|Reviews for The Heart of a Lion|
| FunkToFunky chapter 8 . 8/4/2015
A very clever fanfiction! The ending was perfect, and ties in with the chapter title amazingly. A pleasure to read.
| theHuntgoeson chapter 8 . 8/4/2012
Oh, this is amazing. I have had to read it several times before feeling equal to reviewing it, and even now I'm sure there are some things I've missed. This is such wonderfully rich, detailed writing, a perfect end to a perfect story. How appropriate is is, and how right for the pandemoniac atmosphere of the pub, that when Gene and Alex finally find each other at last, so much comes between them and a consummation devoutly to be wished, and how wonderfully you use the tangled maze that eventually leads them upstairs together, to tie up every single loose end from the story and the series. Everyone's dialogue is so perfectly right, with a suitable quota of bon mots, especially from Gene, which reveal so much emotion - Alex's reunion with Viv is a heart-breaker, leavened by Gene's "Still, she was hanging on too bloody long" (and he's already shown his jealousy with "Alex squeezed past Raymondo - not that he seemed to mind"), and how like Raymondo to go right back to LOM days with "Move along, people. Nothing to see here," and Chris not to twig that Gene and Alex need to be alone. Then you grab us again with Alex's belief that Gene has only come to deliver Viv, before that lovely scene of reconciliation, with Ray's hilarious interruption. Then once they're inside, you use Alex's temporary disappearance to let us know that Harry Woolf, Litton, Phyllis, Summers, Marty and Barb are all safely in the pub, along with - and this is a lovely touch - Caroline, able to see her daughter happy at last. That mother/daughter talk, before she, in effect, hands Alex over to Gene, really had me welling up. And I love the idea of Alex dressing for conquest, in a dress as short as her red dress in 1.1, as white as her 'date' dress in 3.7, and as low-backed as her jumper in 3.2. Surely a dream come true for Gene. It's so like Alex that she has to clear up everything (well, nearly everything - she still has to explain that Caroline's her mother), including their terrible misunderstanding at the end of 3.7, before they head for her room, via one more interruption from dear Viv. And thanks for the operatic reference - "Come, do not delay, my beloved", how appropriate.
As I said, a perfect end to a perfect story. Thank you so much for writing it.
| Snapecharmer1 chapter 8 . 8/2/2012
That was great. Very heavy, and though I don't usually like a first person narrative, because the character's voice is never quite true, I feel like you nailed Gene's voice. Thanks for sharing.
| theHuntgoeson chapter 7 . 7/29/2012
Oh, this is wonderful. I'm utterly overcome by the way you've found to get Viv out of Keats' clutches and into Heaven, where he should be - bringing in not only Caroline and Tim but also Marty's Dad and the Fire Brigade. What an appropriate way for Keats to get some long overdue retribution. How poignant it is when Gene is hit by Viv's Hammers football. And that hesitant exchange when Viv and Gene try to apologise to each other is so true to the characters that I could hear the actors saying it as I was reading.
Then, Heaven at last - Ray's forgiveness of Viv is another throat-grabber (as you said recently, what IS it about that man?) and the reunion with the team is all that it should be - except "No Bolls". But surely we can expect Alex to hang back until she can get the Guv all to herself? The title to this chapter, with its quote from "True", says it all...
| theHuntgoeson chapter 6 . 7/29/2012
Well! Having come back to this story after far too long an interval, and having left it on a cliffhanger in the middle of DC, I was gobsmacked to find a complete change of scene. The discovery that Gene's vivid experiences in DC were all a dream is as stunning to your readers as it is to him, and the change of pace, from the frenetic whirl of DC to the initial quiet around his hospital bed, is deceptive and full of foreboding. How many recollections this chapter contains of A2A and LOM, especially the final episodes - the bright light, "Go where you're needed", "Yes, they can", "They're going to be fine", "I know, I know, I know", "You are, and always will be, the guv". Each bringing a lump to the throat. Keats's arrival is as chilling as it should be, and I love the duo of guardian angels who repel him, celestial Celeste and Michael, the archangel who expels the Devil. And at last, as Gene's heart gives out, we understand the double meaning in this story's title - not only the reference to poor Viv, but to Gene's overcharged heart. Oh, yes, and don't think I didn't notice your Cranford reference - the new lad (presumably iPhone guy)'s name is HOLBROOKE. This chapter is amazing - on to the next...
| monkey-in-hell chapter 8 . 5/21/2012
A very touching ending to the story and I'm glad you rescued Viv! I also liked the guest appearances (mention of Caroline Price almost makes me want to watch the first series again) in TRA. Lovely stuff.
| Miss Laurentia chapter 8 . 4/16/2012
Hurrah! The Guv has come to the end of his Quest and won his prize, Bolly, and we’re so pleased for him. Afterall, this is what all the previous chapters have been leading up to. That and, as it turned out, the safe delivery of Viv to the Railway Arms. Not to mention the liberating of Gene from the limbo of C.I.D.
Ahhh! But not so simple! True to form, KDN, you don’t hand us (or the Guv’nor) anything on a platter. Otherwise this chapter might be over within the first paragraph!
Instead, we have a chapter full of the pleasures and the tantalising insecurities that go along with flirting and a couple rediscovering each other. A touch of 'the Austens' about this chapter? For Gene and Alex, the pleasures of this chapter are many. Alex and Gene seeing each other again. Then Alex’s joy building to another level when she realises that Gne is actually staying. Gene (and Alex) at last getting a proper snog!
KDN, I think your focus on dialogue between Alex and Gene when they first meet again, is very effective. It may only represent a few minutes of the story, but it allows us the pleasure of experiencing their reunion from the inside. It's as if we ARE Gene; as if we ARE Alex. We're stepped slowly the tantalising process of their reunion - just as they themselves experience it.
And what a pleasue to hear them in true voice once again. So recognisable. Alex tentative, analytical, yet always hopeful and expressive of her feelings. Gene, as ever, brusque, jokey, often exasperated, and always in charge of himself. But with a warm heart beating within and two comforting arms around Alex.
Gene gets his much-wished for snog early on. But before he can fulfill his ultimate desire, he has a few more obstacles to overcome and we're taken on the journey with him. Between Chris, Ray, Bolly disappearing, Viv butting in, Nelson wanting to share opera with Bolly - and Bolly announcing she has 'plans' for the night, it could only be Love (mixed liberally with Lust not doubt!) that kept Gene as patient as he was!
How sweet though when he assumed Bolly's plans did not include him. The poor sod is so used to accepting that he and Bolly could never happen. And Gene's complete unawareness when Caroline and Alex where talking with passion, that it was him they were discussing at least in part (if I have that right?). Nah! All Gene thought was, with perhaps homophobic suspicion,
"Fandabbydozey. I turn my back for a minute and those two start."
But Gene remains Gene and the one interruption to his Quest that he did allow with gusto was a good plate of steak and chips, with this beloved pints! Not even the thought of getting Alex alone could make Gene resist this particular temptation on his road to dream fullfilment. Not even the Manc Lion is perfect!
KDN, another aspect of this chapter that I thought very effective, was your inclusion of a number of echoes from the 'Ashes to Ashes' past but in a new context. I very much enjoyed recognising some of the most iconic phrases from the series that you re-used deliberately to tie-in new situations with the old and so throw a light of understanding on what was happening in this chapter.
At end of Ashes it was a simple "Goodbye, Guv" from Alex. At their reunion it's "Hello, Guv."
From Alex to Gene it's "'Yeah and you Bolls' what?";
From Gene: "I couldn't tell from the look on her face if she was about to punch me or kiss me."
And my favourite from Gene, as the tables are turned:
"...but just before we got to the entrance, I stopped her one last time.
" 'Alex - ' "
She turned to look at me.
" 'I know.' "
Sigghh! That bit just melted my heart KDN! And there are others resonances of the same ilk within this chapter.
KDN - it's almost a shame to say goodbye to the Guv as he ends his Quest. But it has been a heart-warming, hair-raising, roller-coaster of a journey and I'm sure the your particular Guv has more Life left in him yet. Albeit a heavenly Life! Thanks!
| Solo Lady chapter 8 . 4/1/2012
Would it sound strange to say that, in spite of my wide grin at the end of this story, there's also a bit of a tear? It's true. This is a beautiful, touching story. I love that the Guv was finally able to join his mates for a pint - and on a more personal level, Gene and Alex are reunited for good and all.
But to see everyone there and know what Gene did for them all, it's truly heaven.
Of course, the payoff is that last scene, although my favorite line came before that: "Felt Bolly quiver soon as I touched her, and then she was looking back over her shoulder and smiling at me. You've either got it, my friend, or you haven't."
Beautiful story, KDN. Just beautiful.
| Everyonerunsfromsomething chapter 8 . 3/21/2012
I absolutely loved this chapter so cute :')
| GeneHuntress chapter 8 . 3/19/2012
I've enjoyed this from start to finish, KDN - and what a lovely finish it was. :)
Hope you write more soon. xx
| Onus.Probandi chapter 8 . 3/18/2012
This. Is. Simply. GORGEOUS. *sigh* This is the ending I always wanted to the series, and from the beginning, this story was such an unusual and interesting take on Gene's own journey to the Railway Arms. I was so glad that you included Caroline Price and a touching reunion for her and Alex-that was an unresolved moment that always broke my heart, especially when Alex said goodbye to her in 1.7. Lastly, I was glad to see Litton absolved! Excellent story, hon. ;)
| Siggy chapter 8 . 3/18/2012
Ah, lovely satisfying conclusion to Gene's story - and to Alex's story also. Loved all of the cameo appearances in the Railway Arms - nice to see Caroline Price included, a nice touch.
Deh vieni non tardar absolutely appropriate too - nothing like a bit of Mozart to help lovers on their way. Very satisfying indeed.
| Miss Laurentia chapter 7 . 1/28/2012
KDN, thanks for your latest chapter of this story. You've done it again! Just when I thought we had Gene's future (or lack of) all sewn up, suddenly he's out on his tod again, in an unfamiliar environment.
I like that you don't hand us your story-lines on a plate, KDN, but keep us on the alert.
I find it moving, almost heart-breaking, to see Gene, a man so used to being in control, continually in your story, being put in situations that he not only doesn't know how to deal with, but more especially cannot begin to understand.
Now his situation has changed again, and just when he'd come to terms with unaccounatbly being in a London hospital, he's now suddenly back in the street, in his normal clothes, all alone...to start with. But true to character, throughout each chapter, Gene never once feels sorry for himself. Although in his grumpy, macho way, we can see that he truly, deeply does miss Alex.
At first glance, KDN, your chapter consists mostly of deceptively straightforward dialogue between characters. But wrapped within that are many complex and intriguing connections.
And even though this is one of your shorter chapters, I being notoriously thick when it comes to plot-lines, needed to read it several times to grasp full significance. And it was a pleasure to have a chapter where I was unpeeling more juicy layers each time I went in!
There is one connection that I’m still not sure I’ve got right though. Is it Marty who is the copper with the American accent that dragged Viv out of Hell? I do see references from his time with Gene. Good excuse for me to re-read the ‘Marty chapters’!
I’m intrigued too why Viv sat down with a grunt like Marty Byrnes or as if he’d aged. Is Marty still a part of Viv in some way? A rhetorical question KDN. And perhaps resolved in chapter 8.
For me KDN, the greatest stand-out scene that put a lump in my throat, was when Sam Tyler was the first one out of the Railway Arms, and with tears in his eyes, gives the Guv a big hug. A simple greeting. “Guv! Good to see you.” But it was the warmth of the greeting that said it all.
Of course, I should have expected Sam to be at the pub when the Guv and Viv arrived. But he was far from my mind, so it was all the more effective to me when he did arrive. The way Sam responded to Gene, immediately reminded me of the intense, welcoming relief and joy, the LOM team had showed to Sam when he came back to them during the train siege.
It’s good to see the Ashes story, the Guv’s story come full circle. Well almost…because.."No Bolls" ! Poor Gene. You could feel his disappointment. Of course he hasn’t twigged that she actually is there, somewhere, but as Caroline Price’s daughter. I’m looking forward to being there when Gene makes the connection..if he does!
Speaking of the Price's, I thought that was a good stroke to make Tim Price the lawyer from Hell! He certainly gave me the heebie jeebies, when he turned into Bowie's clown just before the family car blew up. He was as cold faced and calculating then, as he was in the video he left behind. And I liked that he was up against Caroline Price, who, when the chips were down, knew which was the just side to fight on.
So again, you’ve left your story open KDN, and another piece of the mystery we can look forward to solving. I must say though, that I’m not sure of the significance of the last line, “ There isn’t any car, not this time, but there are those boots…and you” . I await Chapter 8 for perhaps the answer to that question, but especially to put all the pieces together of Gene's journey, this time around. And to find out if he finally meets up with Alex!
But maybe KDN - you'll leave just a hint of ambiguity, to keep us contemplating the myriad of possiblities that an after-life, a parallel universe, might offer to Gene and his team. After all Life, Death, The Universe ..and Everything is surely a never-ending cycle and who knows where members of the Team may turn up again?
| Siggy chapter 7 . 1/26/2012
A 'heavenly' chapter - if you'll forgive the pun. Gradually, wrongs are being righted and all is (almost) well with Gene's world.
Especially glad to see Viv again and on his way to his rightful place in the pub. Nicely done. All the old team there to see Gene and then finally the one person Gene (and we) have been waiting to hear...a deft touch which leaves this reading on tenterhooks for the next chapter.
| GeneHuntress chapter 7 . 1/24/2012
This is such a clever story, KDN. Glad Gene finally got to the pub, but you can't leave it there! More soon, please? :)