Author's note

Hello! Backbone is currently undergoing a major rewrite.

New readers: please avoid the reviews section as it contains references to plot details from the old version of the story. Some of these details may carry over to the rewrite, so please refrain from peeking if you don't want to be spoiled!

Old readers: thank you for sticking around! Welcome back. Please (try to) gently erase the old version of Backbone from your memory. The rewrite will probably turn out substantially different. If you left a review, rest assured that I took your feedback to heart and it's helped me become a better writer. Your time was not wasted and your opinion is very much appreciated.

It's been quite a few years since I 'finished' this story, but every so often I come back to it and get an increasingly strong urge to edit the many aspects about it that dissatisfy me. Backbone remains a deeply important work to me. I regard it as the first stepping stone towards a vast fictional universe that I have been building, on and off, for a long time now. So I want to do this right. I want to write it properly so that the sequel (yes, there will be a sequel) can flourish without being constrained by its predecessor. I want to give its characters, which I remain very fond of, the development and growth that they deserve. I'm not sure how long the rewrite will take, but I hope that you'll join me on the journey nonetheless.

Once I'm ready to upload chapters, this current story will be deleted, including all reviews, favs, and follows. I suggest you follow my page if you want to be notified when the new story is published. Additionally, I plan on also posting the story to AO3, under the same pen name, "Dustyhands".

Thank you so much for your patience and support, new and old. It really, really means a lot.