Title: Cold November Rain [part 62/62]

Book 1 of "Redirecting Destiny" and prequel to "Romantic Resolutions"

Author: Enigma

Series: Weiss Kreuz

Written: January-April, 2002

Rating: R

Pairings: (Yohji + Ken + Aya) (Omi + Nagi) (Brad + Schu)

Category: Dark! Yaoi Angst Action/Adventure Violence Blood Squick Language Romance Original Characters. AU-OOC.

Archive: fanfiction.net [author: "E-sama the Llama"], Scripta Manent: http://digilander.iol.it/sakaba/Home.html

Spoilers: None, safe for new viewers as well as old.

Warnings: dark! yaoi, heavy angst, action/adventure, graphic violence, large quantities of blood, squick: medical and other, coarse language, agonized and overwrought romance, original characters designed to highlight the true stars, rare touches of sap, cigarettes, destiny, cruel cliffhangers. AU-OOC.

Disclaimer: "Weiss Kreuz" is the property of Takehito Koyasu and Project Weiss. All original characters featured herein (including but not limited to: Calico, Norwegian, Korat, Sokoke, etc.) are © Enigma, 2002, and are not to be used without permission. This unauthorized work of fanfiction is intended for entertainment only; kindly do not sue me.

Notes: When Ken falls in battle, how can the other members of Weiss cope with the guilt and blame that they all seem to share and will he survive in spite of the odds against him?

++ date and time reference within the storyline beginning with the day of the battle ++

{{telepathic speech}}

*****

++ day: 31. time: 1730-1815 hours. ++

*****

Slowly descending the stairs and curious what all the noise was about since he couldn't decipher particular words, Ken approached the busy flowershop intending to offer his friends a chance to take a break and have some herb tea.

At the same moment, coming up from the basement where he was trying to do the laundry as well as fill out some supply orders, Aya ascended the circular staircase with a look of venom in cold violet eyes. He, too, couldn't make out any particular words, but when Ouka's voice took on that particularly grating tone of command, he knew from experience that trouble was most likely afoot.

Arriving at the ground floor at the same time, Aya blinked in shock when he saw the recovering patient approaching the bottom of the stairs in the small room behind the shop. Giving the chocolate-eyed teen's cheek a tender caress with fingertips that smelled of fabric softener, the violet-eyed man smiled gently and instructed him to wait so he could go clear out the rabble before Ken tried to go into the shop.

With a soft laugh and a nod of agreement, the younger of the two of them leaned against the wall and listened as the swordsman moved into the Koneko proper and interrupted the teeming mass of agitated girls by bellowing, "If you aren't buying anything, get out!" Glaring with icy amethyst eyes, he threateningly scanned the crowd as usual yet did a double-take as he noted large midnight blue eyes peering at him from the most recent arrival. Blinking in surprise even as a few girls squeaked their dismay and headed for the door rather than face an enraged Aya, he added more quietly, "*Nagi*?! What are *you* doing here?"

Pleased to see the scarlet-haired man he had become such good friends with recently, the sable-haired teen answered in partial truth, "I wanted to bring Ken-kun a gift, Aya-kun." Recalling the day he'd left Tokyo General and the invitation he'd received then which he was using now, he added nervously, "I hope that's all right."

An uncharacteristic smile tugged at the corners of Aya's lips as he answered sincerely, "It's more than 'all right', Nagi! As I said before, you are *always* welcome here." Noting the way the girls were still muttering something about gifts and needing to get one, he frowned again and then reached for his apron, saying, "Why don't you two take whatever you brought upstairs to him, Nagi, and I'll cover for Omi here in the shop."

"Really, Aya-kun? Are you sure?" Omi asked, amazed by the exceptionally rare offer that he would have bet against receiving. "But it's your first afternoon off all week!"

Ignoring the pleased smile of approval he was getting from Yohji who was impressed by the thoughtfulness the elder of his two lovers always showed around their diminutive telekinetic friend, Aya tied his light green apron in place and said firmly, "I'm absolutely certain, Omi. I think that Ken would enjoy seeing Nagi, too, and I dare say that I can handle Ouka's groupies myself. Besides, we'll be closing up at seven anyway, it won't be any trouble."

"Thank you very much, Aya-kun," Nagi said with a shy smile that brought a special warmth to the swordsman's heart. Then after reminding himself to not use his powers to simply carry it to him, the Schwarz psychic carefully retrieved the package from where he'd left it and then asked the timid girl who was too shy to ask, "Kyoko-chan? Would you like me to take yours to Ken-kun, too?"

Nodding and looking exceptionally grateful, she answered, "Oh, yes please, Nagi-san. That would be terribly kind of you even if it is such a small and unimportant gift."

Omi beamed at not only his boyfriend but at the self-effacing girl whose gentle sweetness and concern for his injured teammate was touching. As he slipped off his saffron-colored apron and got ready to hang it up before going upstairs, he told her, "I'm sure Ken-kun will love whatever you got for him, Kyoko-chan. I'll make sure he knows it was from you."

The startled schoolgirl blushed a little and shook her head, saying, "Oh, you don't have to do that, Omi-kun. As long as he enjoys it even a little bit, I'll be happy."

"Either way, I think it was nice of you," the blond teen smiled and then made sure Nagi was right beside him as they made their way to the backdoor of the shop and into the vestibule between the Koneko and the alley. They were a bit surprised to find Ken lounging against a wall by the stairs with his cane propped up nearby and he exclaimed quietly, "Ken-kun! I didn't know you were down here!"

Smiling at the pair, the brunette greeted them both a nod of his head and said, "Yeah, I was on my way down to see if you wanted some tea, Omi, but it would appear that you already had a much better surprise this afternoon." Offering his unencumbered hand in welcome, he added, "It's great to see you again, Nagi."

Gladly accepting the man's hand and shaking it before discovering he'd been tricked and was being drawn into a warm embrace by the older teen, Nagi smiled helplessly and hugged Ken in return before he agreed, "I'm really glad I got a chance to come here, Ken-kun." As he was released and the chocolate-eyed man reached for his cane so they could go back to the kitchen, he mentioned happily, "You're looking a whole lot better now than the last time I saw you. How do you feel?"

Shrugging slightly as all three of them slowly ascended the stairs together, Ken remarked honestly, "Pretty good all things considered, but I'm bored most of the time, Nagi." Hearing Omi's light chuckle he explained, "Yohji and Aya are being real bastards about never letting me have any fun anymore!"

"Ken-kun! That's not nice!" The blond chastised gently, "You know they only act that way because they love you and want you to heal properly!"

The brunette snorted derisively and remarked, "Yeah, I know, Omi, but I practically had to get a signed permission slip to come downstairs and then Aya wouldn't let me go in the flowershop until he'd had a chance to run the fangirls out of it!" With an appreciative chuckle he admitted defeat as he commented, "Then again, it sounded like Her Most Royal Majesty was on the warpath about something or other, so it's probably a good thing I didn't go in, huh?"

Giggling at his friend's almost too accurate nickname for the vivacious young woman who made their lives almost too complicated at times, Omi explained, "Yes, Ouka-chan was in rare form today, Ken-kun, but she meant well. She was kind of upset that it was the anniversary of your 'accident' and she and the fangirls didn't have a special gift for you."

Stepping into the warm and inviting kitchen that smelled of lemon and hibiscus, Ken frowned a little and sat at the table with a pensive expression on his face while Omi went about arranging the tea service and bringing it over.

Wishing he knew how to help but deciding it was best to stay out of the way for a moment, Nagi slipped into a chair across from the quiet older teen and apologized, "I'm afraid that was my fault, Ken-kun. I brought you something and when Omi asked about it, I mentioned that it had been a month since you were hurt and everything. I didn't have any idea those girls would get all worked up over it."

With a slightly sardonic smile on his face as he watched his youngest teammate expertly pouring tea for each of them, Ken shook his head and said, "No apology necessary, Nagi. I'd forgotten about it myself, but yeah, I guess it has been a month at that. Doesn't seem like it, though, does it?" He glanced at the bulky cast on his arm and recalled some of the hell that the five of them had gone through in the aftermath of the shooting and felt infinitely grateful to have such dedicated friends and lovers. Then he glanced up with a brighter smile and asked, "So? What did you bring me? I hope it's something spicy to eat! The 'food nazis' around here won't let me have anything good yet even though Javanese told me my kidney function is past 60% already and it ought to be okay now."

With another warning frown since Omi didn't like the nicknames Ken came up with for himself and their teammates, the blond explained to his boyfriend, "Norwegian hasn't changed the dietary limits for Ken-kun yet, Nagi-love, and he's obviously not enjoying all of Yohji-kun's hard work in the kitchen!" He childishly added a stuck-out tongue to his remarks to indicate he thought it was a silly thing to be upset about and made them all smile.

Feeling better and recalling he had the girl's gift to offer as well, Nagi shook his head and said, "I'm very sorry, Ken-kun, but I didn't bring anything to eat. I think that Kyoko-chan might have, though, so why not open hers first?" Holding the small, delicately wrapped gift in both hands in offering, he smiled when Ken reached for the gift with open curiosity.

"Kyoko-chan got me something?" Chocolate eyes widened slightly in surprise and then he smiled and commented, "That's really sweet of her. I always enjoy having her little brother on the soccer team, I guess this is a way to say 'thanks'?" He opened the gift carefully, allowing the small charm to slip out into the palm of his hand and he looked pleased by the traditional Shinto wish for health written in gold on red paper which he set aside in search of the possible food inside.

As Ken was busy discovering that the box contained treats made from sweetbean paste that he had a weakness for, Omi nodded and smiled encouragingly at his boyfriend who nervously held his cup of Lemon Zinger to his nose and sniffed at the unfamiliar scent. Glad that Nagi was at least taking a sip of the unusual concoction, he agreed, "Yes, that's probably it, Ken-kun." Noticing his boyfriend didn't look thrilled with the taste of his drink after he sipped it, he added, "You might like that better with sugar in it the way that I do, Nagi-love."

Uncertain midnight blue eyes rose and the youngest teen present answered, "If you say so, koi." While exerting his psychic gifts and dropping a cube of sugar into his cup then stirring it with his powers without thinking about it, Nagi held his own gift in both hands and offered it to Ken who was gaping at the casual demonstration of telekinesis. Nervous that perhaps the older teen thought he was just showing off, the sable-haired boy asked, "Um, Ken-kun? Am I making you uncomfortable? I can stop, of course, if this is bothering you."

Blinking his eyes and drawing himself out of his thoughts, the former athlete suddenly smirked and reached for the gift even as he explained, "No, that's not it at all, Nagi. I was just thinking that you must be able to avoid washing a lot of spoons that way."

Omi groaned softly, shook his head and then said, "Oh, Ken-kun. You never fail to surprise me!" Giving in to the desire to giggle outright, he did so and added, "Only *you* would come up with something like that!"

Smiling at the two boys as he started to open the present Nagi had brought him, the brunette answered nonchalantly, "Hey, what can I say? It's a gift. But speaking of gifts, where in the world did you come up with this, Nagi?!" Once he'd realized what was inside the package, Ken had carefully torn the wrapping away in excitement and held aloft something he would've assumed he would never have the privilege of seeing much less owning.

Atypically clueless, Omi gazed at what seemed to be nothing more unusual than a somewhat old and slightly faded doujinshi that someone had written on and then glanced from his boyfriend to his teammate and found no answers until Nagi began to blush while looking infinitely pleased. Frustrated by his ignorance, the seventeen year old asked, "I think Nagi-love is glad you like that, Ken-kun, but what *is* it?"

Face filled with a pure delight much like a child's would be to discover he really did get the one thing he wanted most for his birthday, Ken beamed brightly as he explained, "It's a first edition, *signed* copy of Ozaki-sensei's very first doujinshi, Omi!" Seeing a lack of understanding, he added almost urgently, "She's the creator of the manga 'Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989' which you brought me in the hospital! This is so unbelievably rare, though, how did you get it, Nagi?!"

Alabaster cheeks painted a soft happy pink, the fifteen year old said, "After Omi-koi showed me that manga he got for you, I remembered seeing something by the same artist in the window of a collector's shop near my school. I skipped lunch one day and went over to see how expensive it was and it turned out that the owner was willing to negotiate for it. I worked out a deal with her and picked it up this afternoon." Watching the play of emotions on the older teen's face, he added, "I'm really glad that you like it, Ken-kun. The lady at the shop said it was a one of a kind and that she herself had gotten it signed at a convention years ago."

"You think I just 'like it'? No, I *love* it, Nagi!" Ken enthused, gazing at the signature on the cover happily. "As for this being rare, hell, the last time I saw anything even close to this it was up for auction at a price that *I* couldn't hope to cover even if I wanted to! Man, this is *great*!" He came dangerously close to asking about what exactly Nagi had spent or traded for it, but since that would be the height of rudeness, he suppressed the urge and simply went back to beaming at the wonderful new addition to his collection.

Another face at the table was also smiling brightly, however. When Omi reached out to capture Nagi's hand in his own--something that had waited until now so that the younger teen's gift could be offered properly--he did so with a heartbreakingly sweet expression on his face.

Pleased he'd been able to bring so many smiles to these wonderful young men who he had missed desperately, Nagi enjoyed holding hands with Omi and sipping the herbal tea that tasted a lot better with sugar in it. His life in the last three weeks had been filled with massive amounts of schoolwork as well as a substantial amount of time being spent trying to regain his leader's trust in him. Preparing miscellaneous documents for Crawford as well as rearranging the man's computer files had been distracting to a certain extent, but the hole left in his heart by nights spent alone without so much as the comfort of chatting electronically with his boyfriend had ached. Now, though, the reassuring warmth of skin-to-skin contact with Omi gave Nagi an almost euphoric sense of happiness.

If absence made the heart grow fonder the reunion of temporarily separated lovers made the heart grow bolder and as Ken was distracted with nibbling on some of the candy Kyoko had given him, Nagi leaned over and gave Omi a quick kiss after barely being able to wait.

Blushing prettily and eager for more, the cerulean-eyed teen ignored his teammate entirely and reached up to cup an alabaster cheek in one hand even as his lips sought and captured those of the midnight-eyed boy. Sighing softly in pleasure as the telekinetic responded positively to the somewhat longer yet no more intimate kiss, Omi felt as if he was floating on a cloud of joy.

Lost in his own enjoyment, the chocolate-eyed teen finished off the treat he'd enjoyed immensely and was about to offer the boys seated at the kitchen table with him a piece of candy to go with their tea when he realized they were occupied. The desire to proclaim them "too kawaii for words" was barely suppressed as Ken glanced away from the young lovers whose eyes were half-closed as they wordlessly pledged their hearts to one another once more.

With a soft chuckle that brought the other two teens out of their momentary romantic reverie, the brunette carefully picked up his cup and drained the last of the warm, fruity beverage and then announced, "I think that I'll go down to the shop and check on Yohji and Aya." He rose carefully from the table, cane in hand as he added, "From the sounds of things, Ouka's gang has gone off to terrorize some other poor shopkeepers elsewhere."

Slightly flushed from their kiss, Omi peered up at his friend and asked worriedly, "But, Ken-kun, won't Aya-kun and Yohji-kun be upset with you if you go up and down the stairs again? I thought they said one trip to the Koneko a day was all you were supposed to make."

Snorting in annoyance and rolling soulful brown eyes expressively, Ken answered, "Well, *technically* I never made it in there in the first place, Omi, but I think their rules are a bit overprotective anyway." Moving cautiously since the wound in his thigh was throbbing ever so slightly and not wanting to aggravate it, he moved towards the stairs slowly before adding warmly, "Besides, I think you two need a little privacy to get, um, 'reacquainted'?" His smirk was sweet yet carried a hint of the hentai despite stopping short of recommending they adjourn to Omi's bedroom for an activity he rightly assumed they'd not enjoyed in far too long.

Blushing yet not denying anything spoken or implied by his friend, the Weiss archer called out, "Thanks, Ken-kun! Nagi-love said he can stay for awhile longer, so if Aya-kun and Yohji-kun wouldn't mind maybe we can have some dinner delivered while he's here? Please?"

Since he remained concerned about the telekinetic's nutritional needs and thought that sharing a meal with him might be an opportunity to see how he was doing, Ken nodded and smiled as he agreed, saying, "That sounds like a great idea to me, Omi! I'm sure they'll like it, too, so plan on eating around 7:30 or 8:00, okay, guys?"

"That would be very nice, Ken-kun," Nagi said with a shy smile as he looked forward to what all three of them were now clearly thinking would be his pre-dinner activity with his boyfriend.

The cerulean-eyed teen's already genki smile brightened ever so slightly as he watched his brunette friend making his way cautiously to the stairs and disappearing down them. Mischief bubbling in his voice, he turned to his boyfriend and asked, "Want to come to my room and see my newest computer games, love?"

Nagi couldn't help but laugh as he stood and held his hand out to his boyfriend by way of encouraging him to hurry so they could make the most of their time together. Then he asked with gentle teasing, "Why does that sound like a line from one of those tawdry romance novels the girls at my school are always reading, koi?"

Rising and kissing the slightly shorter teen on the cheek, Omi giggled slightly and shrugged, "You're right, that *does* sound like one of those 'why not come up and see my etchings sometime' lines!" His incredible happiness as he noted that his beloved partner's skin tone was warmer and healthier now doubled as he forwent the proffered hand and chose to wrap his arm around his lover, drawing him close and discovering the diminutive telekinetic felt less slender in his arms than before. Realizing it was about to be all too easy not to mention enjoyable to discover directly if that was true, he added urgently, "I don't really care *what* it sounds like as long as you say 'yes', Nagi-love! I just want to be alone with you."

Sighing happily and snuggling closer for a moment then pulling away and practically yanking Omi towards the stairs, the sable-haired teen beamed delightedly and agreed wholeheartedly, "Same here, Omi-koi!" Glancing at the kitchen clock as they headed out of the room he added teasingly, "And it would seem we have at least an hour or more available to, um, uh, 'play' some of those 'games' if you want to, too!"

Desire sparkling in cerulean eyes, the youngest member of Weiss almost growled his excitement and then redoubled his efforts resulting in them nearly running up the stairs together hand in hand and hearts singing with joy.

After Ouka's group had trooped off to her mother's restaurant to get dinner for the five assassins as per a suggestion from Yohji regarding a good gift for Ken, the Koneko settled back into peaceful tranquility and the musical sounds of the waterfall filled the air.

Upon hearing the sound of two sets of feet dashing up the stairs noisily, three sets of eyes gazed at each other in understanding and approval. Then the Weiss trio wordlessly shared their own adoration for one another with discrete caresses as the two able-bodied florist/assassins went about their tasks of straightening displays and watering flowers yet found abundant excuses to stop by the teen sitting by lyrical marble sculpture.

As the pleasant December afternoon gave way to a relatively warm winter evening, the city of Tokyo went about its business unaware of the tragedies and triumphs shared by a group of unique individuals who quietly celebrated the one month anniversary of an event that changed their lives forever. There were many challenges ahead for many whose lives were touched by the impact of those five bullets fired in anger but now that the cold November rain had passed, there was a time for the peace and joy which they all so richly deserved.

~OWARI~

Author's Notes:

[1] Each posting run of this exceptionally large story was dedicated to various people that I wanted to either thank or celebrate as the fic became public. However, in the end, there is always one ultimate dedication for the entire work as a single entity and this time it goes to someone very special, the person who "turned me on" to the addictive world of Weiss, my brother Rubious. {smiles brightly and sends up a skyrocket filled with fireworks that explode in bright colors before he continues} Long ago and far away, I began another WK Angst Epic entitled "Neutral Territory" which was to be dedicated to him and even though there are a full *18* Parts plus a highly detailed outline for the rest of it on my computer it will remain there slumbering like a literary version of Rip Van Winkle. Instead, Melpomene and Calliope chose this continuity to focus on and so, to be fair, the first truly momentous work within it shall go to him as a replacement for that sleeping time-bomb of a fic that may never see the light of day at this rate. In the meantime, I hope he knows how very grateful I am that he sent me the entire series on fansubs which sparked a wildfire of fic inspiration within me. Since then he has provided me with the OVAs and a gift subscription to the entire DVD collection thereby almost assuredly guaranteeing the WK fanfiction community more llama fics for the foreseeable future. Thanks again, dude, for everything! You're the best and as far as your own fanfiction writing goes, Ganbatte, guy!

[2] As specified in the indicia, this story was initially to be a mere prequel to the events in "Romantic Resolutions" yet it is in actuality much, *much* more than that! I had only intended to tell a Ken-torture tale based on the *two* paragraphs that mentioned why Yohji and Aya were taking such great care of him in the New Years story, but this one developed quite a life of its own as it were. Buried within it are any number of pet theories and new versions of old relationships many of which will hopefully be explored further in the fics described below and others yet to be envisioned.

[3] Book 2 of the "Redirecting Destiny" continuity is indeed "Romantic Resolutions" which will be revised soon to reflect the changes in relationships and the timeline as they are expressed in this fic. How dramatic the revisions will be remains to be seen, Erato liked what she had there already but Melpomene and Calliope both realize it needs changes to keep it consistent with that which precedes and follows it. Please note that there will most likely be a slight delay in getting this accomplished since I feel an overwhelming need to return to my GW roots and provide them with some llama-fiction after my silence of four months.

[4] All-new installments in this continuity will begin with side-stories to this piece as well as the epilogues mentioned below as time allows.

[4-a] Currently planned to be one of the first side-stories to be written is "Ken's Dream" a wonderfully angst-free threeway lemon for Ken, Yohji, and Aya as based on the opening paragraph of Part 38. Since it's a pure fantasy Ken POV dream sequence and therefore not subject to limitations due to injuries or other "reality based issues", this will be particularly plotless and undoubtedly highly sweet to the point of inducing cavities, but it should be a nice break.

[4-b] Other side-stories on the schedule include "Crawford's Dilemma" based on his conversation with the newly returned Prodigy in Part 51 and "A Brother's Sorrow" which will be a look at Korat's ongoing search for Monique.

[4-c] I'm very interested in hearing requests for other stories based on this especially epilogues to help tie up loose ends and even though I can't write all of them, I hope you will share your thoughts with me about them.

[4-d] Please note that the side-stories will have their own specific ratings and therefore separate titles at fanfiction.net whereas any epilogues which conform to the original indicia will merely be added as new Parts to the main fic there. How these issues will be handled at other archives remains to be seen and is primarily the right and privilege of the archivists to chose.

[5] Book 3 of the "Redirecting Destiny" continuity will be "Scars" an angst-ridden heavy lemon interlude for the Weiss trio as Abyssinian loses control at the wrong moment and inadvertently injures one of those he loves. Can he learn from his terrible mistake and possibly say the words he has been unable to say and thereby save what he has nearly destroyed or will it be too late? There are other books planned for the continuity which will be previewed in the stories which precede them more closely than this one.

[6] Regarding the relationships in Schwarz: I've gone quite far afield compared to many people's versions of these four bishounen, yet I *can* see this work *if* one assumes the following non-canon descriptions can possibly be true: (a) Crawford isn't a heartless bastard. (b) Schuldich isn't a slut. (c) Farfarello isn't a mindless psychopath 24/7. Plus the most crucial one of all: (d) Nagi *isn't* devoid of emotions. Based on reader response so far, though, apparently many folks accept and embrace these possibilities and I intend to explore these four more fully in "Power Failure" later in the continuity as well as providing Brad and Schu a moment's peace in a lemony interlude later, too.

[7] Who the heck *are* those original characters supposed to be and where did they come from?!? As indicated when they were first bought into the story, the medical team is comprised of characters named for the original anime series creative team as listed on the ADV release "Dead Ringers" Vol. 1. DVD of the--cough--"Knight Hunters". Calico and the yet-to-be-introduced members of Grün are the product of my twisted imagination alone and are based on no one living, dead, or animated. Angora and the members of Gelb will remain a mystery for now since the extent of their use remains to be determined. The incidental characters are based on various people including my family, friends, and anime characters that I love. I appreciate the warm welcome these "invented beings" have received and I feel grateful that the fans enjoying this are open-minded enough to allow me to spend some of their valuable reading time expanding on what might otherwise have been flat people without histories. Breathing life into new characters so thoroughly that you hate a writer when one dies is one of my greatest challenges and joys and I thank you for being tolerant of my indulgences. I also thank you for the many letters of sorrow I received after Sokoke's untimely demise, she will be missed yet will also remain an active source of angst for months to come.

[8] Regarding the infinitely wonderful people who read and review at fanfiction.net as well as those who send me comments directly, all I can say is this: I LOVE THEM!!

[8-a] There is no conceivable way that I could have gotten as far as I did on this as quickly as I did without the outpouring of love and support that I received from my readers. As this final posting run goes out, there's already an incomprehensible 472 reviews publicly available for all the world to read and enjoy at fanfiction.net which have provided me with more inspiration than words can say! As for the number of private notes of encouragement that I've received, I can't begin to guess, yet each and every one of them has been read and enjoyed thereby raising me and my muses up during dark moments so that we could continue to strive to entertain the readers.

[8-b] If people wanted to know what one thing they could do to make sure that they had more of what they enjoy most in fanfiction it is this: Send out positive reviews to those authors you prefer. Do it early and do it often! If it's a chapter fic then consider sending comments on each new part, you'll make a friend for life of the writer and friends-by-extension of the other readers who feel the same way you do and want to see more of a well written story. The more words of praise you send, the more likely the writers will be to send you back words of action, adventure, angst, romance, or whatever genre makes you happiest. And if you wonder about the perqs involved in getting even more personal and sending notes *and* reviews at fanfiction.net, ask the lovely ladies who suggested the three side-stories that are already planned.

[9] Muse Credit Union: Melpomene, my angst muse, works diligently to bring sorrow and pain to any number of unsuspecting bishounen and this is her first work of 2002. Erato, is my sap, lemon, and romance muse and she wanted to do more here than she did, but it was just too intense for the most part. Thalia, my humor muse, failed to participate fully due to Real Life angst being too overwhelming for her to add much. Calliope, my muse of all things of epic proportions, claims credit for this being so long as well as the numerous side-stories, epilogues, and new Books yet to come. Considering this fic is currently over 1,200KB and will be growing with the addition of side-stories and epilogues, I dare say Calliope has reason to be proud of herself, don't you? My newest muse, Lauren, muse of warning flags, is hereby given her first public recognition for helping me to remember that sometimes people need to have a box of tissues handy when they read some of my things.

[10] There are a lot of very nice people who receive roughly bimonthly updates from me as to what is new at fanfiction.net, GW Addiction, and other authorized archives for Llama-fics. With luck and help from my muses, I hope to have some serious changes there in May, 2002, adding polling for various questions pertaining to how readers want to see certain things go in my stories, artwork and images in the files section and much more! Here's hoping it turns out half as fun as I think it might be and I hope to see you there, too! If you wish to join, please feel free to sign up at EnigmaFanficUpdates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com!

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Ta-da! "Cold November Rain" is now over! Ta-da!

{falls over almost dead and lays there twitching for a moment then adds a tiny end-note}

This took me almost ten hours straight to finish up today after spending most of yesterday with a migraine from lack of sleep and unable to type but you know what? I'm happy right now. Yes, I know, I'm most likely simply delusional after working too much on fanfiction for which there is no pay, but I really do feel almost genki in a I'm-totally-exhausted,-I think-I-need-a-stiff-drink-and-a-high-quality-threeway-lemon-yaoi-fic-to-stay-alive kind of way but at least it's an honest high.

{yawns hugely, feels even more worn-out, then waves good-bye for the moment}

Thanks again for reading my humble piece of fanfiction all the way through and if you see a need for an epilogue or a side-story that isn't already planned, let me know, okay? No promises on how many I can cobble together, but at least you'll plant a seed of an idea that may take root later, ne?

Ciao for Now!

~~~E-sama the Llama~~~

(who loves his readers and couldn't bear to make them wait for all this just so he could go sleep or watch anime or something! no sirree! when there's an epic to be finished, who ya gonna call? angst-busters! {eeps comically, recalls that was the intro concept for Norwegian's team way back in Part 27 and realizes with a totally depleted smirk that it is *never* that simple! then the llama fades away until there's more to share someday})

Posted 27 April 2002 ~6:00am