Reviews for The Cost of Life
CuteButTheDevil chapter 1 . 3/20/2013
I like this fic as I do most of your fics and I hope you keep up the brilliant writing. I love the idea and would rather this be a story then a one shot but still it's great.
Dysthymic Panda chapter 1 . 10/12/2011
(*kowtows* I'm really, really sorry this is late. That's so unfair to you, I know. Gomen nasai, I'm sorry for being so awful. Oh, extra apology for the rather unfocused nature of this review. If you've ever wondered what my pre-review notes look like, this is pretty much that orz ...that warrants another apology. Sorry sorry sorry D:)

Good: Aw, poor Raoul-kun... he tries too hard. Poor thing spends all of that time trying to calm his nervousness and convince himself that he can go through with it, and right when he starts backing, out some unwashed drunk tries to rape him. Then after he finally manages to escape that, creeper!Erik 'buys' him. *sigh*

Awrighties, well... The first half was good for setting up Raoul's characterization. He's such a sweetheart, and the fact that he's doing it all for his sick mum really helps emphasize that the whole thing is entirely unfair. I like that his mother was a prostitute, too; her own sacrifices give him believable justification for being so filial. His inexperience and general goodhearted nature, especially when compared to the other prostitutes and the matron of the brothel, make it even more obvious that he's ill-suited for this profession, and thereby multiplies sympathy for his situation. (...but I kinda feel like he should've at least given theft a try before jumping straight to prostituting himself.)

In the second half, his anxiety and fear become more palpable, especially with the introduction of the would-be rapist. I like that upon seeing the first man in the alley (Erik), Raoul balks and immediately changes his mind; it adds plausibility to his character that he slips up a few times. I also like the shift in attention to the physiological symptoms of his apprehension (muscle tension, elevated heart rate, etc), since prior he'd just been kinda standing in the alley and thinking. His rising doubts make the assault scene even crueler; it's exactly what Raoul's resigned himself to, and his general inability to ward off his attacker emphasizes that the actual reality of prostitution is definitely more than he was prepared for. His ashamed flinch at the word 'whore' and his queasy squeamishness as Erik appraises him do well to remind that he's a person, not the toy that the soldier (and Erik in The Cost of Love) see him as. And I like that it takes him a while to accept Erik's offer, and that he's desperate to grab any reassurance he can find in it (thinking that Erik doesn't have any 'strange appetites'...) before finally agreeing.

Ooh, and speaking of the would-be rapist soldier, you did a great job describing him: big, hairy, aggressive, drunk, and probably unhygienic, he definitely sounds like the kind of person who'd frequent a whorehouse. I like how his brutishness is described through his clumsy, violent movements: the churlish way he paws at Raoul, the rough way he pins him down, and especially the part where he thrusts the money into Raoul's trousers; it's crude and repulsive and closely reminiscent of sexual assault (well, that's what it is...). Even his insulting and degrading language fits well with his role as a rapist.

So thank you very much for writing this fic _ I'm glad that you finally explored the idea a little bit. Again, sorry for the scatterbrained-ness orz

Bad: ...I sorta agree that you tried to cram too much into one little ficlet :/ I think you ended up sacrificing atmosphere for backstory.

Speaking of backstory, "Raoul stared up at the night sky, wishing once more for a miracle." You should probably just take that sentence out, or move it. There's nothing /wrong/ with it, per se, but it's in the middle of a bunch of background exposition, and it doesn't really do anything except remind the reader that Raoul's still in the alley while all of those things are being explained, but those couple of paragraphs aren't long enough to distract from that anyway.

This sentence is a mess: "Even as the old acquaintances, the people he had grown up around had welcomed them back; even now as they helped him..." 1) For the 'as... as...' parallel structure to work, both of the verbs need to be in the same tense; you have past perfect mixed with regular past. 2) There needs to be a comma after 'around' (although I'm kinda surprised that you let the preposition dangle like that, since lately it seems like you've been avoiding that). 3) Change the semicolon to a comma; semicolons separate two independent clauses. A conjunction wouldn't hurt, either.

Misc: *sigh* Your author's notes always have me Googling the weirdest things. I'm gonna have to watch that version of the movie if I ever find a copy. Also, I Googled prostitution wages orz These figures are from 1850, but inflation couldn't have changed it /that/ much in 30 years, right...? Anyway, females who were not associated with any particular establishment got 2-5 francs for their... services, and females who belonged to brothels got 5-20 francs, depending on whether the, er, client stayed for a short time or for the whole night, plus a tip. Artisans only had to pay 1 franc, and soldiers only fifty centimes/cents (bloody hell, I can't believe they got military discounts for something like that...). So, considering that Raoul wasn't even technically an employee at the brothel, 10 francs was above average, 30 was generous, and 100 is astounding.
EnderGrievesForMe14 chapter 1 . 7/29/2011
I do apologize for reviewing so late, but in any case...

This is probably one of my favorites. I love how you wrote this. Lovely background and detail. I also find it very intriguing that he wanted to check the other man's eyes; that's not something I hear very often, now that I think of it. Thanks for the wonderful story!
Kittendragon chapter 1 . 7/28/2011
I would love to see more of this one, some day. ;)
Keyklee chapter 1 . 7/28/2011
Oooh I can't believe you really wrote this! This is... omg this is so awesome.

I ...I ...ugh this makes me fall in love with Raoul all over again. He's just so great.

One of the reasons why I always really liked this plotbunny was that in all its AU-ness I somehow always found it really believable, because Raoul seems just as selfless and caring a character as he is here.

Though I think it's also really really hard to pull off (alone already due to the AU-ness) but OMG you did so awesome!

I love the backstory you came up with, it explains Raoul's motivation/determination in a way that I find really realistic and I think it also sheds a lot of light on what kind of character he is (and gives a lot of reasons why he's so lovable).

I just love how, even though he's not a Viscount and never really had a rich life, he still has all those noble qualities and it really nails why Raoul is my absolute favourite character. (hmm, yeah, seriously no pun intended with the „nail“)

It's like seriously a „Poor Raoul“ story (literally even) but at the same time it's soo... I don't know, he's also so admirable here that one can't really pity him.

I'm so glad he at least has a loving mother.

Erik is just amazing here. I love how sinister and really unpredictable he is/seems. And I've got to admit I somehow really liked that bit of violence he showed. Maybe because the guy he showed it too was so …mean ...and kind of gross. And because it saved Raoul. I think I just have something for Erik saving Raoul in any way, shape or form. (I think it's partly because I really like the thought of Erik saving Raoul physically because I so often feel that Raoul saves Erik emotionally and I think I really like the mutuality of that.)

I think you did really fantastic with Erik. I love how mysterious and dark and almost a bit scary he is.

I kind of hate myself right now because I really want to write a good (or well, let's at least say not completely stupid) review but I just don't really know what to say.

This story/plot is so awesome and I'm honestly so grateful to you that you wrote it. *gets all childishly sentimental*

I love their little bargaining at the end (their entire interaction really). I love how Raoul still remains strong and proud but also really honest and unpretentious.

On and I also really love that moment when Raoul waits for his customer and sees a cloaked man walk by, because it kind of leaves it open/unanswered if Erik perhaps really stumbled upon Raoul accidentally or if he might actually have been somewhat interested in him already and perhaps even came back to save him intentionally and didn't just do it because the other guy was ...stupid enough to piss him off.

Honestly this is an absolutely amazing birthday present, thank you so, so much! I feel so indebted to you right now.

(and I'm really sorry for the crappiness of this review, you deserve so much better.)
Mallie chapter 1 . 7/28/2011
Oh my, this is a very interesting idea for a story!
whatevergirl chapter 1 . 7/28/2011
I'm sure I come out thinking 'Poor Raoul' after nearly all your chapters. Definitely an interesting idea though! :)
Emilx311 chapter 1 . 7/27/2011
A-a-a-a You have once again managed to render me speechless. Another oneshot that seemed to come out of no where...I'm starting to be afraid of what you'll come up with for this series :D Awesomely written as always

The Crazed Artist chapter 1 . 7/27/2011
Holy snot you actually wrote it! This is beautiful and I cackled when I read the first line and realized just what it was!

Ugh, this one is so wonderful, and I dread when you are going to say it is just a one-shot!

Misses your lovely writing,

-The Crazed Artist