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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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pondering on emotion as a form of expression
children of dune - leto 1
That really *is* the dumbest subject title I could think of. Well, that or pink elephants attack.

I'm blaming julad for this one, too, since she's easy. And what the hell, harriet_spy, because dammit, she hasn't been blamed for anything in way too long and she just might feel neglected.

Ever since Sarah T pointed out that at the end of Three Impossible Things, Lena came out of it completely wrong, I've been somewhat aware I'm really, really *bad* at high emotional content. Making myself write it.

This is actually a choice, though not one I made with the idea that I would be losing much in the way of narrative style. But yeah--my characters commit suicide, genocide, cheat death, shoot people, and blow up civilization, not to mention get the wrong order at dinner, with a level of placidity that may make one wonder if they're on low-dose valium during the Really Big Moments.

It *is* a choice, but two examples recently have caught up to me to make me rethink this. One was feedback for Gladly Beyond, which another writer mentioned the argument between Lex and Clark--the one I deleted, put back, deleted, put back, deleted, put back, restructured, added an exclamation point, and made myself sick over, thinking I'd tripped right into Heavy Kiddy Melodrama--and how much she liked it. Okay, *that* was unexpected. Because I hated it. I absolutely *hated* writing it. I didn't just obsess over that scene--I set up fucking housekeeping with it and took out a mortgage on a long-term residence. And if I could have figured out a way to remove it, I would have.

The other was julad commenting on Look and See, and pointing out I should have gone for the full emotional climax. My skin *crawled*. She wants them to--react? Emotionally? And not theoretically from a comfortable distance? Write that? Like--with exclamation points? And...and *anger*?

I'm all for the melodrama--as long as everyone stays calm and reasonably coherent, and I don't have to go anywhere near an exclaimation point.

As you might guess, ff.net scarred me pretty badly.

Similar comments came for A Handful of Dust, but less so--Lex was pretty much very high and extremely burned out and well, *insane*, so I figured I could get away with it there. And the fact I backed down on the ending in a huge, huge way. Which is true. The original ending was a hell of a lot different. But--yeah. Looking over my body of work in general, I'm seeing a pattern. People emote during memories, flashbacks, or dialogue talking about the past. Expositional emotion. Anything and everything to avoid making them do it in real time. It's a trick. Not a really uncommon one, but one I've leaned on for a damn long time, because, honest to God, the only thing that scares me more to write is mpreg. And that just barely.

Otherwise? They'd damn well better be rational and calm and keep their voices in mid-range or I'll just cut the scene.

Which is why this morning, I woke up and stared at Look and See, then cut it into pieces. I have dissected a completed story, after I posted, and I've never done that before. Ever.

Is this a common problem? I don't think so--I've seen good writers pull off a powerful emotional scene and enjoyed reading it. I've seen badfic writers send me under my desk wishing for sporks when things go so over the top that it's like Soap Opera World, but with worse dialogue. And I've seen in between, but the thing is, I can't figure out *what* it is that makes some work really well and some work not at all.

I have a bad feeling my biggest issue is--I *really* have no idea how to judge. Still reading Gladly, that stupid scene stands out as being *wrong*. It could be as restrained as a tea party or over the top--I have no freaking *clue*. And that makes me nervous to even try.

I mean--here's what idiocy was wandering around in my head.


Justin never sees it coming.

One second, on his knees, Brian's taste filling his mouth, and the next, flat against the wall, Michael close enough to smell, cigarettes and alcohol and club sweat.

"Son of a bitch," brushes his skin like heat, and he thinks he's never seen Michael angry before, he couldn't have, because this is a completely different man. He swallows hard, almost feeling hands on his throat, he can see it in Michael's eyes, the way he'd strangle him here and now in Babylon's backroom and love every second. One ghost that will never bother him again. "You--"

Justin grins back, teeth bared. This is his territory, not Michael's. "Did you really think he'd be *faithful*?"

That second of heart-stopping pain almost makes him stop, because he feels this. He knows, like he knows Brian's body, how it feels to have almost everything and find out it's not enough. Except Michael has even less than that.

But this isn't about feelings or fairness or lezzie shit with words like empathy and respect, and he thinks Brian might almost be proud, because this is so terrifyingly easy. To see what you want and stop caring how you take it. He's lost so fucking *much*, he's given up even more and compromised on the rest.

"You little shit," Michael breathes, like it's a totally new thing. "Stay the fuck away from us!"

Sprawled against the backroom wall in Babylon, Brian still on his tongue and the tips of his fingers, Justin almost laughs. "No."

Michael's mouth works open, trying to find the words--return to that rational, normal place where Justin's the eternal stupid kid and he's the all-wise adult and Brian's just a fantasy for them both. Where Michael always knows Brian best and Justin will never quite get it. This sacred place of Brian-and-Michael-best-friends-forever that Justin's never been able to touch until now, because when Brian fucked Michael, he finally gave Justin the weapon he's always needed and never wanted.

"This is what you're going to get," Justin says, and his voice is too loud even at a whisper, and he can feel the eyes of the room on them, and somehow, that makes it even better. "You want him, you get everything that goes with him. The tricking and the drugs and the sex in your bed with other men. And you're gonna get me."

"He won't fuck you after this." Michael says it like he's reading it out of a sacred book off a mountain, holy write of Brian and Michael Fucking Belong Together, and maybe they do, but that doesn't mean shit to Justin and never will. He should have been dead in a parking lot and he's not, he shouldn't be able to draw again and he can, and he shouldn't ever have been able to go down on Brian when he's finally found the Love of His Fucked Up Life with Michael and he still did.

"Right. Tell yourself that, every night when he's gone and you wonder where, and when he's here and you can't find him, and when it's lunch and he doesn't show up." Just this bare second to breathe out, watch Michael's eyes widen--he never though about this, not really, coasting on love and fulfilled fantasies, and Brian's a fantasy, right, but never the kind Michael wants--and Justin smiles, slow and deliberate and it shouldn't feel this good. "Because he'll be with me. Even when he's not."

Pain blossoms across one eye like fire, and Justin thinks it should hurt more, but it's just victory and it's supposed to hurt when it's this good. His head hits the wall and he grabs at the wall to keep him from staggering, and shit, it hurts, but it's just too fucking surreal to be anything but amazing.

Because what *is* Michael anyway? He's Brian's home and security and first true love, right, but he'll never make Brian hard after seven tricks at three in the morning, drunk and high and senseless and so fucking hot, never make him break down and never, ever hurt him the way Justin can, still does, and always will. He'll never be what makes Brian want and chase and fight and never be what makes Brian bend and never, ever be close to what makes him *change*.

And Michael will never be a pretty blond wetdream, a neverending fantasy, will never be the body Brian can lose reality in.

And Michael doesn't know that, not really, not *yet*, but he's going to learn.

When Justin can see again, Michael's holding one hand in horror, the anger drained away, and he looks fifteen and scared to death and so very sorry. Like he has no idea what's happened, what he's done, who he is, the man that could do this, and Justin almost, almost tells him. This is what he does to us, and this is what I like and this is why I was with him and why I'm with him still. He may be your perfect fantasy, but he's always been real to me. And that's what I *want*.

"Justin--" An apology dripping off a single breathless word.

Justin touches his eye to feel the swelling. He remembers with his body. He'll remember the backroom now as the throb in his eye and sore knees, aching head and Brian's taste, as the place where he won, whether Michael knows it or not.

"I won't ever let him go," Justin says, wondering if he can taste blood, too, if he bit his cheek. He doesn't remember. He doesn't even care.

"He needs me." Almost broken. Michael breaks so easily, like spun glass that looks so solid until it's dropped and it's just so many fragile slivers on the floor. He'd never survive Brian even if Justin had never existed. Justin will be kinder than Brian would be if he can.

"Brian's never cared about what he needs. It's what he wants that matters."

Michael backs off a slow step, maybe aware of the people watching them, maybe knowing how hideously fast this will go over Liberty Avenue, maybe just trying to get himself back under control.

I'm sorry, Justin thinks, pushing off the wall and straightening, ignoring the pounding in his head, the way his vision blurs. I'm sorry it was you, that you love him this much, that you got in the way, and I'm sorry that I have to do this, because I could have liked you and even loved you, but that doesn't mean shit.

"When he fucks you tonight, you'll smell me on him and remember how it looked when I went down on him, won't you?"

Michael's eyes widen. "And when he doesn't say a word when he comes, you'll wonder if he's thinking of me."

He walks away and breathes out.

It still doesn't hurt.


Okay, this is *hard*. And still not right. Must mull.

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This is, like, the closest thing to perfection that can be found in a fic - a scene - like this. Whoa. *stares*

Just whoa.

ALSO, WHERE THE HELL DID BRIAN GO?! Did I miss something? One minute he's there... and the next...

What scares me is, I enjoyed that way, way too much. See, this is why I avoid the melodrama. Once you get started, really *put* your mind to it--man, it's addictive.

Ah yes. Well, I wrote this in LJ, so I just skipped a few minutes ahead, since I couldn't figure out how to get Brian out of there before seeing Michael, which would have been *interesting*, but you know, repressive to the entire experience.

*humming happily*

I'm just breaking inhibitions right and *left* here. What else should there here?

*getting scarily bouncy*

I wouldn't judge by decibel. The quiet moment can hold more intensity and trauma than the shouted word.

The significant thing -- and I remember the director of the Royal Shakespeare Company saying this in Playing Shakespeare, and giving a demonstration with Patrick Stewart -- is not the tears and shouting expended on the stage (or on the page). It's the breadth of emotion in the audience that counts. A whisper can topple mountains in the heart.

*nod* Yes, but I think my problem is, I avoid the situations that create strong emotion--I've noticed, especially after Sarah T commented, and now after Julad, that I squeak by not even trying anymore. I'll do just about anything to avoid a messy emotional situation, from flashbacks to using a third person pov to narrate by watching, or by internalizing everything to the point of emotional constipation. Unless it's sex. They're allowed sex. Usually. But Jesus, I tortured Clark in Only Human, and well--even reading it now, it's jsut damned metaphorically bloodless in some bits. Gar.

But yes, I agree. And I want to *do* that, which I suppose means I'd better start working on that instead of tricking out as I have.

*waves* And long time no see, babe! *huge hugs* I've missed you!

It may not be right, in your eyes. In my eyes... powerful, stressful, majic, on-the-edge-of-my-seat wonderfully written fiction. It's not finished. Yet. *snickers*

jenn--there have been times before, when you noticed (or had pointed out) something about your stories, about your style of writing. You panicked a little, thought about it, worried it over, and then plunged straight in to figuring out how to work it out. Which you did.

Each time, your writing has emerged stronger, smoother, more evocative of mood. Exploring direct emotional content can only expand the effectiveness, the force of your tale.

"I mean--here's what idiocy was wandering around in my head."

This is *not* idiocy, but it must be very stressful to write these emotions. Do you experience them as you write? Do you pace, mutter, damn the keyboard? (I know you damn the story). Sometimes when I read your scenes, *I* pace. I mutter. I cover my eyes! But I always, always, finish reading. I can't *not* come back to it.

I can see this scene between Justin/Michael/Brian happening in Showtime's QAF. It hovers, the possibility of it, if only they had the guts to write it like you have. At some point Michael may very well try to take what he sees as "his". If he asserts himself, and actually places his cards on the table, Brian, for myriad reasons, will explore the possibility.

Justin, just as you've written, will fight back because--

"He's lost so fucking *much*, he's given up even more and compromised on the rest."

After fighting so hard, loving Brian and getting him to open up even as much as he has, he won't let Michael reap the benefits. He can't, and still remain true to himself. I think he's over being delusional about what he needs. He's not like Brian. You got that one right on with--

"Brian's never cared about what he needs. It's what he wants that matters."

Is Brian standing there watching? or did he high-tail it out the backdoor? Emotional confrontations are not his thing, usually, but would he allow them to make this decision in his absence?

"One second, on his knees, Brian's taste filling his mouth, and the next, flat against the wall, Michael close enough to smell, cigarettes and alcohol and club sweat."

It only takes a second to change your life. Brian and Justin already know this. I think Michael is just now learing this lesson.

hee, I remember raving to you about the domestic fighting in Gladly Beyond. That was great, hard, and true.

but in a way, I think you're still being emotionally distant with this scene. I mean, yes, like Koi says, and you recognise, you don't need exclamation marks and fistfights to put emotion in the page. If conflict is something you veer from writing, then sure, go ahead, practice it. But what I'm talking about is the fact that Justin's emotion isn't in the here and now-- you conclude with 'it still doesn't hurt'. And again, yes, that's a technique, and a very effective one--by not letting Justin feel the hurt, you're making the reader imagine it, you're inducing the hurt in the reader. Kat Allison is a classic example of this-- her repressed characters just make my heart split open and bleed all over the place. But maybe in order for there to be some kind of resolution of that pain, some kind of catharsis maybe, you do have to show Justin feeling it himself. That might be why I kept picturing a scene where he's tearing up rosebushes-- I was reaching for a show of emotion.

In a way, I think the scene you just wrote was right, emotionally, because the fact is, Justin isn't really going to feel it until he's facing Brian. What he feels in the scene with Michael is right for a scene with Michael. Which makes me realise you've backed away from giving us a scene of Brian and Justin in the here and now. Their actual interaction is elided, so maybe that's the thing you feel is missing?

But maybe in order for there to be some kind of resolution of that pain, some kind of catharsis maybe, you do have to show Justin feeling it himself. That might be why I kept picturing a scene where he's tearing up rosebushes-- I was reaching for a show of emotion.

Ahh. You want my narrator to emote.

Jesus Christ in heaven, that is *hard*.

*sighs* But you're right. It's just--it's so much easier (and such a damn dirty word there) for someone to observe someone else emotionally collapsing than have it happen in real time.

In a way, I think the scene you just wrote was right, emotionally, because the fact is, Justin isn't really going to feel it until he's facing Brian. What he feels in the scene with Michael is right for a scene with Michael. Which makes me realise you've backed away from giving us a scene of Brian and Justin in the here and now. Their actual interaction is elided, so maybe that's the thing you feel is missing?

That would require me to write Brian and Justin in the same room and not having sex. *bites nails* But--tearing rosebushes. For some reason, that's starting to seriously appeal to me. I can *see* it. After Michael, before going back to the apartment and drowning a little in Daphne, he'll walk back, maybe through the park where the city's planted some stupid bushes and he thinks about romance, and all that anger and hurt that he's controlling and using right now has to come out somehow, just so he can keep doing what he's doing.

And he's gonna have to have that chat with Brian. And that can't possibly go smoothly.


(Deleted comment)
Er. If that was me you were talking about, sorry I partially stirred you up. Have much to say, so forgive rambliness.

Well, yes, it *was* you, but it was an amazingly *great* thing. I probably woulnd't have paid attention to the pattern if you AND Julad hadn't talked about the same scene in Gladly Beyond that gave me so much trouble, when it freaked me out so badly. But then both of you said almost the same thing, literally, about it, and Julad echoes what Sarah T said, on a different story, the other day, and hence, I'm sitting down and looking at this and thinking, okay, something *is* off and it needs to be addressed.

So, no, thrilled to death. Just grumpy with *myself* that I've been sidelining this for far, far too long.

*huge hugs* You're wonderful and it was fabulous feedback, and great, great to know that I *can* apparently pull of a scene like that, even if I don't know it at the time. Or now. Though I have this sick desire to sit down and *analyze* it to find out why it worked. *grins* And God, I'm a lousy literary analyst. That's why I use Squee to describe my reaction to stories.

*more big hugs* So thank you very much. VERY very much.


Feel free to read this and then discard it, but this has always been my impression of your work: it's not so much that it lacks emotion is that it lacks surface emotion. By that, I mean that your characters are often stoic and mannerly on the surface, but there are always hints of the stronger emotions roiling beneath the surface. And that works really well for me, because I like rereading the story and picking up more and more of the layers that motivate the characters' actions.

Now, if you want to play with that and write the more emotional stuff, more power to you. :) But there's a lot to be said for the way you're doing it.

it's not so much that it lacks emotion is that it lacks surface emotion.

Yes, and this is a mark of fine writing the majority of the time. It's like all the scenes in Smallville (or pick your film or programme) where the emotion is conveyed not by dialogue or melodramatic gestures, but by subtle shifts in expression.

That said, yes, Jenn, sometimes there does need to be a big screaming fight, and yes, you have a harder time writing that type of scene.

But don't despair. You're... "good" doesn't come close to describing how talented a writer you are. And you just keep getting better all the time; maybe because you're doing more critical analysis of your own work and process all the time.

I think it also depends on the reader, and their experience with emotional situations and anger.

Your fic fits very well with me, because your narrator often is detached from her/his emotions at the height of the moment. At the climax, it's like they're outside, looking in at the crash. Their anger and words have gotten away from them, and it's all so horrible, but it's like they're in a vacuum. It doesn't quite touch them.

That's closer to my human experience than the raw, bleeding rage... and so reading that works really well for me. It probably communicates with one section of people very well, and maybe another section... not as well.

But I don't think either approach is wrong or right. You just can't really have it both ways, and then have it completely honest for anyone.

*avoids QaFUS snippet* (Otherwise, I'll end up Bitching about Brian. I've been so much happier since Stuart took up th Brian space in my head. *g*)

Anyway, I'm thinking about your comments. I've never... I've never had the impression from your stories that your characters are unemotional. It's just that there's some restraint there. The emotions are there, they're just not screamed across the room.

Hmmm... I'm going to stick to talking about your SV fiction, since really, I've only skimmed your other stuff (Trust me, L&L at Mutant High has been on my to-read list for about a year, but I never seem to get around to just sitting down and enjoying it).

SV fiction is a weird, wild and wonderful beast. It really doesn't follow the logic of the outside world, except in the most shallow of ways. This is a world where it's acceptable, and encouraged, to embezzle company money and tie the internal auditor up in a car boot. It's accepted that an unrequited crush can easily turn you into a homicidal stalker, and that on the grand scale of things, the sin of lying to someone, and saving they're life, are of equal value. Think about it objectively. How many shows feature someone who will end up trying to take over the world because they were lied to?!

Our show is Melodrama Central. It's trying to pretend that it's really still part of Comicdom; that it's still part of Larger-than-Life, but by now, it really has moved all the way across town.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fics that show this melodrama. I try not to bitch about them too much, because honestly, they're following canon and just don't have MR to salvage the script from the cheese.

On the other hand, your characters? Aren't quite as emotional as the canonical SV ones are. And I consider that a good thing. It's why I can read Lex and be charmed by him, rather than stopping to think about how much of an immature, overly emotional brat he's being. I like the tension produced by that understated emotion, when characters can act like adults, or pretend to be adults, to deal with something. Where the anvils don't have to hit me over the head for me to know that This Is Something Really Big Happening.

The characters are still a bit larger than life, but they're so close to being real I could almost touch them. And that's something I really like. I can empathise, and I can feel far more sympathy for them because I'm not being told I have to. It gives the reader a little more room to breath, to think, to enjoy the characters and the story, without making the reader feel as if they're seperated from the action, removed from the plot.

So, I'm guessing this is really more of a fangirl post, but I stand by my comments. I like fiction I can read and enjoy without having to flick between pages, to get up and grab a snack, just to break the amount of emotion, just to give me some breathing space.

A Handful of Dust: The original ending was a hell of a lot different.

Okay, this may scar me for life, but what was the original ending?

*shruggs* I might as well ask. That was the one fic that will not be leaving me for a good while... I don't generally get too emotional over fics (or TV and films, actually), but that one totally got to me. I still can't think of it without having an emotional reaction to it (it's frustration, and hurt, and just... total despair, because dammit, I didn't want it to end like that! I understand, I totally sympathise with Lex; I get why that the only real choice was death or that, and that death would have been pointless and useless and a waste of everything Lex could accomplish, but I didn't want it to end like that! Permanently scarred, I tell you.)

Otherwise, I'll end up Bitching about Brian. I've been so much happier since Stuart took up th Brian space in my head.

You totally promised me an essay on this, btw. Just reminding and all. *smiles*

I know what you're saying--God knows, SV's dialogue sometimes makes me wince it's so--what's the word?--ahh. Cheesy. And anvilly. And MR can just pull it off, and JG can totally flow with it, but in pure text, it just can't be pulled off very often. I won't even try.

And I guess that's what's bothering me most--I've stopped even trying to do it, even in theory. I just skip over it, or smooth over it, or basically, anything I can do to get around it. 3IT is probably the best example, with the confrontation between Lena and Lex--frankly, it should have *been* more powerful than that, it *should* have had all kinds of ugly emotional blowups and when push came to shove, I just chickened out, even after I was told before and after posting that it simply did not work. It's just taken me this long to admit that, no, that really was a deliberate choice and a bad one at that.

Okay, this may scar me for life, but what was the original ending?

As envisioned at the end of the first part, when Clark picked up Lex and flew away with him. Up until then, I hadn't even known how Clark and Lex were going to meet finally.

Lex was going to kill Clark and get out, then kill himself once getting the K back to Pete, hence doing my favoritest thing in writing, saving the world, creating a martyr-hero-etc, and something resembling justice. Oh look, I have a pattern. *snickers* More or less. I went through a lot of variations on this, but that is the one I remember being really sure of once I was at that point, even though it wasn't necessarily what I wanted. Up until very near the end, I was still convinced I could kill Lex off, even if I couldn't get rid of Clark, but I wasn't sure how, since I wanted his death to have meaning, to be his complete consensual choice, even if I had to get Clark to kill him. By the time I got to writing it, though, it was impossible--none of the story at that point allowed Lex to escape. Tara asked me something close to this about the ending, too, and that's the best explanation of what happened between two paragraphs, basically. In one moment, he could still die, but meaningfully, as himself, by choice, and then he couldn't, and no matter how I read it, I couldn't go back and fix what I'd written. And I hadn't even realized I'd been writing up to this ending from the first sentence, but I was. Which sounds weird as hell, but--when I look back now, it was there from the beginning. Pete and Chloe weren't breakable, they chose to die first (Chloe less so in consensuality, but it was still there) but Lex and Lana *were*. Pete and Chloe didn't feel the same temptation, didn't feel the pull, and Lex and Lana did. Lana just got lucky--Lex was capable of killing her at that point when she couldn't do it for herself. He just couldn't do it for himself. Which makes me wonder a little if Lex going to kill Pete personally was a suicide run, needing Pete to be to him what he was to Lana, and Pete simply didn't understand.

*grins* I overthink things sometimes, but I've wondered what I was really thinking that last day of writing. In some ways, it's better not to know--I can look at it now and enjoy it, not critique it.

That answer the question okay?

You totally promised me an essay on this, btw. Just reminding and all. *smiles*

I totally posted about it. Well, it's as close as I can get to an essay, but I have a deep-down suspicion that it's just Bitching about Brian broken up by some Swooning over Stuart. (Yes, I have a thing for alliteration. *bg*) Let's see... it's here and here. Much comparison between the two shows, and a lot of Annie trying to get her thoughts straight (no pun intended *g*) as she types, but it sums my main thoughts about the two shows.

...when push came to shove, I just chickened out, even after I was told before and after posting that it simply did not work.

It's hard. I have that fear with my own writing. I can never tell the thin line between not stating the emotion at all, and just being thoroughly self-indulgent and melodramatic. I mean, really, I know there should be a good ground of space between the two, but to me, my writing always seems to fall into one or the other. Thank heavens for betas willing to point out flaws and cheerlead when necessary.

That answer the question okay?

*sniffles* Damn. Yes, it answers it, but it doesn't make me feel any better about the fic. It's just... In my mind, I will never think of it as anything other than a tragedy of Hamlet-esque proportions. The trouble is that dear Hamlet died, so I can simply mourn him and his situation, but it acheived a point. Without Hamlet's death, Young Fortinsbras (sorry, my spelling is totally wacky today) wouldn't have had the clean rise to power, or the ability to take over the Danes in such a relatively bloodfree manner.

Lex's death? Acheived nothing. I just wanted it to happen... But, you are right about it all building that way. It did build, and build, but there was a strong sense of hope, of belief, of this impression that if Lex just fought hard enough, he might just win. Then, you get to the end, and suddenly you *realise*, suddenly you *see* that there really aren't any choices left. It's... heartbreaking. It's utterly heartbreaking not only to understand why there are no choices left, but to understand and almost support the choice, even while you hate it.

I guess it's also a case of there are a few things that I hold to be highly true. One of these is that everything is reversible, you always have a choice in life. Sure, the other choice may be difficult, and hard, and not at all attractive, but it's always there, and you always have the option of just working really damn hard to acheive it. Another idea that I believe in absolutely, is that the human mind is a highly adaptable thing. A person can adapt and deal with a hell of a lot. You get used to your current predicament, you make the best out of it, and you survive. Most of the time, you survive pretty happily, too. HoD is a walking affirmation and contrast of these two ideas, which I both hold to be true. Lex had the choice, almost had the choice, but death was almost surrendering, was too hard, was cowardly and stupid and acheived nothing other than making it all end. Or, Lex could stay with Clark, and adapt to a new life, and choose. The problem is that although I hated Lex's decision, I don't know if it was actually *wrong*. It was a fic that convinced me that the decision really was what Lex had to do, made me believe in that, even as I hated the direction it would take Lex, the way that he could adapt to Clark's ideas by cannibalising his own priorities and beliefs.

Fuck. It's just something that really hit a nerve, that turned me into emotional knots, but it did effect me. I'd love to write it off, to say that I hated it, and just ignore it, but it made me think, and *hurt*, and just got so far under my skin that it's never coming out. It's something I read when you first released it (what, a year ago? Longer?), that I haven't gone back to re-read, that in fact I've sworn never to read again, but I'm still not positive about why it affected me as deeply as it did.

It's also one of the few fics that I can start ranting about at the drop of the hat. Sorry.

Um... hi. I know this is late, but yeah... love this fic, and was wondering if you did in the end do what julad was talking about and write a Brian-Justin scene with the emotional catharsis/resolution? Or if you're planning on it?

Oh man, sorry about the delay in answering! I was going through my memories and couldn't remember what this *was*, then found your comment.

I wonder too. Every time I open up Word, I glance at it, I just--emotional confrontations are *so* my scary place. Triply with Brian--probably read too much traumatizing overemoting fic that freaked me out. I hope I can do it eventually, if only to prove I *can*. But grrr.

Again, sorry for the huge delay here. *hugs* Thanks.

hey! love this once again...

i think i have a love/hate relationship with all of your fics. i know they'll hurt, but they're so good that i just can't control myself and read them. and love them..and most of the times they shatter my heart ;)

so thanx

ps: were there any more parts to this? i've read stop and see (once again *guh*) and this one but i was wondering if you continued it


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