Reviews for Luck of the Draw
Brunette chapter 7 . 6/12/2013
So I was re-reading Heist (because, seriously, UPDATE?), and the part about Claudette reminded me of this story. So I had to come back and skim over this again. First off, this is hilarious. I don't know if I emphasized that enough the first time through.

Second off, if Van Der Veen doesn't show up in "Creatures of the Night," know that I will be aghast. I mean, not super-aghast, but HE SHOULD BE IN THAT STORY. The drugs! It's the perfect in, ja?
guest chapter 10 . 1/8/2013
I love this story so much, it's my favorite of yours :) please write another story with Marie and Van der Veen in it! You could do a prequel to this? Also I love the way you write the dialogue between O' Connell and Beni!
Brunette chapter 10 . 1/4/2013
And Van Der Veen finally makes his appearance! You might think about using him again in another story; he's not outlandishly colorful or anything, but he IS interesting and gives a nice flavor to Rick and Beni's (and Izzy's!) past. Speaking of Izzy - how unfortunate he didn't show up! But he wouldn't have fit well into this scene, anyway, and the allusion to his past as a cocaine user (funny and fitting, considering his mannerisms) was intriguing enough.

It fits well that O'Connell would continue the search for Van Der Veen and find him. It's always fascinating to see Beni in juxtaposition to O'Connell.

Marie is particularly interesting in this chapter. She's lost all hope of "reforming" people like Beni and Van Der Veen; it's like Beni caused her to lose all hope in humanity, and her whole belief system is gone. It's actually pretty sad, but since it's subtle and not outrightly stated, it keeps from raining on the comedy of the story.

I really like the ending, too. The focus is back on Beni (which is, of course, his only focus), and he has nothing. He can only think about what he could have stolen, completely missing the ironic fact that he could have easily had all of it and then some if he'd been willing to reform (or hell, even fake a reform).

It's nice to see this story concluded. It was fun to follow. Now...how about Deadly?
Brunette chapter 9 . 1/4/2013
Shoot, I never did review Chapter 9. I've thought about it since I read it (which was ages ago), but apparently I never actually wrote out the review.

This was an important chapter, and I really like how it was handled and timed. Having a conversation between just Beni and Marie needed to happen. Marie's realization that Beni is just going to go on being Beni needed to happen. And the whole conversation occurring right when Beni's about to rob Marie, in the middle of the night, sets a really lonely, desperate stage that's incredibly fitting for both characters.

I don't know if you meant it to be, but it works as a nice little homage to Les Mis, with Beni as a kind of anti-Jean Valjean. Marie's still going to let him take those things, but not to help a man start his life over; it signals a big defeat for her.

This makes for a great crux of the story. Now I'm off to see the conclusion!
Brunette chapter 8 . 9/21/2012
This story continues to be utterly charming and hilarious all at once. Marie's language is just plain funny. I think I forget every time (until the story is updated and I'm reading it) that she doesn't swear, which is just a funny and refreshing change from every other female OC ever. I think we (myself included) tend to forget that swearing really wasn't as common then as it is now; it was a sign of poor breeding and considered crass, even on men. But since O'Connell and Beni are both at the social level where swearing would have been commonplace, Marie's language is that much funnier by contrast.

And-aha!-Beni realizes there might be something in this for him, after all. You know I've been waiting on that. :) I have a feeling something is going to get in the way of his plan to rob Marie blind and leave, though.

I really like the depth Marie has in this chapter, too. She doesn't seem quite as silly as she did in earlier chapters, because there finally seems to be a level of recognition on her part of Beni's...badness. She knows he's a bad person, but she wants to help him anyway. And something about her utter goodness is very sweet, even though it's naive.

I'm excited to see what happens next! This is really the first time that Beni and Marie will be interacting, alone, for a whole chapter, and I think that could make it very interesting.

As an aside, I thought the dialogue between the two of them in this chapter was marvelous:

"...He's really dead."
"I'm hungry."

His selfishness and self-centeredness is both entertaining and a little grating, considering just how accomodating she's been to him and his faults. Their relationship is funny, but it leaves me wondering if she'll ever come to terms with the fact that he can't be reformed, and that he's just a downright nasty person. The story has been so fun that in a way, I don't want that moment to happen...but on the other hand, it has to, and I'm sure it'll happen at the right time.

Anyway, a marvelous chapter! And I promise I'll get something updated next week!
Brunette chapter 7 . 8/27/2012
So it's official: Angeline needs to be a part of more of your stories. :)

This chapter was great. I love the constant nuance of hilarity that runs through this whole story. Beni is so himself; this really might be your best characterization of him yet (well, all your stories do that well, but this one seems to really bring out his pathetic-ness. Maybe it's O'Connell's presence).

And each chapter leaves me excited for the next. Marie is taking Beni back to her house? What on earth is going to happen there? What kind of place does she live in? I can't wait!
Brunette chapter 6 . 8/12/2012
I'm seriously having the worst time getting logged in. And I'd really like to work on my stories right now, too...

Anyway. This was a great chapter. I just love Rick and Beni interacting, especially when a woman's involved. It really emphasizes how effortlessly desirable Rick is. He doesn't even have to try, and he could get a girl so much more easily than Beni can. Their dynamic is so interesting! And it allowed for some great dialogue in this chapter, which is really the best part of writing Beni.

And I loved Angeline showing up in this chapter! I really like her character, and you know how I feel about Liar, Liar (and story continuity. I love that!).

So what's going to happen next? Is Marie still going to be waiting outside when he, um, finishes? (Or will he stay there the whole night? Would Angeline let him?) Is Angeline going to be a feature in the next chapter? I really like their interaction. :)

Anyway, another great chapter! I love this story. Though I'm really missing That Was Yesterday... ;) hint, hint.
Brunette chapter 5 . 8/5/2012
Phew, I'm sorry this took so long! I think I mentioned we're in the middle of a move, and I've had to put off reading this chapter for a few days (though I've been SO excited to catch up! I love this story.).

Anyway.

This chapter was a bit of an in-betweener, but I thought the dialogue was really clever and funny. I love that Marie has decided she's going to reform Beni. That's just phenomenal. Goodness, could a person even have a hope of succeeding at that? I do keep waiting for him to realize how easy it would be to use her. Maybe he's worried he couldn't shake her? Surely, sooner or later, he's going to figure out that she's totally manipulate-able (is that a word?). Though I guess if he did, we wouldn't have a story anymore, or at least not the story of him trying to find Van Der Veen (where is that guy, anyway? Is he dead from an OD? I think he's dead. I just decided).

I also like that you've decided to take an AU route with this and brought Jonathan into the story, because...OMG, Jonathan! He's just the best, ever. And I love his interactions with Rick. Those two are just great. Really, any time a weaker character is in the unfortunate situation of having Rick manhandle information out of him is a great opportunity for fun dialogue ("Rupert Lexington-Howe III." :) ).

Anyway, I'm getting all rambly. This was a good chapter, but it mostly just served to get me excited about the next chapter. So update soon! :)
Brunette chapter 4 . 7/6/2012
I'm so glad you updated this story! It keeps getting more and more fun.

I love Claudette! Her crazy apartment and outlandish style is such a fun change of scene from the trashed, cat-infested hovel that Van Der Veen lives in. And now we're moving onto a whorehouse. I'm interested to see how the scene changes yet again. It's fun to explore all these different nooks of Cairo's underworld.

Also, I just love this twist on our much-beloved Beni-as-a-father storyline. Instead of the usual desperation/sadness, we find that Claudette is every bit as awful as he is, and sells the baby to a rich family. At five months old! Which isn't as bad as selling, like, a four-year-old, but still. The kid knows who she is by 5 months.

And Marie continues to crack me up. She seriously thinks that Bridget is the reason Beni doesn't want to be a father? That's just phenomenal. I love how she keeps refusing to see him as anything less than a hero.

Oh, and I like the reference to "Deadly" with Anna and her daughter! I just love continuity in different stories in general.

Also, can I point out how hilarious it is that Beni seems to think having sex with him is some kind of reward or bartering item? "Do this for me and we can do something mutually enjoyable that could easily result in another unwanted pregnancy for you to endure. YOU'RE WELCOME."

And O'Connell. I've said this a bazillion times, but I love O'Connell being here. For one thing, it's just good to have more than one canon character in a story (as I side-eye every desert-set Ardeth-fic ever). But for another thing, O'Connell is just a wonderful foil. He's so calm and he's keeping everybody on task. He's almost a "chorus" in the story; he's kind of what we would be like if we were actually along for this crazy ride.

Anyway, I'm sort of in love. Have I said that? Also, I'm glad you're updating since I don't think I'm going to get anything up this week. (Well, wait, it's Friday. So...there's nothing really left, anyway).
Guest chapter 3 . 6/29/2012
So this is me. And for some reason, they're not letting me log in. So here I am. "Guest."

Anyway, I read this last night, but went to bed before reviewing.

As usual, this was great. I love that Van Der Veen lives in this filthy hovel full of cats. It's such an interesting character quirk going on with a character we haven't even met yet.

And the whole exchange between Marie and Beni was hilarious! As hard as he works to get her to hate him, he can't help but fall back into his usual habit of begging for pity - and he gets it! I think we (or maybe I just mentioned wondering once...I don't remember) talked about what would happen if Beni ever actually got the pity and coddling he thought he was entitled to. It's hilarious that Marie is that person, and he can't even enjoy the attention because she's a crazy stalker.

I also like the story of Bridget. It's sort of hilarious that someone would try to get money from Beni for a kid. There's got to be a bigger sucker out there, especially since it's clearly not his.

But now, oooh! Who is this Claudette? I'm so interested to see who she is and how she plays into the story!

Also, have I mentioned that I love having O'Connell along this whole time? He is just such a great observer of all this crazy. And he also has such a good heart, searching hard for Van Der Veen and going into this bar to try and find him. He has no reason to help Beni or Marie, he's just that kind of person.

So...is Izzy going to make an appearance? Because, as we know, Beni/Izzy is basically perfect (speaking of which, A Good Time, which has been so sorely neglected lately, is getting upated this weekend. I'm committed. And I miss them together! And the 20's! And sordid Cairo!).

Can't wait for the next installment of this! Or That Was Yesterday! Or Diamonds are Forever! Or Deadly! Or whatever you decide to update. :)
Brunette chapter 2 . 6/26/2012
So, I am seriously in love with this story. I honestly think it's your funniest yet. I laughed through this whole chapter, too!

I just love how ridiculous this situation is. And the introduction of Marie! She's everything I hoped she would be. It's pretty great what she's putting Beni through. It's like the appropriate level of punishment for his sins, I think. ;)

I'm so curious to see where this is going. And I'm SO interested to meet Van Der Veen. Are we going to meet him? Or is he going to be dead somewhere?

Anyway, this is seriously wonderful and I'm beyond amused. Favorite'd!
Brunette chapter 1 . 6/23/2012
So basically, this is wonderful/hilarious. I honestly laughed through the whole thing. Beni and Rick's conversation was spot-on; their interaction was perfect!

Beni's story is magnificent and ridiculous. I love the mention of these Cairo thugs, and I'm particularly in love with the nickname "Double Ivan." Doesn't Ivanov mean "son of Ivan," and don't Russians include that in their names? It's been a while since I read Crime and Punishment and had all that explained to me, but there's probably a lot of Russians with names like Ivan Ivanov, which kind of makes his nickname (and Beni's side-eye of the name) that much funnier, at least to me.

I like how lightly Beni treats all the sordidness. I mean, it's part of being a product of the environment, and also just HIM, but it's amazing how funny a cokehead shooting a controlling criminal who keeps his wife locked up like a prisoner all day can be.

And, OF COURSE, this woman being his new stalker. It seems she's a little crazy, too (maybe just stircrazy from being locked up, or maybe, you know...certifiable), but I love that element of the story, and where this is going. It's just very promising and, judging from the tone of the first chapter, it seems like this could be really fun. So even though I know it won't get updated as frequently, you should still update soon-ish. :)

Oh, and finally, my favorite line (though, seriously, I laughed through the whole thing):

"God, did you knock up another one?"

Haha. Clearly, he possess super-sperm. Also, I'll take that as a shout out!

Though...it KIND OF impacts the whole "think of my children" exchange in the movie. Kind of. But I'm not even angry. It was my favorite line. :)