Reviews for Then and Now
theStarfly chapter 16 . 6/8/2007
Wow! I loved this story, you're such a great writer! I love Tsin.. he's so funny :3
Pyreflei chapter 1 . 3/13/2007
Facinating... I've never heard of a take on elves with cat-like ears before, but then again, you've created for yourself and your story a whole other race. I like it.

Ciao~ Ayaerhis
the sacred night chapter 16 . 1/11/2007
It all makes so much more sense now. I can see how it makes some sense to put the explanation here, because it would have been a daunting task to follow Lin and Tsin while all that was happening and tell it in that level of detail. It also would have changed the tone of the story. Still, the buildup in chapter 14 makes us really expect something big, and after that, chapter 15 with its comparatively nice ending is a giant anticlimax. Then there's the possibly bigger problem that Lin's attitude on returning seems really wrong to a reader who doesn't know what all happened. I didn't believe there was any way Lin could possibly forgive Faun so easily, but of course once he found the truly evil person behind it, it makes sense that all of his anger and hurt were transferred to that person, especially since it's someone he already connects those emotions with so strongly.

And I think it's a very interesting choice that when you warned us of "serious squick" and blocked of part of the chapter, you meant the consensual sex and not the violence. I suppose some people might be more disturbed by this particular scene, but I thought the gory parts were much more sickening. Pretty much nothing is too kinky for me as long as it's completely consensual, which this was, and so it bothered me not at all beyond the occasional "that's kind of gross" which didn't stop me from reading it. The part where Tsin describes getting his sword stuck in a creature's bone made me feel ill, but it was supposed to, wasn't it? It doesn't bother me because I know that was the idea and it's not like you're promoting violence or glorifying it or in any way presenting it as a good thing. As for the sex part, I think it's cool that you were bold enough to include a scene like that, outside the norms but still, I cannot stress this enough, consensual. Congrats.
the sacred night chapter 15 . 1/11/2007
This chapter is very good, but I don't think this is the place for it. There needs to be more in between the last chapter and this one. The way it is, it's anticlimactic, but it also seems like everything's resolved far too easily. Plus we don't get a sense of how long Tsin and Lin were gone. The Lin that left and the Lin that came back are so different, we need to see that emotional journey and not just be told "oh btw, he's ok now." It had to take a lot of thought, a lot of catharsis and a lot of just plain time for him to calm down and heal enough to be able to be like this. He must have gone a long way toward healing already if he can tell Faun he loves him. We need a lot more to understand that process.
the sacred night chapter 14 . 1/11/2007
Oh, wow. When you said "nastiness," you meant it. You meant the hell out of it. I thought the whole idea of Faun trying to "force" Lin to bond with him was pretty slimy from the beginning, because A) that is not a decision you can make for someone else, and B) if it worked, but didn't keep Faun alive any longer than normal, or just somewhat longer than normal, how did he think Lin would feel when he died? If he's really in love, then he ought to try to make that less painful on Lin, not more so by bonding with him right when he knows he's going to die. So I didn't care for the idea from the start, but I definitely didn't see this coming. When Faun got the potions, having read the "nastiness" warning, I figured it would go as planned, but Lin would be offended that he didn't get to decide for himself. I'm floored. I noticed recently that there's a part 2 to the story, so I gathter that Lin, Faun, and presumablt their relationship survive, but I don't know how. If he knows Faun didn't intend any of it, then I can see Lin forgiving him, but forgiveness doesn't mean trust or wanting to be around the person and it certainly doesn't mean wanting to make love to that person again. I wouldn't be surprised if he never wants to make love to *anyone* again. It seems like he's back to who he was before he met Faun, which would be totally logical, but maybe he's not completely back, because as Taz so wisely observed, he did try to protect Faun from himself. Speaking of Taz, I'm surprised that knowing Lin as he does, he has the cajones to refuse to talk with a knife at his throat. That in itself speaks volumes about their relationship and the level of trust there. And I think we're about to learn a few things about Tsin we never knew before as well. I would say I wait breathlessly for the next chapter, but since it's already there, I'm headed to it right now!
the sacred night chapter 13 . 1/10/2007
I'm surprised how much Taz's presence added to this whole chapter. Things got going a little bit between him and Tsin, and he shed some light on Lin's and Faun's situation, too. And I thought I was never going to find out what this mysterious "something different" Faun insisted on doing with Lin's hair looked like until Taz so obligingly described it.

It's nice every once in awhile being reminded of Taz and Lin's friendship. Usually everythig they say and do is fairly light, but every once in awhile we see some closeness, like when Taz says that if Faun hurts Lin, there will be hell to pay. I don't entirely know what to make of the suggestive comments they make to each other, because it's obvious by now they're not going to get together, but I guess it's possible for two people to find each other attractive and still be friends without benefits. I enjoy seeing them interact, because I feel like I get to know both characters better through it.
the sacred night chapter 12 . 1/9/2007
Ha! I don't believe for a second that there was really a need to buy cat toys. Try to deny it, Lin, and you're a liar. You have a closet full of 'em somewhere.
the sacred night chapter 11 . 1/9/2007
Lol Lin getting a kitten would be pretty amusing. It would love his house, lots of nooks and crannies to hide in and lots of shiny toys! Lol Lin having toys at his age is amusing too, especially with how incredibly adult he is in other ways.

I like Lin's thought process about Faun's sexuality and porn preferences. We already know Lin is bi, and that could lead to an interesting conversation with Faun when Faun sees his choices. I see that Lin really was attracted to his fiancee, because when he says to Faun at one point that he has never felt the need for sex, he corrects himself and says something like "at least, not for a very lone time." And if he didn't really have feelings for her in the first place, then after he found out about her plot, he definitely wouldn't have kept mementos.

I also like how you said being bi was one of the few normal things about him... throughout the spectrum of things I've had said to me about bisexuality, "normal" was never an adjective attached to it. That's refreshing and nice to hear, and it means a lot to me.

Taz and Tsin are becoming such a cute pairing. I'm looking forward to seeing then interact at this dinner. It's so adorable how shy but still totally obvious Tisn is.

I'm kind of confused about this unidentified soreness Faun feels in his joints at the begining. Is that supposed to signal something? It seems random to me right now, but I'm sure it's a setup for something to happen later.

When you describe Lin as "the brass ring" for Faun, I'm kinda confused. Obviously you're going for an expression that makes it seem like a really sought after, rare, and desirable thing, but a brass ring does not capture that for me. I've never heard the expression before, is it common where you live or did you make it up?

The bit of information about a human and a sidhe being "bonded" certainly seems to make things easier, unless Lin reveals some more that makes it totally useless, which is possible. I'm very curious here. I'm doing the nonexistent beard stroking thing.

In the brief lime scene, you have Faun take Lin's pants off twice, and he doesn't put them back on in between. I'm guessing you just forgot you'd already stripped him.

I suppose you make a good point about Faun having the "preacher's kid complex." I still think it would take him awhile to realize it was even possible to break his rules, though. He only breaks one, the time in chapter 2 when he doesn't wait for permission to come. I think it'd take a few times of accidentally or very tentatively breaking an old rule before he realizes that he's not going to be punished. It seems to me that Lin's kindness to him wouldn't seem quite real at first, like he would be constantly afraid that this new life would be taken away because it's too good to be true. Once he got to the point where he wasn't afraid anymore, then I think you're right about him going wild. I just think it'd take awhile for the possibility to register with him. It's hard to predict the psychological responses a person would have to events like these that most people can't really even imagine. Especially trauma is a really hard thing for authors to figure out. Don't feel like you have to take my word on what it would be like, but my advice is that people and their psychological workings are always more complex than one would think.

Also, I notice you consistently form possessives by adding "s" as if the word were plural. If one person owns something, the possesive gets an apostrophe and an s regardless of how the plural would be formed, as in "Lin's house." The possessive has nothing to do with the plural. If a group of people own something, form the plural as you would normally and then add just an apostrophe after the s that's already there, as in "the Elves' houses." "Lins" without an apostrophe literally means you're referring to more than one Lin, none of whom owns anything in the sentence. This can get sticky if the plural is formed a weird way, like with "baby" and "babies." If one baby owns something, it's "the baby's bottle" whereas if more than one baby owns something, it's "the babies' bottles." Please don't be insulted if you already know this stuff well, I'm not trying to be like that. I just keep noticing this particular error a lot more than any other.

About that lime scene, I'm just sort of wondering if some of the text got lost or if you just really weren't in the mood to write sex or what, since usually you go into a lot of raunchy detail, and this time you just gloss over it with "The coffee had gone stone cold by the time either Faun or Lin got around to remembering it."

I was kind of wondering about the situation with Lin's transportation needs. In a recent chapter, they were out somewhere and you say they *decided* to walk home as if they had a choice. I was like, um... if they drove there they kinda had to drive back, didn't they? And if they walked there they have to walk back? Although I guess they could have taken a cab or some other such public transportation. Still, you cleared things up some in this chapter. Why am I not suprised that Lin has a motorcycle? I guess it makes sense that he steals cars to use on jobs, because if he used the same car each time, eventually someone would recognize it. Buying a car together is an awfully coupley thing to do, though, a definite sign that this is no longer a temporary arrangement.
the sacred night chapter 10 . 1/8/2007
Not surprised Faun was scared for a minute, so was I. I'm still kind of creeped out by how angry Lin seemed for a minute there and it just sort of *became* sex. I was afraid he was going to rape Faun. Unless you're somehow *trying* to scare (and confuse) us here to foreshadow something, I'd suggest that to make the whole thing sort of S&M hot instead of creepy at the beginning and then hot, just give us some more of Lin's thoughts so we know he is planning on pleasuring Faun and not assaulting him. I mean, this seems to be the case because of his thoughts later in the scene when he's observing how aroused Faun is and that pleases him, and from his resolution not to do it again when he thinks Faun doesn't like it. Although if it turns out he really was considering some type of assault for a bit, I'm going to be sick, but then maybe that's what you were going for, maybe things aren't going to turn out as nicely as I'd expected. And I'd be confused, because that seems out of character for him. Although, he is violent, so perhaps this is the only way he knew how to begin? If that's the case, once again, I'd suggest making it clear earlier on, because it's hard to recover from the shock of thinking the one who up to now was your favorite character is about to commit rape before your eyes. Unless of course you wanted us to be that shocked, in which case you accomplished it. Ooh, and then the creepy dream afterwards... *shudder*
the sacred night chapter 8 . 1/8/2007
These teaser dream/memory things are making me extremely anxious to know more about Lin's past and how the hell all these snippets fit together to make a cohesive backstory. It's interesting how much more detailed the memory/dreams are than actual stuff happening in the present. Or do I just fill in the detail in my head and imagine them more elaborately? I'm not sure.

Aww I'm sad that Faun is afraid to be 'regular.' Funny, you'd think any pet would be dying to be a free person just like regular slaves want to be free, but I guess the mods done on them make them want to be where they are. I'm in suspense about how he will break this to Lin and in what ways they'll resolve it.

And I think it's obvious that I'm looking forward to seeing Lin's inner slut :D. I figured he probably didn't masturbate, but I figured it for the same reason he's a virgin, because his training as an assassin taught him to squelch his desires. I definitely didn't expect to find that no elves do it because of a cultural belief, but I guess that's just as logical, since their euphemisms for sex are extremely tame compared to Faun's :) But I dunno I figured he'd pick out up at least some info just by living among humans, because we talk about that stuff rather... um, a lot :D and if nothing else, he knows how to impersonate a prostitute pretty damn well for a virgin.

On that note about him impersonating a prostitute, I am just wondering something. I wonder if he's ever had to seduce a woman while impersonating someone, since even if he is completely gay, that doesn't mean shit in terms of the kinds of job he'll get. I asked before if there were female pets, but also I wonder if male pets are marketed exclusively to gay or bi men or to bi or straight women as well. And if there are female pets for lesbians... that's just funny.
the sacred night chapter 7 . 1/6/2007
Dear God, honey, you must have a coffee jones. Seems like someone's having coffee every ten seconds.

The interest between Taz and Tsin is an interesting choice. I'm wondering how you can explain what attracts them to each other, since they're so different. I'm sorry to see the threesome idea go, but I guess it was never really likely in the first place.

I guess it makes sense that Faun is scared of the idea of being a 'regular' person. Getting a job and stuff would be scary to someone who never expected to do those things, but I can of course see where the dating idea would be more hurtful thn scary, because he could take it as a sign that Lin doesn't want him. He takes everything as a sign that Lin doesn't want him, bless his little pea picking heart.

Funny, I don't think we even find out which apartment they're in... or does Lin have a real house? Anyway, I pictured it as Faun's place because that's where they usually go.

Convenient how you worked that explanation about the importance of hair in right before this scene where Lin lets Faun do stuff with his hair. We would have remembered if you spaced them out a little more. It just seems too convenient when they're practically back to back like this. One might argue that the discussion of the importance of it is why Faun acted as he did this chapter, but if he did that was forward of him, and either way I think it's still beating us over the head with it a little too much. Although Lin has definitely let him touch it before, so maybe it wouldn't seem so blatant if you had Faun be surprised during the discussion because he has touched it before, and then the scene this chapter wouldn't seem so much like you're shoving the idea in our collective face.

Kudos on that shower scene. That was very hot. More than a lime, I'd say, but that doesn't bother me in the least. I hardly noticed that Lin revealed what his job is, even though I've been keeping track of the clues. Faun didn't even seem shocked. Maybe he picked up on the clues more than I thought he did.

I just noticed something. When Lin gave Faun his 'usename' he said he was naming him after the word for a young deer, but I think the young deer is spelled 'fawn.' I'm not sure on that, though.
the sacred night chapter 5 . 1/6/2007
Dun Dun Dunn... clues into Lin's past. So is he really old? If everyone in his dream was wearing clothes that matched something Faun thought looked 'histrical,' it's logical. Funny how his dreams always seem to be something that really happened. But speaking of the clothes, Faun has one more clue about Lin's job, too. Wonder how long it'll take him to figure it out.

And something else about that dream: if Lin was engaged to a woman and really had feelings for her (seems like it from how he watched her in the dream and the souvenirs he kept) then does that make him bi? I'm bi and I get childishly excited when I see other bi people in the media, because even in LGBT circles we're a minority. If he is, then I'm even more in love than I was.

Aand, speaking of those souvenirs, did Lin draw the picture I wonder? It'd be adorable if he was an artist.

I like that Lin chooses red hair and brown eyes for his disguise... still thinking about someone much?

He usually sleeps well after killing eh? I don't know quite what to make of Lin in this way. When a character is an assassin, a reader expects one of two things right away. Sometimes it's a total asshole who doesn't care about anyone, and this person may or may not have a change of heart somewhere along the line. Then you have your "tortured assassins" who hate what they do and are psychologically tortured by it but don't see a way out. Lin is obviously not an asshole and he *does* appear to be psychologically plagued, because of the nightmares mostly, but the tortured assassins are usually depressed and withdrawn as a result, while Lin seems perfectly happy when he's awake. It could be an extremely elaborate act, or it could be that his training taught him to push these things to the side no matter how important they are. I suppose it's that, but the whole sleeping well after killing thing kind of discredits it, unless maybe you say he pushes those emotions away more thoroughly when he knows they're going to come up. I dunno, I guess that's it.

Faun's reaction to closing the link really caught me off guard. I would have almost thought Lin would have to be convinced by this that Faun likes him for real, because this didn't happen with his other master, but he'll probably chalk it up to his race. He did believe that theory that his magic might affect the link somehow.

When Lin and Faun are getting into bed near the end and there's that conversation about whether or not Lin is silly, I was confused about who was saying what. I had to reread it a few times to get it.

BTW, when I ask questions in a review about what will happen in the future, I don't really mean for you to answer them. I'm just thinking out loud about what intrigues me because I think authors want to know what readers are wondering about. I've had authors think I was pestering them for spoilers and keep telling me "You have to read the story to find out!" I do plan on reading to find out; I just though you might be interested in the questions I'm asking myself as the story unfolds.
the sacred night chapter 4 . 1/5/2007
Keel ze trouble makers... hahaha. So I gather Faun still doesn't know what Lin does for a living. There have been clues, but I guess he really doesn't want to think badly of Lin. It'll probably hit him really hard when he does find out.

I got much more of a sense of Faun not being accustomed to having a kind master yet in this chapter. I think it was most specifically the sex part of last chapter where he seemed waay to normal and happy and unrestrained. It seemed especially wrong to have that happen during sex, just because when you're having sex, you're not going to try and remind yourself of things you learned recently, you're going to follow your instincts, and his instincts are much different than a normal human's would be, because of his past treatment and probably because of some the modifications made on him as a pet too.

I have to say I adore Lin's sense of humor. It's refreshingly un cliche and very witty. I am in love.
the sacred night chapter 3 . 1/5/2007
This chapter was sweet. I think Faun might be getting comfortable with Lin too quickly for it to be believeable, though. After all, everyone he has ever met has abused him. Obviously Lin is different, but Faun has only known him for about a day and a half. I know we all want them to like each other and have a healthy relationship, but it just doesn't happen that fast, especially with what happened when Faun woke Lin up that time. He probably took it as a sign that Lin would be like his other masters after all, just because he's been so conditioned to expect that.

The details about the sidhe were nice, but I'm not so sure we need them if we aren't going to meet more sidhe in the story. It'd be cool if we did meet more though.

One more question that's bugging me: are there female pets? I can tell women aren't going to feature prominently in this story, like in most yaoi, but it just seems natural that there would be some in the world somewhere.
the sacred night chapter 2 . 1/4/2007
"shy boy in bad drag" OMG I'm going to be laughing all night. I'd been wondering about the men in the story wearing skirts and it not being called drag. I guess it is then. I don't recall seeing any women in the story yet (or at least not any important enough to merit a detailed description) so I was beginning to wonder what women wore if men apparently wore dresses... Lin is the only one of the three main guys that appears not to wear women's clothing. Not that that bothers me.

It amuses me how Lin and Taz each seem to make the occasional suggestive remark to/about the other and we sort of think they might be lovers up until Lin says otherwise, and Taz makes the occasional suggestive remark about Faun as well. I must admit I nurse secret hopes for a threesome, however unlikely it is. And Faun's daydream about Lin in a collar didn't exactly bother me either. Rawr.

On the subject of Lin's appearance, I'm a little confused about his ears. You call them catlike in chapter one, so I pictured something kinda like what Inuyasha has (I assume you're familiar with Inuyasha? If not, a google image search will clear things up completely). Then Faun refers to Lin as an elf, so I'm like, wait... does he have elf ears or cat ears? Since I assume you made up his race, I unfortunately cannot clear things up with a google image search. Which is it?

It also amuses me how you spell "artiste" with an e to denote that the person in question prnounces it "arteest" all pretentious like. Hehehe.

I looked up the word 'torc' and dictionary dot com couldn't find it. What is it?

When Faun is trying on collars, you say Taz decides on 'anasthetics' when I'm positive you mean 'aesthetics.'

I adored this chapter, just as I adored the first. This story kicks ass. I love your sensory details. Everything is so vivid. I especially love that you don't limit yourself to visual details as some authors do, but talk about smells, textures and sounds.
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