Reviews for Becoming
Guest chapter 50 . 10/14
I've been reading this story for four years. Only Lady MacBeth has generated as much ink. I find this story engrossing, maddening, and self-indulgent. Many of your insights are right on the money. Sometimes you take as long as Sarah does to come to the point. But when you finally get there, the trip has usually been worth it. So, lissen, I have a gripe here and there, but, generally, I consider this story a however the French spell "tour-d-force." I'm looking forward to the next half million words.
SpeedyTheMouse chapter 50 . 10/10
Gratz on the big 50! Still an avid reader. Can't wait for what comes next!
xxx Rob M xxx chapter 49 . 10/9
Lots of interesting things in this chapter.

I think you've done a great job explaining why the idea of a relationship between Chuck and Sarah at this point is such a conflict for her. It's not just the fear of becoming emotionally intimate that's holding her back. It's the tug-of-war between who she wants to be and who she needs to be to keep Chuck safe. Being in a relationship means letting go of that emotional distance that she believes allows her to be at her best, but without letting it go she can't really be with him.

In some ways, I do feel like Sarah is being too hard on herself over some of the actions she's taken as an agent. She's trying to judge herself through the world Chuck lives in, but that's not a fair comparison. Chuck has had the luxury of being an idealist. Even after becoming a spy, he's very much afforded that option because of the actions taken by Casey and Sarah.
Sarah herself was never given any such choice. She lived in a world of kill or be killed, where her own experiences being merciful were nearly the end of her. Yes, killing and winning don't have to be synonymous, but there's no doubt that losing does indeed mean dying in Sarah's world. When the stakes are that high, I think her mentality of "get them before they get you" becomes far more justifiable.
I feel like that was what Chuck was trying to say several chapters back when he told her if her options were to do something terrible to come home, or be killed, he wanted her to come home. Sometimes there are just no good options, and the best you can do is choose the one that's most beneficial to yourself.

I can't believe it took me this long to realize where you were going with the whole "multiple names she had growing up" thing. Clearly there's a bit of a retcon coming for a certain, incredibly disliked, episode.
I do wonder how Sarah's upset over Chuck no longer asking her name will play into her anger at him for digging too much into her past in "Vs the Cougars". Seems she's creating a bit of a catch-22 for him right there.

Here's the thing about Chuck, and Sarah having been physically intimate with men she has no emotional involvement with. I think everyone agrees that Chuck is the kind of guy who sees sleeping with a woman to be a physical expression of his feelings, but that doesn't mean he's not familiar with the concept of casual sex. He did go to college after all.
So while I think Sarah's reluctance to talk about that kind of thing with Chuck is as understandable as any woman's reluctance to discuss it with her boyfriend, she's underestimating his ability to comprehend it...and we know Chuck isn't the kind of guy to hold her sexual history over her head.

I would like to also point out that while Sarah is very careful about the circumstances she tells Chuck that he's too important to risk himself, in order to hide her feelings. By doing it the way she does, she's also inadvertently reinforcing the idea in Chuck's head that he's only important because he has the Intersect. That's unfortunately exactly the kind of thing that would reinforce his lack of self confidence.

The conflict Sarah feels about hating the idea of sacrificing someone like Chuck, but also understanding why a decision like that could be made is exactly the kind of I find so fascinating about Chuck and Sarah's dynamic...especially in fanfiction stories. The idea that he loves this woman, and that she does love him as well, but when push comes to shove can he trust her to choose him over the job? Should he trust her to choose him over the job? What if she doesn't, and how would they get past something like that? That's what makes these darker stories so great.

...and with that, on to the next chapter!
devious418 chapter 50 . 10/8
As always, thank you so much for this story and all of your efforts. They ARE appreciated!

Well done!
Slahinki chapter 50 . 10/8
Still loving your story, the detail you get with going at the glacial pace you do is simply delicious. Keep up the good work!
phnxgrl chapter 50 . 10/6
I loved the way Sarah worked out that she wanted Chuck and still not put them in danger too. Please continue.
Ellen chapter 50 . 10/6
Following Sarah's thoughts here is fascinating. On one hand, her conclusions seem hopeful...she finally wants to give her happiness (and Chuck's) a chance. On the other hand, while she tries to defend her "show don't tell" approach as "more fun", I can't help but think that it's really a cop-out. Chuck's a verbal guy and she knows that- by relying on her actions, she's ensuring that she can back off and change her mind if she wants, and Chuck will just assume he misinterpreted instead of calling her on it. Just my interpretation. :)

This is wonderfully done, as always. I'm really excited for Roan's return now that you've added such additional depth to his and Sarah's relationship in earlier chapters.
Newfanfikker chapter 50 . 10/5
What a fabulous deep dive into some of the things which make the relationship "complicated".
I can understand the allure, of getting our intrepid duo together quickly, too which many FF writers succumb. Each loves the other and we want them together. It's not that simple. Each has necessary growth to be accomplished whilst TPTB are very much in opposition and in position to drastically alter the future.
They can't run away - the life would kill Chuck.
They can't just declare love and hope for Beckman and Graham to capitulate. The admonition against being compromised is not restricted to her becoming distracted on mission or her increased level of protectiveness. It has roots in the increased likelihood that she will refuse if given a termination order.
Chuck is incapable of fooling anyone for too long if he knew Sarah's true feelings.
Guest chapter 50 . 10/5
This story is - and always has been - superb. You’re a wonderful storyteller. Personally, I love your Sarah with all her faults. Faults make her decisions have much more impact. I always find myself speed reading as you post the going back and reading the entire arc more slowly and letting it sink in. Don’t apologise for what this story is. You don’t need to and shouldn’t have to.
Marc Vun Kannon chapter 50 . 10/5
I was wondering if this story harked all the way back to those early days, and you answered that question before I could ask it. Thanks for the plug.
I've seen Daredevil the film, yes, very bad. I even rewatched the playground fight scene on youtube. Yes, really bad. There isn't a lot from the movie up there, strangely enough. I also saw a fight scene between Daredevil and Elektra from the Defenders Netflix show. So much better.
I hope you mean that the chapter is over, not that the story is over.
fezzywhigg chapter 50 . 10/5
First part: Total bag o' cats! Chuck is asleep and he still has Sarah swing to and fro on how to keep him safe, keep him...not keep him...keep him and keep him safe. Also her assessment and reassessment of herself...whew! Plus a pretty decent breakdown of the movie ;) As I listen to the lyrics I see shades of season 3 as well "Now that I know what I'm without, you can not leave me..." Also Elektra "in her blind rage" injuring Matt who won't fight back- season 5. I see Sarah's concept of home start as we see see in S4. This escalation plan of Sarah's explains the kiss in the Buy More when they need to find Roan. I liked how you have built up the beach beyond canon to support S5's beach scene. "She wasn't going to give him up"...Sweet! This is a great and complicated story with great and complicated characters. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it.
wilf21 chapter 50 . 10/5
These last few chapters have been an interesting and thought provoking read, as ever, although I think there were possibly too many of them in this interlude, for me at least.
cavemenftw chapter 50 . 10/5
Aww, this was amazing. I loved being in your Sarahs head throughout the duration of this story. I thought it worked so well paired with the cannon episodes of Chuck. I really dug hearing Sarah bring more context to the events, an in particular her actions, throughout the series.

Thank you so much for seeing this through to what I feel is an incredibly satisfying conclusion.
xxx Rob M xxx chapter 48 . 10/2
I think another thing that's important to mention about Chuck's flashing, and I think you've mentioned this before, but it goes along with Sarah's musings here, is that every time Chuck has to flash...every time he has to read a report...he becomes more exposed to the worst nature of humanity. He's reading about awful people doing awful things, having these images and reports burned into his mind, and no matter what happens he has to carry that around forever. In his own way, Chuck has to live with this darkness of the spy world, but to make it worse, it's not even his darkness he has to live with, it's the sins of everyone else.

Always have to remind myself that in this story Bryce did legitimately protect Chuck. That it wasn't just a case of believing Chuck shouldn't be a spy, but that Graham was going to use him up and throw away a drooling shell of a man.
I'm actually glad that you've taken that approach. It makes Bryce out to be far less malicious than he's often portrayed to be in other stories. You've really run with the idea that Bryce wasn't entirely wrong, that he did have the best of motives for his friend, and that, even though it doesn't excuse what Bryce did, that his actions were actually for the best.

Sarah's thoughts here on what she's trying to do, sticking with her tried and true mentality of keeping her distance, keeping the situation at arms length so she can react logically are interesting, because I'm really looking forward to when you cover "Breakup" and seeing how you deal with that fallout. How does she reconcile her usual approach with what she does in that episode? She doesn't treat him like an asset, she doesn't react clinically. She freezes for fear of hurting him, and afterwards she can't deny it or explain it away easily. Her approach to protecting Chuck won't work anymore.

...on a side note, I found Sarah's discussion about her scars, the physical ones, to be an interesting addition to canon. Just the idea that she's been taken apart and put back together again more than once, and what that could mean for her many years from now, is really kind of interesting

..anyway, finally starting to catch up here.
fezzywhigg chapter 49 . 9/30
The chapter was amazing and DareDevil gets a review far worthier than it deserves. I like the set up for later in the season like cluing in Chuck to the rules of the new game so she can be closer to him but not keep her from protecting him. Bag of cats is right. Thanks for writing!
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