Jan. 13th, 2017

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nichtwing:

me, a writer: omg somebody write this
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ymirsbian:

becausebirds:

Toucan discovers a traffic cam. video

toucannot eat a camera what are u doin silly

just because toucan doesnt mean toushould
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s-leary:

(@cuffymeh tweet)

Trump

BBC News says there’s audio and video of Trump’s Russian misadventures, and more than one source.

Based on the dossier released yesterday, “James Comey’s intervention in the election last October — controversial at the time — looks completely indefensible now.”

Lots going on in Trump’s press conference. First off, he had it packed with staff applauding him. Not normal. Every two-part question let him dodge the more uncomfortable half.

Then he ranted about Buzzfeed’s “fake news,” said they would “suffer the consequences,” immediately compared and conflated CNN with Buzzfeed, and refused to answer a CNN reporter’s question. (CNN’s statement afterward.)

(@LordRavenscraft tweet)

After the press conference, Sean Spicer told the reporter in question that he’d be thrown out if he continued to “harass” Trump.

(@davidfrum tweet)

For context, here’s Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen threatening the Daily Beast last year
for reporting Ivana Trump’s claim that her then-husband raped her in a
rage. (Trigger warning: the article discusses her claims in graphic
detail.)

I
will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly
know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly,
because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting.
You understand me?”

“You
write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’
and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this
frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much
money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.

Trump said today that he had no relationship with Russia. In this interview four years ago, he said, “I do have a relationship [with Putin], and I can tell you he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today.”

Trump admitted during the press conference that Russia interfered in the election. He said the RNC wasn’t hacked by Russia though they tried. It was.

Trump’s lawyers were just awarded Russia Law Firm of the Year.

Trump
says he’s going to donate the profits from foreign governments’ hotel
stays to the US Treasury. If you’re familiar with Hollywood accounting
practices, you know how that’s going to work.

Trump’s plan to resolve his conflicts of interest does nothing of the sort. The Director of the Office of Government Ethics gave an extraordinary statement saying that Trump’s plans to avoid conflicts of interest did not even come close to meeting the standard.

Elizabeth
Warren has introduced a bill that would require the President of the
United States to sell his or her assets before taking office.

Peter Thiel is still using some batshit logic to support Trump, in case you were wondering.

When
I remark that President Obama had eight years without any ethical
shadiness, Mr. Thiel flips it, noting: “But there’s a point where no
corruption can be a bad thing. It can mean that things are too boring.”

Transition Team & Cabinet Appointees

We need some subheadings up in here…

Jeff Sessions, day 2

Sen. Cory Booker: “The arc of the universe does not just curve toward justice; we must bend it.”

Rep. John Lewis: “We need someone as AG who’s going to look out for all of us. Not just for some of us.”

NAACP President Cornell Brooks: “The NAACP firmly believes that Senator Sessions is unfit to serve as attorney general.”

(@ACLU tweet)

Rex Tillerson

(@RepMcGovern tweet)

On climate change: “I don’t see it as an imminent national security threat but perhaps others do.” Like maybe the Department of Defense? And John Kerry, on Monday?

Tillerson contradicted Trump’s positions on climate change.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) asked Tillerson about reporting from the Los Angeles Times and Inside Climate News
that Exxon Mobil had internally acknowledged climate science while
publicly waging a campaign to undermine it. Tillerson demurred. “Since
I’m no longer CEO of Exxon Mobil, I can’t speak on their behalf,” he
said. “You’ll have to ask them.” Asked if he was refusing to answer or
simply lacked the knowledge to do so, Tillerson quipped, “A little of
both.”

Exxon Mobil was ordered today to hand over documents related to a state investigation into whether it misled the public about the impact of fossil fuels on the climate.

Tillerson may have lied under oath when he said, “To my knowledge, Exxon never directly lobbied against sanctions.”

Tillerson refused to blame Putin for the murders of his political opponents,
saying, “These things happen.” He also refused to condemn the
Philippine president’s murderous war on drugs, despite being grilled on
it by Marco Rubio, of all people.

“I’m not familiar with that program,” he said about NSEERS.

Others

James Mattis canceled his hearing with the House Armed Services Committee scheduled for Thursday. House Representatives are not happy.

Unlike
other nominees, Mattis needs a waiver approved by both the House and
Senate before he can proceed to a confirmation vote. Following
the cancellation news, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said
Democrats in his chamber may oppose the waiver if Mattis doesn’t testify
before their lawmakers to answer questions about his views on civilian
control of the military.

Andrew Pudzer (labor secretary nominee) had his confirmation postponed to next month. Apparently his ex-wife once appeared on Oprah (?) in disguise (???) as a victim of domestic violence.

“Dina H. Powell, who runs many of Goldman Sachs’s philanthropic initiatives, will soon leave the company for a new role as adviser in the Trump White House” working with both Kushner and Ivanka Trump (who supposedly will have no official role).

Sen. Cory Booker: “The arc of the universe does not just curve toward justice; we must bend it.”
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Here’s part three - and also my ‘rising to a challenge’ line

about 3k words, so watch for the cut. :) 

Part onePart two

The rush of cool air against his back woke him. Steve drew in a breath and let it out, but kept his eyes closed. The bed was warm, and smelled like Tony, and Steve was comfortable. It had been so long since he’d last woke up comfortable that he couldn’t make himself move. The sheets settled back around him as soon as Tony swung his legs over the side. Steve reluctantly dropped onto his back and peered at Tony through slitted eyes.

In the pale morning light, Tony looked again different. He wasn’t the larger-than-life cocky devil he’d been in the club, and he wasn’t the vulnerable, sweetly shy man of the night before. He was a cat in the sunshine, stretching out his arms, his spine moving like it was made of liquid. Steve ached for a paintbrush as he watched Tony’s shoulders shifting through the sunlight, followed the curve of his spine down to his hips. They were slender, about the right size for Steve to fold his hands around and rest his thumbs in the depressions on either side of his spine.

Steve stretched an arm over his head to curl around the top of a pillow and rubbed his feet over the sheets. He’d never slept on silk sheets before, but he was going to have to buy a set. It had been a long time since he’d slept so well, though that probably had a lot more to do with Tony sleeping next to him than the sheets. He was thirsty and his head hurt, but the full body ache that he’d been dealing with for months was all but gone.

Tony sat on the edge of the bed, stretching his arms out to either side and yawning. He twisted around to give Steve a sleepy smile. “Morning, hot stuff.”

A faint blush spread over his cheeks, but Steve smiled back. “Good morning.”

Tony flopped over and then flipped around to face Steve. He propped his head up on his fist and examined Steve with an unnervingly focused gaze. “This is a new experience for me,” he said finally.

“Sleeping with a stranger without sleeping with said stranger?” Steve asked. He rolled onto his side and mirrored Tony’s posture.

“That too,” Tony agreed, lips twitching up in a smile. “Waking up next the stranger I slept with? Also new.”

Steve hiked an eyebrow at him. “You usually kick them out before they can fall asleep?” he surmised. He had no right to feel disappointed in Tony or how he conducted his one night stands, but it did make something squirm in his gut. Tony had been nicer to him than just about anyone since he’d manifested, and he’d ended up falling asleep in the man’s bed. He shifted to sit upright, suddenly very aware of how naked he was in between Tony’s silk sheets. “I’ll go.”

“Don’t do that,” Tony said, looking a little startled. “I usually just wake up first and they’re usually gone when I get back,” he clarified, and then winced and added, “Frequently escorted by my PA.”

“You make your PA kick your one night stands out of the bed?”

Sitting up, Tony scratched a hand through his goatee. “Dick move,” he admitted. “But it’s not like they actually want to see me in the morning. They get what they want, my PA makes sure they get breakfast and get home, no awkward morning after. No expectations, no disappointment.”

“You take a lot of people home who don’t like you?”

“I take a lot of people home who don’t know me. They want a night with a celebrity, something to brag about to their friends, they don’t want to know who the celebrity actually is. Breaks the illusion to wake up next to someone with morning breath, you know?” He shrugged, but he was smiling. “Speaking of which.”

He hopped out of the bed before Steve could say a word, walking gloriously naked across the room, his bare feet slapping on the tile when he stepped off the plush carpet. “You want a toothbrush?” he called back over his shoulder.

Steve held a hand up to his face and breathed against his palm. His nose wrinkled, making him aware of the stickiness at the back of his throat and the fuzzy texture of his teeth. Steve slid out from under the sheet and searched the floor for his clothing. He found a pair of underwear on the floor, but they were bright red and satiny like the sheets. Without really meaning to, he rubbed the cloth between his fingers and thought about getting some of his own – if sleeping in silk sheets had been heaven, what would it feel like to walk around them all day? He imagined himself going about his day at the bookstore, bending over to re-shelve books, helping customers at the register, and no one any the wiser that he was wearing something so decadent under his jeans. His face heated up, but it didn’t make him drop the underwear.

“You can wear them if you like.”

Steve jumped and fumbled the handful of silky cloth before finally throwing them back to the floor. He whirled around, but Tony was leaning on the door jamb, still naked, still smiling, a foam-covered toothbrush held in one hand, and goatee damp. His eyes took in Steve’s naked form in a slow slide that just made the warmth on Steve’s cheeks pulse hotter, even as his throat tightened. A tingle spread over his skin, skipping down his shoulders, making his thighs burn, and then curling under his feet. Tony’s smile grew wider and he gestured to the little puddle of red satin at Steve’s feet.

“Seriously, seeing you walk around in my underwear would probably make my entire decade.”

Throat too tight to respond, Steve just snagged his own white cotton boxers off the floor and hurried into them. “You said something about a toothbrush?” he asked, ignoring Tony’s disappointed frown.

Tony made a gesture with his head and turned back into the bathroom. Steve followed, and found a packaged toothbrush and half-used tube of toothpaste on the counter between two beaten copper sinks. Tony stood in front of the sink against the wall, giving Steve the one closest to the door. He wasn’t sure if it was an intentional bid to make him feel more comfortable, but it did make him feel more comfortable. Considering that he was in nothing but his boxers in a stranger’s bathroom, feeling comfortable was probably the strangest thing about the past 24 hours.

Tony rinsed out his toothbrush, tapped it on the side of the sink, and dropped it into a brushed copper cup. He ran a towel across his mouth and then gave Steve’s reflection a wink. He walked his fingers across Steve’s shoulders on the way out of the bathroom, his smirk blossoming into a smile when Steve shivered from the contact.

“I’ll get breakfast,” he said.

~*~

Breakfast turned out to be a feast of every breakfast food Steve could readily name. He blinked as Tony unloaded another plate of warm pancakes to add to the three-tiered dish of pastries, waffles, glass jars of yogurt topped in fruit and granola, a basket of fresh fruit, a covered metal dish of eggs cooked every way, plates of bacon, sausage, and ham, coffee, three kinds of fruit juice, and a few things Steve couldn’t immediately identity.

“Didn’t know what you liked,” Tony explained, and though his voice was teasing, his expression was almost sheepish as he pulled a glass dish of syrup out of the last bag. He folded the bag up and added it to the pile on the counter.

He’d put on a pair of slinky black pants that practically advertised the fact that his underwear were still on the floor, and a ratty blue hoodie over his bare chest to answer the door. Steve had gotten back into his clothes, but was barefoot on the couch with their breakfast spread over the coffee table. Tony knelt opposite him, and he made a very attractive picture on his knees.

“Even with my metabolism, we’re not going to be able to eat all of this,” Steve said. He cleared his throat and looked away as Tony shifted around to get himself comfortable on the carpet.

Tony shrugged, snagged a piece of bacon, and said, “It won’t go to waste.” He gestured to the table with his half-eaten piece of bacon and suggested, “As long as you help at least a little.”

Steve obligingly took a plate and started picking through the offerings. Eating continued to be a challenge for him – he constantly felt hungry, and went through as many calories as an entire football team most days, but it never satisfied the ache in his throat. Some days he got hungry enough that he ate until it felt like he was going to throw up, but it just left him more miserable than before. He was very conscious of Tony watching him while he peeled an orange, but kept his eyes firmly on his plate.

“So,” Tony started after Steve had made it through most of the plate and an ice cold bottle of water. “How likely would you be to kill me if I called a friend of mine who also happens to be an incubus?”

“I don’t know how comfortable I am with that,” Steve said, setting the plate down. His fingers drifted up to his throat and he forced his hand back to his lap. He made himself look up in the general direction of Tony’s face and gave him a smile. “I appreciate the thought.”

“Sure,” Tony said with a nod, “I guess starving to death on someone’s couch is better than asking for help.”

Steve flinched back and then glared across the table at Tony, briefly meeting his eyes before jerking his gaze away. “That is not what I’m doing. I go to the damn clinic three times a week, where a succubus ‘mentor’ spends an hour telling me about all the things I’m doing wrong. I don’t need another one.”

Tony held a hand up in mute apology. “I know you don’t know anything about me, but I guarantee that my friend is better than the state-funded counselor at a clinic.”

“I don’t like to be poked and prodded at, Tony, and other Seducers make me nervous. Why do you care? You just met me.”

Taking a big bite of toast and talking with his mouth full, Tony said, “Maybe I’m a humanitarian.”

“I’m not human,” Steve reminded him pointedly. He fished another bottle of water out of the center of the table and unscrewed the cap. He was too full, but his throat was only getting tighter the longer he sat across the table from his very attractive, very human breakfast partner. The conversation was just making him hungrier. He should have left before Tony had started calling around for food.

“Well… maybe I’m a Faeitarian. Or,” he said, straightening up and making a big production of looking like he’d just had an epiphany. “Or maybe I would just like you to not die.”

“I’m not going to die,” Steve said, “Just being around people is enough to subsist on.”

“Because subsistence definitely sounds like living. Humor me – just a phone call, no other Seducers invading your personal space. Promise. And maybe,” he added, “We can do some of that practicing I offered.”

Steve scratched at the back of his neck, both uncomfortable and intrigued. He tried to come up with another refusal, but Tony appeared to realize that he’d won and just snagged an apple out of the basket. He took a loud bite, and turned licking the spatters of juice off his lips into an art form. Steve sighed and crushed the empty bottle between his hands. Tony just grinned at him.

~*~

Tony’s workshop was pristine, every surface perfectly clean and organized, the floor polished to a museum shine. Despite that, it didn’t feel sterile. If anything, it was the warmest, most lived-in room that Steve had found so far in Tony’s space. He followed the man around the tables, glancing down at the projects spread out around the workshop. There was enough work out for ten people to stay occupied, but Steve didn’t think many other people were allowed in the space.

Flopping into a swiveling chair at a tall workstation, Tony called out to the air, “Call Bruce.”

Steve looked around, but they were alone. The screen above the workstation lit up a soft blue and started to beep. Steve hesitated before picking another chair and pushing it closer to Tony. He kept a hand on the back and turned it idly, watching Tony spin in the chair.

“I’m not sure if I should be impressed or worried that you’ve called me at a reasonable hour,” Bruce said as soon as the line picked up. He had to shout over a loud commotion of people and cars and general closeness that made even Steve – a life-long New Yorker – a little nervous. “Is this an emergency?”

“Sort of,” Tony hedged, glancing up at Steve.

Steve tried to correct him that it wasn’t an emergency, but he couldn’t unstick his tongue from the roof of his mouth. He glanced up at the screen, but it was still glowing the same pale blue.

“Is this the ‘I can’t remember where I hid the dried blueberries’ type of sort of emergency, or the ‘I’ve been framed for treason and am about to be arrested’ type of sort of emergency?” Bruce asked over a rustle of cloth and the hollow clang of a shoddy wooden door.

“Not really either of those things,” Tony said. He twirled in his chair to face to Steve. “You’re on speaker, Brucie. Say hello to my friend Steve.”

The other end of the line was quiet but for the clatter of Bruce trudging up a flight of stairs. “Hello, Steve.”

Tony waved encouragingly between Steve and the screen. Steve’s lips pressed together and he looked down at his hands where he was clutching the back of the chair. He let out a slow breath and said, “Hello, Bruce.”

Through the phone, another door screeched open and then closed. There was a rustle of bags dropping to the floor and then the whoosh of a body dropping into an upholstered chair. “Alright,” Bruce said after a moment. “What can I do for you, Steve?”

Steve said nothing. He looked away, fixing his eyes to the table on his right. A shallow box was on the top with a rectangular device that he couldn’t identify in the middle and various tools and wires arranged neatly around it.

“My friend is an incubus, Bruce,” Tony said.

“I can hear that,” Bruce answered neutrally.

“He’s newly manifested and doesn’t know how to feed.”

The chair under Steve’s hands creaked and he looked down sharply to see that his knuckles had turned white. Something about the sound of Bruce’s voice, the sound of his breathing was making Steve’s shoulders tense up and his mouth flood with saliva.

Bruce made a vaguely uncomfortable noise. “Tony, how old is your friend?”

“Twenty-two,” Steve answered for himself, his sharp and annoyed. He was tired of being asked his age and being looked at sideways when he said anything other than ‘fifteen.’

“Okay,” Bruce said with no particular inflection. “When did you manifest?”

Steve made an uncomfortable noise of his own and stepped away from the screen. He ran a hand through his hair, tugging restlessly. It felt like his meetings with the succubus counselor at the clinic. She usually had to move behind a glass wall within a few minutes of starting their session. Bruce wasn’t even on the same continent and it was making him just as nervous. He paced back to the chair while Tony watched him with measured curiosity. He shouldn’t be curious, he should be frightened. Steve tried to figure out how to tell him that he needed to be worried without scaring him. He didn’t want to frighten him, but a growing part of him wanted to take Tony away from the screen – he was too close to it, and the voice on the other side of the line was too strong. Steve didn’t like the way Tony was looking at it, and it wasn’t even a person – the person was on the other side of the damn planet and Steve still felt threatened.

“Steve?” Bruce prompted.

“Few months,” Steve gritted out, glaring up at the placid blue screen.

“And there’s no one there to guide you?”

“Clinic counselor.”

Bruce made a sympathetic noise. “Ouch.”

“I know, right?” Tony put in. He made a zipping motion across his lips when Steve shot him a sharp look and Bruce made a similarly sharp noise over the line. “You take this chair,” he decided despite his mouth-zipping gesture, “And I will get some work down. Feel free to put the display on, Bruce. He’s worth looking at.”

Tony gave him a saucy wink and Steve smiled despite himself. A moment later, the screen flickered briefly black and then came back on an image of a small room decorated in rich textures and colors. Bruce sat in a chair with a small kitchen visible behind him. Based on the strength of his voice and the feeling Steve had gotten just listening to him, Bruce’s appearance was not what he was expecting. He looked harmless and kind, though that was maybe even more dangerous than the typical incubus who looked like – or so Bucky said – a Roman statue come to life.

“You two kids have fun,” Tony said, patting Steve’s shoulders. He turned away, but then paused and leaned around Steve to look up at the screen. “But not too much fun.”

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