Reviews for Waylaid
Edhla chapter 19 . 7/20
Dear Mercenary, I dub thee the most patient woman on the planet. Given that I haven’t seen this in AGES, my sincerest and hugest apologies for both the delay and for possibly either missing something or doubling up (I’ve read the whole chapter before and *think* I got the idea of what I have and haven’t reviewed!)

Dear God, but I love me some Neal and Emma. Of course, no idea what they’re like in canon, but you write them with such chemistry, and it’s not just their penchant for hammock-time ;) I thought that *two* similes for Emma’s appearance in the first line was at least one too many; if I had to split between them I’d lose “pools of water”, only because “aura” is a bit more unique.

And then after mooning about her looks, Neal’s telling her she’s stupid :p Or that her comments are stupid, which is basically the same thing.

[Neal released a snort] Both this and Emma’s lifting her chin are fine on their own, but they seemed a little repetitious one underneath the other. I like both *gestures*, though… is there a way of varying your sentence structure slightly there?

[Leaving those] I really like how your dialogue bounces here. It’s both dynamic and feels natural.

[Because she saved my life] You always know exactly how to end a scene on a wham!line, lol.

Moving onto the next scene, I really like Neal’s cross-legged gesture. It’s perfectly boyish, and that’s reinforced by Emma’s desire to hug him (and nice character work there, too, that she doesn’t give in and instead concentrates on what the hell is going on.)

[ditch me] And case in point. I genuinely chuckled at this. Becuase of it, I’m not so sure you need “Already this…” but that’s a minor stylistic thing.

I love the specificity of “twenty-three.” :)

I like the backstory of Neal and Tinker Bell, but what I especially like is that you end it by reinforcing Emma’s suspicions, keeping up the tension and potentially driving a wedge between Neal and Emma… again. It’s great conflict, as it doesn’t come across as gratuitous.

In the following scene, I like the light-heartedness of “icky”, especially since the zombies had been slightly more worrisome when they were around :p I really like Emma’s practical approach to not being completely satisfied by Neal’s trust in Tinker Bell - ask her directly why she concealed the fact that she was gone.

[my boyfriend is Peter Pan] and you do a great job of both the literal implications of this, and the sort of girlfriend you’d need to be to a boy who refused to grow up.

The dumb-show argument between Neal and Tootles was really well executed - you get a huge feeling that Neal’s losing his control over himself and the group, fast.

… And then it’s reinforced by the intro to the next scene. I’m with Emma; that sounds like the worst idea ever. And worse, I wonder if it’s a cover for Something Else Going On. I’m not entirely sure it’s just bravado on Neal’s part. I also like the subtle moment where something Neal does that makes Emma laugh is all of a sudden not so funny.

[She can’t use it] Why do I not trust this? Gah!

[All for one] Not knowing any better, this makes me wonder if the Three Musketeers feature somewhere in this universe as well :p Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

I’ve missed this xx
Edhla chapter 19 . 3/28
Hey, dear mercenary :) As suggested, I’m going to start with the scene I’m up to for consistency, then try to group Gold’s scenes together in this review and the others in the next one :)

[Always helpful] I love this bit of characterisation of Belle (remembering that I don’t know if it’s canon or not, but it feels right!) I was debating for a while as to whether “always helpful” was a bit of a ‘tell’, but it didn’t stick out as egregious.

[Quirked a smile] This one did jump out at me, though - not sure if you’ve used it before or whether I’ve seen it elsewhere? It may also have jumped out because you have “shoulders bobbed up” (which I love; much better than ‘shrugged’) and “cocked her head” in relation to Belle in close succession. I like, though, that you explain out the Game of Thorns thing again, as well as Smee’s previous job being the world’s most annoying and incompetent lackey (I maintain Hook must have kept him around for the at-least-I’m-not-this-chump ego boost.)

LOL the transparency of “candles and soft music” for “conversation.” Oh, dear.

Ah, I completely sympathise with Gold and the ordeal of the stairs - a detail that seems real. I think, however, you may want to re-word the “my leg feels as if it’s on fire” - something you’d feel and perhaps say to try to express your pain, but it seemed a little odd for someone to think purely to themselves. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

[The descent was painful] I’d consider cutting this and starting with “each step down…”

[just mature enough to babble] I like this stiff and informal way of describing a toddler. Even in the third person, it seems in character for Gold.

[they were trembling] I paused at this - even if the child were trembling, I’d not expect their sneakers to be (the detail of the sneakers themselves? So, so adorable.)

[”It’s only me.”] Lord, what a loaded phrase. Brilliant.

(Skipping a couple of scenes because yes, that last line was a doozy…!)

I was surprised to find the baby so content, even if she’d just been nursed, since her mother is holding her and terrified. I’m not sure if I like the juxtaposition or not, but it certainly jumped out at me as strange. I particularly like, though, that Cinderella isn’t the only one terrified. Gold is in a really bad “it’s not what it looks like” position here.

The back-and-forth between Cinderella and Gold is excellent, particularly the talk about the fairy godmother. I’m on a less-is-more kick right now, so I’d consider losing “that means she’s reined in her fear” - I took that as a given, anyway.

[You want me to do it] Whoa. Total game-changer. Agreeing with Cinderella that it’s a horrible thing to say (as well as a creepy thing to say) but Gold claims it’s true, and the reader isn’t given any reason to think he’s mistaken. Wow.

(Skipping a bit more…)

“Compulsion for darkness” - what a great phrase. I might steal that one day.

A wonderful characterisation of Cinderella and particularly of Gold, that he thinks parental love is a privilege for prigs!

His offer, and Cinderella’s reaction to it, is an amazing piece of writing. As you know, I’m childless, but this felt real - that there are parents, plenty of them, who are really tempted to just ditch their partner and children for a different, ‘better’ life and then screw themselves up with the guilt of wishing such a thing even for a moment. (I have a friend who had a shotgun wedding at seventeen, and her life has not improved since. She loves her children, but I wonder if she ever wishes them away like this…)

Why aren’t you published yet? Seriously? Publishers, stop dragging your feet…!
Edhla chapter 19 . 2/23
YES! Thank heavens that Belle, who can be sweet and naive, isn't quite that sweet and that naive, though there's a great character beat when she puzzles out that yes, Smee's excuses are a bit ridiculous lumped together. The women around her immediately falling for it (and indeed inventing their own narratives of the imaginary puppy being cold and wet) made me smile. And "Let's get Mr. Gold" - clever Belle.

As an aside, the whole "What, you think I can't do it?" scenario rings so true. One year I was working on Christmas Eve when I stupidly locked my keys in my car. On overhearing me tell the front desk this and asking permission to call the NRMA, no less than FIVE young men volunteered their car-breaking-in services, as if their entire masculinity depended on it.

Smee's a bit on the thick side, but he's evidently good for something - quick getaways. The confused dialogue after, especially when I initially thought Bo was being sarcastic, is absolutely gold - no pun intended - A-plus, actual-real-TV dialogue. More review ASAP :)
Edhla again chapter 18 . 2/1
[Beneficial aspects] I really love how Gold is distancing himself from the situation by using this sort of detached language, even if (especially because) it's coming out in third-person narration. I feel for him, though. Parties are awful. They should be banned ;)

Very clever moment when Gold supposes Geppetto isn't very insightful, when what he said revealed so much.

[Self-propagating hat] This reminds me of the Prestige! In exchange for cranberries? Sounds like a rip-off to me, unless they were magical cranberries. I mean, think of the hats you could sell...

[There. I responded] I love how petulant this sounds.

[All he asked] Characters making aggressively humourless responses to smalltalk is one of my favourite things, and it's done well here.

[Sanctuary!] Love the religious implications of this word - and I'm now wondering whether at least one person will be milling around in there, because the universe is rarely so forgiving. ;)

[teensy-weensy] This is SO adorable, especially in narration. Your narrator's voice comes through more clearly than in previous chapters, and it's a joy to read.

[Immediately,] Pauses the reader, detracts from the immediacy :)

[stark terror of Emma's agonizingly long wail] Quite a lot of clutter in this sentence, could you simplify? I really do love the characterisation of Snow not even hesitating to figure out where Emma is and why she's screaming. She just goes. Because that's what mothers do.

[sounded to Snow] Very clever use of POV here. Your visuals in this scene are really strong, too, and that's for someone who's largely canon blind.

[crazy evil bitch] Here, on the other hand, every word is necessary. And I lol'd.

[Those I believe] Great character moment, both for August and for Belle.

["You alone?"] Oh, FFS, Smee, you're really quite bad at this. I love Smee, but I also love Belle, so I hope she's not naive enough to go anywhere with such an obvious liar.

Brava, again!
David-El chapter 19 . 1/30
WOW, I was NOT expecting that! Rumple just helped Ella and Thomas out by testing their love, and by passing the test, strengthened it! Amazing, and he says he's a villain!
Edhla chapter 18 . 1/22
Archie and Vincent are just too adorable. I am shipping them so hard, you've no idea. True love! You did a great job of pulling that one out without it being too mushy or improbable. Vincent's reaction to Archie taking that risk was nicely nuanced... and then the doorbell. Damn.

[Our secret] Oh, Vincent. And the fact that Archie agrees is just too sad, though understandable. Again, you do some excellent work with the pacing here, with the doorbell going crazy and the dog going crazy (nice touch).

[Clearly perplexed] You do a strong enough job of portraying Regina's perplexity that this is probably unnecessary :) Some great characterisation here, though, with Regina's attitude of "I need to talk, so you're going to talk to me, the world revolves around me, what do you MEAN you have a life too?".

"My-my" His stuttering is great, but I tripped up on this being used three times in the same paragraph. I really do get a great sense of his being rattled here. If it wasn't bad enough having his love affair potentially outed, it's Regina of all people, and it's about Cora.

[Perching her knuckles] This is such a great expression, I think I might steal it. Thanks! ;)

[friended Vincent on Face Book] What a great modern touch :) I usually write it "Facebook" but without having my FB tab open, I couldn't swear to it being correct.

[like a fairy] Ouch.

LOL I love that Vincent clinicises (that's a word now) Regina's self-absorption to "boundary issues" and "grandiose", when the rest of us would just identify her as a bitch. ;)

I actually laughed out loud at Vincent's complete misreading of Regina's words about crickets and fairies. Great line to end the scene on, too. I'm grinning madly, which is testament to your work xx
Edhla again chapter 18 . 1/21
What's this, my dear mercenary? I swore to come back today and ACTUALLY DID? I know, I'm scared too ;)

Still canon-blind, but it's consistent in your canon that Emma is the pragmatic one who gets Neal moving (and especially understandable considering the, er, former identities of the zombies in question.) "Going rancid" is a great little phrase... I actually pursed my mouth in disgust, then laughed at how dry it was. It Made Sense In Context :)

Are fire spouts a Princess Bride reference? In any case, I love how you're balancing dialogue and action in this section, keeping things moving without pulling detail we really do need.

[At least, they] Should there be a comma here? I'm not strong enough on punctuation myself to say for certain, but it jumped out at me.

[With my bare hands] I love how protective Emma is here, and that you don't patronise the reader by TELLING us why she's having this reaction to the Lost Boys Zombies and the effect they're having on Neal.

[Can't you smell them?] Oh, Neal. It's actually refreshing to see a male character having a bad Ripley-Returns-To-Save-The-Cat moment, as frustrating as his behaviour is. We're firmly in Emma's POV here and she's as frantic as we are that Neal knocks it off, so it works well with the tension.

[like a marionette] Excellent descriptions in this piece. I suck at writing action, and am quite, quite jealous.

I like the decision to go straight into a calm moment in Geppetto's kitchen - the sort of change of pace I can see actually happening on a TV show.

"I hope." Excellent character beat, comparing Gold's confident manner with his insecurities. "Feigning disinterest" really brings that out too.

[It's wrong to expect something for nothing] The other characters mightn't always agree with Gold's morals, but there's no denying he has them and you write them consistently. I also really liked the slight mislead of "Don't trouble yourself" and then the confession that actually, as usual, Gold's in it for himself. (And at least he's honest about it, to himself and others.) Although this is a departure from the zombie-dismembering action of the previous scene, it speaks to character and was just as entertaining to read. Onward tomorrow xx
Edhla chapter 18 . 1/19
So I came here to review and saw there was most of a review in the box for me already, and I'm sure I read the bit following, and looking back on my review history, all I can say is I'm very confused :p If this is the second time you're reading all this, so much the better? I've missed this story. Onward!

I love that introductory paragraph to the party scene, describing the conflict between Ruby's will and the rest of her :D "Gyrating" brings up an interesting mental image, too. I'm assuming Geppetto holds one hell of a party.

You've hit a real nugget of truth there about Ruby's memories of Billy being as [dear as if they had really happened]. How many of our own memories are like this? I'm not sure, but I'm going to go with "a hell of a lot." :) And she's right - that doesn't really matter so much.

[prince-slash-cannery-work-slash-would-be-guitar-hero husband] Oh, this made me smile. It goes from "great" to "depressing" to amusing in almost as many words. (For a die-hard romantic, I suppose, a loved husband is always a hero.)

[His death - I feel responsible] This struck me as a bit bald for dialogue, but I'm still canon blind, so it's possible it's in character for her.

[more like a haughty royal] Isn't that a great bit of characterisation :D Some women marry their prince, have their princess, and forget they aren't actually royalty (in a real or a metaphorical sense ;))

I love the interaction between Ella and Ruby in this scene - you've perfectly captured what happens when one person is trying to be polite and follow all the rules for social interactions, and the other one keeps spouting their strong and often offensive views. You do a great job of portraying Ruby floundering, especially when the kid starts crying.

I was sad for August when Thomas shut him down. I mean yeesh, just say "she's hungry" or "she needs to be nursed", you don't have to get all weird about it. Ugh, people, they're just boobs ;)

[If I weren't so busy being a mom] Oh. Oh, Djinni, I felt like this part was written just for me. I grinned so hard it hurt. Seriously, these women are the plague of my life. Bless! I also loved ye olde "You're upsetting my wife". Good grief. I think I might smack a guy who thought I wasn't fit to be "made upset" because I'd married him and had a kid.
Twihardkristen-once chapter 19 . 12/21/2015
great story
need more Neverland scenes
can't wait for the next update
MissScorp chapter 1 . 11/25/2015
Hi there, my darling! This is a review for Reverse Tag. I have to say that I am very sorry for not reading this story much because sooner because it is absolutely fantastic. I love the way that we open with Smee hunting down an item he believes is from Hook (who he has not seen at this point in SB but factors must be there somewhere) and that is found where an x marks the spot. That the spot is at the school seems to be a bit of a clue that maybe this is not an item from Hook, but intelligence isn't Smee's forte, now is it?

I really thought this: ((The nobleman-turned-florist might provide a safer work environment than Captain Hook, but his old boss sure paid better.)) captured the motivations that Smee has quite well. He's someone who operates for coin and will do just about anything for it. One does have to wonder about whether or not better pay is worth ones life expectancy being in jeopardy, though. Working for Hook is not always the safest of career moves in my mind. A florist might not send you out to mess with a crocodile that could turn you into a magic mushroom for instance.

This: ((Looking inside, the kids' eyes bugged out like musket balls.)) was just a perfect descriptive element. Really love how you fit the description to something that is relatable to Smee's character. It also works to show us that whatever is inside that cookie tin is something that really shouldn't be messed with. That Smee decides to use the tin as a bargaining chip (as it were) a bit later on only further specified that this is not an item to be trifled with. If it is something that Gold might be interested in? It's definitely bad news.

This: ((She's convinced that without her cloak she'll turn into a murderous wolf. Excellent. He'd always found it easier to influence a desperate soul.)) perfectly captures that manipulative nature that we know Gold has. He subtly is priming Ruby, setting her up to be his agent of sorts with Belle, all the while presenting this benevolent facade that says he had learned his lesson and is making his amends for it.

I absolutely loved the contrasting element here: ((The Belle in the book had contended with a spoiled prince cursed to beastliness for being rude. One kiss, and he'd turned into a shiny faced hunk ready to provide a pampered happily ever after. No unresolved issues. The end./Her beast, Rumplestiltskin, was more complex—an enigma of light and dark, a constant challenge, a mystery to be uncovered.)) between the two versions of Belle's tale. One tale has her getting what she amounts to being that boring Happy Ever After that other heroes might normally want and get with the golden haired Prince while the other is a constant adventure that Belle thought she was after with a Beast who is as far away from the golden haired Prince as one can get. The Beast in both versions is terrible, but only her Beast is the one who needs her to help him remember that he is a man and that he can do the right thing. That this leads her into wondering why she gave up on Rumple and why she has stopped fighting tracks well because it shows how much she does care for Rumple (despite his many flaws and screw ups).

I liked the story that Rumple told to Ruby anout when he first met Belle and how Ruby translated it as: (("So Belle is your magical red cloak?)) I like that she identifies with Gold (even though he is manipulating and using her for his own gain) through his story and tells him that he (("...should go to the library and tell her that story yourself.")) because she senses that it is the one thing that might work to repair some of the damage that has been done to their relationship. I also like that the story is both a manipulation and the truth. We know that Belle, Henry (after he learns he is his grandson), and Baelfire are about the only people that he cares enough about that his stories might be more "heartfelt" and with a much more thick vein of truth to them.

I think this: (("Break a deal with me, dearie, you get no second chance.")) sums up the ruthless aspect of Gold quite well. He's not a man to suffer fools lightly. You screw him over and that's it. There's no do overs, no tries again, he's not going to forgive and forget because he is a benevolent sort. You screw him or a deal and that's it. Smee thinking he can connive a man as ruthless as Rumple/Gold into giving him what he wants by merely suggesting he has information shows how little that he understands the crocodile. The fact that he provokes Gold by reminding him about Milah also shows how little he understands the man that he's trying to deal with. That he left the shop in one piece is a testament only to the fact that Mr. Hopper was there and could witness the murder of the hapless idiot.

Aurora was probably the one character in OUAT that I was disappointed that they kept true to her Disney incarnation of her ((...biggest asset)) being ((looking beautiful while she slept.)) I had really hoped that they'd have done something a bit more with her and made her more like Belle and Snow in that she was so much more than a damsel in distress type. I like that you have Emma justify that part of her reticence is from watching Phillip get taken by a wraith. Of course, zombies might also be a pretty good reason as well for someone to be a bit off their game. I thought the compare and contrast element between Snow and Aurora also played well to showcase that a princess doesn't always need to be rescued by a prince. Give her a bow and arrow or a sword and some princesses can handle saving themselves quite nicely. This also shows a rare moment where we see Emma proud of her mother and acknowledging that she's more than a schoolteacher or a doomed princess who had no choice but to give her daughter up in hopes of saving her.

I really like how in the conversation between Regina and Davis that you have both sides of Regina shown. She's the concerned Mother in parts as she berates David for not telling her about Henry's nightmares and then she is the Evil Queen in others. She's another with a legendary grudge against Gold, one that I think is best captured here: (("That imp had a lot of books. But maybe—")) Her calling Rumple/Gold an "imp" shows the animosity that is between the two of them. Again, it is another reminder of someone else that has been hurt by the machinations of a man who makes deals for the sole purpose of obtaining favors or things he wants. They are also two very adversarial people in general, both wanting the top position and to be viewed as the best, which leads them into further conflict.
Poor David. I can imagine how him having ((no choice.)) but ((to talk to Rumplestiltskin.)) must be making him feel. This is a man that all and sundry have some type of past history with-the Charming's most especially. I love how this line evokes the tension that is between the majority of the town and Mr. Gold. He's done things to each and every one of them and proven that he is a conniving individual who will pretty much do whatever in order to achieve whatever his end goal is. David knows this, as well as knows that Gold tends to talk out of two sides of his mouth. You can't always trust what he says and you don't know if what he says is the actual truth or just some setup for Gold to obtain whatever it is he wants from a situation or person. I also think this was a great way to end the chapter. I honestly was left feeling as if I'd just watched an episode of the show and this was the cliffhanger intended for me to return next week. You want to see this confrontation and to see what it is that ole Rumple has up his crafty little sleeves.

Just some pointer(s):

((Looking at this kid was like seeing himself))-I think the word at is missing after seeing?

((...twenty-nine years of the Storybrooke curse on a psych ward for the criminally insane...))- in a psych ward?

In all I really loved this opening chapter and can't wait to read more. Fantabulous job, m'dear!
hiddenhibernian chapter 11 . 11/21/2015
I fear getting to the grand old age of 14 without a VCR will be a bit of a handicap in this chapter – did you know Waylaid is the second Google result for Inigo's full name?

Yes, Neal – old movie trivia will totally win Emma back. Never mind this pesky grown-up, life partner stuff...

Aurora's summary of life in the real world is inspired – thinking about the implications of it, I can see how it makes your canon such an interesting prospect. Treating fairy tale characters like real people while staying true to the stories they come from can't be easy, but your characterisation make them convincing as real, rounded human beings even for those of us who aren't familiar with canon.

One of the challenges of reading this story is to keep up with all the different threads. Since I'm emotionally invested in most of the main characters I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen to them next, rather than wondering who the heck this guy was again (cf. most fantasy novels I've ever read). Even Smee has this lurid fascination about him, like a croissant you know you shouldn't eat but quite fancy anyway... (not, I hasten to add, fancy-fancy – just fancy reading about).

It feels like Inigo's appearance is an important development, but I have no idea where it'll lead. Hopefully to an opportunity for Neal to do something more significant to win Emma over, even though the odds aren't great.

'As Geppetto had promised, it sang like the angels—that is, if the angels had wanted to sing "Froggie Went A-Courtin'."' - This made me chuckle – and believe me, I know the lyrics to 'Froggie Went A-Courtin'...

Poor Mr Gold – from the prospect of being 'less unhappy' (which only serves to highlight how depressed his usual state is) to the shock of finding the necklace – it certainly seems like a bad omen to the reader.

The next scene suggests that things are about to start moving, although not necessarily due to Inigo's intervention. I find the last sentence especially foreboding (“What was that she'd said about a deal?”). I'm so busy rooting for Belle and Rumple and/or Emma and Neal to finally get together that I keep forgetting that there's a much older forced separation driving the plot, too.

“If she toppled now, Rumple wasn't waiting below to catch her in his arms” - Hahaha, the oldest trick in the book...

The scene with Leroy chickening out works great to show how Belle has changed and matured – although I'm not sure how prepared she is to find out the truth about Rumple's past. There's still a sense of the idealistic girl she used to be about her, and I've a feeling you're setting her up to chicken out too, once she finds out...

After the initial chuckle at Fertile Myrtle (really!), I feel a bit depressed about the whole scene. Partly because the prospect of having baby after baby until you're old and grey seems quite drab, but also because it seems to bring us back to where we started, with Mr Gold being feared and disliked by the people he helps.

And yet, he doesn't really help himself, playing on their fears by planting the suggestion of becoming pregnant with something else. It's like he can't resist playing to the stereotype, even when he might be better served by letting on that he's got a softer side as well.

Have to say his marvellous life makes Vince sound a bit of a prat, but who am I to judge...

“He abhorred bumping into people” sounds very much like Rumple, both the sentiment and the choice of words. In this chapter, the two POVs that stand out the most for me are Rumple's and
Neal's - perhaps because I still think Neal is a bit of a cad and his fecklessness is starting to grate a bit...

This sentence is pure gold: “Their new world claimed the latter as folk music—the same way it took their old world's juiciest scandals, bravest deeds, and wildest anecdotes and called them fairy tales”. Again, the way the two worlds relate to each other is fascinating, not least because you describe it so well.

Oh, Smee makes a reappearance: this won't end well. Throwaway descriptions like “trying his best to look trustworthy” or “release him from servitude to the damned biscuit tin jammed under his arm” is why I enjoy his POV so much – he's just so funny!

I really hope the 'looker-with-no-taste ' is Astrid, and that Leroy found his courage in the end.

As usual, you're very good at building tension: there's Rumple's anticipation, a sense of excitement from the Storybrooke regulars out to have a good time, and then there's whatever Smee's dratted box has in store.

Finally Emma and Neal are talking like adults – if they're almost ready to share their secret, there might be hope for them. Although I still think Neal is getting the better end of the deal, by far...

“ ...she wove through the throng until Mr. Smee blocked her path” Ah, Belle is his target – now we're really in trouble. The very polite exchange between Rumple and Belle would make me despair, if it wasn't for the knowledge that Smee is waiting on the sidelines, ready to pounce. It really is one step forward, two steps backwards with these two... does Belle really understand Rumple so little? And then I read the last four paragraphs, and all is forgiven.

There is still the small matter of the dead villagers to disclose, though – not so sure true love will forgive that...
stefanie bean chapter 18 . 11/18/2015
I chuckled when Rumple described August's party as "one of the most grueling trials he'd ever endured in his long, long life." Another chuckle erupted at Bartholomew Cubbins and his five hundred hats. One of the joys of OUaT fanfic is how many other stories can be attached to the main "backbone." Also, it was cute how Gold fixed the electric guitar and saved the evening's entertainment, especially when he kept wishing how he'd paid as much attention to electronics as human anatomy.

Romantic sighs for Archie and Vincent, as well as guffaws at Regina's outrageous behavior, which to Vincent probably looks like histrionics or narcissism (or both.) Great line at the end of the scene: "...[D]id she actually call us fairies?"

Smee finally went full-pathetic at the end, with "his eyes wide and frightened" as he churned out every kidnapper-trope in the book, except maybe for, "I have a couch I need to load into my van..." I do hope someone comes along and offers Smee a bit of a redemption arc. It seems that were he around a better crowd, he'd be tolerable. As it is, he's making a great comic relief. Let's see if the lost-puppy line works...
Edhla chapter 18 . 11/17/2015
ASAP, Edhla says, then promptly buggers off for ten days. I'm sorry.

I am so delighted we're back in Smee's POV, because I love it, and him, and his craven, looking-out-for-number-one ways :)

It's a little thing, but I like that moment with the bottle, because it's so recognisable - everyone's tipped up a bottle when they know damn well there is nothing in it. Hope springs eternal? Proclaiming "leverage" aloud to nobody in particular is effective characterisation too, since you'd think he'd have come to that conclusion before now, lol.

"Ladies, beauties and wenches" - the difference between these three made me smile :) Again, effective characterisation both that "the captain" had bedded all three and that Smee can't understand why anyone would go out of his way for Milah. The "... could he?" to me betrays a level of concern for Belle which adds another layer to things.

[deep-six the possibility] I've never heard this expression before, which paused me until I worked it out, but that's probably entirely my problem for being dense :p On the other hand, "she-pirate" is just splendid :D

Oooh, I arced up at Smee's dismissal of Belle as a bit of a bliss-ninny that he could run circles around - she's been kind and patient, but not stupid.

This is an excellent scene, not the least reason for which is the outline is nothing amazing - Smee sitting in a car contemplating his "assignment" of tailing, and then messing up, Belle. He doesn't actually physically do much, but he doesn't need to. Well done. I'll take way less than two weeks to come back :p xx
SheriffJuliette chapter 19 . 11/14/2015
Really insightful chapter! Cinderella was always portrayed in OUAT as ditzy and superficial, longing for the trappings of a pampered life. We thought she was merely immature...but this story shows that there was something essentially broken about her...and more tragic, she realized it herself at some level. But now, a potential contract from Rumple forces her to realize she has a choice...and the act of choosing, rather than feeling she has to accept a choice foisted on her, is freeing. Interesting. (Also Blue always seemed to be...manipulative and on the edge of cheerfully evil. Worse than Cora in a way. With Cora, you know what you have. Blue is trickier...) This story exemplifies why I stopped watching OUAT barely into the 2nd Season. There was a great set up with characters and relationships, old grudges and new revenges. They set up a great "sandbox" to play in...then abandoned it. The old "If Rumplestilskin and The Evil Queen and Belle are good then Peter Pan and Hook and The Mad Hatter are better! Oooh, let's throw in Frozen, Brave, Mulan, and...! And...who was this series about anyway? Who Cares! Let's not explore relationships or intertwine past events! Our attention span doesn't last that long & neither does the audience's! More!" Grrr...end of rant.
SheriffJuliette chapter 18 . 11/14/2015
Another wonderful chapter! You really write so seemingly seamlessly...you make it look easy! Love the sly comment on "You have the equipment, you need a customer to activate it..." Great characterizations and dialogue. (Hmmm...Rumple..."Rumpie"..."Grumpie"?! Why doesn't Belle give Rumple a cute but embarrassing nickname?)
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