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I saw this when it was going around and then can’t find it again, but it was a Work-In-Progress Guessing Game and the whole game was just that you could send an ask with a word, and I’d respond with the sentence it appeared in, in my WIP.

In this case, though, since I have about eleventy-billion WIPs, you should specify whether you care which WIP. 

The list of works I still consider In-Progress:

The Star Wars Thing (Finn/Poe, OT3-ward leanings, and like 120k to pick from)
Subcategory: the Hoe/Pux thing (10k words of Poe and Hux being assholes to each other)

FOG and related– yes, I promised at least one Steve/Bucky/Natasha scene, and it’s still technically in-progress

Choice Is Not A Word A Bullet Knows and related: parts still in-progress include Facepunch and the resolution to the Peggy arc I solidified in Guts)

and yes, yes, yes, neither of the two SG:A verses are officially moribund. Two-Body Problem and Other Stuff are still both things I have active projects in, though they progress very, very, very slowly. 

If you don’t specify, I will pick whatever I’m most excited about the result of a cursory search in! 

If nobody sends me anything I will take it as some kind of sign. But don’t be shy. I like talking about myself sometimes. You can also send me asks about other things. That would be okay too.
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It’s up! The rest of Ch 13, with the Neko Atsume stuff and meeting Lakeisha’s family and getting some of her Tragic Backstory. We’re also getting more of James’s cyborg deal revealed. I promise that’s cooler than it sounds. 

Chapter 13, That’s All Right (Mama), and I’m so high on knockoff Mucinex that I’m starting to think I’ve already used that chapter title somewhere else so maybe I’ll fix that and maybe I won’t. Fuck, we’re all lucky if I haven’t just pasted the script from the Bee movie in there instead of the chapter I wrote, because I don’t know where my face is.

I am most proud of this line:

Lakeisha stared at him, and it was really good she’d transcended her physical form or there would have been more hitting. “You would love for this to be about that, wouldn’t you?”

Oh siblings. I love siblings. Also I might set a record for the number of times I have a character curse in one segment of dialogue. 

Also, Baghead Idiot: 

My dude literally has an actual figurine of this character on his keychain. He’s got a real name, but in our household he’s just called Baghead Idiot. 
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This is another excerpt from Full of Grace’s upcoming chapter, because I was so bent on putting Neko Atsume into it that i have to commemorate that. This is notable for being possibly the only time I’ve actually incorporated any elements of my real-life relationship into my fic.

Natasha was poking absently at her laptop with James next to her on the couch when she got the email from Vision. It seemed oddly formal, to get an actual e-mail from an actual android; had he, himself a computer, sat down at another computer to compose it, or had he sent it with his mind?

The subject line was “our mutual friend”, so she opened it without saying anything to James. It was a link to a new info drop online: some snoop had uncovered a bunch more documentation on the Winter Soldier in some godforsaken Russian backwater.

Tony hasn’t finished translating it yet, Vision wrote, but what he’s understood so far has him panicking. Other documents have mentioned the existence of control words, but this one has an actual list and some of their effects.

Natasha suspended her breathing for a moment, before glancing over at James, who was giving his phone a deep look of concentration. He knew, then. He frowned, and scrolled sideways across the phone, and scowled deeper.

She set her laptop aside, then reached over and put her hand around his wool-sock-clad foot, squeezing gently and reassuringly. “It’ll be okay,” she said. She was still working out how to explain Vision to him, how to maybe get them to meet up, and most importantly how to get him to consent to being scanned without setting off his conditioning.

He blinked at her, expression clearing. “Oh,” he said, “it’s fine. I was just thinking about something.”

Maybe he didn’t know. She raised her eyebrows at him. “You looked upset,” she said.

He laughed, and leaned in a little closer to her, re-settling so she could see his phone. “No,” he said. “I’m trying to get a good picture of a cartoon cat from a game to text it to Steve.”

His phone was open to a screen full of a cartoon landscape, maybe a backyard or something, littered with cartoon cats in varying states of repose. All the buttons were in– Natasha squinted. Bubbly Japanese. It was very kawaii. “What is this,” she said.

“Neko Atsume,” James said. “It’s appallingly popular among non-Japanese-speaking nerds who can’t read the buttons.”

“Can you read the buttons?” she asked. 

He gave her an inscrutable look. “You can’t?” She shook her head. He frowned. “Why would they give it to me and not you?”

“They took things back out sometimes,” she said. “I think I was more of a flight risk.”

“Fair point,” he said, a little glum. 

“No, no,” she said, “tell me more about cute cartoon cats,” because I am about to wreck your day.

He grinned. “It’s a dumb game, you just put stuff out and then you check back and they’ve come by and are hanging out. It’s really relaxing, there’s not really any strategy. But I sent it to Steve and I’m trying to make him all competitive about it. Just to wind him up.”

“Maybe you really are a supervillain,” Natasha said admiringly. Steve’s competitive streak was possibly his most entertaining feature, but it was hard to exploit. He had to be pretty comfortable with you to be unwary enough to let you wind him up. He’d basically never be at that point with Tony, which was too bad, because that would be some quality entertainment.

“Right?” James said. He scrolled sideways. “I’m Captain America’s fuckin’ nemesis. Somebody’s gotta be.” He laughed. “Anyway. So, you pick what objects, food or toys or beds or whatever, to put out into your yard, and it attracts cats, and that’s all there is to it, but if you use different objects you get, like, rare cats. It’s a whole– thing. And I’ve been doing it a little bit so I already have a whole dossier of cats, and I’m going to mess with Steve about how many more I have and so on.” He showed her said dossier, and the cartoons were really cute. Apparently you could take the pictures, in-game, and save them in your book of cats who had visited you.

“If you don’t feed them do they die?” Natasha asked.

James shook his head. “Nah,” he said, “they just don’t come by. They’re not, like, your cats. It’s no big deal if you don’t check in for a while. You come back, you can just pick up where you left off. It’s not like the cats get mad or anything. You put out more food, they’ll come back.”

“I can see how that might be appealing,” Natasha said.

“Yeah, it’s basically zero pressure,” James said. “But it’s still kind of rewarding.” He swiped through. “This one’s my favorite. The cheapest toy you can get with your credits is a stupid plastic bag, and this cat just, fuckin’, wears the bag on his head. Like an idiot. His name is something like Spot or Dash or something but I call him Baghead Idiot. Because he is.” He laughed, bringing up the photo. “Look at this fuckin’ idiot with a bag on his head. It’s fuckin’ great.”

“What an idiot,” Natasha agreed, amused.

“He’s my fuckin’ favorite,” James said. “It’s so stupid. And look at how all their assholes are little x’s. Isn’t that fuckin’ adorable?”

“It is,” Natasha said. She leaned in against James’s warm body, and made herself comfortable. “But you have a real cat.”

“The real cat is more work,” he said. He exited the app, and put his phone down on the arm of the couch, and kissed the top of Natasha’s head. “You seemed like you were readin’ something a lot less entertaining.”

“I was,” she said. She sighed. She could feel his heartbeat through her shoulderblade, warm and steady.

“Don’t, then,” he said. “Stop thinkin’ about it for a minute, hey?”

“I can’t,” she said.

“It’s about me, ain’t it,” he said, low and soft. His heartbeat picked up, going a little faster.

She twisted to look up at him. He had known, then. “Yes,” she said.

He looked away. “I knew one was comin’,” he said. “Info dump, yeah?”

“Yeah,” she said. “Control triggers, in this one.”

“Fuck,” he said. He breathed in slow, and breathed out, and she could feel him slowing his heartbeat deliberately. “Each of ‘em only works once but– each of ‘em works, y’know?”

“I have some too,” she said. “They’re buried, the ones that are left, and I may never find them all.”

He wrapped his arm around her chest– the left one, solid and immovable and warm. “I tried to find out about mine,” he said. “But I– it’s like my– I’m not allowed to rr– to read-” He stopped talking, and sighed. “Mm.”

“I can read it for you,” she said. She hadn’t thought of that.

He put his cheek down against the side of her head. “Yeah?” His voice was very quiet, but he sounded almost hopeful.

She pointed at her laptop. “Hand that to me and I’ll read it and summarize.”

“I don’t know if I can even do a summary,” he said.

“Tap out if it’s too much,” she said.

He let go of her to reach her laptop for her, and she started scrolling. His heartbeat went erratic before steadying out, and he turned his head. “I can’t even look,” he said.

“Close your eyes,” she said. “Put your hand around my wrist and squeeze if it’s too much.”

“If I have a seizure I’ll break your arm,” he said. “No. I’ll use the other hand.” He put his right hand so that the backs of his fingers touched her thigh, and put his left arm down next to her. “Okay,” he said. “Here goes nothin’, huh? Hit me.”

She rubbed her cheek against his chest, turning slightly so the screen was less in his line of sight. “I’m not hitting you,” she said, “I’m going to read it first, and tell you the most important things first.”

“Good call,” he said, and dug his phone back out to look at the cartoon cat game again. “Hey,” he said, “check it out, I got Samurai Cat! I gotta text that one to Steve.”

“Do that,” she said fondly, sparing him a smile before she went back to her grim reading.
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3:What’s your favorite line of narration?

Natasha watched the explosion in the rear-view mirror and thought to herself with grim satisfaction that, very occasionally, her job was kind of cool.

I think I wrote the whole fic to have an excuse to use that line. Just because, yeah, Natasha is a dork and probably learned a shitload of her how-to-be-human-ness from watching terrible movies and you can’t not internalize the occasional ridiculous trope. 

4:What’s your favorite line of dialogue?

He laughed bitterly. “I mean, it’s never really gonna be okay. Nothin’ is ever goin’ to be okay again because that’s just not how the world works. It was really never okay in the first place, we just didn’t know any better.” He gestured vaguely. “But it’s okay for now, we’re in a,  a place, okay, and it’s not– it’s not a bad place. It’s an okay place.”

It’s more monologue really, Bucky’s talking to a camera, in the scene I suppose I could call the Blanket Fort Soliloquy. But he follows it up with You don’t have to be very okay to survive, and the conclusion of the soliloquy is that as long as you survive you can still do good. And that’s his whole character in this: he’s doing some pretty fucked-up shit with what’s left to him, but it’s all to a plan that he’s following as best he can, and he doesn’t really know how to choose things and he doesn’t feel like he has any choice but to keep on trying.

And he’s saying it in a video because that’s the closest thing to a POV chapter he gets in this story.

And I’m pleased with this particular line, this really fucking inarticulate line, because that’s how I talk sometimes lately, I’m really intermittently struggling with expressing myself fluently in anything but fiction (maybe writing is taking my words! maybe it’s clinical depression! maybe it’s Maybelline!)– and something that’s plagued me the whole time I’ve been writing has been that in theory I love Strong Silent Hero Types and in practice they all fuckin’ run their mouths about their feelings nonstop. And this is an attempt at a more naturalistic style of monologue. I mean, he’s still running his mouth about his feelings but at least this is more like what I intended him to be like. (For lols, see: my collected works since uh ever. On second thought, no. Maybe later I can do a hilarious ask on my Worst Ever Writing, which is actually astonishingly recent.)

This is for the ask meme thing about fanfiction, if anyone else wants to ask, here’s the post!

[And to the asker, thank you for your kind words! I am starting to feel really embarrassed that I whined so much initially about FOG not being among my more successful ventures. Is it poor form to edit those notes? I appreciate every instance of someone telling me they like it, because see above re: inarticulacy, sometimes it’s really all I’ve got to prove to the world that I’m actually good at saying things sometimes!]

And if anyone is like what is this heartbreaking work of staggering genius (right?!), the WIP in question is Full of Grace, in the Now And At The Hour Of Our Death series, on AO3. (I can’t do anything succinctly, why would I have succinct titles?)

5, 6, 13

Nov. 28th, 2015 01:40 am
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You didn’t say which fic! I am going to do Full of Grace, then, because that’s the current ongoing. 

5: What part was hardest to write?

There’s no one part that’s been hard, I’d say, but what I’ve hit my head against a lot is that I wrote this all out of order and I keep having to write in-between scenes. The whole thing started off as bits I wrote during A Face Built For Gettin’ Punched wherein Bucky did not immediately turn himself in, but instead kept his distance, and I wanted to know what that would entail, so I had snippets going back about a year before I started posting anything. I only posted it because I couldn’t get organized any other way. 

6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?

Arguably the main character is Bucky, right? His POV does not directly appear anywhere in the story. I’ve been obsessed with POV for about ten years, ever since a point about a decade ago where I noticed I sucked at it, and so I always write tight-3rd, almost always from the main character’s POV. That lets you have all the nice juicy angst without the stoic manly character being OOC to say it all out loud. 
I decided this would work better if I didn’t. Also, nobody tells stories from Natasha’s POV much, and I thought she was underrepresented. So much outcry for a Black Widow movie, but nobody’s letting her be the narrator. (And I originally wanted to do the whole thing from her POV but that wasn’t feasible; there are chunks of the story she doesn’t witness. So originally it was going to be only from women’s POVs– Natasha, Lakeisha, Wanda– but then I had to put Steve and Sam in there because, again, I don’t have women witnessing everything that has to happen. And I cheated by giving Bucky videos to express himself directly and tell his own story, but I sort of figured I’d do that from the beginning.)

A thing I’m not fond of in my own writing is that I feel the need to extensively tell the reader *everything*, and I’ve been working really hard in this story not to do that. Leave things out and let them get it from the absences. The only way to do that is not to show the inside of Bucky’s head.

13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?

Well… I was writing The Night Has Seen Your Mind and I wanted to have Bucky send Steve some CDs he’d found, and I got annoyed individually looking up songs on YouTube. I was raised on a steady diet of public radio and classical music, so I have basically zero native understanding of popular culture. I got into music in the early filesharing days, but never in any coherent way. I finally got a Google Play Music subscription just so I could listen to anything I wanted to search for, and ever since then, I’m like a weirdo alien anthropologist finding music I think Bucky would like. (It’s super keen but actually *doesn’t* have everything and is expensive, so, I don’t know that I recommend it, but I like it a lot better than any of the “online radio” things because look I don’t want your playlist, I want the album, I don’t get the context otherwise. Show me everything this author did, preferably with liner notes, and I’ll fill in the rest with Wikipedia, because while I could tell you all about the redundant engineering and overlapping fields of fire that made the B-17 such a serviceable medium bomber I had to go to Wikipedia to find out what people listened to in the 80s that wasn’t Madonna because I lived through it without ever knowing.)

I think the ChoiceBullet series needs a playlist but I have zero proficiency at making such; I made some on Google Play but those aren’t shareable (I suppose i could post the track listing, at least; I’ll do that later if I remember). As far as Full of Grace– well, Bucky is into *everything*, and Natasha really isn’t. She listens to music to suit the person she’s trying to be, and hasn’t totally mastered liking things for their own sakes. 

So… I listen to a lot of things, but mostly in the car while I’m thinking about the story, not as much while I’m writing. This story has involved a lot, a lot a lot, of Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, mostly because my boyfriend bought the albums somewhere and put them on a USB stick and it’s in my car and I drive 300 miles each way every other week. 

So if Bucky occasionally lipsynchs the entirety of Talk That Talk and The Pinkprint in my head, that’s why. (Also Florence + The Machine’s Ceremonials, and Black Sabbath’s first two albums, and Windhand’s Soma and Grief’s Infernal Flower, which I downloaded onto my phone for long drives when the USB cable doesn’t cut it.)
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since i’m ahead of schedule maybe i could… take someone up on… an offer to beta-read… the next… chapter? there’s a scene I rewrote and a later scene refers to it and I’m not sure if it contradicts or if it’s okay and–

I don’t remember how that works, I don’t know if I could actually– this is crazy talk, people don’t– I don’t get editing suggestions and feedback, that’s a crazy Livejournal-era thing that nobody does anymore, well nobody I know how to connect to– 

people have offered, and i have no idea where they did so, because I don’t have any of my social media accounts connected to one another. I only know how to write alone in the dark.

… If anyone is at loose ends and bored and wants to help me figure out the maybe-done-early next chapter of this sprawling epic, drop me an ask (anon is open) or leave a comment (this x-posts to LJ or DW and I check both) or hit me up on tumblr chat or leave me an answer with how to contact you or something? 
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I was looking for a new snippet or excerpt I could put up because I’m so excited about Bucky’s thighs in the CA:CW trailer. And I found one, sort of. (Criteria: doesn’t spoil anything, stands alone, is short. That last one rules out nearly everything I write.)

This is from a nebulous future chapter of Full of Grace and features two OCs. I think it stands alone, it just might not be immediately obvious. 

Because one of the things I’ve always been most interested in about Bucky is that while Steve Rogers was alone in the world– even when I had nothing– except for Bucky, Bucky was not, he was from a community he was very much a part of, he was a big brother and had parents and a family who loved him. Steve had nothing to lose once Bucky was gone, but Bucky left a lot behind. And when he came back, some of it might still have been there. (I have a big Irish NYC family okay, I have a lot of feels.)

“Grandpa!” Maria said, crossing the room to latch the window, which had come loose and was flapping in the breeze. “Why did you open the window? It’s too cold for that!”

“I didn’t,” her grandfather said, looking over at it in bemusement. He was in his chair, wrapped in a blanket. Clearly he hadn’t considered himself too warm. “It just blew open.”

“It should have been latched,” Maria said. She was sure it had been latched, she checked the windows herself pretty often. She tried to remember back when it had been open last. They hadn’t had any really warm days in a while. She opened it to air the room out once a week when she changed the sheets, because she didn’t want it to get to smelling too much like old man, but that had been on Thursday and she knew she’d latched it again after.

“Oh,” Grandpa said, “I know. It was Bucky.”

Maria turned to look at him. “It was what?”

“Bucky,” Grandpa said. “He came by to visit, night before last, didn’t I tell you?”

“Bucky,” she repeated flatly.

“Oh,” he said, “it was your mother I told. I’m sorry, I forgot. He came in at night, through the window, so he wouldn’t scare anybody else. I was sure your mother would pass it on, I was so happy to see him!”

Maria shook her head. “Bucky,” she said again, frowning. “Is this— what is a bucky?”

“My cousin Bucky,” Grandpa said, affronted. “You know. Bucky Barnes!”

“Oh,” Maria said. “What? Grandpa, the one you were on TV saying was dead and this crazy assassin guy was an impostor?”

Grandpa drew himself up with dignity. “I was wrong,” he said. “It happens to the best of us. His story is pretty out there. But it’s true, it’s really him. And he stopped by to see little Johnny, and see if I really meant it, that it wasn’t him. Because he has memory problems sometimes, and he was worried that maybe I was right, and he wasn’t really him.”

“But he is,” Maria said, blinking in disbelief.

“Yes,” Grandpa said. “It is him, and I was wrong, but in my defense I couldn’t have understood what they did to him to make him do those things.”

“And Bucky came in the window,” Maria said. She knew it was true, that Grandpa’s cousin had really been the real Bucky Barnes, and that he’d been babysat by Bucky back in the day. They’d met Steve Rogers, she’d been there; Captain America himself had hugged her grandpa and cried and called him little Johnny. It had really been something.

But Grandpa had been a little more confused lately. The news crews had caught him on one of his mean days, and Maria was still mad at them; Grandpa had looked kooky and old and had said viciously that his cousin Bucky hadn’t been any assassin and this guy out there couldn’t be him. He’d come across as really mean and old. But…

He was old, he was really old. And he was more and more confused lately, and less lucid, and his kidney disease wasn’t improving things at all.

“He did,” Grandpa said, waving. “About scared the pants off me, I know, when I woke up and saw him sitting there. He hadn’t really meant to wake me up, he said, but he just wanted to see me, because he couldn’t really understand how many years it had been, he didn’t really understand what happened to him either…”

“So he came in the window,” Maria said, “and he didn’t shut it behind himself when he left.”

“He must not have latched it,” Grandpa said. “But I don’t know that he’d be able to, from the outside.”

“Mm-hmm,” Maria said, inspecting the latch. “Well, as long as he didn’t scare you too much.”

“He was so sad,” Grandpa said. “He was so tired and sad, Maria. It’s not right, what happened, and I’m sorry for what I said on the TV. Do you think they’d let me take it back?”

“I don’t think they really care about the truth, Grandpa,” Maria said.
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Chapter Update: Full of Grace, chapter 10: If I Can Dream 

Sam Wilson is a superhero. And Natasha starts to think maybe they’re in over their heads. 

Content warning for discussion of suicidal ideation.

“I thought you were dead,” he said, blank-eyed. She retrieved the discarded grenade launcher– those things weren’t cheap– and started to walk back to the transport, but he was still standing there, so she doubled back and caught him by the arm. It wasn’t just his hand, his whole body was trembling finely.

“James,” she said. “Are you okay?”

“I thought you were dead,” he said again. “I couldn’t find you and I thought you were dead.”

“I’m better than that,” she said, a little crossly.

He blinked, and the expression he turned on her was so blank it didn’t look like he’d ever been a human. “Anyone can get unlucky,” he said.
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Chapter update on Full of Grace: Chapter 9, GI Blues

In which Bucky punches Steve and Steve headbutts Bucky and there are contract negotiations because reputation is everything. 

“And,” he added, “I had to give the location of my emergency escape stash to Steve so he could make it out alive, so it was just a clusterfuck all over. Had to give him my boots!” He gestured widely. “So then I had to use his, and he wears stupid boots, like some kinda idiot who never went through Infantry Basic. I figured he was with the Rangers, they’d give him jump boots, right?”

“You’d think,” Natasha said, amused. James was in Aggrieved Storytelling Mode, which was one of her favorite modes of his.

“No! He had bullshit boots like he’s gonna prove somethin’ with ‘em.” James sighed extravagantly, subsiding with a violent gesture. “I ask you. Steven fuckin’ Rogers. Never really did a tour with the Infantry, so he doesn’t really understand about fuckin’ boots. What a fuckin’ nancy.”
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Full of Grace chapter update, Chapter 9: Don’t Be Cruel

In which many things happen, James is revealed to be both more and less human than expected, and Steve Rogers gets a verified social media account and takes The Official Winter Soldier to the burn unit. 

“Shut your mouth, you’re prettier like that,” Nat said, off-camera, and he laughed, a genuine ducked-head wide-open laugh of real amusement, and turned his face away to fix his hair. “Now flex, just like we practiced.” Bless your heart, Nat, Lakeisha thought.

Chapter 7

Oct. 22nd, 2015 12:05 pm
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“Holy shit,” Natasha said faintly.

“It’s not like you gotta stitch something like that,” James protested. “That’s the kind of thing that heals up on its own in cryo.”

She stared at him for a long moment until he thought through what he’d said. “I’m not putting you in cryo,” she said.

He blinked. “No,” he said, looking distantly toward the floor, “no, you’re not.”

Chapter 7 of Full of Grace is up at AO3, featuring many things but among them more James and Natasha roommate shenanigans, Lakeisha being Bucky Barnes’s #1 defender, and the Winter Soldier getting a verified blog and doing a Q&A. 
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Despite being in a yurt in the woods for the week I have an update because twenty-first century. 

Wanna Lick The Icing Off, chapter 6 of Full of Grace. Featuring lapdances, tear-jerker drawings, errant phone calls, and a little bit of metal-arm porn.
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Chapter update! Full of Grace, chapter 5: the explanation for Bucky’s Internet presence, and the introduction of Wanda as a character– her role in this story is largely to be a good bro to Steve, because somebody has to be. 

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