“He still keeps me in the pocket of his favourite coat, like an unfulfilled wish from the seasons passed.”
— Profanity and Prose, Recollection.
Frenrey 4? 🥺
(Kiss Prompt List)
I'm stealing the setting of @melonsharks 90's cryptid hunter AU again, this time with a slightly more gory creature fight.
4: ...where it hurts.
Benrey is utterly and unequivocally fucked.
They’ve been at Bubby and Coomer’s vacation cabin in the woods for two days, hunting after some rumored creature that Benrey didn’t pay attention to the debrief of. Since he’s currently in pieces in the trees half a mile from the cabin in the middle of the night, he probably should have.
But it’s too late now - he’s hurting and bits of him keep falling off, but he has to keep moving, dragging himself through the dark, because the thing isn’t dead, and it’s still going after Gordon.
He sensed it the day before when Gordon was setting up his newest gadget. He was super excited about it, chattering about the infrared trigger and the type of film, and then he nicked his hand on a buckle as he strapped the boxy thing to a tree.
Benrey’s used to smelling Gordon’s blood - he doesn’t like it, but the guy’s a klutz and it happens a lot, especially since they spend a lot of time wandering around rickety old buildings in the dark. But what Benrey is not used to is other things zeroing in on that blood scent, and he doesn’t like it. He especially doesn’t like that he can’t see the thing, no matter how many eyes he throws out. (Gordon had said it sounds like a ghoul, but Gordon also seemed very uncertain about that, and kept checking his notes.)
Now, Benrey’s struggling to claw together enough of a limb to drag himself forward, because the not-ghoul has just handed his ass to him on a paper plate. He knows he’s trailing toneless sweet voice, off-color hues dribbling from the jaws scattered across his form. He has to hold his breath to track the damn thing - he hurt it, too, but not as bad as it hurt him, and he still can’t see it.
Benrey closes all of his eyes to listen, then gathers himself and lunges for the nearest big tree. He slings several tendril-limbs around the trunk, the bark cutting into his form, but his claws sink into something that gives a raspy shriek and thrashes in his grip.
Slowly, agonizingly, Benrey drags himself around the tree trunk, anchoring the creature by basically nailing it to the bark with his limbs. It shouldn’t be this hard to hold a physical being - the thing must be utilizing some kind of dimensional slide, or something that lets it flicker in and out of existence.
Even when Benrey finally sets some eyes on it, he still can’t really perceive what he’s seeing. It’s like a fuzzy shape has been cut out of the world, like a negative space, the shadow of a hole. He wouldn’t be able to describe it, even looking straight at it. But it’s still alive, and it seems incandescently furious at having Benrey’s gaze on it. His eyes burn, and he has to close them one at a time just to keep from flinching away from it completely. Multicolored tears of sweet voice drip down his body, his eyes watering in self defense.
Distantly, a part of Benrey that is always paying attention to Gordon registers that the cabin’s door has just slammed closed several hundred yards away. He opens a few eyes in that direction and sees a weak light bobbing through the trees. Instinctively, Benrey starts to hunker down, but the thing in his grip gives a creaky trill and tries to slink out of his claws. When he loops more limbs around it, it curls over and sinks razorblade teeth into his form. One of Benrey’s limbs falls away, landing with a wet thump on the forest floor.
That’s been happening a lot tonight.
Panicking, Benrey drags himself around the tree, trying to engulf the creature in the bulk of his own body. But it’s sliding away again, out of his sight around the trunk, and even though Benrey can still feel it, he knows he’s about to lose his grip. And when that happens, this…whatever it is will be making a beeline for Gordon, just like it was before, tracking his blood from the camera trap back toward the cabin.
That can’t happen. However this night ends, it will not end with any more of Gordon’s blood on the ground.
Concentrating, Benrey forms two more limbs from his dwindling mass and sinks them into the creature. It’s incredibly strong, even as injured as it is, and he has to lean over it to achieve the leverage he needs to get a solid enough grip on the amorphous form to wrench his new limbs back and tear it in half.
The creature - and Benrey is going to find out what the fuck this thing is just so he can curse it properly later - lashes out with one tattered limb and rakes something claw-like across Benrey’s face. He rears back and hooks a tendril-limb around the creature’s faltering claw, then rips it off as well. The creature gives a shrieking trill, then shudders into silence.
Benrey rolls off of it, pine needles biting into open wounds as he drags himself away from the remnants of the thing. He’s exhausted and can barely think, but Gordon’s yelling his name and getting closer and shit, shit, what is he going to do? He’s pretty much a formless mass of eye-bedecked shadows right now, hulking shoulders and thrashing tails and too many limbs, and there is absolutely no way in hell that he can make himself look anything like a human right now.
“Benrey? If this isn’t you and I’m about to be eaten by mutant coyotes - fuck, it better be you and you better be okay.” Gordon’s voice is shaking a bit, and as open as he is right now, Benrey can taste the adrenaline-drenched sweat wafting off him. He’s only got his flannel pajama pants on, but at least he threw a puffy coat on over his sleeveless shirt and managed to don his boots before charging out into the dark after a pair of monsters. “Where are you? Benrey!”
Well, he’s had a good run. Benrey really enjoyed being a person, playing human and following Gordon around. More than that, he’s enjoyed Gordon himself: his brilliant insanity, his tenacious quest to find the supernatural in the world around him, and, of course, his attention to detail - which is what’s about to blow Benrey’s cover. He’s managed to drag enough coils of himself into a pile that he could almost be a rock in the darkness, but Gordon is methodically sweeping the flashlight in overlapping arcs, and there’s no way he isn’t going to shine the light directly at Benrey.
“Fuck, okay, this is getting creepy, now - BENREY!” Gordon cups one hand around his mouth to shout, and Benrey flinches. Gordon’s less than fifteen yards away, he’s going to swing the light around and see either Benrey or the creature any moment -
The beam of light passes over where the corpse should be, illuminating churned up earth, split roots, scattered pine needles - and no body.
Benrey makes a noise. He can’t help it. Gordon is right on top of where that creature was, and if it was just playing dead, there’s nothing Benrey can do in this condition to keep it from killing him.
“Hello?” Gordon snaps, swinging the light around - and oh, okay, they’re doing this now. Benrey flinches and squints several eyes as the beam shines directly into them for a split second before it jerks and the flashlight hits the torn-up ground with a thump.
Even if Benrey couldn’t see in the dark, the half-moon gives more than enough light to tell that Gordon is in shock. He’s frozen, hands up in front of him as if prepared to shove away an attack, his mouth hanging open on a gasp or a scream. Benrey knows he’s a nightmare right now, a mass of black flesh shot through with multicolored sweet voice-dripping wounds, other injuries bleeding copper-scented red as he still struggles to change back to something more human. As it is, he’s piled up in a crescent curve, too many legs and too many eyes, and all he can do is wait for Gordon to see him, to recognize the creature he saw as a child in a darkened park and realize that the very thing that drove him into ghost-hunting in the first place has been haunting him all along.
But then Gordon surprises him again.
“No - no, no, no - oh, fuck, Benrey!” Gordon’s staggering toward him, and Benrey gives a ragged cough of surprise as Gordon drops to his knees in the bloody mud and pats frantically at the closest gaping wound dripping liquid light. “What the fuck did you do? What happened - where’s -”
Then he’s bounding back to his feet, lunging for the flashlight and swinging it in wide arcs as he glances quickly over his shoulder. “Is it still here?”
“S’what…still…” Benrey rasps, too shocked to understand. Gordon blinks and looks to the left, where the words emerged from a mouth on Benrey’s torso. Wincing, he closes it and reabsorbs the teeth and tongue back into himself. He needs to cut down on the redundancies.
“The - whatever did this to you,” Gordon replies.
“Dunno,” Benrey gasps, raising one formless tendril to point where the corpse should be. “Thought’t w’s dead…”
Gordon steps carefully over to the broken ground, then frowns and bends to pick up a stick from one of the limbs that had been torn off the surrounding trees in the fight. Keeping his back to Benrey - keeping Benrey behind him, he realizes with a burst of affection - Gordon pokes at the ground with the branch, then swears and flings a scrap of shadow up into the air. It dissolves as it falls, and nothing hits the ground.
“That’s…not a ghoul,” Gordon says slowly, and Benrey can’t help it - he starts laughing. It hurts, and he’s not sure how many lungs he has right now, but at least three of them are punctured, so the laughter sounds more like a busted accordion falling down a staircase than anything else. Gordon jumps and whips around, then drops the stick and falls back to his knees next to Benrey’s head. Instinctively, Benrey curls the biggest limb he currently has around Gordon, not touching, but keeping him tucked close, caging him in.
Without hesitation, Gordon leans back into the limb, and Benrey could cry at this miraculous level of acceptance. “M’sorry,” he rasps.
Gordon shakes his head, hands hovering over a bleeding slash on Benrey’s hide. “No,” he says quietly. “I’m the one who should be apologizing. I need to check my notes, but - I think that was a hidebehind, and - Benrey, they don’t exist.”
“Packed a punch f’r…sumthin’ that d’n exist…” Benrey’s words slur together, but Gordon understands him. He always does.
“That’s the problem, man. It shouldn’t - they don’t exist. They can’t be observed, by anything or anyone. That’s why it turned to shadow when it died - they literally can’t be seen. Ever.”
Benrey takes a moment to let that information sink in like water, and like water, feels it run right off him and pool in the dirt. “Don’geddit,” he mumbles.
“Fuck, forget about it,” Gordon says, and finally presses one hand to a small section of unmarked skin on what will eventually be Benrey’s chest, if he’s got any say in it. “I’m sorry, I wouldn’t - I never would have brought us out here if I knew that’s what it was. You shouldn’t be alive…” He trails off, his hand trembling.
Benrey painfully curls a little tighter around Gordon, humming roughly in the dark. “You’re…takin’ this well…”
“What - this?” Gordon pats at Benrey’s hide gently. “Buddy, I’ve known for…a while. You, uh, you’ve been slipping up.”
“Oh,” Benrey says, and doesn’t really know where to go from there. “So…y’don’ mind…?”
Gordon laughs weakly, shoulders shaking as he leans forward to rest his forehead against the back of his hand. The locks of hair that tumble over his shoulders and brush against Benrey’s torn skin feel like burning silk, and he flinches. Gordon pulls back, his face twisted in devastation.
“I can’t even help you,” he chokes out, free hand coming up to curve under Benrey’s jaw. He’s down to one mouth, now, at least, even if his snout is longer than Gordon’s torso and still full of jagged teeth.
“M’fine,” Benrey grumbles.
Gordon scoffs and leans back to shine his flashlight across the expanse of Benrey’s body he can see. Even raised up on his knees, the top of Benrey’s back is several feet over his head. Benrey raises an arm to bar Gordon from leaving the curl of his body as he tries to rise.
“You gotta - Benrey, I gotta check your other side, man, what if you’re bleeding out over there?”
“M’not,” Benrey reassures him, then rotates his wrist to knock Gordon back down. He drops to his knees with a sigh, shuffling forward to tuck himself against Benrey’s hide.
“If you die, I will be so fucking mad,” he says, and Benrey rasps out another horrible hacking laugh. Gordon turns his head and presses a trembling kiss to the hinge of Benrey’s colossal jaw. Stunned, he falls silent, and watches with several eyes as Gordon reaches up to run feather-light fingers along the edge of a dripping gash. He tips his head and kisses the tense skin next to the injury, and Benrey hisses out a slow breath, feeling his muscles relax despite himself. And hey, he has muscles now! Nice. What else came together in the last ten minutes?
Benrey rolls himself a little and struggles to compress his wild form down into something more manageable, whining at the pressure and increased bleeding from his wounds. Gordon slings an arm over his shrinking neck and holds him as he gasps and shudders his way back to something approximating humanity.
It takes a long time, and it hurts the whole way, but Gordon keeps peppering kisses to the small sections of unmarred skin available to him and murmuring encouragement. Eventually, Benrey is lying facedown on the forest floor, covered in mud and blood and jagged pine needles, his head on Gordon’s lap as Gordon strokes the hair back from his face. Benrey keeps his eyes screwed shut as he takes stock. He’s still got a few extra eyes, but he’s on edge, so that’s expected. They’ll go away on their own. It feels like he’s got the correct number of limbs for a human, and most of the gaping wounds seem to have closed, so he’s in good shape there.
Finally, he opens his eyes. The grey light of dawn is creeping through the trees around them, thinning the shadows and showing more of the trail of mayhem Benrey and the hidebehind wreaked as they battled their way through the woods.
“Fuck,” Benrey whines, and closes his eyes again.
Gordon laughs a bit hysterically and sinks his fingers deeper into Benrey’s hair. “Yeah, you can say that again.” Benrey hears his hair rasp against the jacket as he turns his head and whistles at the destruction around them. “Can I, uh. Can I ask why the fuck you went out to fight this thing in the middle of the night?”
Benrey groans and buries his face in the soft flannel of Gordon’s thigh. “No.”.
He sighs, knowing better than to fight that tone of voice. “Your cut. From yesterday. It was tracking you, so…had to stop it.”
Gordon’s hands have gone still. Slowly, he reaches out and passes a hand across the tender lines of fresh scar tissue on Benrey’s back. “So you’re saying…all of this…was because you were protecting me?”
Benrey huffs and shoves his face back into the flannel folds on Gordon’s leg. “Don’ make it weird,” he mumbles.
“I’m not - dude, of the two of us, I am not the weird one,” Gordon says. Benrey snorts, then drags his arms under his chest and struggles to push himself up. Gordon scrambles to help steady him as he heaves himself to his feet, then immediately tips sideways to slump against Gordon’s shoulder.
“Ow,” he says vaguely, and follows as Gordon wraps an arm around his shoulders and draws him stumbling along toward the cabin. At some point he realizes that Gordon’s puffy jacket is also around his shoulders, the three-quarter-length hem hanging almost to his knees. The increased modesty is appreciated, although Benrey’s still nearly black with gore and dried viscera. The poor coat will never be the same again.
“Can we…let’s put this one on a list,” Benrey says, and Gordon looks at him in concern.
“Put what on a list?”
“That…thing. Put it on a list of…’fuck no’ things. Blacklisted.”
Gordon chuckles. “Yeah, okay, no more hidebehinds.”
“No more woods,” Benrey adds, plucking pine needles from between his fingers.
“Some more woods,” Gordon cautions. “We’ll have to stay out here for a bit, at least.”
Benrey frowns at him. “Why?”
“You’ve got some, uh…” Gordon gestures weakly at Benrey, then tightens his arm and shakes his head. “You still have, like, eighteen eyes, man.”
Benrey blinks and realizes that yeah, he can still see even with his eyes closed. He’s definitely still feeling the stress of the last twenty-four hours. “Oh is that, uh, s’that not normal?”
“Well,” Gordon pretends to think as they round a curve on the path and the cabin comes into view. “Y’know, there might be some places in San Francisco…”
Still bickering, they drag each other up the steps and into the warm cabin, the door closing gently behind them. After a few minutes, white smoke begins to drift from the chimney, and more laughter can be heard from inside, startling a chickadee from a nearby tree and sending it spiraling up into the sky, rising with the first bright fingers of light from the morning sun.
Sometimes I want to pack my bags, shift to home in the mountains where they have no internet connection/ no social media/ no crowd of people all the time, and just focus only on my relationship with Allah. Offer my Salah, Hifz the Quran, and grow my little garden in the backyard. This world is worth nothing Wallah.
Diminishes your value
But how much it hurts you
Is the knife that twists
In your hurried paw
Some self-dosed digitalis;
Tears the digits, alas;
A pianist taken out of the ring
Stubbornness is a fine craft
Cut my ring finger off
So no one
Can marry me
Why do we strike when the iron is hot?
When it would hold our attention longer
To mold, inductile, from the cold
Reverse psychological test of mettle
Maureen Armstrong @haikkun
Carrying a heart brimming with love
I'll find you where lost spirits walk alone
to carve my way through your memory
in search of all your blazing scars
In my eyes each one a star
that made you the stunning nightsky you are now
pezzi di cuori
lasciati tra le lenzola
“I have tattoos, bad habits and a filthy mouth. I believe in chivalry and revenge in equal doses. I was raised by wolves and gentlemen; loyalty is my middle name. And darling, I ain’t seen a plot yet I can’t thicken.”
Hey lovely people, I'm so very appreciative of all the positive messages and words of support you've been sending my way. I'm going to delete all of the stuff related to... today's drama in my inbox now, because my followers don't need all that on their dashboards and there's no need to clog up my blog with... all that. Letting you all know that I love you and that you're all amazing! 🥰
like a never ending puzzle, there's always a piece missing before the picture is completed.
Dare I mumble the
Words aimed at you,
A repeatative attempt
To intertwine your existence
With my blood, my eyes wander
Around and spots the dandelions
And the moon, the zephyr and soft
Slumber of the noon, the midnight
Grooves and most of all, the pieces of
Life settled on my horizon, all of whom
Are dearer to me, without cause or velitation
And my mind tells my heart, loving you
Shouldn't be so hard.....................
I love how "ok so" has become shorthand for "get comfy this gonna take a while"
Kiss promt 18 frenreylatta
More poly parings!
(Kiss Prompt List)
18. ...as encouragement.
“Okay, okay, okay, shut up,” Gordon says, even though no one else is talking. Benrey watches him out of the corner of his eye from where he’s sprawled across the couch, Switch in hand. He’s glad he had Animal Crossing loaded up before Gordon came barreling in, because it means he’s not getting clobbered by enemies in-game as he tries to keep track of what Gordon’s going on about now.
“We’re, um, we’re listening,” Tommy says from behind the couch. He’d been doing something in the kitchen - and whatever it was, it’s probably good that Gordon distracted him, because it was starting to smell like smoke.
“Okay,” Gordon says again, both hands in his hair. “I just - I know I’m gonna fuck this up somehow.”
“But you, um, you know the whole presentation,” Tommy says.
“Yeah, I do now,” Gordon scoffs. “But as soon as anyone starts asking questions, I’m gonna blow it!”
“So don’t let ‘em ask questions,” Benrey mumbles at his screen. “Easy.”
‘No,” Gordon huffs, pacing in front of the couch. “Not easy! These are the big guys, okay, the mucky-mucks, the - the -”
“The big kahunas?” Tommy suggests, and Gordon points at him.
“Yes! That! I can’t tell them to shut up!”
“Sure y’can,” Benrey shrugs. “Bet no one ever does. They, uh, won’t know what t’do with it.”
Gordon snorts. “They’ll know what to do with me. They’ll fire me.”
“They’re not going to fire you,” Tommy says soothingly, like he’s trying to calm a frantic horse. “They asked you to make the presentation, so that means - that must mean they trust you, and, and they think you’re the best person to do it!”
Gordon buries his face in his hands and groans. Benrey takes the chance to look up and give him a solid once-over. He’s fully dressed, but his suit shirt is wrinkled and he’s still in his socks. His suit jacket and tie are tossed haphazardly over the big easy chair, the one that’s extra wide so two of them can fit in it - or all three, if they balance just right. Benrey glances over the back of the couch and meets Tommy’s worried gaze. Gordon needs to leave in the next fifteen minutes in order to be on time, which means they need to work together to build enough of a scaffolding to hold him up as quickly as they can.
Tommy goes first. Tommy always goes first - he was the one who started this whole thing, watching Gordon and Benrey dance around each other, listening to Benrey whine and letting Gordon complain, both of them always circling back to him until he finally snapped and explained their own feelings to them, and then everything had made perfect sense.
“Mr. Freeman,” Tommy says, and Gordon straightens, because Tommy only calls him that when he’s being serious these days. “Listen. You’re - you’ve got everything you need to, um, to succeed. You have your powerpoint, and you know how to start - how to set it up. If they ask you questions, you know the answers, because you - Mr. Freeman, you know this subject inside and out!”
“Backwards and in high heels,” Benrey mutters as his villager shakes a cherry tree.
Gordon huffs a strained laugh. “I’m no Ginger Rogers.”
“Maybe not,” Benrey hums, glancing up and winking. “But y’got better legs.”
“I - really? I really doubt that,” Gordon scoffs, but his cheeks are pink, so Benrey will take that as a win.
“Gordon, you’re - you’ll do fine,” Tommy says, stepping around the couch and picking up Gordon’s tie from the chair. He slings it over Gordon’s shoulders and loops it under his collar. Gordon heaves a sigh and drops his head to rest on Tommy’s shoulder.
“M’just…really nervous, guys,” he mumbles.
Benrey frowns at Tommy over Gordon’s head. The presentation is important - if the board likes it, they’ll accept Gordon’s team’s project and he’ll get a big bump in pay - but it’s not the end of the world if the board picks another project instead. Gordon won’t actually be out of a job - he’s just being dramatic and stressing out over his own anxieties.
Tommy raises his eyebrows, and Benrey grins and slides his Switch under the couch. There’s really only one good way to quickly get Gordon out of his head when he’s like this.
Benrey rolls off the couch and tackles Gordon, who yelps in surprise and flails as Benrey tips on his heels and collapses back onto the couch.
“What - Benrey!”
Tommy grins down at them and walks around the couch to lean over the back, elbows on the headrest as Gordon kicks in Benrey’s grip. Benrey twists his hips and wraps his legs around Gordon’s. He’s already got one arm in his grip, and when Gordon reaches back to try to dislodge him, he whips his hand around Gordon’s wrist quick as a snake and locks it across his torso.
Gordon subsides, panting. “Really? What are you, an octopus?”
Benrey ducks his head and nuzzles the back of Gordon’s neck. He’s a bit squashed, but he’s sturdy and doesn’t need to breathe as much as the other two. Besides, he likes having the weight of another person grounding him. Or better yet, two people.
“Sandwich time?” Tommy grins down at him.
“Tommy - Tommy, no, I don’t - oof!” Gordon huffs as Tommy eels over the back of the couch and flops his long limbs over the both of them, sandwiching Gordon in between.
Benrey sinks further into the cushions under their combined weight, and unlinks his legs from around Gordon’s thighs to hook his heel over the back of Tommy’s legs, tangling them all together. Gordon wheezes and cackles, and Tommy grins down at him and smacks a kiss to his cheek.
“See? You just have to relax, and you’ll be fine,” Tommy says. Benrey buries a smile in the crook of Gordon’s neck where it meets his shoulder. He feels it when the tension bleeds out of Gordon, leaving him boneless as he takes a breath. Tommy rises and falls on top of him as his lungs inflate, then heave out a deep sigh.
“Okay,” Gordon says quietly, and Benrey releases his arms so he can wrap them around Tommy, dragging Benrey’s hands with him, squeezing them into a three-person hug. “All right,” he says, this time into Tommy’s shoulder again. Tommy tucks his chin over Gordon’s shoulder and Benrey tilts his face up to kiss Tommy’s nose. Tommy giggles, and Gordon chuckles as well. Their shaking sends vibrations through Benrey, buried at the bottom of the heap, that feel almost like a purring cat - but a really big one. A tiger or something. Do tigers purr? He’ll look it up later.
“Feel better?” Benrey asks, and Gordon tips his head back onto Benrey’s shoulder and squints at him sideways.
“Annoyingly, yes,” he says. “I hate that this works.”
“You love that this works,” Benrey smirks. “And you love us.”
“Shut up.” Gordon’s ears are flushed red, and Tommy laughs brightly as he rolls off the couch.
“C’mon, up an’ at ’em,” Benrey groans as he heaves Gordon upright. Gordon’s socks skid on the carpet, but Tommy catches and balances him as Benrey unfolds himself from the dent in the couch cushions. They got an extra-big, extra-springy one on purpose, though. It’ll be fine.
Benrey grabs Gordon’s jacket and Tommy runs his hands over Gordon’s shirt, smoothing out the wrinkles. Gordon sighs as he lets Benrey slide the sleeves on, tugging the lapels. Tommy tucks Gordon’s tie in and beams at him.
“You’re gonna kill it, Mr. Freeman,” he chirps, and Gordon chuckles.
“Can I get a kiss for luck?” he asks, glancing between the two of them.
Benrey purses his lips. “Don’t need luck. Everything’ll, uh, go perfect.”
Gordon rolls his eyes “Kisses for encouragement, then?”
Benrey hums and raises his eyebrows at Tommy, who pretends to think it over before nodding decisively.
“I think we can - I think that’s acceptable,” he says, and he and Benrey lean in together. Tommy has to bend down a touch, and Benrey has to go up on his toes to make it work, but they each kiss one of Gordon’s cheeks at the same time.
Gordon is grinning softly when they pull back, and drops his head to kiss Benrey on the lips before tipping his chin up to do the same to Tommy. “Thanks, guys,” he says, sounding much more settled.
“Whatever,” Benrey mumbles, his face hot, and shuffles back over to the couch to retrieve his Switch. Tommy and Gordon laugh, then Gordon looks at his watch and makes a high pitched noise as he darts for the door.
“Don’t worry,” Tommy yells out after him. “You’ll do great!”
Gordon yells something back, but Benrey misses it. That’s probably for the best. Tommy closes the door with a sigh and retreats to the couch. Benrey pulls his legs up as Tommy flops across the cushions.
“He’ll be okay,” he says quietly, “right?”
Benrey glances up at him, then tips over to lean on his shoulder as his character races down a path after a beetle. “Yeah, ‘course,” he says, as reassuringly as he can. “He’ll be fine.”
This is proven true when, three hours later, Gordon slams the door to the apartment open with a shout of “GUESS WHO JUST GOT PROMOTED!”
Benrey whoops, and Tommy cheers from the kitchen, but his shout is shortly followed by a hollow crump of sound and a billow of black smoke. “Oh - oops!”
Gordon drops his arms with a wordless exclamation, then stares as Benrey reaches behind the arm of the couch and hurls a fire extinguisher into the smoke.
“Ow,” Tommy yelps, quickly followed by “Thanks Benrey,” and a hiss of foam.
“Why do I even try?” Gordon sighs, and goes to open the windows. Benrey watches him from the couch.
“‘Cause it’s worth it?” he hazards.
Gordon looks over his shoulder, taking in the thinning smoke, Tommy’s sheepish smudged face emerging from the kitchen doorway, Benrey still lounging motionless on the couch. He smiles ruefully.
“Yeah, you know, it is. It really, really is.”
Tommy hands the empty fire extinguisher to Benrey, who tilts it at an angle to salute him with it before dropping it back on the floor.
“Wait,” Gordon says slowly, stepping away from the open window and squinting at the ceiling. “Why didn’t the smoke alarms go off?”
“Oh, Benrey ate the batteries,” Tommy replies casually as he flaps a dish towel at the remaining wisps of smoke.
“Benrey did WHAT?”
Cackling, Benrey dives off the couch and makes a run for the back of the apartment, Gordon hot on his heels and cursing him viciously. Behind them, Tommy laughs like a sunrise, and Benrey decides that, yeah, whatever else he has to put up with, these two are worth it. This is worth it.
PSA regarding tumblr’s latest Censorship Nightmare
For those of you who haven’t seen this announcement, tumblr recently made some changes to the iOS version of the app, purportedly to comply with Apple’s content guidelines. These changes took effect on Dec 21, starting in version 22.5.1 of the iOS app. As some of you may recall, Apple’s strict guidelines were the driving force for the infamous Great Purge of 2018, which coincidentally also happened around this time of year, but it seems banning all of the female-presenting nipples wasn’t good enough for Apple.
Below is a summary of the important changes. Note that these changes technically ONLY affect those using the iOS app. If you’re accessing tumblr through a different app or operating system (Google Chrome, Android app, etc) it won’t affect you directly but it will affect your followers who use iOS so you should definitely be aware of it.
The list of banned tags has been expanded. As before, there’s no way to know which words or phrases have been banned until you try searching for them, in which case you’ll either get no search results or the following message: “This content has been hidden because of potentially suggestive or explicit content.” You may think this doesn’t concern you if you don’t post explicit material, but do not make the mistake of expecting the banned tags to be logical or reasonable. I've already encountered multiple completely innocuous posts (random fandom gifsets) that seem to be hidden on iOS for no discernible reason.
Blogs that have been flagged as explicit can no longer be viewed. Previously, flagged blogs just had their posts hidden from searches, but if you knew the username you could still visit it after clicking through a warning about sensitive content. Now you can’t access it at all.
Likes and reblogs from blogs that have been flagged will no longer show up in your notes. This one won’t affect most people’s user experience as much as the others, but it does mean you may be missing notes. It’s unclear if likes and reblogs from flagged blogs will still count towards the overall note total (and only be missing from the activity feed and note viewer) but I suspect that’s the case.
THE BIG ONE: ANY POST TAGGED WITH A BANNED TAG WILL NO LONGER SHOW UP ON YOUR DASHBOARD. Previously, if you tagged a post with a banned word or phrase (even if the words were used inside another tag), that post would not show up in searches, but your followers would still be able to see it on their dashboard. Now those posts are hidden from your own followers as well. This includes both original posts and reblogs. And if that wasn’t bad enough, here’s the real kicker: even if you don’t tag something with one of the banned words, if the OP used a banned tag, any reblogs of that post will not show up on anyone’s dashboard (on the iOS app). The only saving grace here, and I hate to even call it that, is that the blocked posts are still visible if you visit a blog directly or if you have post notifications turned on.
As usual, tumblr was extremely unclear and evasive about all of this in their official announcement. Not surprising, of course, since if more people were aware of these new draconian tactics I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be more of an uproar about it. Tumblr claims that these changes are somewhat temporary and that they are currently working on something that will allow for a less restricted iOS experience, but they refuse to say what that something is and when it will be implemented. And let’s just say, considering their track record, I’m not hopeful.
All of this is horrible and infuriating for many reasons, but the worst part is how insanely counterproductive it is to creating the “safe” environment tumblr (or more specifically Apple) supposedly wants.
Tags have always been used for both blog organization and filtering purposes. Tagging posts with triggers and content warnings is a common practice that gives users the ability to filter out content they may find upsetting or just don’t don’t want to see for whatever reason. By choosing to ban a bunch of unlisted “sensitive content” tags, all they’re doing is encouraging people who want to share that kind of content to come up with alternative less well-known tags or simply not tag that content at all anymore if they want it to show up on their follower’s dashboards, thereby making it more likely for someone to encounter it when they didn’t want to.
So really, with all of the alleged concern for safety and “protecting the children,” all they’ve done is make tumblr less safe for everyone. Typical.
UPDATE (Jan 11, 2022): An optional toggle setting now exists to disable these changes. Please follow this tutorial to allow “sensitive content” on the iOS app.
sorry i unpacked all my trauma do you still wanna kiss
simran, full of emptiness