Reviews for Alone, Together
purringfire chapter 1 . 6/25
Just read this fic for the first time this year on ao3 and I have to say as a person who mostly consumes "toxic yuri" this was perfect for me. Was my first Kigo fic too, good start.

I hope the author is doing well, l will search and read his other works as soon as possible.

already planning to re-read this one
el409554 chapter 1 . 5/4
This was an engaging read, no doubt about it, but it has a few meaningful downers.

The first half was very strong. Pretty credible overall - Humvee doing 90 mph? Dodgy, but if that's the worst part, you're doing pretty well. Both Kim and Shego were credible - Kim was perhaps a bit farther from what the show had established, it felt weird that she'd thought up grandiose plans with Ron. Could've been handled differently with minimal impact. Kim and Shego being so separated and unaware of each other's location at the time of the earthquake felt forced - it feels easy to us to forget to leave breadcrumbs, but when your wife is literally the only other person on Earth any little event can escalate to the point that you literally lose sight of each other forever.
These nitpicks aside, it's hard to argue against the first half - up until the beacon. The choice not to light it the first time around was fair and believable, and sold well. The choice to light it after a freak workplace accident was equally fair and was satisfying - but the build up to it was lacking, there was too little that happened between the two events: It felt more like a minor pothole on the road to the obvious destination than a meaningful and impactful decision.

This feeds into the second half, which is notably worse.

The Inner Light-esque twist of a life lived in a "parallel reality", which ends suddenly to a reveal that time had barely advanced in the "prime reality", had lots of potential. I suspect that a more straightforward "they're their older selves" return would have presented a more compelling set of challenges to overcome, perhaps making for easier writing. Arriving with a vague feeling of what had happened, only to later get flashbacks makes for a very disjointed second half. Kim and Shego do not have to face the consequences of their "former" lives, as much as they are haunted by their slowly-returning memories. The fact that they're uncertain about how real these memories are makes for odd pacing, with the weight they give to these memories being mostly a function of plot convenience. Tying the memories to the lunar month feels extremely unnecessary, with no overt connection between the moon and the first half of the story, and little justification in the second half, apart from the plot convenience of dragging things out while maintaining a predictable cadence of "exposition dumps" into Kim and Shego's minds, for lack of a better term.

Character-wise, I find it hard to fault Kim and Shego in the alternate reality. Kim in particular being very unsure about pretty much all aspects of her relationship with Shego makes sense - removed from the world and a relatively normal life at 16, while still learning who she is, it's natural for Kim to be confused, scared and pressured. The unbuttoning scene handles this well and it's satisfying to see that Shego, with a few more years of experience under her belt, puts a stop to what is obviously turning into a most traumatic experience.
Once back in the prime reality, Kim is less convincing - one would have expected internal conflict between a few years of being attracted to boys and the scattered memories of living in a relationship with Shego. There is some of this, but it quickly veers into "welp, guess I'm a lesbian now", which feels forced. Furthermore, the conflict inside Kim is driven by what can only be described as serious homophobia - this in itself would be fine, but combined with other elements of the story, it makes for a plot device that leaves a bad taste - more on this later.
Shego, in contrast, is fine - apart from going berserk towards the end, after the memory of her botched suicide attempt. The sequence felt excessive and overly dramatic.
Other characters, to the extent that they appear, are a mixed bag. Drakken is fine, though his cringeworthy attempts to act cool seem arbitrary. Will Du ends up feeling a bit too generic, and takes up too much of the narrative with very little real characterization, his admiration for Shego never really paying dividends. Tara as a lesbian is an inconsistency, but she's otherwise unremarkable - for better and for worse.
Ron has some good moments, but ends up relegated to a role on the level of a fashion accessory. It's good that he puts a stop to Kim's "cleanse away the gay" routine, even if he doesn't fully understand what is going on... But beyond this, he is, at best, just there, and at worst allows himself to be used as a token fake boyfriend, a miserable role that he would allow himself to be used for, as per the canon characterization - and given what little there is in this story, that's about all we have to go on.
Dr. Director is a bit more than mere cookie-cutter, but the extra bits are unpleasant, with a bizarre focus on the homosexuality angle, rather than anything directly relevant to her inquiries.

And that leads to the most negative aspect of the whole story - homosexuality gets a treatment on the level expected from a group of kids on the playground. Obviously it would be an issue for Kim and Shego in their alternate reality, coming to terms with their relationship and with how it is not what they had had or had expected. In Kim's case, things go a bit beyond that, and into territory that feels out of place in the early 2000s, it's very inconsistent with the rest of her character.
The unfortunate cherry on top of this pattern takes the form of the reporters at the entrance to the mine. Any semblance of credibility is stretched past its breaking point - surely some of the reporters would ask about the situation right in front of them, and some of them less tactfully, but the overall vibe is definitely uncomfortable in 2023. Although it's hard to get a definitive answer, it certainly feels out of place even for 2006.

On a more positive note, I was astonished by the abundance of technical details that just made sense, fairly mundane ones (Shego's explanation of how the clutch works to help Kim understand how to drive a manual), moderately advanced ones ("large angular uppercase E" and "large S with sub- and superscripts" as Kim begins to encounter series and integrals, "sort of cursive d" partial derivative sign), and things most people just don't think about (Shego hides her green tint under the abysmal CRI of sodium vapor street lights - that's a brilliant idea). It's also always fun to apply 18 years of hindsight to some of them - SpaceShipOne comes to mind, as what turned out to be a complete technological dead-end of a boondoggle, rather than a stepping stone to exciting new forms of access to space. Here again the Humvee was the worst offender, so a strong showing.

Overall, a very good first half is let down by a second half that presses the reset button on any physical repercussions of 21 years of existence and deals poorly with the mental and emotional repercussions - instead of tackling the difficulties of the new reality head-on, as was done in the parallel universe, the plot focuses on a contrived mechanism by which it can be dragged out to create the illusion that the issues caused by the developments of the first half were meaningfully addressed.
sanekittens chapter 18 . 10/22/2023
This was an amazing ride. Thank you so much. 3
M NightCat chapter 18 . 7/28/2023
I've left reviews on ao3 too, but I need to leave one here. This story will stay with me till I die. It's just... so... so perfect, ugh I don't think I've ever used that word in my life before, but it's perfect! Thank you so much for writing this, thank you so much!
Agabaga chapter 1 . 1/19/2023
As good as it always has been, Failte. It's no exaggeration to say that you've done great and skillful work with this. I'm 29 at the time of writing this message, and I remember reading this for the first time in highschool somewhere around 15 years ago, give or take. Funnily enough this story was the place I first heard of a z-axis, and I later talked about that yet-untaught axis with my math teacher.

I'm only eloquent when I'm not trying to be, and I wish I could say more and properly relay my feelings about this story, and its place in my teenage years, and now its place throughout my 20's. One thing I can say is that this story made an impact greater than almost any other, and even now stands out starkly against almost anything you could find online. You have a lot to be proud of here, Failte.

Thanks a lot.
SuperGuads1412 chapter 1 . 12/23/2022
I think this is my 3rd time reading this. I don't even use anymore lol took me a week to find it again! Absolutely worth it!
EmptySpaceCase chapter 18 . 9/28/2022
This was good but it did have some small issues. One big one is the whole "It was just a dream" thing after they returned. Sure they started to remember some stuff but you outright said in story that they would likely never remember everything.. that in turn made me and likely other readers no longer as invested in your story or the characters in it. Sure I finished it but it was a close thing for a bit there. What you did was effectively build kim and shego up to such a interesting degree throughout the first half of the story then went "Oh, by the way none of that really mattered". You could of offset that by having them fully remember eventually through some sort of event( likely drakken first activating the second and improved transporter loop ) or even having some stuff that happened carry over to the original world that slowly reminds them. The full moon this was a bit.. contrived.

As for the carry over stuff, you had more then a few opportunities. Kim literally had amature surgery. The scar for that would be been pretty dang obvious. Shego lost her voice and had the neck scar. You could of had the scars carry over and them with no memories at first left wondering where they came from alongside everyone else that knew them. For example: I doubt GL didn't give kim a physical the moment they could after she returned. You can gurantee their medical professionals would reconize a appendicitis surgery. Even more so if kims appendix is actually still missing. Shoot, the fact she didn't remember and the scar was never mentioned means it didn't exist. Which also means she once again will have the deal with her appendix issues later in the original world. That could of been a good point to remember too. Her in the middle of surgery and as shes going under start wondering where shego was and why it's not her hands digging in her to save her life.

Just something as simple as the clothes they were wearing coming through with them would of offset the "it was just a dream" thing a bit to keep readers fully invested. Not to mention the painting shego got attached too. You even mentioned kim specifically saving it from their stuff before her trip home.. and then it was never mentioned again. You could of had it come through somehow, likely a delirious shego mentioning wanting to bring it and kim in too much a desperate hurry to not grab it in the process, and have everyone trying to save them super confused when a famous work of art, the two in different clothes, and the two having some weird scars but little actual injuries coming through the loop.

Would point out to everyone that they weren't gone for 13 days like original thought but without their memories no one can tell just how long or where they were. Then certain things in their lives start reminding them of their time in that world, same as you did but more remembering in the process and not just full moon stuff. Even worse is that they learned so much in that other dimension but never actually put it into practice in the original world which further made everything pointless. Kim was literally drakken level dang near to build that beacon and shego was pretty good at medical work by the end of those 21 years.. yet they never even remembered or got to use those skills after their return? What was the point then? All that character development gone with the wind.

The last issue was the characters themselves. Kim was super worried about how those around her would react to her coming out. Almost just as much as how the media would react. Yet you never showed what those reactions would be. KIms parents might as well not exist at all. Tara was basically just a plot device despite how interesting working her in more could of been. She's criminally underused in stories and that didn't stop here. We don't even see bonnie more then one scene and a mention, how the heck do you write a kim possible story and not add bonnie to a extent? That has to be against the rules or something. Even more so when tara drops that hint that bonnie might be gay as some comic relief but we still never see the girl in question afterwards.

Simply put you basically made the background characters feel like they were either cardboard cutouts, stereotypes, or just didn't exist at all. A big no-no in good storytelling. Your characters, even the small ones, need to feel like they have weight in the world to readers. Like they are living just as much as the main characters are in the world your weaving. Otherwise it feels like the main characters are just going through a empty world with only a few people in it. Sure that was good for the first part where that was literal but for the second part it's like they never truly returned from that alternate world and the original one is just as empty, only difference is it has slightly more people in it.

Then again you wrote this 16 years ago. Maybe you improved given how long it's been but I wouldn't know since this was your last big story before your vanishing act. Some of the issues I listed apply to accidently mistress too, specifically the background characters not feeling like they have weight and some of them being underused. Otherwise both stories were interesting, unique premises, and you didn't shy away from some of the more weird aspects of such a pairing like the age gap or kim still being a teenager. Instead you worked them into the character development to a extent which took skill to do without being hamfisted or weird.

If you ever do come back to writing maybe you could revamp or rewrite this to get back into the swing of things. Would give you something familiar to work on and improve that has sci-fi elements you can use to your advantage. Im good at story ideas if you ever want to bounce some off me, one in particular that's been on my mind was a yandere shego trying to get kim to love her horror story but given your others stories I doubt you would like that one very much lol

Either way if you ever do get back into writing good luck!
Xofnala chapter 18 . 10/11/2021
this story is absolutely amazing. get the klenexes ready for the second half it's hits you right in the feels!
piccolodian chapter 18 . 7/11/2021
Rereading this story for the third or fourth time. Every few years I come back and reread it. Thanks for the great story
GoatedReads chapter 3 . 7/6/2021
Treant Balewood chapter 1 . 5/18/2021
Just came back to reread this, still awesome. Thanks for Writing!
GoatedReads chapter 2 . 3/17/2021
GoatedReads chapter 1 . 3/17/2021
Cool Bro! I’m into this fic
Guest chapter 1 . 2/22/2021
I just wanted to let you know that I found this story shortly after you published it in 2006, and loved it so much that it has stuck with me all these years. I've re read it 4 or 5 times over the years and it's my favorite kigo and one of my favorite stories in general. Thank you for writing it.
GettingGreyer chapter 18 . 9/23/2020
I started rewatching Kim Possible the other day since it's on Disney Plus now and it made me curious to see what fics were out there and, wow, this fic was really good. I didn't have many expectations, but you really created something wonderful and special with this fic. With each chapter I was thinking, "what's going to come next?" and my mind explored all different kinds of scenerios. I love how you built the intimacy between Shego and Kim and the two worlds was really brilliantly done. Just, absolutely incredible fic! Thanks for writing this.
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