Reviews for Fugitives
hengrimm chapter 23 . 5/25
I loved this story! In case you're wondering, yes, I did "Favorite" this so that makes all 8 of your DM fics favorites of mine.

A last chapter of tying up loose ends and a last chance to visit with the Sloans at the Malibu beach house with brief appearances by Amanda and Jesse too. I absolutely loved the dialogue, but especially between the Sloans, and characterization, again, especically the Sloans. You do a great job also with Masters and even though I've recently watched ep of DM online, including one with Masters, I always think of and see Fred Dryer in his title role on Hunter in my mind's eye more than Masters.

I have to say I agree with Mark's "'I should have been there for you,' he repeated." Damn straight he should've. Because when *Steve* feels "Long buried feelings of desolation resurfaced," *he* feels sadness at being abandoned and lonliness that raises *my* hackles. I realize that's not what you meant to do and that I'm missing the point but as I've said before, Steve is a favorite of mine and I tend to be *very* protective of him. And indulgent where he's concerned. So, yes, I also had to grin at his "fiendish glee."

One of the funniest exchanges of all time, especially given Steve's propensity to use the word: "... he stuck a thermometer into Steve’s mouth, cutting off his answer, not wanting to listen to his son spout the customary 'I'm fine' when he obviously wasn't.
'You're not fine,' he informed him tartly. 'Whenever you say that, it means that you are so not fine that you're probably on the verge of collapse.'" I had a good laugh over that.

Now I'm at the end of both "Fugitives" and your DM collection and I'm sorry for it. I've loved all of it and will be enjoying your DM library again and again.

Thank you for writing and posting this amazing story for all of us to enjoy!

P.S. As much as I loved this (you know, after getting past the heartbreak of Steve's 'death'), "Quake" is *still* my most favorite; the favorite "Favorite" as it were.

And, unfortunately for the last time, the spellchecker has once again crapped out so sorry for what I missed!
hengrimm chapter 22 . 5/24
The Sloans are in the hospital now, being treated for their various injuries and recuperating. Steve's, of course, are a lot worse - the culminative effect of his smorgasbord of wounds taking their toll on him coupled with having utterly drained the deep well of his endurance - leaving Mark sitting at his son's bedside, waiting for him to wake up.

I loved Mark holding Steve's hand, anchoring him to life, along with his voice, calling him back. I loved "A wave of love so powerful it nearly overwhelmed him surged through his heart as he stood gazing down at his son, noting that even nearly asleep, Steve’s fingers remained entwined in his sleeve," just because I love any display of affection Mark gives that precious boy of his - even if it's only in his thoughts. I loved Mark's reasoning that Steve is alright so, therefore, all is right in Mark's world. I loved the dialogue between the Sloans when Steve finally awakens, briefly, before being pulled under again.

You have many delightful phrases I really loved, for their creativity, image evoked, or both: A few of my favorites were:

1. "(Mark) felt as fragile as glass, that the smallest touch would shatter him, sending him falling into jagged fragments on the ground."
2. "Steve was adrift on a perilous sea, but Mark would be his life preserver, keeping him afloat until he reached safer shores."
3. "(Steve) lazily examined his memory, skimming like a skipping stone over the placid surface of his mind until he impacted with a jarring thud against an obstacle labeled Canin and sank into turbulent images that brought him fully awake with a convulsive jerk."

And I can't believe there's only one chapter left! It doesn't seem possible that it's been 22 chapters already … I'll say it again: I really don't want this story to end.
hengrimm chapter 21 . 5/23
The rescue is complete, Canin is dead, but there's still a possibility that after everything, Mark is still going to lose his son; Canin and his men took the last of Steve's strength and added a lot more insult to an already beleaguered body. And the rescue itself actually made things worse for him. The action sequences with the flash grenade and tear gas were great, and the description really held me firmly in the story as it all played out. Probably the most heart-rending section was "With a surreal sense of shock, Mark noticed that his son, while in the guise of cradling his injured arm in his other hand, was squeezing his left thumb against an embedded splinter. A fresh trickle of blood ran down his arm and pride battled with anguish in Mark’s heart as he realized that his son was using the pain as an aid to maintain consciousness, employing the only bargaining tool he had to ensure his father’s safety, an impossible task if he passed out." The standoff (hostage situation? Neither seem to be the best word...) when Canin has Mark is also really nicely done, Mark's concern more with his son than on his own safety. I loved Mark actually physically fighting for his son, laying into the Mob with whatever came to hand, in an attempt to protect him after Canin ordered Steve's death for revenge against Mark bringing the cops down on the mansion. I loved "... like a vengeful demon rising from the sulfurous depths of hell," describing Steve protecting his dad from Canin in the surreal gloom of flash grenades, tear gas, and uncertain light of fires and guns firing. Mark catching only a glimpse of his son before the ambulance drove away, leaving him standing hopelessly and helplessly behind, with his heart with the precious cargo of the ambulance was heartbreaking. I loved the humorous quip Mark gave Steve in the beginning of the chapter, teasing a faint smile from his son. It reminded me of chapter 19, where I forgot to mention how much I loved Steve's thought of "He’d probably be grounded for life." I can only hope that there's much comfort for Steve ahead after all the hell he's already endured!
hengrimm chapter 20 . 5/23
Now, the point of Mark's plan at last: he's with his son and just needs to wait for the cavalry and hope it's not too late for his son. Because he *does* have a plan and Masters went along with it, I'm assuming there's some sort of GPS device or something to allow for the cops to trace them in one of Mark's casts - probably the notebook, too, since he refused to surrender it to Masters and he needs it to clear his son's name. But now father and son are reunited, though "... (Steve) was unable to shutter the windows to his soul, and Mark could read a love so fierce it hurt, coupled with a haunting desperation that he could no longer protect his father." Of course, Steve is more worried about his dad than himself and of course, Steve's priority is too protect his father rather than himself. Characterization, as always, is awesome here. I love the details and description you include; probably my favorite in this chapter was "Canin’s piercing eyes passed through wintry on their way to frigid."

I can't believe I'm already up to chapter 20! Only 3 more to go - but I don't want it to end!
hengrimm chapter 19 . 5/22
Oh, my poor love! I already understand Nonny's comment about him still standing; I totally see it.

So, now Steve has proof positive that Canin is full on mobster (hmm ... I never realized before how similar 'mobster' and 'monster' are), which in a way is better because now he doesn't have to worry about trying to figure out the layers of deceit so he doesn't blow a fellow officer's cover. The dialogue between Steve and Canin glaringly show their different values and morals. And stupid Canin, so overbearingly confident in his superiority that he actually taunts Steve about Mark *shakes head* ... stupid, stupid, stupid. So now Steve, practically on his deathbed, has his not-so-inconsiderable protective instincts fully awake, putting him in a position to try to protect his dad as soon as he gets there. Because he knows Mark is coming. And he can't allow his dad to get hurt. Oh, my poor sweet baby; I don't see this going well for him at all!

And apologies! The spellchecker has checked out.
hengrimm chapter 18 . 5/21
Wow. Another emotionally fraught chapter. In fact, I'm reading this at lunch and think I need to institute a new policy and not read your stories while in public anymore - hard to explain the tears away.

Mark's grief, sense of loss, and fear (for Steve not himself) is palpable. He and Masters enact his plan and I'm sure Mark would welcome his son's furious chastisement for such a dangerous stunt, as it would prove his son had lived through the hell he's endured and that would make it worth *anything*, no matter how dangerous, as long as Steve was still alive at the end of it. Obviously, I'm emotionally invested in this story, completely caught up in the untenable position Mark finds himself in, his need to get his son back, his terror at knowing intimately what Steve's injuries are already and how it'll affect his body. All that to say, your characterization is absolutely amazing.

I really loved the roller coaster analogy, so perfectly apt. I also really loved "Fear shaped him as he lay there, sculpting his heart, wearing him down like wind and acid rain on limestone, leaving only the pure, elemental core of a father’s love." Heartbreakingly beautiful!
hengrimm chapter 17 . 5/20
This chapter almost hurts, Mark's emotions are so raw and the gamut they've run in the past 3 chapters have been overwhelming. Of course, at least *this* reader experienced them all right along with him. Mark wouldn't be intimidated by the Chief when they got to the ground, when they got to safety at the expense of his son, Mark unleashing a father's fury. But now the good guys have arrived and they storm the building, Masters as incapable of convincing the doctor to stay behind as Steve had been to make him leave him; Masters is no match for the enraged doctor-cum-father who knows how desperately his son needs him, needs medical attention. Unfortunately, they find the roof empty: Canin's men have taken Steve and escaped. And now Mark turns his considerable determination and will and mind on getting his son back. I love the level of affection and devotion Mark displays for that son of his; his distress over Steve's injuries, his grief when he thought he was dead (again), his love for that boy shining through. I loved Masters' unstinting support for whatever plan Mark has come up with, wanting to get his officer back nearly as much as the father wants his son back. Now it's time to sit back and see what exactly Mark has come up with.
hengrimm chapter 16 . 5/20
This was one of the most amazing, most heart-pounding chapters I've ever read!

I loved the POV shifts between Mark and Steve, gaining each of their perspectives on what's happening but only very briefly touching the same moment so there's no repeating of information. Frigging awesome! You captured the depth and complexity of their thoughts and feelings, the aches and agonies in each of their bodies and minds. Their interactions through dialogue and even thoughts were truly inspired. I'm just completely in awe.

Steve's incredible rescue of his father was so believable, as were Mark's reactions when the expectation of death didn't become an actuality. But thus is Steve's determination, protectiveness, and love for his father, practically a freaking force of nature all by himself. Mark's awed thoughts as he regarded his son were priceless. I loved how Mark had completely forgotten the external threat - having been rather preoccupied - and how he was doing what he could for his son without medical supplies. Chief Masters made it to them, offering them only temporary relief: he's down to 2 bullets. Steve's appeal to his father falls on deaf ears so he appeals to the Chief, who does as he asks and gets Mark out of there, leaving Steve to finally sacrifice himself to cover their escape. I loved Masters' comment about facing Mark's wrath and making sure Steve sticks around.

I have to add I'm very glad Mark refused to leave his son's side, even though Steve's argument was quite logical and quite compelling. Frankly, to me, it would've felt like Mark abandoned his son, that his son's life was an acceptable cost for justice if he had willingly left him there - no matter what Steve wanted or his willingness to sacrifice himself. So thank you for that, for Mark only leaving through Masters' actions.

But oh no! While Masters and Mark may be safe, Steve is most certainly not and while I don't think they'd kill him - as I said, his argument made perfect sense - that doesn't mean they'll actually be humane to him either. Mark and Masters better hurry up and come up with a plan of action and get my love OUT OF THERE!
hengrimm chapter 15 . 5/19
AARRGGGHHHHHH! I can't believe you ended it there! And me having to get back to real life so I can't satisfy my need to see what the hell happens next. AARRGGHH!

So, the repreive is most definitely over. While the Sloans gained an ally in the Chief, before they could come up with an effective plan they could all agree on to take down Canin, the Mob has come to eliminate them. Great shoot out scene and yet another great chase. Steve is in FULL ON protective mode, ready to throw himself at the Chief and later the Mob, using his body as a missle if need be, whatever it takes, to ensure his dad's safety; he's willing to die for him without a second thought. Unsurprisingly, you do Masters really well; the Sloans are completely in character and your dialogue! Man, I *love* reading your stories!

One of the funniest lines in this chapter: "... so, exhibiting his usual finely-honed sense of self-preservation, Mark entered the room, switching the lights on as he did so." Also, just FYI, in the paragraph before that, you have "’s stature or position INTIMATE him now." Pretty sure you meant INDIMIDATE. Another great line: "Before his son could lose control and belt the Chief, Mark hurried across the room to avert disaster, in the belief that Steve would like a job to return to after clearing his name." I loved how forceful Mark was in deterring Steve from turning himself in, successfully thwarting one of his son's attempts to sacrifice himself.

But crap! Now Steve, who's still recovering from the earlier stress and strain from his previous injuries, has now had a bullet graze his side and has been shot in the thigh. Which won't matter to him if his dad has plunged to his death. Damn real life anyway, keeping me from finding out what happens next now!
hengrimm chapter 14 . 5/19
This is a lovely chapter in that while the plot still moves forward, it allows the Sloans to finally step back from the pressure, tension, and stress of their fugitive status and just unwind back into a state of normality. They both needed it. Readers need it. I loved your description of how Mark and Steve work together to solve cases, how it's only through this teamwork that Mark has the deductive rate he does. I love Mark's reflection on the differences between his and his son's strategic reasoning. I loved the bantering sprinkling the Sloans dialogue, and mostly I loved Mark in full-on father role: he had checked on Steve periodically throughout the night, was relieved to see him pacing instead of so still, had noted his color, and forced him to rest with "(Mark) wanted more time, both to enjoy the luxury of knowing his son was safe and to work on a solution that wouldn’t further endanger him. Ruthlessly playing on his son’s good nature, he pleaded..." And then how he suggested s diversion, for both of them, but especially for that boy of his, to get his mind off the entire mess they found themselves in. I even liked Mark's blatant blackmail to make sure Steve allowed him to accompany him when his son executed his plan to confront the Chief.

Other things of note: I loved that you had cribbage! I played that growing up, though I haven't played in years and frankly barely remember the rules, but it was a nice piece of nostalgia. And the Omni Hotel again: obviously I recognize it from "Blast," though I remember it being more stories in that story so I'm assuming it's *not* a real place. One of the best lines *ever*: “'It’s done on ships,' he answered with deliberate obtuseness, meeting his father’s eyes gravely."

Of course, the idyll couldn't last, but I'm not even concerned with this particular cliffhanger simply because I already trust the Chief and of course he's expecting company: the earlier phone call to get his room number would absolutely raise his alarm bells, especially if he's already figured some of this out, which, according to chapter 1, he has!
hengrimm chapter 13 . 5/16
Quotation marks!

Once again, my poor sweet Steve is in a father-figure role, including yelling at his father for scaring him by not being where he was supposed to be and going to any length to protect his dad. Thankfully, though, Mark fathered his own son in this chapter too. And now they have a safe place to rest and eat, which Steve desperately needed, and to regroup and figure out not only what's going on but how to begin to get themselves out of this mess; they also have a vehicle. All that thanks to Jesse. This chapter not only provided invaluable downtime for the Sloans, but also for readers too; gives us a chance to catch our collective breath and ease the tension and stress away with some of the more relaxing, mundane actions. (And, yeah, okay, "... Steve emerged from the shower, a towel wrapped around his hips..." sent the ol' heart rate up with *that* mental image - thanks for that! Because *that's* one I thoroughly enjoyed, unlike the one Mark left for Steve.)

Here are a few of my favorite parts:

* "Mark’s heart constricted and his throat closed up with a sudden surge of love for his exasperatingly protective son, but it was quickly followed by an equally strong feeling of frustration with Steve’s complete lack of concern for his own health."
* "Mark had been in the army and knew quite well how to handle a weapon. His concern wasn’t even really about taking another life, but he had no intention of leaving his son unarmed."
* "Mark had more than a few words of censure and reproof when Steve emerged from the shower, a towel wrapped round his hips, revealing the most recent additions to his injuries, but he cleaned, disinfected and stitched the wounds with grim deliberation."

Because all of them show Mark caring for/about and taking care of that precious son of his.

Also, no surprise here, I loved the characterization and dialogue; great bantering between the Sloans before Steve set off across the city to retrieve the car Jesse left for them.

Hmm ... the site gave me quotation marks but took away spell checker, so apologies!
hengrimm chapter 12 . 5/14
Finally! Mark and Steve are in a somewhat safe place where they can rest at long last - although I should say where *Mark* can rest because there's no way Steve is going to leave him undefended or helpless in this flimsy oasis so yet another sleepless night for my love. My heart utterly goes out to Steve, running from everything he believes in and doing his damnedest to do just one thing: keep his father safe. In many ways, he's the father, because he's the guardian, the protector doing everything to keep his dad going, to keep him safe, taking on countless hardships without complaint or even sharing with his dad how bad off he himself is … he doesn't want his father to worry about him. I hate that it's so easy for him to feel guilt; even when he knows he shouldn't, he does. I really hope when Mark wakes up that he sees the shape that boy of his is in and he can do something for his kid. I *loved* the hug, how Mark pulled Steve into his arms and just *held* him, so relieved that he was still alive and relatively well, and how cathartic he found it. Still more great action and I tell you what, this chapter actually somehow made me love Steve even more - didn't think that was even remotely possible, btw.
hengrimm chapter 11 . 5/14
This chapter ratchets up the stakes and anxiety even more as the bad guys are in a tense standoff with Steve with Mark's life hinging on Steve's behavior. Steve, who *always* looks out for his father, does what he has to to safeguard him and surrenders his gun, leaving himself utterly vulnerable to the mountainous bad guy. Mark, for his part, even while being strangled is still frantically trying to convey to his son not to do it; to witness his murder more than Mark can cope with. I love Mark's observations about his son, the situation and the framing in the doorway making them poignant to me.

Everybody's still in character, and these chapters are playing havoc with *my* emotions and stress level. Well done! I *have* to see what happens next, my stress level is through the roof wondering how they'll get out of *this* mess!
hengrimm chapter 10 . 5/14
Aarrgh! The tension and strain are *immense*! This chapter finishes off a car chase, only to go straight to a hid-and-seek type of pursuit, though haste is still the byword. Steve realizes he had forgotten about organized crime as enemies who'd want this notebook, placing his father in more and more danger - Steve, of course, would sacrifice himself to keep his father safe so it's not actually his *own* safety he's worried about. Then Mark sprains his ankle in the night-time foot pursuit, slowing them down even more. I love how Steve and Mark take turns directing their course of action, each playing to his own strengths to help themselves and the other. I also like how they vacillate between separating or not, each seeing the other's point of view in the matter. They are truly in a position where they can only rely on each other, where it is the two of them against the world. And it's a violent world they find confronting them. And another cliffhanger and a half! Thankfully, Steve is nearby and we all know Steve isn't going to let anything happen to his dad.
hengrimm chapter 9 . 5/14
What an awesome vehicle chase! Not only is there tension and fear in the high-speed chase, but the characters' thoughts and dialogue add a whole new level to it. While Mark reluctantly considers surrender - because the chase itself could be lethal to themselves and because of the danger to pedestrians and the guilt that would consume both him and especially his son if innocents were killed because of their actions - Steve's status as 'armed and dangerous' means extreme measures could be employed in his capture and he can't abide that either. Steve is caught as a fugitive from the law he's upheld and served for decades, unable to fire on fellow officers because he doesn't know if they're dirty cops or not. Both of them are really in untenable positions. And now they have to stay on the run as the love of my life used his time while waiting for his dad to peruse the notebook and discovered it lists the dirty cops' badge numbers - meaning the Sloans are sitting on a powder keg and if the wrong cop gets to them first, that cop won't hesitate to kill the hunted. It seems pretty obvious the people in the BMW are if not dirty cops, they at least work for (or with) them. I loved the dialogue between Steve and Mark, especially the lighter bits that counter the seriousness of the chase so nicely. I can't wait to see what happens next!
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