Vignettes

Dec. 8th, 2011 12:28 am
lavalkyrie: (Default)
Title: Vignettes
Author: lavalkyrie
Pairing: Implied Brittana
Rating: R, but only for a little swearing
Spoilers: Through 3x07.
Summary: A Collection of fics and drabbles of different lengths that could have happened in I Kissed A Girl in lieu of the forced canonization of Finn

Ok, this isn't actually a collection. I'd like it to be b/c I have about 2 other ideas, but I figured that if i waited until I got around to those, I might never post anything. This first one is about Blaine reaching out to Santana at some point after the "Perfect" performance.  I was torn as to whether or not to leave that part in since I don't know why he'd agree to it, so I hope that part works.  I've also made an assumption that said performance occurred during the school day at some point. 

here goes nothing.... )
*************************

It's 2:37pm. School officially ended a few minutes ago and the hallways are crowded with students hustling and pushing to get their things and get out of there as quickly as possible. She's at her locker grabbing her chemistry book before heading to the football field for practice. It so loud today. Louder than usual. The ad hasn't run yet, but her paranoia is growing and she is already assuming they're all talking about her in some new way that isn't fawning admiration or abject fear.

She zips her backpack and is about to sling it over her shoulder when the bag is knocked from her hand as she is jostled by a group of 4 basketball players walking abreast.

"Hey watch it, you gorillas! This isn't the Planet of the Apes!" It almost feels good. At least it feels familiar. This is the persona she's been perfecting for years now. She's giving them her signature bitch glare, the one she practices in the mirror before school. Maybe one of them mumbles an apology... maybe he doesn't, its hard to say. She scowls at them as they walk away and reaches to grab her bag from the floor when she hears her name.

"Santana! Santana, hey!" It's kind of a surprise because there are only two people who'd dare yell her name down the hallway. It is definitely not her voice and she's the only one she ever wants to hear yelling her name down the hallway. It's not Coach Sylvester either, even though the voice is deeper. Coach never bothers with actual first names.

No, when she finally sees the body the voice belongs to, its Blaine fighting his way through the phalanx of hoopsters. He catches her eye and damn, now she can't pretend to have not seen him.

"Hey, Santana! Wait up!" She quirks an eyebrow and crosses her arms defensively, because seriously what the fuck else does he need to say to her today. He finally succeeds in navigating the crowds and is standing before her. She glances around looking for Blaine's conjoined twin, but since she doesn't see him she presumes he was trampled. No it's just Blaine, looking so damned earnest that its appalling. If he breaks into song in the hallway she will hit him, suspensions and Sectionals be damned.

There is a moment of silence where he thinks she might say something, like "Hi" or maybe just "what do you want?", but when nothing is forthcoming he gamely presses on.

"Hey, I just wanted you to know that I'm really sorry about earlier. It wasn't the right time or place, but Finn had already... and... we couldn't... uh anyway, we hoped it would at least take a little of the edge off if we sang something fun. I mean..." He's struggling with this part because he hadn't agreed with the lesson when Finn had pitched it to them 5 minutes before practice. He'd capitulated in the end, but told Finn to keep the rhetoric down. That it was too much, too soon, but Finn had shot him down like always. He wishes he had pushed more.

"Whatevs," she cuts him off. "Coach makes us run 10 laps for every minute we're late so I have to jet. You finished?" It's a dismissal, but he either ignores it or thinks it is an actual question.

"Almost. I just wanted to give you two things before you left today." She narrows her eyes in suspicion. She doesn't want anything from him and definitely can't deal with any more pity. She doesn't want her feelings on fucking display anymore. She just wants things to go back to how they were.

In his left hand he holds out a balled up bit of black fabric.

"Take it." So she does. The ball begins to unravel a bit as she takes it.

"What the..."

He cuts her off, "Its my bow tie." Her head tilts to the side in her best "bitch, please" look.

"You said it provoked you," he supplies to answer the question that he knows was coming next. He's smiling because he obviously finds himself very clever, but then his face goes more serious as he holds up a scrap of paper in his other hand. "And this is the other thing I wanted you to have." She takes it and finds a phone number scrawled on it in marker. She's glaring at him again. She can't help it really. It's automatic. "Don't throw it out..." he sputters as she moves to crumple it in her fist. "Look, I can't imagine what it's like to.... to, to deal with things before you're ready. To not have a choice. It's not fair and it must suck."

She scoffs a little. "Yeah, it sucks."

"I just want you to have my number in case you ever.... want to talk.... " She's kind of rolling of her eyes and he knows it sounds cliché. "Just keep it okay? You never have to use it, but if you ever want to, the first coffee is on me. And no bow ties, I promise." He smiles again and moves to leave, having said what he needed and not wanting to overstep any more than he already had.

"Blaine...." He turns back as she trails off. It is hard for her to say, the word sort of catches in her throat, but she manages to force it out anyway. "Thanks."

"Anytime, Santana. I mean that." And she thinks maybe he really does.
lavalkyrie: (Default)
I hope this isn't out of line- I really enjoy reading stories at LJ but I find the physical reading of them difficult due to poor typography. I have been finding lately that I have to zoom in 4-5 times before I get a readable font-size in conjunction w/ an optimal line length.

as a web designer, i'd like to petition the community and all LJ authors to consider making 3 CSS changes to make their entries easier to read.

Increase Font Size


adding this bit of custom CSS to your journal would go a long way by itself:

body {
font-size: 100%;
line-height: 1.5;
}


this sets the font size to the browser default (which is typically 16px). 16px is a heck of a lot easier to read than 12px or worse 11px. line-height refers to the amount of space between lines... also called leading.

Shorter Line Length (aka narrower columns)


the other major problem I see is with line-length. really long lines are quite difficult to read. Optimal line length is around 12 words per line... which means columns that are much narrower than LJ's default 100% width layouts. Think of how easy it is to read a book page... since books aren't 16" wide.  

depending on the look of your journal you might be able to get away with something as simple as

#page {
width: 978px;
margin: 48px auto !important;
}


If that really messes up your layout (and you don't know the first thing about CSS), at least you can still have the bigger font-size.

Contrast


I don't see this one as much, but please don't put light gray font on a light gray background. I am partial to black text on white backgrounds, but reverse (black on white) can work too.... the main thing is that the background and the font colors contrast sufficiently.

How to Add Custom CSS to your LJ Theme


if you are still here and haven't run screaming from my geekery then maybe you might like to apply some of my suggestions, but don't know how. LJ is tricky, and even as a self-professed web pro I've had trouble posting, so I'm sure the thought of editing CSS is enough to make many of you cringe.
Here's how to find the section where you can make CSS adjustments.
  1. from LJ Home- hover over Journal - click on Journal Style
  2. off to the right it will show your current theme - click Customize your theme
  3. Under Customize Your Theme - click Custom CSS
  4. you should come face-to-face with a large text area called Custom Stylesheet... this is where to paste in your new rules
  5. click save changes and your journal should now be a little easier to read.

My thanks to all the authors out there who gracefully share their creativity here. And a few more thank yous to any author who doesn't require me to get a magnifying glass to read their work! :)


EDIT TO ADD:

Since posting this I have found 2 solid bookmarklets:
http://purifyr.com
http://www.readability.com/

that both allow the end user to view any web article in a non-cluttered, easy-to-read way. brilliant! but i would still like to encourage authors to give a thought to their own typography. take care!
lavalkyrie: (German Wicked Cast)

TITLE: Writer's Block
RATING: G
GENRE: Angsty!Crack
WORD COUNT: 1360
SUMMARY: Elphaba is trying to write fanfiction, but Glinda is singing out of tune. 

AN: Several months later I have decided to finish part 2 of my bizzaro story where Elphaba is a writer of Gelphie fanfic.  It was 85% done for ages, but hated the "bridge".  Hopefully that part is better now.  Seems to have blown up in length from its origins as comment!fic.

Part 1

Inspired by Vampire Cookie's brilliant 'The Narrative Strain' and general prompting is from the comments section on one of her chapters.
I cannot for the life of me find the first chapter on LJ (hello LJ search function- you suck) so at least I can offer the FF link, b/c if you haven't you really ought to read it.  And if you have, you ought to read it again:

The Narrative Strain


Actual "story" behind the cut... )


--------------------------------------------------

The cords of Elphaba’s forearm muscles stood out in relief as her fists clenched. 

Lurline, the Unnamed God, and whoever else might hold sway in the Cosmos, I know I am not usually on speaking terms with any of you…

Her nails bit into her palms sharply and her whole body began to tremble.

 

But I will give up my atheism and submit myself as the lifelong disciple to whoever intervenes and makes this insipid noise stop! 

 

And finally the pen she’d be holding snapped under the strain.  She threw it down in frustration as the ink spread all over her desk. 

“Dammit Glinda! Would you desist!?”  She snapped as she quickly moved her journal out of harm’s way and attempted to blot up the pooling ink.    

Glinda’s own concentration was broken and she looked up from where she was buffing her nails, sitting propped up on the pillows of her bed, “Desist what?”

 “Gah!  What do you think?  Your singing!”

“I am not singing… “ Elphaba threatened to interrupt, but Glinda continued unflustered.  “I’m humming.”

“Either way, it is inane.”

“It is the 4th symphony of the Emerald City Orchestra thank you kindly.”

“Well then you have butchered it fully.  You are so horribly off-key!”

“I am not!” Glinda shot back defensively.

“All of your ‘las’ are half a step sharp and your ‘dees’ are so flat they defy quantification.  It is completely distracting. How am I supposed to write the end of my fiction if I cannot concentrate?”  Her words came forth so quickly that the admission she’d been working on that particular fiction was past her lips before she could close them.

 “You are writing your fiction?”

Elphaba tried to mask her surprise at the sudden shift in Glinda’s tone, but allowed it to soften her own reply.

“Yes. I am working on the final chapters.”

Glinda seemed to take that as a signal to get out of her bed, make her way across the small room and perch herself on the edge of Elphaba’s desk. 

“So… “ she drawled, “Do I die in a ditch somewhere?  Naked of course, or close enough as to make no difference, and tormented by my dream demons?”  Elphaba was quickly trying to decide to decide if she was being mocked.   She was far more comfortable with doing the mocking, and though she was naturally inclined towards suspicion, Glinda’s voice had seemed strangely lacking in scorn so she did not fight when Glinda took the journal from her hands and daintily traced a finger along the edge. 

“You know about that?”

“What?  Of course I know.  And what’s more is I know that you know that I have been reading along.  You kept moving your journal. Always so that I had to work to find it, but never so it couldn’t be found.  I rather think you enjoyed baiting me.”

“Hmm…” she mumbled noncommittally, but with a soft smirk that, for her, was almost a smile.  “So you thought it was good enough to keep searching for?”

“Parts of it were quite entertaining.  I particularly like where I slapped you in chapter 14.  Though I thought your prose meandered a bit there and lost most of the righteous indignation that my character was feeling at the time. “

“Meandered?….” Elphaba was about to protest further when she saw the grin spreading across Glinda’s face and knew she was being teased and for perhaps the first time in her life, not in a malicious way. 

“And chapter 25?  Why Miss Elphaba I would never, never ever have guessed you could write something like that?  That was really quite scandalous,” she mimed fanning herself, “if artfully done.  But I wonder, does such an elixir exist?  We could make a fortune selling that to the public.”

Seeing Elphaba flushing a darker shade of green and at a total loss for words, Glinda broke into a laugh.  Elphaba tried to resist for a moment, then shook her head and joined in. 

To Glinda, the other girls eyes seemed to dance and was a little taken aback by the realization.  Glinda had only rarely glimpsed Elphaba’s dark eyes; disdain, indifference, simple physical distance and a host of other reasons she was too embarrassed to admit.  To be sure she’d been on the receiving end of more than a few of Elphaba’s glares and could feel the palpable intensity of Elphaba’s gaze whenever it deigned to fix her in its path, but up until that particular moment she was suddenly aware that she wouldn’t have been able to even guess at the girl’s eye color. 

“So…” Glinda began hesitantly.  She had wanted to say something of import, but couldn’t find any words, so she just trailed off. 

“So?” Elphaba echoed a little too harshly.  The green girl, for her part, seemed to have realized that some barrier had fallen and was scrambling to put it back into place. 

“How does it end?”

“Oh I don’t know.  I probably won’t finish it.  It was just… it was just an exercise.  A distraction… It isn’t even any good.  I didn’t… I shouldn’t…”  She was growing uncomfortable under the perceived scrutiny and began to pile her books and stood as if to leave… or escape, but Glinda stood as well, and though smaller effectively blocked her path with satin and sparkles.    

 “But you have to finish!” Glinda exclaimed.  She was a little embarrassed by the outburst, but tried not to let it show. 

“I do not have to do any such thing.  I clearly have more important things I should be working on, so if you will excuse…”

But Glinda would not move herself.  “Why do you do that?”

“Do what?” she snapped.

“Run away!  Dismiss me when we were having a perfectly good conversation. For Oz’s sake, we were laughing only a moment ago.  I have hardly ever seen you do anything other than scowl and am certain I have never seen you laugh before, not genuinely anyway.  It was… it was… “ Captivating. But Glinda felt herself floundering and so changed course. “I dare say Miss Elphaba that you make it extremely difficult for a person to like you.”

Elphaba laughed again, but it wasn’t the same and it only served to annoy the girl in front of her. 

“I’m very serious!”

She peered down at Glinda with eyes that were now inscrutable and a little vacant. 

“Is it easier?”

“What?” Elphaba was beginning to feel trapped and her own thoughts were so deafening that she barely recognized she was being addressed.

“I asked if it was easier to make people dislike you.  To push everyone away rather than be bothered by any of us mortals.”

 “No.” she said, firmly taking her journal back from Glinda’s grasp and placing it on the stack of her other gathered books. Then only just barely audible, and against her better judgment she whispered, “It is safer.” And the enormity of her admission hit Glinda much harder than all her usual insults ever did or could. 

“Is that why you abuse me so in your writing?” Elphaba wouldn’t look at her and so Glinda continued, “Do you really think I could only like you if I were insane and tormented by dream demons? Do you truly think so little of me?  No, do you think so little of you?”

Elphaba peered at her curiously, like she wanted to believe in something, but wasn’t sure what.  Her green hand seemed to float of its own accord towards Glinda’s face, where it hovered so close that Glinda could feel its warmth.  Though when her mind finally registered the embarrassment of what she was doing, she let her hand quickly drop back to her side where it was met by a tiny, pale one.  Glinda guided Elphaba’s hand back to where it had been, pressed it to her cheek and held it there. 

“So,” Glinda began, voice only just above a whisper, “How does it end?”

“Wouldn’t want to spoil you,” Elphaba replied meekly while brushing her thumb across a soft cheek in the faintest of caresses… inadvertently leaving behind a light blush of black ink.   

lavalkyrie: (German Wicked Cast)

Is any of this mine?  Not so much.  Heck even the tiny text is a blatant thievery from Vampire Cookie's brilliant 'The Narrative Strain' and general prompting is from the comments section on one of her chapters.  She began it as we discussed what elphaba would write if she were a fic writer.  i took it from there in a 2nd comment!fic that sucked all the original humor out and and now i find myself up way too late at night posting a 3rd piece as its own post b/c it is too big to fit as a comment.  le sigh.

Be kind w/ any comments, i write code for wordpress themes, not fiction.  And if it sucks royally then it is vampire cookies' fault!

rating = pg/13... whichever is the tamer one.  and really only for the stolen bits!  evil laugh...

==============================================

Elphaba’s scent lingered faintly in the air, though she had left the room several minutes earlier.  Glinda resolved to let another several minutes pass to be sure that she was well and truly gone.  The green girl had the tendency to disappear for hours at a time and not just when she was in classes.  Extra time in various labs doing who knew what.  Voluntarily. Glinda shuddered at the thought.  And of course time seemed to just slip away from Elphaba completely in the library. If the librarians did not kick her out at closing time, Glinda thought for sure she’d die in there from forgetting to eat.  That thought brought a pang of guilt for the time when Galinda had fervently hoped that might actually happen, but as quickly as it had come, she shook it off again.  No matter. That is over and done with and so is that girl.  

But Glinda wanted to be sure that she was gone… that nothing had been forgotten at the bottom of the stair, nor at the end of the path leading from Crage Hall to Shiz’s main quad that might be remembered and bring Elphaba back into their room.  Oh no, that could not be allowed.  When she certain that Elphaba would not be returning she launched herself out of bed, locked the door and barred it with her desk chair propped under the handle.  She wasn’t entirely sure that was effective, but she’d seen it done in the theater a few times.  She wasn’t sure how she’d explain it either.  Details!

She’d already looked through the few spare book offerings on her own desk, and while she knew ‘hiding in plain sight’ had  a certain amount of appeal that wasn’t the case this time.  She also quickly rifled through the contents of her desk drawers but found only the myriad shades of nail polish that she’d expected to find.  And so Glinda turned her attention to Elphaba’s desk.  This was less likely now, but one never really knew.  Metaphysical Adapations of Animals. Evolution of Consciousness. A Primer on Munchkin History Since the Uprising. And for variety’s sake, Interpretations of the Kumbric Witch in Modern Art. The titles alone made Glinda yawn.  There were several untitled volumes and though she was sure that none were the volume she was seeking she pulled them out and rifled through them to confirm they contained only chemical diagrams and mathematical equations. 

She checked Elphaba’s desk drawers, both their wardrobes, the windowsill, the one shelf, the bathroom, under each girls’ pillows, behind aged, but beloved Mr. Beasley.  Under her own bed she only found a fair number of shoes being attacked by some goodly sized balls of dust.  And under Elphaba’s another slew of tomes of questionable interest, but not at all the one that she was actually interested in finding.  She sat back down on her bed in disgust.  It should not be this difficult! It is a dormitory after all.  There is not that much space.  She tapped her foot.  She chewed her lip.  She brooded.  She stood.  She paced.  She brooded some more. 

And then her eyes fell upon her bed.  Fiend! She launched herself from her perch and spun around.  It was ironic, which meant it was perfect for Elphaba.  She lifted the mattress she’d just been sitting on to reveal a small, blue-leather-bound journal filled with Elphaba’s cramped, changeable and as often as not, virtually illegible, script.  Glinda let the mattress fall back to its normal position and retook her place seated atop it.  She leafed through the beginning pages, tempted to revisit them.  After.  At the moment, she was too eager to throw herself into the newest chapter.  And she knew there was one waiting for her.  The journal would not have been left where it had otherwise.  She flipped to the fresher looking pages.  Was she the one making the earlier pages look so worn?  Should have been more cafeful of that. She turned her attention back from the physical state of the journal to its contents.

"Drink this," said Elphaba firmly as she uncapped the bottle and placed it in Glinda's hand.

Glinda looked down at the strange milky substance, then glanced back up at her companion. "The cure?"

"There's only one way to find out.”

Glinda eagerly read on, devouring the next few paragraphs. 

Glinda placed the ghost of a kiss where her fingers had left. Her lips touched Elphaba's with the slightest pressure and warmly in their intent. It was only a moment, too delicate to be realized, but its intensity was enough to burn her. She was unprepared for the temperate contact, and it stole the breath right out of her.

Glinda quickly slammed the journal closed while sitting up to attention and flushing the brightest shade of pink possible.  She let out the breath she’d been holding and hoped it did something to bring her color back to normal.  After a few more steadying breaths the left corner of her mouth pulled slowly upwards into a devilish, crooked smile. Stacking her pillows carefully, she curled up comfortably against them and opened the journal to where she’d abruptly left off; settling in to finish the chapter that had been left for her.   

 

 

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lavalkyrie

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