ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2011-12-15 12:58 am
Entry tags:

Fake News: Castles in the Sand, chapter 10

Title: Castles In The Sand (10/10+epilogue)
Rating: PG-13
Pairings/Characters: Olivia/Kristen, Jon, c!Stephen/Tad/Amy, Bobby, Alan, Jay, Meg, Buttons, Rebecca Drysdale, (skip) a tentacle monster, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Paulina Porizkova, Helen Thomas, Martha Stewart, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Reza Aslan
Disclaimer: Characters belong to the Report. Names of real people are used in a fictitious context, and all dialogue, actions, and content are products of the author's imagination only.

For those of you who have the misfortune not to recognize Rebecca, don't walk, to watch Time Traveling Lesbian.

Amazing beta job by [personal profile] queenfanfiction. Decorative capitals by Daily Drop Cap. Chapter index: Table of Contents

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Olivia woke up with a warm feeling in her chest, Kristen's arm draped over her stomach, and an insistent pressure in her bladder.

"Hi," said Kristen shyly. "I guess we need to talk now, huh."

"Correction," said Olivia, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. "We need to talk in like five minutes. Maybe ten, if I have to throw up too."

It was a relief when she didn't, not least because the ship's toilet might as well have been a custom-designed torture chamber as far as Olivia was concerned. On the way back, she patted her stomach. "Hey, maybe I can learn to channel your powers to warm the seats before you pop out."

Kristen was sitting at the table by the portholes when she returned to the cabin. "Everything go all right?"

"Why wouldn't it?" Olivia made a face. "Wait, things are going to get weird down there eventually, aren't they? Oh, gods, I hope we're off the boat by then."

"So you're keeping it?" said Kristen. "And before you answer, I swear I'll be supportive either way."

A pleased flush rose on Olivia's cheeks as she took the other seat. "I'm keeping it. Um. When you say 'supportive', do you mean like 'I'll pitch in for clothes and babysit when you're out', or...."

"Will you marry me?"

Olivia's mouth dropped open.

"I'll totally understand if you don't want to," added Kristen quickly. "What with how I maybe didn't pay enough attention, and had some serious trust issues, and kind of almost killed one of your friends. But I really, really love you, and if you can find it in your heart to get over all that other stuff—"

"Kristen. Shut up before I change my mind," interrupted Olivia, face breaking into a dazzling grin. "Also, you owe me an awesome ring."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

You know what's a pretty name? Sweetness."

Kristen made a face. "That's something you'd name a parakeet! It needs a cool name. Like Roosevelt, or Galadriel."

"Do you even know if it's a boy or a girl?"

In the deck chair between them, Olivia groaned. "How is this difficult? We're calling it Cthulhu, and that's that. Now can we quit worrying about the tentacle monster and help me think up names for my baby?"

"I still like Galadriel," said Kristen.

Stephen cut another slice from the grilled trout that Cthulhu had dumped, still flopping, on their deck that morning. Much as he liked catching his own fish, the Report's new friend seemed to want to be useful. He could respect that.

"I don't want it to be out of the Ring cycle," confessed Olivia. "I don't want her to feel like she has to fight with my showbiz career for her own identity. Maybe another epic heroine? Diana?"

"Usagi?" suggested Kristen. "I thought about it some more, and you're right, she could totally take Diana in a fight."

"Leia," offered Stephen. "Sakura. Donna. Renesmee."

"Frak, no," said Olivia to that last one. "Do you think I want Buttons imprinting on my baby girl?"

"We could name her in honor of someone instead," said Kristen. "Lizz. Rebecca. Amy."

"I always liked the sound of Georgia," admitted Stephen. "Or Wilhelmina. Maybe both. Georgia Wilhelmina...what's her last name going to be?"

"Munn-Schaal," said Kristen, in the same moment as Olivia said, "Schaal-Munn."

"You could put them together," suggested Stephen. "Olivia and Kristen Schunn."

Both women glared at him.

"Excuse me," he said, standing in a measured and not at all hasty manner that certainly did not almost spill his plate. "I need to get more tartar sauce."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Congratulations, by the way," said Jon, with all the enthusiasm he could muster.

Olivia beamed at him from across the table. "Thanks. You're kinda down about it, though, right? It's okay to say if you are."

"I'm...down...about a lot of things. It's not your fault."

"And you get that I still want you in the kid's life, right? You can be her Uncle Jon, and spoil her rotten when she visits, and give her her first unicorn-riding lessons."

The way she described it sounded more like a grandfather than an uncle. Had that whole generational window passed him by? "Are you sure Kristen will put up with that? Given how I did almost stake a parental claim on what was biologically her baby."

"Has she said anything to you about that being a problem?"

"Well, no."

"Good," said Olivia firmly, then lit up. "Aha! O-H-N-O-E-S. Ohnoes."

"That's not actually a word," said Jon, with a pained look at the string of Scrabble letters Olivia had hung from his exquisitely spelled apricot. "However, if you were to put N-O-S-E...."

Olivia frowned and switched to Commedien. "Cannot haz double word score?"

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Meditation was easy to learn, hard to master, and a cinch to fall out of practice at. Kristen prided herself on being pretty good at it, at least until the loss of her powers had sapped her motivation. Now that Rebecca had assured her that they were building back naturally, it was a comfort to get back into practice.

Rebecca herself claimed to meditate on a regular basis, which was quite a feat for someone whose timeline was anything but regular. Not only that, she had studied with the greatest mages in history, including those parts of history that, as far as the Report's voyage was concerned, hadn't happened yet. Even Amy, for all her scatterbrained exterior, was no slouch. She possessed a buried streak of discipline that could surface on command, and the power boost she would need in the near future was a formidable motivation to get in shape.

Not to be modest, but Olivia couldn't have asked for three better role models.

When Olivia asked Kristen to show up early for the evening's session, Kristen wondered if she wanted to discuss some complaint about the other two. Or maybe it was Kristen she had the issue with? Amy and Rebecca had both supported her in other ways, no questions asked, no doubts revealed. Although it wasn't like she had agreed to marry either of them. Still....

The cabin door swung open, and Olivia shoved Jon inside.

"Really, Olivia, you don't have to do this," stammered Jon. "I'm sure we've both learned from our regrettable lapse in judgment and are willing and able to avoid each other like responsible adults."

"Oh no you don't," said Olivia. "I care about both of you, which means that if you're not speaking I'll get upset, and if I get upset enough I might accidentally try to firebomb us all to a watery grave. Again. Do you really need that on your conscience?"

Jon turned an anxious look on Kristen, who shook her head. "She's got basic control down pat. I wouldn't ask her to light a campfire, but she's not going to explode anything without meaning to."

"Oh. Good to hear."

"The bit with the sword was kind of on me, though," admitted Kristen.

"Ah," said Jon. "Well, to be fair, I was being a bit of a dick at the time."

"Only because I started it. Um. Sorry about that."

"Yeah. Me too."

And just like that, they were...not okay, perhaps, but getting there. The same battlefields had gotten both of them out of the habit of wasting time on long reconciliations, and they'd saved each other's lives too many times to throw their cameraderie away just yet.

As the gloom in the cabin lifted, Olivia clapped her hands like a kid with a unicorn foal. "Good job! Now if you want to do longer apologies, with sobbing over drinks or whatever, you'll have to schedule them for later. I've only got these powers for six more months, and I want to see if I can learn enough to do fireworks."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Four days (wrote Stephen) until the End of the World, assuming the winds hold out. We could be there tonight if Amy pushed us, but she's saving all her energy for when we get there.

Allison let Jon out of the brig.

I haven't

The full moon came and went, and Olivia's still pregnant. Sanjay checked her over and promises the baby's still right on track. I still think Georgia Wilhelmina Schunn is a pretty name.

And even with Olivia eating for two, and Rebecca (who refuses to let any of us time travel with her, which I think is very selfish) staying around for a while, we aren't going to run out of food any time soon.

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Look at that," said Alan admiringly, as Cthulhu poured a round of perfectly-sized shrimp into the pot he was balancing on the ship's rail. "Exactly what I asked for! You know, I think it likes me."

"Uh-huh," said Olivia, hanging back from the exchange as far as possible, which meant the middle of the deck when the tentacles were on both sides. "You know, in my culture, that's not necessarily a good thing."

"Really? Why not?"

"Um," said Olivia. "Hey, how 'bout that edge of the world, huh? I had no idea it was going to be so misty."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Misty" grew up and changed its name to "pea-soup fog" with unnerving speed. Jon went to his cabin one morning to fall asleep before Stephen got up, and came back on deck that evening to find that he couldn't see the wheel from the mast.

There was a vague commotion from all directions that told him nothing about who was in throwing distance, or what they were doing. He felt out that Stephen was somewhere toward the stern, headed for the bow in hopes of finding Allison, and walked face-first into Tad.

"Sir Stewart!" blurted the navigator. "Sorry, sir. Didn't mean to get in your way."

"No, it was my bad," stammered Jon. His brain seemed to have ground to a halt: he couldn't think of anything else to say besides "Some weather we're having, huh?"

"I don't think it's technically weather," said Tad. "But it is, uh, some."

"Ah. Right."

They shared an awkward moment of not-quite-looking at each other.

"Listen," said Jon, "about—"

An onrush of wind made him fling up his hands to keep from getting an eyeful of fog. When he lowered them, a sphere of air had been cleared that encompassed most of the ship, with a tartan-clad Amy flicking her fingers at its center.

The deck, now visible, was even more crowded than Jon had realized. Stephen was helping Rebecca tie the wheel in place. Bobby, Meg, and Allison were taking down the last of the sails. Jay and Alan were hauling a supply barrel into Allison's cabin. Olivia and Kristen were side by side on one of their strapped-to-the-railing deck chairs, holding hands, while Buttons watched from Olivia's lap.

"I got somethin' to say!" shouted the air mage. "I'm not putting this boat on pause for any of you! Anything that's not strapped down when we hit the End is getting lost, you hear me?"

"You should've woken me," said Jon in a low voice. "I could have helped."

Tad shook his head. "Everything's squared away. Amy just likes making threats."

Jon bristled. Was Stephen okay with that? Did he understand the difference?

Before Jon's protective impulses could get the better of him, though, Amy continued. "All right, that's it! We only get one shot at this, so everything else comes second until we pull it off! Everybody ready?"

She was addressing the whole crowd, but her gaze was fixed squarely on Jon. Even from this distance he could feel Stephen's attention as well, sharp against his heart.

"Ready!" shouted a couple of the crew members, slamming doors and shimmying down from ropes. Jon swallowed, set his storm of feelings aside, and nodded in agreement.

"Then all nonessential personnel, get below! By which I mean, if you're not the captain, my husband, the firebug, or the pregnant lady, shoo!"

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Kristen let go of Olivia's hand, reluctantly, to lock her arms around the chair, and nodded for her fiancée to do the same. "I've been air-bunnied across this deck once before, and trust me, neither you nor our daughter want to go through that."

"Duly noted," said Olivia. Allison meanwhile was securing herself to the main mast, while Tad simply stood behind Amy and embraced her.

The effect started subtle: a gentle breeze flowing past their backs, tousling hair and toying with the sails. A thick ring of fog twisted in its wake as it circled the Report, then began to whip in earnest, though on deck only the fainter gusts could be felt. Amy's arms were outstretched, hands clawed, toes pointed in concentration. As they watched, she curled her fingers into fists and yanked.

Hours had passed since Kristen had been able to see the water. She hadn't realized she could still feel it until the ship began, unmistakably, to lift.

Inside a moving painting of a tornado the Report bucked, shivered as its weight settled into the new balance, and soared—

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Everything went white as they plunged into the thickest of the fog.

Olivia fought a sudden bout of nausea as her sense of direction fled, making the whole world go suddenly, terrifyingly sideways—

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Go ahead and stop now, child. I've got you."

"'Bout time," said Amy, and collapsed into Tad's waiting arms.

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Vast swirls and tufts of silver cloud stretched out below the Report, as far as the eye could see. Above them curved a velvety sky hung with stars that looked about ten times as big as any Olivia had ever seen.

"Olivia Schaal," said a familiar voice. "I thought that didn't sound right."


"Neil!" exclaimed Olivia. "Yeah, um, sorry about that."

The Earth Elemental was no longer anything that could be mistaken for an ordinary human. Even his current form, Olivia sensed, was the result of a vast compression of power for the mortal visitors' benefit. His pleasant smile was rendered by a face and body of packed soil, topped with dark mossy hair and clothed in a suit-shaped layer of sand. "Not to worry. As long as you made it here in the end. May I call you Lisa?"

"I do actually go by Olivia now." The ocean of cloud was moving in strange patterns at the corners of her eyes. "Hey, I don't suppose you guys have any of that Vaxa-seasickness potion...?"

The Air Elemental who had appeared before Amy rose from the air mage's slumped form and floated over, a whirlwind in a female shape with a skirt and jacket of cloud. "Skysickness? That's no welcoming present for the Chosen One's mother. Take a deep breath, kid."

While Neil shook the overwhelmed Kristen's hand, Olivia breathed in, catching the scent of something sweet and fruity as she did so. The churning in her stomach melted away almost immediately. "Oh, wow. I don't know what you did, but it worked."

"Excuse me." Allison was in her most official posture; in fact, she looked as though the need to stand on formality was the only thing keeping her from falling over with amazement. "Captain Allison Silverman. Welcome aboard the H.M.S. Report, Your Airiness and Your Earthiness."

"Doris. Call me Doris," said the Air Elemental, giving the captain a near-insubstantial pat on the shoulder.

"Thank you for getting our girls here," added a new voice: a Water Elemental, shorter than the others, overly coiffed seaweed curls. "You have more people, isn't that right? Bring them up. I assume they could all use a shower."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Elementals ringed the Report's main deck, with more appearing every few minutes. Rebecca put her arm around her brother's shoulder and steered him into the crowd to mingle, while the rest of the non-mage mortals huddled in a nervous throng off to one side. A woozy Amy stayed with them, having taken up her favorite position on Stephen's shoulders.

In between paying their respects to Kristen and Olivia, several figures drifted over to greet the air mage. Stephen expected to be scared of the Fire Elementals, and was surprised when a long-limbed, ember-draped figure had a pleasant chat with Amy without freaking him out hardly at all. (Then even more surprised when the same Elemental, who introduced herself as Paulina, looked him up and down and whispered to Amy that her boyfriend was "so hot.")

One of the crowd did unnerve him a bit: the short Water Elemental with a smile like a fish-hook. He was debating whether to say anything when she waved her liquid hand, and Stephen felt a pleasantly cool mist followed by a level of freshness he'd almost forgotten possible. Judging from the sudden shift in odor, everyone else had gotten the same insta-shower. Maybe Helen Thomas wasn't so bad after all.

Jon did a double-take when one of the Air Elementals greeted them. "The Doris Kearns Goodwin? The one who wrote all those volumes about the founding of Commedia?"

"You've heard of me?"

"Have I ever! I didn't know you were a mage, but your work is tremendous! You and Reza Aslan, you're the foundation for all the political theory that followed."

"Then have I got a treat for you," said Doris, and turned to a male Fire Elemental with sooty hair and an outfit of dark ash. "Reza! Come over here for a minute."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Quiet, please!"

Olivia hadn't thought anyone could calm this crowd. Nor did she really want anyone to, given how they were all clamoring to heap her with presents: baby clothes enchanted to ward off stains, toys designed to stimulate the child's control of her powers when she played with them, jeweled earrings that would hum when the baby needed her and change color to coordinate with any outfit. Kristen had been piled with much of the same, as well as several gems specifically from the Fire Elementals. What they signified, Olivia couldn't say; she was just glad for the way Kristen smiled when they were pressed into her hands.

All that, and the whole assembly fell silent at one command from one woman: an Earth Elemental with a stately manner and an exquisite suit of yellow lichen. For all the names she had forgotten over the past hour, Olivia remembered this one easily.

"I believe," said Martha Stewart, "it's time to start presenting the gifts."

Olivia gaped at the pile around her chair in disbelief. "You call this 'not yet started'?"

"For the others, dear," said Martha indulgently. "What kind of hosts would we be if we didn't thank all our guests properly? Especially when they all worked so hard to bring you here."

Stephen let out a soft gasp, which Olivia didn't need any kind of magic to interpret, as she felt the exact same way. "Holy frak, you guys. She's the Elf Priestess, and you are totally the Fellowship of the Shotgun Engagement Ring."

A coal-curled Fire Elemental raised sooty eyebrows. "I hope you don't plan on talking like that around our grandchild, Ms. Munn."

Kristen covered Olivia's hand with her own. "She'll have the mouth of an angel, Judge Tubbs. I promise."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Robert Drysdale."

Bobby, the first in the loosely organized line, started to step forward, thought better of it, and ended up taking an awkward diagonal stumble.

The Elemental in front of him spread her damp hands, and a pair of pure-white, palm-sized gadgets appeared between them, all sleek lines and rounded corners. "A pair of iTimephones, so you can keep in better touch with your sister."

"Rebecca Drysdale." Rebecca, beside him, made a short bow to the sylph across from her. Instead of materializing anything, the Air Elemental continued: "August 24, Second Age 2985."

The time mage's eyes filled with grateful tears.

Before anyone could speculate about why, the next Elemental said, "Buttons." A curl of sand coalesced into a golden collar set with a single moonstone. "An enchanted device to let you transform at will."

The were-human's purring nearly drowned out Reza. "Sir Jonathan Stewart." The knight imitated Rebecca's bow. "Copies of the next books that Doris and I would have written."

Jon took the thick bound volumes with tender awe.

"Alan Carlos." Again, nothing appeared, but the chef's eyes widened in sudden surprise. "Knowledge of the language of kraken, so that the tentacle monster known as Cthulhu may always be your token green friend."

"Amy Sedaris." This was Doris, smiling as the air mage bowed from her perch on Stephen's shoulders. "The best winds and fairest currents your sails have ever seen, so that your return journey will be a matter of days, rather than months. Also, this box of novelty buttons."

Stephen ended up holding the box. He didn't mind.

"Theodore Sedaris." Tad had been stealing one of many glances at the sky when Neil spoke his name. His bow was quick and awkward; Neil smiled and handed him a telescope, dark wood with gleaming brass accents. "No matter where you are, this telescope will allow you to see the stars as if you were standing right here."

"Stephen...I'm sorry, what was your last name again?"

"Freem," said Stephen, sulking a bit as he bowed. Ascended avatar of fire can't remember giftee's name.

"Stephen Freem," echoed Judge Tubbs. "Appropriate. Your gift is freedom."

Heat flared within Stephen's body and mind, a cleansing fire sweeping him from the inside out.

It was gone as quickly as it arrived, leaving him baffled. He barely listened as Helen spoke to Allison. Something had changed, he could feel the difference with every nerve...but what?

A chance look at the rest of the line, and it fell into place. Jon wore the same blank, puzzled look. Jon felt it too.

Gifts were bestowed to Jay and Meg. Stephen didn't hear a word of it.

His mental tie to Jon was gone, as if it had never been.

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Coming up on our starboard side," said Kristen, waving an arm as proudly as if she were the one driving the Report, "the dock!"

Olivia watched with face carefully blank, though the tendons stood out on her hands as she gripped the railing. "Is that En-by-the-Sea? It looks different."

Kristen squinted across the choppy waves. The ship had plunged from eternal summer back into natural winter; a chill wind bounced her curls and tossed the tassels on her coat. "Looks like we aimed a little too far to the left, and ended up in Emesen-by-the-Sea. Don't worry, it's still full of allies. And the ride back won't take long. Especially since they're not expecting us for another couple of months."

Her fiancée bowed her head. "Yeah."

"Are you okay, sweetheart?" asked Kristen. "Seasickness again? Or something else?"

"It's just...." Olivia took a shaky breath. "Every wild thing that happened at sea, I found a way to take it in stride. Somehow. Eventually. But that's the real world over there! And I'm still going to be having a baby after we land, and the clothes and stuff are going to help with a lot of that, but what if I...I don't know, hold her wrong? Or I feed her something terrible by accident, or she falls down a staircase because I'm not paying attention?" She blinked misty eyes. "I'm having a daughter. I'm going to be a mom, oh my frak what is this I can't even."

"Hey," said Kristen softly. "Look at me a second."

Slowly, Olivia lifted her chin. Kristen concentrated, feeling the power focus through her new obsidian-set bracelets, then touched her fingertips together and drew both halves of a fiery airborne heart.


"We're going to be moms," she corrected. "Any problem that comes up, we'll figure it out together. And we'll take tons of notes, and organize them all into a book called What To Expect When You're Not Expecting But, Oops, You're The Prophecied One!, and P.K. Winsome will market it and it will sell millions of copies. Also? Our daughter is going to be amazing."

♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢

Packs, trunks, and suitcases heaped high on Emesen-by-the-Sea's main dock. Stephen overheard Jon and Tad discussing which hauling companies in this town had the best service, and for the first time felt real hope that his old life and his new could be part of one seamless whole.

Even though Amy could have done the job singlehandedly, the whole crew pitched in to carry Olivia's and Kristen's profusion of gifts from the Report. More than a few slipped extra trinkets into crevices and pockets along the way: painted seashells, sandstone carvings, and the like, though Stephen pointed Allison to a bag with stored summer clothing and was unsurprised when she stuffed it with a full bottle of rum.

He stayed off to the side for much of the hugging-and-praising section of the goodbyes, and waited until the crew was busy with a final cheer for Allison (her gift from the Elementals, it turned out, had been the address of a handsome bachelor alpaca farmer) before approaching Olivia and Kristen. His feet didn't seem thrilled about the idea. They dragged.

"You can't at least stay for dinner?" said Kristen in Gi Foarese.

Stephen shook his head and replied in kind. "Bobby...ah, Captain Drysdale...wants to start for the Eagles right away. We're going to introduce Cthulhu to Eleanor Holmes Norton."

"That'll be a sight," said Olivia wryly. Sobering, she added, "You're coming back some time, though, right?"

"Of course!" Stephen held out his arms, and let his stage partner pull him into a fervent embrace. "I wouldn't miss seeing your baby for all the tea in Gi Foar."

When they let each other go, he spotted Jon carefully appearing not to be watching.

Arm in arm, the two women stepped aside, and Stephen crossed the deck. "Jon. I...I have to do this. There are things I need to figure out. Do you understand?"

Jon folded his arms, brows thoughtful. "You know," he said, "even before the soulbond, I had some idea what you were feeling. You radiated emotion like crazy—the most latent empath could've picked it up. And now, you're...not."

It was a lonely feeling, not being able to tell whether he meant that as a critique or a compliment. "Is that good?"

"It means I have no idea what you need, babe," said Jon weakly. "All I know is that I want you to get it."

Stephen raised his hands in a vague, uncertain gesture. Jon met them in what turned into a handshake.

Back on the Report, the ship came free of its moorings easily. Stephen stumbled as the deck rocked under his feet; Tad caught one of his hands, Amy the other, and he recovered his balance with ease.

"Thank you," he stammered, squeezing both. " me to the railing?"

Hand in hand in hand they flew to the end of the ship, where Stephen's partners fell back as he scanned the dock for the quartet of familiar figures. With all the force in his lungs he shouted, "JON!"

The wind, with a boost from Amy, carried his words home. Jon rose to his full height and peered across the water, raising one hand against the breeze. Impossible though it was, Stephen fancied that even at this distance he could see the piercing blue of Jon's eyes.


"I'm glad it was you!" cried Stephen. "If I'd been able to choose—I would have chosen you!"

Jon kissed his hand and blew the gesture across the water. Stephen snatched it from the air and pressed it to his cheek.
kribban: (Default)

Oh look I'm crying in class

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-15 08:33 am (UTC)(link)
He would have chosen Jon for what - to be his training boyfriend before he goes into the world? If he would have chosen Jon then, why can't he choose him now?

I find it really offensive that having the link severed is freedom for Stephen. I'm sure he found it comforting. I'm not sure Jon himself would have chosen to have it severed despite the pain it brings.

the link is the most profound symbol of romantic love and the fact that it's gone is the sign that their relationship is truely over.

i really feel for Jon who did everything right from the start and was nothing but noble and d loving and still ended up losing the love of his life at the stage where he's too old to start a family. I wish there was a Castleverse!Tracey. :'(

Why is Allison leaving the ship?
kribban: (Default)

Re: Oh look I'm crying in class

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-15 08:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Would've chosen Jon to be the one who rescued him.

Okay, that's a lot less creepy than what I thought.

This doesn't preclude him from coming back to Jon one day; it just means he needs more life experience before he can choose anyone as a for-the-rest-of-your-life partner.

Well, he has chosen Tad and Amy, hasn't he? It would be weird for them to know he is still pining for Jon. But maybe that's part of the parcel.

Jon's story here is noble and bittersweet...tragic, yes, but he knows he did the right thing, and if Stephen's meant to be with him then Stephen will be back.

This is almost worse. He can't put his life on hold to wait for Stephen, on the chance that Stephen will decide to come back. You can't live like that and like you said, he's not getting any younger.

Speaking of which, I'm sure he'll soon begin to transition towards training younger soldiers rather than fighting the battles himself.

I know you're proud of your story, and you have every right to be, but I'm not feeling very happy with it right now considering I spent most of the day crying over it. Take that as a compliment. It really is very powerful writing.

Looks like we aimed a little too far to the left, and ended up in Emesen-by-the-Sea. Don't worry, it's still full of allies

LOL. FYI, in my headcanon Jon, Olivia and Kristen go out at night where they run into Rachel and Meghan who take them on a tour to all the best bars in Emesen-by-the-Sea during which Olivia complains about having to remain sober but everyone else gets really stinkingly drunk.

But didnt PK Winsome sell the Report to Allison?
kribban: (Default)

Re: Oh look I'm crying in class

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-15 10:07 pm (UTC)(link)

Well, sure it is. But most people (non-serial monogamists) strive for permanence, to find that partner they can be faithful to for the rest of their lives. That's why people still see divorce as such a failure, even though most people realise it's necessary sometimes.

I'm sure that Tad and Amy being married gives their relationship a stability that they don't have with Stephen yet. He's their boyfriend, not their husband (yet.)

Sir Stewart worries about his age a lot. A lot. So it's not totally off-base that I would too.

The thing about Rachel is that she's probably much fun to party with. Meghan has said her drinks taste like gasoline because there's so much alcohol in them. Plus Jon needs someone smart to talk about Reza's and Doris' secret political texts with. And Meghan, (who just moved to Emesen-by-the-Sea and wants her politics DIRTY! and SEXY!) well, she probably ends up in his lap at some point. It's my story and I'm sticking to it.
ladyjaderains: (Default)

[personal profile] ladyjaderains 2011-12-15 12:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Ouch! You broke something that feels like my heart. I sat stunned for a moment when Stephen and Jon's link was severed.

I think I see what you're aiming for here (a Stephen who could return as a full person who isn't making decisions based on someone else's desires). If Stephen was going to go on the Report, I guess it's for the best that they aren't tied together.

All I can wonder is what he will be like when he comes home if he's already so affected that he's able to shield his emotions from Jon. I know I should be happy for him and what he can become now but a part of me mourns for what he was and can never be again (selfish, I know).

I kind of feel like I'm twelve and just finished Gone With the Wind and had no idea that it was going to end like that.

Looking forward to the epilogue.

I know if you sequel this it will be more like Rhett Butler's People than Scarlett:)
ladyjaderains: (Default)

[personal profile] ladyjaderains 2011-12-15 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I know they did but I still was in shock! Even when they said they were giving him his freedom my poor brain refused to believe it until you actually said that soul bond was gone. I may have failed to previously mention that I have excellent denial skills:).

Again I'm selfish, I feel bad for Jon and Stephen for sure but I'll also personally miss them having soul bond and Stephen being this totally open and vulnerable person. It's a testimony to your ability to write that I will miss the way a character used to be. I don't think that's ever happened to me before unless it was a villan to hero or vice versa change.

In Scarlett the author wrote the character as though she'd never matured at all in Margaret Mitchell's masterpiece. It was a fun read but was no where near matc
hing it's predecessor's integrity. Rhett Butler's People was a worthy sequel and a real treat for readers who actually cared about what happened to everybody, not just the estranged couple. So yes, major compliment:)

Again, I really love this AU, even when you use it to bring a pain that has no masochistic pleasure:)
politicette: (Default)

[personal profile] politicette 2011-12-15 04:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Ughhhhh that kiss tho. ;~~; So bittersweet.
politicette: (Default)

Have another song for my feelings

[personal profile] politicette 2011-12-15 05:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Calypso // Suzanne Vega

My name is Calypso
I have let him go
In the dawn he sails away
To be gone forever more
And the waves will take him in again
But he'll know their ways now
I will stand upon the shore
With a clean heart

And my song in the wind
The sand will sting my feet
And the sky will burn
It's a lonely time ahead
I do not ask him to return
politicette: (Default)

Re: Have another song for my feelings

[personal profile] politicette 2011-12-15 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
He is literally sailing away how can you not put it in? :O TBH I was half-convinced that when I posted this you were going to comment like trololololo that's the song that inspired this fic!
politicette: (Default)

Re: Have another song for my feelings

[personal profile] politicette 2011-12-16 12:17 am (UTC)(link)
lolol i approve this message

Jon's much less of a douchebag than the guy in that song though.
kribban: (Default)

Re: Have another song for my feelings

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-16 05:48 pm (UTC)(link)
This is what I listened to Saturday night after ch 9:

kribban: (Default)

Re: Have another song for my feelings

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-17 07:57 am (UTC)(link)
I thought I did. Huh. O.o

I take that as the Universe's gentle nod that it wasn't as fitting of a song as I had thought.
kribban: (Default)

Re: Have another song for my feelings

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-17 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL it's not worth your curiosity. It's this over-wrought 90s power ballad but it had a few lines that I thought fitting "At the end of the rainbow, I found my broken heart", "I was a dreamer, you were my dream" "the skies are grey and there's not star to lead my way".

The video sucks so here's the link with just the song:

kribban: (Default)

Re: Have another song for my feelings

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-17 05:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I should say the song is more a reflection of my feelings towards this fic. :D


[personal profile] w_thit 2011-12-15 05:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I mean, I can tell why Stephen needed to go off on his own and why he couldn't be soulbonded to Jon as he did so, but still.


(Also, I'm still kind of LOL'ing at the 'flaming ship wars' line from last chapter. And Reza Aslan, yay!)

[identity profile] 2011-12-15 09:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, that hurts, but it's a perfect ending, I think, and it seems really obvious now that the link would have to be severed.

I actually read this in one sitting and can say that the pacing of this is really good -- and this totally guileless and hilarious world's atmosphere builds up quite well to suit the tone of the ending.

Would be interested to see what might happen in a sequel (this verse!Rachel would be hilarious and charming I'm sure), but I do like the way this ends. Very deft handling of some troubling (and clearly emotionally charged) stuff.

(*just realized* Though I guess there's still the epilogue..?)

...I'm actually in the middle of doing structural edits on a stalled story that has some thematic issues that I'm beginning to see as problematic, but which you handled really well here. Would you mind terribly my dropping you a line about it? If it's a busy time for you/you don't do that sort of thing, I'd totally understand, but figured it worth a try :)
queenfanfiction: Caption "Is this an AU where they're all lobsters or do they have their pet lobsters fight their battles for them?" (Sherlock fanfic lobster!AU)

[personal profile] queenfanfiction 2011-12-18 02:44 am (UTC)(link)
As usual, I make no promises re: sequels.

I'm still trying to decide what would make a good bribe for you to write some Emesen-by-the-Sea fic, or if I need to add that to my to-write list for the new year. xD
queenfanfiction: (Pundit KO/AC interesting run!)

[personal profile] queenfanfiction 2011-12-18 06:48 am (UTC)(link)