THE ENTIRE STORY HAS BEEN REVAMPED AND EDITED! Consider it an early Christmas gift.
It's been a little under a year since I first wrote "For The Kids" and I decided that was long enough for me to be able to edit it somewhat objectively. I wanted to edit it right away, but it's hard to see what's wrong something you've written when you're still immersed in the story like I was directly after finishing it, thus this time lapse.
These edits were needed, too. While I'm still proud of the original, there were a few things missing. You'll find that Jack's acceptance is a little more drawn out in this version, both due to the gang's increased distrust and Jack's increased hesitance to be part of a group after so long alone. You'll also see that the number of times Jack cries has decreased dramatically! (Thank you to everyone who pointed that out, btw, your comments were most helpful) Aster also got a name change, going from Aster Bunnymund to Aster Wilder because Bunnymund is just a really weird name and I felt that it took readers out of the story. If a lot of people dislike this change, I may change it back, but I doubt it.
These changes and others gave birth to a few additional scenes which in turn lead to additional chapters so there's a lot of new material for you to enjoy should you so choose.
IF you think this version pales in comparison to the original, or you just want a copy of the original for fun, you'll find a link to a PDF of the original on my homepage. Feel feel to use or not use it as you like.
This is only the first story to get the makeover, by the way. A Fairy's Wish and For The Shippers are both scheduled for major rehauls that will possibly include a name change for at least one of the two stories. Don't worry, For the Shippers is first on that list since it was never finished (I do apologize for that, but school comes first). For The Kids was done first simply because any changes to this story would effect its sequel.
Speaking of which, if you haven't read FTS I'm going to explain what it is because it's not what I was advertising it as back in 2012, as shown by its jokey title that no longer fits.
For the Shippers was supposed to be a ~5000 word short story about Jack and Aster getting together. It's currently at 50,000+ words and will probably end up being closer to 70,000+ by the time it's done, if not more. Instead of just being about the two boys as a couple, this story deals with Pitch's trial and how it effects Jack, both psychologically and physically, plus some other fun things. If you want to see what happens to Pitch, don't avoid it just because it's a Jack/Aster story unless you really hate slash fiction.
If you really think you can't stomach a shipping fic but are desperate to hear what happens to Jack, send me a message and I'll try to create an edited down version, though I'm not sure I'll be able to do it as the romance is a pretty key part of the tale.
And another thing! Would anyone be interested in a "podfic" of this story? For those who don't know the term, that means an audiobook of the fic read by me. I've been thinking about making one, but will only do so if people actually want to listen to it. Leave me a comment or message if you're interested and I'll post another update to this story if/when that's been made.
ONE FINAL NOTE: on Reality VS Fiction
I had one reviewer who got really upset that the Bennett's kept Jamie and Pippa away from Jack and asked if this was even legal. Yes. It is.
I actually talked to a family friend who facilitates visits for separated families while originally writing the story and discovered that the situation described within these digital pages is perfectly legal and plausible. Unfortunately, once children are adopted, their biological family has no legal right to then. In fact, even children who are in the foster system are rarely given visitation rights with their siblings. It just isn't financially feasible to have a social worker lead the visits and they can't force foster parents to bring the children together. It's also totally plausible to see a family split up among several foster homes.
Jack's "amnesia" following his ordeal at the lake is also plausible. Victims of head trauma often loose their memories of the events directly prior to the trauma. Normally the period lost is a lot shorter than four hours, but my story, my rules. Deal with it!
Anyway, that's all I have to say! If you feel like reading the new version of "For the Kids" please let me know what you think with a comment because comments make me feel all fuzzy and warm. Otherwise carry on and have a wonderful holiday season.
P.S. In case you're curious, this story took about 10 days to edit (I started on 11/19/13 and finished on 11/28/13) and went from 60,043 words to... 70,950 words (not counting this note and the appendices). What can I say, when I start writing I go a little manic. Bad news for my health, but news good for my readers.