Reviews for A Confession that Contains its own Proof
Madame Mermaid chapter 5 . 1/4/2016
Good Morning,

as promised, at the end of my reading I drop you another review. :-) I have to admit, this ending was not what I expected when I read the summary and the first chapter - which is certainly not a bad thing. It was a fun surprise, and the lead-up to it was very interesting and well-written. I'm just not a great fan of slash of the graphically written kind, so I skipped over two or three paragraphs in this last chapter. Disregarding this matter of my personal taste, I greatly enjoyed the story, especially since I realised I can absolutely see Aramis as a bisexual character. Watching him be enarmoured of d'Artagnan 'from a distance', so to speak, seeing him from a different perspective while writing the letters and only then realising his feelings, actually made a lot of sense to me.

Other than that, compliments on your love-letter-writing skills - mine would probably sound a lot like d'Artagnans, at least in terms of clumsy, awkward wording. If you pick up the idea of having each of them try their hand at love-letter-writing, please let me know - I have a feeling it could end up being very funny as well. Another thing I wonder about is whether and how to fit this FF into series canon, for as far as I can tell at the end of this, while d'Artagnan has come to realise he has feelings for Aramis, his feelings for Constance also still seem to be present. So does this end up being a one-time-thing, a short affair, a friends with benefits kind of relationship, or would you diverge from canon in this and simply have Constance out of the picture from here on? It's just something I wondered at, since I can actually see this fitting into the series canon, but it's really just a fun question, nothing more.

I took a look at the FFs you mentioned in your PM - I'm not a regular at AO3, but I know my way around. Since I'm not a fan of graphic slash, as I said, I had to skip over great parts of 'A Heart in Port', but I did enjoy your development of the story and characters, the problems and baggage they each come with. One thing I especially noticed, though, was your description of music - it was really quite beautiful, and - as far as I can tell, though I'm more of a fan of orchestral movements than jazz - very fitting. Very creative description, and wonderful to read.

So much for now, all the best,

Madame Mermaid
Madame Mermaid chapter 1 . 1/2/2016
Good Evening, there,

I've only just read the first chapter, and I am already greatly enjoying this. Aramis writing loveletters in d'Artagnan's stead just sounds like way too much fun. And I quite enjoyed the banter between the two and Athos and Porthos as well - good characterisation of the four of them. :-) Porthos' and Athos' response got me wondering, though - what would their loveletters (or responses to receiving loveletters) look like? If you ever feel like writing a series of one-shots showing each of the four of them writing a loveletter, please let me know - I imagine it might be quite ridiculous at some points. Especially since picturing stoic Athos writing a loveletter is almost an impossibility. :-P

I'll drop you another review once I'm finished reading.
All the best for the new year,

Madame Mermaid
annafan chapter 5 . 12/6/2014
Totally blown away by this! I have to admit I started thinking "oh my god, decent het for once". I should have known - a build up of sexual tension that good had to be headed for slash! But so clever - the weaving together of Cyrano de Bergerac with the twist that it's D'Artagnan he's actually fallen for, and the fabulous use of the poetry. Not to mention the terrific sex at the end. And so fabulously well written and well characterised.
latbfan chapter 5 . 10/2/2014
Oh My Gosh! Friend. My talented, beautiful, amazing friend. I am blown away by this. I was anticipating greatness, sure. But this is even better. OH! You need to get into the love-letter writing business. How lucky is Mr. JWAB to have you! I imagine notes slipped into lunches that make him pine and blush...

Oh, he notices that the kiss letter is missing. *hand to heart* This may be the girl-hormones typing, but it's just so fucking beautiful and romantic and Jesus.

So help me, in S2, if they don't have d'Artagnan saying "I can feel the passion in them" while his knee is against Aramis' thigh, I will weep, openly and without shame, before hurling things at my tv. That is all.

(This review is happening in real-time, obviously)

"I hadn't written it for you. I'd written it to you." *more hand to heart* You're killing me here.

Oh! And then the recitation! This is just incredible. INCREDIBLE. It's literary porn, and I love you for it.

And the actual porn. (Yeah, I didn't stop reading that to take notes. My bad. I'm weak.) You write the most glorious smut. You really do. Precisely because it isn't smutty. It's communion.

Please do keep writing. Please.
latbfan chapter 4 . 10/2/2014
So sorry! These have been sitting in my inbox, taunting me. But in addition to being ridiculously jammed this week (I need to stop saying that because it's going to be true for at least another month and it's boring), I made myself finish Draft #2 of Spangel before I read because I didn't want my squishy brain to inadvertently imitate what I knew would be exceptional writing.

And you do not disappoint. WHY aren't all the peoples reading this? I want to bang my head against the keyboard and simultaneously shout from the mountaintops. Sure, that'd be a feat to pull off,
especially since, admittedly, we don't actually have any of those here, being at a whomping 4-ft. above sea level and all. Please do not despair; they know not what they're missing.

This is some of the best writing I've ever read. And believe me when I say I've read crap-ton of words. Glorious, my friend. Gorgeous and glorious, and you keep writing the things that matter because you're so fucking good at it.

Thus endiths the pep talk/ramble, and let's get onto the actual shit you wrote, shall we?

I LOVE that you just skip over all the unnecessary bits and just right to the white-hot center, for both of them. Aramis invents errands. All the yeses. That he's keeping his kiss, dammit, and will compose all the pretties about her boobs later, m'kay. That he's going to try and just forget about the letter and the longed-for kiss, but even his knows that's never going to work. It's Aramis, the lover, at his finest. And then d'Artagnan with the vowing to make good on his frustrations by being a better Musketeer. So in-character, as in-character as Aramis' reaction. d'Artagnan, so young and enthusiastic. The boy-hero. That they're not perfect; you just wrote them being the best versions of themselves. So well done.

I love that Aramis is as proud as a father over his triumphs. I love that the shooting lessons go so awry that they have to be called off before someone gets hurt. (Also, so TRUE that the thieves would make for fine moving targets - all the yeses to that little throw-away detail that's so right in this 'verse.)

That Aramis finds his zen writing. That he loves the way other men pray. Yessssssssss! That he's offended when the woman says his letters were annoying. (That is damn offensive - I'd cringe too.)

That d'Artagnan's such a little shit about the whole thing with his hissy fit. Yessssssss to that too. because it's right and true and he's not perfect.

Oh Porthos. I love how you write him in all his indelicate, brazen glory. This scene. With the wink! I want them all to just have a wild 4-way. Even Athos. It'd be good for him. Can you please include an orgy? Thanks.
CreepingMuse chapter 5 . 9/30/2014
You continually astonish. I keep thinking-that's it, she can't get any better. But then. you. fucking. do. I'll let you in on a secret: Most smut doesn't titilate. I can be appreciative of the emotions or enjoy a few image, but most of it, even most of the good stuff, is just pleasant.

My head felt ON FIRE before they even kissed. I mean, Jesus Christ. This fic. You.

Okay. Let's break down its genius:

"Wilting" is a particular favorite of yours, and a particular favorite of mine when you use it in such lovely ways.

Even now, Aramis still trying to claim the letters are about Constance. Explaining them in third person. This boy.

"I dwell in the shade between worlds..." I could quote every one of your epistles. They *deserve* to be quoted. But know they are all exceptional. EXCEPTIONAL.

Wait, here I have to quote again: "Give me the hour we wasted in silence, each cocooned in our own mind, so that I may erase regret." I just. That is so. Can't even.

The cheek thing. How he gave himself away unconsciously. Aramis being all, "that was a good fucking letter, dude, don't even play." And then how d'Art remembered the kiss letter! Knew it was important. Knew it was missing and knew in his heart that Constance wouldn't have kept it. Because it wasn't for her. Wasn't about her.

When d'Art asks him to read it, and he RECITES IT. I mean, my God. Is there anything sexier than a man reciting, from memory, the love letter he wrote for you? Nope. You have proven that. Nope.

Then the way you echo the language of the letter in their love scene, with Aramis' head falling into d'Art's palm. It's everything he dreamed it would be.

"Sizzling moan." The way Aramis runs his fingers down over his nose, lips, chest, belly (bellies are neglected in sex scenes. They shouldn't be). Exuberant cock, my new favorite phrase in the English language. That their hearts are made of "the same supple stuff," so telling and delicately handled and lovely. And the end and...

I hate you.
CreepingMuse chapter 4 . 9/29/2014
*seal claps* You found them! You found them both! You found Aramis at his noblest best and most pitiful worst; you found d'Artagnan in his thoughtless youth and unthinking cruelty. You found Athos at his most upstanding and Porthos at his most supportive. You found, to steal a phrase from a friend, the white-hot center.

That opening section is so lovely, with Aramis ensuring he's busy. Very very busy. Keep taking on all these chores. So busy. The way he's like, "yeah, yeah, I'll make up some shit about her tits later," but then how he can't, how he keeps sneaking bits of himself into the letters whether he means to or not. Love just leaks from his pores. Boy can't help it.

Love Proud Mentor!Athos and Death Glare!d'Art. Love Aramis indulging in his crush by taking pride in the boy's achievements, even though he can't be a proper teacher now. And he's smart enough to recuse himself from the role before someone gets shot. Oh, and the whole "bandits...who would make doubly practical targets" is wonderful, captures the show beautifully.

Other pretties: "illustration of yearning," "prayerful dedication," "pink dawn hour," "rolling hips," "curling toward her with worry."

Oof, that d'Art claims he wasn't rejected, that Aramis was. How doubly that has to sting! Poor pretty boy. And how it sends Aramis into a tailspin, wondering if he did sabotage their courtship...sigh.

"Aramis let the sentence hang open, like his lips." Well played, you. And Porthos being exactly what's needed, teasing and playful and patient with just a hint of yearning of his own...Mm. Yes. I ship everybody with everybody.

Another stellar chapter. People are idiots to be missing this.
latbfan chapter 3 . 9/22/2014
It was another long, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Well, not really. It was just long. And I spent all day sitting at the computer, tragically not composing a single word of fiction, all the while sitting in The Chair Deemed Too Awful for Mr. latbfan's assistant back in 2003. So my apologies, friend, for once again I am lazy and laying down and typing with my thumbs. (A tablet is on the same To Purchase List as a new desk chair; it's a terribly long list.)

Fucking LOVE the titles to these chapters. Jesus, woman. But this one definitely wins a prize. I'm already into it and all I've done is open the generic email alert.

I also love that Aramis lives writing for the sake of it. That he doesn't care that he's wooing a woman he doesn't desire. That he wants them to be perfect for their own sake. That he thinks about what he will write when he's not writing. (I love that feeling.)

"Nobel weight of ancestry" and "warp and weft of seasons" is so beautiful. Even more so than the blowing wheat and lavender, and that's saying something. I love that Aramis is a true artist, understanding that the Truth of a thing is so much more important than the actual facts of reality. He writes it more true than truth.

The imagined children are gorgeous. And I love, too, that Aramis picks the sword for the boy to excell at when he is known for shooting.

Him watching d'Artagnan read. The other guys aren't around much, but when they are, they feel so in-character and the dialogue is spot-on.

If not answering meant receiving more, I wouldn't write back either. Just sayin'.

The kiss letter? So incredibly gorgeous and sexy! Love love love love love. d'Artagnan kissing the words because they're so beautiful.

I love that Aramis is more concerned about d'Artagnan being spoken for rather than him being a guy. All the yeses to that sentiment. That he goes through his exes list and decides he never loved wisely. I can see his face while taking such stock. I love his congested gazes and his foolish generous heart.

So good!
CreepingMuse chapter 3 . 9/22/2014
First, I know the chapter titles are from Cyrano, but holy fuck is that pretty. Must read Cyrano.

Adore that Aramis gets caught up in the competition of it, that he wants to perfect his art, even if he does not get to claim the prize. Perfect.

"The warp and weft of the seasons." jfc. And that it didn't matter where d'Artagnan came from, because Aramis knew, and that knowledge was truer than truth. Fuck me sideways, woman.

"pinch-faced father."

Um. Have you been to Gascony? You've been to Gascony. I refuse to accept that it is anything different from this.

Who's not a swordsman? Aramis is not a swordsman (I mean, he is, but secondarily). D'Artagnan is. Already he's letting himself slip into first person. Subtle and lovely and unf. AND THEN THE BOY BREAKS HEARTS AND DASHES HIS OWN AGAINST THE ROCKS? Jeeeeesus.

The motif of the wide, blue sky.

That the signature gave it the ring of truth. Yes.

I heart your Athos so much. Porthos too, but your Athos does things to me, with his little chin jerks.

The bit about humility had me laugh outloud. I can so see the look on his face.

That the kissing letter feels truest of all. Yuppp. Boy's got it baaad.

Oh. This. Oh, no. So you. So him. So perfect.

That he may never have loved wisely! Yes! This is Aramis' fucking thesis statement right here!

Wait-Athos and Aramis? They...ooooh. I want that story. I am greedy for it. It must be lovely in its tragedy, but stirring in their resulting friendship.

Then his "oh, shit" rueful chuckle, congested gaze...good fuck, why isn't everyone reading this?
latbfan chapter 2 . 9/21/2014
Oh my. Taking off his cloak and weapons is so sexy. As is preparing to sit down and write. If only he were left-handed, I would be swooning on the floor. (Perhaps it's just as well he isn't)

Oh!

You and your sexy letters. Bestill my heart. I want Mr. latbfan to write me sexy letters. (Tragically, that's not going to happen.)

"Aramis, you can't."
"And yet I did." - All the awesomenest, enthusiastic yeses.

I love the image of him stealing into d'Artagnan's room. And of course the boy sleeps the innocent sleep of the dead. Great little detail.

"It's a barrage... an onslaught." - LOVE the last night. OMGosh! Yes! So perfect.

You're nailing the shit out of this.
latbfan chapter 1 . 9/21/2014
I know it probably says a lot more about me than anything (or anyone) else, but I'm choosing to believe that you're posting this here too so I don't have to open an AO3 account in order to review. And for that, friend, I am so immensely grateful. I just... have reached my limit. And for reasons unknown, taking the time to register (on what seems like a lovely site but still) is a step too far at the moment. This is manna from Heaven, and I thank you for doing your part to keep my sanity intact. (It should go without saying that for the next 6 weeks, I need all the help in that department I can get.)

I LOVE the opening paragraph. Oh, too funny. d'Artagnan would rock an undergrad writing workshop indeed, especially if he mixed all his various cliched love metaphors. Not sure if you meant for me to snort my beer, but here I am with Scottish ale in my nose.

Also, thank you Aramis (and you) for not leaving him with horribly cliched mixed love metaphors. He's a good friend. I do hope they get it on soon. (Is it that kind of story? Am I a perv for already wanting it to be 4 sentences in?)

Poor Aramis, left to pass out in the mud. I do hope he found someone to help him clean up back in the day.

Also, already, I can tell that the dialogue is going to be frickin' perfection!

Oh, of course he's written a letter. *facepalm* I'm reading between my fingers because I know it will be appallingly awful. Cringe-inducingly bad. Hilariously so.

You didn't fail. Oh, deliciously, awfully bad. I can see Aramis turning the paper over, looking in vain for a sentence that doesn't suck. Bad love letters surely hurt his soul.

Oh, Porthos and his winks. And him "hmm"s. Yes. Yes indeed. *closes eyes and visualizes*

"You see? This is why I don't help people. They get the wrong idea and then three weeks later, I'm laying in the street with a sword in my gut." I shouldn't laugh. But I am. Just a little. Because it's so perfect and true and in-character. All the yeses.

Also all the yeses to d'Artagnan following him around like a sad puppy. He would so do that... And I now desperately need to hear Aramis call someone a beautiful tulip of desire.

Oh! Thank you! I can't wait to see what happens next!
CreepingMuse chapter 2 . 9/21/2014
So you really WERE reblogging Aramis pics for research! To see where all the straps went! And that Aramis does it with a sense of performance, ever conscious of eyes upon him, is too perfect.

d'Art perching "like a crane." Yes, all elbows and knees.

Oooh, equating marriage vows to his Musketeer vows? Perfect. Lovely. Even if he is willing to ignore both when he needs to.

"This is not strictly what I had in mind," hee!

"I do not bemoan your ghost" is so pretty. The whole thing is, but that phrase is just bang, pow, right there.

"Will you not...spend some bliss in her ever receptive ghost? And also may I watch?"

And juuust the right hint of sarcasm with Aramis' "no, not really." Poor silly d'Art. And then his starry eyed nod!

Ah, that d'Art is still young enough to sleep soundly, unlike the canny old Musketeers. Great touch. And "brightening dawn" is lovely.

"What intimacy, Aramis mused, not for the first time, to gaze upon a sleeping face." Literally the only time watching someone sleep has not been creepy in the history of fan fic, everyone!

That whole passage describing him is lovely. And Michelangelo collar bones-mhmm. They're good collarbones.

I like that Aramis assumes Constance's replies will be as rough and unformed as d'Art's are.

The bit about hearts glorifying each other is a really lovely religious touch, like Mary's soul glorifying the Lord. Really nice bit there given Aramis' past with the Church. And "For it is only when I write them that I recognize myself" is just so swoony.

Lovely and perfect and leaving me, like poor d'Art, aching for more. *grabby hands*
CreepingMuse chapter 1 . 9/19/2014
I'm rather attached to silly old FF, so I believe I'll make my review here, if it's all the same.

I really adore the "bloody rat" analogy in the opening. Gets right to the heart of d'Art's rough Gascon upbringing and underscores what we'll later learn-the boy's not so good with words. Happily, you are.

Love that Aramis-WHO FUCKED THE QUEEN-counsels that Constance should be applauded for being, well, constant. The best part is it is not a contradiction in character at all. Aramis well admires those who keep their vows. And facilitates those who choose not to. Also the tweaks you've made there really give his tired "it's a tragedy" more punch.

How did I miss the line "Swamp of despair and wine"? It is genius and I love it, because yes, that is what drinking in a nasty crowded bar is like.

One day, you must write an Athos fic. Porthos too. All of them. You have them nailed to such a T even though they each have only like two lines.

Love, love, love the line about "the wide blue sky." So pretty and simple and perfect.

"Folly in any outcome."

"I appear to have acquired a new puppy." Plz write fic wherein Aramis actually acquires a puppy. thx.

Henceforth, I shall only refer to my ladybits as a beautiful tulip of desire.

Oh, they'll regret it all right. Tremendous start. I'm going to need you to give up any and all other hobbies, work and family life and just write fic for me all the time. I trust this arrangement will suit.