Reviews for Rights and Responsibilities
Goldleaf83 chapter 1 . 11/14/2012
I just discovered your account here: I’ve read your stories on your home page, but can’t review there because my computer e-mail isn’t set up to access the link. So this is a wonderful opportunity for me to review some of your stories: you’re one of the very best fan fiction writers it’s ever been my pleasure to read, crafting stories that are complex on many levels, particularly plot and characterization.

This short story is an excellent example of your craft. Genuine fault lies on both sides of the relationship, and the emotions both Apollo and Starbuck feel are realistic and honest. Long-simmering problems erupt in the fight at the beginning of the story, problems that you define through the characters’ reflections as it continues, problems that ultimately stem from their complementary insecurities and inability to talk to each other about where they belong in each other’s lives now that they’ve made the first step in changing their relationship. The anger on both sides is earned, and the story’s structure delays the resolution to their quarrel in ways that draw out the suspense. Apollo uses his position to deal with the problem in ways that aren’t fair to Starbuck but are in character, particularly given the multiple family and job pressures that Apollo feels resting on him. Starbuck, forced into inaction and distance, has time to think through what he wants and needs. Boomer’s initial refusal to get involved in the fight is amusing in the way that it’s phrased, though it has the unhappy effect of further emotionally isolating Starbuck, who is, naturally, resentful of that several days later. He’s needed support from a friend and hasn’t had either of his two main friends to fall back on, because one is the source of his problem and the other is understandably wary of coming between them.

The way you play with the concept of “rights” throughout the story works beautifully as its structuring theme. Starbuck initially focuses on the rights he wants and deserves (and thank goodness he’s not too weak to feel he has them, the way some writers seem to see him!). His view gradually shifts to considering the rights in Apollo’s life he feels he doesn’t have but could earn, given a chance – rights that are really the responsibilities he’s willing to take up. The resolution of the story ultimately offers the best “right” – that is, putting things “right” between them. Both have agreed on Starbuck’s importance in Apollo’s life among his various other concerns and responsibilities and have recognized that priorities will sometimes have to shift to fit the situation they’re in. Starbuck sees that Apollo wants to claim the relationship at least with his family, Apollo is convinced that Starbuck wants to settle down, and the story has established not just that Starbuck wants to, but shown us why in a convincing way, all while staying firmly in Starbuck’s point of view. It all adds up to a heartfelt story that never gets sentimental.
Ranuel chapter 1 . 5/9/2009
Wonderful job of making Starbucks pain real without descending into maudlin angst.
Luna chapter 1 . 6/22/2004
I like the story. I can picture this really happening. Two opposites, one big misunderstanding.