Reviews for Epilogophilia: Surprise on Seagull Beach
Voyager Tip chapter 1 . 5/2/2014
I just re-read this again. It is one of my favorite stories. A perfect epilog. My favorite line..."Now why don't you yell at me a little and we'll both feel better" and my next favorite line is "Best I could do, spur of the moment" HA HA LOL
Kariesue chapter 1 . 5/1/2008
always something great from you! "How about a raise in my allowance?" "Ice cream's as afar as I'll go" Too funny! Love it as always.
PutMoneyInThyPurse chapter 1 . 4/6/2008
Have never told you yet how you are my absolute, incontrovertibly, favourite H&Mc author of all time - and that's saying something, because we have a ton of talented authors on board. What really slays me is the way you have the dialogue, their 'voices' absolutely perfect, even capturing some of the off-the-cuff spontaneity that BK and DHK used to transform the dialogue into sparkling gems of wit - your HC and McC have it, have it all.

I especially, absolutely adore this piece because, when still a baby fan, I so felt that this ep was missing something that I wrote an over-the-top h/c wallow about "Surprise". Of course, yours is so much more mature and true to them. All the lines are great, but the one that made me exclaim and laugh out loud was "Honestly, Judge. I'll be okay without doctors telling me take it easy and stay away from the Third Reich." SQUEE! What perfect McCormick humour! And it's not just the dialogue but the inner monologues, too:

"Hardcastle answered, “G'night,” watching him out the door thoughtfully, then sat staring into space for a moment. Give him five minutes to get to the gatehouse and start to relax. Takes me a minute and a half to walk over there. He checked his watch and reached for his knife and fork to finish his dinner."

I love the "watching" and "staring into space", with the "thoughtfully" in there - with the "for a moment" - it just shows us the Judge in the process of thinking, coming to a decision, making up his mind; I love the crafty-yet-caring "Give him five minutes to get to the gatehouse and start to relax" - with the perfection-born-of-long-companionship - "Takes me a minute and a half to walk over there." And I really like the little pragmatic-Hardcastle touch of not wittering on, but using the moment to eat: "He checked his watch and reached for his knife and fork to finish his dinner." That's very, very Hardcastle - I bet if Mark was worried he might not eat, but Miltid of a different generationa nd thought process, and you really show it very simply and eloquently here.

I love the process in the Gatehouse:

Hardcastle checked under the door of the bathroom. Sure enough, there was a light on in there.

("Sure enough." You know Mark to a T, don't you, Judge?)

“Hey, McCormick!” he yelled.

(So him! And how like him to yell. I bet he expects the reaction in the next line, doesn't he? Certainly your Milt doesn't seem surprised in the least that Mark is startled. God, I really love the way you say "Hardcastle wanted to shake it out of McCormick by sneaking up on him" without actually saying it out loud. I love respect for the reader's intelligence. Added to that, of course, is the way they know each other so well shines so clearly through.

"The response was a smothered yelp and a sound of something being dropped on the tile floor behind the door.

(Oh, baby!)

“I thought of something after you left. Come on out.” Hardcastle noticed McCormick's t-shirt on the floor behind the couch.

(I am just loving Detective!Hardcastle. And yes! He is trying to 'smoke out' Mark from in there.)

“Um, I'm gonna be a while in here, Judge. Can't it wait?”

(Look at them fencing!)

“I don't think so.” The judge had picked up the shirt and was inspecting it closely. There were several places on it that looked almost like scorch marks. “I'll just wait'll you’re done.”

(I really like the game you have going there, between them, and I love the way you intersperse Milt's detective work with his dialogue: "picked up... inspecting it closely..." and then the result of the investigation, and ever-more-pressing need to know what's happened: “I'll just wait'll you’re done.”)

“Ah, I'll come over to the main house. You don't have to wait for me.”

(Last strike in a losing game, Mark. I like the 'Ah' prefacing the words, and Mark's futile attempts to escape HC's closing trap.)

“All right, McCormick. Let's stop fooling around.” Hardcastle sniffed at one of the darker areas and caught a faint smell of char. (Is that 'char' or 'charring'?) “Get on out here and tell me what's going on.” (Big grin. Oh, yes. And the revelation doesn't disappoint! I especially love the way Hardcastle swears "dammit" - it shows how agitated he is - and the italics around "important enough".)

“So you say.” The judge closed his eyes, then said dully, “You wouldn't've been hurt if you hadn't been on the beach, and you were only there because you work for me.”

I think the two things that slay me the most here are the "dully", and the fact that he closes his eyes. So much pain and embarrassment and responsibility and affection in that gesture. So like him to close the 'windows to the soul' when saying something that might be interpreted as loving, and so like Mark to be more open about his feelings:

"McCormick looked at him with an affectionate half-smile. “You know damn well if I didn't want to be here, I wouldn't be."

And I worship at your feet for this next little exchange:

"Now, why don't you yell at me a little and we'll both feel better.”

Your Mark understands the dynamic between them - and the one driving Hardcastle - so well. Knowing HC has to blow off steam, knowing any kind of pain -or love, or genuine feeling, really - manifests itself as anger, and saying it outright, with his trademark comic touch.

“Dammit, McCormick! Ya shoulda told me what'd happened! What are ya, some kind of masochist!”

And bless him, Hardcastle responds! Oh, I could just hug our Milt!

The judge shrugged. “Best I could do, spur of the moment.”

That self-deprecating - I could die.

“Good enough for me,” grinned Mark.

In your hands, they're themselves - no, more, better. Please don't ever stp writing in this fandom.
smithcrafter chapter 1 . 3/28/2008
Pretty good.
L.M.Lewis chapter 1 . 3/28/2008
Very nicely understated. This stuff is hard to do because the canon doesn't offer much guidance-as this episode illustrated.

I like how you have Mark issue a few unintentional tickets for the clue bus, and Hardcastle taking a while to get on board, but once he does he rides it clear to the end of the line.

But my favorite line has got to be "I'll be okay without doctors telling me take it easy and stay away from the Third Reich." Too true. Too funny, All McC.
Georgiana chapter 1 . 3/28/2008
I really like these Epilogues! Many of the episodes are just screaming for an extra scene to put things to rest. And in each one, the Judge just seems to learn more about Mark and his fortitude. Great line..."Best I could do spur of the moment."

storyfan101 chapter 1 . 3/28/2008
I always wondered about the physical evidence of Mark's time with the Nazis. I'm glad to finally get the answers. Thanks.
JeanneZ84 chapter 1 . 3/28/2008
Another one of these taking care and watching over each other type stories.I like this and even though Hardcastle is in charge and lets Mark know does protect Mark as does Mark does with Milt.

Great story.