Reviews for Death But Once
Wolfgrowl chapter 1 . 7/18/2012
Great you killed Wolfstar! But otherwise I loved it Shimmer.
Prin Pardus chapter 1 . 7/15/2012
When you said you posted it, the first thing my brain asked was "Omg what if it's not as good as I am expecting my anticipation level is so hiiiiigh" but then I was like "Duh. It's Shimmer." And, mother of God, did you crush my expectations.

Somehow, I didn't think Maelstrom would die before Shackle. I figured it would be the other way around, with the Shaq-ster making a sacrifice, finally fulfilling his duty to his Master, and then Maelstrom would make his sad confession and probably die. But no. Of course you flipped everything around and broke my heart in the process. You beautiful monster.

There were some errors (I'll get those out of the way first): "go find some cobweb" should be plural, "Mastsr" and then there was somewhere that you had a semicolon instead of a normal colon. Those were all I could find.

The little details made me sniffle; Shaq's shoulder trouble always bothering him, the promise, and then Maelman's heartbreaking repetition of Shackle's own words...oh dear. There were a few times when seeing the screen was a little difficult.

I nearly had a heart attack when Shackle almost died there at the beginning; it seemed too early for it, but Shackle dying before the battle even begins would be just his luck. It did give us an amazing moment of MAELSTROM CARING, though (shut the front door!) which was beautiful. And then Maelstrom /thanks/ him even though he knows it's wrong for a Master to do so, which would give Shackle all sorts of feels if he was conscious. And of course it would take something like this for Maelstrom to reveal any of his emotions, because he's just so closed off and frozen that it takes a huge blow to splinter the ice. I just feel so terrible for him.

And then Shackle gets a POV, which I wasn't quite expecting even though you were asking about his feelings earlier. Shaq would argue that he doesn't deserve one, of course. His section felt a little longer than Maelstrom's; were they the same length, or was his actually longer? It would be neat if it was sort of 'balanced' between them, considering the nature of their partnership.

The setting is absolutely fantastic for the final confrontation. "forest of skeletons" indeed. The snow and storm clouds give it an even more desperate, futile feel, which is fitting considering the title of the story and all.

When Shackle was attacked again, I had that chill of foreboding, because if we already had Shaq save Mael, it only seemed logical that the opposite would be true now - and of course Shaq mentions Fate, the one thing he has to believe in aside from his father's teachings. And then Mael does come and kills Foxy - yay! - and everything seems fine until he starts talking about returning favors and my heart goes 'oh noes D:' and cracks a little bit.

And then Shaq sees him as a little kit, just like he saw Copper, because of course that protective, almost fatherly side of him doesn't want to see what Maelstrom became, but what he could have been. And of course he can't leave him, not now or ever.

And...Sleetkit, and stars. ;-;

Of course Shaq would completely lose it when Mael dies. He's failed not once, but twice. He can't function without a Master, and no longer wishes to find one. There's literally nothing left for him but death, but oh dear, does he go out with a bang. And he finds a star too. ;;-;;

And now they are living together forever in StarClan and are SUPER HAPPY all the time and that is my headcanon and I will not change it.

This was beautiful, Shimjim, it really was. It's amazing how these two are able to invoke incredible feels, even though if you look at them from an unbiased perspective, they're both kinda monsters. It's been a long time since I've had a character that I like as much as I do Shackle, and if it wasn't for Maelstrom, it wouldn't be so. They're just the perfect pair together, and I am just really really glad that it was Sleetkit whom Shackle found in the forest, because no one else could have led to this level of heartbreak.

Everything about this was exquisite. The description, the setting, the details from role-play that you remembered and nudged in whenever you could. The ending kinda rips out your heart and stomps on it, but it does allow for a tiny bit of hope, with the stars, which is basically what the two of them are all about.

It was definitely worth the wait. Thanks for writing this (sounds weird, but it was just fantastic, so I think some gratitude is in order xD). I wish I had more words, but I just can't manage to find them at the moment, other than 'You're amazing.'