Sunday, July 3, 2011

Team Angst: Drenched by MissHyde


Team Angst is a constantly changing teams, depending on who can handle the angst levels of the Team Angst pick. Only the bravest (or craziest) Pervs tackle the tears and pain to bring you the best angst and heartfail that fan fic has to offer. Non-canon pairings? No problem. Cheating and Break-ups? No sweat. Character death? Bring it! It’s all in a days work for Team Angst. So if you think you’re tough enough put on your big girl pants, take a seat and join us for the Team Angst Pick.

The Team Angst Pick is...

Title: Drenched
Author: MissHyde
Chapters: 36
Words: 14,425
Reviews: 649
Drenched: A Song in 36 verses. Here comes the rain again / falling from the stars / drenched in my pain again / becoming who we are. AH / Slash

Jess - Drenched is probably one of the most beautiful stories I’ve read in a long time. It is utterly heart-wrenching, but the deep love that unfolds is breathtaking. Drenched is the story of two men who find each other... one was oblivious and the other wasn’t. The story starts with Jasper telling about the many firsts he experiences with Edward. You know from the beginning that one of these characters is going to die...

MissHyde makes that clear in her very first author’s note. And yet, from the very first chapter, I was completely sucked in. I’m not sure if it was the way in which she told the story, the voices of her characters, or what, but I was literally glued to my couch for about an hour and read until I was snot-sobbing and bleary eyed. And even then, I just sat there, staring down at my phone, wishing for more. Even a week later, I’m still thinking about it. That to me is the way a truly great story should stick with you.

In some ways, I’m at a loss for words as to how to even describe or talk about this beautiful piece of work. As I mentioned above, virtually every chapter begins the exact same way:

“The first time...”

“The first time I saw Edward, I didn't notice him.”

“The first time I touched Edward was when I reached out to shake his hand as I introduced myself.”

“The first time Edward hugged me was after an especially hard night at the center one Saturday.”

On and on... until it doesn’t. And it’s when the words turn to “The last time...” you know your heart is truly breaking.

This story is so compelling. Edward and Jasper’s relationship is so real, so visceral. With every short chapter, I felt like I was in their lives, observing, growing, loving with them. There’s no easy way to show this, but here’s one of my favorite chapters, and one of them major turning points in the story.

The first time we cried together was after I had warmed up a bit and the shivering had stopped. He climbed into my lap and held me so damn tight while he sobbed in my arms and my tears ran into his hair. He ranted about how unfair it was, how he hadn't cared before, how he had been able to accept it, how he had lived with it for his whole life, and now that he had found someone to live for, it was all going to be taken away. We sat there for a long time after the tears had stopped, comforting each other in silence. There were no words that would ease the pain.

Please give this story a chance. Wusspervs, read this. Yes, it’s sad. Yes, it will hurt. But it would be such a loss to miss out on this. For the non-slash readers, seriously, read this. It will warm your soul at how beautiful a loving relationship can be. This is a story I will almost certainly read again. Thank you MissHyde for sharing your beautiful words with us.

Jen - Nothing about Drenched is typical. Right from the start MissHyde makes no bones about the fact that this is going to be a hard story to read: it’s labeled tragedy and the a/n states that the story does include character death.

I love the format that MissHyde uses for this story. The chapters are longer than a 100 word drabble, but the thirty six chapters total 14,425 words, not much longer than some one shots. The spare writing style enhances the emotions present in the story, and I really love when the format becomes an integral part of the story. As Jess mentioned above, the repeated use of ‘The first...’ at the beginning of each chapter is a very powerful tool in this short story.

Drenched may be short on words, but it certainly isn’t short on emotions. As MissHyde builds the love story between Jasper and Edward, Jasper’s words become more intense, and his longing and love for Edward become so palpable that you feel them deep within your heart. Their love for one another is so deep, it’s hard to remember that they only had about two years with each other. Every day, every moment they had together was so meaningful, especially once Jasper understood the nature of Edward’s illness; even when they argued they were truly living in the moment.

In a story with such a heavy theme you wouldn’t expect lots of carefree smutty times. Every first- kiss, bj, making love- was so rich, so important, just as every last time would eventually be.
Simple moments, such as time spent kissing, are as beautifully depicted as their times making love.

I used to quite like the scruff in the old days, liked the feel
of it against my lips when he kissed me, or dragged his face down my body,
looking for new spots to lick. But now, the sensation of this silky damp skin
was too inviting to resist. I started at a spot just below his ear, and kissed my
way along his jaw, tenderly, slowly, trying to show him my love without
words. When I reached his mouth I stayed there a while. He still loved kissing;
it was one thing he could still do. So I kissed him and he kissed me and for a
little while we forgot about everything else.

Knowing up front that someone dies does not take anything away from the story. Like me, you may even find yourself forgetting that someone will die. By the time you remember that little Tragedy tag up above, you’ve already fallen hard for the two men in the story. When I realized that things were accelerating, I wished so much for things to slow down, as if I could prevent Edward’s death simply by reading slowly.

I know many Twific fans avoid stories with the death of a main character. Sure, avoiding Drenched might prevent you from shedding some tears, but in so doing you’ll also deprive yourself of a rich and beautiful piece of fanfiction.

Liz - I love a story that makes you feel something powerful, whether that is rage, or lust, or pride, or sorrow. Drenched gives us all of those things. Rage that diseases exist (although Edward’s is fictional) that can rip our loved ones from us too young, lust for the passion Jasper and Edward share, pride in how beautifully Jasper stands by Edward to the very end, and sorrow that they didn’t have a chance to live a longer lifetime together.

A poignant countdown opens each chapter with Jasper recounting a series of their firsts, and then, as MissHyde gently prepares us for the worst, with Jasper’s recollections of ‘lasts,’ tears us to bits at the same time leaving us in awe.

The first time we cried together... He climbed into my lap and held me so damn tight while he sobbed in my arms and my tears ran into his hair. He ranted about how unfair it was, how he hadn't cared before, how he had been able to accept it, how he had lived with it for his whole life, and now that he had found someone to live for, it was all going to be taken away.

It seems disrespectful to refer to what they share as ‘lemons.’ The tenderness and love between them is palpable, and will leave you panting and rubbing at the ache in your chest when you realize where this all will end. Terribly, beautifully heartbreaking.

Teal - It’s gonna be so heartbreaky, I said. But it’s sooo good, these Pervs told me. Technically, we were all right.

I see you out there, you gluttons for angst, tragedy, and character death. Well then, get to reading. This fic is truly a tearjerker, but it’s worth the emotional investment to meet these characters, watch their love blossom and develop, and see how they cope with falling in love when you know it’s all going to be stolen away from you at any moment. Jasper and Edward are both so sweet here, and it’s amazing how strong they each remain through every new discover, trial, and the eventual end that neither wants to face. I really enjoyed how genuine their struggles felt, especially as they became tangled with their desire to spend every possible moment together while still giving time for Edward to spend with his family and relish those fleeting moments as well.

If you’re a crier, have your tissues ready, and if you’re might still want to keep some handy (I won’t tell anyone if you use them). The love story is supreme, but the tragedy is not exaggerated. I thank MissHyde for sharing a little piece of her talent and her heart with us here.


Anonymous said...

On one hand, I trust your choices since they've never been wrong before.. you've gotten me to love the wolf pack, love slash, love non-canon pairings... you even got me fandom hopping! This, however, scares me. I love some angst... but I'm hesitating to read this.. I must say I probably will anyway because I trust you guys, I'll just make sure to be alone and keep the tissues close :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you for rec'ing this story. I read it last night and it was fantastic!! Sometimes you need a good cry... :)