Monday, August 8, 2011

Team Angst: heartfail one-shots


Team Angst decided to do something a little different. We searched our favorite fic lists and fic dove to find some extremely heartfail one shots (that you may or may not have read yet). So grab a box of tissues (and a bottle of booze) get comfy and savor the pain with us.

Title: The Other Woman
Author: sirenastarot
Words: 2,848
Reviews: 10
Summary: She was resigned to the fact that she was the other woman. But he changed the rules. AH, BDSM, character death. Written for The Never Ever Happily Ever After Contest. Judge's choice for Best WTF story.

Jeanne - I don’t know why I hurt myself like this, but fuck does sirenastarot make it hurt so good. This unique story is written in second person, which works almost too well for this heartbreaking story. You are in Leah’s shoes, feeling her pain and heartache. We see her history of regret played out before us in deliciously sexy details that are also bittersweet.

While Leah/Carlisle are the listed pairing, we follow several of Leah’s failed relationships. Both Edward and Emmett have touched her life, leaving scars behind. Even though these relationships have ended there is a sense of love in Leah’s memories of her time with each of these men. It’s that love that makes her heartbreak over losing or letting them go that much more acute.

Despite, the angsty nature of this story this is Leah that we know and love. She stands strong and tall even as she’s bleeds from the loss of love in her life. Fuck, I could ramble for days about how fucking amazing this story is, but fuck that. Just go read it. NOW! It’s worth the hurt.

Jess - I am speechless. The ache I feel for Leah, the emptiness she feels, is absolutely heartbreaking. My gasp and hand flying to my mouth at the end should tell you to tread lightly. This one will hurt.

Jen - I love the way The Other Woman unfolds. Bit by bit, we find out more about Leah, and as each disappointment is revealed the reader becomes more and more tied to her emotional state. sirenastarot accentuates the canon view of Leah as being apart from everyone else by using the second person pov. Very often second person is jarring to the reader, but in this case it works really well by drawing you into Leah’s intense emotions.

Although I knew this story devastated Jeanne, I couldn’t help hoping for a positive outcome for Leah. You’ll be drawn in by the hot sexual encounters, and then you’ll be invested in Leah as a person. It’ll take your breath away, but the hurt is worth the journey.

Title: Watching the Water Gather
Author: kdc2239
Words: 6,425
Reviews: 47
Summary: Tragedy and heartbreak have met Bella and Edward at every turn. Now madly in love and ready to start their lives, everything is looking up. Little do they know the worst is yet to come. AH, O/S, E/B; character death and violence

Jess - In this interest of full disclosure, I beta’d this story for kdc2239 some time ago, but the nature of this story touched me so deeply, I just had to add it to this list.

Together, they’ve faced obstacles - too many to count - and have grown stronger in the relationship.

The two told each other everything. They shared their pain, their deepest darkest secrets, their hopes and fears for the future. More than anything, the one thing she hoped and longed for, was the chance to go to school. It was a conversation she'd had with her parents often, and she'd promised them she would go to school. As Edward listened to her talk and he dreamed about it night after night, he vowed to himself he would help her see her dream through.

The love and trust, the encouragement and hope these two have is so beautiful and intense. kdc2239 does a lovely job showing how deeply and emotionally connected Edward and Bella are.

On a night that is supposed to be full of celebration and holds the promise of a better life, things take a turn for the worst, and the other is left to pick up the pieces. The journey, the heartache, the sadness and pain are so vivid and rich it’s devastating.

This one-shot is lemon-lite, but trust me when I say you the connection you feel in the midst of it is more than enough!
Pulling the dress out of his grasp, she runs to the bathroom for a quick shower, but he has different ideas. Following her into the shower they start their vow to be close more often right then. As he loves her against the wall of the shower, she kisses his warm shoulder where she watches the water gather.

The constant refrain - “Watching the Water Gather” will haunt you, much as it did me. While this story may rip your heart out, I hope you’ll read it, because it will make you think about how fragile life and time really are. It’s beautifully and viscerally written. Take a chance and leave kdc2239 some love.

Jen - Watching the Water Gather is beautifully written, and deeply felt. As Jess says, Edward and Bella’s emotional connection is so deep, and so clearly portrayed in this o/s that it makes the tenderly written emons all the more beautiful. You’ll definitely want to have tissues handy.

Title: When We Collide
Author: eDWards.headboard
Words: 3,282
Reviews: 1
Summary: Carlisle and Esme are twelve years into their marriage. The pain of life has left them disconnected and numb. Do you know what's more powerful than numbness? Physical pain. The ironic thing is that emotional numbness hurts worse than physical pain.

Jen - When We Collide is a powerfully intense o/s which explores the dynamic between Carlisle and Esme when everything seems to be following the ‘or worse’ portion of their marriage vows.

At first read, their relationship sounds completely toxic. Under the stress of financial difficulties, their lives are filled with tension and an extreme lack of communication. eDWards.headboard does a great job showing us the tension in the household via Esme’s pov. You can almost hear the numbness in the thoughts that run through Esme’s head, and you can easily imagine her monotonous speech as she moves through her days.

Most representations of Esme in fic portray her as the kind, understanding mother--the June Cleaver of the vampire world. AH stories tend to take that view of Esme to an even more idealized image of maternal and wifely perfection. I really love the realistic scenario of When We Collide. Their lives are not full of rainbows and puffy hearts; their sexual relations aren’t either. I know many Twi-fic readers are loathe to imagine Esme and Carlisle having sex. This is not Esme and Carlisle making slow, sweet love to one another. The seduction, if you can call it that, is rough and ugly, and I did briefly wonder if Carlisle is abusive. As the o/s continues, though, you can see that Esme and Carlisle still do love each other deeply.

The pleasure/pain is exquisite and I can feel the tension in my back releasing. I am breathing deeply and savoring the rush. This is our only form of communication now. Body language is the only language we speak. All other forms of communication have failed us. This is the only time we are open to each other.

Carlisle is completely dominant, bending Esme to his will. You sense that sex is the one time in his life that Carlisle can truly be in control. Esme submits to him because she it is a relief to let go from the effort of holding things together for the children. She welcomes the pain because in the rest of her life she’s simply numb; it’s a relief to experience some feeling. The sex is raw and passionate.

I think you’ll find When We Collide to be a powerful o/s, even as it turns a realistic eye on the sometimes uglier side of marriage

Jess - In a way, this one-shot caught me off guard. Like Jen mentioned, we often think of Carlisle and Esme having this very happy, healthy, sex- & love-filled marriage. What we see depicted here is the opposite of that in every way. There is a cool detachment between these two, and in some cases, it’s particularly hard to read. Their physical relationship is where you see the spark, but even that is cold and harsh. I hope, like Esme, that maybe the future will change things, that they’ll find happiness and renewal, but it’s hard to envision that happening in this scenario.

Title: Unlikely Solace
Author: sweetandsaltyff
Words: 11,282
Reviews: 7
Summary: Agonized by events beyond their control, two sworn enemies find an unexpected camaraderie in their surprisingly parallel situations.Whether rage, physical exertion, or desire, the need to express and release provides solace in the most unlikely of places.

Chele - One might wonder what Rosalie could possibly offer Leah that could calm the malevolent storm that rages in her heart and poisons the pack mind. If you’re thinking chick flicks and girl time, this is not the fic for you. Unlikely Solace shows us a friendship forged in a fire of rage and betrayal as two women give each other a place where it’s safe to be angry, bitter, disappointed, and perhaps a little violent.

Yes, Rose encouraged Leah's fury, coaxing it out of her with unwavering eye contact, trying to draw it from her like water from a stone. She saw that Leah needed this. Rose had no fear for herself- physically that was unthinkable. But she saw that this woman who had become so precious to her needed a release, one Rose knew she could give. The release of rage.

The eroticism builds subtly. Leah’s phasing leaves her physically exposed when in human form, and despite Rose’s attempts to appear unaffected, the UST builds from their first interaction. The way sweetandsaltyff describes Leah’s body is enough to leave you panting.

These are not damsels in distress, and yet, they are still able to be eachother’s salvation. If, like me, you ache to read strong women, look no further.

Jess - I rarely read femmeslash. I have no idea why, but as I got going, I really fell in love with the way both Leah and Rose just understood each other. There was a camaraderie, a closeness that no man could possibly understand. These two are kindred spirits - both suffering losses, different and yet the same - that what came was simply inevitable. Watching these two being open and vulnerable, making love and giving themselves over to each other was simply beautiful.

Jen - There is so much about Leah and Rose as a couple that makes perfect, perfect sense, especially when their story is as beautifully told as it is here by sweetandsaltyff. I loved watching them both purge their pain and then find solace in one another. Angsty, full of personal growth, and damn sexy--what more could you want in a o/s?


eDWards.headboard said...

Thank you so much for your kind review. I only just discovered it tonight and it couldn't have come at a better time!