Reviews for Limbo
Butter Nut chapter 1 . 2/2/2012
This story is stupidly feel-goody.

I say that because I adore it.

Finished the thing this afternoon and realized I had the stupidest, sappiest look on my face which is of course, entirely your fault.

I'm not very good at writing reviews when I don't have a pile of negatives to dish out, but I thought you should know this.

Thank you for the story.
P.Ivy chapter 12 . 10/6/2009
I loved it! It was so well written and was a new interesting take on Zechs' mising time. I loved how you made Zechs and Treize show their ages. You showed Zechs' cynicism and actucally showed Trieze getting rattled when the soldier's mother confronted him after her son's funeral. I also liked Soren and Vadimas Kazlauskas even though I'm usually not a fan of OCs. I thought the part where Soren told Zechs to leave and Zechs had to resist the urge to pout was funny and it again showed his immature side. I'm sure hottie Zechs didn't think he'd get shot down!
Guest chapter 12 . 8/30/2009
This story is so incredibly well written and brings across so many insightful points as it explores Zech's thoughts and his relationship with Treize.

In it I felt a strong sense of how difficult it was for Zechs to move on - even though he knew that by not moving on he wasn't truly living - because of his fear that doing so meant letting go of so much (the memories) and all that would remain would be so little (mere trinkets).

I enjoyed how the ending left things on a positive and liberating note. Yet I don't think of it as a happy ending, cause overall I still think of this story as a sad one... in a bittersweet way.

Reading about the moments Zechs and Treize had together and how strong their feelings were, and I can't help but dwell on how the ideal outcome would've been Zechs living the long life with Treize that he longed for (though perhaps that's too idealistic :D)

I especially felt when Treize tested how it would be if they were no longer together

that it really showed how terrible it is for them to be apart. And from that I can clearly understand why Zechs couldn't move on until he assured himself that, no matter what happens, him and Treize are forever "us".

Thank-you so so much for writing such a wonderful and touching story; I'm tremendously happy & grateful to have read it.
ckhushrenada chapter 12 . 8/18/2009
over all this was an excellent story...i love the way you represented characters and came up with original themes...this has been one of the best stories i have read in a very long time...great job and please keep writing...
T chapter 12 . 8/16/2009
What can I say? This is the Zechs story I've always dreamed of reading, I mean, out the window with the official story line, just pure Milliardo angsty goodness with a happy ending. I adored it! Other then fulfilling my fangirl dream, I do have a couple of comments. As far as the flashbacks are concerned, they did work in the context in which they were used. At times I did have trouble figuring out if something was a flashback or not, this sometimes made the story seem slightly disjointed. Although I am happy with the ending, OC or not, I did have my doubts about Zechs/Noins, simply because the whole section seemed rushed. I wish it would have been fleshed out bit more. Soren was lovely, and as far as an OC goes at least he gave Milliardo his happy ending. Thanks so much for writing, like I said, you just made this fangirl very VERY happy.
LoveyouHateyou chapter 11 . 8/15/2009
Hi KhalaniK,

Where do I start? It was a beautiful chapter (and could easily have made into two - or a separate story, with so many things to say and packed into it) and was lovely to read.

I liked the frame you placed around the first part - the launch and the stars, the parallel to the smudge of stars Zechs sees after the Romefeller party. I liked the scene I 'saw' unfold quite vividly - Zechs storming out of the car in a temper, Treize holding on to his composure, figuring out how to deal with yet another outburst, part routine, part tiring, part perhaps reassuring him that he still is The One for Zechs. Sharing cufflinks! That sounds somehow familiar XD

And here:

"Sometimes I cannot believe that anybody expected you to grow up to be a politician." Quite.

And the acknowledgement that something about him trying to manipulate the situation was "...not right..." Even though Treize is still accommodating him - perhaps not happily, but indulging him, yielding to allow him to make his point even if it's a silly point.

This was sad: "...This is the year I’ve officially outlived Treize..."

And a number of beautiful moments - Zechs and his bike (no replacement for anything - just a basic thrill for a Gundam pilot - his bland domestic life, his attempt to find relief by writing his memories down to not forget them without having them mill and churn in his mind all the time. The moment he rearranges the images on the fridge. His awkward situation at the place where he learns and works ("...intimidating the students...").

Your Soren character reminded me of Dr Dirt from the first chapter in his personality and mindset. For Zechs the intrigue might have to do with discovering familiar traits and maybe even what could have been. He has another life ahead of him - the old life is gone, irretrievable. But he is still alive, and he has another chance. He can stop the war with himself.

It's a nice ending. Peaceful. I also liked the cameo appearances of Lucrezia and Relena, because you show them as firm, reasonable personalities that deal with the world as it is - including Zechs and his past.

I loved the last sentences:

"...Overhead, even through the ambient light from the city, I can see the stars. A piece of wreckage, stirred from orbit by a passing shuttle or sweeper team, burns up, painting light across the sky.

I think of Treize, and I’m smiling."

What a beautiful way to conclude a great story. Thank you for sharing it, I enjoyed every single moment of reading and reviewing.


Masamune Reforged chapter 6 . 8/13/2009
been quite a while. saw you were updating but i wasn't really at a place in time where i could pop in for a read and properly cheer you on with a review. as you can see, i'm still a bit behind...

the real core of this chapter was, to me, Treize as a soldier. there was something frighteningly noble and yet all too human in those scenes. as always, you walk the fine line of Zechs praising Treize without it feeling like he's not simply worshiping the ground he walks like a blind zealot. that adds a lot, keeps the narration balanced, but intimate.

did some good work incorporating elements of the series and Episode Zero here, but the best was the embellishment of the effects of the battle at X18whatevernumber, Treize's knee and all that. i was sort of rolling my eyes at Vadmis being a super awesome mobile suit technician, because, gosh, that just didn't feel like something so... Hollywood cookie cutter, not like something I'd expect you to do... But then I remembered that the decision to have Zechs show up in EW with the Tallgeese I all shiny and ready to go was Sunrise/Bandai's ploy to sell more model kits, not you. and in a way, i'm glad that you explain it to make this a more complete narrative of the time between the series and EW.

for the first time in a long time i feel like i know what comes next for this story. i'm looking forward to it. you absolutely rock the fucking socks with this story. i'm into one older series now, but just about everything I read and enjoy are oneshots exclusive to the small LiveJournal communities. I'm quite grateful to have a larger scale story like this one to come to when I'm itching for something more epic. Excellent stuff, as always
LoveyouHateyou chapter 10 . 8/1/2009
Hi Khalani,

I hope you are well. Funny to say this but there isn't much I could highlight in this chapter because it's all good. I very much liked the succession of scenes and pictures, some slower, others faster. Looking at Zechs and Treize from different angles, each a glimpse into their minds and their dealings with each other and the world around them. The part I liked best though were the notes on Une.

I also liked the dialogue throughout. Treize sometimes seems to make a show of appearing cultured and in command, perhaps he is even mocking this side of himself just a little. The moments when he isn't concerned with image are the clearer for it. Zechs comes across sulky, a bit shoddy if he wants to be. Provoking, prodding for a reaction all the time. Grown up when they're discussing the matter of being 'nice' people or not. The scene with Treize hurt by the horse - an image revisited. And the frame of reality, of the present, like the hardcover of a book keeping together a collection of pages and pictures.

I enjoyed reading this, as always, and am looking forward to the next chapter (although it's a bit sad that the story will end with it).

Take care!


ckhushrenada chapter 10 . 7/30/2009
i love this was soo sweet...i loved this whole story was awesome! there another chapter and will you post it soon...and will zechs fall in love with anyone else and will he punch wufei?...
ckhushrenada chapter 9 . 7/27/2009
so far i love this have an absolutely awesome writing style...please keep writing...
LoveyouHateyou chapter 9 . 7/18/2009
Hi KhalaniK,

I hope this finds you well. I read and re-read and very much enjoyed this chapter. Zechs and his suit! This wrinkled, unhemmed first step back out into the world of normalcy - as far as 'normal' applies to him. The 'old ladies' with their wicked ways and relaxed 'can afford this now' attitudes towards him and Treize fooling around in the library. There was a lot of wisdom in those observations and a lot of fun.

My favourite moments come from these though: "It all sounded as beautiful as poetry to me, and sometimes Treize would humor me by rattling off an epic string of embarrassingly crude insults with a sultriness that would make my eyes glaze over." The small snapshots - Treize's vanity, his drive to become and do something remarkable, his reaction to the emotional issue of the cake (a type of reaction that would grow up with him and something Zechs learned to deal with but never too well?)

Summed up beautifully here: "The study of it was where his natural gravitation towards inquiry merged with the notion that he had to do something important, be someone more, reach for something beyond cold actuality, far beyond Russia, the Earth, the galaxy, all the way to infinity. He wanted to reach into it and pull out something magical and immortal, something he could give, something that would fill a void in the world that he couldn’t define at that age. It was so nebulous, but the longing was there. That was the real reason he went to Lake Victoria – to hurl himself into the unknown with hopes of maybe finding what he sought, a salve, a cure, a bandage to tend a damaged history of bloody repetition..."

The logic of the Sanc developments and the role of Treize's father set against his background and personal motives. The way Treize watches the news footage and his reaction when he finds out Zechs has been watching too. The logic of everything that happened afterwards - the 'no matter what the cost' including Zechs too. And, in the end, the most simple conclusion - "...what I wouldn't have given to hear just how disappointed he was, to see him standing across the room next to my suit, bitching about wasting my life like a recluse, to see the false anger that hid his concern and, even further behind that, a profound longing for my happiness." Understanding, too little too late, but from it growing perhaps the sense of owing something, to give back at least now even though it can't change the past. Zechs' newfound resolve seems to be weighed down by this most basic sadness the current of regret. He isn't there yet, but perhpas the scanner, the suit, his 'awakening' are all flagstones on the road to recovery, collected ina 'random', 'don't think about it, let it stream' fashion.

I am looking forward to the next chapter and I was happy to read your note about writing a new story, too. I love reading your stuff.


LoveyouHateyou chapter 8 . 7/12/2009
Hi Khalani,

I very much enjoyed reading this chapter. Here is why, blow by blow:

Zechs coming to terms with Treize's death – not through clouding it, still leaving a sliver of hope, possible options, alternatives – but with the real thing. He does it the only way he finds it bearable – by soaking up the images until emotions go numb enough to allow him to analyse. “So I broke it down...” and he comforts himself with the clinical possibility of a sudden end, notwithstanding that fractions of seconds can become eternities. He ends up feeling pity for the pilot who killed Treize and wants to believe it was Treize's plan all along. An illusion of control over Fate, over his end. I always thought it was a very Japanese notion that someone like Treize should do 'the honourable thing'. You give it a framework.

I liked your description of Treize and Zechs going – no, escaping – on holiday. The way Zechs was given a 'choice'. The keen sense of being on the cusp of something terrible and deliberate, inevitable. The dawning idea that Treize might consider those days away from the Foundation and his work something that might never happen again – perhaps something that Zechs realises only after the holiday is over. And the painful hope that perhaps it might not. Treize's determination to be on leave from it all, and the thinness of this veneer (the phone, the paparazzo, the way he keeps linked to everything even though he doesn't want Zechs to be).

I don't want to cite every other sentence, but the entire section was beautifully done, dense, neat, logical, showing facets of character without loudly announcing them but through snippets of action (Treize playing around with his accent, teasing Zechs and always, always teaching small, mostly but not always sympathetic lessons; the gift of the puppy to Vikram's son, Zechs and the lack of a shower, clothes, television, the heat , the episode with the paparazzo to expand on Treize's dealings with the powers that be – with him coming out on top without the slightest doubt about himself). And you made it all so clear, so direct that it becomes possible to feel it all as if being there.

And then, at the end of everything, the shock at getting back and the new clarity about what precisely that means to work with Treize the Entity, Zechs' total loss of motivation, loss of drive, of beliefs. Soldiers don't function well if they don't know what they're fighting for, or if they believe they will die anyway, and unlike Treize who has an exact idea of where he wants to get, and how, Zechs doesn't seem to be sure of anything beyond his lost childhood.

To me, this was the best-written chapter so far. I liked the way you used the recreation of the scanner – something not legal but in keeping with Zechs' skills and reawakening his rebellious streak – as a frame for the rest of this chapter, and how it works to introduce Lucrezia Noin. I am looking forward to the next chapter of your story, as always.


LoveyouHateyou chapter 7 . 6/27/2009
Hi KhalaniK,

Thanks for another beautiful chapter. There were moments of comic relief in this chapter that brightened the mood – it seemed as if Zechs' youth and rebellious nature finally melt through the shell he's put around himself.

There is the image of unfamiliar rogue tarps, the 'wind-blown rat's nest of tangles' – and then, sharp and acute – the memory of Treize again, of touch and closeness, and all of it spiralling him back with a violence that seems to unbalance him every time it happens.

I like the way you describe the contradictions between the Foundation and Treize, stemming from very different backgrounds. The ill fit of Treize with his (for Romefeller standards) exotic roots, high-flying ideals, his ruthless pursuit of his goals, the breathless pace of his work, his lack of qualms about using every single opportunity with the efficiency of a demagogue – and that, beneath all of this, he means it. Perhaps it's the most frightening thing of all: he lives what he talks about. It takes a small woman at a funeral to remind him that most people are not like him. To perhaps shake him more than he'd have liked.

Yet he is able to bury what shakes him deeper than Zechs can. He has the discipline to conform just enough to make it workable, to use the tools he is given within the conditions that are. (I thought Nasser might have been fishing for a comment and that Zechs' not picking up on it could have been an answer in itself, but perhaps I'm reading too much into this.)

I also found very convincing the way you describe the growing distance between him and Zechs – in rank, in mind, in body. The way Treize is hampered by formalities and administration, and he does not care because in the scale of things as he sees them such things are unimportant. Zechs' snarls that sound more like desperation and pain than anything else. He takes his frustration out on Treize who seems irritated.

And then, with a clarity that suits this character, "I am doing the best I can. I cannot do any more than that." It's like cutting through rafts and layers of confusion in one stroke, and everything falls away but that single remark that seems to sum up all he does, all the twists and turns and diplomatic knots.

'Become Better and Do Good' – and how ideals can make blind, strengthen or ruin things – and how what is always turns out harder than what should be. The old man's plain challenge – do something about it, the simple thing that's so hard to do. In all, Zechs seems to be clawing, reasoning, building his way back to life, the biting agony having given way to a growing clarity as he picks his way through what's left of the past. It has to be sorted before he can decide what to lock away, what to throw and what to keep, what is his and what's to share.

This was another beautiful chapter. It's a long time since I enjoyed reading a story so much. (And thanks for the little note at the start of the chapter XD)


Masamune Reforged chapter 5 . 6/23/2009
every time, the same words. good. great. marvelous. witty. emotional. adjectives and adjectives and this whole thing is just crushing me because it's fucking adjectives. i've got nothing coherent to say. well, now i do, hang on.

great job with keeping the 'virgin tension' and balancing it with exceptional pride and bravado. Zechs' feelings in the flashback are never overboard, but always powerful. you do fantastic work with descriptions of gesture and physical reaction. original character references are pleasingly grounding, giving us something extra without demanding too much spotlight. you use words that make my head spin, and at all the right times, then pull out an absolute high-school dropout of a phrase or a saying that fits. the contrast does something good, but i'm no english major to say what exactly.

ironically, i had just opened the window to read this chapter when i decided to check my e-mail and there's your reply. well, let me tell you. it's a fucking CRIME that there's not more reviews of this thing. you'd do well to bring this thing to every damn website there is, the Live Journal and the rest of them, because people have got to get a look at this gem.

but don't get cocky. i'm glad you're nervous. makes you really tear out great bleeding chunks of yourself and invest it in each chapter. it's paying off, and, i'd have it no other way. i'm selfish, of course, but, yeah. you should be proud of it. and, yeah. i've got to say, a true keeper.
Masamune Reforged chapter 4 . 6/21/2009
every time i review this thing i'm like "this chapter was so good!" but, WOW. this was absolutely awesome. you presented the drug-addled character so well, not breaking the seriousness and not trying too hard to make it (darkly) humorous. then there's the flashback. boy. when they say 'the complete picture', that's what that was. a sheer pleasure. i really enjoyed it from top to bottom and all the little nooks and crannies. this has re-readability written all over it. hats off to you.
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