The Team Anything Goes pick is...
Summary: In a post-pandemic world, misery and paranoia are strife. When immunologist Jacob Black is sent to a refugee settlement, he encounters a young woman named Rosalie Hale. Does she have what he's looking for? A Jake/Rose story in 3 parts. AH, set in 2051.
Jess - So, in the interest of full disclosure, I had the opportunity to preread this story, and in the process, absolutely fell in love with it. Set well into the future (2051) in a post-pandemic world, Immunity is raw and gritty.
Our characters - Rosalie and Jacob - are fierce. They are survivors who have been shaped by a very tumultuous world around them, from the beginning we see through Jacob’s eye how intense Rosalie is.
The scowl on her face was particularly ugly, a look that conveyed years of hardship and resentment. She was feistier than I ever would have expected.
But he doesn’t begrudge her this. He knows of the world - squalor and poverty - in which she lives. Remember I said she was fierce? In fact, as I was reading, I felt like in some ways this, along with her raw magnetisim and intellectual aptitude, not to mention her persistence and drive, it was the very thing that drew Jake to her.
My growing affinity for her was threatening to cloud my judgment. I had only just met her, yet I was already so concerned for her, so affected by her plight. I told myself to be more rational about the situation and to get what I came for. I needed to take the journal, not share its contents.
"Want to talk about it?" she asked, patting the space next to her.
"Get over here. And no, I don't bite. Not unless you're into that sort of thing."
Now I was picturing her in compromising positions. "You're killing me here," I lamented.
Jake, like Rose, is focused, and he, too, bears a heavy burden. He carries around the knowledge of more bad pandemic news, and he is powerless to do anything about it. One of the things I like about him is how almost proper he seems. Despite people’s expectation that he could take Rosalie as his own, for his own purposes, he is loathe to do that. He tries to maintain a proper distance, and more importantly, tries to make Rosalie (and her mother) see that he isn’t like all those other guys. But before you get all melty inside, let me say this - Immunity is not what I would call a nice little romance in the midst of darkness. There is love, but it’s rough and raw.
In fact, the first glimpse of Jake giving in to his more carnal desires comes on the heels of Rosalie pushing, taunting, almost preying on his needs.
I bucked at her touch, immediately needing more than just her fingers on my cock. "I'm serious. Look, I care about you. But sex is..."
The fifteen seconds were up. My needs made it much more difficult to think straight.
"Bed?" she teased while tugging on me.
I was so hard for her. Something primal in me snapped, and I found myself being much more forward than anticipated. "What's wrong with right here?"
"Nothing," she answered. "How do you want me?"
"Get down on all fours," I ordered, my cock straining against my jeans. "Now. Before I change my mind."
From there... well, you’ll have to read the rest for yourself. What belladonna1472 does in the three short chapters of Immunity will blow your mind and leave you begging for more.
Jeanne - Yeah, I was a prereader for this story too, and I am so thankful I was. I have never read anything like this, in published or fan fiction. belladonna1472 captures a frightening future that often left me chilled and shaken. You can feel the hopelessness and grief in Jacob’s narrative. How he mourns for the world as it once was, and fears for the possible future. Even Rosalie’s beauty seems to sadden him, or rather that she has to live in squalor because of politics and the fears of the rest of the world. The realism to this world is indescribably intense. This is not kiddie ride, make sure to have your big girl pants securely in place before you start reading.
Despite the bleak setting Jacob and Rose shine. Jacob’s intensity and hope won my heart. While this is an older, jaded doctor Jacob I had no problem seeing all the qualities I love in the canon character present and accounted for. Dr. Black is loyal, dedicated and compassionate to a fault. It is drive and determination that brings him to the refugee camp in the first place. Though it is his mistake that eventually leads him to Rose. Oh Rose, fuck do I love her. She has a strength that shines through despite her age; she is younger than Jake. She has an unapologetic confidence that would seem abnormal in a young woman in our times, but makes perfect sense for a girl that has had to survive on her wits.
Put these two intense individuals together, both working toward their own goals that at times conflict and watch the fireworks or rather the mind blowing UST. I’m not exaggerating. There were times it was so tense my jaw ached from clenching. These two want each other, almost from the first time they meet, but circumstances (and Jake’s sense of decorum) hinders there attraction...for a little while at least. When the two of them finally give in to their desires the raw sexuality of their sex was not romantic, but it had a visceral quality that left me breathless.
Yet their emotions and intelligence ground them. These aren’t children in a fairy story. They are adults, standing on the edge of the world with only each other to cling to, and yet they still find love together. Now I guess when I think about it, that is pretty fucking romantic.
Chele - This fic warms my apocalyptic sci-fi nerd heart. And my pants, because holy fuck this is both completely scary and wickedly “ let’s fuck-like it’s the end of the world” hot.
In belladonna1472’s first A/N she states that she mentioned at Comic-Con that she thought this pairing would be interesting to write. What she doesn’t mention is that the audience went wild at the idea.... okay. *I* went wild at the idea, everyone else went o.O.
I’ve always found Jake and Rosalie’s canon friendship disguised as animosity to be a fertile ground for plot bunny breeding, so I was thrilled at the hope that such a talented author would be willing to put these two together. Never in my wildest imaginings could I have dreamed that this scenario would be the result of that, nor that it could be pulled off so brilliantly.
The character’s canon strengths and vulnerabilities are all present, but on this stage they open up a whole new possibility. Rosalie has all of the damage and strength we’ve grown accustomed to, but is able to showcase it in determination and perseverance instead of arctic frigidity. Jacob Black’s fierce intelligence and drive to understand complexity is channeled into medicine instead of auto repair. They’re dropped into a world with no promise of future, and their intensity draws them to one another like magnets. The smut does not get hotter than this. It’s erotic, deperate, and a little dirty.
Belladonna1472 is brave to stray so far from the Twi genre with these characters, but the risk pays off with an intense, character-driven story. If you have even a little bit of love for the post-apocalypse and a penchant for smut, you MUST read Immunity.
Jen - Immunity is such a treat. In just three chapters belladonna1472 gives us a smartly written story: an amazing dystopian universe, a bit of suspense and intrigue, and the undeniable attraction between Jake and Rosalie.
I love this grown-up, thoughtful Jacob. He very much wants to do the right thing. An American turned naturalized British citizen, he’s caught between the people he works for and the refugees from his homeland. He knows that whatever he says can be misconstrued by Rosalie. Although he’s attracted to her, he tries not to show it or allow himself to give in to the feelings because of the great disparity in their statuses.
As much as he finds Rosalie physically beautiful, he’s completely taken with her intelligence and spirit. Rather than weaken his resolve, this makes him even more determined not to have a quick sexual relationship with her. Rosalie’s whip smart, and despite the differences in their circumstances, she’s not afraid to go toe to toe with him. She’s strong and bold, but also shows great vulnerability.
Rose is forthright about wanting to have sex with him, and has even proposed that he marry her and take her to the mainland. Although he’d turned her down and even stopped her from kissing him before, she is Rose, so she’s going to try and try again. She doesn’t mind resorting to trickery to convince him.
"I have the robe on now, so you can look up."
I looked up.
She lied. She was still naked, the robe in her hand.
"You are unbelievable, you know that?" I argued.
I was losing my willpower, and she knew it.
"Yeah, I do know that," she replied, sounding so sure of herself.
I raised my hands in front of me as she approached. It was no good. She dropped the robe on the floor and threw her arms around my neck, kissing me before I could think of doing anything. While her body was dry, her hair was still wet, her locks dripping water on my shirt as she pressed herself against mine.
I was a goner. I kissed her back passionately, slipping my tongue into her mouth and grabbing the back of her neck with one hand. There was no denying it – I definitely wanted her. I groaned as the kiss deepened, telling myself this wasn't the time to be concerned about the outside world. I was here with her now. I grabbed her ass with my other hand and pushed her into my groin. She moaned in approval, sucking on my bottom lip before teasing my tongue with hers.
"Unbelievable, right?" she teased, running a hand down my chest and down to the waistband of my jeans.
Unf! This was just a kiss. The push/pull between them is amazing. They’re physically compatible, intellectually compatible, and they complement each other so well in their ability to both be strong and still show vulnerability. They could definitely be a formidable couple, and no matter what is going on in their very much messed up world, you know they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
I can’t recommend Immunity enough. It’s not like any other story you’ve read. It will turn you on, it will have you at the edge of your seat, and it will definitely have you wondering what might happen next in this future.
Teal - I’ve never been one for movies about pandemics and post-apocalyptic worlds, yet I find books and fanfics with a similar theme incredibly fascinating. The beginning of this short story drops us at a somewhat unknown time and place. We have no idea why Jacob is in a seemingly abandoned library, how he got there, or what he wants. We also know nothing of the beautiful girl also in search of some unknown book. That all quickly changes.
In this isolated, regressed world, Dr. Jacob Black is an important player, and though only a common young woman, Rosalie is smart and determined. A fire ignites between them almost immediately - both physically and intellectually - but motives are always in question.
Soon enough, though, Jacob can’t hold back from his desire for her. She has no shame in tempting him, but she also challenges him intellectually, and he cannot deny the connection he feels to her. In a world where they have practically nothing, not even the promise of another day in good health, you can clearly see how they need to just feel something.
Though there is romance in a much less traditional way than we normally see it, I wouldn’t call this a love story. The real story, to me, is Jacob’s never ending, ever present struggle between responsibility and helplessness. He knows what so many do not, and while Rosalie fights in hopes of freedom, she has no idea Jacob is actually trying to protect her, even if it might mean they won’t be together. Regardless, the relationship develops and grows swiftly in a time of unrealized peril.
Don’t expect Jacob and Rosalie to band together and save the world in three chapters, but you will see an exciting and captivating fraction of their journey together, and I don’t think you’ll be able to tear yourself away from it until the end.