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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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ok the chapter isn’t ready yet but here is a preview. because. yes. i was so hell-bent on incorporating this thing into the chapter that I did research. My dude has been playing this game for months and suddenly it’s popular like, everywhere, and he’s a little nettled because he had to figure it out before there was a translation, okay, and, well. Anyway. He sat next to me and showed me the whole game so I didn’t have to break my streak of never having played a video game except Tetris (it’s a dumb streak okay), and he is the best. 

Steve was sitting preoccupied on the steps down from the conference room, frowning deeply at his phone. Sam steeled himself, sighing inwardly. Great. More fuckin’ drama.

Kinda looked like that sculpture. Rodin. Thinker. Yeah.

Fuck.

“What’s the haps, Cap,” Sam said, dropping down next to Steve on the step.

Steve didn’t look at him, still frowning at his phone. “How’s your Japanese, Sam?” he asked finally.

“Uh,” Sam said. Oh hell no. “Why, are we going to Japan?”

“No,” Steve said, but didn’t elaborate, still frowning at his phone. He poked intently at it. “Fuck,” he said, then poked something else.

“Who do we know who’s in Japan?” Sam asked patiently.

“Nobody,” Steve said. He poked something. “Ah,” he said, satisfied, then poked again. Scrolling. “Shit.”

“You’re killin’ me,” Sam said.

“I know,” Steve said. “This is frustrating. I can’t figure out what it says.”

“Run it through a translation app,” Sam said.

Steve finally looked at him. “I gotta take a screenshot to do that,” he said. “I’m just tryin’ to figure out the navigation. It can’t be that hard.”

Sam blinked at him, and Steve blinked back. “What?” Sam said finally.

Steve turned his phone. It was a– it was like, a phone app game or something. In Japanese. “Bucky just sent this to me with like, no explanation.”

“It looks,” Sam said, highly aware that there was likely to be another shoe dropping any time now, “like a… game?”

“Oh,” Steve said, “yeah, it’s a game.”

“With… explosions?” Sam asked.

“No,” Steve said. He poked at it. “Cats. Apparently.”

Sam leaned in. “And that’s…”

Steve shook his head a little. “I ran the text from the website through the translate thing on Google. It told me, hang on.” He switched screens out of the game app to his internet browser with a perfectly fluid competence at stark odds with the inept poking he’d been doing a moment before. “Ahem. And aside the rice and goods
A cat who have gathered in the garden
It is healed by nothing but watching.
Basically, you are such application.”

“Uh,” Sam said.

“Yeah,” Steve said.

“I figured you had that sour face on because you found out something else awful about Bucky,” Sam pointed out.

Steve blinked at him. “What?” He laughed. “No! I was just trying to figure out what the fuck Bucky thought was so great about this game.”

Sam sighed, and let himself collapse until his shoulder was pressed against Steve’s. “I really thought,” he said wearily, “that this was going to be another one of those awful data drops where we find out more fuckin’ details about the awful shit they did to your soulmate there.”

“Oh,” Steve said, distressed. “Sorry. No. Jeez, Sam, no– it’s just, it’s a cute phone game he says is really relaxing.”

“Fuck’s sake, man,” Sam said. “You’re sure there’s no nefarious backstory here? Like, you’re not gonna play it for fifteen minutes and then suddenly there’s a whole hidden menu screen that has like a buffet of illicit content that’s just all shitty HYDRA codewords or whatever.”

Steve stared at him. “Oh Sam,” he said. “Oh, Sam. I work you too hard.”

“I’d protest,” Sam said, “but I don’t think you’re wrong.” Steve looked miserable. Sam sighed, and leaned in and hugged him. “It’s okay, man,” he said. “It’s okay.”

“It’s not,” Steve said, a little muffled.

“Well,” Sam said. He pulled Steve’s head down a little more comfortably against his shoulder. He was going to make Captain America a snuggler if it killed him.

Because it damn well might kill him.

“At least we have cute cartoon cats to look at in the meantime,” Steve said, angling his phone so he could see it without moving his head from Sam’s chest. “Look, you put out food and toys and they come to your yard. It’s really cute.”

“I do see the appeal,” Sam said. And it crossed his mind to wonder if anybody was teaching the Winter Soldier how to be a snuggler.

Neko Atsume, or What The Hell Are These Cartoon Cats Doing Everywhere Now
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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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