some part of her registered, peripherally, the shocked faces of her students, but most of her attention was directed at Peter Pettigrew, who at very least faked his own death and at worst framed Sirius Black and if Black didn’t betray the Potters then who … did. And the words poured out of her, filthy English and filthier Latin while Pettigrew squirmed on the table, his face rage and guilt and fear and something shifty and contemptible, and he turned to look at the stunned students and lunged for Ron Weasley’s wand.

-

Severus Snape had reached the Entrance Hall by the time the scream died away and the invective replaced it. He almost smirked, amid the alarm; of all the things he’d never expected to hear from Minerva McGonagall … he took the stairs two at a time, still not noticing the students who followed.

He did notice the Herbology class, which had stopped on the way to the Infirmary and were staring transfixed in the direction of the Transfiguration classroom, but pushed his way through them, getting Venomous Tentacula pollen all over his robes in the process.

From the other end of the corridor came Professor Flitwick’s Charms class, with Professor Flitwick bringing up the rear and pushing his way between students.

-

Ron looked stunned as the man who’d been his pet rat snatched the wand from his hand; Professor McGonagal’s expression shifted to one beyond fury and when the entire class recoiled, it wasn’t from the naked man with the wand.

“Laedo!“ Minerva McGonagall roared.

-

Ron Weasley’s wand cast a Splintering Curse many years beyond its rightful owner’s abilities, and it did Peter Pettigrew the poor favor of eliminating the door, which might have slowed him down a bit.

-

Severus Snape flailed and skidded to a halt as the Transfiguration classroom’s door shattered. He stepped back just in time, and stared, jaw dropped in shock, as a naked man he recognized from his school days flew past him and bellyflopped against the wall, bounced, and collapsed to the ground just in time to avoid the “Exitium!” which followed and vaporized an impresive chunk of the castle’s stone wall.

Fred and George and Lee Jordan, determined to stay at the front of the crowd, had been pushed almost against Professor Snape by their fellow Potions classmates and some pollen-coated Hufflepuffs. Fred squirmed aside hastily as Professor McGonagall appeared in the doorway, the look on her face so utterly livid that Professors Snape and Flitwick both reflexively stepped back.

Snape tripped over George’s foot and fell against a knot of Hufflepuffs, releasing another cloud of pollen and knocking them backwards. Pettigrew saw his opportunity and took it, scrambling to his feet, stumbling sideways, and launching himself towards the gap.

And Minerva McGonagall made a thrust with her wand and said, “Perdo.”

In the very loud silence which followed, Filius Flitwick squeaked, “The Splinching Charm, Minerva?”

She might’ve looked embarrassed for a moment, and then she smiled as she looked down at Pettigrew, who lay on his belly, his arms and legs lying akimbo some distance away.

“Unorthodox,” she said, “but useful in a pinch. If someone would inform the Headmaster, and send an owl to the Ministry—-not Fudge, not Crouch, someone competent—-Shacklebolt, perhaps. Students, return to your classrooms, please. Mr. Weasley, I’m very sorry, but I do believe it’s impossible to return you your rat. However, the zero I was going to have to give you for the day’s work is entirely undeserved, as you were not transfiguring a normal rat. You may make the lesson up any time this week.”

-

The story was, of course, much embellished by the time it reached all the students. Versions of it had the intruder peppering Snape with a Glitter Hex or transfiguring Ron’s rat into a pair of boxers, and people had to be disabused of the notion that it had been Voldemort who’d been hiding as a rat all this time.

Snape gave both Weasley twins detention for tripping him, and took forty-seven points total from Gryffindor over the next few weeks for various pretend-subtle pollen references.

Kingsley Shacklebolt showed up with a team of Aurors in time to meet Professor Dumbledore; the Wizengamot launched an investigation into the events surrounding the Potters’ murder; the results turned into a scandal which saw the release of Sirius Black and the forced resignation of both Director Bartemious Crouch and Minister Cornelius Fudge. Director of Magical Law Enforcement Amelia Bones was confirmed as Minister of Magic shortly thereafte, and the Daily Prophet reported that Sirius Black (“Godfather to the Boy-Who-Lived!” “Framed, Abandoned, Condemned to Living Hell!” “Heart-Wrenching: His Release In Pictures, Page 17!”) was considering applying for a teaching position at Hogwarts, “but just for a year, I’ve been cursed enough for one lifetime.” (“The Prophet reminds its readers that the so-called “curse” on a certain Hogwarts teaching position is almost certainly a mere string of coincidences.”)

And, Minerva thought with relish some months later, it was almost three weeks before anyone attempted messing around in her class.

A personal record.

I’ve probably reblogged this before but I’m going to do it again right now

I think this is literally the best au this entire fandom has produced

I’ve only seen this legendary bit of writing in memes and screenshots. I feel so blessed to see it in person.

Beautiful, simply beautiful!

Reblogging my own post because a) it’s my damn horn and I’ll blow it if I want to, and b) I just (finally!) cross-posted this to Archive Of Our Own, so if anybody wants to go read it over there, here it is.
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ok so Leia was heading to Obi-wan before the Battle of Scarif, and before she ever knew she or anyone would have the plans. It wasn’t just a last resort, “vader’s bout to get us we gotta go somewhere” decision. the fact that she was going to Obi-wan is probably the reason she was with the rebels and not on Alderaan.

so think in the context that a) Bail was knowingly sending his daughter, who has the genes of one of the most powerful force users ever, to go get a Jedi, b) Bail knew that he was sending the biological child of Anakin to Anakin’s former master and friend, c) Obi-wan definitely would knows who Leia is, d) Bail knows that Obi-wan is keeping an eye on Luke.

I’m not saying Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother, but Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother. Because he and Mon Mothma decided things had gotten to this point.

Someone in the tags said “Bail didn’t send the plans to Obi-wan. Bail sent Leia.”

YES. The Death Star plans were a last minute bonus. Bail’s actual plans for dealing with the Empire and the Death Star was LEIA

Could you imagine being Bail and making that decision, though?

There he is, sitting on basically the last hope of the galaxy. Or rather, she’s sitting on him, because she’s two-and-a-half years old and her adopted father’s shoulders are the very best place in the world. They’re listening from Alderaan as Palpatine announces that the senate will be stripped of even more power, that the never-ending series of emergencies across the galaxy will continue.

Time feels broken, somehow. The planet rotates, the sun rises and sets, but the galaxy is frozen in a slow slide into oblivion.

Not yet, is all he can think. He’s working with the young Senator from Chandrila, spinning the wheels, trying to buy more time. Years and years more time.

~

There he is, introducing his family to a man with a black uniform and absolute control of the sector. Leia is six, and looks up at him suddenly serious, a far cry from her normal mischievous self.

“And my daughter, Leia,” he says, while his thoughts race between please don’t question her adoption and please get off my planet and the Jedi were insane to start training so young, she isn’t ready.

Bail has trouble sleeping. He’s waiting for a signal from Obi-Wan, that the time has come for him to give up his daughter. It doesn’t appear.

~

There he is, watching as his dark-eyed daughter hurls a datapad across the room in a sudden fit of rage. He’s tried to teach her peace and calm, she’s learned the watchful patience and silent stalk of a hunter.

She’s nine. He hasn’t beaten her at Dejarik in a year.

He takes her for walks, out into the parts of Alderaan where the downtrodden live and the refugees gather. He shows her what suffering is, what the Empire means. He tries to avoid thinking about her father. He tries to give her the education he thinks Jedi needed more of.

~

There he is, lying to Tarkin’s face as they walk through the halls of the palace. Leia, thirteen, is following them. Bail knows it. Tarkin does not.

See who he really is, Bail is wishing, even as he says words that toe the line of compliance with Tarkin’s demands.

The Rebellion is starting to rise. He keeps telling Mon Mothma he needs more time, that they’re moving too fast. He doesn’t tell her why.

~

There he is, welcoming his daughter back from Coruscant. She’s a rising star, already accumulating power as a junior legislator. She’s fifteen - one more year before she can run for Senate, and he knows she’s already planning it.

She has staff now, and her pretty smiles and polite manners almost perfectly hide the casuality with which she issues orders.

He’s not sure if she reminds him more of her mother or father.

Obi-Wan remains silent. Bail’s agents tell him that Tatooine is quiet, a backwater, no Imperial activity. He doesn’t find it reassuring. He waits.

~

There he is, talking to Mon Mothma. She’s laughing, charmed by his daughter, the Senator, the rebel. It’s a rare moment of levity - the Senate’s days are numbered, even as the token body it has become. The Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy is unquestionable now.

And his daughter is nineteen. Her father had been a Jedi by now, roaming the galaxy and falling, falling towards the darkness.

The galaxy is full of darkness now, and Bail makes up his mind. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe it’s too early. He’s not Jedi, he doesn’t know, but it feels right.

“Go to Tatooine,” he tells his daughter. “Find Obi-Wan Kenobi. He can save us all.”

He thinks, but does not say, you can save us all.

@.. @weary-hearted-queen
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ok so Leia was heading to Obi-wan before the Battle of Scarif, and before she ever knew she or anyone would have the plans. It wasn’t just a last resort, “vader’s bout to get us we gotta go somewhere” decision. the fact that she was going to Obi-wan is probably the reason she was with the rebels and not on Alderaan.

so think in the context that a) Bail was knowingly sending his daughter, who has the genes of one of the most powerful force users ever, to go get a Jedi, b) Bail knew that he was sending the biological child of Anakin to Anakin’s former master and friend, c) Obi-wan definitely would knows who Leia is, d) Bail knows that Obi-wan is keeping an eye on Luke.

I’m not saying Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother, but Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother. Because he and Mon Mothma decided things had gotten to this point.

Someone in the tags said “Bail didn’t send the plans to Obi-wan. Bail sent Leia.”

YES. The Death Star plans were a last minute bonus. Bail’s actual plans for dealing with the Empire and the Death Star was LEIA

Could you imagine being Bail and making that decision, though?

There he is, sitting on basically the last hope of the galaxy. Or rather, she’s sitting on him, because she’s two-and-a-half years old and her adopted father’s shoulders are the very best place in the world. They’re listening from Alderaan as Palpatine announces that the senate will be stripped of even more power, that the never-ending series of emergencies across the galaxy will continue.

Time feels broken, somehow. The planet rotates, the sun rises and sets, but the galaxy is frozen in a slow slide into oblivion.

Not yet, is all he can think. He’s working with the young Senator from Chandrila, spinning the wheels, trying to buy more time. Years and years more time.

~

There he is, introducing his family to a man with a black uniform and absolute control of the sector. Leia is six, and looks up at him suddenly serious, a far cry from her normal mischievous self.

“And my daughter, Leia,” he says, while his thoughts race between please don’t question her adoption and please get off my planet and the Jedi were insane to start training so young, she isn’t ready.

Bail has trouble sleeping. He’s waiting for a signal from Obi-Wan, that the time has come for him to give up his daughter. It doesn’t appear.

~

There he is, watching as his dark-eyed daughter hurls a datapad across the room in a sudden fit of rage. He’s tried to teach her peace and calm, she’s learned the watchful patience and silent stalk of a hunter.

She’s nine. He hasn’t beaten her at Dejarik in a year.

He takes her for walks, out into the parts of Alderaan where the downtrodden live and the refugees gather. He shows her what suffering is, what the Empire means. He tries to avoid thinking about her father. He tries to give her the education he thinks Jedi needed more of.

~

There he is, lying to Tarkin’s face as they walk through the halls of the palace. Leia, thirteen, is following them. Bail knows it. Tarkin does not.

See who he really is, Bail is wishing, even as he says words that toe the line of compliance with Tarkin’s demands.

The Rebellion is starting to rise. He keeps telling Mon Mothma he needs more time, that they’re moving too fast. He doesn’t tell her why.

~

There he is, welcoming his daughter back from Coruscant. She’s a rising star, already accumulating power as a junior legislator. She’s fifteen - one more year before she can run for Senate, and he knows she’s already planning it.

She has staff now, and her pretty smiles and polite manners almost perfectly hide the casuality with which she issues orders.

He’s not sure if she reminds him more of her mother or father.

Obi-Wan remains silent. Bail’s agents tell him that Tatooine is quiet, a backwater, no Imperial activity. He doesn’t find it reassuring. He waits.

~

There he is, talking to Mon Mothma. She’s laughing, charmed by his daughter, the Senator, the rebel. It’s a rare moment of levity - the Senate’s days are numbered, even as the token body it has become. The Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy is unquestionable now.

And his daughter is nineteen. Her father had been a Jedi by now, roaming the galaxy and falling, falling towards the darkness.

The galaxy is full of darkness now, and Bail makes up his mind. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe it’s too early. He’s not Jedi, he doesn’t know, but it feels right.

“Go to Tatooine,” he tells his daughter. “Find Obi-Wan Kenobi. He can save us all.”

He thinks, but does not say, you can save us all.
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tim drake’s snapchat is 90% him making bruce wayne do normal middle-class american things and filming the results. popular youtube compilations include the one where they’re at denny’s at two in the morning and tim keeps trying to get bruce to order a moon over my hammy just so he’ll have to say it, the one where they’re at disneyworld and bruce gets increasingly frazzled culminating in him actually physically picking up gaston for reasons no one can entirely recall, and everyone’s favorite series “bruce wayne doesn’t understand walmart”

having thought about it the best part is probably when a pranking fails because bruce has such a bizarre patchwork of knowledge/skills and it does not occur to him to hide most of it. tim puts a ghost pepper in bruce’s food but bruce just eats it like nothing is wrong. the same thing happens with the chocolate-covered crickets. it turns out bruce can lick his own elbow. bruce can lasso a runaway robot lawnmower like it’s a calf at a rodeo. whenever tim expresses shock that bruce knows how to do something he says “i did go to college, tim” as if that explains anything and it becomes a meme. whenever anyone does something fucking absurd it just gets tagged “i did go to college, tim”.

The camera came uncomfortably close to the face of a man ignoring it. He was very good at it. He was reading a book about, of all things, the history of denim. It was not the sort of book that made it easy to ignore cameras, but he remained stoic.

The caption said helpfully: [been doing this for 30 mins]

“Bruce. Bruce. Bruce. We need to go Walmart. Bruce. I need it.”

“Ask Alfred.”

→→→

“It’s a surprise for Alfred.”

“You can’t surprise Alfred.”

“Bruce, please.”

→→→

“It’s not a matter of permission, I’m saying you literally can’t surprise Alfred.”

→→→

[he hates when i say that]

“Bruuuuce.”

“No.”

“This is bullroar.”

Bruce finally set down his book with an expression of the most profound disgust.

→→→

[oh no now we’ll be here all day]

“—either curse or don’t, just commit one way or the other instead of—”

→→→

The camera took its time panning over a black BMW.

“Can I drive?”

“No.”

→→→

[after this he took away my music privileges]

Bruce was driving, looking stoic again. His face lent itself well to stoicism. The radio played, at high volume, “Sandstorm” by Darude.

→→→

“I’ll play something different this time.”

“You had your chance and you blew it on a meme.”

→→→

[SJGJDH;FUKC 😂😂😂]

“I’m boooored.”

“Hi, bored,” Bruce said, eyes still on the road, and Tim groaned loudly. “I don’t give a shit.”

The view shifted and audio clattered as Tim dropped the phone, barking a laugh.

→→→

The phone was wobbly as Tim followed Bruce into the store. “Can I get a trampoline?” he asked, camera pointed to one outside the store.

“We have three trampolines.”

“But I want that one.”

→→→

They were in the chip aisle. “Have you ever had a Dorito? One Dorito? In your whole life?”

“I am a person. I eat food for people.”

→→→

The camera followed a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos into the cart.

“We’re not getting those.”

“We need to get sour cream, too.”

“No.”

“You’ll love it.”

“No.”

→→→

Tim had put the seatbelt of the cart’s seat, intended for toddlers, around a giant plastic jar of orange cheese puffs.

“I thought you were getting something for Alfred.”

“I’m getting groceries while we’re here.”

“None of this is food.”

→→→

[$3 pickles blowing his mind rn]

Bruce was holding a gallon jar of pickles with an expression of incredulity.

“—costs extra to not waste food?”

“It’s Walmart.”

“Even taking into account the economies of scale—”

→→→

[putting his degree to use in the pickle aisle]

“—it just makes no sense even as a loss leader, unless the goal is to drive the competition out of business and hope they don’t go bankrupt in the—”

→→→

[i think he’s buying a pickle company??]

Bruce had every appearance of furiously texting on his phone, or possibly composing emails.

→→→

[lmao he did]

Bruce was now on his phone, looking impassive as ever as he contemplated the giant jar of pickles.

“—the business itself is perfectly sound. Yes. Obviously. Dead serious. Look, if you—”

→→→

Tim put a gallon jug of ranch dressing into the cart.

“Absolutely not.”

→→→

Tim was in the frozen section, his reflection visible in the glass.

“I bet Alfred would love some pizza rolls.”

“Your lies demean us both, Tim.”

→→→

Bruce was standing in the toy aisle, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “I understand the concept of blind boxes perfectly well, thank you.”

“Then why are you acting confused?”

“Why does Thomas the Tank Engine—”

→→→

[🌈🌈🌈]

Bruce was making a face of disgruntled bafflement at a display of baby clothes.

“—disturbed by the amount of aggressive heterosexuality being foisted on these babies.”

“Yeah,” Tim agreed. “What about the gay babies?”

“I can’t tell if you’re joking but I’m unironically concerned.”

→→→

[gotham pride]

The camera panned over a display of hero-themed hats. Most of the Batman hats had sold out, while the Superman display was nearly full. It panned back to Bruce, who was taking a picture with his own phone.

“Who you texting it to?”

“Friend in Metropolis.”

“Metropolis sucks.”

“Yes. Yes it does.”

→→→

[no escape]

The camera peered out slowly from behind a clothing display. Bruce was surrounded by enthusiastic and friendly women. It was impossible to tell what they were talking about.

→→→

[???]

Bruce was holding a dress up against himself. The women around him seemed delighted and were nodding their approval.

→→→

[i’ll strike while he’s distracted]

Tim dropped another two four-movie collections of Shrek on top of the considerable pile he’d already amassed. He panned up to check that Bruce had not caught him before grabbing another.

→→→

[busted]

While Bruce put DVDs back on the shelf, Tim surreptitiously grabbed a Shrek coloring book.

→→→

[he’s gonna get a fish]

Bruce was frowning at the wall of fishtanks in silence. Finally he said, “These fish are very unhealthy.”

→→→

[HE’S BUYING ALL THE FISH]

The man attempting to help Bruce looked baffled. Bruce gestured to the entire display of fish with a nod. The man shook his head. Tim brought his phone close to a betta, blue and red with a tattered and graying tail.

“We’re here to save you,” Tim stage-whispered to it.

→→→

Bruce was now engrossed in conversation with multiple employees.

“—if I bought some tanks — they’re much too small but as a temporary measure — we could transfer them directly and it might be less distressing for the fish.”

“Maybe I could get one of the big dolly carts from the back?” one young man suggested.

→→→

The low camera angle suggested Tim was trying to be surreptitious.

“—for trying to unionize is completely against the law,” Bruce was saying, his voice low. He was helping three other employees transfer fish into large plastic tanks.

“At-will employment,” one woman said.

“We’d have to prove that was why they fired us,” someone clarified. “Otherwise they can say it was for no reason.”

“You’re shitting me.”

→→→

“—fucking with my hours hoping I’ll quit.”

“What? Why?”

“If they fired me, they’d have to pay unemployment.”

“That’s why they won’t let me work full-time.”

“What the fuck.”

→→→

[omg he’s stealing the employees now]

“—in Gotham, but there’s more opportunities outside of manufacturing if you’re willing to move.”

“Wait, so do you mean like for management?”

“No, no, that’s the starting wage for someone working assembly, quality control, that kind of thing. We’re all unionized, none of this at-will bullshit.”

“So if I—”

→→→

The woman from earlier was showing Bruce her phone while the others continued moving fish.

“You painted this?” Bruce asked. She nodded. “That’s fantastic. Are you showing it anywhere? I know a guy with a gallery — actually I know pretty much everyone with an art gallery in Gotham. I think I have a friend who’d really love this, if you don’t mind me making some calls for you.”

→→→

Four more employees had joined the menagerie.

“—almost always hiring in Gotham. People are always moving to cities with fewer evil clowns.” Everyone laughed. Tim snorted. “Employee insurance totally covers acts of supervillainy, though.”

→→→

[trying to crush the revolution]

The employees had not dispersed. In the distance, someone managerial was talking to Bruce. He looked much less amused than Bruce did.

→→→

[THEY CALLED THE COPS]

Tim had switched to the selfie camera, his face pure glee. He turned bodily to show the employees wheeling out tanks of fish out of the store, police lights in the parking lot.

“The manager tried to make Bruce leave but he insisted on paying for his fish and he wouldn’t stop giving people better jobs so the guy said it was corporate espionage and threatened to call the cops and Bruce called his bluff so he did it.”

→→→

[WE’RE BANNED FROM WALMART FOREVER]

Bruce was laughing with the police officers about something. The manager from earlier had been joined by men in suits. None of them looked happy. Some of the employees from earlier were yelling and flipping them off. One man pulled off the shirt of his uniform and started setting it on fire.

→→→

Bruce was on the phone in the parking lot.

“They’re small, most of them are tropical. You can figure out what they are when you get here. How is that racist? I’m not suggesting you already know them, I’m well aware you don’t personally know every single fish—”

→→→

“Either you take these fish or I toss them in the sewer and Killer Croc can eat them. It will be a merciful death compared to what they were getting. It doesn’t matter where I found them.”

→→→

[i’m not allowed near toxic waste]

Tim held the betta from earlier in front of his phone, bringing it dangerously close to Bruce’s face. Bruce had hung up, but seemed to be dialing another number.

“I’m keeping this one,” Tim said.

“Fine.”

“If I drop him in toxic waste do you think he’ll get powers?”

“We’ve already had this discussion.”

→→→

[the pettiest man in gotham]

Bruce was on the phone again, looking out at the empty field beside the Walmart parking lot.

“Yeah, just buy the whole thing. Yeah. Absolutely sure. Green Market’s doing good, we’ll build another one of those. Can we put up a billboard while it’s under construction? A really big billboard.”

→→→

“First of all, if it’s in writing, it’s libel. Second, figures taken directly from their report to shareholders aren’t defamatory. What’s the most they could even sue me for? See, that’s nothing. Bad PR for them, good for us, it's—”

→→→

Tim had switched to the selfie camera again, and was using a sparkling purple filter that made his eyes look huge. He backed into Bruce so that Bruce’s face would be in the shot. “Bruce, look! You’re a pretty pretty princess!”

Bruce raised an eyebrow as he looked at his face on the screen. “I’m always a pretty princess,” he said seriously.

→→→

[he picked the music this time]

Bruce was driving again. He was listening to 100 Little Curses without any apparent irony. This did not mean there wasn’t any irony.

→→→

[i named him wally]

The Walmart betta was now in a tank that held at least a hundred gallons. His underwater castle was resplendent. His tail had grown in, a shimmering gradient of red and blue. Bruce could be seen in the background through the tank, sitting on the couch and reading a book.

versus

Aug. 30th, 2016 09:00 pm
jeb124: (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2bYiJKw:
unpretty:

Superman’s fingers were laced together, his index fingers pressed to his mouth as he assessed the situation. There was a metaphorical fire in his eyes, as opposed to the literal fire that was sometimes in his eyes.

“I’m going to have to fight you,” he said finally.

Batman rubbed at the bridge of his nose. Between the gloves and the mask, it was not a very effective stress reliever. “No,” he said, “you’re not.”

“You’re leaving me no other choice.”

“Out of all the reasons that you could possibly want to throw me into the sun–”

“What?” Superman was aghast. “I said fight, why are you going straight to starmurder?”

“I’m sorry, did you have something else in mind? Were you just going to knock me over until it accepts you as its alpha.”

Superman made a face. “Ducks don’t have alphas.” He knelt down closer to Batman’s boots. “Do they?”

The duckling peeped. It seemed content enough to be at least close to Batman, after having spent five minutes frantically chasing after him, little feet slapping against the pavement.

“I hate you,” Superman said seriously. “Not you,” he clarified to the duckling, in case it was confused. It tried to hide behind Batman’s foot. “You don’t even like ducks.”

“No one likes ducks.”

“I like ducks.”

“Why are you complaining like I did this on purpose. In all the time that you’ve known me, what have I ever done to lead you to believe that I would want this.”

“Your noted tendency to collect birds?” Superman suggested. Batman said nothing, but Superman could tell that behind his mask, he was giving him A Look. Superman stood, and the duckling circled Batman’s feet to peep up at him. “It wants you to pick it up.”

“You pick it up. You like ducks.”

“It doesn’t want me.”

“Pick it up anyway. You have super speed.”

Superman shook his head. “Super speed is very traumatic for most animals.”

Batman narrowed his eyes just slightly. “Most?” he asked, intrigued despite himself.

“Turtles don’t seem to notice,” Superman explained. “Peepers there would definitely notice, though.”

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