Monday, April 16, 2012

Team Angst: All The King's Horses


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: All the King’s Horses
Author: idpattthat
Chapters: 10
Words: 31,154
Reviews: 122
Summary: When an unexpected tragedy threatens to tear their family apart, Leah and Edward must find the strength to put the pieces back together. AH Edward/Leah


Firstly, I am so thrilled to be writing this review for All the King’s Horses by idpattthat. She is a generous author in this fandom and I have to admit that she was the second (einfach_mich was the first, honestly) author that drove me to the dark side with the promises of cookies with non-canon pairings. I want every single person that thinks they are Edward/Bella to seriously give this fic a chance.

In the first few chapters you get introduced to Edward, Leah and Caroline. Edward and Leah are married, and they have the most adorable daughter, Caroline. I definitely picked up that there was a sense of loss in these chapters. At the same time, you don’t see Leah truly pushing away from Edward. In fact, when Edward holds Leah, she is literally reaching for him. That told me that something happened in their past, something that was terribly tragic.

In Chapter Four you get a glimpse of the passionate relationship that Edward and Leah share, told from Leah’s pov.
One kiss. He did that to me with one kiss. I needed so much more.

"I want you so much," Edward said softly as his lips skimmed my collarbone and his hands deftly removed my bra. We fell backwards onto the bed and my hair formed a curtain around us. His eyes searched mine for a long moment and I wondered if he were changing his mind. If maybe this wasn't something he really wanted to do. Maybe he was just feeling sorry for me, sorry for not trying harder these past few months.

Of course the look in his eyes as he gazed up at me pushed those thoughts away: love and lust and awe…all for me.

The very things I felt.

Edward rolled us smoothly and I sighed as his hands moved over my skin and then pulled off my jeans and panties. He rested his body over mine and the rough denim against my thighs made me squirm against him. My fingers trailed down his chest and to the waistband of his pants. He groaned as I popped the buttons open and slid my hand inside and wrapped my fingers around him. His hips bucked into my hand as I stroked him and his breath came in little gasps. I grinned and pulled my hand away.

The first time I read this I was blown away by the intimacy and how powerful the relationship is between Edward and Leah. The love they have for each other showed me how strong they can be together.

The supporting characters in All the King’s Horses are just as important. I love the relationship between Emmett and Bella. They are married and have two kids. Emmett and Bella have been together since college. They got married at the same time as Edward and Leah. The biggest difference is that Emmett and Bella adopted two children. The friendship between Leah and Bella is strong. Although, you can pick up on the fact that there are some things they don’t talk about. I am keeping my mouth shut about that because I want you to read it for yourself. Esme is a proud grandma. There is no doubt about that. Alice and Jasper are in a relationship.

Chapter Six is when the angst really comes into play, and it’s something that is so realistic that I had no clue at how to react.

"What in heaven's name is going on with the two of you?" Esme finally cried as she stood up and stuck her hands on her hips, glaring at her daughter.

Alice's dark eyes went wide as she stood up and faced her mother. Jasper followed, his hands rested protectively on her shoulders.

"I…we…" she trailed off and glanced at him for support. Edward made a noise in his throat and a knowing look crossed his face. I inhaled sharply as I finally got it.

"We're getting married!" Jasper finally said with a huge grin.

"Oh!" Esme pulled them both into her arms and soon we were all embracing and congratulating and smiling. "Champagne! I think I have a bottle somewhere, we should celebrate!"

"No, Mom. That's okay," Alice grabbed her mother's hand before she could leave. "I don't…"

"You're pregnant!" Bella cried from beside me. Alice opened her mouth to speak, but closed it quickly.

Her eyes filled with tears and she nodded. I watched Esme fold her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law into her embrace and I reached my hand back, knowing I would find Edward. He slipped his hand into mine and squeezed my fingers lightly.

I was angry at myself for not being more excited for them. Part of me wanted to hug and cry and be happy with her but the other part, the ugly green-eyed monster part, was… jealous.

Biting back my tears, I went to Alice and hugged her tightly. She smiled up at me, though it was tinged with worry, so I whispered my congratulations and kissed her cheek. Edward smiled as he lifted her off her feet, though it didn't meet his eyes. Of course, no one but me would have noticed.

I felt so out of sorts. I wanted to be happy for Alice and Jasper but at the same time I wanted to hug Edward and Leah. The emotions between those two nearly killed me. I loved how Edward reached for Leah’s hand.

In the chapters that follow you get a glimpse of the past. You learn about Edward, Leah and Eli. How Leah and Edward became a couple. This Edward makes me swoon, and Leah is absolutely beautiful. These characters are not perfect. That is something that I love to read. It makes it more realistic to me.

Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention those insanely hot, yet realistic, lemons. Especially when they come from Edward’s pov:

She let me wrap her up in my arms and pull her down to the bed of my truck until our bodies were pressed together on top of an old beach blanket. Leah leaned on her elbow and rested her hand on my cheek, her eyes trained on mine. I smiled and tugged her down to me, suddenly and incredibly desperate for contact with her.

The intimacy between Edward and Leah is so damn strong. Every chapter that idpattthat
writes makes me want to bring on my pom poms, and I have never been a cheerleader. Edward and Leah fight. They love. They are a family. All the King’s Horses has it all for me. Give this a chance. The writing is perfect. You will root for Edward and Leah, just like I am.

There are situations in life that can tear apart even the most committed, deeply in love couple. All the King’s Horses tells the story of one such couple. Edward and Leah have lost a child, and in the first few chapters it’s impossible to imagine that they might make it through their grief with their family and marriage intact.

Not gonna lie, this one hurts, after all, it tells the story of a parent’s worst nightmare. idpattthat mixes past and present, weaving Edward and Leah’s background throughout the story--both the beginning of their relationship as well as how they lost their son. At this time in the story we still don’t know how or why Eli died, but we are moving closer and closer to learning that. We do know that Edward is no stranger to grief; years after his father’s death he’s still heavily weighed down by it.

Despite knowing he’s hurting the ones he loves most, Edward has been spending a lot of time alone. He’s withdrawn, and his relationships with his wife, his child, his brother and other friends are strained. We get to see inside his head, but the town and Leah do not. From their eyes it is easy to believe that he’s slipping away from all of them.

Leah’s not coping much better with Eli’s death, and feeling that her husband is pulling away from her makes everything so much worse. She misses every aspect of their relationship, and that includes the physical side. The return of their physical relationship will have you exhaling in relief. Though Leah is ready to talk about their son, their loss, Edward is not and uses the physical to communicate his love for her. Because of the grief in this story, I almost feel guilty for finding the lemons incredibly sexy.

As much as I want to know how Eli died and to see how Edward and Leah make it through their grief together, I’m almost more eager for the sections that show us their past. idpattthat shows their connection, even as teenagers, so intensely. You’ll swoon.

No, there wasn't something between us. There was everything between us. Everything that was known and unknown. There were things that we were both too afraid to find, but too stupid to care about at the moment. And he knew it, too.

"Kiss me. Kiss me and tell me it doesn't mean anything and I'll drop it. I'll never mention it to you again," he said as he dropped my hands and cupped my face, his fingertips gently moving into the hair at the back of my neck.

Edward didn't give me a chance to respond. Before I knew it his lips were pressed to mine, soft and warm, tinged with alcohol and salt from the air. I gasped a little when his hand wrapped around the back of my neck and his tongue parted my lips. The heat of his body pressed against mine and something inside me broke and I knew I'd never kiss anyone else.

Leah and Edward have come a long way from the prologue, but there are still difficult times ahead. Edward seems to be at a breaking point, and they will both need to be open and vulnerable with one another during this next part of their healing. I know it’s going to continue to hurt, but that just makes the story of their love that much more beautiful.

I have been a fan of idpattthat’s stories for quite some time. She writes Edward/Leah (and Edward/Bella, although not in this story) in a way that you can’t help but fall in love with them. She brings out the characteristics of each of them that we know and love, without making it feel trite or overdone.

In this story, All the King’s Horses, we come face to face with a couple that is deeply in love but struggling through the loss of a child. Navigating the very rough waters of grief can be a challenge, but idpattthat has handled the subject with delicacy and realism. I ache for the pain Edward and Leah are fighting to get past, and even though it hurts, it’s not “rip-your-heart out” angst. It’s understated, playing out in their day-to-day actions and interactions with friends and family. In fact, in the latest chapter, we get a glimpse of what it’s like to be caught off guard when they come face to face with a child that resembles their Eli. ::heartclench::

idpattthat gives us glimpses of what Edward (or Teddy, as Leah lovingly calls him) and Leah’s (and Caroline, their little girl) life used to look like. These brief glimpses of happiness and a love that takes your breath away gives me hope that they will get past their loss, that they’ll find ways to remember and celebrate Eli’s life.

I pulled her closer against me and felt her body relax into mine. Her skin was still exposed, still teasing me.

"Edward…" she whispered my name and I closed my eyes at the sound of it. It was like sweet surrender.

"Leah, I just…fuck, I love you so much," the words came out in a rush and I immediately wished I hadn't chosen that moment to tell her that. She froze in my arms and I stifled a groan.

I clasped my hands behind my head and stepped away from her. "I'm sorry."

"Sorry? Sorry that you love me?" she asked, loud and clear.

I turned back to her quickly. "God, no." My hands cupped her face, bringing her dark eyes back to mine. "Loving you is the only thing that's keeping my head above water, Leah. I've wanted to tell you for weeks, but I couldn't find the courage to. I just didn't want to remember this moment with the day I buried my father."

She blinked at me, her hands covering mine.

"I didn't want it to happen this way," I said again. She pulled my hands from her face and kissed my knuckles, and then dropped them and wrapped her arms around my neck. She pulled me closer until our foreheads touched and then her lips were pressed against mine.

"I love you too, Teddy," Leah whispered as she pulled away.

"Even if I'm a mess?" I tried to laugh, but it just came out as a broken sob.

"Because you're a mess. You're my mess." She kissed me again and held me tightly, like I was going to fly away or something. I didn't care; sometimes it felt like I might. But when it did…I held on to her.

There are still a few uncertainties and unknowns, the biggest being how Eli died, but idpattthat always has a plan, and I know she’ll bring these two a happily ever after that makes sense for them and their family.

Make sure you leave her some love, and tell her the Pervs sent you!


I have to admit I was a little nervous to jump into this story since it was my first time reading about Leah and Edward. However, that all went away as I watched their relationship build. I could totally relate to them. We haven’t met the whole extended family yet but I am already looking forward to the introduction of Seth and seeing what type of dynamic he brings to an already awesomely diverse bunch.

What hit me most about this story is the true pain that it portrays and the real life effects it has on these characters. The pain of losing a child and how that affects the family is ever present in their day to day activities--something as small as a daily task or as big as a family member announcing exciting news. When Edward says “That one day we could become even a shadow of what we used to be, of what we used to have. I hoped one day we would be happy.” This screamed to me and said so much without having to say much at all. I am rooting for them to find healing and to move forward, so that they can hopefully find that “happy” Edward is looking for.


Oh my heart.

Edward/Leah stories aren’t a typical draw for me, though I’ve read a few. Idpattthat has such a wonderful style for introducing their relationship and delivering bits and pieces of it over time, so it felt just as natural to me as reading any other pairing...or even original fic. I’m so glad I gave this one a shot! It’s a heartbreaker, but it’s also a beautiful exploration of a couple who have a strong, loving relationship dealing with tragedy...the way it changes them, the good and bad days, and how they deal with it together (though in this case, not dealing with their loss as a unit is the driving force of this story.

With quick yet detailed, full chapters, this story is a fast read that will have you checking your email constantly for an update. The intimate moments are intense and full of love, and they demonstrate the desperation and need these characters have for each other - especially emotionally - and how it’s sometimes easier to express yourself physically than open up and talk. I’m invested in these characters, wildly curious to know what happened to cause their loss, and how they will work through it together...because I just can’t make myself believe they won’t. They have to. No matter what. I’m hooked, and I’m sure you will be too.