Reviews for Liberation
Kuri333 chapter 2 . 10/27/2015
It's great how this is really about Anna becoming a whole person before becoming somebidy else's.
Kuri333 chapter 1 . 10/27/2015
I'm reading this fic a second time. It's so good I want to get the details I missed the first time, eager as I was to know what would happen. I love how she uses the same words he told her when she left!
Kuri333 chapter 5 . 10/27/2015
This story is amazing! You're such a talented writer. I enjoyed independent Anna very much. You've managed that, while keeping her on character. It was also great that, after S2 this became AU, so I had no idea what was going to happen.
Thanks a lot for this!
JamesLuver chapter 5 . 8/23/2013
The argument at the beginning had to be expected, Anna still feeling the way that she was, it was inevitable that it should end badly. You made me sympathise with the both of them, seeing their points of view clearly. But John was right in part: she gave him reason to hope for more the moment the line of friendship blurred. She should have expected it, really. Though I really liked your explanation further down with her trying to convince herself that it wasn't really love that he felt for her in order to shield herself.

My heart broke when John wondered if it was really any point in continuing onwards from there, so I was so so glad when he decided to stick to his promise of the original two years. Of course, I was still terrified of what Anna's reaction might be to him turning up again.

I think it was definitely needed for Anna to confront her fears, and you handled that wonderfully. I loved the conclusion of that, with Anna being faced with the possibility that he really might give up in the end. What a great way of illustrating her progression, with her deciding to go to him just in case he decided not to come to her. It really showed the depths of her feelings for him, even if she'd been trying to deny it to herself.

It was nice that they could work things out so well, too. I just don't see Anna and John having many major disagreements (the first one in the beginning of this chapter was very very necessary, though!), and certainly not carrying grudges, so it was nice to see them putting the words from their last meeting aside and discussing the situation like adults. I'm so happy that they came to an arrangement, and that Anna did tell him that she loved him too. It's good that Anna had stuck to her original principle of wanting to maintain her freedom, and that John was so willing to accommodate her wishes. There were still the moments of angst in with the happiness - mostly with John preparing himself for Anna to withdraw, and not wanting her to feel as if he was taking away from her, and I suspect that Anna would have a lot of reassuring to do in the future, but the overall happy ending made me, well, happy. The fact that Anna had overcome her fears and was much more relaxed with him just meant the healing process could start. And of course I loved the idea of them getting their traditional marriage and family even if it's not necessarily in the most traditional of ways.

I've enjoyed this story so much. You've created such a wonderful plot line. The angst was so well-written and believable, and definitely made my heart sink in my chest, but the way that it was complemented so beautifully by the moments of happiness and heat made the whole thing even more emotional. Amazing, as usual.
JamesLuver chapter 4 . 8/21/2013
I know I keep saying it, but damn, this story really might be the death of me. My heart really is physically aching at the perfect marriage of painful angst and beautiful tenderness.

It was a relief to see that Anna didn't push John away immediately after the kiss, and that she could actually joke about it before admitting that she did still find herself attracted to him. But the fact that she still thought that he'd be taking away from her was so sad. And that's something that you've really got down to a tee in this chapter. For each beautiful, loving moment you gave us, you counteracted it with one that made my heart bleed all over the floor. You've nailed that technique.

It makes complete and utter sense for Anna to be more guarded and closed off because of the way that John treated her before, but I also feel so badly for John, even if he has caused all of this himself. In a way, she's almost giving him false hope, allowing him to be so close and to know her in such an intimate respect, only to shy away from him when it's all over - particularly when she won't allow him to kiss her goodbye even after everything they've shared. I think the line that broke my heart the most this chapter was: "e wished they could actually be lovers, instead of just pretending at it every other week." Such a hard-hitting line. A punch right to the gut. And it ends the section on an incredibly powerful, poignant note. It sums up John's angsty thoughts perfectly. And it only got worse when Anna thought that John only wanted her for the sex. It shows just how much his mistakes have affected her, if it's left her so insecure about his feelings and true intentions. My heart breaks for her just as much.

John proposing in the heat of the moment is very believable, I think. After all, it's only natural that he wouldn't be able to keep a lid on his feelings for her. I also think it's very clever how you've shown his love for her, but he hasn't expressed it aloud until now. I'm desperately hoping that Anna takes it well, but something is telling me that after the way that she's been closing herself off from him and the way that she's been feeling content with the way that their situation is (the part near the beginning with her hoping that he'd be happy with what they had because she enjoyed the fact that seeing him once a fortnight was so different from having a husband almost broke my spirit), she won't take it well at all. (Also, forgot to mention, the heated bits were really incredible, definitely my favourite of the ones that I've read from you so far.)

Wow, I'm a hot mess after this. I'm scared about reading the last chapter now!
JamesLuver chapter 3 . 8/21/2013
This chapter broke my heart in so many good ways. You've done an absolutely wonderful job of building Anna and John's relationship back up to where it was before, but those flashes of awkwardness that also shone through also showed just how far they've fallen away from what they'd once had.

And there were so many great scenes and details here. John going to the bakery and buying Anna so much from there was just so sweet and humorous. I'm a sucker for Anna and John sharing books, so it was so nice seeing that playing a prominent part of the two of them growing closer once again. And you move seamlessly from their friendship to the deeper feelings that are swirling about just beneath the surface, from Anna's confusion and discomfort at John's slips into over-familiarity, to John's lovely little excuses to touch her. You manage to show it so well from both sides, and my heart breaks for the both of them, being in this situation.

The scene with John taking Anna out for dinner to the hotel was beautiful, and the hint of heat that went along with it was just perfect. It's only natural that his thoughts would turn in that direction, especially when there's only a screen separating them. And him still coming to see her even though he was ill was just wonderful. It was nice to see Anna going out of her way to take care of him. It really spoke volumes about how she really felt, no matter what she was trying to make herself believe.

And the last scene! I just adore the idea of John taking one of the old scarves and still having it just because it had been Anna who had made it. There's just something so beautiful about that story, and I've never read anything like it before for these two, so that makes it even better.

It's not really surprising that John has broken and kissed her. I just have to pray that Anna's has started to trust him enough that she doesn't push him away. I'm not sure what it would mean for their friendship if she did!
JamesLuver chapter 2 . 8/10/2013
Great way of John trying to win Anna back. There's just something so romantic about him waiting in the rain and not budging. It's nice to see him being so tenacious and not giving up, and actually putting in the work to win her back. And although I applaud Anna's own tenacity at not giving in straight away, I'm glad that she did at least let him in to explain himself to her. The vulnerable position that he put himself in to open his heart was beautiful. His explanations for why he pushed her away, while not necessarily acceptable, are still very credible, and I do feel so sorry for him. Likewise, it was interesting to see Anna completely opening herself up too and letting him know exactly how he made her feel during those months. The dual vulnerability made for a very heart-wrenching chapter indeed. I like the idea of them becoming friends all over again, and for it to hopefully grow once more into something greater than that.
JamesLuver chapter 1 . 8/10/2013
Ouch, my heart is hurting. Superb, as always. I love the premise of this. What a really great alternate way of looking at how Anna and John's relationship could have developed! It hurt to read about John distancing himself more and more from Anna as the weeks passed, and his final words to her on her last day just about killed me. Seriously, John, /that's/ the best you could do?

I really enjoyed the insight into Anna's new life, and how it differed from her life at Downton, especially when all the girls were complaining and her finding it pretty much a luxury. And her excitement over finally having her own room, aww.

Anna's reaction to John turning up out of the blue was great. I loved the line about the stirring in her belly as her old feelings resurfaced. The awkward small talk between them made me ache to read because it's such a stark contrast to what we're used to, but it worked perfectly. And his real reason for turning up definitely shocked me. On the one hand, I desperately wanted her to throw her arms around him and forgive him, but of course she did the right thing by giving him what for. He deserved nothing less after treating her so badly. Still, I hope a happy ending will be on the agenda, and I look forward to seeing how things progress between them from here (grovel, John, grovel like you've never grovelled before in your life!).
kb chapter 5 . 6/26/2013
You are the queen of the AB fanfic authors. All of your pieces are excellent and re-readable, but "Liberation" is a triumph. A richly imagined alternative for A & B which capitalizes on the growing emancipation that WWI brought about for women. Good dialogue advances the story smoothly and logically. Vocabulary well suited to 1920s England and often quite cleverly expressed. Please write more!
Guest chapter 5 . 7/15/2012
I would like to give a compliment to you for this story. -It got me hooked from the very beginning and I was totally "lost" in it and to it instantly. -I read it when you first published it and I am still coming back; reading it once more... and yet again. -Thank you very much!
anna4bates chapter 5 . 8/9/2011
So good! This story is by far my favourite right now. Loved every minute of it, almost helps fill the void where the second season should be
FirstDraft chapter 5 . 8/2/2011
Wonderful ending! Pitched just right, I thought - that argument at the start felt so right and needed and I loved how John managed to make his point without rancour - very him. It was always going to be necessary for Anna to confront her fears and of course it was lovely to see how, once faced with the prospect of losing him altogether, she comes to realise what matters most - but without losing sight of what she needs and being brave enough to say it. That's my girl!

And it didn't hurt that it ended on such a wonderfully hot note. _ I like how you only hint at things but just how... Well, how hot it remains.

Well done on an original take and a satisfying conclusion!
Novindalf chapter 5 . 8/1/2011
A superb finish to a wonderful fic. Thanks so much for writing and sharing! D
Daria chapter 5 . 7/31/2011
The one thing wrong with this chapter is now that it's done, what am I going to look forward to?

This story was brilliant.
Broedy chapter 5 . 7/31/2011
THIS.

After all the glances, the smiles and the growing affection between these two characters in the show, I know it will be some time until we're afforded a happy ending (if ever). But even if it never happens on the show, there will always be THIS. It satisfies all my imagined conversations and couplings between them, and then some. And a bit more after that!

Congratulations on a thoroughly original piece so in keeping with these wonderful characters, and for having the bravery to give us what the show never will. Huzzah!
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