#so called - union of equals
elicatkin · 6 days ago
Very disappointing about the UK Supreme Court ruling but it may actually help the cause for Scottish Independence as it shows we are not in fact a union of equals.
I imagine it'll be down to using the next general election as a defacto referendum and going to the UN about Westminster not honouring an international treaty and right to self determination.
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joannechocolat · 3 months ago
On media storms, and transphobes, and free speech, and the establishment.
(Dated 22nd August, 2022.)
Unless you were asleep last week, you’ll have noticed I made the news. I made the news a lot. The Daily Mail (twice); the Times (twice); the Telegraph; the Observer, plus radio and any number of online and international outlets, including UnHerd, where stories go to die.
The story has taken many forms. That J.K. Rowling feels “betrayed” by my “lack of support” for her: that my views on trans rights makes me ineligible for any public role; that people are calling for my removal from the Board of the SOA; that I’m a monster because I replied to a post from a satirical Twitter account with - shock, horror - a smiley.
I haven’t talked to anyone in the Press, in spite of many journalists asking, so this “story”, was taken from Twitter, where stories evolve at such a rapid rate that by the time they make the broadsheets, no-one really knows what shape the story started out at all.
But this is what it has become. I’ve been repeatedly (and wrongly) accused of a number of things, which when you unpick them, boil down to one thing. That as Chair of the Society of Authors (the authors’ trade union), I’ve abused my position to discriminate against people who don’t agree with my support of the trans community.
Full disclosure: this isn’t new. Ever since I was elected Chair in 2019, I’ve been getting increasing amounts of abuse, pressure and demands for “debate” from people with gender-critical views. Some of them are colleagues; some women I once considered friends. Some of these women now have become single-agenda tweeters, railing night and day online about what defines a woman, and spreading misinformation and fear about the trans community. Many of these women claim to be afraid, and to have suffered cancellation for their views. Some of them feel that as Chair of the SOA, I should have taken their side in Twitter debates, signed petitions, joined hashtags to validate their beliefs.
But here’s the thing. The SOA represents everyone. It has over 12,000 members. It needs to stay neutral to represent all its members equally. And it has a strict policy of non-intervention in Twitter debates between members, even when they get nasty, because Twitter can be a nasty place, and the SOA can’t be everywhere. That’s why I tweet in my personal capacity unless I specify otherwise. 
The gender critical lobby has had real difficulty understanding this. Over the past two years, I’ve been under increasing pressure to “speak out” about individual cases (I can’t); ally myself with transphobes (I won’t) and “denounce” death threats to J.K. Rowling (which I do, but apparently not often enough.) Over the past two years I’ve received countless abusive tweets, urging me to kill myself, or resign from the SOA, or hoping that I would die of cancer, all from the gender-critical lobby.
The latest eruption began last week, with the stabbing of Salman Rushdie, a man whose life has been under threat since most of us can remember. Last Friday, an Islamist fanatic managed to get close enough to stab him, leaving him with terrible injuries. The literary world was shaken. Friends of Rushdie’s spoke out in horror. But those of us who only knew him for his books were also deeply shaken and upset. Because this wasn’t just a violent attack on an author, horrific though that may be. It was an attack on free speech, a principle all creators hold dear.
Free speech is a term that has been misused a lot recently, especially by people wanting their say, but denying it to others. In fact, free speech is like oxygen: you can’t remove it from someone else without also losing it yourself, which means that, if you believe in free speech, you can’t then go around deciding who deserves it and who doesn’t. Rushdie is a great writer. But even if the victim of the stabbing had been a minor writer, a bad writer, or a writer with problematic opinions, the same attack on free speech would have happened, threatening writers everywhere. The principle of free speech matters. And it matters to all of us.
I wrote about this a bit on Twitter, where many authors were still upset, struggling how best to respond to the horrific attack. Twitter being Twitter, there were also a number of angry Islamist accounts, crowing about the Rushdie attack and targeting anyone who expressed sympathy. Some were abusive, some even threatening. Several people I follow were sent messages on the lines of: Shut up or we’ll come for you next. I got one myself. So did J.K. Rowling. But on Twitter, size matters. What J.K. Rowling, with her 14 million followers, says is instant news. So when J.K. Rowling announced that she’d had a death threat from an Islamist account saying: You’re next, her name trended for two days, and Rushdie’s all-too-real attack was overshadowed by a Twitter threat.
Now, it isn’t up to me to decide whether the death threat was credible, or whether J.K. Rowling should be afraid. I don’t know how many threats she’s received, or how many she thinks are credible. Having had them myself, I know they can be upsetting and frightening. But a threat on Twitter is not the same as being stabbed in the eye, and I didn’t see the need to comment.
 Instead I put up a poll, asking fellow-authors if they’d ever received a death threat. I wanted to use it as a way of talking about author safety. As it happened, Chuck Wendig had been posting about his latest death threat the day before Salman Rushdie was stabbed (a weirdly specific death threat, in which his correspondent expressed the hope that Chuck would be, er - raped to death by a dolphin), and the tone of my first poll reflected the jokey nature of our interchange. In the light of the Rushdie stabbing, though, I realized that wasn’t appropriate. I deleted the poll almost at once and started again with a more neutral wording, but the folk on Twitter who watch me for any ammunition they can use had already screencapped it and passed it around. It made the papers, variously as: Harris  Mocks Rushdie or Harris Mocks Rowling, but I was doing neither.  Death threats – to anyone, including J.K. Rowling – are absolutely wrong. They’re also a crime. Crimes are for the police to sort out. Free speech, however, is a legitimate principle for a union to uphold.
But free speech isn’t always the speech that you agree with. Free speech can be confrontational. It can be unfair. It can even be upsetting. I’ve upset a lot of gender-critical people with my own use of free speech; my refusal to join their hashtags, sign their petitions, enter their debates. That doesn’t mean to say I don’t believe in theirs, or that I wouldn’t fight for their rights as fiercely as for anyone else. But that has never been enough for the people who want me gone.  
Since last week, the wave of people demanding my resignation – or just my removal – from the SOA has grown. Many of those who have joined the “debate” are not members. Many are not even authors. Nearly all are transphobes, though. Because that’s what all this is about. Not all gender critical people may be transphobes, but all transphobes are gender critical. Graham Linehan has been posting about me since 2020, calling for me to be dismissed. He doesn’t know what the SOA does. He doesn’t care. He’s just one of many prominent transphobes who believe that someone who believes in the rights of trans folk doesn’t deserve a voice of their own.
I have a trans son. He came out very recently, and I haven’t discussed it online. Last week, I discovered that some of my principal detractors had found out about this. After talking to my son, and with his permission, I went public. I love my son more than words can say, and I didn’t want anyone to think that I was ashamed of him. Kathleen Stock, among others, gloated that this was proof of my bias. She (rather chillingly) denounced me for having “undeclared trans-identified offspring,” and claimed that this was the “real” reason for my support of trans folk. Kathleen Stock finds it hard to believe that someone might uphold a principle without having a personal interest. Actually, I’ve been a supporter of trans rights for much longer than this. Like I said, I believe in supporting the rights of all marginalized groups.
So, just what are they saying now? That I’m jealous of JKR? I’m not. I love my life, and I love my son, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. That because of my pro-trans beliefs, I should be cancelled or lose my job? That would be ironic, wouldn’t it, coming from people who are claiming to have been cancelled for their gender-critical beliefs. And full disclosure; it isn’t a job. It’s an elected position, as part of a Board of twelve people. It’s voluntary, time-consuming, often thankless, and unpaid, and I do it because I care about authors’ rights. All authors’ rights; whether they’re famous of not; whether I agree with their politics or not.
But this assault isn’t going to stop. Given how many people pretend to be “fearful of speaking out”, they’re certainly doing a hell of a lot of it. I’ve had open attacks this week from a certain sector of the author community – all London-based, all cis, all white, all influential people (many of them men) with lots of friends in the right-wing media – saying that they are coming for me. One person compared it to the March of the Ents, going after Saruman. The literary establishment, is seems is desperately afraid of progress.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m stubborn. I’ve never fitted into the London literary scene, so the fact that it now feels the need to mobilize against me means very little to me. This week, I’ve had death threats, attacks in the media, and countless abusive messages. I don’t care. I’m not afraid. I was elected to this role to help protect authors’ rights. That means yours, whoever you are, and those of all other authors. If you’re a member of the SOA, then we have elections yearly. You too can stand for the Board, and be elected, and add your views to the diversity of views already expressed there. Till then, I’ll do what I’ve always done. Raise awareness of authors’ rights. 
They grow us tough in Yorkshire.
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justasimp1 · 4 months ago
I'm sorry if you wanted a full actual onehsot but with this idea I just thought of a fluffy ramble
Five Hargreeves x GN! Reader
Fluff, Ramble
This was just supposed to be a simple escape room. So why were they arguing–again... "Did you just graduate from the 4th grade?" Diego mumbled to Viktor. "Says the person who didn't know how to spell 'beginning" He muttered back. He narrowed his eyes at him, "There's too many fucking ns" He grumbled, balling his fist.
"Five, hurry the fuck up!" Allison hissed, eyeing the clock in the corner of the room. Five furrowed his brows, pinching his temples in thought. He was shuffling through different combinations. You bit your tongue, staying silent.
Klaus was on his knees, praying to whatever new God he believed in. Luther just leaned on the wall muttering, instigating Diego. The shouting back and forth filled your ears, making you squeeze your eyes shut. "Y/n, I need your help" The mention of your name leaving Five's mouth made everything silent.
Everyone stopped their bickering, turning their heads. Even though no one said anything, their expressions implied enough. You shifted your weight to the balls of your feet. You opened your mouth, your words hesitantly falling out. "What's the equations again?"
"First number, is (7 × 9 + 2)3" Viktor explained slowly as if you were a child. "Second number is 3 + 1 × 2" Klaus lifted his head from his praying stance, but he still had a slightly condescending tone. "Third, is [9 × 5(88 - 56)" Allison finished off, crossing her arms, glancing at Five.
The questions weren't that hard but seeing as there was no paper to work with, the numbers could slip away in your head. You stepped up to the lock, thumb grazing the 3-number lock. The wheel was loose, rolling underneath your skin. Five stood patiently, glaring at any of his siblings who dared to break your concentration.
"All the answers equal 1,640 so my guess is 164" You didn't realize you were holding your breath until a pounding sensation engulfed your brain. You turned the number wheels, and the lock clicked. The object fell open in your palm, you opened the door, the next room's layout in view.
"It's vampire-themed?" You smiled, turning back to Five whose mouth was parted. "That was quicker than expected" Five whispered, he knew you were ridiculously smart but you always shocked him with your timely skills. The other Hargreeves siblings seemed ever more surprised.
Expected Klaus who seemed— thankful? "You are an angel, a godsend. We've been at that level for ages" Klaus crawled vastly to the entrance, giving a quick bow to you. "Well maybe if you idiots would stop bickering and asked them for help this could've happened sooner"
Diego did not take being called an idiot light. "Well, how was I supposed to know they're some type of freaky genius!" He stormed to Five, smacking him aside the head. "Ask, dumbass, or get to know them" Five pushed him back.
"But you're just so..." Diego turned to you, gesturing to your presence. You walked inside the new room with the rest of the siblings. "Quiet," They all say union. You hummed, nodding, sinking away from all the attention. "Do something useful and search for clues" Five pushed past them, guiding you to a corner of the room.
"So you think you could carry us out of this?" He smirked. "It was just 3 math problems...it wasn't that spectacular" You muttered, turning over small objects, checking for numbers or letters. He turned around, looking at his distracted family.
He leaned closer, placing a chaste kiss on your lips. You wanted to bask in the exploding emotion longer but Five pulled away. "You're so smart" He laughed at your shocked face. You bit the inside of your cheek, leaning forward to him again.
Five's hand snaked to your hand, intertwining your fingers. "Guys! I found something~" Klaus called from inside a coffin. You giggled, rushing over to help him out the narrow box.
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em-writes-stuff-sometimes · a month ago
gevivys (beauty) │ Chapter 6: A Union
terms of endearment ‘verse: see my Masterlist for the correct series order!
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Chapter 1 │Chapter 2 │Chapter 3 │Chapter 4 │Chapter 5 │Chapter 6 │Chapter 7 (COMPLETE!)
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Synopsis: Daemon returns to King's Landing after ten years in exile, intent on rekindling his affair with Rhaenyra. He wasn't expecting you - the revelation changes everything.
TRIGGERS: incest, arranged marriage, purity culture, age gap, dubious consent, references to public bedding.
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Daemon sees little of you in the weeks before the wedding - Viserys, in his infinite wisdom, had elected to employ the services of the Rogue Prince in all matter of small duties and odd tasks, from assisting Strong in training with the City Watch to flying to the Reach and taking tea with the leeches of Highgarden. It is his punishment, he knows, for daring to claim his precious child, his little beauty, the ‘People’s Princess’ or so you are called. 
One of the worst experiences of his life has to be the meeting with Lord Tyrell, in a lurid solar in the man’s equally-as-tasteless keep, having to pretend as though he’s apologetic for beating his head in for daring to tarnish your name. Upon learning of the Crown’s intentions to expand trade with the region - a thinly-veiled endeavour to compensate for the now-crooked jaw and the scarring bisecting his right cheek - the lord had been all merriment. Sycophantic fuck, Daemon had thought to himself at seeing Lord Denys’s disposition change, the disfigured flesh stretching repellently as he smiled affably at him. Trust House Tyrell to prioritise money over pride.
It was probably short-sighted of him to believe that the Hightower problem would go away once his brother had announced your marriage before the court; since the day of the pronouncement, the Queen had been making sly jabs on the suitability of the match, from overly-polite enquiries as to the state of the residuals he had claimed from Runestone - “I do hope Lord Gerold was accommodating to your requests to receive the remaining funds from your late lady wife’s estate?” - to offhand remarks about the plight of childlessness that had plagued him in his previous union. Not that a child could ever grow in the septic chasm that was surely his bronze bitch’s hostile womb, though he had admittedly never bothered to explore its no-doubt rocky depths. 
He had weathered the slights well enough, though he couldn’t help but to drop a few barbs about the son she was no doubt representing, a perverted little twat if ever he had seen one - groping maids, fondling kitchen staff, and there were even some rumours of him forcing himself on some unsuspecting common girl, though the tales varied widely and were exceedingly difficult to pin down. He may be violent and brash, he thinks to himself, but at least the women he bedded came to him willingly.
Unfortunately, it seems as though the Queen had been whispering in Viserys’s ear when he is called to the Small Council chambers once more, this time with the full retinue present. He is surprised to see you in attendance, standing meekly at the foot of the table, eyes darting between the forms of your attending sister and the table. It looks like an inquisition.
“Niece,” he strides forward and lays a kiss upon your brow in greeting, glaring out at his brother over the top of your head. You whisper a greeting in return, the sound meek and taciturn in a way that he had not heard since the commencement of your reignited acquaintance. He addresses the wider audience sternly, who have shifted in discomfort at the liberties he has taken with you. “What is the meaning of this?”
“Brother,” Viserys responds, clearing his throat uneasily. The Hightower bitch is thin-lipped beside him, and he is intrigued to note the thunderous expression on Rhaenyra’s face. Whatever this is, it isn’t good. “There have been… concerns… raised about your ability to - see through this marriage with my daughter.”
Now he knows the Hightower woman is involved.
 “Oh, really?” He asks quietly, dangerously - he can see Lyonel Strong swallow, resolutely avoiding staring at him or his little niece. “And by that I am taken to assume you mean my ability to bed her? Rest assured, brother,” he utters forcefully, letting go of you and stepping forward, smirking, “I’ll have no trouble at all on that account - care for a demonstration?”
The occupants of the room shift guiltily as they exchange glances, and Daemon feels as though he is the butt of some unheard-of joke. He wonders what on earth is going on; looking back at you, you are equally as confused.
“It has been recommended to me by the Grand Maester that - so as to address this issue - we proceed with a public consummation,” Viserys says quietly. Daemon finds it difficult to ascertain the tone; guilt? Self-satisfaction? Whatever it is, it’s clearly warring in his brother’s mind. “The Small Council will be in attendance on the eve following your wedding day.”
He cannot fucking believe his ears - for a moment, he is concerned he is having some kind of fit, but the prolonged solemnity of the seated advisors, the stone-cold face of Rhaenyra and the guilty countenance of the Queen prove that his hearing is very much functional. His blood runs cold, then hot as he processes the words. His impertinent comment seems suddenly ironic; it seems he would be demonstrating after all.
“A public consummation,” he says slowly, jaw clenched. Lord Tyland shifts nervously in his chair as he takes in what must be a truly deranged expression on his face. “Enlighten me,” he asks leisurely, dangerously, his hand falling to the pommel of Dark Sister in feigned relaxation, “what precisely does that mean?”
This time, the old codger himself pipes up - Mellos, the balding fuck, has always disapproved of him. With a stern, unforgiving face and a constantly disparaging nature, he was one of the few Maesters he could claim a healthy disrespect for, usually being predisposed to value the healing arts. After the bungle Mellos had made of Aemma’s death, it was even more difficult to trust the man.
“You will wed the Princess,” he says superciliously, and Daemon chafes at the obvious implication that he is somehow unintelligent for asking what the fuck he is thinking. “You will attend the festivities, and you will perform the bedding ceremony. After which, the Small Council will adjourn into the marital chamber behind a screen, view the consummation, and confirm it took place through examination of the linen.”
"Absolutely fucking not," Daemon growls, actively battling not to unsheathe his sword and run Mellos through. He cannot believe the insanity of what has been asked of you - he cares markedly less for his own welfare (after a three-year war in the Stepstones, one learned not to be too choosy about where and in front of whom to bed a woman, taking any opportunity to achieve a quick release before battle called once more). It is an outrage - it is an insult.
“And why ever not?” Viserys asks, brow raised. He almost looks as though he is prepared to laugh, but perhaps he too is feeling the flush of Targaryen madness in him at the discussion being forced to take place. “You never lay with Lady Rhea. I'll not give my daughter to you so you can squander two Targaryen lines." 
He had never fucked Rhea because she was a bronze bitch, and he was honestly concerned that the razor-teeth surely lining her pernicious cunt would bite his cock clean off. A thoroughly unpleasant shrew, an utter waste of woman - the most enjoyment he ever received from her was the sight of her brain spilling out of her cracked skull as she lay dying in the fields of the Vale, twitching and gurgling.
“So this is your brilliant solution?" He bites out, taking another step forward. "Having everyone watch the Princess getting fucked, standing around inspecting her as though she's some brothel whore? Do you want to traumatise the girl?"
He cannot look at you, cannot bear to see the fear on your visage, though he enjoys the discomfited looks on the Small Council’s faces at the crassness of his words, the resigned indignation of the Hightower woman and the barely-veiled fury of his eldest niece. Good. The attending Kingsguard - Ser Willis Fell and Ser Steffon Darklyn - straighten watchfully, hands falling to rest on their pommels to match his own disposition.
"Prince Daemon -" Lyonel Strong begins, eager to resolve the issue through compromise as usual.
"I didn't ask for your opinion, Lord Hand," Daemon snaps. He doesn’t give a fuck about what platitudes Lord Strong could possibly offer. It is then that you step forward, timidly reaching out and touching his arm.
“Kepus,” you whisper. When he hushes you, you continue louder, more forcefully, carefully measuring your words in the tongue of your ancestors. "Pōntāle avy jikagon gaomō daor. Pōntāloma selās." Don't get yourself sent away again. Just do what they want.
He is furious at the fact that you are so used to having the wills of others exerted over you that you make no protest of this barbaric demand - instead, you urge him to concede. He cannot help but to direct his irritation towards you.
When he angrily asks you if you’d actually like to be fucked with the entire Council watching, your rejoinder is swift but even. I am not the one you are angry at, you say, and it is true - of all the people in this fucking room, it is you who deserves his ire the least. A wave of guilt washes over him when he considers the rudeness of his words.
He has to leave - if he doesn’t, he’ll say something downright insulting or potentially threatening, and he cannot afford to be exiled again. Not with the wedding looming so close - not when everything he has worked for is within close reach.
"Fine," he huffs, turning to face the Council once more. “This is not over. And, fuck you very much for this little suggestion,” he says, pointing at Mellos. He hopes the warning is evident. “I’d watch myself if I were you.”
He can hear the sounds of Viserys calling him back, of Mellos sputtering some indignant horseshit, and he knocks lightly into the shoulder of Cole as he exits the room, the heavy door slamming loudly shut as he stalks off.
His footsteps lead him to the yard, where the Strong boy’s second-in-command, a truly beastly figure by the name of Luthor Largent, is running training exercises with the City Watch. He slumps against the wall, arms folded, watching with dark eyes and stormy thoughts as the man runs a truly merciless regime, shouting abuse at the stragglers who fall behind. Easily approaching seven feet in height, the captain is a fearsome grizzled warrior, a soldier who strikes fear into the hearts of the scum of King’s Landing. He had employed the man during his own tenure, selecting him from over a dozen contenders from the crownlands - it is a personal pride to see him prosper within the brotherhood. The City Watch has flourished in his time away, and he is irritated by the fact that he is forced to admit this - that the Strong lad has been a worthy enough successor to his former post as Commander.
It is some time later that he is approached by the man himself, Harwin Breakbones in his practical burnished steel and gold cloak. The man sits a small distance away from him and feigns careful examination of his subordinates, though it is clear his purpose has more to do with him than his post.
“Prince Daemon,” he finally greets, a growling gravel that sets his teeth on edge. Just because he’s accepted the man’s place in Rhaenyra’s life doesn’t mean he has to like his presence. He sighs.
“Ser Harwin,” he drawls, smirking when Largent tosses one of the new recruits clean over his back, sending the soldier sprawling and groaning in the dirt. He continues, still affecting ignorance and watching the display before him. No use in drawing this out. “What can I do for you?”
“I bring a message from the Lord Hand,” Breakbones replies quietly. Daemon’s eyes briefly flick to his companion before returning to the training - there are eyes all over the Red Keep, and it wouldn’t do to give any potential enemies ammunition.
“I had thought the Lord Hand was rather displeased with you at present - seems I was mistaken,” he sneers, giving voice to the rumours that Lord Lyonel had rather comprehensively chastised his son for the constant speculation as to the paternity of Rhaenyra’s children. Secret conversations do not stay secret for long in King’s Landing. 
Harwin grunts, a displeased concession.
“If you would prefer I keep his words to myself, I’ll depart post-haste, my Prince,” he says stiffly - and the cheek of him. It startles a laugh from him, and he decides that perhaps it is worth listening to the lad after all.
“Very good,” he exhales as the humour peters off, finally turning to look at Harwin. “Well, then - give me this ‘message’. It must be important if he’d be willing to send his disfavoured son in his stead.”
“The white raven is in the pocket of the watchtower,” Harwin utters, and Daemon’s nose wrinkles as he ponders the words. What the fuck? Perhaps Lord Strong had imbibed a little too much wine.
Hold on - ‘white raven’. 
White raven, white raven… white ravens, Isle of Ravens, the Citadel - Maester. Watchtower - clearly ‘Hightower’. The maester is in the pocket of Hightower.
It is clear that this has something to do with the old fuck’s grand idea to exact humiliation upon him and his little niece. Daemon’s jaw works as he contemplates the revelation; there’s little possibility that the Queen would govern the loyalty of the Grand Maester so coldly - not only is she not nearly good enough at pretending perturbation as she had done in the Small Council, he also doubts she would be willing to inflict such distress upon you. Nothing he has seen of your acquaintance would lead him to this conclusion. But old Otto… an ambitious cunt, a man whose grandson holds a very legitimate claim to the Seven Kingdoms, a claim that is superseded only by the King’s declaration that his daughter will succeed him as heir; such a man is capable of this. He has little doubt that the slimy fuck has been plotting behind the scenes ever since his removal from office. 
And, if the King’s daughter should only produce bastards, gossip that could very easily be proven correct in the right circumstances, precedent suggests that the next in line is… you.
Earlier in your acquaintance, this fact was of particular value to him - combined with the fortification of Targaryen blood in your future children through your marriage to him, your claim is certainly a popular alternative to that of Aegon’s. The People’s Princess, you are loved and respected by many, and you are far less personally objectionable than the boy. But, as you warmed to him and allowed him glimpses of the woman you would become, an unshakeable foundation that would surely metamorphose into a formidable figurehead in your own right, this truth became less significant as he grew to appreciate your personhood.
Nonetheless, he is clearly not alone in realising how advantageous your impending match would be in shoring up succession and preventing the Hightowers from acceding to the Iron Throne. It suddenly makes a twisted sort of sense - popular opinion had long held that Daemon had cooled toward Rhea due to how zealously he was forced to her bed on the wedding night. To devise a public spectacle of such an intimacy in his second marriage in the hopes that it would foster resentment, prevent the solidification of the union… It is absurd. It is underhanded. It is clever. A valiant attempt at engendering disharmony in conceivably the most significant blow to his ambition since the disgraced man had slunk from court, badge of the Hand firmly pinned to the lapel of another.
“Thank you, Ser Harwin,” he replies. “I will remember your loyalty, and your father’s, when the time comes.”
The man nods; a brief look passes between them. It seems Breakbones and the Lord Hand have value after all - perhaps he had been unwise to dismiss them so quickly. 
He pushes himself off the wall and treads leisurely back into the Keep, in search of you, making careful effort not to appear hasty or distempered, lest prying eyes should report this to Oldtown.
Otto really does spend too much time thinking about his cock, Daemon thinks wryly - it is not the first protestation the man has had about his carnal exploits. Still, the dilemma is evident; either he continues to protest the atrocity being demanded of you, to kick up a fuss and demand the respect you are both owed as Prince and Princess of the Realm, or he swallows his dignity and his wrath and he removes the lord’s power over the circumstances by… letting it happen. It is obvious that he ought to proceed with the latter, but the thought of how frightening you would find it, his sweet little untried niece, to have your despoilment on exhibit for the Council’s sick satisfaction is a preoccupation that he must speak with you on before he makes any decision.
He finds you in Laena Velaryon’s apartments of all places, the series of rooms that she shares with her husband and children; the lady opens the door herself when he knocks, white hair untamed and loose, framing her head with dense coils that set off against her dark skin fetchingly. A fine-looking woman, he thinks, recalling an occasion some years ago in which he had asked for her hand, though he is glad to have been rebuffed by Rhaenys and Corlys. She is cradling the swell of belly, a grimace of effort upon her face - he supposes the weight of the growing babe is beginning to exact its toll on her. Behind her, he can hear the sounds of bickering.
“My Prince,” Laena breathes, rubbing the side of her belly with a small frown. “What might I assist you with?”
“Lady Strong,” he returns, asking if you are present in her chambers - she nods, obligingly stepping back and widening the entrance so that he may step through.
You are standing over the glowering forms of the seated Jacaerys and Lucerys, Laenor beside you with arms crossed and a stern bearing. Across from Rhaenyra’s sons, the identical forms of two young girls - he can only assume these are Ser Breakbones’s daughters, the twins Baela and Rhaena - one of whom is failing to conceal the cast of despondency from showing, the other with her arm thrown around her sister in comfort.
“It was unnecessarily cruel,” you are saying disapprovingly. “You did not think about how awful it must feel for Aemond to be without a dragon, and nor did you consider how your actions might have made Rhaena feel.”
Ah, yes, he thinks, recalling a snippet of memory, the Strong girls had been gifted dragon eggs at Rhaenyra’s request, though one had yet to hatch.
“It was Aegon’s idea,” Jace mutters mulishly, though his visage is more contrite than his words suggest. Tears have welled in Luke’s eyes. Laenor scoffs.
“And if Aegon had the idea to freefall from dragonback - would you do that, too? Use your sense, boy,” he counters grimly. He kneels down to crouch before his sons in all but blood, casting his hand through the boys’ dark hair comfortingly as the younger begins to cry. “I am unimpressed with your behaviour, but I understand what it is to be led into making a mistake. You will apologise to Aemond, and I will be discussing with your mother how you will be making reparations for this deed.”
Jace nods seriously, and Luke sniffles.
“You should also apologise to Rhaena, boys,” you add quietly, eyes flicking guardedly to Daemon as you register his presence. You pat their shoulders as they sidle past you to hug Laena’s children, smiling faintly at the endearing sight the foursome make. 
You make your way to him, whispering to Laenor as you pass, and his gaze snaps to Daemon; he nods once in acknowledgement.
Laenor had been vexed by the news of your impending union, though he hadn’t been brusque with Daemon upon speaking to him before Viserys’s announcement to court. “I’d threaten you,” he’d said, slapping his back a little too hard, “but I think whatever Rhaenyra is likely to have said to you would have a far more frightening consequence. Just know I’ll be looking out for her - and watching you.” He is glad you have the love of your family, a feat not easily won in the divided House of the Dragon. He supposes Laenor’s pledge will be tested soon, the Prince Consort of Dragonstone being an honorary member of the Council and thus likely to take part in the wedding night.
Daemon follows you out of the room, tipping his head briefly in farewell to Lady Strong as he departs, closing the door behind him. He turns to you. You are staring up at him watchfully, hands clasped together, a vision of piety in your high-collared gown.
“Are you alright, uncle?” You ask him unexpectedly. His mouth quirks at the query - it is sweet and charming and utterly like yourself to be concerned for his welfare in light of the command levied by the King upon you both.
“I’m fine, gevivys,” he responds, reaching for your small hand to draw it under and around his arm, securing your hold on his frame before initiating a slow walk to your younger sister’s apartments, having become familiar with your weekly visiting schedule over the weeks - Rhaenyra, Laena, Helaena, Viserys and Alicent, Ser Lysan - a repeated cycle of teas and books and chatter. It is surely your unsettling Hightower sister you are proceeding to next, and you make no protest at the direction his steps are leading you in. “I’m not concerned for myself. But I am concerned for you - how are you feeling?”
“Qrīdroltan,” you say, switching to your native tongue as you pass a busy intersection of the Keep, glancing nervously at the ogling of the courtiers as you pass - it has been three sennights since the announcement, two days until your wedding, and still the news preoccupies the residents of King’s Landing like no other. I am confused. You continue. “Amīvinditan. Yn gaomilagjiot gaominna.” Frustrated. But I will perform my duty.
“Lo zūgys, aōha kepa ivestrinna hobroti jās,” he announces adamantly, steering you up the staircase, looking down at you in concern. If you’re afraid, I will tell your father to fuck off. You giggle softly, squeezing his arm in amused admonition. The gravity returns to your countenance as the laughter dies off.
“Daor,” you answer, sighing. “Pōnte ērinilza lo gaomilare. Kesi tetirī urnīnna, kepus.” No - they win if you do. I will see this done, uncle. His brave, brave girl - though the remark is decisive and firm, the way in which your lower lip quivers as the words escape belies the trepidation you are surely feeling. You straighten, swallowing and looking straight ahead as you approach the so-called ‘Hightower wing’ of the Keep, named for its occupying residents. “Zaldrīzesse ōtra izūgas daor.” Dragons do not fear sheep.
An admirable sentiment - but he must make certain before he allows this to happen.
“Pōntāle gaomilā syt bēvulā daor - qogrondi heghinna lo jaelā,” he invites, almost hoping you will take him up on it. You don’t have to perform for them - I will slaughter the bunch if you ask. 
You dig your heels in lightly when you reach an entrance, the door to the chambers left ajar. Inside, he can see a sliver of pale hair and the inane mutterings of the witchling, light and nonsensical - you are one of few individuals that can draw the girl to the realm outside her mind. You shake your head at him, declining his offer. He wonders if you believe him to be jesting - he is not.
“Nyke amīsilā,” you murmur, and it makes his chest tighten. You will protect me. He can count on a single hand the number of times in his life he had been the recipient of such belief. It is so simple a statement, and yet so profound - watchful, mistrusting girl that you are, he is honoured to receive such an avowal of faith in him. He hopes that he will deserve it.
You tiptoe to lay a sweetheart kiss upon his cheek, blushing scarlet as you dart into the room and close the door, a bold ingenue teasing at her suitor. He chuckles at your shy seduction as he ventures off to his room to ponder the plot that has been unveiled.
If Viserys wishes to watch the bedding - if Otto wants to wage war on his marriage - then let him, he thinks to himself ruthlessly. Let them bear witness to the power your union will wield; let them see, and be afraid.
After all - dragons do not fear sheep.
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In many respects, the wedding ceremony is every bit as typical as any other ritual undertaken in the Sept - as he had predicted, there is far too much droning from Septon Eustace, far too much incense and far too many spectators. He shall have to commence talks with the High Priest to arrange for a Valyrian rite, the only true means of binding two Targaryens together in matrimony.
You are darling in a high-collared gown of white and precious metal, sworls of gold and silver latticed in conformation to the shape of your waist and bust, decorating the sleeves and ends. Rubies and other priceless jewels glitter among the openwork, fashioning a picture of might and wealth. He is pleased to see the Valyrian steel necklace he gifted you around your throat, and it serves almost as a divide separating your bare skin from the fabric of your dress. When he’d first caught a glimpse of you, he had been struck by the urge to lay you across the altar and give the Seven Kingdoms something to really talk about – his bashful princess so eager to be corrupted, and he is all too willing to do the spoiling. 
"I am yours and you are mine, from this day, until the end of my days." Your voices mingle in the chamber, a pleasing amalgamation of high and low.
The Septon finally - finally - gives him leave to kiss his bride, and he savours the gentle touch of your lips against his, no more than a ghostly graze of skin against skin. You are soft and sweet in his hold, and it is with exultation that he leads you down the aisle as his lady wife.
Your ladies rush forward to help gather your skirts as you stop him uncertainly at the top of the stairs, and you clutch his proffered hand with a grateful smile, leaning on his support as you journey down to the courtyard, from where you will make your way across to the great hall.
The seating arrangement had caused some headache during planning, he knows from Laenor - that is the issue with Targaryen intermarriage, he supposes. When husband and wife share the same family, whom do they assign as representatives for each? In the end, it had been decided that Viserys would sit next to you, Alicent and the Lord Hand rounding out the left side of the royal table; on the other side, Rhaenyra was to be installed beside Daemon, Laenor completing the row at the end. He was thankful for the arrangement, having no desire to sit beside his brother - the King was still surly and aggrieved by the entire thing, but had miraculously (and for a reason unknown to him) conceded to your preference and acquiesced to the match.
At the first feast following the ceremony, it is custom for the wedded pair to remain seated as the guests dance, forcing Daemon to make conversation with an occupied Rhaenyra - busy watching her oldest child like a hawk on one of the auxiliary tables beside Ser Harwin, a move that had set afresh new gossip - or drunken Laenor, or dodging the gaze of Viserys. You are quiet and withdrawn, though affecting a facade of genteel delight, and it is no wonder - with the prospect of the bedding ceremony looming (a ridiculous tradition in which the wedded pair were stripped by the crowd and carried undressed to their bed) and the further ignobility of an exposed consummation, you are likely to feel quite traumatised already.
When the call for the bedding springs up from within the crowd, he stands and turns to you.
“Come, sweetling,” he tells you, taking your hand. “We’d best leave now.”
You are already flushing, uncertain. He can feel Laenor’s eyes glaring at the back of his neck.
“Daemon,” Viserys protests, reddened with excitement and beaming, “can you not hear the noise? It’s time for the bedding!”
He is deep within his cups, swept along by the conviviality of the hall, the loud chatter and spirited guffaws comprising the din. He has not absorbed his brother’s stance as of yet, severe and uncompromising.
“There will be no bedding,” he states resolutely, tugging you to your feet. You follow pliantly, brows furrowed and worrying at your bottom lip.
“We agreed, brother,” the King implores, the slow-dawning comprehension of a man who has realised that the groom is prepared to make a scene at his own wedding feast. And he is - he cares not who he must murder in order to convey you to your rooms untouched by other men. You are his. The Hightower bitch is dabbing at the corners of her mouth with cloth, a poor pretence at ignorance.
“No,” he smiles through gritted teeth. “You decided. Don’t worry, brother; you’ll get your spectacle, but my niece will not endure any further debasement this night.”
He lightly fingers the knife attached to his hip, watching Viserys’s eyes flicker between the motion and his fixed countenance. His brother forces an exhalation, no doubt resigned and irked by yet another display of defiance.
“Fine,” he huffs. “No bedding.”
“Good,” Daemon replies, and you brighten imperceptibly, quickly taking his arm and allowing him to walk you through the hall to the entry before your father can change his mind. The nettled grumbles begin in the chamber behind you as the King announces the news.
“Thank you,” you breathe, a relieved half-grimace painting your features.
“Of course,” he says, leading you up the grand staircase to your marital chambers. To your wedding night. Despite everything - despite the knowledge of Otto’s hand in your union and the expectation of what is to come, despite your obvious apprehension and the role he is forced to play in it - he cannot help it.
He is excited.
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coochiequeens · a month ago
Femicide is a worldwide problem
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Feminists and human rights campaigners have long criticised the use of the term “honour killing” to describe the homicides of women perpetrated by men purportedly for bringing shame upon or dishonouring their families.
The term is mainly used in the context of traditional, patriarchal religious communities from non-white, non-Western countries. However, there are problems with both the terminology and the description of such crimes.
There is never any “honour” in murder, and many of these homicides take place in secular, white Western contexts and communities. Yet, it is clear that such killings are viewed and labelled differently depending on the perpetrators.
When white Western men kill women, they often claim they did so due to provocation or jealousy. When men in Asia or the Middle East commit such crimes, it is said to be about maintaining the “honour” of the killer’s family and community.
The United Nations estimates that about 5,000 women are killed each year in honour-related crimes. Most of the victims included in this statistic are from Asia and the Middle East.
Yet, a closer look reveals that many murders – often in the West – that are categorized as other types of homicide also fit this label. That’s partly why many feminist groups campaigning on this issue think the actual number is much higher — closer to 20,000 worldwide. Another factor is the hidden nature of some of these murders, which can be dismissed as suicides or disappearances.
As I’ve written previously, patriarchs everywhere often treat the women and girls who die this way as culpable: They were slaughtered, according to this logic, because they failed to be subservient and obedient.
Nothing speaks of this stigma more than an unmarked section of a cemetery in Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, in which several victims of patriarchal murders are buried. I met Naza, whose daughter is buried there. She visits in secret because her daughter’s death has been shrouded in shame.
In 1990, I co-founded the UK-based feminist law reform organisation Justice for Women to campaign for fair and equal treatment of women going through the criminal justice system, either as victims or defendants in cases involving male violence.
In the UK, a woman dies every three days at the hands of a former or current male partner. European Union data show that in 2020, there were 400 femicides in Poland, 117 in Germany, 102 in Italy and 99 in Hungary. The law largely treats these men more leniently than it does the women who fight back to save their lives.
Doing this work, it soon became apparent to me that the motives men give to police and courts when they carry out deadly violence in these circumstances are similar to those we hear about in ‘honour killings’.
Very recently in Britain, for instance, men who killed their female partners often used the defence of provocation, which, if successful, reduced a murder charge to manslaughter. They would say that the victim had dishonoured them, either by humiliating them, forming new relationships or by questioning their manliness. In 2008, this defence was removed from the statute book after a persistent campaign by feminists.
I recall the case in 1991 of Joseph McGrail who kicked his common-law wife, Marion Kennedy, to death. They had been together for 10 years, and Kennedy was addicted to sleeping pills and alcohol, partly due to living with the stress of threats and abuse from McGrail. His reason for the crime was that he had come home to find her drunk again. The judge, Oliver Popplewell, said, “That woman would have tried the patience of a saint,” before sentencing McGrail to a two-year suspended jail term.
A decade later, Les Humes, a lawyer living in the north of England, was sentenced to seven years for manslaughter for killing his wife, Elizabeth Davies, when he discovered that she was having an affair and had planned to leave him. Humes stabbed Davies so ferociously that in some places the knife had passed through her body. Davies, a secretary at his law firm, was 36 when she died and had been married to Humes for 15 years. The couple had four children.
Provocation was mainly used as a defence when men could persuade the court that their honour had been besmirched: for example, if a man found his wife in bed with another man or if she nagged him to take out the rubbish. That men pleading provocation would often have the sympathy of the court suggests that “dishonouring” a man and causing him humiliation was considered worse by judges and juries than him terrorising a woman through sexual and domestic violence and murder.
This attitude is rooted in the age-old notion that married women are chattel. Indeed, the provocation defence in the UK can be traced back to at least the 17th century. Until 1981, men who killed their partners could get more lenient sentences in Italy if the woman had “dishonoured” the family with infidelity.
Yet, even with provocation no longer a legal defence in the UK, men who kill their female partners often walk free while women who kill men in self-defence are being convicted of murder, research published last year by the UK-based Centre for Women’s Justice found.
One example is the case of Dawn Rhodes, who was killed in 2016 by her estranged husband, Robert, to whom she had been married for almost 20 years. Robert had discovered Dawn was having an affair with a colleague. Dawn in turn had found out that Robert too was in another relationship.
She was killed when her throat was so deeply cut that she was partially decapitated. Robert said he acted in self-defence. Forensic experts told the jury that it was more plausible that Dawn’s injury had been inflicted from behind as opposed to a frontal attack. Still, the jury found Robert not guilty of murder.
To be sure, despite similarities between such killings across contexts and continents, there are also differences. But the focus should be on femicide, the very act of a man killing a woman or girl.
This form of deadly male violence cuts across every single country and culture on the planet. It cannot be acceptable anywhere.
By Julie Bindel Journalist, author and feminist campaigner
Julie Bindel is a journalist, author and feminist campaigner. Her book Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation, (Constable, Robinson) was published in May 2021
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pronoun-fucker · 4 months ago
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Perhaps it makes sense that women — those supposedly compliant and agreeable, self-sacrificing and everything-nice creatures — were the ones to finally bring our polarized country together.
Because the far right and the far left have found the one thing they can agree on: Women don’t count.
The right’s position here is the better known, the movement having aggressively dedicated itself to stripping women of fundamental rights for decades. Thanks in part to two Supreme Court justices who have been credibly accused of abusive behavior toward women, Roe v. Wade, nearly 50 years a target, has been ruthlessly overturned.
Far more bewildering has been the fringe left jumping in with its own perhaps unintentionally but effectively misogynist agenda. There was a time when campus groups and activist organizations advocated strenuously on behalf of women. Women’s rights were human rights and something to fight for. Though the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified, legal scholars and advocacy groups spent years working to otherwise establish women as a protected class.
But today, a number of academics, uber-progressives, transgender activists, civil liberties organizations and medical organizations are working toward an opposite end: to deny women their humanity, reducing them to a mix of body parts and gender stereotypes.
As reported by my colleague Michael Powell, even the word “women” has become verboten. Previously a commonly understood term for half the world’s population, the word had a specific meaning tied to genetics, biology, history, politics and culture. No longer. In its place are unwieldy terms like “pregnant people,” “menstruators” and “bodies with vaginas.”
Planned Parenthood, once a stalwart defender of women’s rights, omits the word “women” from its home page. NARAL Pro-Choice America has used “birthing people” in lieu of “women.” The American Civil Liberties Union, a longtime defender of women’s rights, last month tweeted its outrage over the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade as a threat to several groups: “Black, Indigenous and other people of color, the L.G.B.T.Q. community, immigrants, young people.”
It left out those threatened most of all: women. Talk about a bitter way to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
The noble intent behind omitting the word “women” is to make room for the relatively tiny number of transgender men and people identifying as nonbinary who retain aspects of female biological function and can conceive, give birth or breastfeed. But despite a spirit of inclusion, the result has been to shove women to the side.
Women, of course, have been accommodating. They’ve welcomed transgender women into their organizations. They’ve learned that to propose any space just for biological women in situations where the presence of males can be threatening or unfair — rape crisis centers, domestic abuse shelters, competitive sports — is currently viewed by some as exclusionary. If there are other marginalized people to fight for, it’s assumed women will be the ones to serve other people’s agendas rather than promote their own.
But, but, but. Can you blame the sisterhood for feeling a little nervous? For wincing at the presumption of acquiescence? For worrying about the broader implications? For wondering what kind of message we are sending to young girls about feeling good in their bodies, pride in their sex and the prospects of womanhood? For essentially ceding to another backlash?
Women didn’t fight this long and this hard only to be told we couldn’t call ourselves women anymore. This isn’t just a semantic issue; it’s also a question of moral harm, an affront to our very sense of ourselves.
It wasn’t so long ago — and in some places the belief persists — that women were considered a mere rib to Adam’s whole. Seeing women as their own complete entities, not just a collection of derivative parts, was an important part of the struggle for sexual equality.
But here we go again, parsing women into organs. Last year the British medical journal The Lancet patted itself on the back for a cover article on menstruation. Yet instead of mentioning the human beings who get to enjoy this monthly biological activity, the cover referred to “bodies with vaginas.” It’s almost as if the other bits and bobs — uteruses, ovaries or even something relatively gender-neutral like brains — were inconsequential. That such things tend to be wrapped together in a human package with two X sex chromosomes is apparently unmentionable.
“What are we, chopped liver?” a woman might be tempted to joke, but in this organ-centric and largely humorless atmosphere, perhaps she would be wiser not to.
Those women who do publicly express mixed emotions or opposing views are often brutally denounced for asserting themselves. (Google the word “transgender” combined with the name Martina Navratilova, J.K. Rowling or Kathleen Stock to get a withering sense.) They risk their jobs and their personal safety. They are maligned as somehow transphobic or labeled TERFs, a pejorative that may be unfamiliar to those who don’t step onto this particular Twitter battlefield. Ostensibly shorthand for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” which originally referred to a subgroup of the British feminist movement, “TERF” has come to denote any woman, feminist or not, who persists in believing that while transgender women should be free to live their lives with dignity and respect, they are not identical to those who were born female and who have lived their entire lives as such, with all the biological trappings, societal and cultural expectations, economic realities and safety issues that involves.
But in a world of chosen gender identities, women as a biological category don’t exist. Some might even call this kind of thing erasure.
When not defining women by body parts, misogynists on both ideological poles seem determined to reduce women to rigid gender stereotypes. The formula on the right we know well: Women are maternal and domestic — the feelers and the givers and the “Don’t mind mes.” The unanticipated newcomers to such retrograde typecasting are the supposed progressives on the fringe left. In accordance with a newly embraced gender theory, they now propose that girls — gay or straight — who do not self-identify as feminine are somehow not fully girls. Gender identity workbooks created by transgender advocacy groups for use in schools offer children helpful diagrams suggesting that certain styles or behaviors are “masculine” and others “feminine.”
Didn’t we ditch those straitened categories in the ’70s?
The women’s movement and the gay rights movement, after all, tried to free the sexes from the construct of gender, with its antiquated notions of masculinity and femininity, to accept all women for who they are, whether tomboy, girly girl or butch dyke. To undo all this is to lose hard-won ground for women — and for men, too.
Those on the right who are threatened by women’s equality have always fought fiercely to put women back in their place. What has been disheartening is that some on the fringe left have been equally dismissive, resorting to bullying, threats of violence, public shaming and other scare tactics when women try to reassert that right. The effect is to curtail discussion of women’s issues in the public sphere.
But women are not the enemy here. Consider that in the real world, most violence against trans men and women is committed by men but, in the online world and in the academy, most of the ire at those who balk at this new gender ideology seems to be directed at women.
It’s heartbreaking. And it’s counterproductive.
Tolerance for one group need not mean intolerance for another. We can respect transgender women without castigating females who point out that biological women still constitute a category of their own — with their own specific needs and prerogatives.
If only women’s voices were routinely welcomed and respected on these issues. But whether Trumpist or traditionalist, fringe left activist or academic ideologue, misogynists from both extremes of the political spectrum relish equally the power to shut women up.
Link | Archived link
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witchthewriter · 3 months ago
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𝐁𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐞
⤷ gender neutral, ambiguous race, and any size reader. Requests are open, thank you for reading!  
🌿ENFJ 🍁Hufflepuff 📜Neutral Good 🔮Capricorn Sun, Aquarius Moon, Scorpio Rising
⭑ You’re a part of his council; always being present in the meetings. 
⭑ You’re never silenced, and your opinion is the most valued. You’re his person, and you’ll always be above any other,. 
⭑ You take your role as a monarch very seriously. Caspian and yourself are a literal power couple. 
⭑ Everyone feels comfortable around you because you want to hear what they have to say. 
⭑ Your wedding day was a big event. All of Narnia gathered to celebrate the union between you and Caspian. 
⭑ There were parties in the streets, flower petals all over the ground, candles were twinkling in windows and even Aslan was there to officiate. 
⭑ It was the best day of your life; your outfit was handmade, pearl white with iridescent hints within the layers.  
⭑ You were crowned Queen/King and the cheers could be heard nearly from the human world. 
⭑ Caspian had a smile on his face for a week leading up to the wedding and a week after. And as he saw you walk down the aisle, he started to cry. 
⭑ You believe in equality and justice issues are close to your heart. So that was your aim in Narnia - for everyone to feel included and important. 
⭑ If Caspian was ever called away then you were in charge. The first time this happened was absolutely nerve-wracking. And you thought you would have a full panic attack until Caspian returned. But you had brilliant advisors. 
⭑ You love visiting the forests that are full of fawns and talking animals. You even pay respect to the trees. 
⭑ With you and Caspian as rulers, it’s like Narnia glowed. The water was always cold, flowing and shimmering. The crops flourished and there was never a shortage. 
⭑ You missed the Pevensie’s as you were there when they came back. 
⭑ Lucy was your great friend and she shared a lot of wisdom with you. 
⭑ You always treat your servants with respect and share your food with them. You hate having to be served. 
⭑ Narnian baths are amazing; the bath itself is deep - holding a lot of water. It’s gold with opal legs. 
⭑ Caspian likes to spend all his spare time with you. As King he has a lot of duties, as do you. But time together is extra special with him. 
NSFW🔞minors dni!
⭑ Caspian is hot-blooded, and that doesn’t change within the bedroom. 
⭑ He’s very sensual; liking to savor every part of you. He loves seeing your naked form on the bed, ready and waiting for him. 
⭑ At times he can be fast - in a ravenous fashion. Biting your bare skin, pulling at your clothes so he can feel you against him. 
⭑ He’s more into giving than receiving. 
⭑ Caspian loves when you grab onto his hair and pull
⭑ Oh and making you moan fills him with such pride. As if he alone is enough to bring you to orgasm. 
⭑ Rarely do you feel jealous because Caspian has no other desire for anyone but you
⭑ But he does get jealous a lot. Not because you stray, or your head turns for anyone. No, it’s because even if someone dares look at you with lust in their eyes, he’ll remind them who you belong to.
⭑ Likes to tease you, and hearing your whines is his favourite noise. A part from the moans... and he loves your moans. 
⭑ He whispers dirty things in your ear all the time. He loves seeing you wriggle in your seat. 
⭑  And biting is a BIG thing with Caspian. He absolutely loves biting your earlobes, bottom lip, neck, and nipples. 
⭑ Very into aftercare. He loves looking after you. He has so much love to give. 
⭑ Caspian will clean you up, and make sure you’re comfortable before even thinking about himself.
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workingclasshistory · a month ago
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On this day, 24 October 1975, 90% of women in Iceland went on general strike for equality with men. At the time, women in the country earned over 40% less than men on average. A radical feminist group called the Red Stockings initially proposed the idea of a strike against low pay and to show the centrality of women's paid and unpaid labour to the capitalist economy. A committee of feminist organisations then decided to call for a "day off" for women, which was then supported by key trade unions. One woman, Annadis Rudolfsdottir later recalled to the Guardian: "In the days preceding the 24th it seemed that women everywhere were grouping together, drinking coffee, smoking incessantly but doing a lot of agitated talking. My granny, who was working incredibly hard in a fish factory, was not going to take the day off. But the questions raised by the women's movements whirred around her mind. Why were young men taking home higher wages than her when her job was no less physically strenuous?" The "day off" was hugely successful: the vast majority of Iceland's wage-earning women stayed home, and house workers refused to cook, clean and look after children. Newspapers were not printed, telephone calls weren't connected, and many schools were closed. Flights were cancelled, fish factories closed, and many other businesses disrupted. 25,000 women then rallied in the capitol, Reykjavík, bringing traffic to a standstill. The year after the strike, the Icelandic government passed the Gender Equality Act outlawing sex discrimination and formed a Gender Equality Council. Today Iceland has the lowest gender inequality in the world, although women still earn only 80% of men’s wages, so discrimination and the struggle against it continues. If you value our work researching and promoting people's history like this, please consider supporting our work on patreon and getting access to exclusive content: https://patreon.com/workingclasshistory https://www.facebook.com/workingclasshistory/photos/a.296224173896073/2117290908456048/?type=3
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gainingfiction · 5 months ago
Go Big, Go Home
Summary: Finn is a slacker with a fondness for milking the system. When he learns that employees of a certain size can apply to work from home, he hatches a plan to get fat enough to qualify. Finn likes his food, and he’s already a bit chubby, but he soon unleashes the inner hog buried deep within him, and a gluttony that won’t let him stop gaining—even when he’s hit his target. This story was inspired by a prompt from a follower based on “King-Size Homer” from The Simpsons.
Finn always preferred the easy way out. Why study when you could copy your friend’s test? Why cook if you can afford takeout? Why do more when you can do less?
Sure, maybe it wasn’t the best attitude, but it had served Finn just fine. At 22, he had a decent job and an equally decent apartment. And even if he did care more about his own orgasms than pleasing his partners, he still did well enough on his preferred hookup apps. For Finn, life was going pretty well.
That is, until he learned he was doing more than the bare minimum. That was something Finn couldn’t accept.
He was pouring himself a cup of coffee when he figured out a new way to game the system, eavesdropping on a pair of receptionists as they swapped some particularly juicy office gossip.
Finn’s ears perked up when he heard that Tony from IT wouldn’t have to come into the office anymore. The story was that he’d gained so much weight on the job that human resources and the union rep had agreed that he could work from home. Phrases like “mobility issues” and “occupational hazard” were thrown around. Apparently, employees who reached a certain BMI could qualify for that sort of program.
Finn wasn’t even aware that his employer let anyone work from home, although he wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t like Finn needed to be at his desk: he worked in customer service. His job consisted mostly of fielding calls and sending emails… all things he could do from his couch—if he was allowed.
The wheels in Finn’s head were already turning as he left the kitchen. He deposited his coffee on his desk and went straight to the bathroom, where he took a good look at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t bad looking—green eyes with a mischief he couldn’t hide, some light stubble, and a crop of floppy, light brown hair.
His figure was masked by a loose-fitting button-down and dress pants. It was hardly the body of a god. His softness stemmed from an extreme distaste for physical exertion, which was part of his natural laziness. This aversion to exercise was no problem when he was in high school—it was easy enough to stay thin with his genetics and a teenage metabolism. But as he coasted through his bachelor’s degree, the Freshman 15 blossomed into a forty-pound weight gain: he weighed in at a spritely 154 pounds the first time he walked onto campus, and by the time he left, he was up to 196. The numbers bounced around Finn’s head as he returned to his desk. 
Finn didn’t mind being a little chubby. He certainly didn’t care enough to diet or work out. If anything, the idea of getting to stay home every day, sitting around in his underwear with the TV playing in the background, never having to sit in traffic or make awkward small talk again, seemed like a great reason to expand his extremely average build.
It took a bit of searching, but he found a PDF of the employee handbook and searched it for “BMI”. It didn’t take long to find a very interesting section.
Employees who struggle with significant weight gain as a result of their work-related sedentary lifestyle may benefit from a range of modifications. These include, but are not limited to, a modified workspace (e.g. a standing desk or other modified equipment), accessibility aids, and, in certain circumstances, a voluntary work from home program.
Bingo. Finn read on:
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, employees with a BMI of 60 or greater will generally qualify for the voluntary work from home program, particularly where this is medically recommended.
Jackpot. So Gina the receptionist was right. If he got fat enough, Finn would never have to go into the office again. He opened a new tab and found an online BMI calculator. 
Finn’s eyes widened as he plugged in the numbers. He was 5’10”, and weighed around 205 pounds these days. That put his BMI at just shy of 30—already embarrassingly close to the “obese” range, although he didn’t think he looked that big. But to get to a BMI of 60, he’d need to soar up to 418 pounds….
Finn exhaled. His weight had been steadily increasing for years without him even trying, so it wasn’t like he’d be fighting nature. But to gain over 200 pounds? That wouldn’t be easy. It would take time, money, and, worst of all, effort.
He got back to work, but the thought stuck in his brain for the rest of the day. He sat in his uncomfortable office chair, in a small cubicle he shared with another customer service rep named Ron. Ron was a couple of years older than Finn, with a slim build, a plain face, and thinning hair. He often talked to himself, hummed out of tune, clicked his pen constantly, and never turned off his phone notifications. Their workspace was small and slightly messy, with files scattered around and stacked on top of a metal filing cabinet that hadn’t been replaced in decades. The only “decoration” was a potted plant, half-dead from a lack of natural light.
Finn made his decision by lunchtime. If it meant putting office life behind him, he was going to go for it. He was going to get fat. Really, really fat.
He felt an unfamiliar sensation as he stepped out of the elevator onto the building’s main floor: determination. The lobby included a small food court, with a selection of fast food restaurants to choose from. He ate lunch there most days, but today, he was going to truly feast.
The cashier at the burger place was a middle-aged woman who seemed unfazed by Finn’s massive order: three burgers, two large fries, a large Coke, a large chocolate milkshake, and an apple flip. His tray heavy with food, he walked towards an empty table.
Slumping into a chair, Finn stared at the mountain of fast food in front of him. It was as much as two of his regular meals, maybe more. Was he really going to do this? Was it worth it? But the idea of working from home, of never again having to get dressed up to go into the office, beckoned him onward like an irresistible siren call. Sure, he’d be huge—but he’d be free.
So he unwrapped the first burger and dove in. He ate like a starving man, taking huge bites of burger, stuffing his face with a handful of fries, and washing it down with a gulp of thick, chocolatey shake. It all tasted amazing, the sugar and grease flooding his brain with pleasure. He’d already finished two of the burgers and half the fries before his stomach clued into how full he was.
But he couldn’t stop. He had a goal to achieve. So he unwrapped the last burger and took a bite, absentmindedly rubbing his small starter belly as he ate. With mechanical motions, he loaded his mouth with fries, forcing the food down with long slurps of his soft drink. By the time he pushed the last bite of pastry through his lips, he was uncomfortably bloated, his stomach looking larger than usual. He leaned back in his chair—he felt sick, but he also felt good. Like he’d accomplished something.
His stomach ached and gurgled as he rode the elevator back up to the third floor, ignoring the signs that recommended taking the stairs. Lethargy set in by the time he reached his desk, and he spent the whole afternoon stifling burps, covertly massaging his overfull stomach, and wishing he could take a nap.
His appetite picked up again a few hours after he got off work. He’d been watching TV on the couch since returning home, picking away at a bag of chips. By 8 o’clock, he felt ready for a proper dinner. He was craving pizza, so he picked up his cellphone and plugged his choice into his favourite app. Seeing a 2-for-1 special in the discount section, Finn knew what he had to do.
He went to bed that night with a painfully full stomach, a feeling that would become increasingly familiar in the days that followed. For the rest of the week, he picked up a large fast food breakfast before settling in at his desk, and followed it up with lunches that were as vast as they were greasy. Then, he dragged himself back to his office for a series of semi-comatose afternoons. At home, he would order as much as he wanted from his preferred takeout spots, washed down with soda or beer, sometimes both. At night, as he lay in bed cradling his bloated gut, it was like he could feel his stomach stretching, expanding to accommodate his escalating portion sizes, his body and brain working to adapt to whatever he was doing to himself.
The first comment about his developing gluttony came that weekend. It was subtle, but enough to let Finn know that people had noticed him making a pig of himself.
Finn’s best friend, Damian, wore a look of concern mixed with curiosity as he looked over from across the table. Their families had lived next door since before either was born, and they had been friends for as long as Finn could remember. Unlike Finn, Damian was high-strung, always striving to be the best. It was Damian’s tests Finn had always copied from in school. And while Finn did the bare minimum to get his degree, Damian made the dean’s list every year, graduating with highest honours and a job offer from a prestigious engineering firm.
Damian had a slender build, toned during his years as a swimmer and track and field champion and maintained by a rigorous diet and daily workout regimen. His straight, dark hair was always tightly coiffed and gelled, his narrow face clean-shaven, his dark eyes probing and analytical. His eight-part beauty regimen overwhelmed Finn, who got by with some cold water splashed on his face.
Finn couldn’t deny some attraction to Damian, but they’d never hooked up, except for one drunken teenage makeout session that neither ever mentioned again. Finn was more interested in hookups and flings, while Damian always claimed to be looking for The One. That was too much pressure for Finn, who wanted to be “the one” who fucked around and had a good time.
They were still best friends, though, and they met up for drinks every weekend. This week, however, Finn suggested they meet earlier and get dinner instead, an offer Damian accepted. When their meals arrived, Damian was still nursing his first vodka soda of the night, while Finn was already on his third pint of beer.
“You, uh, hungry?” Damian asked, sizing up the huge pile of food in front of his friend.
Finn felt Damian’s eyes linger on his already-enlarged gut, before snapping back up to his face. “I must be,” Finn lied, resting a hand on his belly. “I skipped lunch,” he lied again. He’d actually eaten two lunches—a burger combo, and then a heaping plate of Chinese food. Then, he’d spent the afternoon snacking on the bags of chips and chocolate covered peanuts he now kept in his desk drawer.
“Right,” Damian said, rolling a cherry tomato around his bowl of garden salad. “Oh, I have to tell you about this guy I met at the gym today. Major daddy bear energy. He gave me a ton of tips about weight training. I’m like, 90% sure he wants to take me out.”
Finn chuckled, rolling his eyes. When it came to men, Damian was fairly predictable—they were all burly, dominant, and (most importantly of all) emotionally unavailable. It dawned on Finn years ago that Damian was looking for some version of his father, a stern, plump Catholic with a well-groomed beard and impossible expectations. Damian’s endless string of brief, ill-fated relationships made for some interesting stories, at least.
Finn was in good spirits (and a little drunk) by the time they left the bar. After Damian caught his bus, Finn groaned and rubbed his overfull stomach. As usual, he’d overdone it; the two-block walk to his apartment was torture. That night, he leapt into bed, holding his packed, round stomach like he was posing for a pregnancy photoshoot. He was asleep a few moments later.
And so, Finn settled into a routine. On weekdays, he’d eat a few pieces of toast at home, before grabbing breakfast sandwiches and hashbrowns at the food court in the lobby of his office building. Then, by lunchtime, his appetite would have recovered enough for another feast. He rotated through the various options over the course of the week, sometimes eating a second lunch, often picking up donuts or other pastries to snack on during the afternoon. He’d even struck up a rapport with the 20-something cashier at the donut shop and the young hunk at the Chinese takeout counter. Then, after work, he would drive home and collapse onto the couch to watch TV or play video games until he decided where to get dinner. After ordering yet another ridiculous spread, he’d eat it on the couch, washed down with a beer or five. Then, he grazed on his favourite snacks until it was time to roll into bed, thoroughly and completely stuffed. And on Saturday, he would shock Damian by polishing off massive servings of pub grub and an ocean of cheap, high calorie beer.
As the days turned to weeks, the effects were getting harder to ignore. The consequences of eating thousands of extra calories a day started to pile up on Finn’s frame, and they piled up fast and furious.
He noticed it everywhere. His work shirts, once loose, grew tighter, until they started to cling to his distended belly and puffy chest; on cold days, when his office was chilly, his nipples poked obscenely against the cotton. His love handles swelled and expanded, deposits of side fat that enfolded his torso and merged into widening back rolls. His hips widened, too, thickening with fat as it settled around his thighs and ass. Big hips ran in Finn’s family, especially the women, but Finn was starting to put some of them to shame. Packing his growing thighs into his dress pants had been getting more difficult lately, and they swaddled his porky butt like plastic wrap, accentuating every curve. The outline of his boxer-briefs (which were also tight) was clearly visible, cutting into his ass fat. He was definitely developing a bit of a pear shape. Standing in front of his hallway mirror before work, he made a mental note to upgrade his wardrobe before he popped a button or busted a seam.
He was starting to raise some eyebrows at the office, too: it seemed that every day Finn managed to come to work fatter, wearing worse-fitting clothes, and eating more at his desk than he had the day before. Ron, his office mate, never mentioned it, but Finn caught him staring once as he leaned over to pick up a bag of chips he’d dropped, his thick rump aimed in Ron’s direction. He looked away quickly, but Finn was pretty sure Ron spent the rest of the afternoon humming “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.
Eating the way he did was fun, but it was also a challenge. Finn imagined himself as a pro-athlete, always trying to beat his personal best and take his game to the next level. How many burgers could he eat without making himself nauseated? How many milkshakes could he drink? How many calories could he stuff into his face during the afternoon without making himself too full to enjoy a Chinese feast or a family-size portion of Mexican food for dinner? Sometimes as he pushed his bloated stomach beyond all limits, he thought of Rocky and his “Eye of the Tiger” training montage. Rising up straight to the top… Had the guts, got the glory.
So his weight climbed. He checked the scales periodically, feeling a perverse sense of accomplishment as he ticked past 250, 260… When he saw 282 flash across the scale, he felt almost giddy. He was really doing it. His life of leisure was getting closer by the day.
Six months into his journey, he did discover one downside.
He’d been so focused on turning himself into a fat boy that he’d mostly put his social life on the back burner, except for his weekly gossip sessions with Damian. So when he got a message on a hookup app from an old fling looking to reconnect, Finn jumped at the opportunity. He invited the guy—James—over to his place for “drinks” that Friday night.
Finn wasn’t much of a cleaner, but he did manage to throw out the mountains of empty food containers and bottles of beer and soda that cluttered his apartment. Satisfied that the place looked at least decent, he focused on making himself look decent.
The problem was, he’d only upgraded his work clothes. When he was at home, he mostly lounged around in his boxers, and if his sweats and t-shirt were too small, no one was around to see. But with James on the way, he had to at least find something to wear; even for Finn, answering the door in nothing but his undies was a little too forward. 
He fished a pair of jeans out of the closet, realizing how much smaller they looked than his work pants. He looked at the tag: 36”, the size he’d worn before he started his daily pig-outs. He frowned. His dress pants were 44”, roomy when he bought them but increasingly fitted. Even allowing for the difference in fabric, 36” would be a very tight squeeze.
Still, he gave it a shot. They were supposed to be a loose fit, so even if they were too tight, maybe he could still get them on.
His thunder thighs completely shattered that illusion. Getting them up to his knees had been okay, but then the resistance started to increase. His legs were just too big; there wasn’t near enough denim to get the waistband up over his massive buttocks. His blubber butt was an unconquerable challenge that those poor jeans had no hope of surmounting. They were half way over his booty when he gave up, his thighs crammed in like sausage casings, putting the seams to the test.
It would have to be sweatpants. Those were tight, too, wrapping every inch of added flesh without a stitch to spare. And his stomach… that was its own problem. He tugged at his shirt, desperately trying to get it down past his deepening navel, but his gut put up fierce resistance. Inches of chub sprung out under the hem, bulging over the waistband of his sweats.
Finn felt a surge of panic as he looked in the mirror. A fat man stared back at him, completely overflowing his clothes. He thought about changing into some dressier work clothes, but the doorbell rang before he had the chance.
He would just have to roll the dice. His rolls jiggled as he made his way to the door, forcing his shirt even further up his exposed gut, and his sweatpants further down over his behind, a swathe of plumber’s crack on full display.
He tried to play it cool when he opened the door, smiling at the twink in front of him. “Hey, James,” he said, realizing that the combination of stuffing himself into undersized clothes and rushing to the door had left him breathless. He tried to slow his panting as he leaned against the doorframe.
A look of shock and disgust crossed James’s slim face. The svelte young man stared back at him, mouth agape, eyes roaming up and down Finn’s heavily fattened body. “Uh, what the hell, Finn? You never told me you got so fucking fat.”
“I thought you liked dadbods. And anyway, it’s just a couple pounds,” he said, tugging fruitlessly at the hem of his t-shirt. He knew that was a lie.
“Yeah, a couple dozen. Look, I’m not into chubs. Call me when you lose some weight,” he said. “And update your damn photo, I feel like I just got catfished.”
And with that, he turned on his heel and walked down the hall, tiny hips swinging. Finn stood in the doorway. He was humiliated, but he felt something else, too. His dick was starting to get hard, tenting the front of his overloaded sweats. He tried not to overthink it, assuming it was just the expectation of sex. He shook his head and closed the door. At least there was a carton of ice cream in the freezer with his name on it. Ice cream never criticized his weight. Ice cream was the best boyfriend a guy could ask for.
He told Damian about his failed hookup when they went out to dinner that weekend, portraying himself as the innocent victim of a shallow tease. “Can you believe that?” he said, through a mouthful of cheeseburger. He took a swig of beer. “He literally said I catfished him. Over a couple pounds.”
Damian frowned, fiddling with his glasses. Finn couldn’t help but notice how powerful Damian’s biceps looked, the way his pecs stretched his t-shirt. While Finn had been packing on fat, Damian was layering rock-hard muscle onto his narrow frame, building his body from slim and twinkish to something approaching Achilles or Adonis.
“Right. Listen, I don’t want to be rude, but…” Damian glanced away, rubbing his sharp jaw. He wouldn’t meet Finn’s gaze. “Is everything okay? Y’know, you kind of have been gaining a lot of weight recently.”
Finn’s stomach fluttered. For some reason, getting called out like that by muscular Damian, athletic Damian, perfect Damian, made Finn feel… well, a little turned-on. He couldn’t figure it out—it was embarrassing, but it was the sort of embarrassment that started in his crotch and radiated outwards, sitting like a lustful pit in his stomach. Why did this keep happening? He decided to explore a little further. “Really? Is it super noticeable?”
Damian still couldn’t look Finn in the eyes. He pushed some wild rice around his plate, before spluttering: “It’s—well, I don’t know, that’s… I just wanted to make sure nothing was going on with you.”
Unlike Finn, Damian was a terrible liar. That’s why Finn always did the talking when they were up to no good as kids. Damian hadn’t even answered his question, which made the answer obvious: it was extremely noticeable. Eighty pounds on a 5’10” frame would be noticeable to anyone with eyes.
“Too many good meals, I guess,” Finn said, dragging a hand along the outline of his gut, framed by a too-small button-down, and letting it rest on the underside of his expansive belly. “You must think I’m turning into a real pig, huh?”
Damian reddened slightly, and ran a hand through his thick hair. He kept fiddling with his glasses, eyes flicking from Finn’s belly to finally meet his gaze. “No, of course not. I was just checking in. And I wanted to offer to train you if you wanted any help losing weight. At the gym.”
Finn cracked a smirk. “Actually, can I let you in on a little secret?” he asked, his voice low.
Damian nodded, leaning forward slightly. His expression was intense, the sort of look Finn recognized as deep interest. He rested his hand on his chin, slender fingers covering his pink lips.
“I’m doing it on purpose. I figured out that I get to work from home if I get fat enough. So I’m trying to gain even more. I've packed on eighty already.”
Damian’s jaw dropped, but he closed it again, quickly. “Wait, really?” he asked, arching his brows. “Finn, don’t you think that’s a little… reckless? Dangerous, even?”
Finn took a long slurp of his soda; he liked to have something to wash down the beer. His smirk widened. “Well, you know I live for a little danger.”
Damian’s mouth opened slightly, and he closed it again, his eyes searching his plate. He seemed to be trying to comprehend the information that had just been dropped on him. He gave a slow nod as Finn shovelled a mouthful of nachos into his eager maw.
“Do you think that’s stupid?” Finn asked, after the silence had gone on for a little too long.
“No,” Damian said, quickly. He sighed, looking down at his own plate. “I mean, it’s the sort of stunt that only you’d come up with. But it kind of reminds me of myself, in a way. Setting a goal and pushing yourself until you get there, no matter the cost… It’s just… Well, I don’t want you to get hurt, Finn. Don’t want anything to happen to you.” His chocolatey brown eyes searched Finn’s face. “I care about you.”
Finn’s smirk turned into a genuine smile, at that, a big, toothy grin. “Aw, shucks, you’re gonna make me blush.” He gave his friend a playful punch in the arm. “Anyway, I’ll be fine. As soon as I get permission to work from home, I’ll drop it all. I’ll look like you in no time.”
Damian nodded again. He looked away from Finn, back to the steamed vegetables and wild rice on his plate. “Of course,” he said. “I’m sure you will.”
Finn frowned. Damian really was a terrible liar.
After that night, something in Finn changed. It wasn’t just about the job anymore. Now, there was something inside of him that wanted to get fatter, a part of his libido that pushed him to expand his stomach and add even more fat to his obese body.
Finn had always been lazy, but the added pounds made him even lazier. Even the most basic tasks started to seem like a chore, if not a workout. He loathed standing in front of the sink to wash dishes, or picking up the garbage that accumulated around his apartment. Hauling a load of laundry down the stairs might as well have been a marathon. He didn’t mind showers, since they gave him a chance to size up his expanding body, but the amount of time it took to wash all that added flesh was getting to be a headache.
And he abandoned any pretense of keeping his office clean. Was he supposed to get up and walk over to the recycling bin, like some sort of olympic athlete? Not fucking likely. Ron glared at him, staring at the empty soda bottles and takeout boxes that littered his desk. Finn knew that Ron was the one who ended up disposing of the absurd amount of waste he produced in the run of a day. His disgust was like an aphrodisiac to Finn, who relished the judgmental stares of skinny people, the way they watched, uncomprehendingly, as he treated his ballooning body like a dumpster for a repulsive array of junk food.
Other than Damian. His reaction had been a complete shock to Finn. Damian didn’t judge him, or push him to work out. In a strange way, Damian seemed to appreciate the effort that he was putting into his body, to admire his dedication to this new lifestyle of laziness and voracious greed. Damian sometimes showed up at Finn’s door with a heavy bag of takeout, tidying up Finn’s living room as he devoured whatever offerings his friend delivered. And it wasn’t just takeout: sometimes Damian brought a six pack of beer, a pan of homemade brownies, or a freshly-baked cheesecake. Finn hadn’t realized his friend was such a talented baker until he tasted his delicious food.
Finn was becoming a lazy, slovenly eating machine, a paragon of ever-expanding gluttony. Hardly a moment passed when he wasn’t stuffing his face with something. There was no denying that he was getting seriously fat: he had gotten into a rhythm, a routine of pushing himself and then pushing himself further. Being full just didn’t cut it anymore; he had to be stuffed. Once, eating 5,000 calories in a day was exceptional; now, it was the norm. He was downright cranky when he didn’t have something to snack on, his mood brightening as soon as he got his pudgy fingers on a bar of chocolate or a greasy slice of pizza. 
Blake, his friend at the donut shop, seemed astonished at how much food Finn consumed, even as Finn noticed the cashier’s polo shirt fitting tighter around his growing beer belly and love handles. And he loved teasing Sam, the skinny cashier at Imperial Wok. He’d sidle up to the counter, letting his belly lead the way. “You know the drill,” he’d say, with a wry smile, the slight cashier’s dark eyes boggling at the massive slab of all-American beef parked in front of him. He always made eyes at the dark-haired cutie as he loaded up boxes with a banquet’s worth of egg rolls, fried rice, noodles and sweet-and-sour pork. Sam really did know the drill: dish out enough food to fill Finn’s monstrous belly.
He ballooned up to 300 pounds, and rocketed past 310, more than twice what he weighed six years ago as a trim 18-year-old, and a hundred pounds fatter than the chubby guy he’d been less than a year before. 310 gave way to 320, and then 330. He realized with glee that he was closer to his target than his starting weight.
His new lifestyle was putting a strain on his savings. In addition to blowing money on groceries and takeout, keeping himself clothed was starting to cost a fortune. He tried to plan ahead, but it was only a matter of time before 48” pants went from roomy to cozy to uncomfortable, and then they stopped buttoning altogether, his widening waist overwhelming them, his fat butt consuming every scrap of material.
The contrast between his body and Damian’s was marked as they sat at their usual bar. They had given up on booths, which were starting to become a bit of a squeeze for Finn. Damian looked totally built in a Sun’s Out, Guns Out tank top. And boy were his guns out.
“I deadlifted 350 today,” Damian said, as he speared a piece of lettuce with his fork. His tone was totally casual, like it was the sort of thing he talked about all the time. 
Finn didn’t really know what he was talking about. “Huh,” he said, through a mouthful of pizza. “Is that good?” It certainly sounded like a big number.
Damian shrugged. “New personal best. I’m pretty happy about it. I’m almost as strong as Richard now.”
Finn nodded. Richard was the “daddy bear” that had inspired Damian’s ongoing transformation into a muscular jock. Finn didn’t have the heart to tell Damian that no amount of muscle gains would convince Richard to leave his wife, so he just nodded along.
“So you could still lift me,” Finn said, as he grabbed a handful of fries. He grinned. “For now.”
Damian chuckled. “Seriously? How big are you gonna get?” He was trying to sound casual, but there was an edge in his voice. Was it… eagerness?
“420’s the goal,” Finn said, feeling his cock start to stiffen at the thought. “I’ll have to get high to celebrate.”
Damian whistled. “That is… wow, that’s big,” he said, brows arching as he surveyed Finn’s gigantic form.
“Only 75 pounds to go,” he said, slapping his hand against the side of his belly and making it jiggle. “So close I can almost taste it. It kinda tastes like butter.”
Damian laughed. After that, he seemed to show up at Finn’s house practically every day, carrying boxes of snacks and plates loaded down with homemade goodies. Finn always accepted them appreciatively, happy to fill his gut for free—Damian had that engineer money, anyway. And he wouldn’t admit it to his oldest friend, but there was something a little erotic about lazing around on the couch, greedily stuffing his gut, as a muscly hunk picked up his trash and cleaned up his apartment. He’d popped a boner more than a few times watching Damian wash the dishes, firm glutes shifting back and forth as he scrubbed pots and pans.
God, I’m weird, Finn thought to himself. But if it was wrong to get aroused by a gorgeous guy playing housemaid while he gorged himself, Finn didn’t want to be right. Even if that guy was just a friend.
Finn didn’t realize just how many extra calories Damian had been pumping into him until a few weeks later, when he was getting dressed for work. He was used to a bit of a struggle, but this was worse than usual. His pants were skin-tight against his tree trunk thighs, booty fat spilling out over the top like bread dough overfilling its pan. He gave another tug and managed to get his ass covered, but getting them buttoned was an entirely different matter. He pulled as hard as he could, to no avail. He inhaled—still nothing.
He fell backwards onto his bed and sucked in with all his might—a pointless exercise for a man of his impressive size. His stomach was so huge, so laden with fat, that it barely made a difference at this point. But with a little wriggling, he managed to get them to button. His shirt was untucked, but there was no way in hell he was going to try to fix that. With the way his waistband dug into his blubber, he had no prayer of stuffing anything else in there.
He spent the morning in his usual way—feasting on donuts from the shop downstairs. Blake was looking very overfed himself, but his obvious weight gain didn’t even come close to Finn’s astronomical expansion. Finn was annoyed when he had to retrieve something from the printer, but he still hauled himself out of his creaking desk chair and walked over to get it.
But as he lowered his behind back into the chair, he heard a rip. His heart sank: his pants had breathed their last. He peered down at his side, pushing his love handle out of the way so he could size up the damage. He examined the popped seam, realizing that his colossal thighs had completely wrecked his dress pants.
And worst of all, it turned him on. Ron was looking over at him; the ripping sound was loud enough to carry through their narrow office. “Uh, wardrobe malfunction?” he asked.
Finn flushed. “Little bit,” he said. He rested a hand on his oversized gut, giving it a little rub. “Hitting the snacks a little hard I guess.”
Ron raised an eyebrow, and then turned back to his computer without comment. Finn’s boner strained against the front of his ruined pants, and he grabbed a handful of chips from the bag on his desk.
Eating five large meals a day used to be a struggle. Then it became the norm. Now, if Finn didn’t load up on lunch from at least two places, he was left crabby, his vastly overstretched stomach howling for more. But today, he used his lunch hour to waddle over to the mall next door, where he crammed himself into a pair of dress pants from a big and tall store. Seeing the way they cradled every bulge and roll, he faced facts and went a full two sizes up, hoping to accommodate his sprawling lower half for at least a little longer.
He only had time to grab a tray of burgers and fries from the mall food court, and he spent the rest of the afternoon feeling cranky and ill-at-ease, trying to get full from the horde of snacks he kept in his desk drawer. His constant chewing and burping clearly drove Ron insane, but Finn didn’t care—he was fucking hungry.
Finn’s expansion continued at its usual breakneck speed. Egged on by Damian, he packed more and more junk food into his gut, which turned into more and more lard padding his frame. He was blowing up like a balloon, and it drove him crazy with lust.
He’d invested in a scale that read the number out loud, since seeing past his voluminous gut had become impossible. It wasn’t like he missed looking at his chubby feet, and as long as he could still reach his cock, he was happy. When he heaved himself onto the scale and heard that he’d crossed the 400-pound mark, his heart soared. He was so tantalizingly close, now. At this rate, he was only a couple of months away from his target.
He stepped off the scale and ordered three pizzas to celebrate, washed down with a whole case of lager.
The looks he was getting at work ranged from curious to hostile to simply awestruck. His colleagues must have remembered just a few years earlier when his build had been fairly average; now, he was morbidly obese, left red-faced and sweating from the constant exertion of moving so much lard around. He took up so much space, stuffed his face constantly, chairs creaked and bowed under his heft—even his reinforced desk chair, a relatively recent addition to his office, was starting to show signs of wear. Hearing the indiscreet whispers as he left the breakroom carrying a handful of donuts made him insanely horny—what’s going on with him? He used to be kind of cute, now look at him! He’s as fat as a house!
Finn booked a doctor’s appointment, knowing that was the next step to make his dreams a reality. As soon as the date was set, he upped his intake even more, devouring thousands upon thousands of calories a day. Damian never seemed uncomfortable with the uneasy looks on the server’s faces when Finn ordered multiple appetizers and entrees at their weekly bar night; if anything, he encouraged Finn to order even more.
He got his bloodwork done in preparation for his doctor’s appointment, noting the shocked look on the nurse’s face when he showed up in a shirt that clung to his gut and moobs, framing it like the world’s fattest painting.
Finally, the day arrived. That morning, he realized he’d actually overshot the mark when he weighed in at 428 pounds. His thighs rubbed together as he waddled down the driveway, and he squeezed himself into the driver’s seat of his car, which dipped to the side under his bulk. He stopped for a bag of burgers on the way to the clinic.
Sitting under the fluorescent lights of the doctor’s office, Finn shifted his giant bulk, which ballooned over the sides of the chair like an avalanche of flab. He squirmed uncomfortably as Dr. Hendricks looked over a piece of paper, his handsome face grim. The fact that he was something of a silver fox—with an athletic build, chiselled features, salt-and-pepper hair, and short stubble—deepened Finn’s embarrassment about the whole situation, as well as his arousal. The doctor looked up, removing his glasses.
“Well, it’s not good, Finn,” he said, finally. “Your thyroid levels are normal, so it’s not hormonal. But your cholesterol is high, blood pressure is high, blood sugar is almost dangerous… young man, this is serious. You’ve gained over 230 pounds since our last appointment two years ago. If 230 pounds was your entire body weight, it would still be about 50 pounds too high.”
Finn nodded along. Hearing it put in those terms made his cheeks flush. He shifted again, aware of the way his giant ass bulged and spilled over his seat, the chair’s arms cutting into his expansive love handles. He was grateful for the way his gut monopolized his lap, disguising his boner.
“So, what’s going on with you, Finn?” Dr. Hendricks asked. “In my whole career, I’ve never seen anything like this. Not so much weight, so quickly, in a patient so young, without a hormonal component. Has there been… some trauma, maybe, that’s made you turn to food as a coping mechanism?” The doctor was clearly looking for some explanation that didn’t involve Finn using his body as a garbage can for every type of fast food that had the misfortune of crossing his ever-widening path.
Finn shook his head. He rubbed the rolls on the back of his neck with his pudgy fingers, a move which caused his undersized t-shirt to ride up, exposing a thick expanse of belly fat. Dr. Hendricks glanced at it, wide-eyed. Finn tugged it down, but the hem still couldn’t contain it all. “It’s—it’s nothing like that, doctor. Honestly. I guess I just like my food a little too much.”
Dr. Hendricks frowned, and made a note in Finn’s chart. He wondered what the doctor was writing. Fat fuck, maybe? Giant pig? Finn inhaled: it was showtime.
“But… I think I have one idea, at least about part of the problem,” he said. “At my job, I’m just sitting around on my computer all day…. When I was in school I used to bike to campus sometimes, but now I sit in my car, ride the elevator to my office, and then I just sit and snack all day….”
The doctor nodded along, jotting down a quick note. “Remind me what you do, Finn?”
“Customer service. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent job, but I share an office with, well, a pretty big guy,” Finn lied. “He’s always bringing in unhealthy snacks, and I guess it’s rubbed off on me. It’s like, when I’m at my desk, I’m always eating. And there’s a food court on the ground floor of our building, it’s so tempting that I end up eating three meals a day there, sometimes. Sometimes more. Big meals.”
The truth was the opposite: Finn was the big guy in the office, and Ron was the one who was picking up his bad habits. And he didn’t just eat three meals a day in the food court; it was almost always more.
Dr. Hendricks nodded. “And you haven’t had success with portion control, or exercise?”
Finn reached across his blubbery breasts, running a hand along his flabby upper arm. “I keep trying to cut back, but I’m just too tempted. And in terms of exercise, I feel so tired by the time I get home from work that I just can’t make myself go to the gym.”
That part was mostly true, at least. Except for attempting to cut back.
“Have you considered seeing a therapist?” Dr. Hendricks’ voice was gentle. “What you’re describing sounds like it could be food addiction.”
Finn swallowed, feeling a lump form in his throat. He was fully clothed, but sitting under the fluorescent lights, he felt exposed—an enormous, naked blob of a man. A small part of his brain knew that maybe the doctor was right, maybe he was getting hooked on the high of fat, salt, and sugar… assuming he wasn’t hooked already. It was more than a little erotic. But he pushed those thoughts aside and pressed ahead with his performance. “Maybe I should see someone, yeah. But I really think the biggest problem is my job.”
Ten minutes later, Finn left Dr. Hendricks’ office with a note recommending that work from home would be helpful to Finn’s weight loss plan. He’d also sworn up and down that he would change his diet, start exercising, and see a therapist—promises he had no intention of keeping. He’d gotten what he wanted, and he didn’t plan on going back to see his doctor anytime soon.
Finn was glowing as he made his way home. The next day, he handed the doctor’s note to his boss, who looked it over. The slim man’s exasperation was obvious, but he managed to keep it contained, no doubt conscious of the union rep staring at him with a serious look on her face.
And then, it was done. His plan was complete. He boxed up his office at the end of the day, and headed home, hoping never to return. Except, perhaps, to flirt with Sam and keep tabs on Blake’s steady and seemingly inexorable transformation from cub to chub.
Okay, now that I’ve got what I want, I can start to shift some of this weight, Finn thought when he woke up the next morning. He’d celebrated pretty hard the night before—pizzas, fried chicken, cake, pie, with beer and soda to drink… a true feast. It was supposed to be a last hurrah. But now, he had to start cutting back. Time to put Damian to shame, he thought, grinning.
His diet plans didn’t exactly pan out.
Before settling into his couch to work, Finn had two pieces of toast with peanut butter for breakfast. In the old days, that would have been enough to carry him through the whole morning. But he was hungry again within a half hour, distractingly hungry. He kept zoning out when he was supposed to be answering emails, conscious of how empty his stomach felt.
Well, I can’t exactly change overnight, Finn thought, as he punched in a mobile order for a couple of breakfast sandwiches and a few hasbrowns. Not realizing what he was doing, he finished off a box of cookies before they even arrived.
The rest of the day went similarly: he thought about cutting back, and then his stomach and his brain conspired against any attempt to actually do it. By the end of his workday, his stomach was achingly full, packed with more donuts, pizza, and Chinese food than he ever ate at the office.
Okay, I’m really gonna do it today, Finn would think each morning. I’m actually going to lose some weight now. But after years of stuffing and overstuffing his gut, stretching it to new and obscene proportions, it took a lot to make him feel full. If anything, any attempts to cut back left him feeling so miserable and hungry that he invariably ended up overdoing it, eating more than he needed to compensate for his few hours of attempted restraint. So he kept eating, and his portions kept escalating, and he didn’t lose any weight. 
In fact, as he tried to button up his shirt before a video call one morning, he came to the uncomfortable conclusion that he’d piled on even more. The shirt wouldn’t even button over his fat gut. He managed to close it over his tits, though, and got away with it by keeping the camera pointed at his chubby face and soft shoulders.
He confessed his struggles to Damian one night, when his muscular friend showed up with a bag brimming with takeout. Finn had told him to stop bringing snacks, and then immediately changed his mind, telling Damian to keep that good food coming. Damian was a little reluctant, at first, but it didn’t take him long until he was back to his old habits: filling his car with family-sized meals and bulging bags of snack foods to ply on his ever-greedier, continuously-expanding best friend.
“I don’t think I’ve lost any weight,” Finn said, frowning as he took another heaping forkful of fried rice.
Damian looked him up and down, seeming to take in the sheer vastness of Finn’s enormous body as it dominated the couch. “Well, have you tried cutting out snacks?”
Finn frowned. “Not exactly.”
“What about exercise? You could come to the gym with me.”
“Definitely not,” Finn said. The idea of stuffing his hundreds of pounds of blubber into workout clothes and putting on a humiliating show for the muscle-heads at Damian’s gym sounded like an exercise in humiliation, besides being utterly exhausting.
Damian sighed. “I was kind of hoping you’d say yes. I need a new workout buddy.”
“What about Richard?” Finn asked, through a mouthful of General’s chicken. “You were just saying last week that you finally benched more than him.”
Damian looked like he was about to cry. He bit his lower lip and looked away. “Richard told his wife about us. He confessed everything and begged her to forgive him. He told me he joined another gym, so I doubt I’ll be seeing him again.”
Finn frowned, and rested a hand on Damian’s steely shoulder. He knew this was coming, even if Damian was blindsided. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “Sounds like you need a drink.”
Damian hesitated. He was always going on about liquid calories, but Finn watched him leap off the couch and stride into the kitchen, where he pulled out a couple of beers.
A few hours later, Finn was buzzed and Damian was plastered. He’d spent the evening pouring his heart out about how he’d never find love, how he’d never heard a guy say “I love you”, how there must have been something wrong with him.
Finn swallowed a mouthful of cheesecake. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you,” Finn said. He meant it. In Finn’s eyes, Damian was totally perfect. Hardworking, honest, funny, kind… not to mention stunningly attractive and with a great job. “You’re the whole package.”
Damian scoffed. “You’re just saying that. You have to say that, you’re my best friend.”
Finn looked him in the eyes. “No, I really mean that. I think any guy would be lucky to have you.”
“Not any guy,” Damian mumbled. His voice was bitter. He took another sip of beer.
“What do you mean?”
Damian’s eyes searched Finn’s round face. “Well, the only guy I’ve ever wanted sees me as a friend. No matter how hard I throw myself at him, he never makes a move.”
Finn was floored. “You mean…”
Damian nodded. An embarrassed look crossed his handsome face. “Yeah. You. I still think about that night we kissed, how much I wanted it. How much I want to do it again.”
“I think about it, too,” Finn admitted. He’d never stopped thinking about the feeling of Damian’s soft lips against his, their slender bodies pressed together. “All the time.”
“I’ve loved you since we were 12 years old, Finn. Looking at you through our bedroom windows, across our yards… God, I would have done anything for you. Why do you think I let you copy my homework, my tests? Or took the fall for you when your parents found that weed in your backpack, even though I got grounded for a month? Because I’ve always been fucking crazy about you.”
Finn’s heart was pounding in his chest, and not only from the mountain of dessert he’d just devoured. “What, even now? Now that I look like this?”
“Especially now,” Damian answered. His expression was so serious, his eyes so honest… “God, it’s like… the bigger you get, the crazier you drive me.”
Finn smiled. “What, you mean you’ve liked blowing me up like a balloon?”
Damian grinned shyly, pushing his glasses up his nose. “It’s the hottest thing I’ve ever done. Some days after I bring you snacks, I have to rush home to, uh, relieve myself.”
Finn laughed at that. “Wow. And here I thought you were just being friendly.”
Damian looked across the room, not meeting Finn’s gaze. He took another swig of beer. “A real friend would’ve told you what a blimp you were turning into. A real friend wouldn’t get off on seeing how many calories he could pile into your gut in a single sitting.”
Finn shook his head. His cock ached at the thought of Damian feeding him, getting off on his fattening body. “Well I guess I don’t want a ‘real’ friend. I want a friend like you.”
Damian blushed. Finn leaned forward, straining to reach over his beach ball-sized gut, and set his beer on the table. He couldn’t take his eyes off of Damian’s face.
“So many times when I’ve been with Richard, I’ve been thinking about you. Thinking about how big your butt is, how badly I want to grab it and squeeze it and make your whole body shake. Thinking about how you used to be even smaller than me when we were younger, and how now you could bury me under all your weight and still have plenty to spare. Thinking about—”
Finn leaned in and pressed his lips against Damian’s, shutting him up. Damian melted into the kiss immediately, his body slackening as he collapsed into Finn’s bulk.
And suddenly, they were 18 again, drunk on fireball shots and lying on Damian’s bed after Lindsay Decker’s house party, giggling like fools until their lips met and the whole world disappeared around them. It was just the two of them, just Finn and Damian, their shared past and future collapsing into one breathless kiss.
Damian exhaled, and then kissed Finn even more forcefully, his arm draping around Finn’s neck, his free hand reaching out to cup one of his soft, bulging breasts, nipple poking against his slender fingers. Finn kissed him back, one hand on Damian’s narrow waist, the other cupping his angular face, the tips of his fingers brushing through Damian’s soft hair. He’d been waiting so long for this moment, always afraid that he’d misread some signal or that he couldn’t be the man his best friend deserved. But he’d waited long enough. They both had. He was ready.
They laughed when their lips pulled apart, the tension vanishing behind them. “Are you gonna regret this in the morning?” Finn asked.
Damian’s expression turned serious, almost defiant. “The only thing I regret is taking so long.”
Finn couldn’t keep himself from smiling.
“So…” Damian said. He fixed Finn with a lusty gaze, eyes lidded with pleasure, and licked his lips. “How about we take the rest of this cheesecake and head to the bedroom?”
Finn raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure? You’re not just saying that because you’re drunk?”
Damian shook his head. “I’m not that drunk,” he said. He trailed his fingers along the endless curve of Finn’s palatial belly, caressing the naked flesh that erupted out from under the hem of his shirt. “I’ve just spent so long fantasizing about feeding you properly, and… well, why settle for off-brand diet cola when you can have classic Coke?”
Now Damian was speaking his language.
Finn’s ears perked up at the sound of the key turning in the front door. He shifted in the love seat, briefly considering getting up to greet Damian at the door, but decided against it. It would take a couple of minutes to build up enough momentum to haul himself to a stand.
“I’m home!” Damian called from the kitchen.
“Perfect timing,” Finn called back. “I’m so frickin’ hungry. Starving, even.”
“Hold your horses, big fella, let me get my coat off first.”
“Hurry,” Finn whined, trailing his hand across his gut to soothe it. He’d polished off two pizzas for lunch, followed by two family-size bags of chips and a package of twinkies, but he hadn’t eaten in almost an hour. He knew he wasn’t actually hungry, but when he wasn’t eating, he started to get antsy. He chugged some soda, squirming in anticipation.
A moment later, Damian appeared in the living room doorway, muscular arms flexing as he carried two heaping grocery bags. Damian had to make grocery runs on a daily basis to keep up with the demands of Finn’s relentless appetite.
He must have encountered quite a scene in the living room: just like he always wanted, Finn was seated on the couch in his underwear, TV playing in the background. Except, he’d never imagined just how truly, colossally, unbelievably fat he would be. He was so wide that his bulging flanks brushed against the sides of the loveseat, which bowed in the middle under his immense, crushing weight. His laptop balanced on top of his belly, which was more a table than a shelf, which plowed outwards in front of him as far as his knees. His thighs were like industrial drainage tubes, his melon-sized manboobs pouring off his chest and sticking out to the sides. When he leaned back, the combined weight of his breasts and mountain of belly fat compressed his lungs.
“So, how are those weight loss plans coming along?” Damian asked, with a wry smirk.
“Very funny,” Finn said. He still maintained that he would lose some weight, but that was starting to seem more like fantasy than an actual, tangible possibility. Just halting his astronomical weight gain would be a challenge at this point, given how hopelessly addicted he was to stuffing his face. He had an appointment with Dr. Hendricks in a few weeks, and he could only imagine the look of horror on the gorgeous doctor’s face when he showed up so fat that he could barely fit through the doorway, not to say into an office chair. “Are you just gonna stand there and watch me slowly starve to death, or are you gonna bring those snacks over?”
Damian rolled his eyes, still smiling. “Yeah, I can tell you’re really famished. My first clue was all the garbage scattered around.” He did as he was told, bringing the grocery bags over to Damian, who immediately tore open a package of donuts. Relief flooded across his brain as soon as the taste of powdered sugar touched his tongue.
Damian had a point: there was garbage everywhere. In addition to Finn’s gluttonous afternoon, there were also pastry boxes and fast food wrappers scattered around from his two breakfasts and morning snacks. He’d asked Damian to start leaving the door unlocked so delivery drivers could let themselves in and bring the food straight to the couch; getting up was too much effort. Finn enjoyed watching them squirm uncomfortably at the sight of such an enormously obese blob of man sprawled out across an entire sofa, too fat and lazy to even reach his front door; he wondered if they ever felt morally conflicted about their role in his escalating obesity. He hoped they didn’t, given how much he was enjoying it. Sam and Blake certainly didn’t seem to mind, when he’d made his way to the office to get a new work computer a few weeks earlier. Blake had to have crossed the 300 pound mark—big enough to catch Sam’s attention, judging by the looks they were swapping across the food court.
“How was work?” Finn asked, through a mouthful of donuts. “And the gym?”
“Work was lame, gym was good,” Damian said. He reached for a donut but Finn slapped his hand away.
“It’s not—braaaaawp—cheat day,” he said; a window-rattling burp interrupted him mid-sentence.
Damian sighed, “You’re right.”
“Can’t—urp—have you getting chubby on me,” Finn joked. He honestly didn’t care how much Damian weighed; if his boyfriend thickened up a little, he wouldn’t mind one bit. But there was something deeply erotic about being so incredibly fat and still forcing a complete beefcake like Damian to submit and obey. It wasn’t about food or weight—it was about power.
“No, we can’t have that. Nothing but whitefish and flaxseed and creatine for your live-in manservant,” Damian joked back. Finn made it clear early on that he loved Damian’s body no matter what; his jockish boyfriend knew that any teasing was all in good fun. He clearly liked his submissive role in their flirty back-and-forth. “How was your day?”
Finn belched again; that second bottle of soda was really wreaking some havoc. “Good. I had to put a shirt on for a Zoom meeting, so I guess it was a gym day for me, too. Oh, Tony from IT is back in the office, apparently. Lost a bunch of weight. So I’m officially the fattest guy at work by a long shot.”
“Congratulations,” Damian said. The fact that Finn considered putting on a shirt to be a workout clearly had him hot and bothered, judging by the bulge in his pants; he hooked his thumbs into his waistband, sliding them down a little to reveal his Adonis belt. “How do you wanna celebrate?”
“With cake,” Finn said. When he saw Damian’s frown, he smiled: “Only kidding. Well, half kidding. Cake, but also a nice game of ‘find my dick’, if you’re up for it.”
“Oh, I’m always up for it,” Damian said, smiling devilishly as he ran a hand through his hair.
“But, uh, wanna grab me some ice cream first? To go with the donuts?”
Damian nodded, “Of course, big boy,��� he said. He disappeared into the kitchen, the picture of obedience.
Finn smiled as Damian returned, cartons of ice cream clutched in each hand. Finn had found the ultimate life hack: as long as Damian was around, he could get away with doing absolutely nothing.
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queersatanic · a month ago
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Someone in r/exchristian made the observation that viral, anti-Halloween sign doesn't seem to make sense given that Christmas is "handouts" on a much bigger scale
but that actually points to a key element of understanding "generosity" within American slaver Christianity
The sign:
[Handwritten note behind a mesh window. Some of the words are underlined and/or all caps for emphasis. " *Attention Satanic Socialists*!!! This is the home of a *Patriotic Christian Family*! We *work hard* and *pay taxes*! We *do not* celebrate *Satan's Day* We *do not give away free candy to lazy entitled freeloaders! *No Handouts*! Welcome to *America*!! If you want candy, **Get A Job**!! and *Find Jesus*!!!!]
The reason why giving out the pittance of Halloween candy is more offensive to these people than buying extravagant Christmas gifts is that, traditionally, you can't control who shows up at your door.
If trick-or-treaters knock, you are obliged to provide candy.
A white evangelical can be generous, of course. A Christian business owner might give out a bonus on Christmas, for example. An extravagant bonus, even.
But they’d rather shut down than let a union take hold, let alone a co-op.
So long as those Christians retain the power in the gifts they extend, they can always recall their gifts.
They may be willing to be extremely charitable in lots of things—but never power.
Because if told to obliterate earthly hierarchies—exactly as their most radical, inerrant scriptures call for explicitly—you’ll see slaver Christians become vicious and cruel beyond imagination preserving their wealth, racial privilege, patriarchy, etc.
Slaver Christians don’t hate socialism because it makes anything worse or anyone worse off.
No, they hate socialism because they and those they deem deserving of power would lose some ability to control others they regard as undeserving.
The end of these Christians' ability to control, coerce, and dominate others is terrifying and repugnant to them b/c they can only ever imagine being a slaver or enslaved; if they don't have the whip, they assume they're the slave
They can't imagine everyone equal and free.
Moreover, we’re still being sued by The Satanic Temple in federal court. TST is now *also* suing Newsweek for writing about us and that case. Check the pinned post for more.
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starkleila · a month ago
Headcanon of your life with Daemon following House of Dragon episodes (Ep 1-2)
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Summary: headcanons of you and daemon before and during HOTD episodes 1.1-1.2
Daemon targaryen x Targaryen/Lannister Reader (reader has no physical description to be inclusive, but is referred as wife twice i think)
Warning: cousin inc3st but is medival GOT. Possible age difference. badass reader
Sorry for the grammatical errors. I’m new at writing so feedback is appreciated. Thank you for reading. do not translate or appropriate my work
Comments and kudos are highly appreciated :)
words: 2200
Main materialist
Daemon materialist in ‘other characters materialist’
Background Headcanons of your character and how fell in love with daemon
-you lived between essox and westeros, going wherever you wanted and doing whatever you wanted. Your honeymoon phase after years still had not faded
-you rode dragons and horses like a man, fought like a man, lived like a man, lived by no rules expect the ones that you created yourself or that derived from loving daemon
-he not only considered you his equal, he considered you his goddess, he cherished and loved you, so contrasting from how he treated anyone else
-if someone disrespected you daemon would punish him. if someone called you b4stard or wh0re he k!lled them
- only you could tame him, but the thing was that you often didn’t want to, instead helping him in his schemes
-he often told you that he wanted the throne for you both, as you both deserved it, it was your birthright, you had to be queen not his brother and his line
-you both loved rhaenyra and was the only in your family that cared about. Rhaenrya looked at you with admiration much to his father’s dismay
-vyseris considered you his little sister but knew how dangerous you and daemon were together
-people whispered behind your back as you and daemon had been married, without the king consent, for years and yet without an heir. They did not know that you and daemon wanted to wait, to live life by no rules
-if daemon went in battle so did you. You had matching swords. He gifted you one of valyrian steal as soon as one was gifted to him. he melted his sword into two so that you each could have one, two half of the same sword as you both were two half of the same soul
-daemon made decision of impulse, something you loved about him but also hated as sometimes he took them without asking you first, like going with the gold guards in the city. If he made you mad he would apologize, his forehead on yours, or on your chest, asking quietly for your forgiveness and  you always granted it
-daemon is a leaner, he always leans, and often he has you lean on him. if he leans against the door while other talk, you then are in his arms leaning against his chest and fidgeting with his ring.
-he has always hands on you if you are together, holding your hand, playing with your wedding ring, caressing your arms or shoulders,
-daemon is for pda, he has great proud in you, especially in front of people that are against your union. Kissing in front of others for him is a must to do
-when he is vulnerable he leans his forehead on you, against your own forehad, chest, shoulder, belly, anything, he loves the proximity
-he showers you in gifts
-allicent envies you, you married for love, she instead was married off
-daemon calls you his queen, my lioness, my dragon, my heart, my love, my wife. You call him my prince, king, my dragon, my love, husband
-daemon loves to be the one to tie (and untie) your dress
-he is possessive and protective but knows very well you can defend yourself. He intervenes only if he sees you in real danger, if not he lets you handle your battles alone
-one time you were hurt in battle he slaughtered countless men and rushed you to a medic
-he never hurt you and he never would
-you are the only one able to calm him down
-you kept writing to aemma and vyserys. Although ignoring his requests to make daemon do as he wanted. You always sent gifts to rhaenyra for her birthdays
-you spend a lot of time at casterly rock visiting your other side of family that daemon liked to torment
-you were envied by everyone as you married for love to an husband that let you do whatever you wanted
-you were bitter that you weren’t given prestigious positions when it was in your birthright. But you were not attached to the throne as was daemon or corlys
-daemon always kisses your knuckles, fingertips, head, forehead and shoulders
-you like to play with his hair or braid it while he reads to you
-daemon is obsesses of hugging you from behind and resting his forehead on your shoulder, you usually caress his arms that are engulfing you
Episode 1
-when rhaenyra comes seeing you both daemon is seated on the iron throne, why you are seated on his lap kissing him. ‘your quarters are much more comfortable than the spiky throne for such activity uncle and aunt’ rhaenyra says to let you know of her presence as you two stopped and turn to look at her
-you spend the day with rhaenyra telling her of your adventures.
-when night comes daemon asks you if you want to join the raid to the city. You reply that you are not keen of the idea and don’t approve it so you will wait in your chambers.
-daemon comes back from his night of depravity ‘when we are here, with your brothe,r you are another person’ you tell him, not approving this extent of depravity. He steals your glass of wine and drunks it, before bending down to kiss you ‘ah ah’ you say a finger on his lips ‘not while you are dirty’ he rolls his eyes faking to leave and then by taking you by surprise he sweeps you up in his arms kissing you, you giggle
-next morning at the council while daemon is lectured for the events of the day before you defend daemon, otto hightower intervenes that you are a guest member at the council, ‘because this sexist council refuses to grant me my birthright to be a regular member of the council’ you reply ‘maybe you are not fit’ otto replies, then daemon speaks dead serious with murder in his eyes ‘careful how you speak to the Princess Otto’, ‘I’m sorry Princess, as I was saying if Daemon had the same loyalty to his duty as he does to his wife maybe the city watch would be less brutal’
-as he comes back from the meeting you thought he would be furious instead he is just sad. He hugs you from behind without saying a word. you know him very well and that he wants to be seen by his brother, still bitter that he is not The Hand, that your value is not recognized,and that both of you are not granted roles that are in your birthright. You sigh and turn to face him, his face in your hands you caress his chin slowly. ‘you are daemon targeryen, the rogue prince, rider of caraxas, wielder of dark sister, the king can’t replace you. No one can. Do you hear it my love?’ you ask him, he doesn’t reply as he pecks your lips. then He laid his head on your shoulder and chest as you hug him
- The king asked you not to participate in tournament and so you didn’t. you kissed daemon before he went to the tournament and then cheered for him all way through. daemon look at you before every tournament you nod to him smiling. Daemon wins for you and you bend down form the stage to kiss him. After his win you cheer to him ‘nicely done husband’ ‘I’m pretty sure I can win this tournament my love, your favors would ensure it my princess’ when you take the flower crown to give to him he draws you in for a kiss as you giggle
-as Baratheon asks for your favor daemon brutally attacks him,  having him called you the ‘disinherited princess’
-as daemon looses to sir criston you are the edge of your sit fearing for his wellbeing and for his pride. When daemon seems to win you stand up cheering but the joy is short-lived as sir crisotn tricks him and wins instead. Daemon doesn’t want to yield but the cry that he can hear in your voice when you call his name makes him yield and save his own life. As sir cirson asks for Rhaernyra’s favor you leave the stage to go to daemon that is furious you are consoling him when the news of aemma arrives
-you and daemon console rhaenyra, standing next to her at the funeral, you hold her hand
-you crying for Aemma. ‘what vyserus did was horrible’ daemon hugs you ‘you know that I would never choose a heir over you right?’ daemon asks you seriously.  He has seen you this shaken only a few times, often after he had done something reckless, or in this case as you feared birthing children that he knew was one of the reasons why you wanted to wait and as you knew sooner or later for a woman of your social status and for medieval times you would have no choice for it. You nod as you cry. He hugs you tightly ‘you are all that matters to me’ he says kissing the top of your head
-you and daemon listen to the council behind the doors as they disinheriting and insulting daemon and say you have no claims  and are a bastard. Daemon is livid
-you ask him why he didn’t deny the accusation of having said ‘heir for a day’. You weren’t there but you knew he hadn’t.
-daemon confronted his brother on how he always left him aside and how otto wants his power. he is banished and as always you follow him. you are angry not at daemon but at vyseris and how he is blind. ‘I did not give you a home as your birthright is to have’ he says voice low, his forehead on yours ‘you are my home daemon, not a cold castle’ you tell him
Episode 2
-daemon sent announce that he took the egg as you were pregnant and that he had taken dragonstone being in your birthright (which the latter was true). The king asked the council what he had to do, he could not kill two family members.
-angry at the king for having as always mistreated you and daemon you stand with him on the right over dragon stone but you did not know what daemon had told them about you. You stand beside him, as you are his equal. You warn Otto to talk with respect at both at you. But you go pale when Otto says that you two can’t steal an egg for your child, if you had asked it the king would have given it to you. Your mind goes blank when daemon says he will attack them if they don’t leave but you are too angry for what he said about you to back him up.
-you see rhanryra on Syrax arriving and that takes you out from your confused state. You three start talking high valeyan as rhaenyra claims her castle, although it was taken away from you as you explain that to her. As she speaks of the egg daemon claims its for your child hence rhaenyra looks at you for confirmation, you stay silent as demon replies ‘one day’ . rheanyra says she is the object of your hire and that would be enough to kill her to get what you want. as you look at her in shock, does she really think that low of you? Daemon smirks at her and then leaves throwing the egg at rhaenyra, as he takes  your hand you do not allow it, angry at him, he murmurs your name as you leave him on the bridge
-as soon as you reach the throne room he is not far behind. He hugs your from behind, his head resting on your shoulder a silent plead for forgives. ‘you told them I was with child. Just to get back at your brother. Without asking me first’ ‘maybe one day you will be or maybe never as children are irritating, I don’t see the problem of lying about it though’ he says ‘you know what they say of me behind my back! You swore to protect me from vile tongues and then you help them in their evilness of saying I can’t produce heirs when in reality we never tried as is a decision I make of when and if!’ you shout at him getting out of his embrace. He seats down knowing you are angry at him ’I will always protect you, you know that’ he tells you, you scoff, ‘don’t bother coming in our bed tonight daemon. You will find it empty’ you tell him exiting the room as he calls your name. yet you make peace soon after, as he finds you in your shared bedroom he doesn’t try to force you to talk he just gets in bed murmuring a ‘I’m sorry’ as he hugs you from behind, you let him.
-lord corlys proposes you both to help him in the stepstones inviting you at driftmark as you both are without home again, you both agree both angry and bored of the king.
Main materialist
Daemon materialist in ‘other characters materialist’
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The way the MASH fandom tends to imagine the ages of the characters is fascinating to me. I keep seeing people referring to various main characters (except Potter and Radar) as “middle-aged”. While to my knowledge we do not have an exact age for any of the characters, I don’t think this assumption can be correct.
While references to character ages within the show are all over the place, in keeping with typically nonsensical MASH continuity, we do have concrete information from the cast on this. Alan Alda stated that Hawkeye is in his late 20s. This would make sense both for him and for BJ, Trapper, and all other assorted surgeons, given where they are in their professional and personal lives. The one exception to this would be Charles, who David Ogden Stiers mentioned was intended to be in his mid-30s, which would in turn make sense for Charles specifically, as he is clearly farther along in a surgeon’s career path than the others, he is the only doctor who has multiple specialties (thoracic and pediatric), and personality-wise he generally acts older than the other Swamp Rats.   Real life statistics back this up, as well! The age range of the draft at this time was 18 & 1/2 to 35. (Also, notably, those who served in WWII were exempted from taking part in the Korean War draft, which would be evidence that none of the men in the show besides Potter served in WWII, for what that’s worth.) And that range was heavily weighted toward the lower end. When the show makes a big deal about how young the soldiers they treat are, it’s being absolutely realistic: the average age of a Korean War soldier in 1950 was 19!
The character who most inspired this post, however, I don’t think anyone ever mentioned an age for at any point: Klinger. Almost without exception, I see people talk about Klinger with the assumption that he is the same age as the doctor characters. This has always confused me, because I see no reason that should be true! It makes sense that the doctors would skew quite above the average draftee age of 19 because of the age constraints of their profession, but there is absolutely no reason to assume that same skewing would apply to Klinger, a random enlisted person. 
In fact, there are several pieces of evidence in support of the idea of him being younger, perhaps 19-23. While he does call Radar “kid” a few times, implying he is older than him, they are also very close friends and Radar clearly does not treat him with the same “little sibling” attitude that he does Hawkeye & co. (Plus, Radar and Klinger are given equivalent places in the narrative constantly. In just about every other aspect, we are clearly meant to see them as having “equal status”, so why not in regards to age?)
There’s also the whole Laverne thing. The mere fact of his getting married makes him seem older to a modern audience, but we must remember that back in 1950, people tended to marry earlier than today. (Average age of marriage in 1950 was 20 for women, 23 for men.) Klinger says Laverne was his highschool sweetheart, and it’s implied that they’ve been together steadily since then. We know he very much WANTS to get married and have a family. Given the aforementioned cultural norms, if he’s even in his late 20s, it would be weird that he’s not already married before the show starts.  
Additionally, there’s his apparent position career-wise, which is: he does not have a career yet! He mentions a lot of summer jobs doing various different things, usually helping a family member’s business, which would make total sense for a college-age kid with no socioeconomic opportunity to actually go to college. Given how hardworking and eager to learn Klinger is (remember his multiple correspondence courses--another age-appropriate similarity with Radar), if he were middle-aged, he would surely already have a good blue-collar union profession. (Again, cultural norms: they had not yet invented the horror of the gig economy in the 50s lol.) 
This post is getting way too long, but I do feel quite passionate about this subject, especially with regards to Klinger. The fact that Radar’s age is such a huge part of his character, but Klinger is implicitly treated by the show, and thus seen by the fandom, as much older even though there’s no REASON for that..... It makes me think. Especially given the way youth of color are treated in both reality and fiction. Especially given how despicably the other characters treat him in late seasons, making fun of him for being incompetent and stupid. I know it’s really not that deep! But it just makes me think. 
(On a lighter note, I also think it’s useful to keep in mind the canonical age difference between a 32-34 year old Charles and his 26-29 year old roommates. And his age means he NEARLY aged out of draft eligibility, too!)
(”Where does Margaret come into this?” you ask. I’m honestly not sure! I don’t recall any canonical statement of her age either, in-universe or out. It’s important to note, though, that the average age of nurses was definitely higher than that of the male draftees. I couldn’t find data for Korea specifically, but during WWII, the age requirements for the army nurse corps were 21-40, later 21-45. Again, these are medical professionals, so this increased age makes sense. (And the show actually gives us some older nurse characters!) It makes sense for Margaret to be on the higher end of this spectrum, given her high rank and status, but not super high, given that she’s highly skilled and extremely ambitious.)
But beyond individual characters, I wish the age thing were more concrete and acknowledged, just for the sake of the whole tone of the show! I really wish they’d gone out of their way to portray the truth: that aside from the medical professionals, the average age of the enlisted men at the 4077th should be nineteen years old. That all of their patients really are just babies to these doctors (and to the older nurses as well!). It would really help drive home some of the points the series tried so hard to make.
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tomanpeach · 10 months ago
the rindou whisperer – reader x rindou
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a/n: this is not very proofread bc i wrote it kinda quick so apologies if anything is very unhinged or messy LMAO listen besties nobody asked for this but i had no choice!!! i was reading these bonten hcs earlier and the writer said at the end that they HATED RINDOU????? and i took that personally bc i am in a civil union w his brother so i made this as an apology to rindou for the behavior of my peers please leave him some love in the reblogs enjoy xoxoxo
summary: rindou has a bad day but do not fear, you are here!!!! just some mfn annoying sweet bf rindou
content: mentions of alcohol and lots of cursing i'm sorry bout that!!!
word count: 1k (1,001 to be exact how crazy lol)
you brace yourself at the door to rindou's apartment on the top floor. after work you had excitedly texted him asking if he wanted to get dinner to celebrate the start of the weekend, or if he'd like you to pick something up and come over. the response you received was: "idk i had a shit fuckin day come over if you want"
you decide to use the key he had given you instead of knocking and risking incurring rindou's wrath, especially since he'd already told you he was in bad mood.
rindou was like a wild animal sometimes, when he felt angry or scared or cornered, he lashed out. but, after nine months of dating him, you liked to think that you had become a master in dealing with his frequent mood swings and unpredictability. you were the fucking rindou whisperer.
once you're inside the apartment, you spot him lying on the couch with one arm draped over his eyes. he's so still you aren't sure if he's even awake. you watch him intently as you shut the front door, searching for any sign that he's heard you come in.
he huffs out a sigh. so far so good.
before you say a word you head straight to his kitchen and get a beer from the fridge for him. "i don't want that," he calls from the couch behind you, following the sound of the refrigerator door closing.
"maybe it's for me," you reply simply. he says nothing.
you kick off your shoes and climb onto the couch, folding yourself neatly to fit in the space between his outstretched legs. his arm falls away from his face so he can scowl at you.
"do you have to sit so fucking close?"
"yeah, i do," you spit back, narrowing your eyes at him.
despite growing up being on seemingly equal footing with his older brother, he still managed to feel like he was living in his shadow. ran was older, taller, and more assertive. he knew how to be charming and funny and how to get shit done. people liked and respected him but more importantly, they feared him.
rindou longed to be seen like his brother was. he fought, he killed, he strategized, and as he and ran climbed the ranks of the tokyo delinquent scene, he reveled in the respect his subordinates were forced to show him. and, once he realized they were afraid of him, he reveled in that, too.
but rin realized how much it had gone to his head when he met you. it had been infuriating to speak to you. you weren't a member of bonten, or any gang for that matter. you weren't involved in his world at all. and as such, you didn't have to show him the same forced respect that he expected from everyone else. you talked back, you teased him, you dared to challenge him, and he fucking hated it for a while. but for some reason, it was humbling for him. it brought him back down to earth. so he kept seeing you and pretty soon, the way you acted around him became grounding. sometimes, it was honestly kind of sexy.
"sit up," you pat his thigh. "come on."
your stubborn boyfriend stares back at you without moving. you wonder just how difficult he's going to be today.
"rin," you let yourself whine the tiniest bit, frowning at him.
with a melodramatic eyeroll he plants his hands on the couch cushions and lifts himself up. because of how you chose to sit on the couch, you're practically in his lap once he's seated upright.
"i still don't want the fuckin' beer," he snarls. now it's your turn to roll your eyes. you take a sip and push it into his hands. he places it onto the table.
"why was your day shit?" you ask, tucking some lavender strands of hair out of his face. he shakes his head to deter you, "i don't want to talk about it. just generally shitty."
"would all the chinese food i brought you from that spot you love down the street help at all?"
the corner of his mouth turns up the slightest bit as he exhales through his nose in something resembling a laugh.
"oh, there he is," you say fondly, stroking his cheek. he leans into the touch, telling you that the big angry gang boss part of him was slowly losing steam. you lean in to kiss his cheek. he places a hand behind your head, holding you there next to his face and turning so your lips meet his own.
he presses his forehead against yours and mumbles a quiet, "sorry... for being a dick."
"you're not a dick," you cup his cheek and kiss him once more. "you just had a bad day. nothing i haven't seen before."
"you see it a lot, though," he sighs heavily, seeking out your hands with his in your lap.
"i don't mind."
"how?" he pulls away, grimacing.
"because i'm in love with you, stupid."
rindou smiles again, sheepish and genuine, at the way you say it like it's the most obvious thing in the world. his charming smile, the way he's looking at you. you know he's feeling better.
you reach for him and he lets you hug around his middle and lay him back. now you're both horizontal on the couch, your cheek to rindou's chest. he feels comforted by the weight of your body against his.
"is today still shit?" you ask teasingly when he starts to run his hands up and down your back.
"shut up."
"fuck you, you feel better now. be sweet to me."
"today isn't shit now that you're here," he mumbles quietly. "everything's a lot better when you're around."
"and you love me?"
"yeah, i love you."
and despite the big goofy grin on his face, and the fact that you can't actually see his face at all, you're sure that he's rolling his eyes.
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whentheynameyoujoy · 8 months ago
Y’know what, fuck it, I’m angry, let’s talk about this.
I’ve been and remain of the firm opinion that anyone who’s not a Ukrainian yet expresses indignation at Russians for not going out en masse to protest the war is at best an uninformed idiot and at worst a larper with an over-inflated stock of their own willingness to stick by their stated values when facing the barrel of a gun. And I stand by that—the average Western and CEE experience with opposing their government is laughable compared to what a Russian faces. Sure, I like to soothe my ego by thinking that I’d be able to stand up to a Russia-level of suppression if the situation called for it but the honest truth is I have serious doubts. I’ve lived a life of relative comfort in a free democracy (flawed, but still), and the idea of having a government known to disappear and torture and murder its own citizens is so alien to me as to be unfathomable. In my heart of hearts, I know there’s an extremely real possibility that if you transplanted me to the modern-day Russia I’d turn out to be a coward.
But motherfucker…
If you didn’t know and thought the list of Russian atrocities needed beefing up, Russian soldiers are now opening fire at protesters in the occupied parts of Ukraine. And disgustingly, what I’ve seen pop up more and more is people targeting Ukrainians with the condescending “Ha, so now you know what Russians protesters deal with? Isn’t this a bit of a revelation for you? Don’t you feel silly for wanting Russians to stand up to their government? Are you ready to grow up now that Russian soldiers showed you how the real world works?”
To which I have only one thing to say.
Get fucking bent you revolting fucking cunts.
Equating Russian and Ukrainian civilians as though they’re both equally affected by the war has been an unfortunate trend since the war started but this is just fucking inexcusable. And what do you know, it’s fully in the line with the tendency of viewing Ukraine as a helpless pawn without any agency, as a toy of empires that never does anything on its own besides twiddling its thumbs. As though Ukrainians were handed their country on a silver platter, as though they couldn’t possibly know the risks of going up against an authoritarian government, as though their only experience with resisting tyranny is waving a banner for twenty minutes and then going to a McDonalds, risking no consequences whatsoever.
As though risking your life for freedom is a concept they haven’t encountered up until now.
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Guess this shit doesn’t exist unless it can be called a CIA coup.
And this infantilisation and denial of agency, of actual accomplishment goes for Eastern Europe as a whole, btw, something I see people getting very confused about. So to relieve you of that confusion, let me make this very simple.
Soviet Union was a colonial empire run for the primary benefit of Russia, consisting of violently suppressed republics and violently maintained vassal states—who took every opportunity, time and time again, to wrest themselves free, paying for it with blood and further oppression until they finally succeeded. And yeah, you’re absolutely right—if I now go oppose the bunch of kleptocratic conservatards that make up my government, it’s extremely unlikely I’ll face any consequences for it. But that’s not because my country was somehow coincidently handed democracy as some kind of a new imperialistic exercise of the benevolent West. It’s because the generation of my parents and grandparents wanted freedom and democracy, took substantial risks to overthrow the totalitarian government, built the institutions safeguarding the democratic order, and then every single generation after that gave enough of a fuck to make sure that “I can’t go protest, I might get beaten or killed” wouldn’t be a valid concern again.
No matter how flawed, Eastern European democracies are democracies because the people there did the work to build and protect those democracies.
Meanwhile, post-Soviet Russia faced the usual problem a broken empire faces, that of what it is after the countries it exploited and suppressed in order to prop itself up gave it the finger. Russian Federation was created because the USSR outstretched itself too much to keep control over its subjects, not because ordinary Russians staged a massive popular uprising demanding a different political arrangement—unlike Eastern European countries. Russia wasn’t interested in democracy, it didn’t choose democracy, it didn’t protect democracy, and so now Russians find themselves dealing with the slight issue of having no democratic institutions to fall on during the country’s breakneck run towards fascism.
The Poles weren’t handed shit. The Estonians weren’t handed shit. The Ukrainians sure as fuck aren’t being handed shit. And I’d really fucking appreciate it people stopped turning a very simple acknowledgement of the realities facing ordinary people in current Russia into this woobification where the only thing that differentiates Russia from Eastern Europe is a stroke of luck poor Russians weren’t fortunate enough to be blessed with.
Eastern Europe and Russia are not the fucking same. Pretending like they are erases the entire history of the Eastern European struggle for freedom and plays directly into the imperialistic line of thinking both Russia and the West are so fond of. Stahp
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onebiguniondaily · a month ago
Posted on April 22, 2021 by IWW Junior Wobblies Union
This piece was written in 2012 by FW Sasha, a 12-year-old member of the Junior Wobblies, and was used during his presentation of the “IWW Preamble” during one of the daily political education activities at the 2012 Junior Wobblies camp. For more information about the Junior Wobblies or the camp, please [email protected]
In 1905 a group of workers founded the IWW. These workers wrote the “Preamble to the IWW Constitution” to explain why the IWW was started. It was written in 1905, which is more than 100 years ago! So it might be a little hard to understand. Someone wrote the “Annotated Preamble of the IWW Constitution” more recently. This is a little bit easier to understand for grown-ups but it isn’t written for kids. I’m going to try to explain the “Preamble” in a way that kids can understand.
“The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.”
There are two types of people in the world: workers and bosses. The two different kinds of people want two different things. Workers want better pay, a shorter time working, better and safer jobs, work that keeps the earth clean and safe, and the power to decide what they do with their work. Bosses want to make sure they get more money no matter how little they pay their workers or how dangerous the work is for the workers or the planet.
“There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things in life.”
It isn’t fair and really just doesn’t make sense that very few, very rich people have everything they want when tons of working people don’t even have the basic things they need.
“We find that the centering of management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class.”
There are other kinds of union that only organize one kind of job or trade – that’s why they are called trade unions. There are a lot of good working organizers in trade unions, but trade unions themselves won’t lead to a revolution. Trade unions only unionize part of the workers and sometimes they even work against each other.
“An injury to one is an injury to all.”
In the IWW everyone is equal. It doesn’t matter what color their skin is or whether they are a boy or a girl. The IWW is not connected to any country, government, religion or business. If one person needs help organizing, everyone will help. The IWW is one big union.
“It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism.”
Capitalism is the system in which bosses make money off workers. No one can be equal when capitalism is the way the world is run. The reason capitalism thrives is because the bosses have power. They have power because they live off the work of the workers. If all the workers stopped working, the bosses would have no power.
“The army of production must be organized, not for the everyday struggle with capitalists, but also carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown.”
People should organize not only to deal with the bosses now, but also to get rid of capitalism. We can figure out how things will work when capitalism has been stopped.
“By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.”
How the IWW is organized is the way the world should be organized when capitalism is abolished. By organizing people now, we will have a base to organize from and we won’t’ have to start from scratch once capitalism has been stopped.
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promiseimnotacop · 2 months ago
with liz (the bafflingly well regarded) gone and charles (the unambiguous shit bag) in her place. with a tory party frazzled and tearing in different but equally unappealing directions and truss posed to roll back environmental protections (fracking) and the like
with pakistan in decimated by the undeniable human tragedy of man made climate change
with the war in ukraine and subsequent oil shortages highlighting just how dependant, complicit in, and beholden too russian politics and big oil interests we are
with the labour party an anaemic shell of what it could be
with insulating britain being the no-brainer option
with nhs teetering on the brink of total collapse
with pro-union sentiment, pro-disruptive strike/protest action sentiment, and pro-fucking strong intervention on cost of living sentiment on the popular rise
it just feels like, ok, we on the same page now? can we actually get on and some fucking politics and change some fucking shit. like are the liberals or the leftists jaded into inaction on the same page? tear it down. what have we been waiting for? 
No more bloody royals. No more elite creeps. No more waiting for someone else to go and do it. Every fucking pound spent on the charade of enforced mourning and subsequent coronation that isn’t spent on helping the neediest this (, and, let’s be honest, next) winter is a crime. Every penny spent on anointing another idiot in chief in a stupid crown that could have been spent on new green infrastructure, feeding the hungry, devolution, education, healing from austerity or in anyway for the good of us so called citizens is barbaric. 
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