Jack/Renee blue


Out where the dreams are high

Straight to the valley of the great divide

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Fic: Ethan/Allison [After All]
7x10 Hospital Hug Artsy
Holy what the eff? I crack myself up so completely I can't even. I was trying to be cool like sardonicynic and do these prompts as comment fic in the original post (and I did, for this Larry/Renee one). But I failed at keeping it short enough this time, so into the journal it goes. I'm determined to get through these, given that I have so few. I'll try to keep the next ones shorter. Keep in mind that I said "try";)

This is for roseandheather, who prompted with Ethan/Allison and these lyrics: After all the stops and starts, we keep coming back to these two hearts, two angels who've been rescued from the fall; and after all that we've been through, it all comes down to me and you, I guess it's meant to be, forever you and me, after all.

Sorry. I don't even have an Allison icon.


Chris Botti’s jazz trumpet floated through the emptiness of Allison’s high-ceilinged kitchen. She walked barefoot across the polished hardwood, rinsing the plate, glass, and fork she had used for dinner (third night in a row of reheated macaroni and cheese -- even when she halved the recipe it made enough for four people) before she slotted them into the dishwasher.

The clink of plates echoed off the walls and appliances.

When she’d written the definitive manual titled, “How to Implode Your Formerly-Stellar Political Career In 24 Hours Or Less,” she’d assumed that at least she’d enjoy the silence that came with landing on everyone’s shit list. For decades, more than three minutes of solitude had been a gift, unexpected and rare.

Apparently at some point over the last thirty years, she’d grown unaccustomed to being alone.

Now she didn’t like it, not in mega-doses.

She gazed at the stove clock; the glimmering green lines read 7:16. She dried her hands on a dishtowel and tossed it onto the counter. Despite six weeks of steady practice, she wasn’t skilled at filling four or more hours on her own. She’d never had to.

She poured a glass of Pinot Noir, stood indecisively before her bookshelf for a few minutes, selected The Age of Innocence, and settled into the burgundy-cushioned love seat in the living room. The Justice Department had been a great deal kinder to her than she had expected or deserved, although she never forgot that she owed most of her present comfort to the instinctive desire for damage control.

Newland Archer hadn’t even stopped fussing over Madame Olenska’s presence at the opera when the buzzer rang. Puzzled, Allison walked to the intercom and pressed the button, startled by the volume of the unfamiliar buzz. “Yes?”

“Allison. It’s Ethan. May I come up for a moment?”

Ethan. Before this second, she hadn’t been aware that delight and horror could coexist quite so symbiotically.

A prickly flush of irritation climbed from her chest into her face (she could feel it, spreading like water spilled on one of those micro-fiber tablecloths that refuse to soak up liquids) when her first thought was I’m wearing fleece sweatpants and one of Henry’s old t-shirts. She ran a hand over her hair, trying (and failing) to remember what it had looked like the last time she glanced in the mirror, then hit the button again and said, forcing her voice into a lower register, “Yes. Of course. I’ll buzz you in.”

Calculating how long it would take him to take the elevator up seven floors, she dashed into the bedroom, slamming a drawer open and throwing shirts aside before she finally found a dark purple one that at least matched her sweatpants and wasn’t three sizes too big. Taking a quick detour into the bathroom, she flipped on the light and rummaged through one of the vanity drawers, coming up with lipstick in a deep burgundy shade she wouldn’t have chosen herself (it was probably Olivia’s, imported from another lifetime), but she didn’t have time to be picky. She wiped her clammy hands on the navy towel and headed for the door.


“Ethan. Come in.” He was wearing a suit (deep grey herringbone) at 7:30 on a Sunday night, and she noticed that the knuckles on the hand holding his polished leather briefcase were a touch paler than the rest of his hand. “What can I do for you? I’m sure this isn’t a social call.”


She shook her head. “I’m sorry. That was uncalled for.” She shut the door and stared at the amber flecks in the wood grain, as if maybe, if she looked hard enough, she might find the right thing to say or do, the thing that would keep him here for more than the requisite businesslike five minutes. “Can I get you a drink?”

“No, thank you. I can’t stay.”

“All right.” She closed her thumb into her palm and ignored the ache that opened like a flower in her stomach and blossomed upward into her chest. Turning so he couldn’t see her face, she walked into the living room. “Tell me what brings you here on a Sunday evening.”

Ethan set his briefcase on the end table and clicked it open. “We’ve got a situation with Kamistan. It’s under control so far -- the press knows nothing. But the president is getting mixed signals from his people over there and he’d like your advice.”

My advice?” She couldn’t scrape the skepticism from her words.

Ethan smiled, tired. “Yes. Your advice. He may be inexperienced, but he’s not an idiot. Do you have time to look through the file and call him before midnight?”

She reached for the folder, raising an eyebrow. “I think I can clear my schedule.”

If he detected her sarcasm, Ethan didn’t show it. “The president will appreciate it. I’ll come by for the papers in the morning if that’s all right.” He snapped the briefcase shut with a metallic click.


He paused, his eyes fixed on the edge of the braided rug in front of the couch.

“Would you like to stay and have some dinner while I go through these? I have more macaroni and cheese than I know what to do with and-” She broke off, words flitting through her mind, settling nowhere. “And I’d like the company."

She held her breath in the space before his answer, listening to the click and sudden rush of water as the dishwasher switched to the next part of its cycle.

Ethan smiled (a tiny smile, but enough). “That sounds wonderful, actually. I didn’t get time for lunch today.”

She caught herself before she exhaled audibly and nodded toward the couch. “Sit down then. Would you like that drink while you wait?”

“Do you still have that terrific Scotch you used to serve at Christmas parties?” He shrugged out of his suit jacket.

“The Glenfiddich? I’ll check.”

She managed to quell her grin until she made it around the corner into the kitchen, her face hidden behind the cabinet door.

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*is rolling around on the floor with body contorted in glee*

*flails incoherently*

LOL. I'm glad you liked it. When I write a prompt involving Ethan and Allison and it winds up longer than one involving Larry and Renee, we are without a doubt in the Twilight Zone.

I'm so glad if it makes you happy though!

You're ability to move your little butt inspires me! I'm posting my first three ficlets right now. Oh yesiam.

I just saw! Squee:) I will read super soon.

I'm all aflail now that the only stuff I have left is Jack/Renee;)

Then again, sometimes that just makes me paralyzed . . . . It's the hardest thing in the world for me to just write and not try to edit. Yeesh.

See, you ARE capable of writing 24 fic that doesn't involve J&R.

Great job!

See, you ARE capable of writing 24 fic that doesn't involve J&R.


It's a miracle! And thank you -- really. It's notsomuch that I didn't believe I could make sentences that did not include the words 'Jack' and 'Renee,' but more that I figured the quality would suffer due to my lack of ridiculous insane passion for the protagonists;)

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I mean, from the first sentence this feels different from your other fics.

Well that makes me feel great, because I definitely feel as if I get in a Jack/Renee mindset that's all angsty and gritty and horrible and epic broken love and I don't know how to snap out of it. Mostly, I tried to remember how much I love Ethan all the time, how much I loved Allison before she went insane, and how much I love Cherry.

So squee if the setting works! Mostly, I'm doing a new thing here where I just write without editing, and that can be both scary and disastrous;) Thanks for the lovely comment:)

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Not gonna lie -- I'm glad I'm writing again, too. I just never trust it for more than the moment, because I'm accustomed to the ebbs and flows. Now I've got only Jack and Renee left and I'll probably be back to that whole GAH I LOVE YOU GUYS TOO MUCH TO WRITE YOU BECAUSE YOU OUT AWESOME MY WORDS WITH YOUR AWESOME AWESOMEFULNESS.

Heh. Oy. And thank you again. I'm so happy that this didn't seem wildly OOC or anything.

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I love that icon! It's such a gorgeous pregnant Annie shot.

And hee. If only I could be as unconcerned with Jack/Renee fic as I am with everything else, life would be so much easier! Bleh.

You heard a lot more specific commentary on email, but I'm lazy right now. Hee.

All I have to say is this: I canNOT get OVER your extreme versatility.

This is just.. yeah. it's truly awesome how in character it is and how you can even change your mood/certain writing quality (yeah I know, so specifically specific there) to fit the new personalities.

YOU are aaaaaaamazing.

I love how we were discussing . . . well the thing that we were discussing while I was teaching a room full of middle-schoolers. Of course they were spelling "fuck," "virgin" and "fart," in Scrabble, so I don't feel too bad:-P

I'm so laughing at how you guys are like, "Oh look the writing's different!" And I'm all, "Ummmm." But I'm glad you think so?

Writing this kinda reminded me how much I love Ethan, which was . . . unexpected. Thanks bb, and for the quick beta job so I didn't use a crazy word for Henry, among other things. Wtf?

Also, OMG icon. Love love love love love.

What what? We weren't discussing anything inappropriate at all!

I love Ethan. he sorta reminds me of a bloodhound. His face. You know? So droopy and sad looking, but noble and loyal.

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Re: *threadjacks for one moment*

Heee! Naked cartoon people having the sex!

I'm glad you like the icon! Thanks so much.

Re: *threadjacks for one moment*

Adrienne drew ALL the pictures. hahahahaha. Because she is amazing like that. I have good thoughts and she brings them to life. I can't even draw on paper, let alone the computer.

Okay so, I love your icon but you don't even list where it's from! I want the original cap to play with. WOE!!!

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Oh man, thank you. Getting up the guts to go on this one took a lot, because I don't feel as if I get anybody as much as I get Jack and Renee (and even they freak me out all the time!). So if my Allison worked for you, then yay!

Aaaaaah. You have her down. The short, formal sentences, her having special Christmas-party scotch. But you know what my favourite part was? The dishwasher. It really set the scene of the big, empty apartment after everyone has gone.

Loved it!

I haven't done any of mine yet.

Oh, thank you! I was a little freaked out writing her, because I don't feel as if I ever paid enough attention, being a huge dork like that. *fails*

I realize she's a fake person, but I feel as if she'd be really really lonely right now. Not as lonely as Jack, of course. Woe!

I haven't done any of mine yet.

Well I somehow managed to stumble upon the best subbing gig of all time, which was covering for the reading teacher while she does assessments. I wrote another entire prompt today, like 900 words. I have GOT to work on brevity, because these damn things don't fit in comments and I was trying to write comment fic! *fails moar*

Thanks for reading!

Wow. Your characterization of Allison is amazing. I feel like I know her so much better after reading this than I did while watching her in the actual show. All the details of her lifestyle- listening to jazz music, pinot noir, a burgundy-cushioned loveseat…they fit her character so perfectly.

Before this second, she hadn’t been aware that delight and horror could coexist quite so symbiotically. The emotion you captured in this line is so vivid- I can FEEL it. You have this outstanding ability to get inside these characters’ heads and understand them so well- you pull your readers into the story and make us feel so connected to everyone you write about, and it’s just so remarkable.

she noticed that the knuckles on the hand holding his polished leather briefcase were a touch paler than the rest of his hand The amount of attention you dedicate to seemingly small yet incredibly significant details will always be one of my favorite things about your writing.

She held her breath in the space before his answer, listening to the click and sudden rush of water as the dishwasher switched to the next part of its cycle. I love that line and the fact that you placed it right after she admitting that she’d like Ethan's company. I loved the (a tiny smile, but enough) part, too. :) You did such a great job of writing them- this story is awesome!

Oh man, you're so sweet to comment on this even though I know they're not your favorite ship. As I've said to a couple people above, I felt so nervous writing them, so it makes me super happy that you think it worked out okay. I actually think it's kinda fun and wacky to try to envision what a character might be outside the life we get to see on TV. I mean you know how I think Jack is, but Allison was a fun challenge.

Thank you! &hearts

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I miss Ethan, too! And it's hilarious because I had no idea how much until I started writing him and then I was all, "Oh man. Poor dude!" Hehe. I am lame.

SO MUCH FUCKING WORD to all the things they could have done differently in S8. Such as oh say, giving us the characters we care about (like Renee and Ethan) and kicking out the ones we don't (like fucking Dana Walsh). ARGH. But anyway it's all said and done and now I just have to write my way into an AU I can live with.

And ahem. Confession time. I never saw the end. That's another reason I was iffy about writing this. I bagged for the most part as soon as Renee silent-clocked out. So I've only seen a few Jack-centered pieces of anything past 8x17. Consequently, I was guessing at most of what happened with Allison and Ethan, even though I knew the general idea.

Hope the paper went well. Thank you SO much for the lovely comments:)

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