A Jericho Fan Fiction Archive
I am so glad to see this story back. :-) I am also on the edge of my seat from the tension of it all! It's been building up through the last few chapters, but now it's almost unbearable. What do the Travers siblings have planned for poor Heather? Are Jake and Eric going to come to blows over Heather? Will she ever be able to confide in him? I'm dying to know.
I never thought I'd say this, but you've actually got me seeing the possibility of a love triangle involving the Brothers Green and Heather! I really don't think that's where you're taking us with Eric and Heather… but if you did I'd at least believe it in the context of this story, as mind blowing as that would be.
I also have the sneaking suspicion that something else is going to crop up, completely out of left field that will leave me just as dizzy as this last chapter. Sweet torture for us readers, I tell you. Dangerous!
I read all the way through this story recently, not knowing it wasn't complete. Ugh! I would have tracked you down and asked, but I figured you were long gone. Great to have an update! Looking forward to more!! (Do I need to keep going???) Really, there are so few well-written Jericho stories coming out now . . .
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, merryann. I truly do appreciate it! :)
thank you for giving us more of this story. maggie lied, any kiss from jake is good! i almost fell off my chair when eric said jake looks like billy loomis in scream. please, please do not make all of us wait too long for more of this story. thank you matty
Ack, Sandra! What a way to ratchet up the tension! I was so relieved when Stanley showed up to spirit Heather away for some tractor repair services, saving her from 'Wilma's' evil clutches.
Actually, tension is the name of this chapter, I think. New Bern and Jericho both are simmering with tension, from the rebellion that appears to be brewing in New Bern (aside from the crazy Travers kids, bent on revenge), to the conflict over Buffalo Credits, Jennings & Rall, and Dale's desire to remain an independent businessman, to Jake's realization that Emily isn't as out of his life and he'd hoped. It's going to be quite the ride when this all comes to a head, I'm thinking. I can't wait to see what you do with it!
Overall though, my favorite parts were the 2 flashbacks. At first I was sad to realize that Jake and Heather didn't get their morning out at the ranch, but you more than made up for it with their breakfast conversation, both flirty and serious as they felt out their relationship, where it stands and where it's going. (I had to chuckle later about Heather's qualms over imposing on the Greens -- I can't imagine that Jake won't put up a fight if she tries to move out, especially if she tries moving out the the Richmonds!)
But actually, I may have liked the flashback to the genesis of Heather's friendship with both Richmonds the best. I loved the story of how Stanley's tractor came to look like a cow, and how Heather was able to rescue Bonnie (and Stanley too, really) in her time of need. It seemed very Heather to me to pick up on Bonnie's quandary and then render assistance with no fuss or muss.
So, the question now is, how long 'til Miss Travers is able to make her move? And will Heather be able to defend herself or is she too eaten up by unreasonable guilt? How soon 'til an actual riot breaks out on Main Street? And will Gray still be whining about Jake being out of uniform when the you-know-what hits the fan?
As always, thanks for the good read!
thank you for giving us more of this story. just when i was thinking that emily could not get any more bitchy and self centered she proved me wrong. i would like to beat the crap out of her! kenchy was just adorable in this chapter. i never really liked maggie but you made me feel sorry for her in a way. i am so very happy to see jake and heather finally getting on the right track, i just hope nothing derails them. i hope they can have a nice day at the ranch. PLEASE give us more soon. thank you matty
Thank you so much for the review, Matty! Yes, Emily, is not really seeing the big picture right now. She is still absolutely stunned over the breakup, and as a result, is doing things--like divulging information to a stranger--that she would not typically do. But, yes, her behavior was appalling.
I had fun writing Kenchy. Looking back on the episodes from season 1, in particular, he was a fascinating character to me because he offered an outsider's perspective.
Maggie was not a favorite character of mine, either, but one of the things that fascinated me about her was her situation. Unlike so many others that we've met in the Jericho universe, she has no place and no one. That would be tough in the Jericho world.
As for Jake and Heather, they're definitely about to get some time together, though maybe not in the way you're thinking. There are some nice moments coming up for them in the next part, though. Promise. :)
Thank you again for the feedback. I always love knowing what you think. :)
Oh, Sandra! Here I was, all ready to be mad at you for involving poor, already PTSD'd Kenchy with a psychopathic redhead, and then Emily goes and sets Heather up for who knows what, and well, I'll let you off the hook.
Like I needed another reason to loathe Emily!
This was an intriguing chapter, from Maggie's story (so glad she lived...have you considered introducing her to Bill?) to our good friend Dale (love the way you write him - intelligent with street smarts) to the lovely J/H moment.
I can only hope you drag this all out some by having our insane Miss Travers miss Heather and Jake, who get to spend a lovely, uninterrupted hour at the ranch.... As long as Wilma doesn't sic herself on Kenchy. And I won't even ask for terrible things to happen to Emily... But if you need suggestions, you know where to find me! ;-)
Thank you for your comments, Marzee! Hopefully I won't be spoiling anything by telling you that Kenchy will not be further victimized in this story. Being Emily's roommate should be considered punishment enough.
In Emily's defense (I can't believe those words just came out), she is so blinded by her own pain she just sort of stumbled into 'Wilma's' trap. That doesn't exactly get her off the hook, but the intent was not entirely malicious.
It was interesting coming up with a backstory for Maggie. I remember being so struck by her desperation upon watching the episode in which she reappeared, and other than thinking, "Keep her away from Jake," I also wondered what had happened to put her in the position of playing both sides against the middle. I'll be honest; I haven't really thought of pairing her with anyone. Maggie is, dare I say, a plot device--or at least accessory--at this point. And I'm not sure I could write a serious Bill scene. As you know, I have had some fun toying with his character in other venues, but he's always been the goat.
You will get your wish in the next part. There are some nice, fluffy Heather/Jake moments, though perhaps not in the way you're expecting. ;)
Thank you again, Marzee! It's always fun to read your comments.
What an intense chapter. I am not sure where to begin, but here goes...
First I want to talk about Maggie. I found Maggie to be a fascinating character on the show. Really, I think she's the most vulnerable character we ever saw because she has no home and no one who cares if she lives or dies, and pretty much every other character has at least one of those two things. I really liked how you chose to develop her here. I really really felt for her, her story is so tragic, and I wanted to cheer when she spotted one of our troublesome twins at work. Hopefully she will get a chance to finally do something about Nate, fight back and assert her own power over the situation, and inadvertantly, help our heros.
I also liked Dale in this part, picking up on the weird vibe/ suspiciousness of 'Wilma'. I think he's very good at reading people and dealing with/recognizing the darker side of humanity, in a way. You show him having developed the shrewd survival skills that help him flourish in the new world.
The exchange between Kenchy and Emily was entertaining, and a nice contrast to the other relationships we see here. Poor Kenchy and his weakness for redheads...though he did say once that he liked blonds too.
I'm not sure what to say about Emily. I feel for her. She's angry and hurt, and whatever the reasons may be, it's understandable. I don't think she'd consciously choose the role of villain catalyst that she's gotten into here, but she's totally clouded by what's going on in her immediate moment at hand. If/when she does realize the role she's played in this plot, I hope....I'm not sure what to hope, that she learns something I suppose.
I'm still enjoying watching our villains at work (well, you know, not enjoying, except in an intrigued while watching the twisted villains sort of way) because they're interesting and I know (am fairly certain) that they will be foiled in their attempts to avenge their father.
I look forward to the next part!
Thank you so much for your comments, PennyLane! As a writer, it was interesting to delve into the character of Maggie. You're correct; she's quite vulnerable. Who is there to look out for her? Even those who helped her did so for their own purposes. It wasn't for her, per se, but because she fit into some needs of theirs. Looking back, the desperation evident when Jake and Eric encountered her again in New Bern really captured my imagination, so that particular backstory was developed.
Dale is, I think, one of the most dynamic characters we saw on Jericho. Not that anyone remained unchanged, but he went from being an unassuming stock boy to a power player. I remembered before G. Leigh died, he was always watching what was going on around him. Those who observe people tend to be able to sniff out the phonies.
Regarding Emily, she's pretty much in a tailspin and not thinking clearly. Even Kenchy with his raging hormones can spot the holes in Wilma's story. Emily's a smart girl, but she's not thinking right now and it may cost those around her. I agree with you that she wouldn't choose the role of mustache (or hair extension) twirling villain. Generally, people don't know that they've crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed until they're already on the other side. When Emily has time to reflect with a clearer head about that conversation, it's going to be a tough realization.
Thank you again! I always enjoy reading your reactions. :)
i am addicted to this story. the characters you write are amazing, i can almost put my hand out and touch them. i am glad that jake is finally seeing that being in love should bring you peace and happiness, not be a constant sparing match like he had with emily. i really enjoyed how you had jake and heather letting each other know some of the feelings that they have for each other. what are those siblings from new bern up to ? will hamilton and ted be safe? too many questions. i am an addict that needs her fix! please give us more.
Thank you so much, Mattyraincloud! I think I'm blushing a bit! It was definitely time for Jake to put his relationship with Emily out of its misery. Love doesn't have to be a battlefield, contrary to what Pat Benetar might say. :) The New Bern siblings are up to no good, and I think you'll see more of that as the story unfolds over the next few chapters, along with answers to your other questions. Thank you again for your encouragement. :)
I was so glad to see the next installment of Dangerous! Nice job. You have no idea the sigh of relief I breathed when Jake and Heather bot admitted to wanting something more than friendship with one another.
Of course, as I continued to read, and Jake (and Gail) pointed out that Emily isn't exactly going away and then you threw in the creepy Travers kids (is it a good or a bad thing to admit that I'm not single-minded or devoted enough to ever consider avenging someone's death?) I couldn't help but begin to concoct wild theories about how these plot lines will collide.... There are lots of intriguing if aggravating ways you could take this, I'm certain of that! :-D
Loved your Gail as always. She misses nothing and has a great way of loving and accepting her family members while at the same time making her opinions known. And I could certainly appreciate her joy over hot water.
My favorite exchange:
“True,” Heather agreed. “It could be a lot worse.” She paused for a moment. “Of course, that’s what people always say in movies right before it gets worse. Whoops.”
“Good thing this is real life then,” Gail commented.
Thanks for sharing! I look forward to seeing what a new day brings to a Dangerous Jericho.
Thank you so much for your comments, Marzee. Well, it was about time for Jake and Heather to acknowledge the elephant in the room. They've tried ignoring it--and that didn't work for either of them. But you're right that there are some problems that aren't going to go away. While Jake and Emily are no longer together (and they aren't going to be!), their shared history, their friends, and their town tie them together.
Yeah, I don't think I'd be single-minded enough to avenge someone's death, either. That type of behavior seems to be the norm in the Jericho universe, though, doesn't it? Dale killed Mitch to avenge Gracie Leigh. Stanley killed Goetz to avenge Bonnie. Eric and Jake wanted to kill Constantino to avenge Johnston. However, I live in a (comparatively) safe world where usually the perpetrator of a crime receives punishment and justice is served. The thing I have to keep reminding myself is that the Travers spawn (and they are creepy) live in a different type of world. Justice is dished out by an Army major who's arbitrarily decided that all conflicts are over because he's declared it so. They've had no closure; their father's death has been swept under the rug, and their father's killer is at large. We know that Heather isn't cold-blooded and that she feels an intense remorse for what she had to do to save Eric's life, but these two don't know the whole story. Of course, even if they did, I'm not sure they could be reasoned with.
Re: your favorite exchange, I couldn't resist that little nod-nod-wink-wink.
Thank you again for reading!
Great chapter Sandra!
First of all, I really liked the way you started this part. Your description of Heather's dream really set the scene in an interesting way, and made me feel her inner turmoil as she adjusts to the changes that inevitably follow actions such as those she has been forced to take.
The scene that followed, between Heather and Jake was very nicely done. I think you captured both these characters at such an interesting moment in time, and I liked how you had them both finally admit their feelings, in ways that were so true to both their characters. I liked how Jake and Heather both dealt with the Emily conversation here, how Jake insists he isn't sentimental, and how Heather is trying to balance her own desires and feelings with her previous tendencies to put her friends and loved ones first.
I liked your inclusion of Gail in this scene. She's the perfect...I'm not sure the word I want to use, not foil, not observer, but the perfect commentator maybe, for this scene, arriving, understanding what is going on, and offering Jake her observations. I look forward to seeing how this relationship develops further.
Lastly, I must say, I find Nathan and Nora Travers really interesting. A little twisted and bent on revenge, but I am very intrigued by their story. I hope we get to learn more about their relationship, background and motivations. They certainly add another interesting level to this story, on top of the drama and danger they introduce.
As always, I look forward to the next chapter!
Thank you for your comments, PennyLane. For better or worse, we'll be finding out more about the Travers siblings as the subsequent chapters unfold. Hopefully they won't completely be mustache-twirling (symbolically in Nora's case) villains, though their quest for revenge and the lengths they've already gone to achieve it are pretty villainous. We'll also find out that Nathan has a surprising connection to someone we've met before in the Jericho universe.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the Jake/Heather scene. It's been a metaphorical slow dance with them. It's not really been a smooth transition for either of them, but they're no longer going to hide from what they want, which is a step in the right direction. :)
Thank you again!
Excellent installment Sandra!
As usual, I enjoyed going along for the ride as our heroes (and somewhat antagonists, and other intersesting characters) faced the various moments occuring in this chapter. Here were some of the highlights for me:
-Various people's reactions to Jake as the mayor (and their new leader). This line made me chuckle:
‘Screw this town, 92’ indeed. He had heard more than one long-time town hall employee comment on his in-cell carving.
It is really quite humourous, at the same time as an interesting character journey, to see how Jake's life has sort of circled or flipped around. I'm glad he can appreciate the humour in it.
-This line also made me chuckle:
Another person had reported spotting Jonah Prowse near the churchyard, which to Jake, seemed unlikely. Jonah had kept himself distanced from Jericho for the last month, ever since cutting and running with the supplies they needed to try to ward off New Bern. Jake knew that the time would come when he’d have to deal with Jonah, but he hoped it came later rather than sooner. But in a churchyard? Not exactly Jonah’s style.
It took me a moment to figure it out, I admit, but I remembered 13 A then and it dawned on me. I love dramatic irony, and I think you've done it really well here!
-The continual conflict with New Bern as our characters deal with the aftermath of what happened there. It's interesting to think about everything going on between the towns - Constantino's actions, his trial, the consequences all this has had for Heather and Eric, and Jake, the resistance that has sprung up, and I imagine that there are various factions or at least, different people with different loyalties operating within that New Bern resistance (since I imagine the brother and sister we met previously have a specific, if violent/deluded, purpose behind their revenge actions, but I also imagine there are different people with different reactions that may extend to the bigger picture, and a different side of the ASA than Jericho has seen so far). I know we haven't seen it all out in the open yet, but I imagine Heather's got a lot of conflict going on right now because on the one hand, she's experienced such traumatic events in New Bern and at the hands of certain New Bernians, but also, her oldest friend lives there, and I imagine other people she knows who are not of the Constantino mindset. So it is interesting to see her dealing with this very difficult conflicting situation that I assume will now be facing her, especially if she decides to become a liaison.
-I enjoyed Gray's discussion with Jake. We didn't get to see a lot of this in the show, since Gray left for Cheyenne so early, but I think it's interesting to see these two navigate a new, official working relationship, Gray as the elected and sanctioned leader, Jake as an unofficial leader, but now appointed to lead as well. I understand Gray's mindset here. He's seen the town almost destroyed and so is willing to put his trust into a higher power that can prevent that, and unwilling to question it. I really did like his arc on the show in season two, figuring out that he did need to start asking questions (though of course we didn't really get to see it) so it will be interesting to see where he goes from here. And I have to say, I liked this line:
“There is a dress code for sheriff’s department employees. Extends to the hair, as well.” Jake frowned as Gray retrieved a file folder from his desk and pulled a piece of paper from it. “Before you get irate with me, you should know this is a carryover from the previous mayor’s administration. Look it over, and let’s get in compliance. After all, you set the example for your deputies.”
Gray holding his own with Jake. Though I can't imagine Jake cutting his hair or wearing that Jericho's finest uniform, Gray makes a good point.
-The Jake and Emily scene. This scene was almost painful. Once again, I have to admit, you've got me feeling for Emily. I feel for Jake too, of course, and I know he's the hero of our story, and Emily is really set up as a sort of antagonist, but I did feel for her here. I know she's reacting and dealing with things in a less-than-mature, less-than-honourable way, and I'm not saying that I think she's excused for it or anything, but I do think her behaviour is realistic, in a sense, it's a way many people do behave, and it comes from deep seated fears and pains she's experienced. I think it's sad that she hasn't properly dealt with her grief over Chris, or over her whole family really, and that she's clinging to a false promise of comfort that will reallly not do her any good in the long term, so I am glad that Jake is seeing clearly and making the decision to end it. Hopefully they will both be much better off in the future as they move on.
As you can see, you gave me a lot to think about in this chapter, and I really enjoyed it. As always, I look forward to the next chapter!
Thank you for your comments, Penny. I'm a bit fan of irony, as you could probably ascertain from the chapter. Good catch on the Jonah/churchyard situational irony. I also imagined that the characters would find Jake's role as sheriff ironic considering his colorful past. I couldn't imagine that these people--many of whom have known him all his life--would let the announcement of his new job slide without commenting.
The Gray/Jake scene was interesting to write. Gray is, I think, a multilayered character. He's often portrayed as either clownish or sinister in many stories, but I think he's deeply flawed, which to me, makes him seem more human somehow. Most people would like to think that they would stand up for their ideals in the face of adversity; Gray is making concessions to pragmatism and to, perhaps, his own weariness. I don't know that Jake will be wearing the uniform (I find it hideous), but he just might be in for that haircut that Gray mentioned, mostly because the author wants to tame his hair a bit. ;)
Ah, Jake/Emily. I felt bad for her, too. She is a deeply wounded individual. Some of her problems are of her own making, but truthfully, she's also been dealt a bad hand. I keep going back to what Gail told her in a previous chapter that she will never be happy as long as she keeps looking to others to provide happiness for her. That's been Emily's problem all her life. That--and she's not exactly had splendid role models as parents. With all that said, I do agree with you in that she isn't excused from her less than honorable behavior just bevcause she's had a hard time of things. But it does go toward explaining her actions, I hope.
New Bern: Things are extremely complex. Constantino is being arrested, but that does leave a power vacuum. Who will fill it, and will that person/people be better or worse than Constantino? We know that there's a resistance movement, but what exactly is their objective? I think you hit the nail on the head that different people have different motivations. Take our brother/sister duo, for instance. They're not trying to make any kind of political statement; they're motivated solely by revenge. Anyhow, I'm having fun wading into those waters.
Thank you again for your comments!
Okay, this was an interesting chapter, and it certainly moved us along.
I like your take on Jake's first day as sheriff, and I think you're eright,, he'd get way more grief about not wearing a uniform than we saw on the show.
But I can't believe you ended with this:
Emily inched away from the door and ran her hands down her abdomen, pulling at the hem of her shirt. “You know what, Jake? I can do this on my own. I don’t need you.” Her hand went to the doorknob, and she pulled the door ajar.
Please, please tell me that you're not going to throw that monkey wrench into the works! Okay, if you did, it wouldn't be the worst thing and it would sure draw the story out.... But I'd still think Emily was lying.
Maybe I'm totally reading in something that's not there, but that little tidbit sure made me sit up and take notice. Good thing I wasn't drinking anything at the time.
Looking forward to what comes next. (Jake and Emily did break up, right? And they both know it, even if Emily doesn't actually believe it?)
LOL. I suppose it is a good thing that you didn't have a drink. Who'd have known thirteen little words could elicit such a reaction? I should comment one way or the other on this one, but I think I'll let the story speak for itself as it progresses--and you can see whether those were well-placed hints or merely throwaway lines. That's mean of me, isn't it?
Jake and Emily definitely broke up. No maybe's about it. Emily is more conflicted about this than he is, but she knew it was coming even if it was not something she wanted to hear.
Thank you for your comments, Marzee. I always enjoy hearing what you think.
Great chapter, Sandra!
This one was pretty emotional and intense. The beginning really surprised me by how much it got to me, and then the ending left me in such suspense.
First off, Emily, the character so often difficult to idenfity with and so often criticized for her self-absorbed behaviour. I think you've captured her very adeptly here. She is self-absorbed, it's true. But you also make her surprisingly easy to identify with. I believe everyone has a depth to them, reason behind their actions and world views, and a story we can understand, even if we may find them annoying or less than admirable. I think you did an excellent job considering all this here with Emily. Though she's not behaving particularly maturely, and she's the antagonist to our heroes, I really felt for her here, trying to deal with her past in a present where she feels a little lost and alone. I also felt for Jonah. Despite all the mistakes he made with his children, I can believe he also feels this failure keenly. It was an interesting side of him to see.
Hamilton's encounter with Emily was interesting. I still really like Hamilton!
Heather's encounter with Beck was also really interesting. I especially thought her take on Colonel Hoffman versus Major Beck, as she tries to sort through all her experiences with authority figures. I really felt for both her and Eric as I read of their harrowing experience in Constantino's custody, and was especially proud of poor Eric, though I expected him and Heather to stand up bravely for their town. I'm intrigued about what was going on in New Bern, as the mystery deepens, and of course, and completely in suspense, wanting to hear more, about what exactly happened between Heather and Travers.
I always enjoy reading Dangerous, and look forward to the next part!
Thank you for your comments, Penny Lane. As you know from the conversations we've had with one another, Emily is not my favorite character. Okay, that would be an understatement. I don't think that she's as vacuous as she is often portrayed, however. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that while she is self-absorbed, everyone, including her, has some depth. Her world view may aggravate the fire out of us, but I think it goes a long way toward explaining her mindset. I don't know that she and Jonah will ever have a solid relationship, but conflict is more interesting to write than happiness, anyway. LOL. So there's still plenty of conflict for those two to hash out. I guess what it boils down to is that I don't think any one person is all good or all bad.
Hamilton didn't have an ideal childhood. That is a trait he shares with Emily. Yet he does provide an interesting contrast to her in the way he's dealt with his adversity. I'm glad you're still enjoying him. He's been a fun character to write.
Heather's New Bern story will crack wide open eventually as she strives to come to terms with all that has happened. As I mentioned to Marzee, Heather's essentially got an internal battle between her intellect and her emotions. Logically, she knows that she did what she had to do for Eric and her to survive. Then there's that other side of her that feels her actions so profoundly. She is a resilient person, but getting over what happened certainly won't be easy.
Thank you again!
Oh, Sandra. You are certainly the brave one! I can't imagine taking the long, strange trip through Miss Emily's thought processes that you signed yourself up for. I am impressed. Not the least because I for one could not take Emily's pity party, 'woe is me' routine all in one sitting, and all I had to do was read it, not write it. Argh! She is so delusional and so aggravating! This was a magnificent piece of writing. I can't say I enjoyed it, but my hat is certainly off to you.
I will admit that you have finally induced me to agree with Jonah. He's the one reason I have, in the past, been able to feel sorry for Emily, but now I kind of feel sorry for him. Sure, his worldview is a little warped, but hers is worse. And I tabsolutely hink he had as much right to be at Chris' grave as she did.
As an aside, I have to ask WHY is Emily interested in being with Jake at all if he's still to blame for Chris getting killed? And, does her adored (immature, irresponsible) baby brother bear any responsibility for his own fate, because it sure didn't sound like it to me. Oh, and I did catch that Emily hated herself for wanting Jake.... Alll I have to say to that is: boo hoo!
Sorry. Got a little passionate there. But, that's what I love about your writing. It never fails to pull some sort of reaction from me. So please, take the above rant(s) as a compliment.
Never have I been so glad to see Hamilton! He calls a spade a spade. Too bad he exercised some restraint and didn't call this particular spade a bitch. The way Emily's attacking Heather behind her back just makes me want to scratch her eyes out.
Lastly, we have Heather's story. Oh my. I was riveted by it, and left with not much to say now, a week after I read it for the first time. I am outraged (but not surprised) by the news that Heather was branded. I'm gritting my teeth over the fact that Constantino might wiggle out of taking responsibility for his little town of horrors. And I just want to hug Heather and tell her it's going to be okay. I understand that it just proves her humanity and character that she thinks she's a monster for killing Bart Travers (at least part of the mystery of what happened to Heather is now solved) but still I just want her to know that it's okay, she killed a monster, and she's not one herself.
You've set up quite the heartbreaking situation here. All I can hope is that maybe Heather and Jake can get to the point where they can share their stories with one another, and both can realize that it is possible to move on. I can hope anyway.
Thanks, as always, for sharing!
Thank you for your comments, Marzee. Wading through the Emily woe-is-me spiel must have been difficult indeed, so thank you for taking one for the team. ;)
Getting into Emily's mindset isn't easy because I do think she tends to wallow in her misery. Nevertheless, I felt it was important to do, particularly to show the transformation of her character as the story progresses. Her desire for Jake makes no sense if she blames him for Chris's death. Then again, on some level, she must know that Chris bears responsibility for his own death. It's just a classic case of transference. Emily doesn't want to blame her dead younger brother, so Jake is a convenient target in that respect. Would Emily's life be easier if she could let go of the past? You bet. Unfortunately, people don't always do what's best for them.
Hamilton is too much of a gentleman to call Emily what he really thinks she is. His mama would probably whoop him if he did. LOL.
Re: Heather, the fact that she's agonized over what she had to do proves that she is not a monster. She really needs you to give her a pep talk, because I have to say that she's not exactly had the best of female friends to rely upon! Heather knows from an intellectual standpoint that she did what she had to do. It's the emotional baggage from New Bern that's been so difficult to overcome. It's not crippling, per se, but it does affect her. Complicating matters is the fact that she's lost her ties to the past with her family. She's forging some new bonds within the story, but it's still difficult, for certain.
As always, thank you for your comments. :)
The first paragraph hooked me in and left me wondering exactly what Heather did in New Bern that she is worried about Beck arresting her and using her to set an example.
I really enjoyed the interaction between Heather and the two soldiers who were ordered to fixed Charlotte. What I particularly liked about it was the inclusion of, I think, Chavez (a.k.a. Parker). I am interested in seeing if Heather is going to call Beck on why he asked the soldiers to help her when he already knew about her mechanical abilities.
I like the interaction between Jake and Beck. It may be wishful thinking on my part but I got the impression that they were both trying to size each other up with Beck failing miserably and while Jake saw Beck for what he is. I'm interesting in seeing both Gail's and Heather's reaction when Jake tells him he's now sheriff.
I think you captured Gail perfectly - her scene with Heather was my favorite part. I am really enjoying seeing their relationship develop. I enjoyed the back story you gave Johnston and Gail, similar in some ways to Jake and Heather's story. I think that she tried to draw parallels from her story and what she sees as Jake's and Heather's story to let Heather know that she is not alone and to give her some hope. I especially liked how Gail hooked her arm in Heather's not only to comfort Heather but to comfort herself.
I did feel bad for Hamilton in this part, not knowing that his friend, Buchs, is dead and having to institute a search for him.
The ending left me really intrigued about what the brother and sister team are going to do next.
The private opened his mouth to speak, thought better of it, and shut his mouth again. Lieutenant Parker looked on, a bemused expression crossing his features, one that surprised Heather considering the importance of protocol. Heather knew all too well the value placed upon rules, regulation, and propriety; her time at Camp Hayward had been an opener, indeed.
No wonder Parker (a.k.a. Chavez) irreverence to protocol appropriate here, afterall, he knows that the government in Cheyenne is not the true government.
Each passing day was minutely easier than the previous but the throbbing she felt was still so palpable and yet her situation so surreal.
I like this insight into Gail's grief and the reality of the statement.
"Good. I want to see Jake happy. Heather, first loves aren't always lifelong loves. Jake knows this, though it's taken him a long time to get to the point where he's willing to act on that."
I really like the message that Gail is giving Heather here. I also thought it was well said.
I really enjoyed this part and I'm looking forward to what's coming next.
Thank you for your comments, Skyrose. I was hoping that the readers would catch on that Parker was Chavez, but I didn't want to beat people over the head with it. So I'm glad you noticed. :)
Jake and Beck are definitely trying to size each other up. Neither trusts the other, but they also realize that the other holds something they each want. Beck would provide Jake with information that may be pertinent to Hawkins, the future of Jericho, and beyond. Jake is "the guy" that Beck has to win over because Jake wields so much influence over the townspeople. Beck's primary goal is restoring order, and if he has Jake's cooperation, he feels he's more likely to have that order he wants. I guess you could say that they're using each other, though Beck is less aware of this mutualism than Jake is.
This is a very intriguing chapter, Sandra, right from the start!
When Heather first heard the crackling of the gravel, she thought it was her imagination, but as she peered around the open hood of Charlotte and the outline of a Humvee came into view, her initial impression was replaced by dread. Were they there for her? Had they tracked her down to arrest her for what happened in New Bern? If Major Beck was investigating as he was purported to be doing, would she be in the proverbial line of fire? Would they use her as an example?
So what did Heather do in New Bern that she thinks will get her arrested?? You've certainly got my attention. Actually all the details of the crackdown are coming into sharper focus here, such as Beck telling Jake that he knew where he was because he checked out of town but never checked back in. Interesting stuff.
However, the part that interested me the most was Gail's talk with Heather, and the backstory you gave us for Johnston and Gail. While I can see why Gail had her doubts (Johnston really was borderline cad), though I have to agree with Heather that it's the stuff of a great romance. I love that they got to know each other so well through letters -- so well that Gail would actually (I assume) accept a proposal of marriage by mail or maybe phone. That shows some true faith on both their parts.
It's interesting to me, too, that Johnston as a young man seems to have behaved, at least a little bit, the way Jake refuses to. Yes, Jake is running around with and flirting with Heather, but Heather at least knows about Emily, leaving them both very cautious and aware that they're playing with fire. Jake is trying very hard to not lead Heather on the way it seems to me his father did lead Gail on. Anyway, the comparison struck me.
Finally, I loved the fact that Gail gave Heather some hope to hold onto. I know that her first priority is Jake and helping/pushing him to be the best he can be, but she seems to like Heather just for the fact that she's who she is. It's sweet that she would offer a few words of encouragement, especially since she didn't get anything like them from her own mother-in-law. (Jumping the gun, I know!) Anyway, this was wonderfully said:
"Good. I want to see Jake happy. Heather, first loves aren’t always lifelong loves. Jake knows this, though it’s taken him a long time to get to the point where he’s willing to act on that.”
As always, thanks for sharing!
Thank you for your comments, Marzee.
You know, I hadn't really thought about it, but Johnston's behavior after meeting Gail was caddish, wasn't it? It's easy to lose sight of things like that when they were presented as a bastian of true love and integrity on the show. I have to say that it was fun to outline the story of Johnston and Gail's courtship, largely because there was such a blank slate in place. I remember in the episode where Gail and Johnston clashed over the April/Eric/Mary situation, it was suggested that the circumstances surrounding the Johnston/Gail courtship had been less than ideal, but the writers really left it to the viewers to draw their own conclusions. Of course, the only thing I can figure is that they might someday revisit that part of their past if the show had lasted and Gerald McRaney had stayed on the show. Nevertheless, it was fun to draw some parallels between J/G and Jake/Heather.
You're right that Gail's first concern is Jake--and she wants what will make him happy--but as you can tell, she does have a preference. ;)
So what did Heather do in New Bern that she thinks will get her arrested?? You've certainly got my attention. Actually all the details of the crackdown are coming into sharper focus here, such as Beck telling Jake that he knew where he was because he checked out of town but never checked back in. Interesting stuff.
The events of New Bern will heavily figure into the remainder of the story. That conversation that Beck mentioned to Heather will be front and center very soon, along with a few surprises.
I tell you, though, if I were a citizen of Jericho, I would be more than a little perturbed that their whereabouts are so closely monitored. That is creepy.
Thank you again!
I really enjoyed the conversation between Heather and Jake regarding the world they are living in now and the comparing their thoughts on the new government. I like how Heather brought up Oliver, Jericho's own conspiracy buff, in the conversation. I really liked the quotes you picked to use in the story and thought that they were all particularly appropriate to the world Jake and Heather find themselves living in. Heather's thoughts about how the bombs indirectly affected people she knew in Jericho and Jake trying to reassure Heather that everything would be all right despite his own doubts I thought were especially poignant.
I wasn't surprised at quickly understood what was going on when she came to the ranch to check up on Jake. The bantering between Jake and Heather about Charlotte and the Road Runner and Jake's shock that she lump Charlotte with the Rod Runner by calling them both classic cars, I thought, was really fun to read. I liked Gail's insights into Emily and Jake's relationship and Jake's own insights into his relationship with Emily. The fact that Gail was able to call Jake on what was going on and the fact that he honestly opened up to her about his feelings I thought were very telling of their relationship. I really like how Gail was very much in character in this part. I'm glad that Jake realizes that he wants Heather in is life and how he knows he can't have this until he breaks up with Emily.
A very good part - as usual I like all the details you provide. I'm looking forward to the next part.
"I don't know about that. I've spent two of the last four weeks blissfully ignorant," Heather said with a sigh, remembering vaguely the activity around her when she would drift back into consciousness. They'd said she had the flu-had been hit hard by it-but Heather continued to have doubts about whether it was the flu that felled her. After all, she always thought that her immune system was incredibly resilient. How else could she constantly be surrounded by runny-nosed, coughing students and not catch everything that came her way? "The other two I spent trying to get back here."
I like how you are building up the curiosity of the readers about what happened to Heather by dropping hints here and there. In this case it was the flu they said she had and her doubts that it was actually the flu. I also like how she brought her thoughts back to teaching as if she was trying to find a happy place in her mind.
"Years." She paused as her eyes flitted to the ceiling. "I can't imagine that new textbooks would be the first priority of any government following a national catastrophe like what we had-unless it's a new government seeking to indoctrinate the population. And what better way to do that than with the children?" The thought made her queasy, but it fit with what she knew and with what the government had done thus far, including the never ending cycle of propaganda pieces they broadcast and passed off as news.
I like the commentary in this paragraph and what it confirms about the attacks.
She swallowed hard and squeezed her eyes tightly, willing the tears that formed there to vanish. Heather had never liked crying, particularly in front of others, but it was difficult to keep her emotions in check considering the emotional rollercoaster on which she'd been a traveler
I thought that his paragraph was a perfect description of what Heather must have been feeling thinking about life after the attacks.
Gail cleared her throat. She'd been watching the conversation between the two as though it were a tennis match; they'd obviously forgotten she was there with them. The banter between them had Gail alternately delighted and concerned. It was good to see in the man before her remnants of the boy she once knew, the boy who didn't carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, the young man whose laughter used to warm her heart. Heather brought out the best in Jake; Gail had no doubts about that. But where would they go from there? Was her son playing both sides against the middle? Gail could barely stomach the thought before she pushed aside the thought. No, he wouldn't do that, but it was obvious he would have to resolve the situation one way or another, and no matter what happened, someone would be hurt. "Jake, I'll help you fold these blankets. Then we'll go check on the horses." Mom-code for ‘We need to talk.'
I really like Gail's reaction here to Jake and Heather's bantering, especially that it reminded her of the Jake 'the young man whose laughter used to warm her heat'. Also , liked her realization that Jake would play two ends against the middle with Emily and Heather. May favorite part was the 'Mom-code'
Skyrose, thank you so much for the detailed feedback.
Delving into the issues of how the country has changed is something of a tightrope for me, I have to admit. I know how lost and disturbed I would be in these characters' situations--to have one's national identity essentially snatched away, not to mention all the other losses-- but I have to remind myself to think through the way the characters would react. As you know, I am a fan of history and have a morbid fascination with politics, so I am all the time looking through old quotes from presidents. Reagan's quote--and many of his others, interestingly--seem very appropriate to the circumstances in which our characters find themselves.
Gail has actually been a fun character to write. She gets away with saying things to her boys that no one else could get away with. I mean, who else other than Gail could call Jake on burning both ends of the candle and have credibility? Eric sure tried, but that whole mess he made with his relationships didn't exactly make him someone whose opinions Jake wanted to hear. Glad you liked the "Mom-code" line. It almost didn't make it into the story. I was afraid it was too tongue-in-cheek for the tone of that scene, but in retrospect, I think it works.
Thank you again! :)
This was a very intriguing chapter, Sandra!
I liked how the setup begins with the two worlds we've been obvserving in the earlier parts of this section sort of colliding - the quiet, introspective world out at the ranch being intruded upon by the forces at work in the bigger picture.
The Jake and Beck interaction here was interesting. Interesting to see how this scene, this moment between the characters happens differently in this world, and the different stakes they both have. It will be very interesting to see where things go from here and also, Heather's and Gail's reactions to what Jake has to tell them.
My favourite part of this chapter was the interaction between Gail and Heather. You capture Gail so well, reflecting on her past, coping with her present, and still hoping for the future. I'm so glad we get to see her making a difference in this world, as she was so badly missing from the show in season two. I love how you handle her both dealing with the constant pain of missing Johnston and still seeing the greater picture, what is happening with her family and friends, and trying to provide support and guidance to them. The relationship developing between her and Heather is interesting and I look forward to seeing how they both handle what is to come.
I felt for Hamilton in this part, not realizing his friend is dead. That was some dramatic irony!
I'm very intrigued as to who this brother/sister pair are and what they will do next. Their interaction hit such a chilling note at the end!
I look forward to reading more!
Thank you for your comments, Penny. As nice as it was for Jake and Heather to be at the ranch, away from the craziness of the outside world, real life must go on. Turns out they have several problems coming their way--some things of which they are aware and others of which they are blissfully ignorant.
I'm glad you enjoyed the Gail/Heather interaction. It was fun to write a backstory for Gail and Johnston. A less than noble backstory was hinted at between the two when they disagreed over the whole April/Eric/Mary debacle, but it was never fully explored on the show. I thought that there were some interesting parallels to Gail and Johnston's relationship and Jake and Heather's burgeoning relationship, so I couldn't resist making a point of it in the chapter.
Yeah, Hamilton's day is about to get pretty bad. Poor guy. The brother/sister pair are certainly going to be causing their share of grief.
Thank you again! :)
Well, we have some progress! This was a very interesting, very realistic installment. As much as I wish the the course of true love ran a little smoother than in this story, I appreciate the fact that you keep this story ... grounded, I guess. The ranch is an interlude and there is music to face.
Starting back at the beginning, I like the reminder that Heather was sick while she was away (and I still think maybe she had Hudson River Fever). I also thought the discussion of the the Cheyenne government and how its starting to impose rules and ideas on its citizenry that those citizens might not be interested in. I look forward to seeing how you're going to interweave this conspiracy and the investigation of into the overall story.
The whole discussion with Gail was golden, and my favorite part was this:
“I think she wanted to, but she was worried what she would find.” Gail noted the scowl on his face as he returned from his foray down the hall. “Jake, if you’re going to be with Emily, you can’t spend time with Heather. You do know that, don’t you?” Jake shifted uncomfortably. “It’s only going to make the situation with Emily more difficult.” Gail paused. “And I think you’ll make things harder for yourself, too. The more time you spend with Heather, the more difficult it’ll be to let her go.”
“I’m not going to let Heather go. Not again.” The words tumbled out before Jake could stop them.
“You two have talked about this?” Gail asked, her eyes widening in surprise.
“No, not until I settle things with Em.” Jake would let the cards fall where they may. No guts, no glory. He wasn’t going to be one of those guys who lined up the next girlfriend before he’d broken up with the old one.
I'm glad that Jake is finally willing to admit that he wants Heather in his life, and that he knows he needs to end things with Emily first before he tries to make things work with Heather.
Can't wait to see what happens next!
Thank you for your comments, Marzee! The romantic in me would love to tie everything up in a nice, neat bow for our favorite characters, but I just don't think it's easy for people to make life altering changes, particularly in times of abject danger and uncertainty. Jake and Heather being at the ranch together has provided a breather for them, as well as an opportunity for them to get a glimpse into what could be, but the reality of their situation is that Jake certainly has a lot of demands on him--many of which the women in his life (Emily, Heather, his mom) are unaware--and Heather now bears a lot of baggage from her time in NB. As they work their way to one another, they'll also have to work their way through a number of obstacles and unresolved issues. The difference now, though, is that they both have more clarity about the other and are willing to make those changes that will affect them and those around them.
Interesting theory about Heather possibly having had the Hudson River Virus. I'm not going to say whether you are right or wrong, but I will say that, in general, every detail I put in a story serves a purpose, so the reference to her having been ill is not accidental and will be explored at a later time. ;)
Thank you again!
I love that Gail knows her son well enough to know he is stuck in a rut of allowing himself to be unhappy as though it is all he deserves. I hnave had a boat load, or a chinook load of work this last ten days but this chapter made my shippy heart happy!
I really needed a way to escape real life and your fic is perfect for that!
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for your comments, Sid. I thought you brought up an interesting point, which is whether Jake will allow himself to be happy. Is he with Emily because it's the easier thing to do, because he loves her, or is he with her as a way to remain unhappy and therefore, punish himself for all his wrongs? Gail is certainly in an interesting position. She knows Jake better than most, has a vested interest in his happiness, but also knows that he has to make his own decisions. How difficult it must be to remain an oberserver in that situation!
Great chapter, Sandra!
From the beginning, you set the scene so well, I could just imagine exactly the mood in the air as Jake and Heather talked about the state of the world in which they find themselves. I really liked seeing them compare notes like this, at the same time as reflecting on all the changes they've each witnessed. Heather's thoughts on the people who have died since the bombs really got to me. I don't always think of all the nameless people we don't see in this universe who have undoubtedly experienced similar things to Mrs. Voigt here, and it was a poignant reminder for me of how things would really be in this world.
I love the mention of Oliver, the resident conspiracy theorist, the discussion of the text books, memorable quotes, and Jake's attempts to reassure Heather about a future of which he himself is so very uncertain. It was all a very well written scene.
Gail arriving the next morning, and the reactions and interactions between all three characters, were very interesting. Though I was fairly certain of how they would all react, I also felt strangely in suspense as I read this part. Of course, Gail would perceive exactly what is going on and be able to call Jake on it later. I think she was so true to character here, exactly how she would handle such a situation. I liked her insight into Jake, and Emily as well. I can feel her frustration, to be the keen observer of these three, wanting happiness for her son, wanting him to behave with respect and treat both others and himself decently, but also not wanting Heather or Emily to get hurt. I really liked this line:
Gail fluffed a pillow. “No, she was lost.” She raised an eyebrow. “And you—I get the impression that you didn’t want to be found by me today. You and Heather barely even knew I was here.” Jake opened his mouth to say something but then closed it. This wasn’t a conversation he wanted to have because once he did, it would make what he needed to do real. Yet his mother pressed on. “What’s going on with you, Jake? Emily’s a mess and you’re, well, you’re happier than I’ve seen you in a long time.”
The whole paragraph just sums up what I've been trying to say, I think. Gail assesses the situation so quickly and so accurately.
I loved to see Jake's development in this part as well. His thinking and really exploring why it is that things with Emily have always been so difficult and evaluating if he can take a leap and reach out to Heather, not knowing if she'll be able to accept all of him as he is. (Though I of course think she will, I understand his fears here, and you've captured his inner dialogue so well.) I'm glad he's figured out what he has to do, and it will be very interesting to see what happens next!
Thank you for your comments, Penny. Gail is in a tenuous situaiton. She doesn't want to interfere, but at the same time, she can't remain silent over what she is observing. In some ways, she is like a guide--akin to Freddie in your Once Removed. She knows the score, is willing to play the role of commentator to an extent, but draws back from actualling interfering.
Like you, I think that Heather would be understanding of Jake's less than spotless past. I think she already has an inkling that it's not been all sunshine and light for Jake, but she also recognizes that the man he is now is a special person. Jake's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but Heather is not keeping a record book to hit Jake over the head with later.
Love these lines...
The flag was wrong.
That was my first thought...The flag is wrong! It scared the bajeezus out of me seeing that flag. I couldn't believe that people in the military went along so blindly to fight under a flag that was so wrong.
Thanks for this story...I may have already read this and commented on the story, but you there is nothing like ni-quil to put your brain to sleep.
Yeah, I remember the first time I saw the ASA flag on my tv screen. I think I must've gasped. Even knowing that the Jericho universe is fictional, the American flag is so engrained into me that to see a different version felt like a perversion. So then that got me to thinking that many people if faced with the reality that the Jericho characters find themselves would be equally apalled.
I've also wondered how the military members would justify carrying a banner different from their own. The only thing I can figure is that with a fractured central government came a fracturing of the military. Soldiers are trained to follow the orders of their C.O.'s, and the chain of command held--sort of.
Oh, Dangerous, how do I love you? Let me count the ways...
Actually that would take way too long, but I love the way you formed this story. I can see a hopeless Jake falling into Emily's fickle arms if he thinks Heather is dead and he looses his father.
I love the shower scene and the whole bit about them always ending up in the bathroom.
I love John Denver and the dancing scene and I love especially this bit...
(When they’d danced together, he’d had to fight the urge to tuck his thumbs in the waistband and…)
Thank you for writing this and I hope for more soon.
Thank you, Sid! The strange thing about the bathroom is that I didn't really plan it that way, but then it occurred to me that they kept running into each other there, so now I guess that's their special room. LOL.