|Reviews for Reality|
| Mary chapter 1 . 7/16
Reading that was a delight
| ohmygodagiantrock chapter 1 . 4/6
This was amazing. It fit canon so well with just a tiny (significant) twist, a little 'what-if'. I love 'what-if's'.
While there wasn't a lot going on in the beginning, Pegasus's intense interest in Seto carried to the reader and made me keep coming back to figure out what his story was, just like Pegasus was doing. You even had me wondering if he was a programmed NPC, and if so, what the reasons and implications would be.
Then when you revealed that Seto's story was what happened to Noa with roles reversed, the details weren't drawn out, which made the end fuzzy (happy fuzzy) and satisfying, even though there wasn't a lot of build-up of "where do we find a body", "what if the method fails", "what if Gozaburo catches on and puts a stop to it". Those issues could have given the piece more drama, but weren't necessary. There were plenty of interest-piquing details in the first half.
The fact that Mokuba doesn't remember Seto well, and Seto is jealous of Noa's role in his life makes my heart sick a little, because most of why I love this fandom so much revolves around their bond. But you gave them back their life together without taking Noa away, which, with time is the ending that will make everyone the happiest. (Except for Gozaburo, because he's a tyrant and we all know that the future of this story exists with one or all of these brothers over-throwing him. Maybe off a virtual cliff.)
I hate to point out given how much I loved everything about this story, but there were a couple spots where I found grammar issues or typo's, though I don't remember them all. Minor things that didn't take away from the story, like "the the" when you likely meant "to the". (If you want, I can do another read-through later and let you know specifically what I had found.)
Really, this was fantastic. Thank you for sharing this piece.
| Jonnax chapter 1 . 3/7
I really like this one. It was an adventure by itself just to see through Seto's struggling in virtual reality. Not to mention the twist by the end and Pegasus's intervention with him. The way you present their relationship always almost seemed magical to me in every aspects: Dialogues, gestures and emotions altogether. Thank you for the great read!
| InTheShadowOfSignificance chapter 1 . 3/7
I'm forever in awe of your characterization. Surface Toonshipping is absolutely wonderful but what you've managed to create here goes so far beyond that, I'm emotional just thinking about it. Behind the banter and brokenness there are two people who are, for better or worse, only a breath more curious than they are guarded.
I can't begin to encompass the success of "Reality" in unraveling who Pegasus and Seto are as individuals, as well as who they become when they're with one another. Pegasus is a hopeless idealist, drunk on the idea that ecstatic motion can stitch his wounds closed. He craves some fleeting, tangible embodiment of euphoria and finds it in places that surprise even himself. Every time he mentioned Seto's routine, even mentally, I found myself unveiling his own. Pegasus Crawford: a mindless creature of habit hell bent on exposing the futility of everyone else's, as if attesting that drinking flavorless scotch only placates, never truly pleasures oneself, will subsequently snap its artificial grip on his own body, his own soul.
I could gush forever about your exploration of his empathy - one of my favorite post-canon and AU characteristics for the man - but I'll try to keep that brief. There's so much weight in Pegasus chasing down a little boy's nightmares, taking them on his own shoulders so the child can keep his peace. There is so much significance to the chord trauma strikes when it crosses Pegasus's mind. Despite his idealism and hope and fantasies, the first ripple of reality is hellish and blood-soaked. Scars carry over from world to world. Tombs that have crumbled. Lava that's only pixels. Demons who melt into oblivion. The terrible understanding that none of this is real and the inevitability that he still wakes up screaming.
He's a hero with an omnipotent partner, and horror is the first thing that's real.
That Seto establishes trust with him shortly after, with Pegasus in reality, not Pegasus in virtual simulation, is something I will never be over. Because Pegasus comes back and the conversation between them is so fragile it wavers, one breath too heavy and it would crumble. Because the hesitance of Seto revealing himself is the truest experience of honest trepidation I've read anywhere, from fanfare to classic novels.
So what, the guy helped an NPC. So what, it wasn't for glory. So what, he scoffed at heroism for recognition like the most deplorable thing in the world. He's different. So what?
Despite everything they've gone through being played off as no big deal by Seto, he takes a chance on Pegasus. The pushy stranger who saw through his need for solitude and was skeptical of the build-up-to-burn-out adventures the game offered. A person who dismissed what he claimed to want so easily it was as if the game was nothing at all.
Flickers of danger and fear and death and none of them scrape the surface of existence. None of them make the blood in his veins warm or the color red real. None of them scream with the urgency of emotion that is truly, deeply, felt - and then -
"I want Mokuba to know me. I want to be his brother."
A breath through his lungs that almost fills them.
Sentiments that run deeper than feelings, an origin, an oath, the very composition of emotion. Pulsing through their shared veins, because no one's veins are their own in simulation and silently the two of them wonder how many times, through how many players have their pixels been recycled? When Pegasus puts a hand on Seto's shoulder, how many others are feeling the phantom call of his fingers?
How many people close their eyes at Seto's words and know them like their own heartbeat?
And the tiny, shared thought that is neither breath nor static, sentiment nor stored data, passes their minds.
If I've been hundreds of thousands of people here, why were you the first one to make me feel something?
And in the end, that Pegasus is still foundering for completion and Seto is grasping at normalcy - has ever glimpsed normalcy, really? When will he know it's genuine? How does he know it isn't? - is a testament to the fact that people go on long after their stories have ended.
"Are you real, Pegasus?"
"I'm as real as you want me to be."
My heart aches in the best way possible. Thank you so much for writing an immersive and immeasurably poignant story between two people as they face everyday life, emphasizing small, enduring sentiments among grand gestures. Through everything they are and have become, within the vastness of potential, are two people who can feel small and content beside each other.
The struggle goes on but the book stays open.
The battle is uphill but they walk it.
Alive is a feeling between 'once in a lifetime' kind of people, maybe for a moment and maybe for eternity, but the depth of "Reality" will follow me forever.
It is the brightest testament of the unspoken ways two people realize and emulate: "My arms are always open for you."
| lalalei chapter 1 . 3/6
Awwww. That was really sweet! I love how you tied Noah into things, and that Pegasus was able to save all three Kaiba brothers :)