I would like to formally apologize to my wonderful, darling readers who have been waiting so long for the next chapter of our little adventure. At the time that I started this story, I was beginning to experience a lot of joint pain, especially in my hands, which made it hard to spend very much time typing. Shortly after posting this last chapter, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Since then, I've been working very hard getting my body back to a place where it can handle the sheer, hopeless strain of moving, and I am happy to announce that the new chapter will be arriving soon!
*and the crowds go wild*
In the meantime, I will also be revising the previous chapters (I read through them again and suddenly hated everything I had written, ever), so it may be worth your while to back-track a bit once that is done. If you don't want to bother, no worries. Nothing of any great significance will be changed, so you're good.
(Update: Chapter 1 has now been revised.)