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This Is the Way the World Ends, Part 21

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Sep. 5th, 2004 | 08:14 pm
mood: tiredtired
posted by: semaphore27 in monaboyd

Author: Semaphore
Pairing: Billy/Dom
Rating: PG-13, violence and language
Summary: It's the end of the world as we know it and no one feels fine. The world of Lotrips mingles with Stephen King’s The Stand (and The Dark Tower). At the end of a long day, Dom does some unexpected traveling.
Feedback: longed for and appreciated. So many thanks to all who've commented so far!
Disclaimers: This is entirely fictional. No disrespect intended. The people involved belong to themselves. The Stand was written by Stephen King. The title comes from T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men."
Previous chapters and other writings can be found at: Caraidean

This Is the Way the World Ends, Part 21

Billy’s dreaming, and Dom would like to be dreaming too, tucked up close behind with his arms round Billy’s body, his face pressed into the space between Billy’s shoulders where he can feel Billy’s heartbeat. He’d like to dream, except that the ground’s too hard against his uncushioned bones, and the night too full of things he doesn’t see, but only feels whirring over his head, scuttling across his face. He’s not certain how he knows the moon’s bright above them—perhaps it’s only that the weight of its light seems to lie heavily against his closed eyelids.

Dom’s vain enough, still, that he’d like to ask Billy if his eyes look okay, or do they wander randomly. He can’t see light at all, or colour, yet he senses them both, in a way that’s almost painful.

What’s that called when one’s senses trade places, so that colour becomes taste and taste becomes sound? It’s something Viggo talked about once, at length, over far too many beers, as Vig got increasingly philosophical and Dom himself increasingly horizontal, until he fell asleep on the deck outside Viggo’s house. He woke on his sofa, hours later, with the very strong suspicion that at some point Vig had merely picked him up and carried him inside—an action Dom found, when he thought about it, both somewhat humiliating and disconcertingly tender.

Synesthesia, Viggo’d called it, that trading of senses. Dom remembers liking the word, the hiss and slippery feel of it in his mouth. It’s one of those words he couldn’t have said clearly, as a child, to save his own life, and if he’d tried he would only have being thoroughly mocked, most likely by Matthew, who seemed to regard it as his duty in life to keep his younger brother humble.

Dom wonders if he’ll ever again be able to think of Matt without hurting.

Synesthesia. The moon’s heavy with brightness. The night around them tastes sour, or perhaps that’s only the flavour of the sage in the air.

He should go back to Billy. He should rest his cheek against Billy’s shoulder and touch his tongue softly to Billy’s skin and breathe in the scent of him, which even strong as it is now, with sweat and no opportunity to wash, is never unpleasant.

Only Billy’s noisy tonight. He’s gone from snoring against the side of Dom’s neck to talking in his sleep, which isn’t something Dom ever remembers him doing much of in the past. Whatever he’s dreaming sounds fairly mental, too, because Billy’s muttering all manner of shite about roses and beams and turtles, but how any of those things tie in together Dom’s damned if he knows.

He wonders if Billy will remember any of the dreams when he wakes, and if he’ll be able to explain.

“Donnae aim w’ my hand,” Billy murmurs, and though Billy’s voice makes the words soft and lovely, they still put a cold feeling in the pit of Dom’s stomach. He wants Billy to wake up, to wake up and stop saying such things, because Dom knows, dreaming or not dreaming, they mean something, and the thing they mean is frightening to him, even if he doesn’t understand it fully. Or at all.

Hours ago—at least, it seems like hours—Dom fumbled for the zip at the side of their double sleeping bag, easing himself out onto this soil that’s half dirt and half sand, prickly with dusty-smelling plants of the sort that only grow in such miserly earth. Their odour reminds him of cooking, which reminds him of his mum. Dom always liked to watch his mum cook, and when he was little he liked even more the way Aureen would open up her little jars of dried herbs or spices to let him smell what was inside: the warm scent of cinnamon (which Billy hates, so Dom doesn’t keep it anymore), the rich fragrance of vanilla bean, the dusty tang of sage, oregano, tarragon, exactly like where he is now.

His mind tries to cry out, to launch itself into memory, but Dom stifles the impulse ruthlessly. This isn’t the time. There’s his gran’s voice in his ear, her voice when she was old, not the way she was when he was very small and first knew her, back before he’d become aware that people, or anything, died, when he thought things just went on and on the way they were, mums and dads and brothers, grans and granddads. A warm, orderly world where the people you loved were always exactly where you expected them to be.

“Dominic Bernard Patrick Luke,” his gran’s voice commands, “Control yourself!”

Only Dom never was much good at that particular skill, and he refuses to remember those old times. Those innocent times. He won’t do it. He won’t. It would be like taking a knife to his own skin, a slow, searing, pain that he can’t help but shrink away from.

Dom jumps to his feet, almost overbalancing. Without vision, nothing quite seems to be as it should anymore—not his body, not the world around him.

He’s shivering outside the cocoon of down and nylon, away from Billy’s warmth. It’s getting colder, the heat leeching out of the earth. Dom feels small again, terribly small, blind and alone in the dark with the vast invisible indigo arch of the sky pressing down upon him. He’d like to sit with his face to the fire (efficiently lighted by Sean when they first set up camp), and all the shadows behind him, but he’s afraid he’ll stumble and fall into the flames, so that the others have to drag him out and douse him. Then he’ll be horribly scarred as well as shit-scared and blind, and the sensible thing would be to just leave him in the desert and let the coyotes eat him, and the buzzards, and the crows.

Only the thought of crows makes Dom shiver, and he sits down quickly on the ground again, telling himself he’s talking a load of bloody shite, even if it is just inside his own muddled head--and look, here he is, safe and sound already, safe and sound.

Dom stretches out his hands toward warmth and finds the fire’s quite close by, though not dangerously so. He’s fine. He’s well and fine, and the one thing he needs not to do is wake the others, because they’re as exhausted as he is, the only difference being that they’re able to sleep when he can’t. He’s damned if he’ll deprive them of their rest merely to keep himself from feeling so absolutely goddamn desolate.

It’s the only escape, isn’t it? Sleep. Dreaming. The only way to see people they love, hear voices inside their heads that will fade too soon, until the words are left, maybe, but not the tone, not the love, not the laughter.

Only dry words like leaves drifting down from trees in autumn.

He’s so bloody lonely he can scarcely stand it, and Dom never expected to feel that way, not when Billy’s so near.

The thing is, it’s always been him, and Billy, and the world, and while he certainly doesn’t love Billy any less, he misses all the things that used to circulate around them. This world’s so empty all Dom wants to do, really, is press up close to Billy, push himself into sleep as far as he will go and wake up to find it’s all been some ridiculous nightmare. Because it is ridiculous, isn’t it? It truly is. Wolves in the night attacking shopping precincts. Malevolent blackbirds. Ridiculous.

Dom tries to distract himself with other things.

Will the forests come back now? he makes himself wonder. That would be brilliant, wouldn’t it? The great old forests springing up again the way they’d been long ago, no more slash and burn agriculture, no more exploitation of the earth--only Dom’s afraid, much as he loves the trees, that he’d rather have his dad back, and his brother, and all the other people he still can’t quite believe aren’t here with him anymore.

“Not forgot… face o’ m’father,” Billy breathes softly, rolling over into the space where Dom’s body had been. His face by moonlight, Dom imagines, looks not older, but worn nonetheless.

It would be good, Dom thinks, to be someplace private, just the two of them, where he could hold Billy close in his arms, then, as Billy began to wake, make long, slow, sleepy love that would change, by increments, into something stronger, into Dom on his back with Billy over him and Billy’s hand on his thigh, and Billy, completely alert now, with those sparks of green fire in his eyes, pushing into him whilst Dom’s body arches to meet his, calling out Billy’s name, their hands twined together so tightly there’ll be bruises afterwards.

And Dom would run his tongue over them, imagining he can taste the purple, like wine on Billy’s skin, but Billy will shake his head over the marks he’s left on Dom, who always bruises so much more easily, and more deeply.

They’re not alone. He needs to remind himself of that, and be glad for it. No—he is glad. Truly glad. It’s just that, right now, he’d like the familiarity, the reassurance, of Billy shagging him half-senseless, the pleasure-pain-pleasure of the act making everything real for him again.

Billy has a way of pulling him back into the world, anchoring him there when he begins to slip a little.

“I do not kill with my hand,” Billy says, in a sharp, clear voice Dom’s never heard from him before.

“Bills?” he calls softly.

Dom hears Billy rolls over again and pictures him on his back, hands open-palmed at his sides, face turned up toward the stars. His eyes are open, Dom thinks. Halfway open, at least. Billy never sleeps like that. Never.

“I kill with my heart,” Billy says. His tone is cool, accepting, foreign. Emphatic.

Even if he were awake, Dom wouldn’t want to disturb him. Not now. He’s afraid to find out what Billy means, and he’s lonelier than he’s ever felt in his life, and he would really like to cry, only he pulls it back hard, into himself, clenching his teeth together until his jaw hurts.

Dom needs to distract himself. He needs to focus on anything except life as it is and the things Billy’s saying, which he knows he should dismiss as dreams, but can’t. He fidgets a bit, pulls away from the fire, then close again, sitting cross-legged on the unyielding earth. Honestly, it’s hard as iron, and walking on such hardness all day has made his feet ache, in a way Dom didn’t know feet could ache, even though Billy’s picked out quite good shoes for him, and they fit him well, because Billy’s good at that sort of thing, finding right sizes, or that one blue shirt he’d wanted, when he thought all the shop had left was brown or green.

He rubs them, not certain if he means to massage away the pain or add to it. Even his blisters have blisters, and it stings when his fingers blunder into one of them, stinging with the salt of his sweat. His feet are oddly puffy, too, and the long muscles of his thighs twitch and burn. There are raw bands over his shoulders and round his belly from the straps of the pack and he must have sweated through all the liters of sunscreen he applied during the day, because the skin on his face and arms is tender, and itches, which either means he’s sunburned as hell or his allergies are playing up. From the way his throat feels thick and his sinuses clogged, he thinks it’s likely both--and isn’t that just lovely as can be?

Dom pulls back the urge to cry again, but it’s harder this time. He wants to wake up. He wants to wake up so badly he can’t stand it, only he knows, he really knows, there’s no waking this time. This is as real as things are ever going to be again.

He tries to tell himself he’s just tired, tired and sore, and that’s the reason for this mood.

Dom’s always thought of walking as a poncy sort of exercise, but he’s never felt like this after a morning at the gym, or a good run. He’s never walked for this many hours straight, under a blazing sun, and he thinks that if, collectively, they had any sort of intelligence they’d be lying up by day and walking by night.

Except sleeping by night is one more thing they can’t let go of, one of the few normal things left to them.

Dom’s never felt this lonely in his life. Not even when he was a boy, starting yet another new school, in another new town, in a country where he’d always be a foreigner.

Only he’s not alone, and why should he feel that way?

Dom listens hard as he can, trying to tell where the others are by the sounds they make: Billy with his muttering, Elijah weeping quietly in his sleep again and the funny small growling snore Max makes beside him, Toni’s even breathing, as if she’s doing Yoga, consciously controlling each breath. Sean’s soft snores over to his left and Sonja’s…

Dom pauses.

Yeah, it’s the way he thought. Sonja’s a deep breather, and he can hear her over to his right, quite close to Sean. Perhaps…

There’s a rustle of clothing against nylon, then Sean’s mostly-asleep voice, “Sorry, babe.”

“’s all right,” Sonja answers in a similarly sleepy tone, “All right.” Skin brushes skin, followed by the sound of one body fitting into another, of a hand stroking hair, gently, repetitively.

Dom wonders how long it’s been that he can hear so much, and he wonders if he ought to be a little shocked, but knows there’s no reason, really. It’s not that Sean’s forgotten Chris or the girls, or that Sonja’s forgotten Alice and whoever Alice’s dad was, it’s just…

It’s just that this is no time to be alone, for anyone, and he’s sorry he left Billy by himself with his strange dreams, only he’s too restless to return to the sleeping bag just yet. He’d like to have a book to read or a film to watch or a Playstation game, even one of the old ones he’s grown tired of. Anything to pass the time. Anything to let his mind wander elsewhere, because he’s not certain he can bear to have it linger here.

Dom hunches over with his head in his hands, wondering what time it is in the UK—late morning, it must be, or midday. He wonders what his mum and Margaret are up to, and he wonders if Viggo’s asleep right now, or outside on his porch with his dog by his side, gazing up at the stars. He wonders about Orli in Las Vegas, the guilt panging through him again so strongly his thoughts just seem to ricochet away, then back again, trying to think through crazy scenarios for swooping in like superheroes, rescuing their friend from the forces of evil.

He finds himself rocking, head still cradled in his palms, rocking and rocking as if that could somehow soothe away the pain of being powerless, of being forced to abandon someone he honestly loves—whom all of them honestly love—to a place that’s so wrong and so terrible.

“Y’stupid, daft git, Orli,” Dom mutters, realizing then that he is crying after all, and likely has been for some time. “Y’ stupid, stupid wanker, what did you think you were playing at?”

Except Dom knows, really. Orli was afraid of the same thing he’s afraid of: the emptiness of the world. That’s what’s driven him to the closest place where other people are. Most likely Orli’s terror was even worst than his own, because he’s had all his friends round him, all this time, and who did Orli have? Who does Orli ever have, really? He’s surrounded by people, yet he’s also one of the loneliest blokes Dom knows.

God, Orl, Dom cries out, from someplace deep inside himself. God, I’m sorry. If I…”

The thought cuts off. There’s an odd feeling, like missing the last step of a staircase, and Dom finds himself elsewhere, back at that sagging shack with its jacked-up porch, at the edge of a cornfield where red eyes spark briefly between the stalks.

Those small, malevolent lights are dimmed tonight, because he’s still sobbing, his head leaned against a bony knee, soft, wash-faded cotton under his cheek. There’s a hand stroking his hair, an old hand, gentle.

The old woman’s voice is tremulous and scratchy, but gentle too. “Dominic,” she says, “I don’t know why God asks of us the things He asks.”

“I don’t believe in God,” Dom answers. "Not the least bit." He pauses. “At least, I don’t think I do. Not the way you mean.”

“’tain’t the point,” Mother Abigail answers, humour in her tone. “The point is whether He thinks you can stand at the end. Whether you can help to work His will in the world.”

“That all?” Dom laughs. “’m not sure I’m much good for that, either, honestly.

“Poor English boy.” She laughs too. “Poor, poor boy.”

“Mother Abigail…” Dom begins. It sounds odd, calling her by that name. The words feel strange in his mouth.

The old woman doesn’t answer for a long while, only rocks on her porch, her splintery chair creaking softly, the shrunken boards of the porch squeaking beneath its rockers. Oddly, it’s a sound Dom finds soothing, rather than annoying.

He finds himself getting drowsy, dreaming of birds. Not crows this time, but big birds, white birds with long bills, cruising over the shore, then over the sea, then further and further out, and higher, until there’s nothing above him but bright blue, and nothing below him but a darker clear blue, dotted here and there with brown splodges that might be islands.

Dom knows he’s flying south, because it really does feel just like running downhill.

“Where am I going?” he tries to ask, but instead his wings spread out, slowing him, cupping the air as he moves down toward the earth, until he’s not a bird anymore, but just himself, dropping quite hard onto coarse grey sand.

There’s a woman on the seashore, sitting with her legs tucked beneath her as she stares out into the waves. Dom realizes it’s their beach, the one where they first began to surf, in New Zealand. There’s a feeling in his chest as if his heart’s being twisted between two strong hands, and for a moment all he can do is press his own hands against the pain, trying to catch his breath again.

The woman’s head is bent. She appears to be weeping, though she might just as well be laughing, for all Dom can tell—only, what would she have left to laugh about?

Dom can’t remember the last time he laughed, himself. Was it in the kitchen, the morning after their arrival at the peach-coloured house in Napa? He can’t remember Billy laughing either, and thinks that must set some sort of record—what other time have they gone more than an hour without one or the other grinning like a fool, laughing out loud, feeding one another’s humour? Of all the things missing from the world that laughter seems one of the worst, even though Dom knows it doesn’t really compare—it only seems so wrong that he and Bill don’t share that anymore, that they can no longer make one another break up into helpless, snorting fits of giggles.

He tries to think when they last smiled, even, in any way that could be taken as genuine.

Dom’s walking barefoot on the sand. It’s chilly, and that must be because it’s winter here, not summer the way it is in the wasteland he’s trudged through all day. Dom wonders how it is the woman can stand to sit there—he’d be freezing his bum off, shivering nearly to death, but she’s sitting very still except for her weeping (or laughing, though Dom doesn’t think, anymore, that it’s even possible she’s laughing).

When he comes closer to her, Dom sees she’s thinner than he remembers. There are threads of white, now, in her lush dark hair, though she’s too young to have that much white. She looks terribly small, so alone by the sea, and he’d like very much to comfort her, only he’s not certain there is any way to bring comfort at such a time.

He approaches her nonetheless.

She’s been crying after all--but then, Dom always knew that. The wind, there by the sea, is picking up strands of her hair, blowing them across her face. He takes one gently and puts it back, wanting to see her better, and then he’s down on his knees beside her on the cold, cold sand, holding her tightly, whilst she holds him even tighter in return, so tightly it’s painful, really, but Dom doesn’t care, not at that moment.

“Frannie,” he’s sobbing in her arms, and his shirt’s wet with her tears as well, but it’s so good to know she’s still in the world Dom doesn’t mind that, either.

They weep for a long while in that painful embrace. Fran lets go of him first.

“I’m dreaming,” she says.

“Yeah,” Dom answers, only he’s not certain that’s the truth. “Could be. I’m not sure what this is, actually.”

She’s studying him critically. “You look like hell, Dominic.”

Dom shrugs, thinking that’s probably true—though it’s also true that she’s looked better as well. Despite the white in her hair, however, her face hasn’t aged at all. If anything, it appears younger, with a sort of shocked youthfulness. He wonders if that’s the way his face looks too.

“Yeah,” he says again. “At least here I can see you.”


“In my body,” he answers hesitantly, trying to keep his voice light. “I’ve gone a bit blind. Bloody inconvenient, that is.”

“Oh, Dom.” Her fingers trace the side of his face. They’re so cold, and he knows she ought to get indoors, at the same time he knows how hard it can be, sometimes, to be shut up inside, how much lonelier things can be, by oneself behind closed doors.

“Are you alone, Dom?” Fran asks.

“Nah. Got Billy. Lij and Sean, too. We’re going to find Viggo.”

“All of you?” Her always-wide eyes widen even more. “All of you left behind?”

“Yeah, well, don’t ask me how. Orli’s alive too, though he’s gone…” Dom’s not sure how to say these words, either. “He’s gone to a bad place.” He knows that’s entirely too vague an explanation, yet he has no idea how to say more. The mere thought of the Smiling Man terrifies him.

“I’ve been dreaming of America,” Fran answers somberly, and Dom guesses no further explanation’s necessary.

“Yeah,” he says. “He’s gone there.”

“Foolish Orli.” Fran shakes her head. “One would think he’d know better.”

Dom laughs a little. It’s a dry, rusty sound. “One would think.”

“There’s no one left here,” Fran tells him. “No one.”

Dom’s not certain if she means no one amongst her family and friends, the people she works with, or no one in Wellington. He doesn’t think he could stand that.

“Even the dogs died,” Fran says. “Even the horses. And the people…”

Dom could ask her many things, but he doesn’t. The thought of it’s too miserable. He realizes, suddenly, how very, very lucky he is, actually, to be amongst his closest friends. To know his mum’s still alive. “Poor Frannie,” he breathes, closing his hand around hers, trying to warm its cold with his own heat.

“I’m sorry,” Dom tells her. “So, so, sorry.” He realizes he’s crying again, and hates himself for being such a girl’s blouse, but he can’t seem to stop. “We’ll come,” he manages to choke out. “Dunno how, Frannie, or when, but we’ll come to you soon as we can, okay?”

There’s much more he wants to say, but the wind’s rushing in his ears and the sea’s gone blurred and there’s the distinct sensation that he’s coming unstuck from this version of his body.

“Soon as we can,” Dom manages to gasp out, before he’s flying again—only this time it’s not peaceful. He’s not an albatross riding serenely on the currents. It’s more as if he’s been hoovered up, twisting and tumbling through the dirty air, like Dorothy on her way to Oz.

When he hits, he hits hard, with the sensation of rolling over and over—though the truth is he’s only lying on his back with his feet too close to the fire, and Elijah’s clinging onto him, dragging him away from the flames.

“Sblomie,” Lij says, “You’ve gotta be careful. You nearly fell in there.”

“I was with Fran.” Dom’s face is wet, and he expects the wetness to be tears, only it isn’t. He feels terribly weak, terribly washed out.

“God, man, you’re a fuckin’ mess. What’s up with that?”

“I was with Frannie,” Dom repeats. He’s trying to sit up, and Lij is trying to help him, but it’s hard going. He’s so drained he’s shaking, and the stickiness has run down his neck and all over the front of his shirt. It feels foul, and once he’s managed to keep himself upright, Dom wants it off of him. He starts pulling at the shirt, Elijah helping him with that, too. He’s felt hot, too hot, but perhaps that’s only because he’s been so close to the fire. Without his shirt, away from the flames, Dom’s shivering violently again, all the more so because Lij is running something cold and wet over his chest, his throat, last of all over his face.

“Oi!” Dom exclaims, and tries to pull away, but Elijah’s keeping a tight grip on his shoulder and he’s too weak, at the moment, to break the hold.

“Hold still, you wuss,” Lij tells him. “Do you want Billy to see you like this?”

“Like what?” Dom asks. He’s no idea what the sticky stuff might be.

“All covered in blood. You look like you’ve been committing acts of violent murder.”

“As opposed to the gentle kind?” Dom says, but his humour, such as it is, seems lost on his friend.

“God, you’ve even got it in your ears. Hold still, will you?”

Dom hates the coldness, but he does hold still. Lij is right—if he is covered in blood, he doesn’t want Billy to see him that way.

“Don’t tell Bill, okay, Doodle?” he says. “Let’s just keep this between us? No need to worry him. I’m fine.”

“Yeah,” Elijah says dryly. “You look fine.” He sighs. “Okay.”

“Okay, what? You won’t tell?”

“I won’t tell.” Lij sighs again. “You have bruises all over your back.”

“That’s from the pack.”

“Uh-unh.” Elijah’s small, cold hand fits itself against Dom’s shoulderblade. “It’s like that, like someone’s fingers, smaller than mine, dug into your skin. You always did bruise like there’s no tomorrow.”

“No tomorrow,” Dom echoes. They both fall silent, Elijah sitting beside him now on the hard-baked earth. After a little, his head drops down onto Dom’s shoulder.

After a little more, Dom wraps his arms around him, telling himself it’s because he’s so cold and Elijah’s warm, but that’s not it. Not really.

“I’m so sorry I was such an asshole,” Lij says. “You know. Before.”

“’s all right,” Dom answers softly.

“I just…” Elijah pushes closer, folding himself into Dom’s body. “I couldn’t face it. Just couldn’t. And I know the rest of you guys were, and I made it tons harder for you, but I… I’ll do better, okay?”

“Yeah,” Dom tells him. “I know you will. ‘s okay, Lij.”

“No,” Elijah answers. “It’s not okay. It’s never going to be okay again, I don’t think. It’s…” Lij falls silent again.

“It’s okay,” Dom repeats, and raises his hand to stroke his friend’s silky hair. “At least we have each other.”

“I miss Hannah,” Elijah says. “I keep thinking… You know, like I’ll wake up any minute now? I’ll wake up and all this…” There’s a flutter in the air, most likely the result of Lij waving his hand to indicate the world around them.

“I understand,” Dom tells him.

“But it won’t, will it? This is the way things are.” Elijah’s head pushes harder against Dom’s collarbone. “This is the way things are,” he repeats, “For ever and always.”

It sounds like something from a fairytale, but Dom can’t laugh at Lij’s choice of words. He understands what Elijah’s saying only too well. “For ever and always,” he echoes, thinking of Fran on the seashore, her shocked, sad face. He knows, if he could see it, Lij’s face would hold much the same expression, as he’s fairly certain his does, as well.

“You mean you dreamed about Fran,” Elijah says, after a time.

Dom only shakes his head.

“You were really with her?”

“I…” Dom can’t say anymore. His nose has started bleeding again, and he shrugs away from his friend to pinch it closed. He doesn’t want to make a mess of himself a second time.

“I wish I could see things,” Lij says pensively. “The way you do, Dom.”

“No,” Dom answers, thinking of crows and deserts and people he can’t touch when he’s in his own body. Thinking of all the people he can’t see except in visions. “No, you don’t, Doodle.”

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Comments {26}

Who, Me?

(no subject)

from: aire_blair
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 08:51 pm (UTC)

Poor Dom! This chapter breaks my heart that he feels sooo alone, even tho' Billy is right there (and sleeping thru the whole episode? What up with that?)

But poor Billy too...what is going on in his tortured dreams?

Unsettling chapter this is....so well constructed and put together....but unsettling....(and I mean that in a really, really good way!! HONEST!!)

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Who, Me?

(no subject)

from: aire_blair
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 08:52 pm (UTC)

oooohh! I got to be first! You've usually got 30 comments before I even get to read a new chappie! Yay for me!

please disregard that - it's late, I'm wicked tired, I'm going now. *hangs in shame*

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Carbohydrates! Now in people shapes!

(no subject)

from: juniper200
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 08:58 pm (UTC)

Will Billy remember what he dreamed when he wakes? Was that Billy talking? If it wasn't, can he handle being a channel for whatever?

I'm glad you let Lij snap out of it. It's so much more believable to let someone just go away for a while than have them go permanently batshit.

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Any further questions? Ask the shrimp!

(no subject)

from: txvoodoo
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 09:05 pm (UTC)


“Donnae aim w’ my hand,” Billy murmurs

Our gunslinger. *weeps*

I owe you, oh, so much feedback. I dunno if I can catch up. Will it to do say I've caught up on your writing, enjoyed all of it as much as I've enjoyed all that came before? (well, some of it - enjoy isn't precisly the word, but relished, was moved, etc.)

HUGS sweetie.

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(no subject)

from: oxer12
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 09:18 pm (UTC)

Poor Dom. So much weight on his shoulders... And poor Orlando, all alone in Vegas. I'm not a big RL Orli fan, but I like *your* Orli, in every fic.

Thanks for the new installment! :)

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(no subject)

from: tenwords
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 09:24 pm (UTC)

oh, i love this. it's beautiful, this chapter. so many things to love. going south, and flying, and seeing frannie, and elijah being somewhat better...

love it. and i'm sorry dommie's lonely, but this is a beautifully written loneliness.

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Set phasers to fabulous!

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from: cincodemaygirl
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 10:05 pm (UTC)

*sobs, wanders off to wait for more*

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from: midworldmisfit
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 10:05 pm (UTC)

I kill with my heart..ahh..read The Dark Tower Saga? I looove how it connects with everything, Billy as a gunslinger is most awesome.

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a cat-like creature - almost human

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from: tigertale7
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 10:10 pm (UTC)

Frannie broke my heart. Dom broke my heart. Billy broke my heart. Elijah broke my heart. Sean and Sonja warmed the pieces though. Loved as always.

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from: smlark
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 10:38 pm (UTC)

I love this so much...It makes my day when I see a new chapter appear!

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Still learning to be me

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from: canciona
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 10:46 pm (UTC)

Sigh. I loved this. So much. Poor Dommie. And poor Billy (you're going to make me read the Gunslinger series, aren't you? Couldn't wait till he finished them...*grumble grumble*). Poor Frannie, and poor Orli, and poor Sean and poor all of them. Gah, this just rips me up. Let them be OK? Eventually? *sniffle*

Thank you.

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blue bird sitting on my windowsill

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from: kashmir1
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 11:35 pm (UTC)

This chapter hurt. But it was oh so wonderfully written I didn't even mind.

My heart is aching for Dom and Billy with the tortured dreaming and Elijah and Fran! Oh, poor Fran!

More soon, right? =D

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scandal in the ink

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from: laughingdryad
date: Sep. 5th, 2004 11:44 pm (UTC)

“Frannie,” he’s sobbing in her arms, and his shirt’s wet with her tears as well, but it’s so good to know she’s still in the world Dom doesn’t mind that, either.

That hit me. I love the way you write Dom and Fran's relationship. I love this fic.

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from: redneck_hobbit
date: Sep. 6th, 2004 02:01 am (UTC)

I was so exited to see this posted! It's so brilliantly written, I don't even mind the wait between chapters (not too much anyway)! Poor Dom and Billy and Lij and everyone else! But they're gonna find Viggo, right? Please tell me something at least a little bit good is gonna happen! I love this fic so much! Excellent writing (this and your other fics)--hope for more soon?

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The Quiet One

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from: xsquotessuch
date: Sep. 6th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC)

Oh, Sema, honey...

There’s a feeling in his chest as if his heart’s being twisted between two strong hands, and for a moment all he can do is press his own hands against the pain, trying to catch his breath again.


This is beautiful, darling... I love the relationship with Frannie... And Billy becoming aware (even if it's only while he's asleep) of his being a Gunslinger...

I love this.

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Elanor Gamgee

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from: elanorkat
date: Sep. 6th, 2004 08:49 am (UTC)

Poor lonely Dom! And Fran, at last!
A lovely chapter, and very moving. My favourite of your current fics, this is.

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The Girl formerly known as...

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from: tgfkaa
date: Sep. 6th, 2004 04:15 pm (UTC)

I love how you connect our hobbits with King. And this:

Dom knows he’s flying south, because it really does feel just like running downhill.

Nice little touch of LOTR.


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from: piratesorka
date: Sep. 6th, 2004 06:59 pm (UTC)

There’s a hand stroking his hair, an old hand, gentle.

The old woman’s voice is tremulous and scratchy, but gentle too. “Dominic,” she says, “I don’t know why God asks of us the things He asks.”

That bit made me hold my breath before softly letting it go...I want them to find Mother Abigail. I'm starting to get scared of this fic again and how much they all hurt and are vulnerable.

“There’s no one left here,” Fran tells him. “No one.”

Dom’s not certain if she means no one amongst her family and friends, the people she works with, or no one in Wellington. He doesn’t think he could stand that.

“Even the dogs died,” Fran says. “Even the horses. And the people…”

Ooookay...if that was the case for me,I'm sure I'd be doing a very careful overdose and saying goodbye to the silence.

Even the dogs died. Makes me all teary just thinking about it.

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täyttä ymmärrystä vailla

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from: acroamatica
date: Sep. 7th, 2004 10:57 am (UTC)

It's fab of course - but one quick question, before I run off to read it properly - are those middle names of Dom's for real, or do they just sound nicely Catholic?


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from: semaphore27
date: Sep. 7th, 2004 08:17 pm (UTC)

Heehee. Yes, those are his real middle names, from the mouth of the man himself--named after his two grandfathers: Bernard (Aureen's dad)and Patrick (Austin's dad). One assumes the "Luke" is a confirmation name.

So very, very much useless information in this head of mine.

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Alys Scarlet

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from: alysscarlet
date: Sep. 11th, 2004 07:36 am (UTC)

Argh! I loved the rhythmical repetition of how lonely Dom feels. It just drums it home somehow! But I'm so glad he got to connect with Fran in this universe, you write their connection so well. She sounds in an even worse state than Dom and the others, so alone....

But they are all carless now, and Mother Abigail and even Viggo seem so far away on foot across the desert. I hope they can get some more transportation soon!

BTW, I get a bit synesthesia sometimes, loud noises can be expressed as a flash of light or colour. It's usually when I'm tired. Weird stuff.

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from: badgermirlacca
date: Feb. 20th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)

This is just excellent.

Please, please, please finish this. storius interruptus is agonizing.

(And while you're at it, could you rescue Orli?)

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