all I needed was an extra day

Thanks to the holiday weekend, I have a day off for the first time in four months, which means two old ficlets that have been sitting on my hard drive will finally be posted.

The first was written for my favorite writer. I came home from work one day giggling and said to him, "You know what I just thought of that would be funny?" And he was all, "You need to write that down. I need that."

Title: Drowning in the Petriarchy
Series: Free!
Length: 560 words
Characters: Rin, Nagisa

Title: Out of Time
Series: Cardcaptor Sakura
Length: 1087 words
Pairing: Sonomi/Fujitaka

I hope to have more at some point. I have a bunch of stuff started, scribbled on scraps while I'm working, bits and pieces that need to come together somehow. I need more three-day weekends!

I know it's not good form to be complaining about my job when so many people are out of work, but I wasn't allowed to telework, and I've been in the office every day since January. I'm exhausted. With things opening up, we're planning to go to Orlando for a couple days next month and support the tourism economy in our own peculiar way, which is laying at the hotel pool drinking mai tais and then playing mini golf.

So that's the short version of what's up with us.
jim henson's free babies

real wave


dive 12-1

"Ah, the fond memory of that one time Mom paid attention to me."

dive 12-2

Makoto, meanwhile, continues to be the world's best big brother. You know, for all this time I've had Mako in the "Marry" slot, he really goes in the "Onii-chan" slot.

dive 12-3


dive 12-4
dive 12-5

I didn't realize how much I kinda wanted this until I didn't get it. I mean, didn't the OP imply that Natsuya was going to end up back in Sydney? I mean, I guess he still could.

I just have this picture in my head of Natsuya slamming back shots somewhere, all, "I was hitting on this boy SO HARD, and he just didn't get it, which was adorable, but COME ON!"

dive 12-6

And then my lonely little Rin/Miho ship, which has nothing to moor it to the dock, but she knows his mom. Okay, so it's Gou's mom, too, which is the more likely explanation, but I need every little thing I can get.

dive 12-7

Wow, a family that actually supports you and cheers for you. What must that be like?

dive 12-8

And Haru sounds his barbaric yawp. Like most of us internal types, our battle is always with ourselves, and we keep it all locked up until we can't.

dive 12-9
dive 12-10

And yeah, this is the reaction we usually get.

dive 12-11


Me: These boys need a drink.
D: Yeah, but they're too young.
Me: Natsuya can hook them up. What are senpais for?

dive 12-12

And the moment we've been waiting for all season? "Oh, by the way, see you in two years." Dammit, KyoAni, I knew this was going to happen. I knew this was all to lead into the summer games. You suck.

dive 12-16

I don't want to end on a negative, but I'm still disappointed that Rin and Nagisa have the least defined relationship of the main characters after all this time.

Oh, okay, yeah, not ending on a negative, so:

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    episode 12
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iwatobi five returns

summer high tension

dive 11-1
dive 11-2
dive 11-3

So Gou actually did find her soulmate among the Mikoshibas. Unfortunately for the boys, it's Isuzu. Momo is like "wtf just happened", while Nagisa is totally cool with it.

dive 11-4

Miho: The former desert of Tokyo is now a city of hope.
Me: Dang, there is a long deep story inside Ama-chan.
D: Sounds like someone found the dead end in Tokyo.

Keep on living, but you'll never leave alive!

dive 11-5

"Hey, Haru, get your ass in the car. This is my chance to see Miho while she's all nostalgic and contemplative."

Add "Rin Driving" to things I could watch all day.

dive 11-7

Not the way you run, Haru.

dive 11-6

Hey, is that Hana-chan back there? I don't think we've seen her all season. I was shipping her with Momo.

dive 11-8

Given that the movies were basically required viewing for much of this season to make sense, it sucks that Funimation just sat on them all this time. I'm glad I got to see fansubs, even if I did have to watch Take Your Marks in Spanish. And I'll definitely be rewatching when my DVD set comes next week.

dive 11-10

Yeah, I would have liked to see more about how Nagisa and Rei are dealing with being seniors rather than getting a big scene with Asahi, because really, how much are you going to remember about meeting someone six years ago or whatever? How necessary was that compared to this friendship we've been invested in?

dive 11-11

She loves him so much. This ship is for real canon.

dive 11-12
dive 11-13

Bullshit. Sorry, Ai-chan, but bull. shit.

dive 11-14

Yep, you get that arm around your boy, Gou-chan! And you got Haru to look at the camera!

dive 11-9

Whoa, personal space Sou-chan!

"No, you're gonna cry when I officially leave you for Miho. Or Natsuya. I'm not sure yet. L's really conflicted right now."
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    episode 11
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free for all

my base, your pace

dive 10-1

Okay, so I said the dude behind Ikuya before looked like he was at a funeral? These guys behind Isuzu need to get a room. Swimming really does bring out the full spectrum of human emotion, doesn't it?

dive 10-2

Haha, it's like Rin went out of his way to find the most godawful t-shirt in the world. I imagine him sending Natsuya pictures of progressively uglier shirts until Natsuya was like, "That one! That's the one! Doooo iiiiit!"

dive 10-3

I am so confused on the timeline. Sousuke's already had his shoulder surgery and it was a success and he's walking around like Superman. When my husband had shoulder surgery, he was in an immobilizer for a month and had four months of PT.

I'm gonna need to see Sousuke in that t-shirt at some point. Do not let me down, show.

dive 10-4

Yay, the boys are going to Nationals! Also something I'm gonna need to see.

dive 10-5

I love these two hanging out. Things like this are why I love this show. This season has been so uneven with everyone scatted and people disappearing for episodes at a time. I just want little things like this.

dive 10-6

And man have I missed looking at this boy. Stop being such a stranger, Rin!

dive 10-7

"Oh, by the way, I'm gonna randomly bring up this guy for no reason because I'm a twelve-year-old girl, but you know Natsuya-san, right? He seemed cool. He's cool, right? Is it weird that I can't stop thinking about him? That's not weird or anything, right?"

dive 10-8

"Don't get pissy."
"Dude, this is just my face."

dive 10-9

Other things I love are Makoto being the Haru whisperer.

"Um, excuse me, but I speak Haru. So, Haru, you know, like, when there's mackerel?"
"Oh, mackerel! I get it now."

What a great episode for Mako. I like him fine-tuning his dream. He's such a sweet nurturer. Everyone needs a Makoto in their life.

D: You want Coach Tachibana to give you backrubs.
Me: I want Coach Tachibana for a lot of things.

dive 10-10

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    episode 10
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rin hates stupid

deep moment

The world's saddest homecoming:

dive 9-1

"Hey, like, don't bother to come get me and stuff. I've only been in another country for the last few months."

dive 9-2

I was just noticing the "extras" in this scene and how they're sitting ramrod straight and super-serious. The dude behind Ikuya is actively frowning. Geez, who died? This is swim practice, right?

dive 9-3

There's a Mikoshiba sister. Lord help us today.

dive 9-4

Although I may finally have a ship for Haru. And I'm dying for her to meet the Matsuoka siblings.

dive 9-5


dive 9-6

Aw, my Nagisa is going to be graduating. I don't like to think about him all growed up and gone away! What's he going to do? Did his parents ever get off his back? I mean, I understand needing to keep your grades up to stay with your extracurriculars, but this is his life, not yours. Please don't force him into a box!

dive 9-7

"So I'll just ride around randomly all day until there's something for me to do. Dammit, L was right, I should've gone to Miho's."

dive 9-8

Yay, Momo got a toy! You know, Momo's gonna be a senior next year. Yep.

dive 9-9

This makes absolutely no sense and yet explains so much.

dive 9-10

"It's cool, stay where you are, no need to give me a hug or anything. Did I mention I've been gone for months? Hell, Momo was more excited to see me."
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    episode 9
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sunshine season

dive 8-8

Dang, Haru did it. Talk about leveling up. I'm sorry I ever doubted you. I mean, you came in second, but still.

dive 8-7

Makoto really is the world's best mom.

dive 8-6

I love seeing Haru happy. This show is at its best when it's about the healing power of friendship and magical relays, and not everyone just standing around all butthurt and telling other people what to do.

dive 8-5

And I love my Team Drink. Even if they only pop in for a few seconds each episode. Aren't they supposed to be preparing for prefecturals or something? Weren't they trying to get to the invitational too?

dive 8-4

Ayumu-chan is making Gou-senpai proud with her cooking and being all on top of shit.

dive 8-3

It's still weird seeing Mikoshiba-senpai and Haru on the same team, but I'm glad they found a way to keep him around, unlike certain other people who get shipped off to other countries and are never seen again.

dive 8-2

GET IN YOUR BOX, NATSUYA! And you're not really part of this show until you cry, as Rin will tell you. Buy him his first beer and he'll also tell you how he used to be in this show. "Yeah, back then it was about me and my struggle, and my struggle was real, not this xeroxed crap."

dive 8-1

"Oh, and I am still in this show, bitches."
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    episode 8
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iwatobi five

coming soooon!!

dive 7-1

So there's two little girls in love with Makoto, and at least one boy questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. "Do I just want to be Coach Tachibana, or...?"

dive 7-2

"You need to get serious." Geez, now we're dumping on Natsuya. They will tell you you can't sleep alone in a strange place, then they'll tell you you can't sleep with somebody else.

You know, for a show called Free, it sure is about shoving people into boxes and guilting them into conforming to everyone else's expectations. Damn show should be called Busybodies!

dive 7-3

Natsuya, you just keep doing you, baby. You're only young once, and you're living the dream. You are captain of your own destiny, and lord, do people hate that.

Although please go back to Syndey, because Rin is just too squared away, and he needs to loosen up.

Who knew Natsuya would be the common tie in all these random plot threads? Boy is pretty, though, so I'm not complaining.

dive 7-4

Again there was some out-loud yay-ing in our house. I love that these three are eating lunch together. Are they in the same class this year? I want them to be best friends forever.

dive 7-5

Thank goodness Rin is actually keeping in touch with his sister so we know what's going on with him. Did we know he was in school? Still doesn't explain that sweet apartment, though, because that ain't no student housing.

For real, though, Rin is such a non-entity this season. Did Miyano have a scheduling conflict or ask for too much money or something?

dive 7-6

Oh, Nagisa, you are my heart.

dive 7-7

I am continuing to love Asahi. I want him and Momo to be friends.

dive 7-8

And Haru in the individual medley. Who saw that coming five years ago?

Me: So is Haru going to be any good at the other strokes, or is it going to be trainwreck?
D: It could go either way.
Me: Too bad Rin's going to miss it. He'd think it was hilarious.
D: Hell yeah he would. "Mako, you better be taping this shit."
Me: "Put it on youtube."
D: It could be called "I only swim free..."
Me: "...and now we see why."

dive 7-9

I just happened to hit pause here as I was finishing up, and... you know, where the heck is this girly-ass room supposed to be? And what's up with all the random stuff? There's some crayons, a dog bone, a banana stand, and where do those stairs go? I have so many questions now.
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    episode 7
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jim henson's free babies

break our balance

dive 6-1

Oh, goody, backstory for this guy. Yada yada, overwrought Little Mermaid metaphor, homoromantic overtones, yada yada, got it. Let's move on. Especially you, Ikyua--it was seventh grade, get over it.

dive 6-2

Seriously, how does this place stay in business? I'm starting to think it's a front for sports gambling. Nii-chan's not a sportswriter; he's a bookmaker.

dive 6-3

Haru, no. We are not doing this again. Rin and Ikuya's issues are not your fault. Everyone, stop dumping your shit on my Haru.

dive 6-4

"So, you guys haven't talked to Ikuya?"
"No, we need to level-grind some more so we can take out the annoying mini-boss that keeps spawning."

dive 6-6

"Why do you only swim free?"
"I don't know, why does your mom?"

For real, people, stop messing with my Haru. Talk about the great unburdening.

dive 6-7

Hey, kid, go live a little before you tell people how to live their lives. Is there a worse word in any language than "should"? Anyone who tells me what I "should" be doing can go straight to hell.

dive 6-5


Oh. Bye Rin. Weren't you a main character on this show?

Coach Creepy is acting like weird Gou/Miho hybrid here. I'm going to pretend all those random sayings gave Rin a chance to daydream about someone much cuter who enjoys random sayings.

And I'm basically hoping Natsuya comes back and hits on him some more just so Rin has something interesting going on.
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    episode 6
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miracle maker

I hate my job, and really the only thing that gets me through is listening to my anime playlist which I loaded up with most of the Free! character songs, and driving home the other night, one of Nagisa's songs came on, and I just thought, "Man, I need some Nagisa."

dive 5-1

dive 5-2

dive 5-5


dive 5-6

Oh, and Sousuke. For real, he has nothing else to do.

dive 5-3

I really, really questioned Rin's decision to make Ai captain given that it seemed based on friendship and not much else, but he's taken a level in confidence or something. Okay, Ai-chan, you rock on.

dive 5-4

Momo, meanwhile, is still a damn kid, and I love it. He's the same age Rin, Makoto, and Haru were in season one. Yep. He's somebody's senpai. Yep.

dive 5-9

Yay, backstory and personality for the new kids! And Rei is captain, which I figured but I guess I never noticed if it was official, and I really, really wanted it to be Nagisa, because the team would not exist without him, but D says Nagisa don't care about that, and yeah, I guess.

dive 5-10

I still want a Nagisa hug. I want to bake him cookies and take him on roller coasters and encourage him to keep working hard. I love him so much. I added "Adopt" to Kill Shag Marry, because you adopt Nagisa.

dive 5-8

Hey (hey), you (you)
I'mma steal your boyfriend
Cuz (cuz) I (I)
need a place to crash, man

This show needs to not put Natsuya/Rin/Sousuke in my head.

Natsuya's such a damn flirt. In that Syaoran/Tomoyo fic that's been kicking around in my head for years, the reason Meiling wasn't around was because I wanted her to move to Sydney and become a swimming groupie, not that I could ship her with Rin because he's just too earnest for her, but Natsuya? I could totally crossover ship Natsuya/Meiling.

dive 5-7

Gah, Mako is going to have so many little girls in love with him.

Me: That's two weeks without Rin. I miss him. But yay for all the Nagisa. He brings sunshine and happiness to my heart.
D: What about me?
Me: Oh, yeah, you too, sure.
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    episode 5
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just wanna know

D said he's been missing Team Drink so far this season...

 photo dive4-5.jpg

... and he actually, out loud, said, "Finally!" when this scene started. I mean, I appreciate that they're trying to balance all the storylines, but yeah, finally!

I love the idea of a joint Iwatobi-Samezuka training camp to the point where we'd better freaking see it, but I wonder how it will work given that Iwatobi's team looks like this:

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And Samezuka's team usually looks something like this:

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Also the whole reason we've had this friendly rivalry between the two is because of Gou and Rin. And it's continued because of the friendship between our younger team members, but they'll be graduating, so I don't see it continuing beyond this year.

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Hey, it looks like Ai's no longer a hoarder. But as captain, shouldn't he have gotten his own room or chosen his own roommate? Which means he's choosing to still room with Momo.

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How many scenes of Sousuke sitting in the doctor's office do we need? "It's like I've got a bomb on my shoulder." Geez, Sousuke. I see why you and Rin are friends.

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I will not ship this, I will not ship this, I will not ship this, I will not ship this....

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Hey, good news, Sou-chan, you're no longer in the "Kill" slot of "Kill Shag Marry", because this guy. If you know anything about me and D, it's that we hate self-appointed gate-keepers. Which is why Sousuke rubbed me wrong at first with his whole "Don't get in Rin's way" to Haru, because, dude, Rin already has a mommy.

Although technically I guess Coach Cho Very Creepy is in the "Kill" slot. So Sousuke, you're way safe. FOR NOW.

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Makoto as Haru's second. Makoto with game face fully ON. Make the tally four times I have now found Mako hot. Watch out, Rin, your deathgrip on the "Shag" slot could be challenged.

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I don't know if running a gourmet artisanal coffee house just so your kid brother and his friends have a place to hang out is a good business model.

I do feel though that this whole Ikuya plot is a re-tread of Rin's plot from the first season. Childhood friends trying to reconnect with a former teammate who's been abroad and is now isolated and struggling. It's just not different enough.

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We had turned out the light and settled down to sleep when I said, "I don't know why they'd bring back Misaki and mention he still didn't have a coach if not to open up a plot for Mako." D said, "I love how you're like Windows and in the background, ten percent of your brain is always thinking about Free." I said, "Oh, it's more than ten percent."
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