avatar | the greatest thing you'll ever

fic: gravity

Halfway there. Don't worry, the remaining ones are pretty short.

Title: gravity
Author: andromeda3116/cupid-painted-blind
Rating: PG-ish
Characters/Pairings: Lin, Kya, Bumi; past-tense Lin/Tenzin, on-the-side Pema/Tenzin
Summary: This is the fate you've carved on me —-You're too old, now. You bargained everything on a life spent with Tenzin and you've lost. So now what?
A/N: Lin, I will always love you.

You were his best friend.

You've known him your entire life.

You don't even remember when you fell in love with him.  He was your first everything, and you always assumed that he would be your last.  You aren't even entirely sure what you are without him, he's always been there, a constant in your life from the very start.  You gave him everything.  You gave him your heart and your mind and your body and your past and your future.

You gave him your life.

So when she takes him from you, she takes you from yourself as well.

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harry potter |the know-it-all

fic: and in this moment, i am happy

Title: and in this moment, i am happy
Author: andromeda3116/cupid-painted-blind
Rating: In the realm of PG, for more mature subject matter and a few dirty jokes.
Characters/Pairings: Lily, James; pre-Lily/James
Summary: A lull in the chaos, preparing for sixth year exams; a late-night trip to the kitchens and a run-in with a boy she's supposed to hate. Lily's most honest and most deceitful moment, James's most honorable and most painful memory.
A/N: The missing moment that bridges the gap between Common Stories and i await a guardian. Also, "parallelism" and "dramatic irony" should become genres that I can list stories under.

i lean against the wind, pretend that i am weightless

She is lonely — and it's the worst kind, the alone-in-the-crowd sort of loneliness that comes when you realize that no one around you looks at you and sees you. It's the week before sixth year exams and all of a sudden, she's the most popular girl in the school, everyone wants to hang with her now because everyone knows that she's a bleeding-heart who will help anyone who asks her to.

Agitated and unsatisfied and frustrated and stressed, she finally gives up on the mountain of revision bearing down on her and leaves the common room at just under a run.

It's just a bad night, she thinks. Just a bad week, just a bad month.

It's just been a bad year.

Her world has been shrinking in around her lately, as the number of people who actually know Lily dwindles further and further; or maybe it's simply that she's more aware of her status now that she's looking at the world with a little more critique, a little more cynicism. There's a big, still-raw, Severus-Snape-shaped scar scrawled across her, ten years of good memories gone sour, that's made her step back and consider the others in her life and what they're taking from her.

And now she wishes bitterly that she hadn't. It was better to be blind.

She runs a shaking hand through her hair and slows her pace to a less urgent one, idly making for the kitchens. It isn't that she's hungry, but rather that she needs some motion to stir up the stagnant waters, a little air to clear her head, a tiny moment of escape.

So when she walks into the kitchens and sees him there, she almost falls to the ground and screams.

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avatar |toph thy name is badass

fic: the woman chained

I've kind of been neglecting posting here, but well. I don't know. Expect a short deluge of previously-unposted (to LJ) fanfictions, in reverse order of writing. To be followed up with a discussion post (probably). I need Lin Bei Fong icons like you don't even know. First up:

Title: the woman chained (she who thinks of bravery)
Author: andromeda3116/cupid-painted-blind
Rating: K+ because of genre
Genre: Angst/Drama? Gen?
Characters/Pairings: Lin, Sokka, Aang. Hints towards Toph/Sokka.
Summary: Lin is Earth, and Earth has no limit. (Even a warrior chained and starved and beaten can kill a man if she has brain enough to think and courage enough to try.)
A/N: Come on, you all knew this was coming. I haven't really fangirled about her here, but Lin officially became my favorite character in Korra and AtLA at, like, her second appearance. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about Toph/Sokka — I’ve never really had an emotion one way or another about the pairing — but I really like the idea of Sokka being a surrogate father for Lin.

(And yes, the title is a reference to Andromeda, because Andromeda is from my favorite Greek myth and she has the best name [depending on which translation/etymology you find] and it fits.)


the woman chained


Lin was three years old when she first felt the earth move like she wanted it to, showering that annoying jerk Bumi with such a rain of tiny rocks that he ran off crying to his mother. Katara had scolded her, fiercely protective of her little boy, and Aang had given her a stern talking-to, but Mother had simply clapped her on the shoulder and said, “Finally.”

She had started her earthbending lessons that day.

Although people had looked at her and Mother oddly (judgmentally) and whispered unkind things about Mother and Mother’s Way Of Life (though that was hardly new), Lin loved every moment of training.

“Aren’t you worried about burning her out?” Katara would ask nervously, fretting like Katara always fretted. “Everyone says that children should gradually work up to serious training…” But Mother had always brushed her off and Lin had never really understood why Katara was so fussy over her lessons; it was the seven hours of formal schooling that stressed and exhausted her, and made her feel stupid and incompetent. Earthbending was an escape, it was the only thing she really, absolutely, definitely knew and wanted to do.

In that, she would slowly learn, she was altogether too much like her mother.

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sandman | lock the universe behind me

(no subject)

This is a really, really long astronomy post because I adore it.

I'm talking about astronomy today because I signed up for the General Astronomy 111 summer class (the only Astronomy class offered at this university, which is ridiculous considering that there's a space center an hour down the road but whatever) and I'm sitting in there and it occurs to me that I could teach this class.

It's not that I ~know~ everything about astronomy, but I'm passionately interested in it, I want to be an astrobiologist and join the search for extrasolar planets and extraterrestrial life, my screensaver is the SETI @ home program rather than an actual screensaver, my wallpaper scrolls through various images from Hubble, I have and have read this book as well as several others... space is one of my things. It's something I love and research on my own time because I find it fun. And it's not a fault of the class, it's just that the class is geared towards people who don't regularly park at the science section of Books a Million and read Carl Sagan until the staff make her leave so they can close.

It's just maddening that this is the only astronomy class offered. Of course, it focuses on the history of astronomy and the solar system because those are the basics but it's like. I've been studying the solar system since grade school, I want to study distant galaxies and nebulae and quasars and black holes and cosmology, not just the planets -- although, don't get me wrong, the planets are full of their own fascinating little quirks -- it's just that there's so much more. And it isn't fair that this is all the university offers, although I do kind of understand why: there's around ten people in the class, and most of them are beginners or not particularly interested in the subject. From what I gather, there used to be an actual Astronomy leg of the Physics program, but it's been pared down due to disinterest.

Anyway, that's not really important. So. Space! The final frontier.

I'll admit, this isn't a very coherent article, because I'm running on vague sleep deprivation (of the "got just enough to sleep to really settle you into that REM cycle before being cruelly awoken by the alarm" variety) and not-yet-enough coffee. This should be fun. And also long.

I'm going to hit on five points, arranged by distance: bodies in the solar system that might support life, how stars form and die, stellar and supermassive black holes, galaxies and galactic collisions, and quasars. (Note: this is all supported by memory and research via google; I'm not an expert yet and don't have all the answers but I'm not spreading lies, and also you're welcome for the theme of this post.)

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c&h | c'mon hobbes old buddy

I literally owe my job to Earl Charles Grey.

…because if I hadn’t inhaled three cups of his tea, I would have stormed out in a huff of unfocused and uncontrollable rage.


Because I inhaled three cups, I have managed to express to my boss — politely! — the reason that I have, of late, been very on-edge and short-tempered, calmly requested tomorrow evening off so that I can join the rest of my family for a dinner/night together while we still have the opportunity, and — this is the most important bit — managed to both keep my job and take good enough care of the customers that I made $41 off of four (cheap-ticket) tables.

I am now bringing a box of tea with me to work and hiding it for use on bad days because, seriously, this was like a miracle in a teabag. I want to go back in time and shake Charles Grey’s hand.

Uncle Iroh would be so proud of me.

I haven't been around here lately because I severely underestimated the life-eating addiction that is Tumblr.

I do want to thank everyone for their words/support regarding the last post. It's... I've known for a while now that he would be going overseas, but it just suddenly became real right then, when we all sat down for the family discussion about "what to expect" and it was like -- oh, God, my brother is going to Afghanistan and he isn't going to be on-base all the time like he was during his last deployment and he's saying that there might be weeks that we won't hear anything from him and then he confesses that he's afraid of what might happen and -- and I'm thinking don't tell me this. Don't -- don't make this real. Just let me not think about it like I did last time.

But then, there's also a part of me that's saying -- stop trying to pretend it isn't going to happen and make the time to spend with your brother while he is here because it'll probably be fine but maybe it won't and if it isn't, you'll spend the rest of your life regretting this month.

Which also probably isn't the best way to think of it, but it is the truth.

Which is also a reason I haven't been around here much, and I'm kind of pulling back from Tumblr in the last couple of days too. I'm trying to step away from the computer and do the small things like crash on the couch and watch 1000 Ways to Die with my brother and a bowl of popcorn, or sit down to dinner whether I'm hungry or not, or just hang out with him when I can because the internet -- and fandom -- will be here, long after he's overseas. It's like a constant war, between the part of me that wants to hide and the part of me that knows better than to hide, and.

And, God, I still half-want to say just get this over already. Because this waiting game is hell. Having this date looming over everything is apt to drive me mad, because it's not far enough away and it's making me anxious and scared.

Anyway, the point is, it helps to see that others care, and I don't want it to come off like it doesn't mean anything to me that you guys replied, it's just that I'm bad at putting these kinds of emotions into personal words -- I even choked up tonight, just trying to say to my boss that my brother is deploying!  So, I just wanted to say...

Thank you, all of you. It means a lot to me, more than I can say.

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sandman | lock the universe behind me

(no subject)

I don't do church, I don't pray, it's not my thing. But my brother is deploying again, to Afghanistan, stationed in the mountains on the border with Pakistan, and one of their jobs will be road clearance. If you do pray, or believe in any kind of God or gods, please. 
avatar | my own mother

(no subject)

White Russians, ramen, and sitting alone on the couch, rewatching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This should tell you all you need to know about my week.
avatar | more like the pebble

fic: a friendly reminder

Title: A Friendly Reminder
Author: andromeda3116/cupid-painted-blind
Rating: G-ish
Genre: Humor! I had to write something funny after yesterday’s fic.
Characters/Pairings: Lin, Toph, cameos from others. Mother/daughter love in the way that only Toph would show it.
Summary: Toph Bei Fong makes it a point to, graciously and kindly, always tell Lin where she is.
A/N: I don’t care what canon says. Toph is immortal.

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avatar | the greatest thing you'll ever

fic: lie in the sound

Title: Lie in the Sound
Author: andromeda3116/cupid-painted-blind
Word Count: TOO MANY.  5700-ish
Rating: PG?  Something like that.
Genre: Romance/Angst/I-made-myself-cry-in-the-last-bit
Characters/Pairings: Suki; Suki/Sokka, other canon pairings on the side.
Summary: Five times Suki believed that love was destructive, and one time she didn't.
A/N: It occurred to me that I don't write Suki enough.  So, to Suki: a love letter.  I'm sorry it's such a sad one but I don't think I'm capable of writing anything that isn't sad.  Song that lends itself to the title is "Lie in the Sound" by Tresspassers William.

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sandman | lock the universe behind me

I cannot post this on a site that is directly connected to my name.

I've only just found this, via fuckyeahfeminism, and I'm going back to the source to talk about it, partly because this is something that people will get up-in-arms about (for one side or another) and because I don't want to base what I'm saying on second-hand interpretation.

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But that's not why I'm bringing all of this up.  And I am not putting this behind a cut.

I'm bringing this up because these guys in this focus group, the judges and juries, the sexual assault volunteers and counselors -- they're all assuming that the woman can look him in the eye and say no in such a way that he knows she means it.  What if she feels like she doesn't have a choice?  What if she's scared of what might happen if she does say no?  What if she feels trapped in the situation?

What if she's shrinking and nervous by nature?  What if she's ashamed of herself for even letting herself get into the situation?  What if she's mortified at the fact that she's not okay with sex when everyone else around her is?  What if she's afraid of being judged for not putting out?  What if she's said no with her body but been ignored?  What if she's saying no, but quietly and looking away when she does?

(Aside: I don't think of that "sort of saying no and looking away flirty" thing as necessarily "flirtatious."  I think of that as "I'm terrified to look you in the eyes and deny you what you want because if you lash out at me, I am defenseless."  Or maybe I'm projecting.)

What I'm trying to get at is -- just because she doesn't say no firmly and loudly and looking you in the eyes, does not mean she's saying yes.  Can it be legally classified as rape if she doesn't say no clearly?

Because while teaching people that no means no and that they should seek enthusiastic consent is a good thing, it doesn't cover everything.  

It doesn't cover the young girls who are scared and feel trapped when they find themselves alone with a boy.  

It doesn't cover the already-neurotic girls who are already frightened by everything.  

It doesn't cover the women who feel like they aren't allowed to say no, either because the man is in a position of power or because she's stuck alone with him and has no way home if he doesn't give her a ride.

And in these cases, the woman is left alone.  Ashamed and afraid to be around him.  Unable to say anything to anyone because "you didn't say no, did you?"  And the thought of ever telling anyone that you think he was wrong, let alone even considering trying to take it to court?  "You didn't say no, did you?"

Which all translates to:  "It's your fault because you didn't say no."

"He can't be blamed for not reading your body language because you didn't say no."

None of this accounts for the girls who can't say no.  What do we do?  Saying, well, she needs to learn to be more self-confident and we can teach her that -- that's great, but none of that helps take away the things that have happened to her in the past, and you can't force self-confidence on someone.  And more to the point, telling her that she should be more confident and firm in what she wants just reinforces the idea -- already echoing in her head -- that she's to blame.

Because if you were more confident, you would have been able to say no in such a way that he would have taken you seriously.

All of this -- all of it -- functions in a way that lifts blame from the perpetrator and shifts it to the victim, someone who is already suffering from psychological distress over the violation and the victimization and the memory of what happened.

What do you do instead?

I'm not going to say to stop teaching girls to say no firmly and resolutely, because that's a very good thing -- but we also need to teach boys how to read body language, and that even the quietest "no" is still a no.

We need to stop blaming the victims, or the nebulous "miscommunication" (because even that term still translates to "she should have been clearer") and start listening to people when they say "I don't know where this falls on the spectrum, I don't know what I could have done, I just know that I feel like I've been violated."  

And maybe you can't make a rape or sexual assault conviction out of that, but -- fuck, you can listen.  You can offer solace and understanding and an ear that isn't going to repeat that same goddamn "did you tell him no clearly and firmly" line.  You can be the person who doesn't blame her.  You can be the person who tells people to back off if they're making fun of her or attacking her, either because they think she did it on purpose or because they think she's lying about what happened or because they think she's trying to ruin his life.

I'm going to repeat this one because it's so important: you can be the person who doesn't blame her.  If she's in this situation, especially if she's one of the girls who couldn't say no, then it's likely that no one is going to not blame her, most especially herself.  She's going to feel like it was her fault, and ninety-nine percent of the people she confides in will treat it like it was her fault, either explicitly or implicitly.

Trust me, she needs someone to say "I understand the situation you were in and he was wrong and you have every right to feel violated an unclean."  And no, that doesn't mean don't try to teach her to stand up for herself in the future, but do it with understanding.

And for God's sake, do it without blame.