You must login (register) to review.
Reviewer: camcat Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Mar 2016 12:11:57 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Any chance the next section will be posted soon?



Author's Response:

Hi camat, 

 

Sadly I'm not quite ready to post, but I am working on the next part... I just work slow and am easily distracted.  But the reminder that there's someone out there who still wants to know what happens next will definitely help spur some writing. :-)

 

Thanks!

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Jul 2015 1:05:39 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

I'm...so late to the party, so like a late party guest, I'm just going to barge in and say a bunch of things I think and hope they make sense. Oh, and should say I'm happy to be here, enjoying the party, I like all the details and interesting contrasts, but also some parts are a bit heartbreaking. And like someone doing a late tour of a party, I'm going to focus my thoughts on various people there. Like:

Quote: "Mornin', sunshine," Jake drawled sarcastically, pushing his way into the house. He looked his friend up and down. Dhuwalia was, in a word, unkempt. His eyes were bloodshot, he needed a shave, and while his hair wasn't exactly a mess, he'd clearly slept on it at one very odd angle. He was barefoot and wearing jeans that really needed to be washed, paired with a Chicago Bulls t-shirt that proclaimed that the team had won the 1998 NBA championship. Over this, he wore a black hoodie that Jake was fairly certain had once been his. But of course, everything that Dhuwalia owned was hand-me-down; he'd arrived in Jericho with, literally, nothing but the scrubs on his back. "So, when did you last have a drink?" Jake demanded.

Poor Kenchy. I've probably said it before, I think he's the most heartbreaking character. He's probably way luckier than many in the country, but also much less lucky than most of the ones we get to know, and he has no support system. Well, he does, but it's a thing making people more alienated from him (and a pretty unreliable one at that). And then here he's in such a bad place, and people are dragging him out of it because they need him, and then...okay I won't project too far ahead about how it'll turn out and if/when he gets a win/finds a way to find himself again. Just...heartbreaking situation within a heartbreaking situation, am I right?

Though...

Quote: "Good," Drake had declared. "That's what I'm tryin' for. People listen to you, and right now I need 'em to listen to me." Ahead of them, the ceiling lights had flickered to life and Drake had stalked the three feet to the nearest switch, slapping it off. "Okay people!" he'd shouted, "Here's the deal! No lights allowed until further notice."

The crowd had rumbled again, a male voice protesting, "But what about -"

"No exceptions!" Drake had bellowed before adding, more quietly, "Live with it or leave."

Support system, working and in place. I like Drake and I am enjoying seeing him somewhat...rebuilding himself? With the help of the aforementioned system. Or maybe he's coming into his own (since I don't see him in flashbacks, maybe this side of the tragic stuff he's been through, once he's coming out of the most traumatic of it, will be his best, strongest self ever). It is neat to see and a continued part of the “young adult characters making themselves into selves during a time of turmoil” that I've mentioned a few times before, especially around the Mikey/Jeff/Drake trio.

Quote: Eric held up both hands in a sign of surrender. "No way," he denied, shaking his head. "You're not gettin' me up on that thing, sorry Jim. I ride horses, not bulls, mechanical or otherwise," he insisted. "But any time you want to put in a karaoke machine...."

"Karaoke?" Heather questioned, surprised. "Really? You're a karaoke fan," she chuckled. "Wow. My brothers are all major karaoke fiends."

"Well, sorry to say, Eric, but it's gonna be over my dead body that a karaoke machine ever gets into Bailey's," Jim informed him. "So," he continued, clearing his throat, "Are you waitin' for Jake, or can I get you something to drink?"

What? Come on, Jim! (I guess if I were a Jericho citizen at this time, I'd be heading over to whatever neighbouring town did have karaoke. I'd hope it isn't New Bern). In seriousness, I enjoyed this whole sequence at the bar, with the origin story of the mechanical bull, and this group of characters having an amiable night during more carefree times (aspersions on karaoke aside).

Also,

Quote: "Jake's joining the church softball team?" Mary asked as she placed a basket of fries - the last item of their order - in the center of the table. "Wow. Don't tell my dad, he's trying to get the Main Street Merchants Mickey Mantles going again this year - you know it's always hard to get enough women, but Colleen says she's playing, so...."

"The Mickey Mantles? Do all the teams have better names than the Sluggers?"

"Stop trying to change the subject," April ordered, pointing a fry at Heather. "So Mary, A, B or C?"

"Or D," Heather reminded.

"Okaaaay," Mary stalled while she finished collapsing the stand she'd been using. "So, religious conversion, exercise -"

"And, fresh air," Heather mumbled.

"Fresh air and exercise," Mary amended gamely, "Impressing you, or all of the above, right?"

"Correct," Eric confirmed, reaching for his burger.

Hahaha. I like all the little world building moments in these flashbacks. It's valuable to hear about what's going on in various parts of the universe during the apocalypse, but these parts give a nice counterbalance to those parts, and your going back and forth lends them an emotional meaning. Like a time travel effect – making happy things also sad and sadder future things...bittersweet, I guess.

Quote: "It's fine," Constantino had assured, his lip twitching softly. "I always enjoy watching democracy in action."

"So," Gray inquired, once everyone was assembled. "What're we talkin' about?" he asked, glancing sideways at New Bern's sheriff and mayor. "Couple hundred pounds?"

Constantino looked simultaneously annoyed and amused. "For the first one, maybe," he informed them, glancing quickly over at the wind turbine that stood in the middle of the flower bed, tantalizing, almost ready to go. "But you want more," he reminded, "So no, we're gonna need a lot more than -"

"Wait a minute," Gray interjected, frowning. "I think we're entitled to the 'friends and family' discount here, Phil. It was our idea, our designs. Your people came here and consulted with my team -"

"Drawings on the page aren't what's gonna power your clinic," Constantino countered. "New Bern built that," he reminded, pointing at the wind turbine, "When Jericho couldn't, when all you had were a couple of technical drawings done by a third grade teacher." He glanced at Johnston, his tone lightening for a moment as he added, "Beautifully drawn, you be sure to tell Heather that. But still... we're the ones who made it happen."

Oh Phil. Not even really trying for non-menacing sincerity here, are ya? Poor team Jericho, so stuck before this deal is started that they can't really heed the red flags I assume they're observing. I continue to...like is not the right word. Appreciate your creepy Constantino. So smarmy and icky and condescending (to people who aren't even there!) but I guess he's doing a good enough job at reaching his objectives. In a sort of contrast,

Quote: Gray relaxed visibly. The mine and salt, those were the mayor's true comfort zone, his natural fit, much more so than town politics where he had to listen to and consider everyone else's arguments, where votes had to be taken, and where his word was not actually law - or at the very least official company policy, in the best interest of every employee to obey. But the citizens of Jericho were exactly that; citizens, not employees, and at least for now, Jericho still operated under its charter first established in 1887, a fact that Gray had - slowly - come to terms with.

This makes a lot of sense. Gray grappling with this situation where he thought he was a good leader, because he (probably? Seems like) he was a good leader in his business world, and signed on to this campaign during peace time, and then somehow got more determined to try to lead after the bombs and his harrowing experiences on the road, and then found himself so ridiculously in over his head. And I think he genuinely does want to take care of the town, does care about the people, but this is the worst kind of on the job training. But then again, everyone's in over their heads. Like, everyone at this negotiation. Neither town can survive on their own, let alone the individuals. I like that Gray is reckoning with all that, realizing Johnston is his best resource and ally, and they're doing their best. And I liked the little touches in this chapter that brought Gray's more human, wanting to be helpful sides to the forefront.

Quote: Johnston had glanced around the room then, taking it all in. The window blinds had been closed, despite the fact that it was still light - though overcast - outside. There had been piles of bedding everywhere, leading him to surmise that they were all sleeping in the great room, around the fire, which had been banked, but at least - he'd thought, relief flooding through him - they had one. Their clothes had hung on Janine's and Lorrie's frames, and Lorrie, who'd always been lithe - had practically been swimming in her borrowed cold weather clothing. The little girls had looked healthy - skinny, but not emaciated - though their faces had been pale and dirty, their lips chapped, their hair snarled in places. "Where's Alex?" he'd asked, looking around the room for the eight year old.

"Working off some energy in the basement," Janine had sighed. "Kendra and Brian are down there with the boys, letting them ride the bikes around. They don't last long these days, but they're still boys," she'd shrugged

At that moment it had occurred to Johnston - his throat immediately going dry - that this was a group under siege, wary of going outside, or even betraying their presence by letting the fire burn to warm the house during the day. But his question - and he'd been struggling with how to phrase that question - had died on his lips when he'd heard his sister-in-law's voice.

Okay, so this section. I read this part last (of course), and wanted to write about it first, but I had a hard time gathering my thoughts coherently so I'll just jump and see where it takes me, alright?

I thought that was a good quote to start what I wanted to think/talk about. I really appreciated this further glimpse into a place beyond the confines of these two towns that we get to see, a place where people are again, like Kenchy, probably luckier than some (or a lot), but less lucky than our heroes (who, I guess had to be the luckiest people possible just for longevity of the show, like that enough would survive and have energy to get involved in plots every week). It's kinda weird I guess, how well off everything was for the main characters of the show, but I guess sort of a far enough mind trip for a first world audience to imagine, a difficult enough set of conditions to survive and not be totally hopeless (and exist in a fun speculative fiction show). But...it is possible to survive in so much worse and so many people do every day. And have, in war times (and peace times). Like, humans are so tough and resilient and resourceful (though also so fragile at the same time). I like that you gave us a bit more of a glimpse of that here. Actual desperate survival, confined to one family in one house. I know a lot of our stories (and the show's stories) veer towards the soap side of things, all the love stories and such (I wanted to make a joke about that once – of course they're taking time for their love lives, they're in a Jericho story), but I feel like this is an important side of the material and important to think about. And you painted a vivid, tragic portrait that I think is an important piece in the bigger mural of your story. So, nicely done.

Also, just had to mention,

Quote: "No! No!" Johnston had declared loudly, "Jake's home - he's home. Got back the night - the night everything happened. Typical Jake.

Haha. Yeah. It's pretty weird isn't it? I bet this odd timing thing is like, a central storytelling point for the rest of his life. Like, “What kind of life path have I been on? Well, this one time I went home and the same night...” I'm not sure how to explain my reaction here. I guess it's like, Jake has been designed the luckiest of the lucky (to go with my earlier ramblings), so as to be able to be the protagonist I suppose, but it's weird and astronomically, well, lucky. And it's not often really mentioned by everyone, so it amused me here.

Also,

Quote: Lorrie's exclamation had derailed his explanation, but Johnston had hardly minded. "Lorrie, darlin'," he'd smiled, striding across the great room to envelope his niece and great-niece in a hug. They had been snuggled together under a sleeping bag, sitting on one end of a couch, the other of which was occupied by Janine and five year old Zoey, buried in a pile of at least three quilts. "I'm - I'm so sorry about Weijin and your dad," he'd murmured, kissing the side of her head. "So sorry," he'd repeated, taking a half step back as Marissa had squawked in protest over being squished between them.

I wanted to mention that I liked seeing this gentle side of Johnston. I always really liked that about his character, that he acts in a lot of ways like the stereotypical “masculine” man (like gruff, strong silent, etc), but he does have that gentle side dealing with others sometimes, especially dealing with his kids, and a sometimes surprising emotional vulnerability. I really liked that it was him who went on this trip here and encountered these relatives. I don't think any other character could've had this same exact reaction, and I thought it was a really nice way in for us readers. He has a relationship with each of them, but he can be like our voice too, in a way, and he's seeing and offering compassion but not really able to change the situation (much as he'd like to). It is quite poignant.

Also, the O'Briens were an interesting addition to the story. A lot of names to keep track of at first, but you always do such a good job of filling in these family trees and giving us ideas of their relationships with each other that a picture starts to form. Nobody's left unaccounted for, kinda. It'll be interesting to see what they were like in happier times 5 years earlier. I guess we're being introduced to them in the opposite direction we've met the Lisinskis. Tragedy ahead for the Lisinskis, (comparative) lightness ahead for the O'Briens, but with the double, time travel thing where both are both. If that makes any sense at all.

Well done and I look forward to seeing where you take us next (though at this moment I'm hoping it's Bailey's circa Birth of the mechanical bull, since I'm leaving off on such a sad note)!

 

 

Reviewer: Mellyissa Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Jul 2015 8:25:17 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

In honor of you adding a new chapter to the series, I decided to read the entire 15 parts over again (which took me a couple of weeks!). I really love the relationship and bond between Jake and Heather and their interactions with the entire town in the past and present. 

 

In addition, if you could save April and or the baby next chapter that would be greatly appreciated. Her relationship with Heather is so strong it would be so devastating to everyone. 

 

Great Work!

 

Melissa




Author's Response:

Aw, thank you Melissa!  I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your re-read, and that you like my version of Jake and Heather.  I'm rather partial to them myself, ;-)

I don't want to spoil anything about what's coming, so I will just say that I am trying to do justice by April and leave it at that.

Thank you again for reviewing.... reviews totally keep me going, especially when I start fighting with the characters about what they would and would not do or say.  They are so opinionated!

Reviewer: merryann Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 Jun 2015 9:18:40 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Now you've done it! You have a slew of new characters that will eventually need sorted ( you do have a spreadsheet, don't you?!). And a lot if circumstances that will need addressed. Looking forward to seeing how you handle all of this! Reminds me of the corners I perpetually write myself into, lol! Always fun to unravel  Also, our poor April is still stuck in the cliffhanger!  Hoping and praying for a miracle there :). Looking forward with great anticipation to the next chapter!!  If you find time on your hands, I would love for you to take a look at my stories over at ff net.  Best Regards, merryann




Author's Response:

LOL, merryann.  Yes, I do have a spreadsheet, plus a set of family trees done in Visio!  

I had to pull that trigger and write in the O'Briens (and the Gallaghers) because eventually we will go visit Auntie Bridget for a wedding dress and of course they all want to come to the wedding.  So really, it was time to start introducing them. :-)

The April part is the thing that makes my writing slow-going at the moment -- and the reason I keep taking trips to visit other parts of this little world, like the happy past.  

Thanks for reviewing!

Reviewer: merryann Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Jun 2015 5:25:06 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Clearly I am as behind in reviews as you are in writing. Or perhaps I was miffed that you left us with a cliff hanger :P. Great story, as always! Looking forward to the next chapters!!




Author's Response:

Thanks for coming back and checking in, merryann!  I do appreciate it. :-)

 

And, while I apologize for the cliffhangers, I have to admit that there will probably be plenty more of them before I manage to tell the whole story of Different Circumstances.

Reviewer: camcat Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Jun 2015 6:07:30 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Thanks for posting.  Can't wait for the next installment.  Glad to her the muse is smiling once again.




Author's Response:

Thanks, camcat!  

Never fear, I am plugging away on the next installment, which is already out of hand at 40 pages.  It still needs lots of work though, so it will be a bit before I can post unfortunately.

 

Reviewer: camcat Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Mar 2015 10:28:32 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

I lopve this story!!!  I have finally gotten through everything you have written.  The style of your writing just pulls me in.  I love how you go back and forth from the past to the present and how it seems you have it all planned out as litle tidbits noted in the present sections about the past are latter brought up and fully explained in the past sections.

I hope to read more from you soon,  Thanks for sharing your amazing work!!

Amy




Author's Response:

Thank you, Amy!  It was a great surprise to get notification of your review.  And I do appreciate it.  I am (unfortunately very slowly) working on the next chapter of this story, and your review has helped spur me into getting a little more done, which is good.  :-)

I'm glad you enjoy my little gimmick of moving back and forth between the past and the present.  And trust me, there's lots more to come -- I have many, many chapters of this story left to tell.

Thanks again for reading!

Reviewer: TXDrEa8377 Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Aug 2014 6:13:06 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 1

Ohhh...  I just couldn't help it!!  I missed this story so much, I started reading it over again (for the 3rd time)  LoL. This is, by far, my favorite Jericho fanfiction. Not only is the story line great, but you are also a fantastic writer!  I check almost daily to see if it's been updated, and when you do find the time, it will be like Christmas!!  LoL

Reviewer: TXDrEa8377 Signed [Report This]
Date: 04 Aug 2014 7:17:13 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 1

Ohhh...  I just couldn't help it!!  I missed this story so much, I started reading it over again (for the 3rd time)  LoL. This is, by far, my favorite Jericho fanfiction. Not only is the story line great, but you are also a fantastic writer!  I check almost daily to see if it's been updated, and when you do find the time, it will be like Christmas!!  LoL




Author's Response:

:-D  I am a fan of re-reading so I'm never gonna tell you to not re-read, TXDrEa!  I hope you enjoy your third time through as much as the first two.  

(And if you're looking for a change of pace.... there's always my other baby-by-comparison H/J series, Bizarro World.)

I don't know when the next part will be ready, but I do hope it is before Christmas, so keep an eye out....

 

Marzee

 

Reviewer: Ninlil Signed [Report This]
Date: 03 Aug 2014 2:13:42 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Jericho was a great show but I always felt like it was such an ensemble with so much going on that they could never capture all the deatails on TV. I was reminded of this when I recently binged on the first season so I went looking for fanfic.  This story was mentioned in an another author's note on fanfiction and I am so glad that it was. For the past couple of weeks, every chance I got I was reading this story. And getting to the last updated chapter today just left me wanting more! I really hope you keep this going. The richness of the details is fascinating and has me hooked.

 



Author's Response:

Aw, thank you Ninlil.  I am always excited to hear from an interested reader -- and it's great for stoking my writer's fire. :-)

 

I promise that I am working on the next chapter (though sometimes I stray to a few of the subsequent chapters) and I will keep plugging away at it.  Rest assured there is plenty to come in this saga.

Thanks again, your note made my day yesterday.

 

Marzee

Reviewer: TXDrEa8377 Signed [Report This]
Date: 23 Jun 2014 5:06:01 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

OKAY!!  I know that I am way behind on the entire Jericho scene but... I am DYING for you to keep writing this story!!   I have been checking every day, praying, hoping, wishing, that you have posted another chapter!!   PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT STOP!!  First of all, you are a GREAT writer!!  Secondly, this story is AMAZING!!  I have looked all over the internet to find something comparable to this, and there is NOTHING!!  There are a lot of Jericho stories out there that are great, but nothing like yours!!  The way you portray Jake and Heather's characters in this story is FANTASTIC.  The back story, the re-writing of their life together...  I don't know what else to say...  I LOVE IT!!  I just REALLY hope that you continue on with this!!




Author's Response:

Aw, thank you, TXDrEa!  Your note totally made my day (and a couple of days since -- I've had a busy week, but somehow I found time to go back a read your review a few times since you posted it, so it is the gift that keeps on giving for me).

 

Trust me, there is not much chance that I will stop writing this story.  It's taken up residence is a good portion of my brain and it won't let go. It just takes me a long time sometimes to get it all out on the page the way I want it to.  So, I hope you will stick with me and forgive the long lapses in time between posts.  I will keep them coming, I promise.

 

Thanks again!  Like I said.... MADE MY DAY! :-)

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 May 2014 10:10:10 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Wow – reading this is a little bit like watching this episode, but with a weird sort of added dramatic irony (at least in this one part). As in, I enjoy all the details you include that really do some neat world building here, but I also just really feel for April. My thoughts are kind of muddled but here are some of them:

I liked the part with Gail trying to deal with the once automatic doors, and the tiny bit of backstory about her becoming a health educator and putting her earnings into her European vacation fund. Nice bit of the reminder/contrast between life that was/is, as you often include.

Quote: Jessica rolled her eyes. "I'm allergic to bachelor pads."

Yay! I think Jessica's a great character, so this yay is for her appearance here and her snark. It's really fun to see her interacting with Jeff and the others, and it was neat for this whole chapter, seeing how the whole 'medical team' is interacting. I did feel bad for Kenchy though – does anyone actually know what he saw/went through in Rogue River (something I wonder about/feel in all versions of the Jericho universe really)? Good set up all around though I guess, for how the group dynamic will work/progress through this part.

Quote: "That's really kind of amazing, you know," April sighed. "I mean, before you, Jake's attitude was always kinda 'screw this town'. He didn't care what people thought. And now, he's trying to thwart the gossips. Which just goes to show how much he loves you," she concluded.

Haha – has April seen that sheriff's station jail cell? In seriousness, I enjoyed reading past April, being all conversational doctor-friend like. It's neat to see female friendships get some focus/development, and I did enjoy the interactions throughout between April and her closest friends.

Quote: "It's not always our fault," April defended, giggling. "I mean, last September, coming home from my parents', we got the last room, the one they try to never, ever rent. And the desk clerk warned us that the elevator equipment was on one side of the room, and the pool equipment was on the other," she explained, groaning softly at the memory. "It was as bad as they said. Worse. So, we decided to make the best of the situation, that's all. Plus hit the McDonald's drive thru at three AM," she recalled with a smile. "Not that I didn't totally pay for it the next day at work…. But still, given the right set of circumstances, I'd rent room one twenty three again," she laughed.

Funny, but it also kind of sounds like a hotel room that could potentially be part of the setup in a Stephen King story (maybe it's the fact that it's room twenty-three). I like the everyday life vibe this part of the story had, in contrast with the life or death turn April's story is taking in the post-bombs timeline.

Quote: "We must all hang together," Johnston had countered, quoting Benjamin Franklin, "Or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Gray had simply stared back at him, smirking. "Know what, Johnston? I'm pretty sure we're sayin' the same damn thing."

I really liked the Gray/Johnston conversation and bonding. It makes sense that they would each come to see a little more of the other's human side over time, and they both do seem to care about their people and protecting their town, so I liked this pause for that time for them here.

Quote: "I know I'm not supposed to say you're 'glowing', right?" Constantino joked, glancing between Russell and Johnston. "That's like a rule these days," he nodded to himself, "Used t' be, you could tell a woman who was with child that she 'glowed' and it was considered a compliment. But, not anymore," he sighed. "So, I'll just hafta settle for telling you that you're looking as lovely as always, and that Jake is one very lucky man."

And enter Constantino, huh? I guess it is true to form for him to start out being icky. But I hope he's not actually going for diplomacy/winning hearts and minds here (though I guess that means I hope he's already planning to just violently invade? He is pretty good as a villain I guess). I like how you're giving us a bit more of the Green/Constantino backstory they hinted at in the show. Probably why I find this conflict much more interesting really than any of the other ones we got (like ones with Sarah Mason or government sponsored Goetz, who are higher up and totally mostly untouchable for ordinary people) was the real personal connection element that made going to war have such intimate, immediately tangible, completely turning your world upside down stakes for both towns. Neat little counterpoint of this that Mindy Henry is alive and well in New Bern and sending gifts.

Quote: "Actually, it's the power generating wind turbine," Russell informed them, taking a step toward the machine. "To be technical."

"What are you getting for output?" Heather demanded excitedly.

"About fifteen hundred watts an hour," Russell answered.

Heather made a delighted noise. "That's amazing. I was only hoping to achieve like sixty, seventy percent of that," she admitted, moving to stand next to Russell. She reached out, placing a tentative hand on the turbine blade and sighing. "It is truly beautiful to behold."

Science Heather! I always like seeing Heather get an opportunity to use her smarts/enthusiasm for science and technology to contribute something specific or unique to a story so this was a neat moment.

Quote: Michael nodded. "Right, nine. But the idea of Jake with a man-purse is fun, too," he joked, smirking at his brother-in-law.

Also, yay for Mikey's appearance! I think it's neat actually that all three of the med student boys will be joining the scenes at the clinic – they provide some moments of light-heartedness at the same time as lending more emotional weight because of their relationships with April and the others. I was thinking about Kenchy and Jessica, and the boys' journey to town, how this whole medical team is made up of individuals who've been through such different traumas out there, and then there's this which is April's darkest hour, probably, and could be for some them too, all while they're all having different experiences and reactions and choices. I guess it's a neat...web of parallel but also different survivor stories.

Quote: "Mrs. Nolan was my neighbor on Green Street," Heather reminded, "So take good care of her, Dr. Lisinski." She smiled at the title, admitting, "I just wish Dad could hear people calling you that. He'd be so proud."

"Hey, maybe one day he will," Jake offered, resting a gentle hand on her shoulder. "It could still happen."

That would be cool!

As always, I am interested to see what other unique and thought-provoking story dynamics you bring us next.  




Author's Response:

Quote: Wow – reading this is a little bit like watching this episode, but with a weird sort of added dramatic irony (at least in this one part). As in, I enjoy all the details you include that really do some neat world building here, but I also just really feel for April.

 

Thank you, Penny.  I share your concern for April.  Her fate is the one thing that makes writing this part a hard slog and slow-going.

 

 

Quote: I liked the part with Gail trying to deal with the once automatic doors, and the tiny bit of backstory about her becoming a health educator and putting her earnings into her European vacation fund. Nice bit of the reminder/contrast between life that was/is, as you often include.

 

I have so much backstory for everyone, and I do look for places to fit it in.  I was struck by Gail's … desperation during this episode, and I wondered if it might have roots that went farther back than just her worry over April's health after she collapsed.  (Not that that wasn't enough!)  So, I submit for the reader's consideration a Gail who comes into this day not exactly in a good place as she struggles with many worries.

 

 

Quote: Yay! I think Jessica's a great character, so this yay is for her appearance here and her snark. It's really fun to see her interacting with Jeff and the others, and it was neat for this whole chapter, seeing how the whole 'medical team' is interacting. I did feel bad for Kenchy though – does anyone actually know what he saw/went through in Rogue River (something I wonder about/feel in all versions of the Jericho universe really)? Good set up all around though I guess, for how the group dynamic will work/progress through this part.

 

I always thought it was too bad that Jessica was in 2 episodes and disappeared, so I wanted to give her a little more page/screen time here.  As for Kenchy, I really do think he went through hell, and while April can't really know what that was, I would like to think that she recognized his pain and was sympathetic to it.

 

 

Quote: "That's really kind of amazing, you know," April sighed. "I mean, before you, Jake's attitude was always kinda 'screw this town'. He didn't care what people thought. And now, he's trying to thwart the gossips. Which just goes to show how much he loves you," she concluded.

Haha – has April seen that sheriff's station jail cell? In seriousness, I enjoyed reading past April, being all conversational doctor-friend like. It's neat to see female friendships get some focus/development, and I did enjoy the interactions throughout between April and her closest friends.

 

LOL.  Well, I don't know if April's seen the holding cell in the sheriff's station, but obviously I have.  :-)

 

 

Quote: "I know I'm not supposed to say you're 'glowing', right?" Constantino joked, glancing between Russell and Johnston. "That's like a rule these days," he nodded to himself, "Used t' be, you could tell a woman who was with child that she 'glowed' and it was conesidered a compliment. But, not anymore," he sighed. "So, I'll just hafta settle for telling you that you're looking as lovely as always, and that Jake is one very lucky man."

And enter Constantino, huh? I guess it is true to form for him to start out being icky. But I hope he's not actually going for diplomacy/winning hearts and minds here (though I guess that means I hope he's already planning to just violently invade? He is pretty good as a villain I guess). I like how you're giving us a bit more of the Green/Constantino backstory they hinted at in the show. Probably why I find this conflict much more interesting really than any of the other ones we got (like ones with Sarah Mason or government sponsored Goetz, who are higher up and totally mostly untouchable for ordinary people) was the real personal connection element that made going to war have such intimate, immediately tangible, completely turning your world upside down stakes for both towns. Neat little counterpoint of this that Mindy Henry is alive and well in New Bern and sending gifts.

 

I go back and forth when I think about Constantino's motivations here (and later in this part) but I was at least going for smarmy/icky, so I'm glad that came across.  Certainly, a little later on Johnston is/was shocked to find out how conniving his old pal is, so I was interested in exploring what that relationship might have been.  We certainly know it was a good enough friendship for Phil to get invited to Eric's and April's wedding (and in DC – Jake's and Heather's).

 

 

Quote: Science Heather! I always like seeing Heather get an opportunity to use her smarts/enthusiasm for science and technology to contribute something specific or unique to a story so this was a neat moment.

 

Trust me, I was annoyed I had to let Gray say his own line in this part because clearly Heather would be the one asking about the turbine!  But I was glad to get the opportunity for Science Heather (and Competent On Screen Heather) to appear.

 

 

Quote: As always, I am interested to see what other unique and thought-provoking story dynamics you bring us next.  

 

 

Aw, thanks!  I am muddling through the next part, but it's a heavy, emotional set of scenes and so I am taking my time in order to make sure I'm doing things right.  Thanks as always for your feedback.  It's invaluable. :-)

Reviewer: Kshar Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 Feb 2014 7:14:09 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

I was so excited to see a new chapter!  It makes me realize how much I've missed the characters.  I love seeing Heather and Jake and everyone interacting again, although admittedly I am still worried about April :( I really hope she gets a happy ending here.  (I think I may have asked you about this once before and you were undecided how her story would go but I am still fiercely Team April.)

I liked Heather and Stanley's conversation about Star Wars--they DO both seem like they would be EU fans.




Author's Response:

Thanks for the note, Kshar!  It has definitely helped stoke my writer's fire.  :-)

I'm not going to spoil my own story by addressing the April issue now... you'll just have to stay tuned.  All will be revealed soon-ish.

And of course Heather and Stanley are both big Star Wars fans. ;-)  I've never doubted it!

 

Thanks again,

Marzee

Reviewer: Shadowflame Signed [Report This]
Date: 30 Jan 2014 5:45:55 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Finally! I have read the first part of that chapter several days before but then I had to stop and have not found time to read more until today! So sorry I left you waiting... *hugs*

Is it wrong that I would want one of those cookies, too? ;)

That was a sweet ceremony in the dark future... I'm glad that the Greens have such a wonderful family and friends around them...

As for Eric... *sigh* It is so complicated... I really like Mary in the show, but I like April, too! So much! And I hope you will find a way not to let her die...

The Flashback to Jake's birthday 5 years ago was so nice! I love all that bantering between Jake and Heather - and between the Greens, too! Makes me all smile...

So Heather in 7 month right now, huh? Well... I'm, too! Very surprisingly I'm pregnant with a 3rd child right now, and this one will be a girl... *beams*

Can't wait to read more!




Author's Response:

Thank you for taking the time to review, Shadowflame.  I really, really appreciate it.:-)

 

Quote: Is it wrong that I would want one of those cookies, too? ;)

LOL.  Probably not.  I've made cookies over a campfire on a canoe trip, so I know it's possible.  Of course, ours were from an "add water and eggs" mix though, so I'm hoping that Heather's cobbled together recipe turned out well.  At least in my mind it did -- I mean Jake liked 'em :-)

 

Quote: That was a sweet ceremony in the dark future... I'm glad that the Greens have such a wonderful family and friends around them...

 

Aw!   Thank you!  I have to say that my concept of Heather is that she is a person for whom these ordinary but important life events are really important.  And her husband's birthday is one of the most important.  Not that Jake doesn't reciprocate... because remember her birthday is next. ;-)

 

Quote: As for Eric... *sigh* It is so complicated... I really like Mary in the show, but I like April, too! So much! And I hope you will find a way not to let her die...

 The April/Eric/Mary triangle is EXTREMELY complicated, and not the easiest thing to write, either.  So stay tuned, more to come.




Quote: The Flashback to Jake's birthday 5 years ago was so nice! I love all that bantering between Jake and Heather - and between the Greens, too! Makes me all smile...

Glad you liked it. To be honest, the Before The Bombs parts are usually my light-hearted, fun to write parts, and they really will have to be from here on out as things are going to get worse in Jericho before they get better.  Then again, it should be fun to write Jake and Heather and the rest of the Greens during this engagement period and wedding. :-)

 

 

Quote: So Heather in 7 month right now, huh? Well... I'm, too! Very surprisingly I'm pregnant with a 3rd child right now, and this one will be a girl... *beams*

Congratulations!  That's so awesome, and congrats too on getting your girl. :-)  

Of course I first posted the very first part of Different Circumstances 7 years ago, so poor Heather has been pregnant for 85 - 90 months in real time.  Luckily, fanfic time stands still when we need it to, so yes, she's 7 months along :-)  

 

Quote: Can't wait to read more!

I'm working on it!  Hopefuly I can post some more before your little girl shows up. 

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Jan 2014 6:27:19 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 15

Nice as always to see another chapter, Marzee! Okay, so as we've talked about, I sense the beginnings of something kicking up in this chapter (aided mostly by my knowledge of the other universe), so I thought it was a neat choice to have it start out with these two birthdays, a little microcosm of human dynamics confined to a few indoor spaces, a not exactly calm before a storm hits. Here are some memorable moments I wanted to highlight:

 

Quote: "Gee, I wonder what I'll be wishing for," he returned before blowing the flame out. There were, of course, hundreds of options if he wanted to be specific in his wishing, but Jake didn't feel the need to be detailed, and settled for simply requesting that 'everything be all right', leaving the interpretation of 'everything' up to God or the universe or some imaginary birthday fairy.

 

A good wish I think for the circumstances. I like this present day celebration and how it highlights the simplicity of such events in these times of total bleakness, and how little wishes are actually so huge, but so are little moments of happiness and taking stock of what you have, too, I think.

 

Quote: "Well, I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant," Michael opined from behind April.

 

LOL. Obligatory moment of Mikey appreciation. He always makes a time less bleak doesn't he?

 

Quote: "You're still the world's best hugger, Stanley," April laughed when he finally let her go. She glanced at Mimi, smiling and telling her, "I'm totally jealous of you for that."

 

He so is! I like how in this at home scene, the friendships are on display and Stanley's best qualities – he's got a great, goofy sense of humour, cares deeply for his friends and sticks by them, and actually brings a level of emotional maturity under all the jokes that people might not expect – are highlighted.

 

Quote: "You're right, it was," Mimi confirmed, smiling. "Plus, we always did something fun," she added. "And Jake, Stanley, I'm a little bit older than both of you," she admitted, demonstrating 'a little bit' by holding her thumb and index finger about a half an inch apart. "So I hope that makes you feel better. And, Heather Green," she dismissed with a wave, "We're not even gonna talk about what a baby you are."

 

Is it repetitive if I just say Mimi's the best? Like Stanley, I like how her good qualities – her wry sense of humour and observation skills, her adaptability, and despite her frequent (or sometimes intermittent) complaining I think she has a lot of tenacity and an ability to keep trucking on, which she herself is maybe not always aware of – come to the forefront this chapter.

 

Quote: "I traded Stephanie like a month's worth of lesson plans," Heather interjected.

 

Lesson plans as a currency, interesting. It sounds very teacher to be trading the plans (though I've only experienced a plans for plans trade), but this made me wonder what all the erstwhile students are doing, and what the longer term education plan going is, and the paper and printing and all that – like, little moment for outside questions intruding. I like it.

 

Quote: "You know, Grandpa used to talk me down whenever I started threatin' to ship you off to military school," Johnston recalled, "So I can probably do the same for you and my grandchild."

 

Aw. He's going to be his Lorelei Gilmore. In seriousness, I like Johnston's reflecting on his changing family role and the generational shift occurring.

 

Quote: He waited until she was done before he continued. "I like Mimi, too," Jake told her. "She's smart, funny, and, you know, she probably saved my life. Plus, Stanley's madly in love with her –"

 

Another aw. I like this observation and acknowledgement. This is a nice chapter for interpersonal dynamics in this group.

 

Quote: "Well, nothing that will get us hospitalized, dead or arrested," she cautioned, pointing a fry at him for emphasis. "And remember, it'll be my birthday next."

 

Good distinction. I liked the humour in the back and forth scenes between Jake and Heather. As in other moments of the DC story, it's neat to see the things that stay the same between time periods and the changes that stand out when juxtaposed.

 

Quote: He pulled back a few inches, smirking softly at her indignant expression. "You know, when I was a little kid and my aunt Bridget caught me doin' something wrong, she always made me give her a kiss. Eric too," he added, "But me, more, 'cause I probably got in trouble more," he admitted. "And I always hated it. That was punishment," Jake insisted, once again moving toward her. "And this so isn't," he finished, capturing her mouth with his own.

 

I like how you manage this feat of introducing characters we've never met and making them seem real, fitting into a web of personal relationships. Aunt Bridget already sounds like an interesting character and I anticipate meeting her.

 

Quote: "You're always eight," Heather informed him, leaning in to brush her lips over his. "When you tell me stories about you growing up, you're always eight."

"Musta been a big year for me," Jake returned, stroking his thumb over the back of her hand. "I don't know," he continued, clearing his throat, "You like eight year olds, so when I try to figure out how old I was…."

 

For some reason, this strikes me as really funny and neat, in this story about storytelling, in a way, and the significance of different moments in the past when recalled in these life changing moments in the present. This says something interesting about Jake, I think, about where in the past he locates himself and his childhood adventures.

 

Quote: "Heather, this is my sister, August," April proclaimed. Though the truth was, August needed no introduction; she was so obviously a version of April – the same delicate frame, the same porcelain skin, the same luxurious, red hair – that no one could have ever mistaken the two Glendenning sisters for unrelated strangers. "August," April continued, "This is Heather."

"The girl who stole Jake from me," August declared dramatically as she jumped to her feet.

"August," April and her mother, Karen Winter, intoned in simultaneous disapproval.

 

And here's August! I really like this introduction, of again, a character I have only heard about but who I already feel like I know interesting things about. August was a lot of fun in her scene and I'm left again wondering about her fate. I also liked meeting Karen and Paul here. They seem to have a calm presence that I imagine must have influenced April's own often even-keeled demeanour.

 

Quote: Eric, who had been sitting with Stanley, Bonnie and August on the couch, got up, crossing the room to join his wife. "Okay, if that's what pets are for, we may be doomed, doc," he teased, resting both his hands on her shoulders. "Remember what happened to the goldfish."

 

April made a face, her nose wrinkling. "Oh, the goldfish," she muttered before declaring, "Well, I hafta believe that we'll be better with a mammal."

 

LOL. Scary but pretty relatable. I do think mammals are easier too. They provide more incentive for taking care of them or something.

 

Quote: The laughter turned to guffaws now, though it was still kind. Jake kissed the top of Heather's head before resting his chin there. "Okay, so Ma, you're not nearly the 'city girl' that Heather is," he conceded. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," he added quickly when his fiancée protested this remark, dislodging him as she turned her head to glare at him. "Tell you what, babe – I promise you never have to eat rabbit unless you want to," Jake assured her, "'Kay?"

 

Aw. As someone who's been around a lot of pet bunnies, I have to go with Heather on this one.

 

Quote: "You know what that's a sign of," Stanley intoned from his spot halfway down the table. "It's a sign that you're getting old, man. You too, Eric," he snorted. "Twenty eight!" he declared, shaking his head in feigned sympathy. "So, so old."

Eric rolled his eyes. "Stanley, you're fifty five days younger than us. That's not even two months," he reminded.

 

I kind of love that Eric knows the number of days. He's got his own style, in this repartee, for sure.

 

Quote: "Fine," he conceded with a sigh. "But I'm sure as heck never gonna run for mayor. You want it, you go get it," he advised.

"Thankfully – for us all – Eric has the temperament to be mayor," Grandpa Green opined from his seat between Stanley and Johnston.

"And Jake does not," Jake assured his family. "All those council meetings and neighbors fighting over whose leaves end up on which lawn and what color so-and-so repainted their house...." He made a face and a strangling noise.

 

This is funny, but I like how it sort of also is underscored by a bit of tension and awkwardness (at least I think), that way things are in families and siblings and parents. Something I really liked in the show is how they portrayed this family having undeniably strong bonds but also a lot of undercurrents of dysfunction and strangeness – something that makes them seem real and relatable I think. I think you've hit on that with your characterization, and I mean that as a complement. Families are messy aren't they?

 

 

Quote: "They were both so cranky, and we were up half the night, walkin' 'em around," he continued. "Finally, at one in the morning, I knew I needed some sleep, even just an hour – I was teachin' school in the morning, and the first bell was at seven forty five. So, even though it was the middle of the oil crisis, and I only had 'bout an eighth of a tank, and I had an even license plate number so I wouldn't be able to get gas until the day after, we bundled them up in their snowsuits and decided to drive 'em around, see if that helped."

"It worked," Gail said, picking up the story, "Though your father ran out of gas over on Green Street – in front of the Berry's house actually, Heather – and we had to hoof it the five blocks home, each with a baby tucked into our coats," she laughed. "Which is funny now, but was absolutely nerve-wracking back then. For the next week I was sure they were both gonna come down with pneumonia."

Jake's and Eric's gazes connected across the table and they offered twin shrugs. "Sorry," they mumbled in unison.

 

This was a fun and cute story (well, since I knew the babies didn't get pneumonia). It was a nice image of young parents Johnston and Gail, and not yet at each other's throats Jake and Eric (well, as much as Eric says it was Jake's idea). I did find it interesting that Jake isn't interested as much in wishing his twin happy birthday, just because the twins in my family tend to make a huge deal about their birthdays together. But then again, they (both pairs) are very close and so they see it as a celebration of their debut in togetherness, so I get that this pair of twins, who are a little more antagonistic, would not be as into it.

 

Quote: Bonnie had been watching August – she'd continued to helpfully sign the gist of the conversation to the younger girl even after they had all sat down at the table – when Stanley had made his surprise announcement. August had abruptly stopped translating, leaving Bonnie hanging. "What did you say?" she demanded, tugging on her brother's sleeve. "What did you say?" Bonnie repeated, her voice growing louder.

 

Grinning, Stanley answered his little sister, enunciating clearly so he was sure she could read his lips. "I said I could never marry Autumn, but I would marry August."

"Yes!" Bonnie crowed, smiling widely as she glanced at August and then back at Stanley. "Yes! Marry Augus', marry Augus'. Please, please, please!" she begged, grinning at August. "Marry Stanley so you can be my sister."

 

Aw. And Bonnie gets her say! I don't get to go on about her as much usually, but Bonnie is also my favourite so I liked seeing her included here. I think it's a neat picture of her here – she's included but by necessity (she's younger than everyone and most comfortable in another language) she's a little separated from the group, but determined to have her voice acknowledged. I thought her bond with August was sweet too (though I have to say I'm glad she didn't get her wish here).

 

Quote: "Personally, I prefer that she move home rather than pile a bad marriage on top of motherhood," Karen argued. "And, dinner at the steakhouse?" she questioned, shaking her head. "If you're right, and I'm paying up, that's not really fair to your sister the vegetarian." Karen paused a moment, letting out a deep breath and then pasting on a smile over her frown. "But I really don't think that this is a conversation for Eric's and Jake's birthday party," she declared. "So, Heather, Gail says the wedding plans are coming along nicely?"

 

I have to say, poor Autumn, so I was glad to hear her mother eventually stand up for her. It's hard to be the talked-about one not there to defend yourself, and though it happens in families, it's also nice to have someone step in.

 

Quote: "And while my mother-in-law was shocked that her son would want to marry a Catholic girl," Gail told Heather, "Your mother-in-law is not so secretly delighted that you are – and that some of her grandchildren will be Catholic, too. I happen to be looking forward to attending first holy communions and confirmations that look like the ceremonies I went through as a child."

 

As a Catholic (though probably more of a Gail Catholic than a for-sure recommender of churches), I really liked this. The traditions and community events around milestones are something I feel connected to and enjoy about my background and I hear the same from others, so I think that'll be really nice for Gail to have continued in her life and share with a daughter-in-law and grandkids.

 

Quote: "You hafta forgive him sometime," Johnston repeated, exasperation coloring his tone. "Or you're gonna lose him," he argued, "We're gonna lose him. And I, at least, don't want that. He's our son."

 

I felt for Johnston and Gail in this scene, dealing with grief and loss and conflict in different levels. I appreciate the different sides in this dynamic, it seems true to life, and I do think they'll both (all) have to work through this for a while longer (whether by their own volition or by circumstances outside of course). I also liked how you showed, in Johnston and Gail's scene, that they have these different angles they come at the situation with, but then there's the care and support they share with each other and their bond, with so much history, they can fall back on in tough times.

 

Quote: "Well, feel free to worry about me, turnin' blue in the shower all you want," Jeff instructed, snorting. "'Cause I'm goin' in," he declared, taking a step away from the fire.

"I'm going to bed," Drake added, moving to follow. "I can take a shower in the morning. Always a chance the water will be warmer then," he joked.

Jeff waited for his friend to catch up, throwing an arm around his neck and noogying his head. "Oh sure, the shower will be warmer in the morning," he accused, elbowing the door to the kitchen open.

"Ow! Le' go!" Johnston and Gail heard Drake protest, but he was also laughing and groaning as Jeff dragged him into the other room.

 

Grinning, Johnston shook his head at their antics. "It's like having Jake and Eric, circa 1989, around again." He offered his hand to his wife.

 

And a nice appearance from Jeff and Drake here at the end. I like that they provided a bit of levity, while still also echoing the sadder family dynamics of the present by way of a flashback to earlier Jake and Eric, in simpler times. I liked too the ongoing glimpse into this other demographic in town, young, single people trying to contribute and be useful and find some kind of life for themselves and, as Jeff touches on, really, a purpose and meaning to their lives. And poor Jeff! Though of course I'm sure in the long run this will not seem the end of the world.

 

So now that you've set up where this group exactly is at this moment (well, for the most part, as we haven't seen everyone that I assume will be playing a part here in this segment), I'm interested to see how things will progress (though also of course proceeding with wary, for you know, reasons).

 




Author's Response:

As always, Penny Lane, thank you for the detailed review.  It warms my little fanfic writer's heart and stokes my writer's fire, even if I am currently have a bad case of Writer's Attention Deficit Disorder.  Hopefully I can find some focus soon.  As you suspect, this is the calm before the storm of Winter's End, but this is where things seemed to fit in the calendar (the DC calendar anyway) and I thought a couple of parties might be in order.  Of course the chance to illustrate 'Before' and 'After' is also hard to pass up.

I'm going to try to not quote your whole review, so some of my responses will be without reference.

 First, you as the biggest Mikey booster around are always welcome to appreciate him.  He appreciates you muchly right back. :-)

As for the great qualities of Stanley and Mimi, I absolutely agree.  And personally, I enjoyed the opportunity to put them into a social occasion and give them the chance to laugh.  It was a nice bit of levity that I sorely needed. 

 

Okay, so I resisted 4 or 5 opportunities to quote.  Now I can't.

 

Quote: Lesson plans as a currency, interesting. It sounds very teacher to be trading the plans (though I've only experienced a plans for plans trade), but this made me wonder what all the erstwhile students are doing, and what the longer term education plan going is, and the paper and printing and all that – like, little moment for outside questions intruding. I like it.

I have wondered about this throughout the airing of the series and then as I've written Different Circumstances (and Bizarro World).  So I can say that at least in DC, Heather is doing what she can for her former students. She wanted to start the home schooling clinic back around Black Jack and I think she has.  But also, this is one of the many things she has to offer in the new world, and I have to believe that there are parents in town who even in a time of crisis want to make sure their kids learn how to read and write and do enough math that they can plan how to build something or how they're going to plant a big enough garden come spring.  So that's where I am going with this.... and also, rest assured, school will be back in session in DC Jericho at some point.  (Side note -- I think many things about Season 2, most are not flattering, and this isn't either, but I think of it as the season of "where have all the children gone?"  Suffice to say, I think there will be lots of kids in Jericho in the future and Heather's skills will be just as in demand as Jake's or Stanley's or Eric's.

 

 

 

 

Quote: "You know, Grandpa used to talk me down whenever I started threatin' to ship you off to military school," Johnston recalled, "So I can probably do the same for you and my grandchild."

Aw. He's going to be his Lorelei Gilmore. In seriousness, I like Johnston's reflecting on his changing family role and the generational shift occurring.

What can I say?  I adore Johnston, and I love Johnston and Jake interactions and growth.  :-)

 

Quote: "Well, nothing that will get us hospitalized, dead or arrested," she cautioned, pointing a fry at him for emphasis. "And remember, it'll be my birthday next."

Good distinction. I liked the humour in the back and forth scenes between Jake and Heather. As in other moments of the DC story, it's neat to see the things that stay the same between time periods and the changes that stand out when juxtaposed.

:-) Well, thank you kindly.  Jake and Heather are the bread and butter of Different Circumstances so I'm always interested in what parts stand out to readers.

 

Quote: He pulled back a few inches, smirking softly at her indignant expression. "You know, when I was a little kid and my aunt Bridget caught me doin' something wrong, she always made me give her a kiss. Eric too," he added, "But me, more, 'cause I probably got in trouble more," he admitted. "And I always hated it. That was punishment," Jake insisted, once again moving toward her. "And this so isn't," he finished, capturing her mouth with his own.

I like how you manage this feat of introducing characters we've never met and making them seem real, fitting into a web of personal relationships. Aunt Bridget already sounds like an interesting character and I anticipate meeting her.

:-D  Bridget will finally appear on page soonish.  She's pretty funny in my head, so hopefully that translates.  Though I will remind you that she first appeared in a story Gail told during DC 9.  15 year old Bridget said that Gail's engagement ring diamond was so small it needed to grow a little before it could really be called a diamond.  So clearly, she has opinions ;-)

 

I'm glad to hear that August did not disappoint, and that you liked Karen and Paul, too.  So many people have taken up residence in my head (including poor, much-discussed Autumn) and they are important to me and influence how I write the other characters we know better, so it's fun that you can make those connections too.  I must be doing my job!

 

 

Quote: The laughter turned to guffaws now, though it was still kind. Jake kissed the top of Heather's head before resting his chin there. "Okay, so Ma, you're not nearly the 'city girl' that Heather is," he conceded. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," he added quickly when his fiancée protested this remark, dislodging him as she turned her head to glare at him. "Tell you what, babe – I promise you never have to eat rabbit unless you want to," Jake assured her, "'Kay?"

Aw. As someone who's been around a lot of pet bunnies, I have to go with Heather on this one.

Well, I must confess that I threw this part in as (a) a person who's had a pet bunny, and (b) because back in DC 13, April was hoping that Jake and Stanley (and Mimi) had at least gotten a rabbit.  I'm guessing that in After The Bombs Jericho, Heather might deign to eat rabbit.

 

Quote: This is funny, but I like how it sort of also is underscored by a bit of tension and awkwardness (at least I think), that way things are in families and siblings and parents. Something I really liked in the show is how they portrayed this family having undeniably strong bonds but also a lot of undercurrents of dysfunction and strangeness – something that makes them seem real and relatable I think. I think you've hit on that with your characterization, and I mean that as a complement. Families are messy aren't they?

That's pretty much what I was going for, so THANK YOU!!

 

Quote: Aw. And Bonnie gets her say! I don't get to go on about her as much usually, but Bonnie is also my favourite so I liked seeing her included here. I think it's a neat picture of her here – she's included but by necessity (she's younger than everyone and most comfortable in another language) she's a little separated from the group, but determined to have her voice acknowledged. I thought her bond with August was sweet too (though I have to say I'm glad she didn't get her wish here).

:-)  I was glad to have the opportunity to bring young Bonnie in again.  And is it awful of me to say that I didn't want to provide Stanley with a more viable romantic interest since he should save himself for Mimi? 

 

Quote: "You hafta forgive him sometime," Johnston repeated, exasperation coloring his tone. "Or you're gonna lose him," he argued, "We're gonna lose him. And I, at least, don't want that. He's our son."

I felt for Johnston and Gail in this scene, dealing with grief and loss and conflict in different levels. I appreciate the different sides in this dynamic, it seems true to life, and I do think they'll both (all) have to work through this for a while longer (whether by their own volition or by circumstances outside of course). I also liked how you showed, in Johnston and Gail's scene, that they have these different angles they come at the situation with, but then there's the care and support they share with each other and their bond, with so much history, they can fall back on in tough times.

Thank you for this comment.  As you might guess, this was a delicate scene to write, so I appreciate your comments and feel good about how that somewhat harrowing scene came across.  They are all in a tough spot that they never thought they'd be in, and they are all still reeling.  And yes, there is still lots to work through.

 

Quote: And a nice appearance from Jeff and Drake here at the end. I like that they provided a bit of levity, while still also echoing the sadder family dynamics of the present by way of a flashback to earlier Jake and Eric, in simpler times. I liked too the ongoing glimpse into this other demographic in town, young, single people trying to contribute and be useful and find some kind of life for themselves and, as Jeff touches on, really, a purpose and meaning to their lives. And poor Jeff! Though of course I'm sure in the long run this will not seem the end of the world.

:-)  I have to smile at that comment, because I didn't think of half of that when I wrote it in.  But, it all makes sense to me!  So thanks for telling me something about my story.

 

Quote: So now that you've set up where this group exactly is at this moment (well, for the most part, as we haven't seen everyone that I assume will be playing a part here in this segment), I'm interested to see how things will progress (though also of course proceeding with wary, for you know, reasons).

 

Absolutely.  Hence my Writer's ADD.  I'm plugging away when I can, writing scenes out of order and generally trying to make the story I get on the page have half the detail and feeling that it has in my head.  Wish me luck!

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 04 Dec 2013 1:49:17 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Another chapter full of interesting character-building details and moments balancing between bitter and sweet. Since this one seemed kind of like an extended character study, in a sense, (compared to the more episodic structure of the previous chapter that I reviewed mostly chronologically), I figured I'd jump in and list a bunch of things I liked/thought about.

Quote: "Why not?" she replied, shrugging. "Actually, most of the things August was crushing on you for – and, trust me, she was perfectly happy to tell me what those things were – are things you and Jeff have in common," Heather explained. Jake made a strangled noise at that, eliciting a soft giggle from his wife. "I thought it was a little weird at first, too," she admitted, "But I think it might actually work out as long as, you know, August could get to Jericho."

This was sweet – Heather setting up her brother's brother with her sister's sister – but with your trademark blend of finding the sweet in the moments of solemn, and solemn in the sweet. I like the way this network of family and friends has expanded throughout the series, and we've gotten to know characters, even ones like August who've never appeared on page, bit by bit.

Jake's dreams for taking over the ranch, and his reflection on the way his dreams and bigger dreams in general have changed and the ways they can still be realized, were neat continuing development for him. I loved that his horse is named Agamemnon. That's a horse that seems destined for a tragic end if there ever was one, though.

Quote: "Okay," Heather agreed, "I can see that. What mattered before, what matters now…" she sighed, "Sometimes it feels like two different universes."

Okay, this, taken in context, is telling and sad, but I have to admit I laughed. As a character from one of my other favourite shows would say, meta meta meta.

Quote: "It's not exciting or shocking or anything, Jake," Heather warned, "I mean, you could probably guess…." They watched one another for a long moment before she shrugged and confessed, "I wanna see my dad, I wanna wake up some morning and find out that he's here – that he's come to Jericho. Like Mikey did. Like April wants August and Autumn to do. That's all."

I want them to all show up in town some morning too! Even though that probably wouldn't make sense, by the laws of probability or storytelling. I like how you remind us that though this group of survivors is a fairly tight community full of twisty connections, rivalries, and common interests, they are still also very connected (or suffering from a loss of connection to) the outside world, with the thousands of individuals in town all possessing their own branches of friends, family, coworkers, ex-lovers, childhood teachers, sports rivals, etc., that extend outward. The show dealt with this occasionally but not really as much as you might expect for how many apparently single, parentless and childless characters there were. I know, narrative focus and visual medium and stuff, but it is really neat that you can show us this part of the characters, the parts of them that are with their loved ones, somewhere out there.

Quote: "You have now officially met every relative – by blood, marriage or shirt tail – that I have," Heather declared, looking around the banquet room at the Lisinski family's favorite German restaurant. "At least everyone who's within a two hour radius tonight," she amended, wrapping her arms around his neck in order to press a quick kiss to his mouth. "Seriously, Jake, thank you," she murmured.

Placing his hands on her hips, Jake drew Heather even closer, telling her, "Seriously, you don't have to thank me. This was easy and kinda fun. Way better than skating," he teased, kissing her in return. "Though I hafta admit, I don't remember half their names."

Sounds like a real extended family party! Having witnessed a few instances of outsiders introduced to my big extended family recently, I have to say I think Jake handled it like a trouper. Even though Heather's family is fun, any huge group with their own rules and culture, checking you out at all once, is bound to be overwhelming. Especially the names! It's been neat seeing Jake as the fish-out-of-water, and his reactions to being in that space and ways he adapts, throughout this part of the story.

I had to aw at Joe the engagement party planner. I would say man after my own heart, but I feel like I keep assigning that label to characters in all my reviews and it's going to start sounding cheap. I will say, he is a super sweet dad and dad-in-law-to-be. His enthusiasm for his daughter's new love and his support and encouragement of her plans are among my favourite parts of the Lisinski family scenes. It's also kind of neat, the contrast between him and Johnston, two very different kinds of fathers who are ultimately so dedicated to their children. I assume we'll probably see the dads in a scene together at some point right?

Quote: "FYI, priest at seven o'clock," Michael warned, sidling up beside them. "Might wanna tone down the kissy-kissy thing."

"Mikey," Heather growled, though both she and Jake glanced over their shoulders to see her father and her uncle Leo – actually her father's cousin, but as she'd explained to Jake earlier, "We've always called him Uncle Leo" – heading toward them. She found his hand with her own and, leaning against his arm, whispered against the fabric of his dress shirt, "I'm pretty sure this is interfering."

And my obligatory “aw, Mikey!” moment. In seriousness, it is nice to see Mikey in his lighter, more well-fed days. A nice contrast to where he was at when we last saw him, coming home with the stench of desperation on his clothes and the weight of a town secret on his shoulders. I was thinking about the Lisinskis not in town, and while from a character empathy feeling standpoint, I am wanting them all to be okay, I think Mikey really is the most interesting one, narratively, to have survived and made the trek to Jericho, because we get to see him moving across this sort of in-between, transitional time, literally going from a kid in the flashbacks to an adult in the present. Being so young in the flashback, not being as set in who he's going to be yet (unlike his brothers, who have settled into their life paths a bit more), I think, and really being a still fairly young adult in the present, it is neat to see him observing and absorbing all the things he's encountering in this weird scary world he's found himself in. Not that this doesn't happen of course with all the characters, but Mikey, because he occupies this slightly more liminal space, can sort of be the ultimate example of a person growing into a new identity for the new world. And that's kind of the role that Heather plays in the canon story, I think, whereas here she's the older and more settled sibling, doing her own adapting of course, but fairly solid in who she is and where she belongs and fits in as well.

Also have to say, Uncle Leo was pretty cool. I have a few priests in my extended family/friends network and it reminded me of those times when I was little and we'd have our distant relative/family friend priest over and all the kids would be totally amazed to see him drinking a beer and cracking jokes with everyone else. Of course we didn't have a close uncle who was a priest, so it wasn't as common an experience for us as for Heather. I liked how Uncle Leo was open and good-humoured with the happy couple. Also generous with his advice, though I guess getting to advise a beloved niece about a positive life event is probably a much happier kind of thing to do than to get asked about all kinds of medical problems, like a doctor gets.

So...Mark is not so gifted with the basic social skills is he? Like, at all. Or basic survival skills. I guess we probably shouldn't be putting him on the 'most likely to have survived in Buffalo' list. Actually though, this has made me think about the survival advantage of having social skills (seriously, just had a long meandering contemplation about it in my head, thinking about how they're portrayed and who has them and who depends on them more and what their limits are, on the show and in the story, neat stuff). So I guess he's good for inspiring thoughts about interesting things, but I'm glad Heather seems to have steered away from the man himself forever more.

Quote: "Jake, Tommy taught me how to swear like – well, like a hockey player when I was eight," Heather informed him. "And I actually have yet to encounter a new-to-me curse word since." Chuckling at his incredulous expression, she kissed him on the cheek. "He wasn't too smart about it though, 'cause he taught me what to say, and then he had me do it for all his friends which left them howling of course…. But he forgot to tell me not to do it for my dad."

Haha. I like Tommy. He's such a classic big brother. I also like when we get little moments from Heather's past, and this whole part of the story, going home with Heather and meeting parts of her history, have been fun and a nice addition and contrast to the more Jake-history-centric (by necessity, since he does have a longer history there for sure) scenes in Jericho past.

Quote: Taking the lantern with her, Heather headed to the bathroom first, hurrying through her dental hygiene routine. There was real toothpaste again, a small tube from the airdrop that still needed to be conserved, but that was a million times better than the two weeks they had gone completely without – not that there had been much to eat, or much to brush away.

I feel weird because my first reaction to this was “Eek the bacteria!” I don't know why the slow decay of undernourished teeth bothers me more than the squalid tank of desperation, but it really does. And there are so many worse things going on in their world too. I think your reminders of these little details really help to drive home all the texture of the totally new world they're living in, and all the little things to adapt to.

Quote: "Heather, I really didn't," Jake insisted, wrapping a lock of her hair around his finger. "She was standin' right in front of me, in her helmet and BDUs and I just thought she was some scrawny teenager who'd probably just gone through basic before everything happened, and had never managed to really buff up," he explained. "I didn't know she was female until I heard her talk."

Poor Maggie! I know this is what Jake had to say (and true for him – well, I'm not him but I assume, and glad Heather is no longer feeling that dip in self esteem) but poor girl can't catch a break. Again though, I guess this is the least of her troubles now. Now I'm thinking of her, off in New Bern (she's the character I think really shows the limits of social skills in the new world but that's a discussion for another time), and I guess we'll probably be seeing her again soon. It's probably silly to say I hope things go okay for her right? Right...it's not for the writer to make everything sunshine and rainbows, but maybe it is okay if we readers wish for all the good (if unlikely) things for the characters.

Okay, this happened throughout so I don't have a specific quote, but I was enjoying the sort of humorous back-and-forth exchanges between Jake and Heather that are sometimes suggestive, teasing, ultimately double entendres originally meant in serious contexts. I was going to say “they really are an odd couple, aren't they?” but I didn't know if that would sound right. What I mean in a good (classic) way is, I love pairs of characters that have a solid contrasting/complementary thing going on. It makes these kind of moments where they play off each other lively and fun. And with Jake and Heather here, it's like they know each other well enough to go to this playful place, and then find different levels of meaning in the things they're saying, sometimes flirtatious but sometimes more emotional.

Well done, and I look forward to the next part (while bracing myself as I assume there won't be all sunshine and rainbows).  




Author's Response:

Penny,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful and detailed review.  I really appreciate it, and probably spent more time than I should have re-reading and contemplating your comments.  Though maybe not…. You always bring up questions that I haven't thought of, and that then get incorporated at some point into the story.  So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

 

Quote: Another chapter full of interesting character-building details and moments balancing between bitter and sweet.

Aw, this alone made my day, so thank you again!

 

Quote: Jake's dreams for taking over the ranch, and his reflection on the way his dreams and bigger dreams in general have changed and the ways they can still be realized, were neat continuing development for him. I loved that his horse is named Agamemnon. That's a horse that seems destined for a tragic end if there ever was one, though.

I'm glad you feel this way.  I can't say that this is exactly the Jake I had in mind when I began this little adventure (back when I was thinking it would be, oh, four or five parts) but I realized that this is where he needs to go for this all to make sense.  His motivation for slogging through everything so far has to be the life he was planning, and obviously DC Jake is a little bit different from canon Jake.  Though I think even canon Jake might have been interested in taking over EJ's legacy.  As for Agamemnon, I have to admit I have not yet considered his fate particularly, only the fate of the Greens' horses generally.  I will have to put that on the figure out list.

 

Quote: "Okay," Heather agreed, "I can see that. What mattered before, what matters now…" she sighed, "Sometimes it feels like two different universes."

Okay, this, taken in context, is telling and sad, but I have to admit I laughed. As a character from one of my other favourite shows would say, meta meta meta.

:-)  Well, I do try to keep a small undercurrent of humor running through the story at all times, just to keep myself from bogging down too much.  And, I must admit, I could have gone with "two different worlds" or something else, I'm sure, but I thought "universes" was the way to go in an alternate universe story after all.  (And "meta" is a word that had lots of meaning in my life these days too.  So you made me laugh!)

 

Quote: "It's not exciting or shocking or anything, Jake," Heather warned, "I mean, you could probably guess…." They watched one another for a long moment before she shrugged and confessed, "I wanna see my dad, I wanna wake up some morning and find out that he's here – that he's come to Jericho. Like Mikey did. Like April wants August and Autumn to do. That's all."

I want them to all show up in town some morning too! Even though that probably wouldn't make sense, by the laws of probability or storytelling. I like how you remind us that though this group of survivors is a fairly tight community full of twisty connections, rivalries, and common interests, they are still also very connected (or suffering from a loss of connection to) the outside world, with the thousands of individuals in town all possessing their own branches of friends, family, coworkers, ex-lovers, childhood teachers, sports rivals, etc., that extend outward.

Well, the laws of probability and story-telling are hard to get around, but what I can say is that some Lisinskis (though definitely not all) will survive, and will reconnect with their family in Kansas at some point.  I have to admit that it was a rough week as I figured out everyone's fates, a week that I basically spent close to tears a lot of the time… they're like family to me now, so figuring out who died and when and how... that was rough.

 

Quote: I had to aw at Joe the engagement party planner. I would say man after my own heart, but I feel like I keep assigning that label to characters in all my reviews and it's going to start sounding cheap. I will say, he is a super sweet dad and dad-in-law-to-be. His enthusiasm for his daughter's new love and his support and encouragement of her plans are among my favourite parts of the Lisinski family scenes. It's also kind of neat, the contrast between him and Johnston, two very different kinds of fathers who are ultimately so dedicated to their children. I assume we'll probably see the dads in a scene together at some point right?

I hope I didn't over-do with Joe's transformation from a sceptic to a proud supporter of the engagement.  It was quick, but I think it was clear to Joe that Heather and Jake were in love, and fighting that wasn't the way to maintain the very important to him relationship with his daughter.  Plus, I think, having gotten to know Jake some, he does like him.  And, yes, you are correct that there will eventually be scenes with the dads, multiple probably.  And, random tidbit that may not ever actually make it onto the page/screen in DC, but Johnston and Joe are good enough buddies in the end that they start a running game of internet checkers that goes for years after H&J's wedding. 

 

Quote: Also have to say, Uncle Leo was pretty cool. I have a few priests in my extended family/friends network and it reminded me of those times when I was little and we'd have our distant relative/family friend priest over and all the kids would be totally amazed to see him drinking a beer and cracking jokes with everyone else. Of course we didn't have a close uncle who was a priest, so it wasn't as common an experience for us as for Heather. I liked how Uncle Leo was open and good-humoured with the happy couple. Also generous with his advice, though I guess getting to advise a beloved niece about a positive life event is probably a much happier kind of thing to do than to get asked about all kinds of medical problems, like a doctor gets.

This is exactly what I was going for with Uncle Leo, so I am going to take your comment to mean I was successful.  In fact, I picture Uncle Leo at family events, drinking beer and cracking jokes.  He's from the other side of the family than Jess, but I'm sure the Lisinski and Schulze sides mixed on occasion, so I like to think that Uncle Leo came across Jess playing priest and performing wedding ceremonies back when, and unlike her mother, he thought it was amusing and gave her a little professional advice.

 

Quote: So...Mark is not so gifted with the basic social skills is he? Like, at all. Or basic survival skills. I guess we probably shouldn't be putting him on the 'most likely to have survived in Buffalo' list. Actually though, this has made me think about the survival advantage of having social skills (seriously, just had a long meandering contemplation about it in my head, thinking about how they're portrayed and who has them and who depends on them more and what their limits are, on the show and in the story, neat stuff). So I guess he's good for inspiring thoughts about interesting things, but I'm glad Heather seems to have steered away from the man himself forever more.

While I agree that Mark does not take rejection well and has some social skill issues, I don't think he was always the world's biggest jerk.  Heather wouldn't have dated him as long as she did if he was only a JERK.  He just really didn't handle rejection well, and so that ogre side that she probably sensed in him (one of the many reasons she kept him at arm's length) came out in spades.  But Heather does think she lead him on a little bit, and while that doesn't excuse his reaction she still feels somewhat guilty for how things turned out between them.  Jake of course has none of her reservations!  And, yes, while Heather has dodged that particular bullet I can tell you that Mark does make one more appearance in Different Circumstances…. You'll just have to keep reading to see when.  ;-)

Now that the specific example is out of the way, I still need to address the brilliant and intriguing idea that social skills translate into survival skills, because it is so true.  People aren't going to go out of their way to help someone they loathe survive in this new world.  Karen Harper killed herself and her family because she was too proud to ask for help – and probably knew that she didn't really have anyone she could go to because she didn't have any real friends.  I'm not saying that the Greens wouldn't have helped, but they probably would have been gritting their teeth the whole time.  So yes, there's a Venn diagram somewhere that shows the most successful people in this world have themselves both some survival and some social skills, I'm sure.

 

Quote: "Jake, Tommy taught me how to swear like – well, like a hockey player when I was eight," Heather informed him. "And I actually have yet to encounter a new-to-me curse word since." Chuckling at his incredulous expression, she kissed him on the cheek. "He wasn't too smart about it though, 'cause he taught me what to say, and then he had me do it for all his friends which left them howling of course…. But he forgot to tell me not to do it for my dad."

Haha. I like Tommy. He's such a classic big brother. I also like when we get little moments from Heather's past, and this whole part of the story, going home with Heather and meeting parts of her history, have been fun and a nice addition and contrast to the more Jake-history-centric (by necessity, since he does have a longer history there for sure) scenes in Jericho past.

Well, clearly, I love the Lisinskis, so I am glad that they seem to have been well-received, or at least no one has said that they're boring and need to get off their computer screen.  The lack of a past for Heather (I don't count "Oh hey!  I forgot to mention these last three months that I grew up in New Bern and I have friends there that I love but really didn't worry about all this time…" as a past for Heather, sorry Jericho producers and writing staff) left me open to fill in as much as I wanted.  It's been fun for me, that's for sure.  And, of course, we will see the Lisinskis again in the DC Past…. They all will be attending the wedding after all.

 

Quote: "Heather, I really didn't," Jake insisted, wrapping a lock of her hair around his finger. "She was standin' right in front of me, in her helmet and BDUs and I just thought she was some scrawny teenager who'd probably just gone through basic before everything happened, and had never managed to really buff up," he explained. "I didn't know she was female until I heard her talk."

Poor Maggie! I know this is what Jake had to say (and true for him – well, I'm not him but I assume, and glad Heather is no longer feeling that dip in self esteem) but poor girl can't catch a break. Again though, I guess this is the least of her troubles now. Now I'm thinking of her, off in New Bern (she's the character I think really shows the limits of social skills in the new world but that's a discussion for another time), and I guess we'll probably be seeing her again soon. It's probably silly to say I hope things go okay for her right? Right...it's not for the writer to make everything sunshine and rainbows, but maybe it is okay if we readers wish for all the good (if unlikely) things for the characters.

In hindsight this does feel like one more mean thing to do to poor Maggie.  But it's one of those things I took from canon (and those are getting fewer and fewer for me) so let's blame the writers and producers who set that scene up so that the big "gotcha" is that one of the marines is <gasp> a woman.  And we will see Maggie again… in a jail cell in New Bern, I believe.

 

Quote: Okay, this happened throughout so I don't have a specific quote, but I was enjoying the sort of humorous back-and-forth exchanges between Jake and Heather that are sometimes suggestive, teasing, ultimately double entendres originally meant in serious contexts. I was going to say “they really are an odd couple, aren't they?” but I didn't know if that would sound right. What I mean in a good (classic) way is, I love pairs of characters that have a solid contrasting/complementary thing going on. It makes these kind of moments where they play off each other lively and fun. And with Jake and Heather here, it's like they know each other well enough to go to this playful place, and then find different levels of meaning in the things they're saying, sometimes flirtatious but sometimes more emotional.

Well, thank you!  Seriously, you left me a plethora of lovely compliments that warm the cockles of my fanfic writing heart, but this is the one that really makes me happy.  For this story to work, I think this is the Jake and Heather I need to present – a couple that know each other well, that both like each other AND love one another, a couple that has fun together, enjoys being together, and is each other's biggest fan.  Idealized, perhaps, but that's how I'm proceeding.

 

Quote:  Well done, and I look forward to the next part (while bracing myself as I assume there won't be all sunshine and rainbows).  

 

Yeah, the sunshine and rainbows I ordered didn't seem to ever arrive.  :-(  Personally, I've been bracing myself for writing of the next part of Different Circumstances ever since I saw Winter's End for the first time, sitting in my room in a Holiday Inn Express, on a business trip.  I'm sure it's a coincidence, but I got very sick that night, so the whole trip was miserable.  Anyway, bracing yourself is a good choice.

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 02 Dec 2013 1:13:40 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Excellent continuation of your triumphant return, Marzee!

As usual, I love all the little human touches of humour and pathos you weave through present scenes that revisit things we already know and a few that we haven't seen.

In the opening, I liked those little character moments that set each person apart with an individual point of view - Johnston reflecting on feeling cold just from looking at his poor, heroic son, Zack wanting a chance to drive the tank, and Mikey, who's experienced so many weird and scary things and really, a post-apocalyptic coming of age (does it count if one has surpassed teenagehood? A post-apocalyptic roughening anyway), feeling relieved at Zack's still youthful playfulness, despite his ease with a weapon.

I also really loved how you showed us Stanley the good friend, knowing Jake enough to know to take care around him, reading the signs and trying to anticipate what his friend needs. I also liked the return, later in the chapter, of their friendship (or I guess the spectre of their friendship), both in the story of their live-to-one-hundred pact (they wanted to outlive everyone who could tell them what to do, and I wonder if they will reflect on this ever in the trying times ahead when they are in charge of their own difficult situations), and in Jake's conversations with his future brother-in-law.

I also liked the balance between their closeness and their fairly recent distance in their conversation about Jake's big secret. Especially this:

Quote: It was the truth, but not the whole truth. He couldn't seem to force those words up out of his throat. I killed her. But Jake couldn't say it. He didn't want Stanley to know that about him – he didn't want anyone to know that about him, and it was bad enough that his father now knew, but he wasn't going to tell his best friend.

This is such a telling line in terms of Jake's character. He has this close relationship with his best friend, close enough to go this far, but his secretive side takes over and holds this darkest secret close still. Telling at its continuing impact on his life and that his life goals that he's willing to share and focus on are, at the moment, so far away from this horrible moment in the past and so close to his own friend's present goals of domestic, steady life. Also, Stanley loves French toast? Man after my own heart. Actually, I love pancakes too. I guess I'm torn.

The descriptions of the guys trying to handle the smell made me laugh at first, and then I felt bad. It gave those scenes all a nice texture, but really made me feel for the fake marines. The smell of desperation, super tangible, and a reminder of a kind of horror at what they'd done, but also a horror of what they'd experienced, is quite a motif I think. And a really neat kind of harbinger of what's to come, when we have these characters who observed and caught on to the fake marines, from a defensive position and one where they can still react with horror, actually descending into their vehicle and handling their violently-obtained gains of battle. And then all the terrible smells stay on their clothes, and I can't help but think and wonder about what kinds of (to them, now unimaginable) things they might have to do in the future and how they might have to get their hands dirty too. Of course, I only know how things happened in that other universe, but I assume things are still going to get darker for the poor denizens of DC Jericho before things get lighter.

Quote: "So – so none of it is true," Mimi decided, sighing tiredly. She could feel her eyes filling with tears, so she stared at her feet, willing it all to go away.

"We don't know what's true or not true," Jake said. "Maybe there was a war, maybe there wasn't. Maybe there's one president, maybe there's still six. Could go either way. We're just back where we were this morning, that's all."

Stanley reached for Mimi's hand squeezing it tightly. "Hey, Uncle Sam," he teased, "You'll still get to New York…. You just – just hafta hang out with us here a little longer, 'kay?"

"Right," she agreed after a long moment, clearing her throat. Blinking hard, Mimi raised her head and met his gaze. "I'm – I'm okay," she declared unconvincingly. "I'll be okay. I'm just gonna go up to the house, okay?"

Poor Mimi! I really felt for her and I think you've really nicely captured how she might react to this terrible news – her grief is openly tangible but she's also still enough of an independent player to need to sort it out alone for a while. This was a moment I'm glad we got to see here, as in a sense I think Mimi is getting dealt the biggest blow by this news (even though it's no picnic for everyone else), and it is neat to see her at this weird crossroads, where she's somewhat become part of the community, being included in the secret and acknowledged as attached to someone, but also still apart as she's understandably shaken by the loss of her chance to leave and return to her former way of life and comfort zone. I loved also how you showed Stanley caring for her in what he has come to sense is the right way for her. The Stanley and Bonnie moment, with the siblings at this antagonistic but still ultimately (somewhat, in the big picture) united moment, is just right too.

Quote: Michael didn't even bother looking back over his shoulder, settling instead for raising his hand in acknowledgment as he pushed through the door between the kitchen and dining room. "Yes, Miss Bossy Heather."

I was going to say “Poor Mikey!” but I realized that would be funny, about someone being told to take a shower, coming right after my sympathizing with Mimi finding out her hopes for her old life were dashed. I will say this brother-sister relationship continues to crack me up in the past and it is sweet in the present.

Quote: For the remainder of the afternoon, Heather had babied him – not that Jake had objected – retrieving his shoes from the locker they'd rented, bringing him coffee and Reese's from the snack bar, and even sneaking him a couple of Tylenol from her purse. Eventually, at his urging and her nieces' cajoling, she'd returned to the rink for a half hour or so, skating around the oval with the two little girls a few times before they'd ended up on the ice directly in front of him. They – Heather included – had shown him every trick they knew how to do on skates, while Jake had cheered and clapped. Finally, Andrew had told the girls that it was time to go, and Heather had decided that they needed to head over to John's and Kerry's for their dinner date.

I liked the descriptions of the rest of Jake and Heather's weekend visiting her family – it sounded like a perfect mix of fun and the occasional awkward moment. I especially liked the way Heather both did her best to help Jake acclimatize to his new role in her life and family, but also got her moments to shine in her natural (well, original) habitat, and got her turn on the ice!

Quote: "Yeah," April answered a few seconds later. "Yeah, tomorrow's okay. But, in general, my medical advice is to take it easy, okay? And," she continued, fixing a hard stare on Jake, "Avoid strenuous activities for the next few days, okay?"

"You're makin' Heather blush, you know," Jake returned blandly – and without bothering to look at his wife, who had pressed her face into his shoulder, most likely to hide her embarrassment.

Haha! I do like April's sense of humour. I like, too, the balance of levity and solemnity in the little moments between Jake and Heather in the present. It's also neat in this chapter to see the contrast between these two times in their lives, surrounded in the first by the family Heather grew up with and Jake is choosing to join, making the plans for their lives that seem in a sense far away, and in the second surrounded by Jake's and Heather's family, partly of origin and partly friends they have chosen, making new plans the best they can in a future that's even more tenuous but also tenable.

Nicely done and I look forward to the next chapter!

 

 

 

 

 

 




Author's Response:

First of all, thank you so much for your review, Penny Lane.  :-)

I could probably go through and  respond to each and every line, but I will restrain myself and somehow stick to the "highlights".

 

Quote: In the opening, I liked those little character moments that set each person apart with an individual point of view - Johnston reflecting on feeling cold just from looking at his poor, heroic son, Zack wanting a chance to drive the tank, and Mikey, who's experienced so many weird and scary things and really, a post-apocalyptic coming of age (does it count if one has surpassed teenagehood? A post-apocalyptic roughening anyway), feeling relieved at Zack's still youthful playfulness, despite his ease with a weapon.

I definitely think that Mikey is having a post-apocalyptic coming of age – that is the perfect description of it, so thank you for that.  Not that anyone expected the lives they've ended up with, but Mikey's is especially different from the one he imagined.  Plus, after taking that one brave risk of travelling cross country to get to his sister (whom he thought was alone and possibly vulnerable out in Kansas) he's having to again and again make "brave choices" and finding that  it's not so easy to do.  So truly 'coming of age'.

 

Quote: I also liked the balance between their closeness and their fairly recent distance in their conversation about Jake's big secret.

This is such a telling line in terms of Jake's character. He has this close relationship with his best friend, close enough to go this far, but his secretive side takes over and holds this darkest secret close still. Telling at its continuing impact on his life and that his life goals that he's willing to share and focus on are, at the moment, so far away from this horrible moment in the past and so close to his own friend's present goals of domestic, steady life. Also, Stanley loves French toast? Man after my own heart. Actually, I love pancakes too. I guess I'm torn.

I just can't see Jake giving up this particular secret willingly.  Add to that, that I have a head filled with DC backstory, one in which Jake's ultimate goal is a nice, quiet, family-oriented life – basically the opposite of his darkest secret, at least in his mind.  This probably isn't the Jake that canon intends, but having lived with DC Jake running around my brain for so many years now, I will confess that I find mine more interesting.  The stakes seem higher for him, and that's what interests me the most.  As for breakfast, I'm torn too.  I'll go with either of these guys if they're doing the cooking! ;-)

 

Quote: The descriptions of the guys trying to handle the smell made me laugh at first, and then I felt bad. It gave those scenes all a nice texture, but really made me feel for the fake marines. The smell of desperation, super tangible, and a reminder of a kind of horror at what they'd done, but also a horror of what they'd experienced, is quite a motif I think. And a really neat kind of harbinger of what's to come, when we have these characters who observed and caught on to the fake marines, from a defensive position and one where they can still react with horror, actually descending into their vehicle and handling their violently-obtained gains of battle. And then all the terrible smells stay on their clothes, and I can't help but think and wonder about what kinds of (to them, now unimaginable) things they might have to do in the future and how they might have to get their hands dirty too. Of course, I only know how things happened in that other universe, but I assume things are still going to get darker for the poor denizens of DC Jericho before things get lighter.

Thank you for using the word "motif".  That truly made my day.  To be honest, I first just thought that this group of people had been living out of this one vehicle for who knows how long, and of course wouldn't it smell?  Then I thought about how much bigger that would make their secret, how it would increase the risk every time they tried their ruse once again.  All it would take is one person sticking their head in the tank, and wouldn't they have some explaining to do?  Anyway, I couldn't let it go once the idea occurred to me.  As for the smell that permeates our heroes skin and clothes, I think most of it is in their heads… the little bit that Heather can smell on Jake is only because she knows exactly what he smells like normally.  And, as for what's to come… well, I will just say that some of the details will stay the same, some will change…and you'll just have to keep reading if you want to know more! :-)

 

Quote: Poor Mimi! I really felt for her and I think you've really nicely captured how she might react to this terrible news – her grief is openly tangible but she's also still enough of an independent player to need to sort it out alone for a while. This was a moment I'm glad we got to see here, as in a sense I think Mimi is getting dealt the biggest blow by this news (even though it's no picnic for everyone else), and it is neat to see her at this weird crossroads, where she's somewhat become part of the community, being included in the secret and acknowledged as attached to someone, but also still apart as she's understandably shaken by the loss of her chance to leave and return to her former way of life and comfort zone.

Again, I'm glad you liked what I did for Mimi, another of your favorites.  It seems pretty obvious that she was aware of the tank in the barn… so I thought it would be interesting to figure out how she would react to the news that the marines were a fake.  So I'm glad you … not approve… but believe my suggestion of how things would go down.

 

Quote: Michael didn't even bother looking back over his shoulder, settling instead for raising his hand in acknowledgment as he pushed through the door between the kitchen and dining room. "Yes, Miss Bossy Heather."

I was going to say “Poor Mikey!” but I realized that would be funny, about someone being told to take a shower, coming right after my sympathizing with Mimi finding out her hopes for her old life were dashed. I will say this brother-sister relationship continues to crack me up in the past and it is sweet in the present.

:-)  What can I say, Mikey is the little brother I always wanted, (gentle) name calling and all.

 

Quote:  I liked the descriptions of the rest of Jake and Heather's weekend visiting her family – it sounded like a perfect mix of fun and the occasional awkward moment. I especially liked the way Heather both did her best to help Jake acclimatize to his new role in her life and family, but also got her moments to shine in her natural (well, original) habitat, and got her turn on the ice!

I have loved the interlude with the Lisinskis, really loved writing all these crazy, fun, loving original characters, so it's nice to hear that they ring true.  And, yes, Heather does get her moment, doesn't she?  I hadn't actually thought of that, but I am quite glad.

 

Quote: Haha! I do like April's sense of humour. I like, too, the balance of levity and solemnity in the little moments between Jake and Heather in the present. It's also neat in this chapter to see the contrast between these two times in their lives, surrounded in the first by the family Heather grew up with and Jake is choosing to join, making the plans for their lives that seem in a sense far away, and in the second surrounded by Jake's and Heather's family, partly of origin and partly friends they have chosen, making new plans the best they can in a future that's even more tenuous but also tenable.

 

Thanks. :-)  April always seems so strained to me, I have to give her a moment here and there to roll her eyes or laugh at her friends.  As for my favorite couple, I have decided (and just recently, oddly enough) that I'm committed to this story as it should be told, so canon be damned.  I'm writing a Jake and Heather story, I won't make any apologies for that, and they will be as real and as united of a couple as I can manage to write. 

Reviewer: merryann Signed [Report This]
Date: 22 Nov 2013 6:08:42 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Oh, just wonderful!!  Loved it to pieces and can't wait for you to write more!  I am so glad you are continuing your wonderful story.

I'm not sure if you ever got my message way back when (early 2012?) giving you credit for inspiration and asking if I could borrow a couple of themes.  I have now been writing my own ridiculously long story for almost 2 years.  It is posted at fanfiction dot net; please check it out if you ever have spare time :)

Thank you once again for writing!!




Author's Response:

Thanks for reviewing, merryann!  It's great to know that I still have readers interested from "way back".  

I honestly don't remember if I got a message from you back during 2012, that was a rough year for me with both my parents ending up in the hospital within 9 days of each other.  They are both doing well now, but it was a tough row to hoe as the primary caregiver for both of them, and fanfic took a definite back seat to icky real life.

That said, I did take a peek at your story one day, and did note a few homages to Different Circumstances, so thank you for that.  :-)

Reviewer: merryann Signed [Report This]
Date: 21 Nov 2013 5:30:40 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Hooray! You're writing again, and I had enough internet access to find your new chapters & enjoy them.  As per your usual, love every bit of it.  Will try to review the next chapter from a computer (not a phone...) so I can leave a more detailed review.




Author's Response:

It's great to see you're still with me, merryann. :-)

 

Glad to hear that you're enjoying the continuing adventures of the DC Greens.  Thanks for leaving me a note, I do appreciate it!

 

Marzee

Reviewer: Shadowflame Signed [Report This]
Date: 20 Nov 2013 4:50:08 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Hi, I would have been back earlier to read- but I had no time!

 

But now nothing can stop me! *laughs*

 

Ok, let’s start… ;)

 

Wow… that was a very long, nice, intense conversation they had… I so would hope that April’s sisters and all the Lisinski’s are ok, but I fear that’s too much to wish for… :(

 

Wow, so many Lisinski’s at once, Jake is really good in staying cool! *laughs*

And again I had to smile so much reading all those German words amidst an English text… yeah, there’s nothing over a good piece of Leberkaese mit Senf (with mustard)! *beams*

Right into your face, Mark! Hah! *sticks tongue out*

That really was a very nice love declaration from Jake! :)

 

And again - some quality time for our beloved couple... they love each other so much!

 

Loved to read all of that, each word, nice long as promised!

 

So thanks again for writing, I'm looking forward to chapter 15! *hugs*

 




Author's Response:

I am very glad to hear that you enjoyed this part of Different Circumstances.  Honestly, this "little" 14G was the culmination of a lot of planning that really goes back years.  (As does the beginning of DC 14).  Anyway, a lot of this part in particular is very neear and dear to my heart.... a set of important moments for our favorite couple.  They really do love each other very much, and they are in for a roller coaster ride, so I thought it was important to get them to a really good place so they can face what's coming secure in and bolstered by that love.

Okay, enough with the deep thought.  It was nice to see Jake take Mark down a peg or two, wasn't it?  That's a scene I'd been waiting a couple years to write!  And the German menu was fun to write, though it made me hungry!

Thanks so much for reviewing. 

 

Marzee

Reviewer: Shadowflame Signed [Report This]
Date: 13 Oct 2013 4:16:13 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Hah! Found your new entry! *beams*

And the famous tank scene! Love it... :)

Ugggghhhhh - that bad smell... I almost could smell it... *feels somehow sick*

Poor guys who had to drive that tank!

As for the wedding papers - so cute how Jake told Heather that those papers are not important to him, that he will do everything gladly for her as long as it means he can marry her and be with her until they are 100 years old... or something like that... Awwww! :)

And as for the icecold shower... yuck!

Poor guy still has more ice than blood in his venes and you let him take an icecold shower! Tsk...

As ever, I loved your new chapter!

And you really need a 14G????? Wow! Can't wait to read it!

Thanks for writing! ;)




Author's Response:

Thanks, Shadowflame!

 

That tank was pretty gross, wasn't it?  I really did feel bad for doing that to the guys, but I had to figure that it was pretty well lived in by that point.  And, I just couldn't see a way around Jake taking a shower.

You summed up Jake's reaction to the wedding paperwork perfectly.  He'll sign whatever he has to sign in order to marry Heather.  And wouldn't that make any of us melt? :-)

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to review.  Much appreciated!

Reviewer: Shadowflame Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Aug 2013 7:41:11 AM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

*squeals* Yay!!!!!! :)

Since I saw yesterday that you have updated I couldn't wait to find time to read!!!!

Now, here I am and thanks so much for the special shout out - I feel so honoured!

Hopefuly your "Come back" will give me that much needed inspiration to come to my feet and do something, too... like at least posting finally my little stuff here even if my muse will not return for something new... *coughs*

 

Ok, now, I stop talking and start reading!!!! :)

 

"Ignoring what was going on around her, Maggie leaned over Michael, shaking him.  “Mike, c’mon, Mike.  Please wake up,” she begged quietly.
“You could always try kissin’ him.”  Maggie looked up and glared at Jake as he sauntered toward them, “I’m pretty sure he’d like that.”  Stopping at Michael’s feet, he tapped the bottom of his brother-in-law’s shoe with the toe of his own boot.  “Hey, c’mon, sleeping beauty, time to get up.”"

--> Yes Jake, that would be a good idea, Mike really would love it, I'm sure!!!! *snickers*

 

""Michael heaved a sigh, muttering, “Guess we all can’t have a truck fall on us.”

“That’s Jake for you, Mike,” Eric said, joining the other three.  “Always wins in the injury department,” he complained, offering Michael a hand.  The younger man hesitated a second – no doubt weighing his loyalty to April against accepting his assistance, Eric thought – but then he took it, letting Eric help him to his feet.

“Pretty much,” Jake agreed, “Except for that time Heather got you in the nose playing football.  You talked like Elmer Fudd for a week.”""

--> Hahaha, that really made me laugh... and yeah... not easy to beat Jake with the injuries, I swear! ;)

 

""Gray let out a humorless bark of laughter.  "Well, you know, like I used to tell Stevens, you know the deal's done when everybody feels a little bit screwed."""

--> Well, I don't like the deal!!!! Especially not after giving a firework AND feeding the little the town had left only to the fake Marines and the upper class! And that sentence sounds so like Gray... you nailed him here! At least like he was in the beginning... I always started to like Gray in the end, I think he came around... but in the beginning... shame on you! *scowls*

 

--> Hahahaha, of course Jake would have loved to play Twister with Heather... *wiggles eyebrows and laughs*

 

""Although her brothers were at least fifteen seconds behind Heather, they arrived in the living room – along with their father – in plenty of time to get a good show.  With the three Lisinski wives following behind, there was nearly a pile-up in the arch the separated the living and dining rooms when Michael, John and Andrew came to a very sudden stop, gaping at their sister and her fiancé.

"Ew, Dad!" Michael protested, "Aren't you going to make this stop?""

--> *giggles* I so can see that!

 

"""You went to the bathroom on New Year's, and my Mom and April both took the opportunity to smack me and tell me in no uncertain terms that I was to drop it," he informed Heather, squeezing her hand.  "I'm supposed to let you enjoy being a bride."""

--> LOL, and that, too!!!!

Awwww... that's so cute that the proposal story and that Heather giggled so much finally won the Lisinski-Men over and it seems they will accept Jake! Only one Lisinski left now, right? ;)

 

"""C'mon, Tommy," Andrew admonished, turning a bratwurst. ""

--> Jeeez - really - you call it "Bratwurst" in the USA, too????? That's so german! Made me laugh so much!!! Cool! ;)

And it looks like Andrew steps a bit in for Jake?????

 

""He'd thought about it for a moment before pulling her close, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing the tip of her nose.  "Deal," he'd sighed softly, offering her a lopsided grin.  "Long as you're there with me, having three kids probably won't kill me."""

--> so cute!!!!! :)

 

"""We're not having pizza, and I don't think you're gonna really like beer until they make it coffee flavored."""

--> ok, that sounds interesting, I think then I maybe could start liking a beer, too!

 

“”Jake pulled the door open and looked in at them.  "Hey.  We need our last marine so we can get this show on the road."

Maggie wouldn't look at Michael.  "That's my cue," she sighed.””

--> oh no…. really… despite I didn’t like Jake kissing her in the show I always liked Maggie… and I didn’t like that she had to leave town with the others… And now for sure I don’t like her going – she would be so nice for Mike!

 

“”  "But I do like you," she said attempting a smile and failing miserably.  "It wouldn't work, not after the story we told.  And not with story you're all plannin' to tell."””

--> yeah… how shall that work? *sigh*

 

Ohhhhh – another part will come up! Love it!!!! *beams*

Thanks so much for writing again… loved every word of it!!!!

And now you get a load of hugs & kisses from Germany… xxx ooo :)

 

 




Author's Response:

Thanks so much for reviewing Shadowflame!  

 

"Ignoring what was going on around her, Maggie leaned over Michael, shaking him.  “Mike, c’mon, Mike.  Please wake up,” she begged quietly.


“You could always try kissin’ him.”  Maggie looked up and glared at Jake as he sauntered toward them, “I’m pretty sure he’d like that.”  Stopping at Michael’s feet, he tapped the bottom of his brother-in-law’s shoe with the toe of his own boot.  “Hey, c’mon, sleeping beauty, time to get up.”"

--> Yes Jake, that would be a good idea, Mike really would love it, I'm sure!!!! *snickers*

 

Jake knows Mikey very well. :-)  But he really is trying to help.

 

""Gray let out a humorless bark of laughter.  "Well, you know, like I used to tell Stevens, you know the deal's done when everybody feels a little bit screwed."""

--> Well, I don't like the deal!!!! Especially not after giving a firework AND feeding the little the town had left only to the fake Marines and the upper class! And that sentence sounds so like Gray... you nailed him here! At least like he was in the beginning... I always started to like Gray in the end, I think he came around... but in the beginning... shame on you! *scowls*

 

The deal is a bad one, but I wanted to give a plausible explanation for how we get to One Man's Terrorist a little bit down the road.  But yeah, Gray really needs to grow into his job, doesn't he?

 

Awwww... that's so cute that the proposal story and that Heather giggled so much finally won the Lisinski-Men over and it seems they will accept Jake! Only one Lisinski left now, right? ;)

The Lisinski brothers definitely are starting to come around.  They've never seen their sister like this… it's an eye-opening experience for them. :-) 

 

"""C'mon, Tommy," Andrew admonished, turning a bratwurst. ""

--> Jeeez - really - you call it "Bratwurst" in the USA, too????? That's so german! Made me laugh so much!!! Cool! ;)

And it looks like Andrew steps a bit in for Jake?????

 

Yes, we absolutely have bratwurst here in the U.S.  :-)  Additionally, in my backstory for Heather, her mother is 100% of German descent, so the Lisinski kids know their German food at the very least.  As for Andrew, yes I think he's willing to give Jake the benefit of the doubt…. But he better not mess up anywhere along the way!

 

--> oh no…. really… despite I didn’t like Jake kissing her in the show I always liked Maggie… and I didn’t like that she had to leave town with the others… And now for sure I don’t like her going – she would be so nice for Mike!

 

 

I had the same reaction to Maggie…. Stay away from Jake!  But I really think you're an interesting character.  So it was nice that I could reconcile that all by slipping Mikey into those scenes instead.  We will see Maggie again…. We'll just have to see if Mikey sees Maggie again. :-)

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Aug 2013 11:35:26 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Marzee, I'm glad to see the next chapter posted! I found this part was really full of emotional ups and downs. Here are some of the parts I especially liked:

Quote:

“He threw her a look that clearly questioned her sanity. “And what?” he growled, “Wait for him to tell the whole town when we’re half a mile out? It’d be Greenville all over again,” he predicted grimly.

A shudder ran through Maggie. “But we’re not killers,” she argued.

“I was a P.E. teacher who saw too many movies,” Hill snorted, “So now I’m a Marine. I’m adapting.””

This really got to me, and their dilemma seemed really real and I wished they could be okay too, at the same time as I want them to leave the Jericho residents unharmed. I don't always focus a lot on the fake Marines when I watch “Semper Fidelis,” because of course they're clearly a malevolent Trojan horse kind of threat and we just want our protagonists to figure it out in time, and I guess we don't really get to see things from their POV that much and when we do, we see the hardened, super pragmatic attitude Hill shows here. Maggie is really our only window into whatever vulnerability and tragedy they also carry with them, and I like how you showcase her here. You use the stuff that we saw on the show, but add the extra commentary (Hill looks at her like she's crazy, which is true in the narrative they've been living in all the time we haven't seen them, and Maggie just wanting a return to the life she led before where her instinct for right wasn't a luxury) that gives us a window, however brief, into what's going on for these outsiders, and when I think about it, even the contrasting views Hill and Maggie show each make sense for them in their particular life narrative at this moment. It's interesting, the way “Semper Fidelis” and “One Man's Terrorist,” two episodes so close together, present us these two different narratives of a group of outsiders who have been living an entirely different kind of struggle since the bombs, and in both cases we see them fitting in the roles of antagonists or threats, but then there are those moments where something happens to shift how we and the characters view them. These windows in, where everything you think is really transformed. I never really thought much about these two stories being so close together, so parallel in some ways and going in completely different directions in other ways. I look forward to seeing how you incorporate the second outsider story into your alternate universe.

 

Quote:

"Okay," the mayor muttered, momentarily distracted. "Okay, okay," he began again, his attention focused on Johnston. "So I agree to do this your way, you're all gonna do somethin' my way. Those refugees that Roger Hammond brought here, they hafta accept half rations until relief –"

"Half rations?" Jake repeated, incredulous. "That's – that's a death sentence for fifty, sixty people!"

"You wanna have somethin' to eat in a month?" Gray demanded, "Food for your wife, your mom? This is the price."

"Better to cut 'em off totally," Stanley argued. "At least if they had to leave, they'd have a chance."

"But we do that, we lose our X factor," Johnston sighed. "This – this is the only way."

Gray let out a humorless bark of laughter. "Well, you know, like I used to tell Stevens, you know the deal's done when everybody feels a little bit screwed."

Speaking of, I do like the foreshadowing here. What a conflict these guys are in for, and don't even know how much so. I liked the handling of this discussion, and though of course the Greens (and Brett) seem more right in this particular argument (and I'm glad they all recognized the need for some people beyond even their particular nearest and dearest knowing something so important for all their survival, instead of keeping that important info in the hands of one small group), they are all still struggling with a looming decision for which there are no satisfactory answers. Everybody's wrong and right, I think (even Gray).

Quote:

"Ew, Dad!" Michael protested, "Aren't you going to make this stop?"

"Yeah, that's – that's against house rules," John insisted.

Deborah threaded her way between her husband and father-in-law and entered the living room, depositing a bowl of potato chips and a tub of bacon ranch dip on the coffee table. She shook her head at the couple. "You two," she complained fondly.

Joe Lisinski knew that his sons believed that Heather was his favorite child, and while it wasn't true – not really – it was true that his relationship with his daughter was different from that with his sons. There were times when she was completely unfathomable to him, but more often he felt that he understood Heather the best of all his children. And this was one of those times. Her brothers' teasing over her relationship with Jake, the fact that they had treated her falling in love as if it were a joke, their idle threats to interrogate him – these things had all worn on Heather, and she certainly wasn't above getting a little payback. "I'm not seeing anything I haven't walked in on before in this house, Andy-Deb-Mandy-John-Kerry," Joe responded, "And," he continued, catching his daughter's eye, "I think your sister might be trying to torture you all, just a little bit."

LOL! Not allowed to play Twister and they think they can get away with this? I did like Joe's response. As a sister of brothers, I am sensitive to double standards and it's always weird to occupy the (real or supposed) “different” place in your family that being an “only” gives you. I like that Joe understands Heather the individual and recognizes the ways in which they are alike. Another layer of this neat relationship you have given her in the past scenes.

Quote:

“Tommy was carrying two beers, but he handed one off to Michael, then offered Jake his hand. "Nice to meetcha." Taking a drink, he studied Jake silently – appraisingly – then glanced at his older brother, joking, "You getting a lotta good barbeque advice from a real cowboy, huh?"

"C'mon, Tommy," Andrew admonished, turning a bratwurst. "Jake's cool." Out of the corner of his eye he saw his youngest brother take a swig from the bottle Tommy had given him, and he shook his head. "Mike –" Andrew began, his voice terse. He stopped himself, and settled for advising, "Just don't let Dad or Deb see, okay?"

"Oh, give 'im a break, Andy," Tommy argued gruffly. "It's just a beer, and it's not like we're leavin' the property."

"And Dad would've given you or me hell for the same thing," Andrew reminded. He looked at Jake. "Heather went so easy on Dad when she was a teenager, he completely let down his guard and Mike can basically get away with murder now. Though," he continued, frowning softly as he glanced between Michael and Jake, "You don't have to arrest him or something?"

"Sorry," Jake told him, shrugging. "I'm not on the clock, and alcohol's not really in my job description. I'm DEA, that's ATF," he explained, "And even the ATF's more worried about illegal trafficking and whether all the right taxes have been paid." Jake took a drink, and then added, "Besides, I try to avoid arresting anybody for something I've done myself. But," he finished, glancing at Michael, "Don't let Heather see either."

"Well, I'm not an idiot," Michael huffed softly.”

I enjoyed the scenes with Jake meeting the various Lisinski brothers in the past. They struck a nice balance between humour and the awkwardness of meeting new people and being immersed in a specific group of people's culture, trying to find ways you fit into it and figure out what the unspoken rules are while still being yourself, and that added cautiousness you get when the people are really close to someone you're really close to. I liked how their different personalities come across in little ways (Tommy the joker, Andrew the responsible leader, Mikey trying to fit in and assert himself among his elders).

Quote:

"You know, Mike," Zack threw out, "You should take a shift now and then with the border patrol. Like Jeff," he added, "Keep your skills up."

Michael nodded, not sure how else to respond. He really had never held an actual, shoots bullets, gun – had never wanted to – but it was starting to seem pretty foolish not to learn how to use one if only so he had one more way to feed and protect himself and others. It'd be a little embarrassing, but he decided then that he'd ask Jake to teach him. Certainly he'd suffered other – even worse – humiliations in front of his brother-in-law and survived. "Yeah, good idea," he muttered, "Keep my skills up."

Poor Mikey! Well, you already know how I feel about the youngest Lisinski brother, I am already likely to sympathize with him, but I really liked his moments in this scene. He's at a strange moment of transition in his life, in this time, and I like seeing the ways he tries to hold onto his humanity and the ways he chooses to be as a survivor while at the same time adapting to the rules of each new place he finds himself. I have a feeling I'm going to be saying “Poor Mikey” more in the future, but I also think he's likely to be go through everything and come out different but okay, if he's made it this far and is still holding onto so much of his former self (and rising to occasions in the present too).

Quote:

"It's not gonna work," she interrupted, frowning at him. They were far enough from town hall and the crowd that they didn't really need to maintain the charade, and Maggie adjusted her weapon – her empty, useless weapon – so that she wore it over her shoulder by its strap. "I almost wish I didn't like you so much, Mike," she told him, looking at him sideways and blinking hard. "If I didn't, I could just stay here, and let the chips fall where they may. One hundred percent After Maggie," she admitted. "But I do like you," she said attempting a smile and failing miserably. "It wouldn't work, not after the story we told. And not with story you're all plannin' to tell."

"But –"

"Please, Mike. Let me – just let me be Before Maggie again, okay?" she requested, her voice cracking with a suppressed sob. "Anyway, she's the one you like."

Aw, Maggie! I will try not to sound like a broken record, but I always feel for Maggie. Her story is so interesting and sad, and so little focused on in the main story of Jericho. I always wanted to know what happened to her (though I assumed she didn't make it), and thought her particular position in the post-bombs world was so tragic and so pertinent really to so many of us who don't live in a small town, surrounded by family and friends, without a practical training in survival. I really like the glimpses you give us into her mind and the somber sort of resignation she has here. It makes sense she cuts loose from the other fake marines after this, and her ability to survive as a single agent this far is so impressive, but I still fear a Russian tragedy outcome may be on the horizon for her.

Looking forward to see how you close out this chapter!




Author's Response:

 

Penny,

As always, thanks so much for reviewing.  I always learn something about my own story from your comments.  It's great to have someone who can look at what I've done with fresh eyes.  I truly appreciate that you do that for me!

 

Quote:

Gray let out a humorless bark of laughter. "Well, you know, like I used to tell Stevens, you know the deal's done when everybody feels a little bit screwed."

Speaking of, I do like the foreshadowing here. What a conflict these guys are in for, and don't even know how much so. I liked the handling of this discussion, and though of course the Greens (and Brett) seem more right in this particular argument (and I'm glad they all recognized the need for some people beyond even their particular nearest and dearest knowing something so important for all their survival, instead of keeping that important info in the hands of one small group), they are all still struggling with a looming decision for which there are no satisfactory answers. Everybody's wrong and right, I think (even Gray).

 

I always felt like I was blindsided when the half rations thing came up in One Man's Terrorist, so since I had the opportunity to show how that might have come about here, I went for it.  And it seemed to tie nicely in with the beginning of this part of Different Circumstances (which has taken me entirely too long to put together).  But, yes, it is a tough situation with no good or easy answers. :-(

 

LOL! Not allowed to play Twister and they think they can get away with this? I did like Joe's response. As a sister of brothers, I am sensitive to double standards and it's always weird to occupy the (real or supposed) “different” place in your family that being an “only” gives you. I like that Joe understands Heather the individual and recognizes the ways in which they are alike. Another layer of this neat relationship you have given her in the past scenes.

 

Well, I don't know if Heather thought she was going to get away with anything, but she certainly knows how to throw down the gauntlet, don't you think?  I have really enjoyed inventing the Lisinskis, so it makes my day to hear that Joe and Heather have a "neat relationship".  Thank you!

 

I enjoyed the scenes with Jake meeting the various Lisinski brothers in the past. They struck a nice balance between humour and the awkwardness of meeting new people and being immersed in a specific group of people's culture, trying to find ways you fit into it and figure out what the unspoken rules are while still being yourself, and that added cautiousness you get when the people are really close to someone you're really close to. I liked how their different personalities come across in little ways (Tommy the joker, Andrew the responsible leader, Mikey trying to fit in and assert himself among his elders).

You don't mention poor John!  Never fear, he gets his moment soon….

 

As for Maggie and Mikey, they are my truly star-crossed, just couldn't happen couple.  Actually, I was most worried about posting this part because of them – I think I was really, really mean to them.  :-(  And I adore Mikey, so it kills me to break his heart.  I will definitely have to try and make it up to him later…. Hopefully Maggie too.

 

 

 

Reviewer: Shadowflame Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Aug 2013 7:20:05 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

Hm... first I want to say some things which pricked me when they all sat down and ate what little they had left with the marines... Being happy about the news is one thing... but as a "common", half-starved citizen of Jericho I would have put on a full rebellion when I had realized that the "High Society" of Jericho was dining with the Marines!!!!

And as for the firework... Gosh... that must have been seen from everywhere in the plains! For each starving person on the treck to south, for each road gang that should have been a signal that there must be a place out there which still has enough live and energy (and food and enough of everything???) to make a firework!!!! Its like sitting in a fishbowl and waving with all you can reach to show each person out there where Jericho is!

For this stupid idea alone I so would have liked to kill Gray...

So, but now back to your story!

I like rice in combination with potatoes... ;)

 

*g* This one I like:

""And I'd avoid doing that," Deborah said a good ten or fifteen seconds later.  "That lost-in-your-eyes, no-one-else-in-the-world thing," she added, waving her hand widely in the couple's direction, not that it appeared to register with either of them.  "It's really, really hard not to notice."  She paused a moment.  "Really, the type of thing that'll send them all over the edge...."""

 

Ahhh... Maggie... *sigh* ... and poor Michael... he really has no luck with women... :(

 

Can't wait to read more!

o.O No, wait... I reached the end, didn't I????? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

 

*gets a panic attack* o.O

 

Need more!!!!! Pretty pretty please? ;)

 




Author's Response:

Shadowflame,

First, thank you so much for reading my the whole thing (so far) and leaving me such lovely feedback.  It really was a signifcant reason I went back to writing.  (Having my parents recover from their health problems and things easing up at work helped too.)  But I truly appreciate that there's at least one person out there who wants to know what happens next.

For anyone else who's been waiting nearly 2 years for the next part, I can only apologize and thank you for hanging in and checking back every once in awhile.  The next part is coming soon, I promise.  :-)

I hope you can bear with me, there's more Michael/Maggie coming... I was glad to have someone to substitute in there for Jake, and Mikey seemed like a really good fit.  I always liked Maggie (despite Jake's interest in her ;-) ) and Michael/Maggie has grown on me, so look for more.

Lastly, I have to agree with you, Shadowflame.... what were they thinking when they set those fireworks off?  And, also it was pretty mean to throw a dinner and invite almost no one to it aside from the marines.  My dear friend and sometime collaborator has made the common, every day citizen of Jericho argument to me more than once, and it is very compelling.  But, these are also the people -- some of them anyway -- who voted for Gray.  What were they thinking?

Thanks again for all the reviews.  They are muchly appreciated and the best fodder for a fanficcer like me. :-)

 

Marzee

Reviewer: Shadowflame Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Aug 2013 6:25:38 PM Title: Different Circumstances, Part 14

I like the idea of placing Michael instead of Jake with Maggie! And Michael seems smitten... poor guy will not like what he will learn, soon... :(

 

And Heather's family is just awesome... *laughs*

I love being able to stick my beak into those family moments! :)

And it looks like that Jake is at least winning Joe over... the girls he has already on his side... now we need to see what Heather's brothers have to say! ;)

No results found.
You must login (register) to review.