astephens1971: (brian and justin)
It bothered Calcifer to see Howl pacing back and forth. “What’s troubling you, old friend?”

Glancing at Calicifer, Howl sighed. “I’m going to ask Sophie to marry me.”

“That’s wonderful!” Calcifer’s flame grew brighter at the news. “What seems to be the problem? Not sure how to go about it?”

“Yeah,” Howl sighed. “She means more to me than she will ever realize.” He walked to the window, opening it to the night sky. The view brought back memories of their narrow escape, how he had taught her to walk on air. The thought brought a small smile to Howl’s face. That’s how he felt whenever he was near her—as if once again, he were walking on air. And her expression when he had released her at her destination, referring to her as “my girl”—well, it was priceless.

He walked about the room, conjuring flowers of every description. On the table he produced a vase of one dozen roses, beautiful both in appearance and scent. Reaching into the pocket of his cape, he drew out a small box tied with white silk ribbon, placing it near the vase with so much tenderness that it almost drove him to tears.

Going to the cabinet, he took out two long candlesticks, placing them on the table at strategic positions. Returning to Calcifer, he held out his hand. “Care to do the honors, old friend?”

Howl held out his hands, cupping them to allow Calcifer to hop in. Returning to the candles, he held Calcifer near as he lent some of his flame to first one, then the other. The result—a soft glow that warmed Howl’s very heart, as thought or sight of Sophie seemed to do nowadays.

The sound of footsteps caught Calcifer’s attention. “Someone’s coming!” Thinking it might be Sophie, Howl quickly returned him to his place in the grate, smoothing out his apparel so as to not arouse suspicion.

The door creaked open, and Sophie walked in, followed by Markl and the Witch of the Waste. “Well, someone’s been busy,” the Witch chuckled, as they all marveled at the sight.

Howl gave them a knowing smile. Nodding in understanding, the Witch and Markl slipped away to another part of the castle.

“What do you think?” Howl smiled as he reached around and pecked Sophie on the cheek, as her cloak flew to the waiting coat rack.

“I—I—” Sophie was at a loss for words. “When did you find time to do all this?” she finally stammered.

“For you,” Howl whispered, reaching for the vase of roses. As he gave the flowers to Sophie, the vase vanished, replaced by florist paper.

“Oh!” Sophie’s eyes filled with tears. “Howl—they’re—they’re beautiful!”

“Not half as beautiful as you, my Sophie,” Howl whispered, concealing the box with one hand as he hit one knee. “I can’t even begin to tell you how much having you here has meant to me. I—” Tears filled his eyes and he found it hard to continue. When he had once again found the voice to speak, he lifted the lid. “Sophie Hatter, will—will you marry me?”

Sophie gasped, her eyes growing as big as saucers. “Howl—this comes as such a surprise…I—I don’t know what to say.” Her heart was filled with so much love, she felt as if her heart would burst. Throwing her arms around him, she sobbed. “Yes!”

Howl was slipping the ring on Sophie’s finger when two heads poked out from their hiding place. “Is it safe to come in?” the Witch inquired with a smile.

Turning around, Howl beamed. “You may enter,” he whispered. As they returned, he added, “I am probably the happiest man in the world right now. Sophie has just agreed to be my wife.”

The two gasped at the news. “That’s wonderful!” Hugs were exchanged all around, and Sophie and Howl smiled at their congratulations.

In the months to come, everyone hurried around, making preparations for Howl and Sophie’s big day. That evening—for it was to be a night wedding—Sophie stood before the mirror, making final adjustments to her dress and veil. She turned this way and that, glancing at herself from every angle.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. “Come in.”

The Witch entered. “You look lovely, my dear,” she said with a smile. “I hope you two are very happy together.”

“Me, too,” Sophie whispered.

Soft music drifted in, capturing their attention. “It’s about to start,” the Witch smiled, before she left. “Are you ready for this?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Sophie sighed, running her hands over her bouquet.

As Sophie stood at the top of the stairs, waiting for her cue, she still couldn’t believe everything that had happened. When the first chords of the march floated up, she steadied herself and made her way down the stairs.

It was going well at first, until shoe and dress made an unfortunate meeting. Everyone gasped at Sophie’s slip. However, Howl just smiled and raised a hand. At that, she began to float in the air, over everyone gathered, until she'd landed safely at his side. At that, everyone cheered and applauded.

Markl stood to one side, holding a pillow with their rings in his hands. As they repeated their vows, they slipped the rings on each other’s fingers. But it was these words that brought tears to everyone’s eyes:

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”

Howl touched Sophie’s cheek, lifting her face to gaze into her eyes. As their lips touched, their arms found their way around each other.

Afterwards, at the outdoor reception, the guests laughed, exchanging congratulations with the happy couple. After the cake had been cut, everyone gathered to witness Howl and Sophie’s first dance. It seemed as if the sky itself had known of their happy day, for it was filled to overflowing with the brightest of stars. But the brightest of all was the sparkle in Sophie and Howl’s eyes, as they wrapped their arms around each other.

Their first steps were on terra firma, but as the dance progressed, they were floating again, much as they had when they walked over the town. Howl glanced around at the stars, then back down at the ones that graced Sophie’s eyes. “I’d give all this for you, my Sophie, my girl,” he whispered, coming in for a soft kiss. As they continued to dance, they kicked up a trail of stardust that enveloped them, even landing in their hair. Sophie and Howl had come a long way, but they wouldn’t trade it for the love that had brought them so far!
Justin couldn’t deny it—something was definitely wrong with Brian. He never called him Sunshine anymore. They never made love—he was lucky if they could manage a quick fuck. Just one look at Justin sent Brian running out of the room!

Then one morning, it was as if Brian really didn’t want to even be near him! “Brian,” Justin called, trying to pull him back for a kiss.

“Not now, Justin, I’m running late,” was Brian’s only response, as he pulled away from the arms longing to hold him close. “See you when I get back.”

That—that did it. Justin’s eyes filled with tears, and he just flopped on the bed, sobbing. Where was the Brian Kinney he used to know, the one who was so sweet the first day they spent there? Heck, he’d even settle for the one who lashed out at him all the time compared to this! At least he got some attention then!

His cell rang, jolting him out of his misery. Justin flipped it open, not daring to hope. His heart sank when he realized it was only Jennifer.

“Hi, Mom,” Justin sighed.

“Are you okay, honey?” Jennifer could tell he didn’t sound like his usual cherry self. “Did you and Brian have a fight last night?”

“We might as well have,” Justin sighed. He explained about Brian’s lack of attention the last few days.

“See what happens when he comes home,” Jennifer suggested. “It may be that he’s had some hard days and doesn’t want to burden you.”

“But for him to completely deprive me of attention,” Justin sighed, “doesn’t sound like him at all.”

“Try not to worry about it too much,” Jennifer reassured him. “I know it’s hard, but if I know him, he’ll eventually come around.”

“OK, Mom,” Justin sighed. “Good-bye.”

Meanwhile, Brian was trying to concentrate on work—with little success. Certain scenes kept popping into his mind, bringing tears to his eyes. Justin bringing him his Jim Beam, with a kiss on the cheek to boot—and yet all he could offer was a “Thanks,” not taking his eyes off the screen of the laptop he was working on. There were other times he knew Justin deserved better, but for whatever reason, he just couldn’t seem to bring himself to do anything in return!

Tonight would be different. When he was free to leave, he didn’t go directly home, for he had some stops to make. It might seem ridiculously romantic, but it was that important—he needed to show Justin that he did appreciate his efforts, that he did still love him!

When he got home, he unburdened himself of his purchases. “I’m home,” he called.

He heard footsteps on the stairs. They weren’t coming as quickly as he had hoped, which made him sad. He really did love Justin—he’d just been enough of an asshole to not show it the last few days!

When Justin reached the foot of the stairs, Brian was shocked. There he was, not the image of the Sunshine he knew he still loved, but unkempt, as if he hadn’t had a shower in days! The sight brought tears to his eyes, and he just ran over and, much to Justin’s surprise, held him tight.

“My Sunshine,” Brian sobbed, holding Justin’s face in his hands and kissing the tracks of shed tears away. “I know I haven’t been the partner you deserve, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.” He noticed another tear welling in Justin’s eye, and he reached out and caught it with his finger. “I—I don’t like seeing rainclouds in my Sunshine’s eyes.”

Justin just looked into Brian’s eyes, unable to believe what he just heard. So Brian did love him after all! “I love you,” he whispered, planting intermittent kisses on his lips.

“I picked up some things on the way home,” Brian whispered,reaching around for his purchases. First—a full dozen roses!

“Oh, Brian,” Justin whispered, cradling the bouquet in his arms. “They’re—they’re beautiful!”

Something slipped out of the bouquet and started falling to the floor, but not before Brian reached out and caught it.”Purchase number two,” he whispered, handing it to Justin. “Open it.”

Laying the bouquet aside, Justin took what Brian offered him. Opening it, his mouth dropped. “You—you didn’t—”

“I did,” Brian chuckled, even as Justin threw his arms around him and peppered him with kisses! “We leave for Vermont next week.”

Wrapping his arms around Justin from behind, he whispered, “I don’t ever want you to think that I’m a crazy asshole who doesn’t know what—or who—is important to him.” Holding him closer than ever, he added, “I said it at Babylon, Sunshine, and I’ll say it as often as I have to—I love you.”

Then he swept Justin off his feet and carried him upstairs, to a master bedroom lit only by the soft glow of candles interspersed throughout the room. Clothes fell away amid the soft, gentle kisses the two shared. Never again would he leave Justin’s side without some token of his undying love for his Sunshine!
Just thought I'd send out a congratulatory shoutout to [ profile] rainbow1907 for writing the next chapter in the ever-growing Frank & Meme saga!

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A rendition of Katy Perry's "Hot & Cold" made to promote the last expansion pack in the Sims 2 series, "Apartment Life."
I just joined Dreamwidth(astephens1971, same as here), so feel free to add me!
.... and I can't sleep.

I was at church last night when I suddenly developed (in order) chills, fever, and a headache that could (almost?) be described as migraine strength...The chills/fever have decreased somewhat, but the headache's what's keeping me up... I've already taken some painkiller for it, and don't expect to have another dose for another few hours...

I just want this to go away... I have yoga in seven hours and I don't want to miss it...
Originally posted by [ profile] dr_is_in at Copied via quite a few other places.....not sure of the original source...
*I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

*I am the person who is afraid of telling his loving Christian parents he loves another male.

*I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

*I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

*We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

*I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

*I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

*I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.

*I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

*We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

*I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

*I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

*I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

*I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

*I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

*I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

*I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

*I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I did not have to always deal with society hating me.

*I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

*I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

Re-post this if you believe homophobia/transphobia is wrong. Please do your part to end it.

It depends on the day. I take a couple of classes at my local university, and when they're in session, I'm up either by 5:50 a.m. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or 6:15 a.m. (Tuesday and Thursday). Sundays are the same as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and on Saturdays, although I don't have to, I try to be up as early as possible to get a head start on my laundry ;)
I don't know about you, but when posting a count-specific fic (drabbles, etc.) to both LJ and Midnight Whispers, I'm finding that the word count differs from my word processing program to Midnight Whispers... it seems it has a ±4 margin of error (approximately) and I have to lengthen/shorten my fic as appropriate! Why do you suppose that is?
I don't know what you've heard, but last I remember, Hellcats is supposed to switch to Tuesday nights when it comes back in January...? (That would help me so much, because really, Wednesday night was such a bad night for me--with church activities going on! (The only thing I know of that I'll have going on Tuesdays by then is yoga from 8:30 to 9:30 that morning...) :)

I ran across this article and thought it was really sweet... I don't see him much but I'm sure the effort was much appreciated...

I'm sure we can all think of one, maybe two of the QAF folk we'd like to have stay with us if that happened... :)


Dec. 10th, 2010 06:20 pm
never thought it would happen... but I think I just got a charley horse! 
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Probably the only TV event I associate with Thanksgiving would be the Macy's parade, mainly because it's usually the first thing I watch when I finally get up and around!
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Technically, I am an only child, but upon the death of my father (my mother died in 1986), I was "taken in" by  some friends who had one son and two daughters, so I now have a brother and two sisters, which is quite enough for me!

My life

Nov. 11th, 2010 10:19 am
...I've been taking a couple of morning classes... water aerobics (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), and stretch/balance (essentially yoga--Tuesday & Thursday)... I dread going to water aerobics nowadays, because the water in the pool has been so cold... compounded with the weather outside it has not been too warm--yesterday the majority of us just didn't get in! I've alerted the instructor who's supposed to be there tomorrow (who also happens to be my neighbor) to be ready for anything! 
I was doing some research on multiple births (don't ask me why...) when I saw this pic and thought it was really sweet... it looks like they're holding hands! :)

Spirit Day

Oct. 2nd, 2010 06:06 pm
Originally posted by [ profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

Timeline: Post-513
(Changes are in italics)...

Justin: Do i ever cross your mind?

Brian: No

Justin: Do you like me?

Brian: Not really

Justin: Do you want me?

Brian: No

Justin: Would you cry if I left?

Brian: No

Justin: Would you live for me?

Brian: No

Justin: Would you do anything for me?

Brian: No

Justin: Choose--me or your life

Brian: My life

Justin runs away in shock and pain, and Brian runs after him and says...

Oh, Sunshine... The reason you never cross my mind is because you're always on my mind.

The reason why I don't like you is because I love you.

The reason I don't want you is because I need you.

The reason I wouldn't cry if you left is because I would die if you left.

The reason I wouldn't live for you is because I would die for you.

The reason why I'm not willing to do anything for you is because I would do everything for you.

The reason I chose my life is because you ARE my life.

I thought of a certain "non-conventional, non-defined" relationship when I saw this on someone's Facebook status... :)

It's not about who you've been with... It's about who you end up with... Sometims the heart doesn't know what it wants, until it finds what it needs....
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I don't eat it so much anymore, but there was a time I used to love peanut butter on tortillas... :)
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