A/N: Wow, so this is it. I have to say, when I began this story, I had no clue it would turn out to be like this (which probably isn't the most comforting thing to hear as a reader, but I saved this confession for the end, didn't I?). There are several changes and inspirations that came along, but the greatest encouragement was through your responses and Fran's impeccable work. I'm including some final "Fun Facts / explanations" about Atmosphere at the end of the story in case you're interested, but otherwise, there are no important notices in the last A/N. I will also, over the next week or so, be going through to personally thank you for your reviews, so if I haven't responded to you in a while, just know that it is coming!
Final disclaimer: These characters, except for Lua, aren't mine.
Lastly, this chapter is dedicated to you lovely readers, Fran, and the awesome people on Pay It Forward.
Until next time!
PART III: SWAN
~Swans symbolize grace and beauty. They are a reminder of the possibility of transformation of something or someone into something beautiful to behold. 1 ~
Chapter 34: Epilogue
~FIVE YEARS LATER~
"I still think this is ridiculous," Bella grumbles.
"If you don't simmer down, I will bring Bree in here," Charlotte threatens.
Biting her tongue, Bella holds back the retort she had planned. Instead, she watches as her sister-in-law fondles her hair, attempting to style it into elaborate whorls. Charlotte, on the other hand, needed no assistance to achieve her lustrous, black curls. They seem to have only intensified over time, creating a thick forest of ringlets that travel far past her shoulders.
This isn't the only change Bella has noticed over the years. When Bella had returned to Forxx nearly two years after the Tri-Nation War (the name had caught on like fire), she had been shocked into silence at Charlotte's changes in appearance. The differences are subtle, but time had shaped Charlotte's face into that of an adult. Long gone is the childish plump of her cheeks, revealing beneath it a prominent bone structure to rival Edward's.
Charlotte's personality has matured as well. Granted, she is still the sarcastic-mouthed brat that Bella had come to love, but she is much more tempered. Bella supposes she has Peter to thank for this. By no means has he 'tamed' her –as a lioness can never truly be tamed –rather, his affection and pampering have softened Charlotte's prickly disposition.
Reciprocally, love has affected Peter as well. Though Charlotte had become the center of his world the moment they began courting, marrying her two years ago had intensified his dedication. In the years Bella, Edward, and Alec had been absent he worked to prove himself, making his way up in the ranks of the new policing unit of Forxx, the guardi'a. He is now, second in command for leading the forces. To say that Alice and Jasper are proud, is an understatement.
We're waiting for you.
Bella rolls her eyes at Alec's intrusion. The two haven't been able to connect mentally to the same magnitude as before the Guardian bond had been broken, but they can still communicate when in the same vicinity. This restriction has served them both well considering their current relationships: Bella with Edward, and Alec with Jane.
Yes, it had taken three years, but Alec finally wore down the elusive Volturi sister. Stoic and reserved, one would have never guessed that Jane had been secretly pining for Alec. In the three years that followed their separation, Alec had been relentless at maintaining contact and even made lengthy journeys to Volturia. Initially, Jane had rejected him, stating outright that she would never have any intention of returning his feelings. Another man may have given up and moved on to another, more accepting woman. However, the buoyant Cullenian prince persisted, respectably maintaining a friendship with Jane until she began to share his spark of affection –or rather, his flame. Alec, on many occasions, had ranted to Bella about his undying love for her sister. While he remained tempered in Jane's presence, mentally, he bombarded Bella with whining and impatience. Finally, when Jane revealed her affections, Alec became the happiest man in the three nations. Well, except for Edward, but that is a matter to be discussed at a later time.
For now, Bella is quite occupied. She stands behind the large oak doors of the Swann Castle, studying the gold embellishments that seem to glimmer. The colored glass embedded in the walls refracts the light streaming through the many windows, creating a multihued display. When the reconstruction of the castle had been brought underway two years ago, Bella had only two requests: the first was to include as many windows as possible while still maintaining the safety of the structure, and the second was to preserve the integrity of the original castle's walls. The unique colors of the Swann Castle set it apart from the castles of the other two nations; the black of the Volturi Castle, and the white of the rebuilt Cullenian Castle. All other additions were envisioned by the lead architect, Benjamin Chen'I, a man who, half a decade ago, had exchanged his horse for her carriage, so that Bella, Jacob, and Seth could escape Aryzonae.
Bella and Edward are more than pleased with the end result. The castle is audaciously large, encompassing acres upon acres of land. Clearing the immediate area around the formation had been a sore point for Bella, given the destruction of most of the natural habitat. However, the resurrected space gave way for the cramped citizens of Forxx to expand and live in houses that were no longer crumbling due to overpopulation in the previously smaller area. Furthermore, the castle is not merely an establishment removed from the people. It contains several common areas and vendor markets that allow the citizens to interact regularly with the royal family and appointed nobility. And lastly, the castle provided Bella and Edward with a much-needed stable home.
Though the two are now stationed in Forxx, this is not to say that they've forgotten about their respective nations. Jane and Alec reside in Volturia as the Duchess and Duke, while Carlisle and Esme hold the equivalent position in Cullenia. They oversee the immediate affairs of the nation, but for major complications or decisions, they report to their respective monarchs. To maintain a personable relationship with their subjects, Bella and Edward regularly return to both Volturia and Cullenia to spend a few months updating themselves with the current culture. But for now, they will live in Forxx where they can take some time to themselves.
Being separated had been difficult. The first year and a half after Edward and Bella said their goodbyes, they were so overwhelmed with stabilizing their nations that they had no time to visit one another. They frequently wrote, exchanging essay-length letters detailing their daily pastimes and persistent fears. During that period, Bella shuttled between Forxx and Volturia to personally administer to specific affairs in both nations. Were it not for Jane's help with overseeing matters, Bella isn't sure how she could have handled the seemingly never-ending stress. In the second year, upon one of Bella's excursions to Forxx, she decided she'd had enough of speaking to Edward through torn and tear-stained papers. She surprised him with a visit to Lunaria, where he was residing with Carlisle. The stay included countless rounds of lovemaking and nightly assurances that the two would one day be together without interruption. In the fourth year after the Tri-Nation War, their promises became reality. Not only did it feel as if the distance was slowly eating away at them, but there were certain circumstances, which required them to be together.
This is how Bella finds herself, five years later, standing in the Swann Castle with sweat accumulating on her palms. She wipes her hands against the skirt of her white, silk dress and takes a few a steadying breaths. With a roll of her eyes, she reminds herself that this is not the first –and certainly won't be the last –occasion on which she will address her people. Furthermore, she's certain that if she delays this moment any longer, Charlotte is going to drag her through the door by her wings. However, maybe there is a chance the princess will take pity on her if she relays her nerves?
"Oh, no, I know that face," Charlotte wags her finger in chastisement, "Nothing you can say will stop this from happening. You are being ridiculous."
"I truly don't see why this is necessary," Bella whines, quite unbecomingly. If only her people could see her now.
"Because you have ruled this nation for five years without a coronation, which is absolutely appalling," Charlotte hisses, "And truthfully should not be legal."
"We're still adjusting some of the older laws…" Bella grumbles.
"Why are you so difficult?" Charlotte asks. "You have already done the hardest part. You're already their Queen. You just need to accept the crown."
"Wait, no one informed me of a crown!"
Charlotte seems ready to give a response, but instead, exchanges her frustrated glare for a serene expression. Another might believe this to be a concession, but Bella knows better.
Charlotte is about to do something terrifying.
Before Bella can even think to defend herself, Charlotte gives her a forceful push. The oak doors swing open with ease, allowing Bella to stumble onto the balcony. The crowd that had been boisterously calling for their Queen to exit becomes painfully silent as Bella trips into view. If it weren't for Jacob's steadying grasp, she would have been sprawled out before the citizens of at least four different nations.
To her left, seated in chairs of honor, Alec and Edward spare her an understanding glance; they both know that Charlotte has had a hand in this unfortunate entrance. Bella is tempted to flee back inside, but knows that despite their sympathies, Alec and Edward would drag her back to the premises if need be. Accepting the realization that she has no way out of this predicament, Bella smoothes her dress, straightens her back, and faces the thousands of people below her.
"My beloved citizens and guests," Bella speaks, "I thank you for being here today. But more importantly, I am eternally grateful for your support of our nations."
The crowd erupts, chanting and calling out Bella's name until she lifts a hand to calm them.
"Truthfully, I did not want a coronation," Bella shares, "It seemed trivial to me to receive a crown when the resources could be spent elsewhere. For the past five years, you have accepted me with open arms, and I do not need a ceremony to tell me this. However, as I stand before you, I realize that this investiture is not for you to show your acceptance of me –it is for me to pledge my allegiance to you."
Applause interrupts once more, and Bella closes her eyes to bask in the noise. She allows the sounds of thousands of men, women, and children alive and loving to invigorate her.
"I hope that my actions thus far have been enough to show you that I am here to serve you all –that I care for all of you. In under a decade, we have reduced our poverty level, encouraged the thriving of local businesses, and achieved the strongest, inter-nation relations of the past century. We have housed our homeless, increased education initiatives for our children, and tripled our militia forces. We have resuscitated our nations in the wake of war and strife. I say 'we' because none of this would have been possible without each and every one of you. Without your persistence, support, and innovation, we would still be the stagnant land we were expected to be, the one that would amount to nothing. But today, I proudly stand before all of you who have far surpassed what anyone could have dreamed was possible."
Bella takes a breath, centering herself so that her tears do not impede her speaking. She looks out to all the faces, staring enraptured as she pours her heart out to them, much like they had five years ago. Black, green, white, purple, blue, fanged, furred, winged, short, tall, two-headed … sunchild or moonchild, they are all united here to support her –a girl who had once believed herself to be a pathetic, feeble bird.
"Five years ago I asked you to accept me as your Queen," Bella says, "Now I'm here to thank you for giving me that honor. You have bettered me, fought alongside me, and lifted me up. There is flight in me because there is flight in you. And I promise, for however long you continue to have me, I will ensure that we always continue to soar. Un'i Is'ia Forxia."
The citizens cheer; shouting and singing their blessings to their Queen. They only silence once the trees in the distance begin to rustle, signaling the main event of the ceremony. Finding the coronation practices for the Swann family was no easy feat, but with Esme's help, Charlotte had made the preparations. One of the requirements was to host the event on the windiest day of the year. It had annoyed Charlotte to no end that her hard work on Bella's hair would be destroyed, but the weather was integral to the ceremony.
The wind begins to howl, whipping across the fields and castles with enough strength to strip the Forxian flag from its pole. Bella watches as the winged citizens each pluck a solitary feather. Those without wings are provided with one from the circulating castle staff. When all have been supplied, the court announcer blows the first wail of his horn. Every person present, Alec and Edward included, hold their feathers in the air. The second blow gives the next signal; the crowd begins chanting,
"Un'i Is'ia Forxia … Un'i Is'ia Forxia … Un'i Is'ia Forxia."
Finally, when the next bout of wind arrives, they release their plumes into the current. Thousands of colored feathers, carry through the air. So many drift through the atmosphere that for a moment, Bella can distinguish nothing before her. All she can see is the plumage, each feather representative of a living soul. Though it is not required of her, she plucks a gray tuft from her back and releases it into the wind: she dedicates it to all those who had fought and died so that she could stand here now. As the feathers settle at her feet, she gives her people a smile. They look back at her, faces stained with tears but widened with smiles. Looking at them, she can't remember why she'd opposed her coronation in the first place.
"I saw that white feather you released earlier," Bella growls as she stalks beside Edward, climbing the fourth flight of stairs to their room.
"Do you think Seth is awake this time?" Edward deflects.
"Do not try to distract me, Edward Cullen," Bella huffs, as they enter their bedroom, "If I see even the inkling of a bald spot-,"
"Shh," Seth interrupts, pointing to the sleeping child in his arm.
Immediately, the wildness of the world melts away. Bella's heart swells, as she looks at the brown-haired bundle swaddled in Seth's arms. As the baby girl yawns, Bella grips Edward's hand, fearing that she has woken. However, a few seconds pass and the child's purple eyes remain unseen. Edward releases a breath of relief.
"Seth, thank you once again," Edward bids, accepting the sleeping infant with one hand while reaching up to ruffle the boy's hair with the other. Seth nods bashfully in response. Five years had given him quite the growth spurt, but had not diminished his obsession with Edward in the slightest. "I know you had to miss the coronation, but we really appreciate it."
"It's okay, King Ed," Seth shrugs, "Parties aren't really my thing anyway. Plus, you know Heidi and I always have fun."
"She's a year old …" Edward replies in confusion.
"And yet, she still plays chess better than you," Seth cackles on his way out, "Night, Bella."
"I'm starting to think he uses my 'King' title in jest," Edward begins to whine.
"Be quiet and hand me my daughter," Bella hushes, already removing Heidi from his arms.
"Our daughter," Edward corrects.
The correction is futile, as Bella centers all of her attention on the sleeping beauty in her arms. With a gentle stroke, she traces Heidi's blushed cheeks, reveling in the softness. She then tucks a finger into one of the already formed curls, one again thankful that it had turned out brown and not silver. Not that Bella would not have loved her child any way she appeared, but the silver hair would be a cruel reminder of the past. Bella had already gone through many challenges through her pregnancy, and she believed she deserved a reprieve.
When she had learned that she was with child at the beginning of the fourth year following the Tri-Nation War, her initial reaction was of joy. Bella had never given deep thought to motherhood, but having a child with Edward seemed right to her. Immediately, she sent word to him, anxious as to what would be his reply. His responding letter was nearly twenty pages long, filled to the margins with how exceedingly happy he felt (awarding him with the title of the happiest man in all the nations). As there were still a few months left before the Swann Castle would be finished, the two agreed to conclude their business in Volturia and Cullenia, and then convene in Forxx once Bella was further along in her pregnancy.
The physical changes were difficult to endure, but this was expected with pregnancy. What hadn't been expected was the anxiety that afflicted Bella. Her stresses weren't the usual worries about correct parenting or motherly knowledge – no, her issues were much more haunting.
Firstly, she worried (somewhat irrationally) that she would be unable to hold her child.
What if the child angered her and her absorption was activated?
What if she means to give her baby a loving caress, but instead, drains her life?
Granted, Bella had not had an episode of lost control since before the Tri-Nation War, but her insecurities reared with such an ugly head that she began attributing weaknesses to herself. As if this weren't enough to perturb her, she then began to project her issues with Esme onto herself. The years had done well to strengthen Bella's relationship with her mother (and subsequently, Alice), but all was certainly not forgiven. The two did not fight frequently, but when they did, it often ended in shouting and resolved in tearful apologies.
The pregnancy exacerbated Bella's past hurts; she began to wonder if she, too, would be forced to, or worse, willingly choose to leave her child.
What if an enemy threatened harm and she was forced to abandon her son or daughter to the care of someone else?
What if illness, or war, or famine struck and her infant could not survive the conditions?
What if Edward became the reason she was separated from her child, like Aro had been for Esme?
This last question sent Bella into a stint of hopelessness. She began withdrawing from her friends and family, refusing to leave her room in Volturia except to eat and use the washrooms. Her isolation was so intense that Edward came for her several months earlier than planned. After receiving a letter from Jane and realizing that Bella's replies were coming less often and sounding unenthusiastic, he decided it was time to support her in person. Bella refused to let him in upon his arrival. She stubbornly blocked the door, until, in an act of desperation, Edward burned down the slab completely. The next few weeks were spent talking through her doubts. There were no easy solutions and her fears weren't quelled immediately, but speaking with him helped to clarify her feelings. However, there was one thing the two settled on that alleviated her stress considerably –executing Aro.
It was time.
Four years compared to Bella's twelve was a merciful sentence, but Edward and Bella didn't want to deliver their child into a world where Aro was still alive –imprisoned or not. He'd been rotting in his cage just as Bella had promised; regularly fed, watered, and resuscitated by Bella's border patrol soldiers. Each time they reported back to her, they spoke of his steady fury. It was almost impressive how long Aro believed he would escape from his confinement. Nevertheless, he finally lost his fervor two years into his incarceration. Damaged and defeated, he appealed for death. Unfortunately for him, Bella and Jane still had not an ounce of remorse for their expiring father. Dealing with repairing the nation he had so flippantly destroyed was a daily reminder of his cruelty and that he deserved no leniency.
This is not to say that keeping him alive was an entirely emotionless affair. Knowing that somewhere out in the word Aro could still be conspiring against her often made Bella paranoid. It was as if there was still a piece of darkness marring her celebrations; a blemish that couldn't fade while Aro continued living.
Edward, though supportive of Bella's decision, worried that she underestimated the mental strain of subjecting someone to extensive torture. He wanted her to receive the satisfaction of vengeance, but did not want her to grow cold hearted. This being said, it pleased him to no end knowing that Aro was suffering, considering that he had taken his parents away from him.
In the end, they decided that it was time to rid the nations of Aro once and for all. Renee, who had become a very trusted companion to the Volturi family, was tasked with ensuring that Aro was indeed deceased. Using a gruesome form of verification, she confirmed his death by sending for his head. The execution was swift –Bella had exhausted her need to torture him, and was ready to move forward with her life. The moment Renee reported that Aro was dead, Bella felt the weight of over fifteen years lift from her shoulders. Darkness had truly been eradicated.
The final term of her pregnancy was more peaceful. She returned to Forxx, since she and Edward had agreed on their heir being born in the central nation. Esme followed to give her support as Bella became less mobile and prepared for motherhood.
And then, on one glorious summer evening when both the sun and the moon were in the sky, Heidi Swann Cullen-Volturi was born.
"I see you've finally set her down," Edward slips his arms around Bella's waist from behind, resting his chin on her shoulder as they both look into the bassinet.
"How can you even bear to look away from her?" Bella asks, "It's a wonder I was able to concentrate through the coronation."
"I'm glad you were able to enjoy yourself," Edward hums, "But I admit I missed my alone time with my two favorite girls."
"Don't let Charlie hear you say that," Bella giggles.
"Ah, she knows this is different," Edward smiles into Bella's skin.
"It is, isn't it?" Bella agrees, "I thought when I fell in love with you that I had felt the full capacity of affection for someone. But Heidi proved me wrong. My heart has grown impossibly larger."
"As has mine," Edward kisses Bella's neck tenderly, "Did you find any bald spots?"
Bella slaps him away playfully and reaches out to extend one of Heidi's small, white wings. They're comically miniature in comparison to Bella's own, but the fluffy additions are an adorable fit on her daughter. Flying won't come for another couple of years, and for that both parents are thankful. Bella couldn't stand Edward using one of Heidi's feathers in the coronation ceremony let alone watch her child fly around. She inspects her child's wings for a little longer (they appear to be fully covered) before her attention is drawn to something much more intriguing –the beginnings of a star insignia in the center of Heidi's back.
Truthfully, Bella had been upset when she had seen the marking a few days after Heidi's birth, and Edward had shared the same sentiment. She'd thought, with the banishing of both hers and Alec's insignias, that the line of the Guardians had been broken.
"Come to bed, Queen Isabelle," Edward beckons tiredly.
"I'll be right there," Bella answers, "Goodnight, my fiery King. I love you."
"Until the sun burns out," he yawns, responding the way he does every night.
Bella's candle is the only remaining light in the chamber as she pulls up a seat beside Heidi. Her stare is fixed so intently on the infant's insignia that she jumps when Lua flies into the room. With a sigh, Bella invites the bird into her lap, stroking her companion as Edward's soft snores begin to fill the night.
"How can he sleep so easily when …" Bella grumbles, eyes drawing back to the half-star. "Do I have a right to be worried, Lua?"
Lua tweets softly in response, falling into her own sleep. As Bella remains the only person awake, she takes advantage of the free time to reflect.
Why is she so worried about Heidi being a Guardian?
Bella's own experience had been a grueling one; in a sense, her life had not been her own. There were times when the weight of her sadness and responsibility was nearly crippling. To know that the fate of the nations, the lives of many, and the fulfillment of destinies all depended on your actions was a feeling powerful enough to break any person. How many times had Bella cried out in confusion, wondering what her true purpose was?
Is it the fact that Heidi's life, and subsequently her death, will be intricately linked to another Guardian? This is certainly a factor, but perhaps, if Heidi and her companion can fulfill their life task, their bond will be broken. Or it is even possible that there is no other task to accomplish, and the mark of the Guardians is simply a reminder of a past obligation, which had already been achieved.
Unfortunately, nothing about Heidi's future has been revealed. Alice has not had any prophecies that might shed light on what the newest Guardian's fate might be.
However, to focus only on the negative aspects of Bella's experience would be unfair. Becoming the Guardian had opened opportunities, instigated journeys, and introduced her to the people she has come to love. For all the sadness, equally, there were times when she had been filled with enough happiness that she almost didn't believe her life was a reality.
She had crossed three nations, become Queen to two of them (Queen Consort in the third), and helped bettered the lives of thousands. If this is the type of destiny in store for Heidi, then Bella has no objections.
But how does Bella explain all of this to her daughter when Heidi is of age? How does she relate her experience to convey the gravity, but not incite fear?
What would she tell her?
"I would tell you that no matter your fate, I will always be proud of you," Bella whispers to Heidi, standing with Lua cupped in her palm. She presses a light kiss to her daughter's brow, places Lua into her nest, and heads to bed. Initially, she tries to sleep, but her mind is still compiling the list of things she would want to tell Heidi:
Do not underestimate your mind. It is your most powerful gift, and if you nourish and protect it, it will serve as your most deadly weapon.
You are the Guardian, but you are not alone. Not only do you have a partner as your cosmic counterpart, but you also have the stars that shine brightly beside you.
Do not be afraid to love. In a world that breeds darkness and hate, love is the tool to conquer it. Let yourself be loved, and love in return.
In you there is flight. This last thought, as Bella's eyelids begin to droop, brings a smile to her face. Because of Aro, she'd viewed birds to be weak and pitiful, when in truth, they are remarkable creatures. From imitating songs to delivering messages through times of war, birds have proven to be formidable. If Heidi were ever to be likened to a bird in her lifetime, Bella would advise her to take it as a compliment. She would tell her that to be called a bird is to be called graceful and beautiful; a reminder that in her, there is flight. Therefore, to be called a bird is no longer an insult. How could it be?
After all, birds do have the best view.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. ~Marianne Williamson
1 Swan definition credit to: the Universe of Symbolism (website)
How did you think of Atmosphere?
I actually began writing this story several years ago under the title "Taunting Orbits". The original Guardians, "Arsinoe" and "Beauregard," were siblings escaping from a corrupt monarchy. At that point in time I hadn't been writing for fanfic, and I'd never even thought of allowing others to read my writing. It was an escape for me, and I'd spend each night attempting to write. Unfortunately, the laptop I'd saved it on broke, and the story was lost. But now that I think back on it, it was for the better. I don't think my writing skills were ready for the story.
Did Alec and Bella ever have romantic potential?
There was originally going to be a love triangle between Alec, Bella, and Edward. However, I've come to realize that I don't particularly like love triangles, and with all that was happening in the plot, I didn't need more complications. Plus, I thought Jane needed some lovin!
Why the "bird" theme?
I hadn't planned on the "bird" theme being such a prominent aspect of the story when planning it. It was only when I heard the song "Atmosphere" by Mree, that I was inspired to incorporate it. I am so happy that I was able to weave it in as a theme. Furthermore, having Lua as an actual physical bird counterpart to Bella gave me another character to play with and challenge myself as a writer.
Why keep Aro alive?
I hope I was able to convey throughout the story that although Bella remains unbelievably optimistic and good-hearted after her captivity, in the end, Aro did plant some darkness in her. My intention for scenes like Bella lying about Mistress Pope, having a thirst for killing her adversaries, and allowing Aro to suffer is to show that realistically, someone does not come out of mental duress for over a decade without some scars. However, I like to think that it is Bella's overall goals that define her; for instance, she lied about Mistress Pope to ensure the mission wasn't jeopardized, she ultimately killed people who served a threat to her, and Aro ... well, that one was purely for vengeance. He was powerless and confined at the bottom of the Pylae, and no longer posed a threat. And even if I personally don't believe in that extremity of revenge, it was something Jane and Bella needed for themselves.
Why have Alec as the Guardian instead of Edward?
For all of you who shipped Edward as the Guardian, I apologize. The worst part is that in my first attempt of writing the story, he actually was the Guardian. However, in the interest of conflict and the element of surprise, I chose Alec. Charlotte was definitely a contender, but I wanted the arc of her storyline to include a maturity not dependent on the Guardian prophecy. Furthermore, Edward's achilles is Bella. Frequently it is seen that he overreacts and is overprotective of Bella, often to the point of negligence of his own country. In my head, Edward would even give up Cullenia for her, which is why I imagined that if Edward were the Guardian, he'd have even more of an issue fulfilling his duty.
Is there going to be a sequel?
Unfortunately, no. As much as I enjoyed writing Atmosphere, I feel like a certain calibre for this story has been set that I myself might not be able to meet again (that wasn't meant to sound as self-deprecating as it does). I would rather leave the story as it is, well-rounded and finished, rather make promises of a sequel that could fall short. That being said, if inspiration hits, I am not one to completely reject the possibility.
Are you planning to publish?
This is another answer in the negative. I adore writing, but it's not my primary focus (as my posting schedule might have informed you). That's why I love fanfic -it allows me to exercise my creativity in a community of supportive and awesome (and fucking hilarious) people. For that reason, I'll continue writing (I hope) and posting here. I also don't intend to remove Atmosphere from the site, so if you want to re-read it (which would be so flattering to me) then it will be here!
I have no idea. I have a few plot bunnies hopping around, but otherwise my mind is a (relatively) blank canvas. Feel free to throw out suggestions or encouragement so I can get started on a new story [through FB or PM].
But until then, thank you all so much for reading Atmosphere.