I've been meaning to write this out for…well. For a long time. Somewhere between 8 months and 2 years, if I were to be brutally honest. But being the chickenshit I am, I've been sequestering it to the furthest corner of my mind every time it tried to surge back up because thinking about the story, the lack of update, and its readers have caused me to feel terribly guilty with every new Favorite or Follow added to the count.
So I recently sat my ass down one weekend, choked back my cocktail of pride and shame, and reopened the old word document for The Marauders. I reread it all. And…after not even touching it for two years, I had to admit to myself that I still kinda liked it; just objectively, without bias as my own work, I felt it was not a complete Shit of a fanfic. Looking back on it now, I recognize a lot of the problems some readers had with it – the slow-as-a-snail pacing and the massive influx of OCs being the most prominent – and I had my own problems with it as well. There was a good few things I no longer liked on it, and I can't imagine what the fuck younger me was thinking. But there were also stuff I still genuinely appreciated; it still made me laugh, which had always been the main concern from the very beginning. And I was especially still proud of the final mini-arc published, with Shikamaru and the mind-transfer thing (though, in hindsight, that prolly should have been its own separate fic; lengthen, add, make it a whole big production).
You have to realize, even when I started The Marauders, my interest in the Narutoverse was already waning. Shippuden wasn't holding my interest at all, and the characters were all just annoying. More complex storylines were forming left and right as it continued on, and I just couldn't keep up – I couldn't even be persuaded to CARE to keep up. But, bullheaded and blindsighted, I wrote and published all this anyway, and I promised you I wouldn't give up on this like I had done for virtually every other fic I've tried for. And just like them, I've utterly failed to uphold that promise.
I wanted to apologize to the readers who are newly-discovering this story, eager for updates and perhaps not taking notice of the fact that Last Update was in July of 2011. I especially wanted to apologize to the readers who stuck with me throughout my writing, for failing to provide them with the product I so wanted to. And I wanted to give a special thank you to rageofkyubii, The Laughing Phoenix, and kylefisher2000 for their encouragement and help both in and out of the story.
So…yes. With this, I'm officially changing the status of this from Indefinite Hiatus all the way to a very definite Cancelled. I can't fool myself into thinking I might one day do anything more with this, because I won't. It's been three years.
I won't be removing it from the site, because I get pissed when other authors have done it with stories that I've liked, so I'm not about to do that to y'all – and I know there are people who still read and like this, and there are people who could still come to read and like this in the future.
With all that gloomy apologetic shit said, there are still some loose, free-floating cutscenes that, due to Hiatus/Cancellation, never got the chance to show up in the story. Dialogues or scenes from the future that either came to me at some point, or that I was actively trying to work towards; there was never a rigid framework that I was going with (because whenever I go strict, everything…falls apart, like this), but there was some vague sort of structure that I was going for. I knew where I wanted to end, at least. So if you'd like a little closure and/or just some fun little snippets of what would have come, hit me up with a PM; if the demand is greater than expected I will, of course, try and organize them into some proper order so I can put it up here for everyone.
And lastly, if anyone wanted to swipe up some story ideas for their own nefarious purposes – or even to continue the story where I left off – you are more than welcome to it; I don't particularly intend to dabble in the Narutoverse at all anymore, so I shan't be lurking around spamming hate at people who take free use of something I don't have any legal ownership of. Just be sure to give me a heads up about it, give me a chance to see what you do with it.
Thank you all. And goodbye.