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Old 05-08-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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Anthing At All, Chapter 8 (PM chapter)

Here it is at last. Six weeks is way longer than I wanted to be on writing this one! Thanks to you all for your interest and patience. The next chapter will be the last.

Incidentally, I know that it's a real risk to write a whole story, with sex no less, from a man's point of view. If any real live men ever wander in here I would dearly love to hear what you feel is believable and what is not, with utmost anonymity, of course.

As ever I adore feedback, both the constructively critical kind and the squeeing kind. Request the whole chapter here or by PM.


Edge rocketed awake a short while later, propelled the abrupt acceleration of his heart. It was a familiar routine, this sudden whooshing into consciousness. It wasn't a nightmare exactly; it was just as if someone sat down at the mixing console of his body and shoved all levels to ten.


A strange room, with the distinct strangeness of a lived-in place. An odor of laundry, books and people, and none of the banal anonymity of hotel cleansers. A place where someone lived. A smallish bed. Tousled sheets. Himself, rather sticky and languorous. Beside him, the stirring body of a woman. Solvieg.

"Are you all right?" she asked softly.

"Fine, sorry. I was just a little disoriented for a minute."

"Do you need to go?" The lamp had gone out, or maybe she had put it out after he was asleep. She was just a shadow and a warmth in the darkness. He reached out and found her arm resting on the cover.

"No, I can stay. I mean, I can if you like."

"I didn't mean to disturb you," she said, and he heard the little exhalation that meant she was smiling. "I was just trying to sneak out and get a little something to eat. Do you want anything?"

"Mm. A little something would be great. Salmon salad was a long time ago."

She climbed over him a little clumsily in the dark, and he automatically put out a hand to steady her. Her hip was invisible, substantial, smooth and warm. She flipped on a sort of night light, a little pocket of illumination with her in the center. She gave him a sideways look and left the room without looking for clothes. He watched her through the door for as long as he could, then stretched out of bed to retrieve his discarded jacket and feel through the pockets.

"I was thinking of having a smoke," he called. "Do you have a fire escape up here?"

"Oh no, you're fine right where you are. Just crack open that window at the head of the bed."

He turned to open it and felt the damp rush of air. Outside it was still deep night. The tiny click of the lighter, a hiss of butane and light, and the first soothing coils of smoke. The world was made of these few sensations, here in this low-roofed womb of a room. Nothing could be more different to the carefully constructed over stimulation of ZOO TV, to their rat's maze barrage of handlers, representatives and crew. Ordinarily waking in the night meant listening to the evening's show for corrections or turning over new riffs in his head. Instead he listened to the sound of her movements in the other room.

Light shift of footsteps, rustling in the cupboards. This place where she lived. Had she intended this from the beginning? When did she decide to have him in her bed? Who was the last man to lay here with her? Edge decided that he didn't care to spend his time worrying about it. He thought back the street and the tightening of her knee around his hip, the sound she made when he hefted her off the ground. He took another drag, remembering the weight of her body on his, the light on her belly as she arched into his fingers, until an snort of sudden laughter from the door nearly made him drop his cigarette.

Solvieg stood with a bowl of things to eat clasped in front of her, regarding him with a suppressed grin. He glanced down at himself. Smoke curling from relaxed fingers. One arm tucked behind his head, sheet tossed carelessly over with a bare shin sticking out, his chest still faintly flushed...Well, he probably did look like a textbook illustration of male post coital satisfaction. He began to sit up.

"No, no! Stay right where you are," Solvieg said, coming back to the bed. "You can be smug. That was great." She clambered over him once more and again he steadied her. Her breasts moved softly above him for a breathless moment, and then she was settling cross legged near his shoulder, leaning against the wall that ran the length of the bed. She put a pillow in her lap to cradle the bowl and began to peel an orange. He watched her in silence, still smoking.



"So, what have you been doing for the past two years?" she asked curiously. “If none of this, I mean.”

"Working, mostly. Recording the last album, planning and rehearsing the tour, writing for the next one. I've... I suppose I've been on a bit of a work jag, really."

"That sounds like an understatement," she said.

Edge laughed. "Probably, yes. I'm pretty certain it is."

"And you haven't had a woman in your life at all. Doesn't it get lonely?"

He considered it.


"As long as I don't stop for a moment, everything is fine. When I'm there in the studio nothing else is real. I don't want anything else-- I could be there for days. People go in and out..." He trailed off.

Sometimes he stayed until his techs and engineers fell asleep right where they sat. They might do eighteen or twenty hours at a stretch, but eventually he saw in in their eyes that they wanted to go home. They had some place they'd rather be, someone they wanted to talk to. Someone who was waiting for them. So he'd send them home and work on among the takeaway containers and racks of guitars, so absorbed that he blinked in surprise when they walked in again the following day. Sometimes they came back in with a peculiar air of satisfaction that a few hours' sleep couldn't explain. He did his best to ignore it. Until the moment that he got in his car to go home-- or rather to the ghastly empty house where he slept-- the loneliness wasn't real."When I'm working, writing a new song or tinkering with a mix or whatever... I know how to do that. Those are problems I know how to solve. It's an infinite series of solvable problems. That's a world I'm comfortable in."

She nodded as though she had heard the things he had not said. After a moment she held out a section of orange. Edge stuck out his tongue to take it. Its bright daytime smell filled his nostrils. When she moved away he learned that the scent came not from the orange but from her, from the bright bitterish essence of its skin buried beneath her nails. He held it in his mouth and sucked holes in the membrane to leach the flavor out. Taste of daylight. Faint golden glow, hushed shell of a room. Woman beside him. Sweetness.

"Are there going to be snake handlers out looking for you tonight?" Solvieg asked.

Edge sighed.

"Oh, there may be a little anxiety at the security desk. They can suck it. They're going to have me for the next... eighteen months." He stopped. The number seemed inconceivable.

Always before this freak show of a rock and roll tour had seemed to him to wildly complex, tremendously exciting. The complicated brain baby of a dozen different artists, it was a gargantuan philosophical lark; a mad risk of their musical reputation, the greatest creative undertaking of his life. But suddenly it looked like a prison sentence. "We're booked out for about eighteen months right now. It could get even longer."



Solvieg sat with the bowl in her lap, fingers suspended in the act of coaxing apart the damp and tender fruit.

"Well," she said, with a level look. "It isn't morning yet, is it?"

The red coal of his forgotten fag had burned down to his fingers, singeing his knuckles as they rested on the open sill. He dropped it into the darkness and stretched back to pull the window shut. He wouldn't open it again. Solvieg reached over him to draw the curtain. She paused looking down at him, arm still extended. He looked at her fair exposed armpit, the delicate skin where it curved into velvet breast. The firm full line of her lower lip, the apple cheeks that he now saw were dusted with tiny freckles. Her eyes, running over his face and chest with that peculiar listening expression, open and the smallest bit wary.

"Solveig," Edge asked suddenly. " Was he good to you? The man. The one who loved you."

She remained as she was for a long moment, looming over him so beautiful and exposed. Then she exhaled and settled back against her pillows, nodding.

"Marcel had a nephew," she began. She was leaning back against the wall, framed by her bare knees from Edge's position on his back. He rolled onto his stomach to listen. There was a soft shushing sound of bed clothes. For the first time, she reached for something to cover herself and pulled it across her chest.

"I was there at the little house a lot, right from the beginning. There was always something. A million relatives all having birthdays or getting confirmed or something. Potluck dinners on Saturday nights, cookouts all summer." Her wry grin flashed for a moment. "Any excuse to drink beer and play cribbage and stay up playing tunes was a good one. They were really different from my family. A lot of teasing, but very affectionate.


“And Richard was there, too. In those families the boys start working alongside their dads really young. By the time they're sixteen they're like little grownups, but all the grown ups love to party and play so it doesn't make much difference. But he was there and so was I...

"Richard-- life was really straight forward for him. Everything he wanted was right within reach. He loved it all. He wasn't complicated but he had so much zest, so much love. We had.... He was really special. Generous. He had a lot to give. But as time passed I started to feel-- I don't know how to explain it. It was like my story was already written, you know? Like people had already hung the tin cans on the back of our car when we were just kids. The way things were for him, for the people he knew- they married early and got right on with doing exactly as their parents had done. And that can a beautiful way to live. But it wasn't the story I wanted." She looked at him questioningly. He nodded and she went on.

"I came out here to school, and after a year or so I kind of stopped going home. It didn't make sense, to love somebody and to not want to be with him. To be kind of embarrassed about him, I guess. He came out here to visit once, and it was just a disaster. He didn't fit anywhere. He's a universe all to himself." She began to peel another orange, frowningly releasing the bright smelling rind, the scent which seemed a mockery now. This one was overripe, so ripe that it dripped and came apart as she peeled it.


"After a few years he found someone else. Someone he could belong with. I think they're happy. I think I'm happy, too." She shrugged and shook her head, wordless, her eyes suddenly rimmed with brightness. One drop spilled over, drawing a clear line down her cheek.

Edge had thought this evening was going to be easy. The sort of fun that Adam had, a brief understanding between people without illusions. He looked at torn orange in her fingers weeping sweetness into the bowl, and touched her knee. Her expression softened when she met his gaze.

Suddenly Edge opened his mouth as wide as he could like a bird, nodding to the fruit in her hand. She dropped a piece in, but he kept his mouth open for another one, then signaled for a third.

"You crazy."

She was laughing softly as she tore off a third segment and held it just beyond his reach. Her eyes were creased, her apple cheeks bloomed to show the dimple on one side. She leaned closer, chuckling, until his vision darkened with her approach. Edge made a lunge- and caught it in his teeth. He sucked without taking it from her hand. Her gaze sparked hotly, sweeping from his eyes to his mouth in growing intensity, until he began to cough and had to chew the awkward mouthful. She took a breath and leaned back.

Edge watched her watch him. Had she done right with regard to Richard? He had stayed with his early lover despite misgivings and it hadn't turned out particularly well. He has spent the better part of a decade trying to prove that it wasn't a mistake, and found that it was. He had nothing to offer her. He just wanted to banish the crystalline brightness from her eyes, to make her cry out his name again, and not to look so haunted.

She broke open the baguette and held out a piece.

"Bread?"

Edge nodded and turned his head up for her to place it on his tongue. The posture was suddenly so familiar that for a moment he thought he tasted thin wafer and sweet wine, felt the polished railing vibrate from the organ's voice.

"What is it?"

He focused in the sensation of bread in his mouth, the habitual pause of self reflection, and swallowed slowly.

"Em. It reminds me of being in church. Of the Eucharist. Having somebody feed you like that, almost like a child. I remember kneeling there with my mum, how the light would come though the stained glass. You go up there to receive and it's just... a moment of grace, I suppose."

Solvieg gave him a sly look. "Do you think that's a little blasphemous, considering where we are?" He thought carefully.

"I don't think so," he said at last. "This thing--" he gestured between the two of them, "Sex... it's a sacrament no matter what you do. That's the way it was made. You can't change it. But blasphemy- that depends on how you do something as much as what. Blasphemy is when you use something unworthily. When you make use of its power without respecting it, without acknowledging its nature." He shook his head. "I've been a blasphemer before. It didn't have anything to do with a ring on anybody's finger. It was... it was much more ugly than that."


Edge looked up at her. "Taking is what makes it ugly, I think. A sacrament has to be offered. You can't just walk in off the street and help yourself to the host. It's the giving that makes it sacred, if that makes sense."

She met his eyes for a long time. Edge broke a piece off the loaf and held it up to her. He couldn't see through the veil of her hair when she bent to take it, but felt this kiss of her breath on his fingers. She was holding out another piece to him. This time he held her eyes as her wriggled up onto his elbows and lifted it with his tongue.

All around them were the tiny noises of night. The muted sound of traffic from several streets away. The ping and creak of the heater. the quiet sound of their breathing. Solvieg turned over the baguette in her hands. The night light elongated the shadow of her lashes, which repeatedly kissed her cheeks when she blinked. She caught him staring.


“What? Do I have something on my mouth?”


He shrugged inarticulately, unable to give words to his thoughts. “You're so beautiful.”


“That's not a word I hear very often,” she


“No. What do they say?”


“Cute.” She patted her round thighs and pinched her cheeks, mouthing the word a second time with silent exaggeration.


He looked at her, from the firm boned ankle and neatly flaring calf to the broad curves of her hips and gracefully balanced shoulders. The white sheet creased over her breasts, the momentarily serious line of her nose. He shook his head.


“That doesn't seem adequate at all.”


Her eyes creased as though a joke had been made, and then incredibly, filled with tears. He took the foot nearest and shook it a little as a distraction. He compressed it in his hand; firm strong arch, widening metatarsal, little round pink varnished toes.


“These... these are cute, though.” He pinched them between his fingers and then, impulsively, kissed them. He thought of her walking the streets of this city every day. All the nights she would sleep curled in this bed. All the nights that he would be someplace else. He kissed her toes again, softening his mouth so that he caught a taste of her skin-- salty but not sour. She uttered a shaky sigh. He ran his tongue along the crease between two toes, rewarded by the minute trembling of her foot.

"Edge, I had no idea... about feet. Oh."

"I'm just making it up,” he confessed, scraping the arch with his lower teeth and sweeping the spot with his tongue.

"I think you might have missed a career in... umm... improvisation... jazz."

"Bunch of wankers," he whispered against her sole.


She laughed and then sucked in her breath as he drew two toes into his mouth. He let them slide out over his tongue and then came crawling up onto his knees to draw her onto his lap.


"Solvieg..."

She allowed him to draw away the sheet that covered her.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:51 PM   #2
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"Request the whole chapter here or by PM."

Full chapter please.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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That was a really good chapter. Thanks for
PM-ing it to me!
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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How I love your writing, darling. <3

1.) The scene with the oranges and baguette, I could literally see that happening before my eyes. You made a food eating scene incredibly erotic.

2.) I loved when Edge was kissing/sucking her toes. That made me shiver

3.) The descriptions of Solveig make me grin. She seems like such a real girl, and I know I have told you before... but I love that. I love how it's not a fan living out a fantasy of meeting the band.

4.) Edge spending endless hours in the studio? Seems right on. The only thing about that paragraph is that it seems to have a few run-on sentences or missing commas?

5.) The background about Richard confused me for a second, I could not remember if you mentioned him in earlier chapters, so I must go back and re-read!

All and all... Absolutely lovely. I cannot wait til next chapter.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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No, Richard is new in this chapter. When they were walking out on the street, he got the sense that she had really been in love before but they didn't discuss it. He's a nephew of her fiddle mentor. In my imagination, she doesn't say "I had a boyfriend named Richard" because he's just so much a part of her imagination, her history, that there couldn't be any world without him, if that makes sense. He's just there.

I think that paragraph is punctuated the way I intended it.... but maybe it's not as effective as I wanted it to be. Sigh.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:22 PM   #6
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"So he'd send them home and work on among the takeaway containers and racks of guitars, so absorbed that he blinked in surprise when they walked in again the following day..."

^^I think it was just this part that threw me off. With two "so's" in the sentence, it just seemed like a run-on.

I thought the paragraph was lovely. No need for sighing!
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:45 AM   #7
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I neglected to ask for a PM. It's been a crazy week! Please?
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:55 AM   #8
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How I love your writing, darling. <3

1.) The scene with the oranges and baguette, I could literally see that happening before my eyes. You made a food eating scene incredibly erotic.

2.) I loved when Edge was kissing/sucking her toes. That made me shiver

3.) The descriptions of Solveig make me grin. She seems like such a real girl, and I know I have told you before... but I love that. I love how it's not a fan living out a fantasy of meeting the band.

4.) Edge spending endless hours in the studio? Seems right on. The only thing about that paragraph is that it seems to have a few run-on sentences or missing commas?
totally agree!!!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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We've got some real great writers in here. Some great discriptive text in this one. You've painted each scene with a very fine brush and left nothing out. *sighs*. I so like me a good writer.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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PM, please.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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Aw, thanks, YDW. You have a lot of respect around here and I'm just a newbie, so I really appreciate it. PM's will go out as soon as I boot my husband off the laptop where chapter 8 lives.

On other matters, this fic is wrapping up in the next chapter and I'm beginning to think of what might come next. As it happens, I have ideas for each of the other band members- something I didn't really try to do, but there it is. What are people interested in hearing about? I have Adam in the Zooropa/Zoomerang period, Larry in New York in 1994, and Bono set in the not-distant future. Thoughts?
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:07 PM   #12
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Hmm all three ideas sound interesting. Could you release anymore details on the BONO and Adam one? If not I understand. Also if your taking ideas I've started a vampire u2. So I think it's within reason to either make or see of someone else will make a werewolf u2. Maybe mad scientist edge? Or Bono finally has gone AWOL? Or something that has to do with Adam and Larry. I find there to be an overabundance of BONO and impressive amount of Edge stuff. I've found quiet a bit of good ones (this one included). Like there was one where edge fell in love with his neighbor. But I don't think it was finished anyone know what I'm talking about? Also this chapter was a rather good read. I have a bit of writers block at the moment so I'm trying to find good fan fiction to get me UN-blocked and this my friend/acquaintance is wonderful.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #13
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I don't want to say more about the plots, except that all three of them use tropes that I have not seen in this fandom yet. This one has a more ordinary fanfic trajectory than the others, I think. They all got their start in the same way, though; in thinking about filling in the gaps, imagining things we don't know that could explain subsequent actions or ways of being.

Also Detts, it's a sad truth that I cannot read and write at the same time- not anything, but especially not other fanfic. Not in the same day and maybe not even in the same week. For some reason the reading and writing parts of my brain are different, and shut each other off. So if you stay stuck, try just walking around thinking about your story all the time and see what you get.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:01 PM   #14
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Jeevey, you are such a gifted writer! This was a great read! I love how the detail of the setting complements the intimacy of the conversation. I can see and feel myself in the apartment.

Quote:
All around them were the tiny noises of night. The muted sound of traffic from several streets away. The ping and creak of the heater. the quiet sound of their breathing.
I also loved how the orange acted like a third character in the room--it added a whole other dimension to the scene. (Does that even make sense?).

Great job! I can't believe we're already coming up to the last chapter! Looking forward to it!
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:11 PM   #15
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.
What are people interested in hearing about? I have Adam in the Zooropa/Zoomerang period, Larry in New York in 1994, and Bono set in the not-distant future. Thoughts?
Oops, forgot to place this in my previous post...that Larry NY 94 story you mentioned sounds interesting.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:26 PM   #16
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especially liked the "visuals" in your writing - like here: "She nodded as though she had heard the things he had not said. After a moment she held out a section of orange. Edge stuck out his tongue to take it. Its bright daytime smell filled his nostrils. When she moved away he learned that the scent came not from the orange but from her, from the bright bitterish essence of its skin buried beneath her nails. He held it in his mouth and sucked holes in the membrane to leach the flavor out. Taste of daylight. Faint golden glow, hushed shell of a room. Woman beside him. Sweetness." can't wait for the pm. thanks!
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:13 AM   #17
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Yay, late comers! Sending out your PM right away, Laxmi.

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I also loved how the orange acted like a third character in the room--it added a whole other dimension to the scene. (Does that even make sense?)
Thanks! I considered having bananas when this chapter was a slightly more kinky or comic one, but decided that would have been way too pornographically cliched. In U2 fanfic, Likeamadonna totally owns the cupcake for all time. Maybe I'll end up with the orange.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:04 PM   #18
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Aw, thanks, YDW. You have a lot of respect around here and I'm just a newbie, so I really appreciate it. PM's will go out as soon as I boot my husband off the laptop where chapter 8 lives.

On other matters, this fic is wrapping up in the next chapter and I'm beginning to think of what might come next. As it happens, I have ideas for each of the other band members- something I didn't really try to do, but there it is. What are people interested in hearing about? I have Adam in the Zooropa/Zoomerang period, Larry in New York in 1994, and Bono set in the not-distant future. Thoughts?

I know I've said it already (just read it again ) but the way you describe the scenes and the words you use are so perfect. It's like being an eavesdropper or a Peeping Tom , I'm just there, with them, listening to every word, seeing every move, noticing every object, taking in every scene, all of it.

Writing like this commands a publisher. I mean it. You need to go prod a few agents in the back, lol.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #19
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I know I've said it already (just read it again ) but the way you describe the scenes and the words you use are so perfect. It's like being an eavesdropper or a Peeping Tom , I'm just there, with them, listening to every word, seeing every move, noticing every object, taking in every scene, all of it.

Writing like this commands a publisher. I mean it. You need to go prod a few agents in the back, lol.
Thank you. Who publishes real person fanfic, anyway? Seriously, maybe someday I'll get a storyline that is publishable, but til now I'm looking at fanfic as an apprenticeship.

Just let me know if you decide you'd like to see the whole thing. I don't know if you caught it in a previous authors note, but the ending chapter of this story is the same format as the last two. No resolution without the PM.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #20
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Thank you. Who publishes real person fanfic, anyway? Seriously, maybe someday I'll get a storyline that is publishable, but til now I'm looking at fanfic as an apprenticeship.

Just let me know if you decide you'd like to see the whole thing. I don't know if you caught it in a previous authors note, but the ending chapter of this story is the same format as the last two. No resolution without the PM.
No, we can't publish real person fanfic I don't think. At least I'd never attempt it. However, I still think that you have the talent to take your fiction further. Be a shame not to unleash it onto the world.

Anyways, yes, please pm me. I'm interested to see how this pans out.... oh but I have to empty some of my inbox first. Ack. I'll go do it now else I'll forget.
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