i realise i'm massively late to this fandom/story and it's a bit silly that i signed up to this community just so that i could review but. um. it has been a very long time since any sort of story or work of art, let alone a fanfiction (i thought i'd become immune!) affected me so massively, and i thought that it was worth sharing. this is such an... immeasurably perfect story, in many ways. it tore me in two. i've spent the last few hours crying on and off - i don't even know what set me off first but it was pretty early in the plot.
the ending was bittersweet, but somehow... right? i don't really know. i think i'm a little shell-shocked. it's seven in the morning where i am and i haven't slept yet because i was reading your wonderful, horrible, heartbreakingly beautiful story.
this is so - i can't even quantify what makes this story so incredibly amazing. the pace is so perfect, you managed to hit just the right balance of past and future and in-between events to keep the story rolling and keep me bawling every few thousand words. the characters, oh gosh, the characters. i honestly don't think any of them belong to the tv show anymore, not here, you've stolen them and made them yours and it's utterly gorgeous. there are so many complex layers here and they weave together so well that i can barely fathom it. and through it all such an overwhelming sense of love, and struggle, and joy and pain and life and... this is one of the best things i've read in such a very long time, fanfiction or no.
i think i'm going to go have some tea, and lie down and maybe try to sleep. and think about this more. you've made a beautiful thing here.
Author's Response: Hello. This is Leah, one half of the Leah and Springwoof duo. I wanted to tell you how touched I was by this comment. Your praise is a bit overwhelming, which is why I haven't responded before now. All I can say is that I'm truly grateful for your taking the time and effort to tell us how the story affected you, and that I will remember what you wrote any time I need reassurance that what I'm doing is worthwhile. I can't thank you enough.
Author's Response: thanks for letting us know! Leah will be pleased you thought so. --sw
When I was six, my parents and I adopted two cats. And one died when I was in high school, and I wasn't there. But the other we had to have put to sleep when I was in grad school- and that moment you have Rodney describe about Brahms.... I know that moment is real, I've seen it happen with people as well, but the only time it's happened while I've been *touching* the dying was with Pam, that cat. And it's just as you've described. It happened three years ago, I have an adorable kitten now who I love on her own merits- but I mourned Pam all over again tonight.
Author's Response: Hi Quin! Thank you so much for writing and letting us know how TBH affected you. As a cat person, I know Leah was touched. That scene with Brahms you mention was based on an experience I had similar to yours, and I have tears in my eyes now remembering it. *hugs* --sw
Author's Response: Even though it might not have been entirely pleasant (when can it be, if we're crying?) we're so glad you were moved! You're not alone, this fic moved many people to tears. (Only fair, it moved us to tears as we were writing it...) I know Leah is as pleased as I am that the characters were so vivid and alive for you. Thank you so much for such eloquent and heartening feedback. Especially for our older fic, it's wonderful to know that people are still reading it and engaging with it as powerfully as you did. SW
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Lou, for the lovely feedback. Leah & I were pleased and honored that you were so engrossed and carried away by TBH. SW
It was a wonderful story, easy to follow, despite (or maybe because of) the non-linear ness. Wonderful.
Author's Response: ::bounces:: So pleased that the non-linear quality worked for you! And thank you for understanding Rodney. What lovely feedback! Leah and I were so pleased and happy to hear from you, Rosie! (and it's NEVER too late!) SW
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Kira! Leah and I are pleased that you liked the story. SW
Beautiful, poignant, lovely.
Thank you for a wonderful story.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review. We're honoured that the story moved you.
Author's Response: Thank you so much!
I was so angry at times with the way that the characters behaved and sometimes I really wanted to throttle them (in particular Rodney). As I read on, I got less angry and realised why they were they way they were, but it was still sad to see them living lives that they would never have chosen for themselves.
It was a great roller coaster ride of a story and I really couldn't guess what was coming next.
Even though I found it hard to cope with, I think that in the end I'm glad that you gave us the sadness/angst but also managed to temper it with the softer scenes that served as a constant reminder of how much John and Rodney loved each other. I was so surprised, and incredibly relieved, to get a happy(ish) ending.
This story was a true testament to enduring love between Rodney and John - it was just hard to join them on their journey towards a happy but also heartbreaking ending.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for that enthusiastic and thoughtful review, Ciar. I remember distinctly how hard SpringWoof and I worked at the structure of this story, from the point that we decided that it shouldn't be told chronologically to working out what scenes should go where. It means a great deal to read reviews like yours and know the kind of impact it had. It was also extremely important to us to give the readers not only some kind of closure, but also to give hope, and as happy an ending as possible after so many decades of sorrow for both men. I am so pleased that the story meant so much to you, and I appreciate your words immensely. Thank you again. Leah
I came over to re-read the Gifts series before bigbang '08 goes live and thought I'd treat myself to another story I haven't read before. The story structure is wonderfully complex and only adds to the ever heightened sense of emotion that underlays all the actions. Great OC's and great world building. But you made me cry like a BABY! (not that it's necessarily a bad thing...)
Author's Response: I'm so sorry that we didn't respond to your lovely review sooner, Mairi. But thank you so very, very much for not only re-reading our Gifts series (I hope you enjoyed them the second time around!), but for reading this story as well. I know what you mean about the crying--we didn't necessarily mean for anyone to cry, but we are certainly honoured that the story moved you so much. Leah
One thing confused me. It is listed as part of the "Gifts" series. I am thinking that is incorrect.
Author's Response: You're absolutely right--this isn't part of the Gifts AU at all, and I'm not sure how it became included. I'm sorry you read it under false pretenses, but I'm really glad that you were moved by it. Thank you, both for reading and for letting us know about the error. Leah
Author's Response: I am touched and honoured by your review, Atymer, and I know Springwoof is as well. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, and for taking the time to leave them. It means a great deal that the story moved you and made you think so deeply about it. Leah
Really, I'd go into more detail, but I still can't stop crying...especially after that gorgeous ending. Well done on this one. I need more tissues.
Author's Response: Summer, Leah and I are honored that our story touched you so deeply. ::hands you a tissue:: Thank you for the lovely review.rnwags, springwoof
And God, all those years between the real!McKay and the holo!Shep. So painful. I can't even begin to imagine how either of them survived it, McKay missing his own Sheppard and being forced to face someone, something, that looks and (seems to) acts just like him. And Sheppard, the whole time missing McKay even when he's right in front of him. It broke my heart (literally, I think, I haven't stopped crying yet).
And the ceremony and the holo versions...they're so real, so beautiful and you know it's not the real McKay and Sheppard, but the fact that they and their love and feelings live on, and might for forever...it's romantic and beautiful, and heart-breaking all together.
"Johnny's voice: "Uncle John, stop! You're destroying the city!""--God, that bit broke me more than I thought was possible at that point.
Is is safe to assume perhaps, that the people carrying the Defender and Preserver had some new form of the chip planted in Johnny's brain? And that the first pair might have been Will and John? That idea just...astounds my mind. God, so lovely, all of it.
Author's Response: I can't thank you enough for your beautiful review, MF. Springwoof and I are honoured that our story touched and moved you so deeply, and that you felt the same about the original characters as well. Your words are more appreciated than we can say.rnrn
I'm afraid that Will and Johnny weren't the first Carriers of John and Rodney's consciousnesses--the technology wasn't available for at least a generation. But John and Rodney (or their closest continuers, at any rate) were together in Atlantis, and I like to think that they were happy. :) Than you again. Leah
Author's Response: Thank you! What a wonderful thing to say! Leah
But now I've finally finished it - in one sitting, no less! - and all I can really say is 'WOW'. What you two have created in this story is simply overwhelming and beautiful. I wish I were able to leave you a brilliant and detailed review, but this is going to take some time to really settle into my mind, so I'll just repeat: "WOW!!"
Author's Response: Well, thank you so much for sticking with it, Ellex! Especially as it made you sad. And thank you you so much for your wonderful comment. I'm really pleased it moved you. Leah
Author's Response: Thank you is more than enough, believe me. :D Springwoof and I are always flattered and honoured when someone takes the time and effort to let us know a story we wrote meant something to them. It is hugely appreciated. As for the epilogue, you're not the first person to think it was creepy. I never meant to make it seem like the Goa'uld--the Tok'ra, maybe, but it was always voluntary! But yes, I can see where it might be uncomfortable to read about. :) Thank YOU again for your lovely review! Leah
Author's Response: I'm sorry we made you cry, but It means a lot to hear that the story moved you so much. Thank you very much for your lovely comments. I'm also glad the ending was hopeful for you, because that's exactly what we wanted. :) Leah
Author's Response: Thank you for letting us know the story moved you. :) Leah