Reviews for Fragile Bonds
Guest chapter 19 . 7/14/2014
Just read it again. (Only like the third time or something...) It would be awesome if this was continued. Definitely one of my favs. :D
Torrya chapter 19 . 6/28/2014
This is, without doubt, one of the best stories I have ever read. It's probably pointless for me to ask that you continue it, but I'm going to anyway. Please, please, finish it.
enchanted cross chapter 19 . 3/7/2014
Sorry I haven't reviewed, I not much of a reviewer sometimes. I am hopeful that you will continue with this eventually.
Howdy chapter 19 . 12/28/2012
"I will neither give up on writing, nor on fan fiction (at least not before I'm done with this story). That is a promise." - I really hope this quote is true, because I love your story. However, you haven't updated in a really long time. I hope you do finish this beautiful story.
awesomeness chapter 19 . 2/21/2012
This story so far is great _

Its perfectly organized and all :)

Hope you update soon.!
tookkia chapter 19 . 7/20/2011
(review continued second half)

But then there’s the last two things you left us with, about Alex minding his business and him replying that he is…I just know there’s something else going on that is staring us right in the face! Is whatever Genesis is going through somehow related to Alex’s investigation? Logically speaking, Alex tells Genesis that he’s minding Genesis’ business because it’s somehow his (Alex) business as well. Let’s see, the paper represents a parallel to his near-death experiences, at least in the obvious way. But then you hint that there’s possibly something more, either something he needs to remember or perhaps a different dimension of these occurrences…hmmm…What does Alex have to do with it all? Levery?

And finally, Angeal’s first relationship. You probably already know my views on ‘first loves’ and stuff like that, but I understand yours as well, and I think showing Angeal’s first love was so human and realistic that I can’t help but hope my own ‘first love’ stays true to what I believe. I guess Angeal’s first love is my version of ‘puppy love’, though in the story I can see that he was very much in love with Dean (btw, I loooove the name Damian ;) Their relationship, or ‘how we met’ story is also something I enjoyed. I love how you gave it this ‘nothing special really’ feel in the beginning, because real relationships don’t always happen ‘magically’, something they just happen, like in real life. And of course I looooooooved the kiss heehee. More touchy-stuff please :) *blushes with such perverted thoughts…*

Did I tell you how much more in love I am with your Angeal and Genesis as a couple? I think it was in ‘Ties of Fate’ where you described how Angeal has always been so sure of his decisions, and how difficult it was for him to want to pursue a relationship with Genesis considering they are best friends. When I read just how in love Angeal seemed to be with Dean (It seemed like the best thing on the planet. Forget ‘seemed’. It was.), I realized how much more attached to Genesis he must be because, well, if Dean was his ‘first true love’ then he must already have a better concept of what love really is (for him) and just that fact alone says loads concerning his affection for Gen. Again, am I making any sense?

Oh yes, and how could I forget the last scene. BRILLIANT! Super suave strategist vs. super suave strategist! One could feel the tension in that room! It was very interesting to read how Alex and Sephiroth acted in this scene, observing each other and watching what they say. I particularly liked this line: ‘Was there a hint of reproach? Or even concern? Concern about me, of all people? Who does he think he is?’ I thought it was kind of funny how Sephiroth finds ‘concern for him’ an offensive gesture. Lol, I mean, I guess I can get why he would feel that way, he is Sephiroth, after all, but still *giggling* it was funny. But getting to the other part, the codes. I do remember reading about some code-stuff earlier on in the story, but what does 22 and 1 mean? I’m guessing you’ll reveal it later?

Alex really thought he would put one past the General then? I guess we’ll get to see that last card he mentioned…*wonders how Genesis is going to react* and of course, I think I’ve babbled on enough about the mystery caller earlier…with no success _

What can I say? I LOVED this chapter! I’m not great at analyzing things correctly (actually I might’ve just pointed out a bunch of things this time instead lol, parrot anyone?), but I was simply overwhelmed, in a good way though ;) I really can’t wait till you update, looking forward to it sooooo much! Thank you for this awesomeness! You outdid yourself, really, and it was well worth the wait ;)

So many *hugs*

tookkia
tookkia chapter 19 . 7/20/2011
Let me just begin by saying wow! With a sky high capital three syllable guitar twangin WOW! I’m honestly not sure which chapter is my favorite now, you’ve given me a lot to think about ;) And I think I’m a little infatuated with Alex too lol, though I guess it’s because he has a certain dose of awesomeness that, though not on exact par with the others (but very close ;), is still endearing in that mysterious way us shy girls can only daydream and giggle about later. There were so many things I absolutely loved about this chapter, and I’m sorry I took so long to review (eons!) but…Well, I took your advice and read the chapter before again (actually I re-read the entire thing and some ;) and I think I succeeded in getting super excited all over again for what’s to come, as well as obtained this incredible fascination with all your characters, more so, if that makes any sense.

So let us begin :)

I mentioned Alex and perhaps it was intentional considering we begin and end this chapter with him. Sly kitty! Lol, but not in a bad way. After re-reading, I have a better idea of his character, at least I’d like to think so. He is definitely a witty strategist, in every way possible, even with the master himself: ‘Every step he took was carefully measured, swift yet not hasty. This was not a flight, it was a tactical retreat.’ And of course he does this despite his obvious interest in the information. So he has flaws after all, though I suppose one must also consider his ‘tactical retreat’ is being observed by the schematic master himself, Sephiroth. At this point, do we know that he’s the intruder? It would make sense, in this way instigating the process of looking into Levery’s file to begin with, but someone else wants information too, could it be something Alex knows/can find out? A trade-off of sorts? And why is Alex interested in this information? I’m sure you can’t really answer these questions lol, but my mind is boggled! Can I tell you what one word was the deciding factor in me reading the entire story all over again? As well as ‘Ties of Fate’? (yes, and I have to say, I’m falling in love with Angeal and Genesis as a couple all over again because of it!)

It was that one word: ‘pleasure.’

When I read it, I was absolutely sure I had seen a reference to it somewhere earlier, it was only a matter of searching, and thus finding out who the mysterious caller was, and perhaps unlocking each person’s role in the entire ordeal. Even now, I feel like I missed something, something possible minute but obvious that gives away their identity in ten foot neon letters. But alas, I still have no idea who :( Nevertheless, the caller suggests a more ‘physical’ approach, and you did mention sheer innuendoes at the beginning of the chapter (an entirely other area of ‘OMG’ in this chapter heehee), so I can’t but think that maybe they are someone lusting/hating? Alex? Envious? If his last card is Genesis could it, perhaps, be someone that was in a relationship with Genesis? Phil Harvey is in plain denial, I think, of how attracted he is to Gen-an ex-bf of mine used to torture me when we were in middle school, and so when I found out he liked me, he explained ‘haven’t you ever heard of: we hurt the ones we love?’ Talk about taking it literally…(he threw me out of a desk once!) but anyway, I can’t really see it being Harvey, especially considering Alex already knows him quite well…hmmm, I’m just throwing out ideas of course lol, but I’m totally stumped!

But anyway, I’m jumping way ahead lol. I had to wonder here: ‘Not yet. This is my last card, and I’ll only play it when everything else fails…’ what exactly is he going to do/say to Genesis to get him to oblige? I can’t but notice how every time Alex and Gen are in a scene, Harvey is close by (in this first scene, he’s not exactly mentioned, but later on he is there). I wonder if there’s any significance to this other than Alex using Harvey as a means to get on Genesis’ good side, so to speak. (Then, of course, there was that instance earlier on when Alex named him ‘shorty’, and someone told him ‘he likes you’…?) And then there’s the line before: ‘Instead, he kept his eyes fixed on the screen in front of him, while he savored the thought for a moment, compared it other possible options like a jeweler trying to find the perfect gem stone for a precious necklace.’ What thought exactly? The thought that he (Alex) didn’t fall for the beginner’s mistake of checking to see that he was no longer being watched? Or the thought that he might have to play that card with our haawt little auburn friend? So if he does get to resort to using Genesis in some way, he might actually enjoy it…hmmm, me says Alex Griffin does like him, at least a little ;) Or even better drama—Genesis and Alex, a past fling?

Is this the part where I should be slapped? Lol, I can’t recall whether or not there’s mention of Genesis’ past relationships (if he even had any). I do remember Angeal pondering why Genesis never really asked about Dean, during and later on, because, as he said, Gen and he never withheld any secrets from each other. Hmmm…

Well anyway, you had me giggling with the next scene, the one with Sephiroth and Angeal. I can almost picture Sephiroth grabbing the bridge of his nose with two fingers, bowing his head, and closing his eyes with his irritation. Haha! And Angeal, trying to act like he was listening the entire time: ‘Well, I would say it depends…’ *rolls eyes* it ain’t that easy to fool the General! But I can’t blame him (Angeal); the little flashback you showed us was so sweet! I would have liked to see more ;) Genesis acting with a ‘sudden nervousness’ and Angeal replying ‘Hey…I never said ‘here and now’, did I?’ Not that I need to remind you how spot on your characterization of these two is, but this is so Angeal! And I adore how you ‘showed’ us Genesis’ actions before Angeal says this. You tell me lots of times to ‘show what they’re feeling’ in place of just saying so, and I think this is an excellent example of that. I was a bit confused, though, with why Angeal was shocked with Gen’s ‘Do you still remember your first?’ Given the nature of what had just sort of happened before (Gen kind of making the moves on Angeal, albeit very nervously), I would assume this would be a logical question. However, I’m assuming this shock has to do with this: ‘Still, he had never told Genesis. As far as he could remember…And he always felt as if Genesis could see right through him anyway…But for some reason, Genesis never asked. And Angeal had no idea why…’ And, like Angeal, I am utterly stumped with that single syllable word: Oh.

Oh dammit! Lol, I feel as if there’s something missing here that both the readers, and Angeal, are missing but that is obvious in a in-between-the-lines kind of way (and I’m not referring to the mystery caller either). Is Genesis hiding something else?

But I’m getting off topic again (it seems to happen a lot when it involves Angeal and Genesis heehee). I loved how thorough and real the Fairmont Campaign was. I don’t know much about war tactics and stuff, but the way you described it, and also considering that the great Sephiroth was involved, was amazing. Speaking of which, your portrayal of Sephiroth is always something I look forward to reading, because you make him so much more human (…there exists not entirely flawless career. And whether I like it or not, this might be mine…) and still maintain his character. For instance, he acknowledges the moral solution during the fight, and yet goes with the more likely to succeed route. In this way he maintains his canon rationale, but we see a side of him that is human after all. Am I making any sense?

I looooved this paragraph: “Don’t ever expect everything around you to stand still, just because you need to think. The enemy…If you don’t make up your mind fast enough, you might never be able to do so. Maybe even never again.” I think this could very well be a sort of mantra for any person in the military, or even life in general, if one extends it to more of a metaphor. Remember that ‘the Planet stopped’ metaphor that you had several chapters ago? I would put this section right up there with that one, just soooo great!

I wanted to ask you about this line: ‘You cannot call a SOLDIER a murderer, in the same way you can’t call a sword a murderer either. Why blame a tool for fulfilling the mere purpose of its existence?’ True, a SOLDIER is a sort of tool for Shinra/army, but unlike a sword, a SOLDIER is a real person who got into the program/army knowing they were going to have to kill someone eventually. I wouldn’t go so far as calling a SOLDIER a murderer, but the more I think about it, the more I still think they can still be dubbed of some similar evil. It doesn’t make sense in a way lol (what I think), because I could never picture, Zack for instance, as being a borderline-murderer, but…well, do you know what I mean?

I think the moment that stood out for me the most in the next scene (Gen, Alex, Harvey), was: ‘Genesis swearing bluntly was a very rare event…Whenever he was using the verbal equivalent of a sledgehammer, it was a clear sign that his opponent had pushed him too far.’ I know I’ve had several instances where you remind me of exactly this character trait of Genesis’, and so now that I finally get to see it in action I can’t help but feel a bit foolish. Idk, perhaps I’ve read too many overly-exaggerated Genesis stories, but it makes perfect sense to keep him the way you do. In the game he isn’t so exaggerated, after all. But anyway, I liked this scene as well. It was a bit unsettling to see Genesis lose his composure, but hopefully it doesn’t backfire on him too much, with Alex, I mean. Though I must say, Gen’s lines (ALL of them: shut the fuck up, or do you need an audience for that too? Oh, you wish, not now, not ever) were absolutely priceless!

(ran out of room, review continued ;)
littleonegi chapter 19 . 7/19/2011
Okay I read from chapter 16. By the end of this chapter I got the feeling all players are getting ready to take the mark.

For a minute there I thought Genesis might be suffering from Mild Schizophrenia or Bipolar, talking to one self.

I also think if Angeal told Genesis about his experience with Dean Marquez. Genesis might see this as bad way. For example Genesis might see that Angeal had one those ‘moment’ that you read in books “eyes were suddenly drawn to one specific SOLDIER. As he would later learn, it was by far no coincident. The person he noticed instantly” and compare to Genesis, well it was slow process of getting together, not so romantic and still they haven’t even gone pass first base. Genesis might compare himself/Angeal with Dean/Angeal. The different how Angeal loves him and Dean.

Sorry I took so long to review.
Chibipinkbunny chapter 19 . 7/16/2011
Awesome chapter, the wait was totally worth it :D
The124C41 chapter 19 . 7/9/2011
Yay, more Alex! I'd even call it Alex-centric chapter, were it not for the presence of the SOLDIER trio... but still, I'm happy with the amount of Alex. My first impression on the ominous first paragraph was that it was Alex. Then I added possibility that it might be the nice Doctor Marco, or someone even not introduced, though it is less plausible for me... anyway... after reading the last paragraph, that had Alex in it, I noticed the phrase "A faint smile appeared on his lips" and in the first paragraph "A thin smile appeared on his lips" and it's almost identical. I do understand this is an often-used phrase, but still, it vaught my attention. Alex has nice smiles.

Angeal is really human and realistic in the first paragraph, with this focusing problem. Even while listening to something or someone important. Here's the big advantage of emails, letters and other methods of communication like this: you can simply wait until you're focused enough, and other person's words will wait for you, always.

I see he also has problems with figuring out the meaning of Gennie's "ohs". They're harder to decrypt than Enigma code! Poor Angeal. Anyway, it's realistic too, that despite being so close, they still can have problems with understanding each other.

What is MIC? I googled it,but all I've got was microphone... Military Intelligence Corps? Military Investigation Corps? I'm pretty sure M stands for Military and C for Corps, but I have no idea about I...

Is this Fairmont Campaign the Nibelheim Incident of this story? I like these important incidents that influence the entire story, and the truth behind them is very well hidden, sometimes wrapped in more than one level of deception. A Riddle Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma, as TV Tropes would say.

Also, I like the name. "Fair" is a really nice adjective, with many meanings that all evoke rather positive feelings, so it is misleading in the story since that Fairmont guy was a moron with abyssal self-esteem (seriously, a good commander would not think that listening to the opinions of those under him would make him lose his authority or whatever. He should go to a psychiatrist or something before going to war! Ok, now I'm done raging at guy who is probably dead anyway, back to the review)

Anyway, I liked the flashback interaction between Major Kendrick and Sephiroth. This whole "Despite not feeling like it, Sephiroth chose to return that smile" thing is so familiar to me - with my AS, sometimes I feel all the interaction I have with most people is deception and playing on their expectations. Not that I mind, though. But I guess Sephiroth is not the type to do so.

Now, about the name. I Googled it, to see if the aforementioned Vietnamese villages had anything to do with war or had similar operations conducted, but my search yielded no results. Anyway, I like the fact that you appreciate Wutai being the mix of the eastern cultures, not only one eastern culture. Most autors I read write it only as one culture, usually Japanese, which infuriates me greatly, I don't know why.

Also, I like the entire situation, with these screw-ups and most of all, the fact that it is never directly said what Sephiroth did in the end, and that it is left up to reader to guess.

The "You cannot call a SOLDIER a murderer, in the same way you can't call a sword a murderer either. Why blame a tool for fulfilling the mere purpose of its existence? True, you could always blame the creator of said tool, but wasn't it public demand that lead to the creation in the first place?" are my favourite lines in this chapter, and maybe the entire fic. They encompass the whole dilemma of guilt at war, of army's existence, of their purpose and choice that sometimes may be more of a curse than a blessing. I could talk all day about this, as it is one of the issues I've lately had a lot of contact with - not personally and directly, but enough to get me thinking.

Sephiroth's final statement is so adorable in a way - he even doesn't know when he's being consoled, aww. But it's also sad, as it shows he isn't even aware of the emotional side of him, as he doesn't know when it's being appealed to...

*giggle* Alex is also very human in his first paragraph. Everyone hates paperwork, after all, and everyone sometimes has these days when even a favourite duty seems to just drag on. This thing about him hating anyone who messes with his data is small, but says a lot about Alex's personality. I used to be paranoid about this, when I was younger, always shutting down all my programs when I left my room for just a small time, as I didn't want anyone to meddle in my affairs. Now either I'm more trusting, or I simply know they don't have time to look on my screen. Wow. But I guess Alex knows that if someone would want to mess with his data, he would take his chance...

Oh my! Poor Alex, he accidentally got himself in trouble... I guess Gennie is nowhere as careful with important data. And then, not only Gen added some to this "fair share of undeserved abuse", but also Phil (yay! I've guessed it was Phil even before Alex said that... I'm getting better!) HAD TO add fuel to the fire. Poor Alex, it must be a bad day for him.

For a while, Phil reminded me of that guy who never let an opportunity to make a 69 joke pass him by. Maybe they're soulmates. And I liked the comparison to knives and sledgehammer. It made me wonder what would be verbal equivalent of a chainsaw...

Hoo boy. I never had a problem like the one Angeal has, but some of my characters did, so I guess I might have an opinion on this. But I know this situation is far more complicated - after all, Genesis is the one we're talking about. He could either be silent because he doesn't want to talk about this, or because he's not sure if Angeal wants to talk about this, or because he thinks that Angeal should be the one to start talking about this, or because mako is green (I'd write "because the sky is blue", but then I remembered the Midgar weather...) or because of thousand different equally possible reasons.

I like this whole "how-we-met" story (man, I certainly do like a lot of things about this chapter...). It's kinda funny how much time did they spent beating around the bush. But I guess Angeal's swordmanship kinda improved, so this wasn't a complete waste of time... but I guess every romantic relationship starts with beating around the bush. I don't know...

Just at this Genesis fragment I realized that this paper he dropped and Alex picked up is this note Gen's abusing in this part. It was kind of fail on my part, I usually am able to connect the dots enough... but not this time. This line about getting singed while trying to burn the note reminded me of this line about playing with fire. Well, a few chapters ago, he was able to play with fire quite well...

And this disturbing low voice was kinds scary. Poor Gennie, not only he has THE will to deal with, but also the voice.

It's so like Sephiroth to notice such things like where is someone standing during the conversation, and it's so like Alex to choose the same spot.

This talk was in my opinion as much as battle as the previous one with Phil and Gennie - just that more subtle and more meaningful one. Especially with this "tactical retreat" part. Oh well, sometimes you need to lose a battle to win a war. And it certainly would be difficult to win a war against Sephiroth.

I liked this security system with the code confirmation and the time limit. It's more realistic, and shows that this information is really confidential, and that this whole Fairmont runs deeper than most people would suspect.

Well, I never answer calls that are not in my contact book, but I guess Alex is more courageous than I. Anyway, the scary informant - I'll just call him Deepthroat, because that's a good name for a secret informant, it conjures up right (or wrong) images - seems to be as much of a manipulator as Alex. Two manipulators, both with puzzle to solve and both with information that could help the other side. But there is a problem, whether the other side wants to help, or whether he'll think that the price is right... that was a nice ending...
Kageayamu Sakushi chapter 19 . 7/8/2011
Congrants on writing another successful chapter

Comparing Gen's words to knives and hammer was simply genious

Please do update soon
Jones chapter 19 . 7/8/2011
I love this story and cannot wait for a new chapter! I just read the whole thing in one go and now I must know what happens next. It is fantastic. :D
NoLongerActive11111 chapter 19 . 7/7/2011
So... um... where to start?

First off, thank you very much for finishing and posting it and for the effort it doubtlessly required you to battle all those misfortunes and lack of motivation. I am happy to see that you overcame

Then...

SEPHIROTH! He blew my mind, but he always does when he is written properly. And Genesis. And, finally, Alex. :) That's my favorite trio now.

Ok, now to the actual chapter. As tradition goes, first - the title. "Haunting". I saw it uniting every major participant of the chapter, as a nice way to unite them. And every participant is haunted by their own problem. Alex (I knew he was the intruder long ago :P) is dealing with a particular side of the Fairmont incident, haunted by the question of the mystical caller, of how to get the information he needs (since Seph rejected him). Sephiroth, in turn, is haunted by the past reminder of the disastrous campaign, and what consequences it might lead to. Genesis was haunted by his past a while now and by trying to connect dots and figure out what is happening to him. Angeal is, too, haunted by his first love (it wasn't too bad btw :P; not even too sweet) and whether Genesis knows and how to tell him.

Given that, let me add a few more detailed thoughts.

The first scene gives us Alex (and so does the last, a nice conclusion of the pattern). He is planning his strategic move regarding the information he needs. I loved this particular quote.

* In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns*

That is classic, of course. :) So Alex I believe decided to end it soon and it seems, Genesis is his only card left at the end of the chapter. I am not certain he'd prove to be a much easier case than Sephiroth.

Loved the conversation between Angeal and Sephiroth. *If he hated one thing, it was having to repeat himself over and over because someone was not paying attention.* That is Sephiroth very much. XD

I loved the details of the Fairmont campaign. LOTS! I know I've been asking about them for quite sometimes, but that's because this is what I love. The war. How mistakes happen and how - if they never leaked into the public - no one will care or remember them. Very realistic.

So I wanted to know what happened. And how it ties to the actual investigation from both sides. Sephiroth's and Alex's. Yep, they should have listened to Sephiroth, but - and it reminds me of DS - being a talented war leader isn't for everyone. Fairmont sounded like a fool. But now that I know what happened, I can easily see how they can pin it on Seph if they wanted to, making him a scapegoat. The good question is why and this is what I don't know and I guess this is why - as you said - Sephiroth won't look into that direction.

Loved the verbal battle between Genesis and Phil Harvey. Verbal battles are always interesting and I like them about as much as actual battles for they require no less wit. Genesis certainly didn't seem all that composed, but I can't blame him, but I still enjoyed his victory in the end.

I also wonder if Alex supporting Genesis was just a little tiny bit strategical, considering his plans to involve Genesis, even as the last card.

In the next scene, I find it interesting how you have Angeal speak a little Spanish, a very neat touch to his character, I believe. I enjoyed the little flashback to him and his first boyfriend. Wonder if it plays any major roles in the main plot, but it was a neat one nonetheless. it's also interesting how you described it was rational, not normally what you'd expect from the first love, but... I loved it for that reason. :) I do wonder why Genesis never asked; was it pride or something more?

Onto the next scene... Genesis of course and his issues. His efforts to put it all together are touching, how he looks within himself with such determination, searching for an answer, and how it eludes him. Remembering what you said about temporary solution, I have a feeling that although he connected numbers with years, the events are chosen wrongly. Or rather, now that I am thinking about it, he sees the consequences perhaps, but not the reason underneath. I also have to wonder how it is going to help him when he figures things out.

And we go back to Sephiroth... Yeah, the guy is definitely not easy to deal with, terse, straightforward and not social. Griffin and him make good duels. Each sneaky in their own way. And evaluating. A great strategist vs. another great strategist is always interesting to watch.

Since you reminded me of the significance of these numbers, I am more than intrigued now what it was that those numbers told Seph that we don't know. And poor Levery, a trouble even after death. I know that there is more to him than meets the eye. I wonder why Alex mentioned that he was allowed to re-take the exams...

All in all, I LOVED the chapter, loads. Sephiroth was awesome and Genesis, too. I love how in character you keep them all the time. :) And I loved your language, too.

Anyhow, as you might have figured, I love this story and I am soooo looking forward to the next update.

Wishing you all the inspiration in the world!

Yours,

- Nephilim -
oztan chapter 19 . 7/7/2011
Give me this weekend to read the whole thing again to give you my review.
SHADOWoftheFOX chapter 19 . 7/7/2011
I know why Genesis doesn't ask about Angeal's past love life! It's because in a future plot twist, it will be revealed that he was secretly plotting to dump Angeal to date Alex. Right?

But seriously, I really liked this chapter, especially the part with the Genesis/Alex/Phil verbal battle. I also like Alex in general, you've made him into a pretty well developed despite his little "screen time" in this story.

Also, I'd just like to randomly say that I really like all the similes you use in your descriptions.
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