A Jericho Fan Fiction Archive
"Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes..."
What if Heather decided to go to Cheyenne instead of returning to Jericho?
Great chapter! I really like your characterizations, and how you let them grow and develop here.
Jake: I really like this side of him we get to see in your story- the Jake who takes care of other people. We certainly see him doing it a lot on the show, in a big way, but you have also shown us this more day-to-day expression of this side of him. I like your description of Heather through his eyes, and how he realizes the value in the way she sees the world. I like the information we get about his family and his childhood as he chooses the picnic spot, and the effort he goes to to set up the night.
Hawkins: I also really like the side of Hawkins we get to see here. On the one hand, he's business as usual, dedicated to the job. On the other, it's like he's using his talents and people reading skills and insights to sort of play around with the situation, and comment on it. I love the dynamic you've captured between him and Jake- they're so funny teasing each other, but also, developing a sense of respect and comraderie as they work as a team.
Chavez: I liked getting more backstory for him here. He's totally your own creation, with his grief over his family weighing on him and memories of his father, but he also fits well with the character we saw on the show, I think. Goetz's reaction to him was so...Goetz!
Gray and Eric: I really felt the tension as the Gray vs Green conflict bubbled up to the surface here. Gray...on the one hand, I end up feeling sorry for him, because he knows he's messed up and as misguided as he may be, I think he wants to take care of the town. Then he has to go making deals and getting SUVs, just when he has my sympathy! It was good to see Eric standing his ground here- maintaining a voice of reason, of questions, in the town. And, I have to mention, I loved getting this little scene to check back in with the town.
I liked the description in all the scenes, especially the opening one. You captured that early morning feeling perfectly!
Thanks for your review, Penny!
Jake: I think it's only natural that Jakes caring for people that we see on the show extends to the day-to-day with the people he cares for. After his conversation with Heather he does realize the value in the way whe sees the world. I think it's Heather's veiw of the world and her appreciation of the simpler things of life grounds Jake in a way that he's never experienced and gives him hope for the future.
Hawkins: I am really enjoying writing the dynamic between Hawkins and Jake. I think there's alot more to Hawkins than what we saw on the show especially as it relates to his feeling about his family. Jake and Hawkins do respect each other and appreciate what the other brings to the table.
Chavez: Joe is alot of fun to write. I am glad to hear that the way I'm writing it fits in well with the character we saw on the show. I am enjoying writing a character that we know very little about from the show. It gives me chance to give him the personality and backstory that I want to which is alot of fun.
Gray and Eric: While I agree with you on some level that Gray wants to do right by the town I think he cares for himself a little bit more, hence, the deal he made on the side with RJ Land. I saw a slighthly different Eric in the 2nd season than in the first season and tried to capture it in this chapter. He is more assertive now and with Jake off in Cheyenne he has to be play a bigger role in keeping Jake in check.
Thanks again for your review!
Another excellent chapter Skyrose!
I love how you always intertwine scenes that have such specific personal development for characters with scenes that show us things that have implications for the bigger picture.
I liked the development of Heather's character here as she prepared to take a big step forward in her relationship with Jake. I have to say I really liked the exchange she had with Olga. It's nice to see a friendly face in Cheyenne, reinforcing that although it's a dangerous place where the people responsible for so many deaths are still in power, it's also a city populated with many people who haven't lost their humanity.
Chavez's trip to the farm was very intriguing. Kind of creepy, in a way. You've captured very well, I think, the atmosphere of a place where everyone is overly enthusiastic on the surface, so much so that I can't help but feel an undercurrent of uneasiness.
I really liked the showdown between Eric and Gray. Eric is so in character- true to his convictions, trying so hard to fill his father's shoes and protect the town, and finding it just out of his control. I feel for Gray, just a little bit. I think he really believes he's doing the best he can, and is completely lost. Too bad he had to accept defeat instead of asking for help earlier.
I enjoyed reading this, and can't wait to see what happens next!
Thanks for your review!
Heather is ready and really wants to take this next step with Jake. Despite this she sees her challenge as convincing Jake that this is what she wants. The only way she sees to do this is to take the initiative and she is a little nervous about this. Olga provides her the support and encouragement she needs to carry through on her plans. I like your take on Cheyenne that while it's a dangerous place where the people responsible for the attacks are in power, there are still people in the city who haven't lost their humanity.
You are right that the farm is creepy and you should be uneasy. All the enthusiasm you see on the surface of thinks hides the more seamier things going on at the farm which you'll find out about as Chavez proceeds with his investigation.
Eric is trying to fill his father's shoes and watch out for the town. I think that he showed some growth, maybe step out of his father's (and Jake's) shadow a little bit, in Season 2 and I tried to capture his growth in his dealings with Gray in this chapter. I do think that Gray is doing the best he can for the town, but on the other hand I think that if he can he's going to make sure he's going to be taken care of in the process. Sometimes, this logic, as it does here backfires on him.
Thanks again for the review!
Very nice chapter, skyrose!
You described this moment in Heather and Jake's relationship so well - it was romantic, sweet, and you gave us lots of images I really liked.
Some parts I really liked:
-the walk to the field of flowers. I could just see it in my head, and it was interesting to imagine such a setting, in the midst of Cheyenne and all the trouble around them. I like the contrast and how Jake and Heather especially seem freer in the field than they can be normally.
-the way both Heather and Jake have planned for this moment, and how each seems not to see what the other is about to spring on them. I liked how this scene seems kind of awkward and real, but also, Heather and Jake seem to be connected and their interaction is sweet.
-Jake's toast and proposal.
-Heather making her move. I think you captured both characters very well in both these scenes.
Great chapter, and I look forward to reading more!
Great chapter, Skyrose!
I liked the way you captured this moment in Jake and Heather's relationship, in the aftermath of their first night together, this important step for them. You write a sweet, somewhat idealistic (in a good way!) dynamic between these two very different characters, as they begin to share a life.
I also really liked the scene you gave us back in Jericho. I loved seeing the community (well, some of our favourite community members) and how they are coping while our heros are in Cheyenne. I liked the details, like Sam's drawings, Stanley and Mimi's kitchen-rearranging inside joke, Allison finally getting to be a teenager as she makes friends and finds a place in the community, and I chuckled over Darcy's knowing something that Gail is not two steps ahead of, for once.
I look forward to the next part!
I was glad to see the next installment of this story posted!
Great chapter, Skyrose. I love this little reunion via telephone of our Cheyenne team and their loved ones back home. Just as their meetings with each other must provide a bit of respite in their dangerous daily grind, I imagine it's a small but significant relief to have this (few minutes? Half an hour?) of contact with their family and friends back home (or out there, for the Greens and Hawkinses back home).
I liked the glimpse into what's going on back home, the reminder that even though the Jerichoains are not caught up in Cheyenne politics (well, aren't immerse in them, since they are actually experiencing them too, in an interesting way), they are facing their own challenges, and I liked how you showed the way their grief and hurts (Gail's bittersweet musing on her anniversary, for example) are happening alongside things like reaching out to each other, starting things over (the new planting and rebuilding of the town) and of course, Jake and Heather's good news. Sort of a hope/dark times contrast.
I look forward to reading the next part!
I think as I mentioned in the earlier parts of 13, I enjoyed seeing the Cheyenne crew and the people back home converging in these phone call scenes.
A few of the highlights I really enjoyed in this part:
"You going to milk a cow, Dee?"
Darcy couldn't help but laugh. "Really funny, Rob. Tell you what: I'll milk a cow the day you go on a turkey shoot." She smiled to herself as she pictured the corners of her husband's mouth turning up slightly when she heard the amused chuckle on the other end of the phone. It made her heart jump just a little.
"Who would have ever thought . . . our city boy on a farm. I hope he likes it better than camping."
This really makes me chuckle. A great comment on the Hawkins family and their slight bemusement at the adaptations they have to make after being transplanted to rural Kansas. We often seem to notice Mimi not fitting in I think, but the Hawkinses too are from the city and this reminded me of the little bits of humour we sometimes saw from them on the show as they observed the small town people and their customs.
I also in general love how you put a spotlight both on the Hawkins family and on the relationship between Hawkins and Darcy. I think you've captured both their seriousness, their sense of history together, but also the sly sense of humour they share.
Heather looked between her friend and the man she was going to marry, "All right, boys, I'm off to the kitchen. Try not to miss me too much."
"You know I will, but go ahead anyways," Jake replied bringing Heather in for a quick kiss before letting her go.
"Oh, I think we can manage," Chavez said. He clapped Jake on the shoulder.
The dynamic between the three of them is cute and funny. Though I do feel for Chavez throughout. He of course reacts in a way anyone who's ever been an odd man out around a new, crazy in love couple will understand, but he's also able to joke and be good natured. I like the energy you give Chavez, how you capture him being funny, maybe a little more impulsive than Hawkins, and with a warmth.
I also like the scenes with the back and forth between those in Cheyenne and those at home. I like how you highlight the different contributions of the group - I get a sense that what Eric is doing, what Mimi is doing, and of course, what Darcy is doing is a valuable contribution. One of my favourite themes of the show was how the group of townspeople contributed various things according to their abilities and talents, towards the goals of surviving. I like how you have a bit of that going on here, on different levels.
Also, I like the idea of strawberry shortcake, post apocalyptic style!
I enjoyed this and look forward to the next part!
A possible explanation for Heather's absence from the episode Red Flag. Definitely Jake/Heather. Definintely AU after Vox Populi.
What a great story, Marzee!
After just recently reading your Different Circumstances version of the couple of days that are chronicled here, I thought it was so interesting to read this in contrast. (And funny that you wrote this before you wrote that one, but I'm reading it later. I think it works, in either order.)
I love your Different Circumstances story, but I also really loved all the details you put into this little world. I smiled at your description of Jake and Gail's relationship, which you captured so well. I really enjoyed your retelling of the events in episodes ten and eleven to include Heather. I always thought it was weird how she just disappeared. You did such a wonderful job writing the interactions between Jake and Heather- I really have a clear picture of where they are at this specific point in their relationship. I especially like how they realize the "Bizarro World" coincidence that has brought them together in the first place.
Really nicely done!
Sandra, this is a great beginning and I'm glad I finally have the chance to try and catch up on this story!
I really liked the way you characterized Heather and Eric. You did such a fantastic job of capturing this bizarre situation they find themselves in: these two rules-followers suddenly becoming New Bern's top enemies. I love the conversation between them- Heather trying to stay upbeat, Eric thinking about Mary, despite and because of the dire straights they are in. I think that's how people might react in a situation like this in real life. They're doing what they can to survive until the next moment.
You also did a great job writing the scene at Camp Liberty. I knew what was coming, but the way you wrote it, I could see it all from Heather's perspective. Nice work!
Side note: I finally figured out that there is a way to respond to reviews. Yay!
Penny Lane, thank you so much for your comments. I have so much admiration for your writing, so I'm very tickled that you're going back and reading Dangerous. :)
I always felt that on the show, we were short changed with the lack of Heather/Eric scenes. About the only conversation I remember them having is when there was the fire at the Jericho library. Nevertheless, the two share a rich history that wasn't seen on the screen. I wanted to capitalize on that. And as I am a huge fan of irony, it was fun to write a scene in which Heather and Eric are in such peril--the two strait-laced, law abiding, rule following citizens being public enemy number one. It's a strange world in which they live. :)
Another great chapter!
The beginning created such a vivid picture in my mind, and I think you did an excellent job of describing Heather's experience of coming home to a place that had changed drastically in her absence. I really felt for her in the heart-wrenching moment in which she realized Johnston was dead. I have to wonder if there's a strange irony in Lieutenant Hamilton's first name.
I liked the way you set up the somewhat antagonistic relationship between Jake and Beck. This line stood out for me:
Jake fought the urge to roll his eyes. This was Principal Gerhardt in an Army uniform. Granted Beck was a few years younger and many pounds lighter than the roly-poly former principal; yet Jake appreciated Beck about as much. Here came the speech about influence, how it can be good or bad. All words and no actions
Also, I liked it when Beck told Jake about how his own father had been killed, and his hometown had been destroyed. It even gave me a bit of perspective for this character (with whom I always tended to have a hard time sympathising)
I think you did a great job showing Jake at this moment in his life. He is overwhelmed with so many things: grief, anger, responsibility, regret. I liked his self-awareness here:
It was strange. He hadn’t fully appreciated her until it was too late. Wasn’t that his pattern, though?
If Jake had known Heather Lisinski as a teenager, he probably would have done everything in his power to get her to do his homework. If he’d known her as a younger man, he would have done everything in his power to take advantage of her. As an adult male having known her, Jake did everything in his power to distance himself from her and regretted it beyond words. Vibrant, funny, and completely clueless about just how attractive she was, Heather was one of the many regrets in Jake Green’s life.
The Jake/Heather reunion was one of my favourite scenes in season two, and I really enjoyed your retelling of it. It's interesting to see which parts you keep similar to the original and which changes you make. I look forward to seeing what happens next!
Oh, and by the way, 'The Wizard of Oz' was my favourite movie as a kid, so I absolutely loved the Oz references.
Thank you so much, Penny! I'm glad you enjoyed it. There is a bit of irony associated with Lt. Hamilton's first name, but when I say that this is a Jake/Heather story, I really do mean that it's a Jake Green/Heather story, though Hamilton will continue to be part of the tale, as well.
Esai Morales's portrayal of Beck was a definite inspiration for the antagonistic scene between Jake and Beck. Actually, I envision that antagonism as being one-sided. Jake has from what I can tell, always had issues with authority and high expectations. For this outsider (Beck) to come into Jericho and, essentially, commandeer a place that has been forced to be self-sufficient will require some adjustment on Jake's part. That, and Jake is still reeling from losing Johnston. His first impulse is to head to New Bern to take care of the problem, but there is a certain Army major in his way. Jake's having to wage an internal war: doing what his gut tells him to do versus doing what is best for the town.
On the show, the Jake/Heather reunion was satisfying, but not nearly long enough for me. There were so many things I wanted them to say to one another that, of course, went unsaid.
As for the Wizard of Oz references, I just couldn't resist. I always liked that movie, too, though the Munchkins from the Lollipop Guild scared more far more than the flying monkeys....
Really interesting contrast here between Emily, and her inner conflict over her friends and people she cares about, and Heather having to be 'interrogated' by the officials about her nightmarish experience in New Bern. I think in some ways, they're both caught up in these moments where they are trying to steel themselves, to put up a bit of distance between themselves and the situations in front of them.
I think you've captured Emily's character well. I often don't really sympathize with her, but I think you've shown her as someone who is understandable, with human flaws. You take us through her thought process. I do really feel for her here:
Yet she could not make herself go inside.
You’re being ridiculous, she chastised herself. This is your best friend. You should be beating down the door to see her! For pity’s sake, she was going to stand up for you at your wedding! You’ve worked with her side by side for the last three years. Just take that step.
Yet she could not make herself go inside.
You’re going to have to face her. You’re going to have to tell her sooner rather than later.
And still she did not go inside.
Emily stood for a few moments longer watching people enter and exit the building before tucking the textbook under her arm, burying her hands in her back pockets, and walking away.
The refuge she's taking in Jake- that had seemed simple and normal- is about to become more complicated.
I loved the way Heather holds her ground during the 'debriefing'. Especially the fact that she tells Beck to sit. I really liked this line:
Heather nodded, and then realizing an audio recording was being made, added a vocal affirmation. “Yes, I was caught. Rule #10: Never be afraid to get your hands dirty. That rule applies to fixing cars and sabotaging neighboring cities’ munitions factories.”
She is someone who has lost a lot of innocence in a short amount of time, but she has held onto her sense of self. I love the contrast between vulnerability and strength you've given her here.
Thank you, Penny! Emily is not my favorite character. There are a number of qualities that she possesses that absolutely irritate me; nevertheless, I don't believe her to be evil incarnate. Like everyone else, she's trying to get along the best that she knows how. Except now suddenly the things she thinks she knows are about to be called into question.
As for Heather, I have to admit that it's been a tough line to walk. She's experienced so much more from having been in New Bern and seen firsthand how horrific it is when civilization breaks down. I always looked at New Bern as the flip side of the coin: what Jericho could have become without the strong leadership of Johnston Green. Those experiences have shaped the person who is sitting across from Major Beck and telling him what happened there. On the other hand, I don't want Heather to be so completely changed from her experiences that she's a character I don't recognize. I'm glad her strength and vulnerability could shine through, largely because I find her to be a character who has both in spades.
Thank you again!
I loved Jake in this chapter. First bringing the good news to Eric and then trying to keep Heather from discovering the destruction of her home by herself. It's almost like all the things I mentioned that were overwhelming him in the last chapter are getting held at bay because he's focusing on doing things for these people he cares about. Kind of like they're bringing him out of himself for a while.
I think you've captured Eric so well in this paragraph:
It was easy to rib Eric; it always had been. Eric took everything in earnest, and Jake often joked he came out of the womb with a solemn expression. Whereas Jake had always been the family’s rebel without a cause, Eric was the family’s conformist with a cause. Well, multiple causes, actually, from his crusade to expand the animal shelter when he’d been in high school, to his attempts to implement mandatory recycling within city limits. If someone had a problem, they’d always go to Eric. Hell, even if people didn’t come to Eric with their problems, he had a solution, whether it was solicited advice or not. To his face they called him Mr. Studious, Mr. Steadfast, and Mr. Reliable. Behind his back, he was sometimes known as Mr. Stick-up-his-Butt
I was totally picturing him with that look he always gets on his face that expresses everything you have described so eloquently here. You always handle all the characters so well; with a sort of respect, I think. You let us see their flaws, but also that their thoughts and feelings are valid.
The way you described Heather's reaction upon viewing the wreckage of the apartment building here:
“I left it right here,” Heather muttered to herself as she stood outside the remnants of a two story apartment building. What had once been a substantial brown brick building was partially gutted. Its outer walls stood against the cool spring breeze, but its roof had collapsed. Numbly, she moved toward the charred remains of what had been her building—her home—and her feet hit pieces of…what was that…a kitchen blender?
...completely drew me into this scene. It's such a heart-breaking, horrible moment for her, but the first thing she feels is shock at this really bizarre thing that's occured in her world.
I really liked the joking comraderie between Jake and Heather as they walked and talked. It kind of reminded me of that early scene in season one in which they were walking home from Bailey's by flashlight, but of course, in a full-cirlce kind of way. So much has happened since then, they've both grown so much. It was a really interesting contrast.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Penny! I've always enjoyed the Jake/Eric brotherly relationship. Certainly on the series, it began tenuously but they came to depend on one another. With that said, it's not all feel-good all the time for Jake and Eric. They are well aware of each other's flaws--and to some extent, their own flaws. I'm glad that the characterization of Eric worked. I think that he has the potential to be a very strong character, but so much of his air time was spent with the whole Mary/affair mess. I used to want to throw things at the t.v. when he would come on because I was so disgusted by him. LOL.
Heather has certainly been through the ringer, but she'll have some help along the way. She tries to compartmentalize the events in her life. If she set out to "fix" the problem, then she doesn't have to deal with the emotional ramifications. Jake was right to make her stop and take stock. On other flip side, Jake was about the only person who could then pull her back up, much as she's done for him in the short time she's been back, i.e. pulling him out of his anger and grief. Interesting that you mention the scene from season one in which they were walking home because that scene served as inspiration for this one. That gently teasing, the comraderie, played into this scene, but certainly, much has happened in the interim.
Wow- quite the range of emotion you cover here. I was really drawn into it all thanks to your well-chosen words.
I loved the reunions in the first half: Heather with first Charlotte (and everything her old truck means to her) and with Eric. This made me laugh:
Jake leaned against the side of the dilapidated vehicle. He wasn’t particularly surprised that the truck was still there. Half the people in town were afraid to get near it for fear it might explode. That, and the fact the gasoline had already been siphoned out of its tank made it clear the truck wasn’t going anywhere. “Just waiting for you to get back.”
I think you even do a great job capturing Charlotte's character!
I also want to comment on your excellent use of humour throughout this story. The way you blend it seamlessly with complicated emotional moments- it gives the story a really realistic tone, I think. I want to point out this line:
How many times had he heard Jimmy start with, “Well, Mayor Green used to….” before Gray would cut him off? He hated to hear that almost as much as “We’ve got a problem,” Jimmy’s other favorite line.
It's not that you're spoofing the show, or even really an inside joke...it's just that sometimes the characters have an almost-awareness of things that I'm sure most of us in the audience are very aware, and it's really funny. Well done!
The reunion between Eric and Heather was emotional, intimate, and just how I would have liked to see it on the show. It's funny- when I watched the season two dvd, I realized that Heather and Eric have had almost no scenes together, in the entire run of the series, yet offscreen, they've been through so much they really should have an interesting relationship. You've done a really wonderful job developing it here. I especially loved that Eric invites Heather to stay at his place too, and Jake tries to intervene, like he's aware that he's somewhat out-of-the-loop in this moment between these two friends.
Equally intense to that scene was the scene between Eric and Gray. Though as an audience member I'm probably naturally inclined to take Eric's side here, I could really understand what was motivating both of them. They both seem to have a lot at stake, and I liked the way you drew this chapter to a close with them finally beginning to grudgingly listen to each other.
Thank you, Penny! I enjoy delving into the emotional unpennings of characters, as I think that provides a basis for characters' motivations and actions.
Charlotte almost does take on a life of her own. You'll see more of that later on. ;)
Humor is, I think, one of the most basic human reactions to situations. When I think of the vast desparity between circumstances people find funny (everything from stand up comedy, Three Stooges, to someone falling while walking up a stair case), it seemed natural to include some humorous aspects in the story. In my own life, I've told myself, "Well, I've got a choice. I can either laugh at this or cry at this" when something bad has happened. Certainly, the Jericho characters are in a wretched situation, but sometimes levity makes what seems insurmountable, surmountable.
Like you, I feel that Eric and Heather must have a rich history with one another and an interesting friendship-based relationship. Jake is definitely out of the loop, and the more he sees this, the less he is going to like it.
As for the Gray/Eric conversation, I've wondered what side I would fall on in that argument if I didn't know what I know about the parties responsible for the bombings. When they're just struggling to survive, it's tough to want to look at the big picture the way Eric is asking Gray to do. Additionally, Gray has some issues with the Greens and his own pride. I believe Gray respects Eric, but the fact that Eric is very much his father's son comes into play in their working relationship, as well.
I was so happy to see that Gail appears in this chapter when I first began reading it. I really thought something was missing without her this season, and I'm glad you decided to keep her at home, with her family, trying to cope with her loss by taking care of the people around her, as I believe is an important part of her character. (I realize I keep comparing your story to season two of the show. I don't mean to be so repetitive, it's just that this season left a lot of things out. I've just really enjoyed the details you've put into it here.)
Anyway, there were so many little lines here that I loved; lines that made up the details of the Green family and their world. Here's one:
“He was harmless, but that day, I think I could have scratched his eyes out for saying that my baby was ugly. Eric was jaundiced, but he was still the most beautiful sight. Jake, on the other hand, was hoping for a puppy, so when Johnston and I brought home a baby brother, he wasn’t exactly thrilled.”
Funny, sweet, but also serious when I consider what she's saying about her sons' relationship. I loved all the images and stories: Gail's memories of each son as a baby, the things from Eric's room, and her understanding of them now. With a few words, you illustrate the very different, but equally strong relationships she has with each of her boys. And of course, the Jake/Heather fan in me, (who's also quite a Gail fan) loved this line:
“And Jake. Thank you for that, as well.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve not seen him smile much lately. You make my boy smile.”
Also, that Gail has the idea to invite Heather to stay before Jake can even say he already convinced her to move in. And that Jake also comments to Heather that she's helping make Gail feel better. (just like she said about Jake). I really liked the scenes between Eric, Heather and Jake in the earlier chapters, and this one was so good too. I think you do such a great job writing the Green family.
The developments between Jake and Heather were interesting. On the one hand, I hope they get to go out for that burger later, and maybe Jake will even take Heather up on her offer to listen. On the other hand, I can see that they each have their own distractions coming up. Jake's got to find out what's going on with Hawkins, and the government. Heather, I think, is doing her own wondering, in a completely different way, but on some level, she's thinking about the same issue. Both realize there's something rotten in the state of Wyoming. (Okay, please forgive me that super-cheesey reference. Best way I could describe it in the moment)
It was interesting, to see Gray trying to take his own stand and find out some real answers. At first, I thought, 'Well, he's trying', but then he had to go tell Beck all about Hawkins. Oh dear. I laughed at the thought of Jimmy and Bill speculating what might have happened on Lost had the bombs not changed entertainment forever.
I loved the way you had Hawkins get in touch with Jake! It made me laugh too (just the idea that Jake had made himself a to-do list), and was so clever.
And, finally, I just loved the way you ended the chapter, with this sentance:
Jake sucked in a breath. Well, he guessed he had another reason to get up early. Too bad it didn’t involve a beautiful woman or deer hunting.
Great work, and I look forward to reading the next chapter soon!
Thank you, Penny Lane! I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter.
I just couldn't stomach the thought of leaving Gail out of this story. I thought she was an important character in season 1, largely because she served as a moral compass, not just for her family but also for her community. From a time standpoint, I guess I understand why the writers of the show did not include her prominently in season 2, but I missed her presence. As you know, the beauty of fanfiction is that we get to tweak the situations to make them more to our liking. :)
Regarding Heather and the Green family, I always thought she would be a good fit with them. Quite honestly, I never entirely understood why Gail was so accepting of Emily on the show. I mean, so many of the bad things that have happened to Jake have been tied to her. Mama bears like Gail would not be apt to forget that. With that said, I think Heather has a sunny disposition that could cheer up the the most glum. Both Jake and Gail see that quality in her.
Jake basically has himself in a bind. He's really enjoying Heather's company. Of course, if he tells her that he's with Emily, that wall will go up faster than you can shake a stick at it. Naturally, by prolonging that conversation he needs to have with her, he's only going to make the situation worse in the long run.
Poor Gray. In his own way, he really does mean well, but he's being led into finding out more kicking and screaming. As such, he's not exercising the best judgment in what he reveals. And as for the Lost reference, I couldn't resist. As crazy as it sounds, I think that in those quiet moments when people aren't particularly busy, they would talk about the things they miss, including t.v. shows, and wonder what would've happened. Naturally, I took delight in adding this because the people did make it off the island and yet the show continues. :)
Jake and Heather are starting to realize that something is rotten in the state of Wyoming. You have to know that I can't fault cheesy references. I specialize in cheesy sayings and jokes. Going back to Jake and Heather, they're figuring these things out slowly but surely. When they finally do compare notes, I'm sure they'll have more than enough information to raise the red flags.
I'm glad you liked the to-do list. I needed a way for Hawkins to get in touch with Jake that would be innoculous. Jake, obviously, would know that it wasn't his to-do list, but if anyone else happened upon it, they wouldn't think anything of it, except that as Gail put it, Eric is rubbing off on Jake.
Thank you again, Penny!
Another great chapter!
The scene between Heather and Jake, awkwardly trying to navigate the upstairs hallway, was funny. You capture that tense, so-many-things-unsaid atmosphere so well. I liked this line:
“No, I don’t mind. It looks better on you anyway.” The words tumbled out before Jake could stop them. Rein it in, Green.
I can really see their relationship progressing just the way you've described it in this story. They're drawn to each other in a sort of unconscious (or sometimes conscious) way, but they fight it whenever they realize it, for their own reasons.
I liked your version of the Heather-eats-a-burger scene, with a funny conversation among the members of the Green family and her. I really liked this line- there's so much humour but also a serious undertone:
Heather Lisinski was convinced she’d fallen in love as she chewed on her hamburger, savoring its flavor. Everything about it was perfect, from its fresh lettuce to the slightly smoky taste of the beef. Even the bun. Who’d have thought hamburger buns could be so delectable? The condiments only added to the burger’s perfection. The complement of onion rings and a glass of tea—with actual ice!—rounded out the meal.
Made me laugh, but also a profound thing, to consider what you used to take for granted. Growing up, I had these friends who visited my family every summer, and since they live really far north, beyond the road line, they didn't get a lot of fresh produce. It always amazed me to see how much they enjoyed the hamburger buns we'd have at our barbeque. They would say that the buns that were flown into their community were always really stale. I think sometimes these simple details can remind us just what we have (and would be especially meaningful in the post-bombs world of Jericho).
I understood where Emily was coming from here- and I really did feel for her when I read that she had been going from place to place, making quite the effort to find everyone else and not being able to find anyone. I know it's really Jake who had the chance to avoid the terrible way both Emily and Heather have to find out about their respective new arrangements with Jake. (Though I think you understand Jake really well- it seems like something he'd do.)
Still, of course, I was annoyed with Emily. I can't pretend otherwise. This is a Jake/Heather story, after all. But I did want to say that you handled all three characters so well. Emily is sympathetic in this scene, because it's easy to understand why she does what she does. She's conscious of the threat posed to her by her best friend, and feeling guilty for that, and understandably annoyed by Jake. So while I don't really want to see her succeed (as far as her hopes to be with Jake forever are concerned), I do feel for her. I really got that this was a painful scene for all involved. Oh, and I really liked this line:
Heather slid out of the booth, and Eric watched, grimacing. It was evident from the look on her face just a moment earlier that Jake never did get around to having that talk with Heather about Emily.
But now Eric was stunned to see Heather smiling brightly as she and Emily embraced.
For as long as he lived, he would never understand women.
Funny, and true.
The scene between Heather and Hamilton was a good contrast to the Jake/Emily conversation. Also, I really liked that Mary acknowleged her gratitude for what Heather did for Eric. It's kind of funny that Heather is linked to the Green family primarily because of Eric now and not Jake.
As usual, you've done an excellent job creating a scene in which all the characters have complicated motivations and interactions with each other.
Thank you, Penny! This chapter was actually one of the more difficult chapters to write thus far because there are so many characters with different motivations. Keeping that straight and staying true to the essence of the characters is not always an easy task. I'm glad it came across okay.
You make a good point about things that we take for granted. I sometimes think back to that scene early on in season 1 when the Green family is sitting at the dinner table and talking about the food items they miss most. Heehee...I was glad to include the Greens in the hamburger scene rather than Major Beck.
Strangely enough, I do feel for Emily in this situation. However, her insecure comments are only having the effect of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. If she reacts irrationally because she thinks that Jake is suddenly going to dump her for Heather, she may very well be setting the stage for such an event. I tried to imagine what it would be like to know someone for as long as Jake and Emily have, love that person, and still never be able to make the relationship work. Emily isn't only a graduate from the school of hard knocks, I'd say she was valedictorian. With that said, she and Jake have a larger issue between them than Heather, and that is trust. Alas, Emily doesn't seem willing to put her trust entirely in Jake but she's very willing to put demands on him.
Hamilton is very much my anti-Jake. He's easy going, cheerful, and uncomplicated. I've had fun writing his character. He and Heather do play well off one another, but there is certainly a different dynamic at work than the one she has with Jake.
Once again, you've written some wonderful interactions between characters in this chapter.
Hamilton is really starting to grow on me. I feel like he has a totally different energy than Jake. I'll be interested to see what else he reveals about himself over time. It's so funny how Heather can handle herself around him, throwing out the witty, flirtatious comebacks and not putting her foot in her mouth very often (because, of course, he is different than Jake). I like the insight he seems to have into the other characters, and the casual, unassuming sort of way he lets us know about it.
I especially liked this line:
“So she looked pretty upset with Jake, and he looked distant from her.”
“Oh, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”
Hamilton leaned down and whispered in her ear one word. “Liar.”
Again, I love the humour you insert into every part of this story. This made me laugh:
Maybe he could parlay that into something more lasting, a book entitled 101 Ways to Screw Up Your Life. He’d certainly had expert experience.
I loved the scene where Mary gives Jake her 'expert' opinion and goads him into getting up on the dance floor. It was an interesting contrast to the scene between Heather and Hamilton. I loved how blunt she could be with Jake, and how he could still pretend (out loud, at least) that her observations are wrong. It's funny how everyone else (Gail, Eric, Mary, Hamilton, and even perhaps Emily) have a clearer impression of what's happening between Jake and Heather than they do themselves, but I guess that often happens in life. I loved this exchange:
She shrugged, playing off his irritation. “You don’t have to say anything. Just thought you might appreciate a change in topic, that’s all. Eric was very excited to have Heather back in town.”
“We all are,” Jake agreed. “She’s one of a kind.”
“She sure is. I’m guessing you may not have a roommate for long. Some young buck—and there are plenty around here—is going to snatch her up.”
“Goodnight, Mary,” Jake replied setting the glass down on the bar with force.
She watched as Jake stalked to the dance floor. A knowing smile spread across her features as she emerged from behind the bar and walked over to the jukebox. That was too easy.
The dance between Jake and Heather was so well written. It was sweet, sensual, and full of emotional turmoil. You did a great job taking us through what each of them was thinking as they alternately stumble upon the truth and put up their own barriers. I loved when Jake came to this realization:
In fact, he’d felt emotionally disconnected with everyone until yesterday in the middle of an argument with Major Beck when he saw the slight figure of Heather Lisinski walk into the major’s office. She brought with her something Jake hadn’t felt in the months since her absence: hope.
Thanks so much for your comments, Penny! I'm glad you're enjoying Hamilton. He's been a lot of fun to write, and you're correct that he does put out a different energy compared to Jake.
Good observation about the difference between the way Heather handles herself with Hamilton and the way she handles herself with Jake. Hamilton is, I think, representative of safety. He's great to be around, very easy going, genuinely a good guy, and unlikely to break Heather's heart. Jake, on the other hand, is a bit like a flame with Heather playing the role of moth. She can't help but want to be around him, but she knows that as things stand at this point, if she gets too close, she's going to get burned.
Everyone around them seems to see that Jake and Heather are drawn to one another, but it's taking Jake and Heather longer to be willing to act on that. Mary certainly played a key role in Jake stepping up to the plate, but while Jake is finally starting to realize just what Heather means to him, it doesn't make the situation any easier for him.
Thank you again for your comments. I've enjoyed reading your observations so much.
Another wonderful chapter, with quite the journey, starting with Heather's dreams about the dead and ending with a difficult realization brought about by an imtimate conversation between friends.
Interesting how Jake disturbs her sleep, whether she's hearing him getting up at an ungodly hour or he's haunting her dreams.
I liked the inclusion of Hawkins in this chapter, bringing with him the big picture that Jake (and Heather) are already stumbling across, highlighting how urgent it is that they start acting. I think you've captured his grim sense of humour- I could picture him saying the things he says here.
I really liked all the details in the way Jake and Heather interacted throughout this chapter: Heather 'teaching' Jake about water heaters, him holding the wrench 'hostage', the truths they choose to reveal and those that they skip over. I especially thought Jake's story of Nasim was interesting. In telling her about him and the other children, he's both revealing an intimate part of his past and, I think, finding a connection to her world through her hopes and fears about her former students.
Your version of the Jake-tackles-unidentified-New-Bernian-with-gun scene was great. I realized where you were going just as it happened, and was completely immersed in the scene, wondering what the outcome would be (even though I should have had a reasonable expectation of what would happen). I guess what I'm saying is, your retelling was well done, so I was interested in how the characters involved would react and what they had at stake. And I thought it was really intriguing, how you gave both the assailant and would-be victim reasons for their actions and reactions. It made me reconsider what I thought I'd known about the first time I'd seen that scene.
I thought it was really interesting the way you gave us a picture of how everything in town was working, through Heather's quest to find one particular item. I liked the glimpse we got of Dale here- and the backstory you establish between him and Heather. As I may have mentioned before, I love the ensemble aspect of Jericho, and was always curious about how all the characters who didn't have many scenes together would interact.
The scene where Heather goes to her old classroom was so bittersweet. I imagined, as I read it, how strange it would be to return to this place where her old life if seemingly perfectly preserved. How sad, and yet, how unexpectedly great it would be to find the 'treasures' in the closet. This scene really got me.
The scene with Emily was, um, interesting as usual. I think you've captured both characters so well, as always. You do such an excellent job balancing everything that is happening, all the things that they are thinking and saying. Especially as, I think, they both begin to realize exactly what is going on with the other, and each manage to convey something without flat-out stating the truth. They're subtle. Very much the way things happen between friends in real life.
I liked Jake trying to start and drive Charlotte. At first, I thought this line was funny :
Emily watched as Jake left, puzzled by his reference to Heather’s truck as ‘she.’ It wasn’t like him. Even when he used to fly airplanes, when his eyes used to light up as he recounted his in-air maneuvers, Jake never referred to a plane as though it were a person. No, that sounded more like Heather.
Though it also made me feel for Emily, in a weird way. In fact, throughout this chapter, I was torn between my usual annoyance with her and feeling very sympathetic to her. She's so human, really. She wants Jake and everything he seems to promise to bring back to her, but she's recognizing (and trying to pretend she doesn't) that many things have changed and no matter how hard she may try, things between Jake and her will never be exactly the way she wants/remembers them to be.
“Are you staying in Jericho long?” Emily asked, hope in her voice. Lieutenant Hamilton might’ve been just what the doctor ordered for Heather. Emily had to admit that he was very handsome, albeit it a little too clean cut and straight-laced for her preference these days. But there was something about him, a quality she couldn’t quite pinpoint, that she found very appealing. And he definitely seemed to have taken an interest in Heather, for which Emily was delighted. If Heather could find happiness with him, that would be perfect. And if Lieutenant Hamilton would help Heather to get her mind off of Jake, then that would be the icing on the cake.
A few moments earlier, she's realized how Heather feels about Jake (though Heather herself may not fully realize it), and here she is, hoping that the situation will be fixed by Hamilton so that she can be happy for her friend and not lose what she sees as her own chance for happiness. As Hamilton guesses, she doesn't really seem to understand her friend's feelings and wishes, and I think she doesn't want to, out of self-preservation. But she is blindly hoping Heather can be happy anyway. It's a difficult place to be in, and I did feel for her. To a point. I just felt bad for Eric after this line:
Emily continued with a waggle of her eyebrows, “Eric would get so mad because he’d hear us in there and couldn’t sleep. He’d knock on the wall and threaten to tell their parents that I was with Jake. Johnston and Gail were progressive parents in many ways, but that was not one of the ways.”
I loved your introduction of Michael Flaherty. He seems like an interesting character, an interesting part of Eric's backstory, and I loved his pet name for Jennings and Rall. As usual, I love the way you write scenes between Heather and Eric. Here's a line I loved:
Eric shrugged. “Damn. See, this is the problem with being convinced you’re going to die in prison. You tell all your deep dark secrets, end up making it out alive, and then—bam—you get blackmailed.”
You always show both Eric and Heather holding onto their senses of humour as they deal with everything that they've seen and experienced (and maybe even as a tool to help them deal). I love that they also try to deal with their own problems by reaching out to each other and trying to fix the problems they see in the community. This line was so heart-wrenching:
But as she’d spoken, her voice had become shakier, more tenuous. “He doesn’t want me Eric. He never did. And I am fine with it.”
Eric draped an arm around her shoulder and absently kissed the top of her head. “I’m sorry, Heather. I’m sorry I pushed. I just don’t want you feeling like you have to pretend for my benefit.”
Really wonderful story so far, Sandra. I'm glad I've finally caught up, I've really enjoyed reading it, and I look forward to the next chapter!
Thank you so much for your comments, Penny!
All the characters have quite a bit going on, some of which they're freely letting others know, some of which they aren't. Heather is, obviously, dealing with the fallout from what happened to her in New Bern, as well as her own conflicted feelings for Jake. Jake is struggling with his floundering relationship with Emily, the intrigue of Heather, worries that his town has basically been handed over to the bad guys, and the greater conspiracy issues that Hawkins brings along. Eric wants so badly to be the man his father was and feels constantly that he falls short. Then there's the overwhelming task of getting the town back on its feet. Emily is desperate in a sense for her relationship with Jake to work. She wants stability, but her actions to ensure stability will likely have an opposite effect. Hamilton was probably the only character in this chapter that wasn't dealing with some kind of inner turmoil. Despite everything that's happened, he's very sure of who he is and where he stands.
I'm glad you enjoyed the teasing between Eric and Heather. I view their relationship as being almost familial, but in this case, they've picked the other as family. Humor goes a long way in making untenable situations easier to endure. Certainly from personal experience, I can say that there have been times when, if I didn't laugh about something, I would have to cry about it.
I'm also glad you liked the New Bern would-be attacker scene. I had thought to myself when I watched the scene in season 2 that there is so much we don't know about the people from New Bern. I wondered what would make a man take his life into his own hands to come to Jericho to exact revenge. So that was definitely something I wanted to revisit in a different way. That little scene will also have ripple effects that will impact the story down the line.
Thank you again, Penny!
Another great chapter!
This one had so many little details that I really loved, that seemed to add so much to the past and present of these characters and their world. There were so many lines I'd quote, but this review would go on forever. I'll try to limit it to my favourites.
I liked your choice to open with Jake reflecting as he drove around in Charlotte. Interesting to begin the chapter showing us exactly where Jake is at in this place in time. I loved this:
“Want a lift?” he asked casually, the look on his face leaving no doubt as to how pleased with himself he was to have Charlotte running.
A smile spread across Heather’s features at the sight of her old truck. Charlotte was strangely comforting to her, from its occasional dents to the familiar sputtering noise she made. “Forget giving me a lift. I want to drive! Scoot over.”
The second burgers-at-Bailey's was interesting too. It was really great to see Eric confront Jake, and hold his ground with his greater understanding of how Jake normally deflects uncomfortable topics of conversation. You've done such an excellent job of developing Eric, showing him changing after his difficult times in New Bern, and the things that happened before and after.
I still love Mary's involvement in the Jake/Heather saga. An interesting contrast, I think, to the way Emily reacts to the things she sees passing between Heather and both Jake and Hamilton. She has nothing to gain personally, other than her friends being happy, and I think she may have a better (well, more objective) vantage point than Emily. I especially liked this line:
“Good for you! I’m glad to see you’re branching out.” Mary leaned on the bar toward Heather. “Let him give Jake a run for his money.”
Hamilton just gets more and more intriguing. On the one hand, I find myself wondering how much he really knows about those people for whom he works. On the other hand, his friendly, easy-going way of interacting with almost everyone, and that secret, (so sweet) good deed he does for Heather, make him so endearing, it's hard to be too suspicious of him. I still think he is a great addition for adding a different energy, and humour, to these scenes.
I'm glad Heather and Jake are beginning to compare notes, even if just about water-heater parts and one-time dates. I have to say, it really threw me for a loop when I read that Heather had dated Roger. I wasn't expecting that! What an intriguing idea...adds a whole new dimension to this love triangle...square...tangled web. It especially makes me think differently about the current unspoken conflict between Emily and Heather.
Heather shrugged. “I probably should have been upset that my date was ogling my best friend, but all I could think was, ‘Thank you God for small favors.’ I invited her to join us, and the two of them hit it off. I left as soon as it was polite to do so.” She stopped and reflected for a moment. “Well, maybe a little before it was polite, but they definitely didn’t need me.”
I had to laugh at this- the idea of Heather and Roger on a date is just so weird. I imagine that if it were to happen, it would happen just as you've described it.
Jake's reaction to the news of his impending marriage was priceless. I can't wait to hear what he does next in your next chapter!
Thank you so much for your comments, Penny. I always figured Jake had to be something of a deep thinker. Otherwise, how can he brood so much, right? LOL. But seriously, in those quiet moments, I find that in general, people stop to reflect on what's going on around them. Jake certainly has a plethora of problems and issues pulling at him.
Thank you, re: Eric. I can't imagine that he's the same person he was with the experiences he's undergone in New Bern, the loss of his father, and his drive to "step up to the plate" so to speak. Eric is probably about the onlly person who could say those things to Jake and actually make Jake listen.
Mary is, admittedly, not my favorite character from the show, but she's known the other characters (I imagine) for a long time. I figure that she makes her living reading people, and that gives her a unique perspective on the whole Jake/Heather situation.
Hamilton has been a very fun character to write. He's comparatively less complicated than Jake, but like Jake, he is a good man. I don't think he has quite the same darkness in him that Jake does, but despite his affable personality, his life hasn't been all sweetness and light. More about that will be coming out, and I think it will go a long way toward explaining how he fell on the side of the Cheyenne government.
The whole Heather/Roger date scenario was, I'll confess, something of an afterthought, but I thought it added an interesting dynamic to the friendship between Heather and Emily. The thought of Heather and Roger made me laugh, as well. I could just picture the awkwardness of the date and the relief that Emily brought with her when she joined them.
Lots more Heather/Jake interaction will be found in the next installment as they further compare notes on the impending "marriage", as well as some more light-hearted banter.
Thank you again, Penny!
This chapter was so enjoyable to read. I loved seeing how Jake reacted to the news of his impending nuptials, and Heather finally beginning to question the meaning behind Emily's actions, as well as her own assumptions and self-imposed rules. I really liked this line:
He was tempted to coax the key to Charlotte from Heather, drive back to town, and ream out Emily. But as he looked around the ranch, he saw chores that needed doing. More importantly, he saw the person he wanted to be around, and her name wasn’t Emily Sullivan.
As usual, you've done an excellent job writing the dynamic between Jake and Heather. You've captured it all; the stubborness they both share, along with that certain reluctance to face their own truths, balanced with that pull they feel towards each other, which they sometimes fight and sometimes embrace. I really liked the details they shared about their youthful fictional crushes. Especially this part:
“Or was it her magic lasso?” she continued mercilessly as she lightly elbowed him.
‘It was her dark hair and blue eyes,’ Jake thought, but remained silent.
“I don’t believe it,” Heather marveled, her eyes shining.
“For once, I have you flustered.”
I love how you have Heather and EJ getting to know each other in the past here. It's a really interesting detail, and I laughed when I read the way Heather remembered Jake being described to her. Jake's committee of horses and the pig-stealing story he alluded to were great touches too.
The scene in New Bern was a good contrast to the scenes around it. I really liked seeing Hamilton's reaction to the town, and his mind beginning to ponder over the events that occured there. I really felt for Ted here. It's too bad we never got to see what happened to him- his experience was so traumatic, and he never got to escape from New Bern as our main characters did. I was glad we got a little glimpse of him here.
The horse-back riding lesson was so well described, I could just see it happening. This exchange was so funny:
Heather nodded. “I believe you, Jake. So, any tips?”
“Yeah. Don’t fall.” His expression was so straight-faced and his tone so flat, Heather was sure that if she’d had something to throw at him—other than herself—she would have.
“You are a stinker!” she protested, her words coming out in a mini-huff mingled with laughter.
“I’ve been called many things in my life, but I can honestly say this is the first time anyone has ever called me a stinker.”
“To your face, maybe,” she shot back.
Great chapter, and I look forward to reading more!
Thank you for your comments, Penny. This part was fun to write as both characters were starting to piece together how the other feels. Sometimes it's just nice to write fluff. Sigh. It was a delicate balance for them, and it could be likened to a war within for restraint that slowly became a lost cause. Being away from the chaos of the outside world allowed them to explore what they're feeling in a more substantive way, but what they'll face when they leave the ranch would be enough to give anyone pause--even those with nerves of steel.
Like you, I thought it was too bad that we never saw what happened with Ted, so that's something I want to rectify in this story. A more developed picture will soon emerge of what's going on in New Bern, and if the folks in Jericho thought they had it bad....
Thank you again!
This chapter was wonderful, Sandra! I loved your descriptions of everything that made up this afternoon for Jake and Heather: the horseback riding, the rain, the time capsule of Jake's bedroom, the crackling fire. You really painted a picture of everything that was going on so I could see it in my mind.
You created an atmosphere, too, I think. I like the way you bring the reader along as Heather's mind wanders through the complicated questions of her life at this moment. Her conflict over Emily, her confusion over her clear, yet potentially problematic feelings for Jake, and her struggle to come to terms with all the loss she's endured were all handled so well. There is a sadness, but also a lot of humour in the way Heather copes. I laughed at this exchange:
Jake tore more pages from the catalog and tucked them under the wood in the fireplace. “You afraid I’ll see your underwear?” The corners of his mouth began to turn up.
Heather’s face grew warm. “I’m not… afraid,” she began to rationalize. “I just…wow! Check out those pants,” Heather said pointing at the catalog he held in his hand. “He is really styling in that plaid.”
Jake glanced down. “He looks ridiculous. And you are changing the subject. C’mon, I’m going to see your underwear sometime.” Her mouth fell agape. “Because we live in the same house,” he added. “I do help with laundry from time to time.”
I really like the information we get about Jake in this chapter as well. His reactions to Heather, his reflections about his own desires and his need to help the town, and the ways in which we see how tied he is to the ranch, this piece of his history, all contribute to this interesting, more private side of Jake you've captured here. I really liked this dialogue:
“Looks like rain,” Jake commented.
“Who needs The Weather Channel when I’ve got Jake Green with me?” she teased him.
“That obvious?” he grinned back.
“So what are our chances?” Heather asked.
Jake looked up at the sky. “Fifty percent chance of rain.”
“How do you figure that?”
“It’s either gonna happen, or it’s not.”
I like the balance you always create, of both serious, reflective moments, active moments and humour. I think this may have been my favourite line:
With urgency that would’ve made the Wicked Witch of the West proud, the two exited the truck and made their way back to the house.
I love any allusion to the Wizard of Oz, but this one was particularly good.
And then, of course, this line:
From the corner of her eye, she could see what Jake was hanging, and she had her answer to the age old question she’d teased him about earlier.
I wonder if we'll ever find out the answer. I guess it's good to 'leave the audience wanting more' though. I definitely look forward to the next part!
Thank you so much for your comments, Penny.
One of the things that I found lacking in the second season of Jericho was character development. While I enjoy a good action sequence as much as the next person, those quiet moments of reflection that shine light into the composition of characters are what I find most appealing. When I was a child, I had a Care Bears suitcase with a caption: "Getting there is half the fun." That's my philosophy on writing fanfiction. Story does move forward, but I'm all about getting there through an examination of character motivations.
There is a sadness, but also a lot of humour in the way Heather copes. I laughed at this exchange:
I tend to think (though this may be a preconceived notion on my part) that many people use humor as a way to cope with situations that are either uncomfortable, embarrassing, or painful. Just look at the people who poke fun at themselves (my blonde-haired sister will make dumb blonde jokes when she does something silly; I'll laugh at my own clumsiness and reference my too-small feet). Then you get people who've been through the wringer, like Heather, who basically feel they have one of two choices: either laugh about it or cry about it. Heather (as you'll see particularly in part C) is not a fan of crying, though I suspect that a good cry would do her some good, so her way to cope is to laugh about the things that frustrate, bewilder, or hurt her.
Jake has been such an enigma to me, largely because I feel like we got about four different Jake Greens on the show, so I'm delighted that you enjoyed my take on him here. I think he's far more complex than he even views himself. At the very least, he has himself in a vastly complex situation: being sucked into a mission he didn't choose for himself, dealing with the aftermath of his father's death, and trying to wade through the vestiges of a relationship with Emily and feeling an unexpected connection with Heather.
Glad you liked The Wizard of Oz reference. I mean, they're in Kansas. Who can resist a good Oz reference here and there? LOL. And as for the age old question, that will be answered in due course, though not in this particular chapter. ;)
Thank you again, Penny!
Sandra, I was so pleased to be able to read another chapter of this wonderful story.
Once again, you've done a great job blending together scenes of quiet insight into these characters with moments that move the plot forward to new dramatic heights.
The first thing I have to comment on here is Emily. You've done such an excellent job portraying her here (as usual). Truthfully I always expect to be bored or annoyed with Emily when I see her in a scene, but you always manage to make me feel for her and think about the circumstances and choices she's made in her life that have led up to this moment. In this chapter in particular, I really felt for her. Though it's true that she isn't really worried about Jake's safety, I think it's perfectly understandable that she is worried about the pain of being rejected by him, as she is anticipating. While I agree with Gail that she should be looking to herself to create the happiness she wants in life, I still sympathize with her wishing for the happier times she once knew. I really loved the details you included that reminded us of past-Emily. Gail's memories of the awkward pre-teen standing on the porch, and Emily's own memories of playing baseball with the boys and enjoying a (relatively) stable home life were poignant. It really made me see her vulnerability, I think.
The scenes with Jake and Heather were wonderful too. You create this whole atmosphere around them that makes me feel like I am observing the moment myself. I loved the subtle changes we saw in Heather's character in this chapter; her move from the selfless friend who would remove herself from the equation in a second to someone who is willing to assert herself and recognize her own feelings for what they are (and the fact that she herself recognizes this) is becoming more and more apparent.
I like the changes we see in Jake as he develops in this story, and in this chapter. You've shown us a different side of Jake here that we don't often get the opportunity to see. He's allowing himself to be sensitive here, and expressing himself. He's got his usual intergrity and, for lack of a less cheesy way to put it, he's very giving. But he's also examining his life and getting ready to make decisions that will make him happy. I think that's really an interesting contrast in this chapter: Gail advises Emily about making her own happiness, while Jake and Heather take steps closer to doing just that.
I loved Gail in this chapter. Remembering a younger, vulnerable Emily, but holding her own when Emily lashes out at her, and still managing to keep her grief from clouding her judgement, it reminds me of all the things I like about this character. I loved how she asserted herself, and I loved the wisdom she shared in this chapter.
Just a few other things: I thought the detail of Gramps serenading Heather was very funny, I really enjoyed the little backstory into Heather's parents, and I am very intrigued to find out what will happen next in regards to our friends from New Bern.
Great work and I look forward to the next part!
Penny, thank you so much for your comments. I always enjoy so much hearing what you think of a chapter. I apologize for my lack of promptness in thanking you. I thought I had posted a response, but obviously, I had not.
Gail is, I think, one of the unsung heroes on Jericho. I greatly missed her presence in season 2 of the show, so I couldn't not include her. She's been through a lot, yes, but she is still a woman of principles, of integrity, and of insight. I find her to be an interesting contrast to Emily, who wallows in her misery and is all too eager to point fingers. Gail gives sage advice, but I've find, in general, hearing advice can be difficult while taking advice can be near downright impossible. Gail may have insight into the situation, but Emily's not ready to hear or take it at this point.
I feel like I've been treading a fine line with Jake. I'm glad you perceive him as being someone who is growing into his character changes and yet still in character. I certainly don't want him to be recognizable; yet at the same time, his experiences have changed him and contributed to the man he's become. The same could be said for Heather in that her experiences have certainly shaped her. As Mary put it in an earlier chapter, Heather's realizing that she doesn't have to be a martyr.
Thank you again for your comments. :)
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.
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! :)
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!
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!
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!