Date: Feb 06, 2024 10:15 pm Title: Chapter 1
Whoops... I'm guilty of not reading your whole introduction... Shame on me! I knew the story premise, so I figured I had no reason to read all of it. *hides eyes*
I checked out Alain... nice younger pic of him. Kind of the mysterious type. I think I know the name of my guy, but when I pulled up his name, I couldn't find the exact pic I have, so I don't know if it's him or not.
I wouldn't call your Daphne/Kyle neccesarily a typo. But if it calms your mind any, there was NOT a misspelled word.
Wow... Simon used homewrecker too? I added that word as an afterthought.
Some of the other explanations I kind of thought that's what they would be.
Anyway, I had to leave this message for you, as just a couple of months ago, I found a story in my files... can't remember the author now, but Daphne and Michael joined forces, and jumped all over Justin. I'm thinking it might have been Gus' b-day party. I didn't really read the whole thing. I've been trying to clean out old stories that I have no reason to keep. Some were written way back 2001. Some are VERY poorly written, or plots I have no desires to keep. I almost tossed the 40 or so stories of Starema's, but good thing I didn't. Someone wanted all the stories of hers that I had. They are so awful. Also, Shelly Elwell's where Michael had sex with a dead guy... *SHIVER*
Anyway, I would also like that plot again of Brian being left behind the dumpster. You can either contact me or just relist on the plot bunny page.
*redfaced* I'm very guilty of not reading the tags and genres section. I start reading a story and begin wondering why something that was canon was altered, then I remember to check the tags, etc. and give myself a Deb Novotny headslap.
I need to set aside time to clean up my files of QaF stories. There a so many that I wonder why I kept them. I did try a couple of Starema's stories but just couldn't finish them. Michael had sex with a dead body?! No! Just no, no, no! I will definitely pass on reading Shelly Elwell's fic if I ever come across it.
I'll post the plot on the plot bunny page. Hopefully with it coming up in the 'Most Recent' page, some writers will read through all the plot bunnies and get inspired to take some.
Date: Feb 05, 2024 4:44 pm Title: Chapter 1
Gotta say first that I loved the usage of the name Danielle; I should, it's the name of my eldest daughter, and a not-very-common name, especially fifty years ago.
Well, sit back... this is bound to be a novella...
I'm sorry for the late read and review, but I just saw this story today. My computer has been living at Dell for the past month. Then I battled within myself: should I chance depressing myself once again? Of course, all I could think was: Maybe she has fixed things for the better? So I read it, and since I can't read without leaving a review - good or bad - here I am. To me, a story that gets my juices flowing means they are super good. Like yours, leave me with intense anger and frustration; Nichelle's - complete opposite - a whoop and a holler. LOL...
I know in your other story from this universe, I had commented that Steve (the homewrecker) could possibly die a horrible death. (Oh man, I can't believe what just entered my mind. I don't dare say it out loud, or people will start giving me a cross with their index fingers.) Now a few more are entering my brain. I almost think I should write a few very short companion pieces to your story. My mind is starting to conjure up deaths made for Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, only I don't picture any knives. (Does that even make sense?) So if you should ever decide to write about Steve's death - give me a call; I can assist with that! ROTFLMAO... ANYWAY...
At first, I thought this was going to be a continuation of your other story. So imagine my confusion when I read: Justin walked around Pittsbirgh's Gay and Lesbian Center. :) Yeah, it really doesn't take much.
I see Craig can be in a room with lots of other 'fags' - even the man he blamed for turning Justin into one. But not his son? It was nice to see: this fag is not staying, but it would have been awesome if he would have given Craig the whole soliloquy he delivered to Dixon... Don't worry, this fag is leaving... etc...
BTW... I only read a very small part of Simon's story, so I'm curious if the family's attitude was how she wrote it, or if that is something you've put in? I was touched by Jennifer's reaction in the gallery... she spoke of the things that she recalled, that spoke of a caring Justin and his awesome paintings. (I'm assuming she got the portrait of Molly?) But it's like - a few months later at the wedding, they already pushed that aside. Then she tried talking to Molly about Justin and the wedding. Then she turns around and humiliates Justin at the reception, saying to Brian: You both are a part of this crazy mixed-up family. Justin will have to accept that someday. How could a mother...??? I'm so angry. So, when Justin said to her: If you need anything, get in touch with Daph, I felt he went over and above with that comment. Because Justin should not feel any need to ever talk to them again. I have to wonder if Justin's return flight went down, would anybody have any regrets? You see where your story puts my mindset?
After reading this though, I have to say that I think I liked your first take on this arc better. (Just to be sure, I reread that one too.) I wonder why it is that we usually remember the angsty stories so well? But Justin and Daphne were such a strong force. Justin had made his own 'family,' and no Pittsburgh clan was involved He had also let Brian know what he thought about him, and how he perceived what he was to Brian. He was a force to be reckoned with. He should have asked Brian if he was happy living the Stepford life. Maybe Lindsay and Michael looked at Steve as BIG money. "All the better to get some!"
At least Justin got the opportunity to tell Brian he knew he got the job he just quit, and told him the owners referred to Justin as Brian's 'piece on the side - his boy toy'. It was just too sad that Steve didn't get to hear that. But then Brian had the audacity to say he had to let them know how good Justin's artwork was so he could get the job... (Shouldn't they have been able to see that in an interview?) If he listed Brian as a reference, THEN Brian would have had the opportunity to tell them just how good he was.
I'm waiting for a continuation story that has Brian calling a family meeting, and confronting all of them. I would like it better after the first one... because I'd love to hear Lindsay and Michael's explanation. That way Debbie and Ben could get an earful of Michael's cruelty, and Ben would get to hear how Rage and Zepher could have a sexual relationship. And Lindsay would have a hard time with her explanation when Gus is sitting there. It also holds a promise of a future Gus getting together with Justin.
I really liked your descriptions of the portraits. With your visuals, it was easy to 'see' them.
Kyle Raden - since you didn't supply a pic of him - even though he's a designer - it doesn't mean he can't be gorgeous. I have a pic saved of a smoking hot male model that I'm pretending looks like Kyle. I'll keep him warm, and very possibly use him if I ever need a 'cheating' pic... LOL. Hmm, maybe Brian would even be jealous.
I was confused in one area... and I had to reread it a few times, before realizing it was either a name error, or a change made after the fact. Justin stood in the doorway, Daphne at his side - and then the next - past the man he had idolized as a child, and with Kyle at his side, once again...
I told you it doesn't take much these days... :D
Overall, this was well-written, and I thank you for finally sharing it with us.
Cathy, I gotta admit, I do love your novellas! LOL! Here comes mine... :)
Daughter's name: I have always thought Danielle was a beautiful name. I am so glad I decided to use it in my story.
Steve's painful death: LOL! I will definitely contact you if I decide to ‘off' Steve!
I thought I put something in the story notes that it wasn't connected to the previous story. I'll make sure to add that. Thanks for the heads up!
Craig and gays at the wedding: Craig didn't know the others were invited nor did he think ‘his' daughter would even know ‘other' gays. LOL. And, once he realized, he knew the problems he would have with Molly and Jennifer if he made any kind of scene at the wedding or the reception. I thought about it but decided not to have Justin give a speech to Craig; I wanted him to be very blunt and to the point.
The family's attitude: The family's attitude is something I created. In Simon's series the rest of the family were rarely mentioned and supposedly supported Justin in the beginning (well, except for Lindsay, she wanted to give Steve a chance). They didn't even meet Steve until 4 years after Brian left Justin. They meet him in the 4th story ‘Side Step' the weekend of Jennifer's wedding. Jennifer sent Brian an invitation with a handwritten personal request ("I would truly love to have you here.") for Brian and a guest to attend. Brian tells Steve it might get awkward since the family hadn't met him and they were all ‘shocked and upset' by what Brian and Steve did to Justin. Steve replies: "I might enjoy being the home wrecking bastard..." and "...in all likelihood I'll never see these people again-or if I do the visits will be few and far between." That gave me the impression that Steve feels he's too good for the ‘family' and, personally, I always thought he gives a slight hint that Brian should reconsider keeping in contact with them. This story is sort of what sparked my handling of the family's attitude in my story. Once they all meet Steve, that's it, he's the greatest thing that ever happened to Brian and Justin will just have to get over it. But of course, Justin now lives on the other side of the country and as they say "out of sight, out of mind".
Jennifer's reaction at the auction: I decided that Justin wouldn't really share much of his life with Jennifer. From his reaction to seeing them at Jennifer's wedding, it's my opinion that she blindsided him by inviting Brian and Steve without telling Justin. He sees them when he escorts her down the aisle and has to fight to keep the smile on his face. I think she believed that if he sees Brian and Steve are still together that Justin will move on with his life. Simon wrote Justin as being rather petty in the story, trying to make Brian jealous by introducing his ‘boyfriend' to them which really seemed like something that Michael would do.
Jennifer humiliates Justin at the reception: Jennifer couldn't have humiliated Justin since she said this to Brian after Justin had already left.
Justin's offer to his mother of help when needed: He still loves his mother and would help her if she needed anything. Much like Brian gave Jack & Joan money despite how badly they treated him.
I have to wonder if Justin's return flight went down, would anybody have any regrets? You see where your story puts my mindset?: I certainly hope they would but I can see what you mean. This goes back to the family's attitude toward Justin. I think I wrote them this way because during the Ethan arc, Justin didn't keep in touch with the others beyond seeing them in the diner and at the anniversary party for the girls. When, in Simon's story, Brian moved to NYC I decided that Justin would be focused more on getting through the semester and spending the weekends with Brian which would mean less time to spend with the Liberty Gang.
I think we all remember the angsty ones because they rip our hearts out. But I'm really glad you liked the first one; it's one of my favorites of all the ones I have started writing in Simon's AU. (And sorry to mention, but I even have one where he loses Daphne as well. Please don't yell at me! LOL!)
Brian got Justin the job: Brian only recommended Justin to the graphics company, he didn't ask them to hire him. And Justin only heard one side of the phone conversation and took it to mean that Brian asked them to hire him. He didn't know if Brian had sent other companies the slides of Justin's work.
A continuation story for the previous fic: I do have a few ideas for a sequel of sorts to that story.
Descriptions of the portraits: Thank you! I try to make the descriptions as vivid as I possibly can. I can see them in my mind but sometimes have difficulty putting it into words. And I certainly can't draw/paint them! LOL!
Kyle Raden: I picture Alain Delon (when he was young of course) but I have problems including pictures. When I use a new pic in a story, one disappears from a previous story.
Typo: DAMN! I read this over and over to make sure I had made all the corrections when I decided to have Kyle be the one with Justin at the reception. I originally had Daphne, but then I decided to give Justin the fabulous new designer, Kyle Raven. I will try to fix that. Thank you for letting me know!
There were a lot of things about Simon's series that bothered me; mostly it was the way Justin was written as petty and childish at times. Steve always refers to Justin as ‘boy' or ‘lad' anything to remind Brian of Justin's age. And in the story where Steve is dying, it's as if 3 of the previous stories never took place.
Something else you might find interesting if you haven't read the entire series... it seemed to me that Steve was, more or less, stalking Justin. He always knew (and even attended) when Justin had a show whether it was a group show or solo. At least once he purchased some of Justin's artwork to use in the business. And once while they were on vacation, he randomly noticed that Justin is taking part in a group show at a local gallery and slightly manipulates Brian into going. Luckily for Justin he left after opening night so he didn't have to see them together once again.
Overall, this was well-written, and I thank you for finally sharing it with us.: Thank you so much! I'm glad I closed my eyes and posted it. LOL!
Thank you for reading and reviewing!
Date: Jan 15, 2024 1:53 am Title: Chapter 1
Poor Justin, everyone has abandoned him except Daphné, this girl is fantastic. I hope you will write a sequel to this story where Justin will be very happy in his art and with a new family to show everyone but especially Brian what they lost. Thank you for this story. You treat Justin better than Simon, I already told you that and I love your Justin!
Marie-France, thank you for the great review. I love it when Daphne sticks by Justin. I am keeping an open mind about a sequel. I always felt that Simon was thinking of Michael instead of Justin. LOL!
Thanks again for reading and reviewing.
Date: Jan 15, 2024 12:51 am Title: Chapter 1
Yes, I understand. Each character, family member or friend sees things from their own perspective. But Justin was almost excommunicated. I don't think Brian expected that from them. He is still watching and watching over Justin from afar. Although Justin refused this.
Justin has already accepted that Brian and Steve are part of the family, but as Brian quietly said to Jennifer, "But do any of you consider him still a part of this crazy mixed-up family?"
Such "not happy ending" stories are good because they make you think. I've read a lot of fics, but none of them had the same impact on me as the Simon story. Even after so many years, just thinking about it makes my stomach churn. I usually read most fics more than once, but I could only read this Simon story once, but it made a deep impression on me.
By the way, your "Where Do We Go From Here" story is a very well done fic. I like it, at least I have something to think about.
Thank you for your answer. Please think about the continuation of the story. I'm sure you'll come up with something good for Justin.
With love, Judit from Hungary
Juditka, thank you for the additional review. Yeah everyone in Pittsburgh is kind of 'out of sight, out of mind' with regard to Justin. I do love stories that make you think about how the characters got to where they are and where they could possibly go in the future. I will keep a sequel in mind.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing!
Date: Jan 13, 2024 7:00 am Title: Chapter 1
I find it strange and unacceptable that the family turned their backs on Justin like this. And Molly also preferred Steve, Brian, and the rest of Liberty Ave to attend her wedding over her brother. It would be nice to continue the story, to learn more about Kyle Raden and the nature of their relationship. Justin deserves happiness, a loving partner, great success in his art and wealth. It's about time Brian saw what he's lost. The family doesn't deserve Justin's forgiveness either. Justin should leave them behind like they did to him.Please think about the continuation of the story.
I agree that it's unacceptable that the family seemed to turn their backs on Justin, but I don't find it all that strange. Justin has lived in California for a few years, so he's much further away from them than Brian is living in NY with Steve. You know, the whole ‘out of sight, out of mind' thinking. And, of course, the gang has known Brian longer than they have known Justin so they'll try harder to keep him in their lives. At the time of their breakup, Jennifer still wasn't all that comfortable with Brian and Justin's relationship, so she's hoping that he'll forget about Brian and move on with his life. Molly, I think, remembers all the turmoil that took place when Justin came out and has never forgotten or forgiven Justin for that. She's also a bit jealous of Justin which is why she invited Brian and Steve as well as the other members of the Liberty Ave family. She sort of sticks it to Craig for his refusal to walk her down the aisle if Justin were to be at the wedding.
Anyway, I do have thoughts for a sequel with a very successful and happy Justin. I just have to work out how I want it to go. LOL!
Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Date: Jan 13, 2024 4:55 am Title: Chapter 1
So pissed at all of them! I hope Justin goes on to become the biggest success he can, and leave all of them behind. I hope he finds himself a new and improved network of people entirely. None of them, not even his mother and sister, deserve any contact with him. At least Daph had his back, as always. The rest of them.... ugh!
Okay, now that my rant is over (for now), I will tell you that you've done an excellent job pulling these emotions out of me, and so early in the morning, too.
P.S. forgive me if there are any typos. I'm typing from the phone and these keys....SMH
Nichelle, thank you for letting me know I was able to pull those emotions out of you; that is a great compliment! Your stories do the same to me! It is also what I really liked about Simon's series, it really stirred my emotions; especially the way she more or less turned Justin into Michael. Justin seemed to go from one bad relationship to another, always waiting for Brian to want him, and even ending up taking whatever crumbs Brian had left for him after Steve died. I wanted to explore a stronger, more in character, Justin. This is the second ‘what if' story I've posted using Simon's AU. I have many, many more; all taking different scenarios. I just have to figure out how to end them! LOL!
Daph, definitely has Justin's back, as a best friend should. If I decide to write a sequel to this one, I will most likely set it in the future with Justin being quite successful and happy. And, yeah, he's not going to have a lot of contact with Jennifer or Molly. The others... probably not so happy or successful either. Big, evil smile! LOL!
Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Date: Jan 13, 2024 4:24 am Title: Chapter 1
How sad . Poor Justin . It is like Steve was just slotted into his life and everyone liked him better.
Yeah, since Brian now lives in NY and the gang want to keep Brian in their lives, they are trying to make Steve feel like he's part of the family. Justin now lives in California so he's not around and eventually gets pushed into the background, only being remembered when it benefits them. I'm working to make Justin a much stronger character than in Simon's stories. Also, I always felt like Molly would resent Justin, at least a little, for all the upheaval that would have taken place in her life from the moment their parents found out he is gay. I hope you enjoyed the fic. Thank you for reading and reviewing. I really appreciate it.