Reviews for The Trick is to Keep Breathing
Guest chapter 19 . 9/27/2014
Great story!
Marcus S. Lazarus chapter 19 . 2/9/2014
Another engaging hunt that neatly captures the Winchesters’ mood at this point in the series; nice job.
With Ava’s disappearance giving Dean and Sam a reason to remain in the city, you nevertheless created the perfect kind of case to attract Dean’s attention away from the mystery; the search for Ava may swiftly hit a dead-end, but the accelerated dementia case is not only clearly supernatural, but has the added bonus of giving Dean something to hunt where he can definitely SAVE people, rather than just avenge them after their deaths.
Dean’s deteriorating condition is made all the more chilling as its very nature ensures that he can’t tell Sam what’s wrong with him even as the reader knows what it is- made even more serious by the fact that Sam has no reason to believe there’s a problem as he didn’t know about Dean’s ‘secondary’ hunt- and even when Sam works it out, the addition of another ally of Gordon Walker to the game makes the situation all the more terrifying (Seriously, how did an antisocial guy like Gordon Walker, who according to Ellen was a danger to everyone he worked with, manage to get THAT many people willing to go to bat for him based on such limited information about Sam’s real background; even a casual check should confirm Sam’s never done anything really demonic in his life by this point!).
Still, I certainly can’t fault the tension his presence added to the resulting case, particularly when it leaves Sam in the unenviable position of being indirectly responsible for the deaths of two human beings; one might have been trying to kill him and the other might have made their choice, but that’s still got to be something he’s going to have trouble dealing with later, regardless of his decision to keep it from Dean.
All in all, a superficially-simple hunt that incorporated some very interesting twists and complications as time went on; keep up the good work!
Rosetta Brunestud chapter 19 . 10/2/2013
Heyyy again! :D
I'm so pleased that I finally got around to reading this one! College is still consuming my life, but I got some days off and it has been great to spend my time with your story ;)
I loved it very much! It was kind of epic in some ways, definitely an emotional rollercoaster, with lots of awwws and noooo and yeesss ' s LOL
Really liked it! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week! See you around! ;)
R.

PS: We have the same name, that's so cool! I'm Amanda too! I just sign with my Penname here, that's why you wouldn't notice. But it was a nice surprise! All Amandas are awesome ehehhe
Nadamalki chapter 19 . 9/3/2013
One of the best stories I've ever read, you have such a way with writing that left me feeling like I was reading a poem at times, your expressions and figures of speech are so unique I can construct a research about it!

And then Dean, how you slow cooked the whole dementia thing, it was just too perfect I didn't feel any glitch or skip. It was so believable, and I must admit, I got a bit scared in some scenes cause your description was so vivid, I can almost smell the dust particles in the motel room, I can almost feel nausated from the walls surrounded them.

Ugh you're amazing.

I loved the ending as well, I was wondering if you were gonna let Sam tell Dean all the gory details, but the fact that he didn't was one of the biggest demonstrations I've seen of protection coming from Sam in any story I've read on this website, it was just simple but so raw and tangible.

I can go on forever.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us, you have a talent that's unfathomable.
castielslittleassbutt chapter 19 . 5/13/2013
This. Was. EPIC.

I was copying it on Word so i could put it on my Kindle, and it came to a grand total of 361 pages, 149,835 words, 2, 331 paragraphs, 11, 963 lines, and 862, 427 characters with spaces.

So yeah, I think you've got it right. )

Amazing, amazing, amazing job!

Thanks for writing this!

And I love your icon! It's beautiful!
NyteKit chapter 19 . 10/31/2012
Haha! That was a great ending! I really enjoyed this story, too. (I had to read it after enjoying your other one so much.) I was definitely feeling both sad and embarrassed about Dean's condition throughout. I literally had to stop reading it at times because I was getting so embarrassed for him.

So I knew Sam would set everything right, but I'm glad that Bobby was involved, that Jud got what was coming to him, and I LOVED that little brother-to-brother convo Sam initiated at the end. It was so sweet. I can definitely deal with Dean facing that kind of embarrassment. :)
ccase13 chapter 19 . 10/6/2012
I really enjoyed this marvelous story. Dean Winchester in the throes of dementia was truely heartrending and Bobby was great as he always was. I'm looking forward to your next story.
Beckydaspatz chapter 19 . 9/10/2012
I could easily copy and paste the whole first paragraph since it was lovely and wonderful, but duh to FFN. net being a butt nugget, I'm going to have to pick and choose, but really, it was great.

Dean would swear the kid heard changes in breathing on a frequency even dogs would have struggled to detect. -LOVE this. Sorry for taking so long to read and review, but you knew my deal with myself and dammit, I kept it. :P

It wasn't until he'd shifted on the bed to get a better view of the room, the accompanying spike of pain nearly making him gasp out loud as it crushed his lungs, that he finally realised where his little brother was. Sam was a slouched mess of akimbo limbs, arms and legs tangled inextricably as he sat barely propped up against the wall in the space between the room's two beds, head lolling drunkenly. His neck was bent at an angle that was definitely going to make his vertebrae crackle and pop when he straightened, and the tip of his chin rested precariously on his chest, teetering at each exhale. Dean felt a soft smile curve at his lips as he fondly watched his brother, murmuring a soft "girl" as he realised that the kid had clearly sacrificed his own comfort for that of Bobby's. Not that Dean would have expected any less, or done any differently himself, but it still made him smirk affectionately at the sight. And then he noticed that his bed was furthest from the door.-Could I love this more...no, no I could not.

But Winchester luck was the very worst kind.-There is so many, MANY words inbetween this statement to love, but this is just all sorts of awesome. It could be a tag for an episode, or a season or hell, the whole dang show. :D

Right. So why did the distance from bed to bathroom seem to stretch impossibly into the horizon as if he was viewing it through the wrong end of a telescope?-Nice! Perfect line!

since he'd become an adult at the age of four-Heartbreaking.

The elder Winchester felt the world shrink around him until they were the only ones in it, and he raised his eyes to meet Sam's. The brothers stood contemplating each other in silence for a few beats, both spellbound by some indefinable power. Sam was staring intently at him, the pockmarked frown on his forehead smoothing out as he swallowed thickly. That was never a good sign. "Dean..." the younger man began, breaking the connection as he shifted his gaze towards an unknown spot over Dean's shoulder. "You gotta...I didn't even know if you were going to wake up. You were...I nearly...I thought...You can't just...pretendthat–"-That's powerful. Whoo. I can feel what Sam AND Dean are feeling. Wonderful job, my friend.

Great opening scene, wish I could go on and on and on about it, but well, you know...

He moved like a wind-up toy that had just run out of juice.-Awesome!

The elder hunter shot him a warm smile, genuine affection radiating palpably from him even as he greeted the elder Winchester with characteristic deadpan. "Good to see ya up and around, son. So, your cereal box still fulla fruit loops or what?"-Your Bobby's so great. *big grin*

Damn.

And then the penny finally, really and truly dropped.

He told me I might have to kill you. The words echoed loudly in Sam's head, taking him back to that evening in Oregon, Dean gazing at him with an anguish that looked to be ripping him in two. He told me I might have to kill you, Sammy. Realisation began to gather within him like rolling thunderclouds, blocking out all other thought. How could you not have told me this? Take some responsibility for yourself Dean, you had no right to keep this from me! Sam got it now. Jesus, he got it. And being on the other side of the coin toss? It sucked. It was crippling. And it hurt like hell.-I have tears in my eyes, what a perfectly, perfect way to have this story come full circle. Just freaking amazing. Bravo.

Sam hid a wince as the image suddenly unearthed memories he'd rather have left buried.-Guh.

"Well, that's reassuring." Sam couldn't quite tell if his brother believed him or if he was just being sarcastic; they both knew that Dean's lips had a propensity to be somewhat loosened when he was under morphine's influence. Sam had once recorded a whole hour's worth of his brother's ramblings after Dean had badly dislocated his shoulder, gleefully playing back the recording in its entirety when the elder Winchester was more lucid. Dean had done impressions of everyone from Bobby to Sam's longest serving sixth grade teacher, he'd waxed lyrical about a pie shop he'd discovered somewhere in the bowels of Wisconsin (I'm tellin' you, Sammy, it was like the Casa Erotica of pie!) and he'd taken it upon himself to give his little brother a sermon in how to pick up women in bars, because Sam needed all the help he could get. That last one Dean hadn't minded so much when he'd heard it back, telling the younger man he should keep it for personal reference.-Oh, I LOVE that.

"Yeah," he agreed, before shooting Sam a cheeky smirk. "Okay, well if you're done gettin' your chick-flick kicks, dude, toss me the remote. I got some catchin' up to do."

"I don't think there are any Oprah reruns on at this time of day, Dean." Sam snorted with a teasing smile.

"No, but I betcha I can find some Bozo the clown reruns!" Dean growled back.

"You do that and you'll be on salads for the next week, Dean!"

"Bitch!"

"Jerk!"-Such a GREAT ending, love how much you managed to say about their S2 relationship in this fic. It was moving, it was terrifying, it was momentous and funny and sad and everything I love about the show. Just...take a bow hon, you totally deserve it. Thanks for this!
zuimar chapter 19 . 8/12/2012
Man, what a ride this story has been, it was awesome from start to finish! I just loved the scene were Sam realises why Dean didn't tell him his father's secret. Great continuity! Bobby's gruff goodbye to the boys was also very in character and I can never get enough "Bitch and jerk" scenes! Great, great ending to an awesome story!
zuimar chapter 18 . 8/12/2012
My goodness, this is one of the best TLC chapters I've ever read, really amazing! The pain Dean's suffering is written so well, just as Sam's anxiety about his brother's pain. Really great job! I know 've paid you compliments before with your vocabulary but I cannot tell you often enough what a talented writer you are. I mean, how do you come up with sentences like this: "Something else that didn't seem quite right, but his somatosensory workforce had yet to clock on for duty, leaving a disconcertingly leaden numbness that was indomitably anchoring him in place." Brilliant!
Only one more chapter to go :-(
zuimar chapter 17 . 8/11/2012
Hi there, it's been a while, sorry about that! I've re-read this chapter several times, but I guess waiting with my review means that I don't have to miss this awesome story just yet. And boy, am I going to miss it. This story has been a treat from the start!
I just love your continuity, the sisal carpet was back again in this chapter with its wiry bristles, LOL! Much love for Bobby in this chapter, I still loathe the writers of the show for destroying an amazing character in the last couple of seasons. So kudos to you for bringing back the 'old Bobby'. This scene was outstanding: "How's he doin'?" Bobby cut through Sam's faintly epiphanous thoughts with a brusque pragmatism that in no way diminished the latent worry that still misted over his eyes, and the younger Winchester realised that his old friend had come to a stop at the end of Dean's bed. Sam scanned Bobby's expression as the older man did a visual sweep. The veteran hunter had a poker face that could have rivalled a stone statue, but the younger Winchester's keen eyes didn't miss the moment that the skin tightened minutely around Bobby's mouth, didn't overlook the way his Adam's apple wobbled thickly in his throat. But the older man said nothing."
Only two more chapters to review :-(
Sharlot chapter 19 . 7/28/2012
I’ve let this sit and air for a week and came back and read the last chapter one last time. What a lovely and fitting way to wrap up the story. The boys’ slow but inevitable return to their normal roles was lovely to watch unfold. And, here, too, we get a glimpse of future!Sam, the Sam who perhaps views Dean as just a little too “weak” to handle the full force of what has occurred. Here it’s justified and understandable—perhaps even needed. In a couple of years from now we will see a far darker aspect of this, but it is interesting to see those “seeds”.

Congratulations on a brilliant story, my dear. Be so very proud of your work. It doesn’t seem all that long ago, that we exchanged summaries for story ideas we had, and yet we’ve both been on pretty long-assed journeys since then! Ha! I know it has been at times difficult. That you have juggled writing a full-length fanfic novel, work and graduate school leaves ME breathless and mind-boggled. I have no idea how you found the time to do all of that AND beta my story for me. Astounding!

And what a pleasure—an absolute thrill it has been for me to share this experience with you and to learn from you. You are a magnificent writer, and one who I have come to respect. I wish I had a fraction of your talent for metaphor and figurative language! And your secondary characters! The way you always bring even a ‘bit part’ to life—I admit, I have outright emulated how you always give even a passing character their own personalities and quirks. I love that!

Thank you SO much for sharing this story with us. Seriously. With everything that you have on your plate, that you took the time to construct such a gripping story for us and entertained us all while we wait for hiatus to end is SO appreciated.

It has been an honor and an outright privilege to read and beta this story. I say “beta”, but you always gave me such infuriatingly CLEAN drafts that I am not sure I can call myself that. Ha! Nevertheless, getting to see this during the creation process and discuss it with you has been a joy—an absolute good in my life. I’m so proud of you and more than a little sad that it’s all over.
Wonderful job. Excellent story. Beautiful girl.

/hugs

Kat
masondixon chapter 19 . 7/22/2012
Loved all the depth and detail that ran throughout this entire story. And the dialogue here between all three characters flowed so naturally through all of their lips. The work that you put into each chapter clearly showed and reading each part of the story just added another well-written layer. An excellent job. Just one tiny thing I could have done without in this chapter: Bozo. I DETEST clowns.
Thank You for these 19 chapters. It has been a joy reading them. This story goes in my Favorites File.
Lykaia chapter 19 . 7/22/2012
Hmmmm, tasty fic. 'twas just the thing, I needed after dinner as desert. ,
Lil Smartass chapter 19 . 7/22/2012
Great chapter, great ending. If I had a complaint it would be that I'm sure Dean would have tied Sam's apology to what e might have said under the influence of the Maniae (he's not stupid and he knows how deeply that hurt him) but you characterised what was there so well that it seems petulant to complain about something that petty. The last few lines made me smile :D. Hope you keep writing.
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