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Day 28 - Fic: Team Canon: Undone - The Remus/Sirius Games

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October 28th, 2009

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03:47 pm - Day 28 - Fic: Team Canon: Undone
Team: Team Canon
Title: Undone
Author: duck_or_rabbit
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: mildly explicit m/m sexual situation
Genre: angst
Word Count: ~ 4000
Summary: Almost. Remus thinks he can almost laugh, but there is no laughter in him—another thing killed by this war when least expected. Just as wars do.
Author's Note: Thank you, Mods for this fest! It’s always delightful. Thanks to everyone at rs_team_canon. And thanks to my beta, H! ♥
Prompt: Pink/Image


Please Vote Below:

Poll #1477641 RS Games 2009
This poll is closed.

Was it truly AU or Canon Compliant? Please use the following: 2 for "yes", 1 for "sort-of", and 0 for "no"

How well did the author/artist use their Prompt? 1 to 9 (1 being the least)

How much did you like this story/art overall? 1 to 9 (1 being the least)

(24 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Hell yeah.

This reads like the best sort of unhinging of a rational mind: all anger at its own failings, and couching it all in the outside world. I haven't read a piece like this about these boys in ages, and I'm really glad you've written it! ♥
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
You. You, man, completely understood what I went for with Remus, which was I hoped a reader would hear only his inner-voice and the characters' dialog telling the story instead of A Narrative Voice. I was already dancing to Björk when I read your comment and I became a little extra animated, not gonna lie.

The unhinging of a rational mind? Thanks for that description. Remus has to have a reason to equivocate on Sirius' innocence and this was my attempt to show, well, that he's not as sure of Sirius -- or himself -- as he once was and he's fighting against what that could mean for their future.

Thank you for reading and for your words. This comment means a lot. ♥♥♥
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Man, I just read it again.

and, GODDAMN. :D :D :D :D :D This is a great piece of work, kid. Just, fantastic.
[User Picture]
Date:November 19th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
What did I do to deserve you? Loving your swears forever, ♥♥♥.

Sirius and Remus are so grateful for you reading and being wonderfully kind.

Thank you, :).
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
this was incredibly well written and i stand in awe of your ability. remus was so subtly unhinged that i could very much see how, eventually, sirius could come to see him as the spy. not that sirius was by any means stable either, but they paired well in their mental and spiritual failings. this was very intense.
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
i could very much see how, eventually, sirius could come to see him as the spy.

Oh, oh, thank you so much for this! Ultimate compliment for a canon compliant fic. I hoped to bring out that conclusion through a series of simple situations -- a bad lunch, bad sex, money trouble, dissonance at Headquarters, a landlord that frightens Remus just a bit because he may have a connection to war himself. I hoped Remus & Sirius would come off as complex without writing them Doing Complex Things.

Thank you for taking the time to read and review. You've no idea how it's appreciated.
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Ooh. This piece has a real punch to it. Nicely done.
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading! That's a great description, glad the story made an impact.
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
There is a lot of lovely fluffy R/S out there and a part of the games as well and while I do love it, and enjoy thinking about them as happy, there is just something so real and honest and true about this. This is a real man, in a real relationship and things aren't going fantastically well. There are difficulties in their negotiations, right down to how they fuck each other and damn, if that just didn't a hit a perfect button with me.

It’s confusing, their identical passions, trying always to convince one another who’s in control.

You packed a lot in here, with just a few words, and this just makes so much sense to me. Men don't give up power and control easily to one another, so much of their interactions all come down to a pissing contest and I think this is a difficult dynamic to convey in the written word when the two are in love and you just nailed it.

The above is a part of a larger paragraph, every word of which rang with truth. It is such an intimate look at Remus' inner workings, how they play this game which is part lovers, part friends and part soldiers at arms.

Remus will do it because there’s no choice except giving in, his own desires depend on how this proceeds. Deny himself something, then hold it against Sirius. In the sort of sex they practise—they bargain. He clenches inside. It’s confusing, their identical passions, trying always to convince one another who’s in control.

Only half hard, but he mustn’t touch himself now, and he’s decided that Sirius isn’t allowed to touch him at all. Be nasty, hope Sirius remains mildly tender, because if he’s not, he might fight back, feeling cruel as he is. Of course, whatever he’d do then, he can say it’s Sirius’ fault.

He must keep that bargaining chip, musn't he? Because it must be so difficult to maintain the upper hand in a relationship with Sirius. Clever and sometimes cruel and cutting, Sirius strikes me as someone who is always testing the boundaries, always checking your armor for chinks, and you translate this so well to their sex life, which is so basic and fundamentally human.

I also just want to say that I love your sparse, sharp and clear style of writing. I love stories that look deeply into characters and their motivations but do it without the excess and often unnecessary or heavy descriptions. Everything here is perfectly played and perfectly paced.

Lovely, lovely work.
[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)

This comment made my forever, thank you. It's been an age since you've left it, and I know I've thanked you elsewhere but must here too.

What's important to the story is the sex, that like you say, this moment has come down to being a pissing contest, they need to get off fast and hard here -- although, it doesn't quite work like that on this day, does it? I'm so, so splendidly thrilled you latched onto the erotic elements here, because, well, they're central to Remus' confusion and disappointment and frustration.

Can't thank you enough for always being interested in my writing.

PS - This is a real man, in a real relationship and things aren't going fantastically well.

Thank you for appreciating the fail!sex, ♥.

Edited at 2009-12-06 05:34 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
This is totally amazing and sophisticated. Frankly, I am in awe of both of today's entries. You are both amazing writers.

This piece broke my heart, but it was so painfully real that I was very compelled by it. You so rarely read fics in which their relationship is real and the things that happen are things that occur in real life. This was such a small incident and yet it was so meaningful that it totally resonated.
[User Picture]
Date:November 21st, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
Ah, you know what? All of your comment means an enormous amount, but this:

This is totally . . . sophisticated.

I was completely afraid that readers would be put-off by the structure, yet even as I tried, I couldn't conceive writing it any other way; that is, with the day's backstory being bookended between Remus and Sirius' (failed) intimate moment. I didn't intend to mislead readers, and attempted to leave clues so the story was coherent, and I'm loving you forever for understanding that.

It just all goes wrong during the First War, and showing Sirius and Remus harden towards each other, having their hope torn apart because the war is even destroying the small, routine situations they share is what I tried to convey. Your comment makes me believe perhaps I have.

Thank you so much, ♥.
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
When you write relationships, be they romantic, professional or even just landlord/tenant, you make them all so very human that I walk away with the feeling that I know these people, and that I just caught a glimpse of them that showed me for who they really are.

You don't even have to give them very much time on stage. for example, Sirius' remark on how it feels to be with the Order at this time is enough to make that tense feeling of enforced togetherness appear.

I'm finding it hard to articulate what I feel being inside the head of your Remus. On the one hand, I'm completely in awe of what I learn about him through his words and thoughts, but on the other, I'm so sad at how he feels, that his laughter has died, and how angry he gets even when he knows (or thinks he knows) that there is no good reason for it. And this line: Slowly Sirius swung around, and sure enough, his expression held nothing repellant, only a hint of doubt, something lost. really hits home how suspicious Remus has become, and in turn foreshadows the doubt that we know Sirius will feel in his heart. I always thought of Remus as a person who seems to genuinely like other people, so seeing him this agressive and unforgiving is startling, and a wake-up call to what the war is doing to him and to his relationship with Sirius. So so sad, because my deepest wish for them is to be happy.

Yet this in the midst of everything: Change your surname, man.? LOL!

And Sirius in tight denims? Hot. As was the prominent display of balls. Thank you for that.

[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)

Thank you, :D.

(Brief reply is brief!)
[User Picture]
Date:October 30th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
This was absolutely excellent! Very well-written, and I loved your characterization. This is true canon. Not many can capture accurately the tension that takes place during the first war.
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, this comment made my day when I received it. Thank you for pointing out characterization because I hope everyone has a distinct voice and texture throughout this for the reader to latch on to.

And thanks for the canon plug, Team Canon Member, ♥. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Edited at 2009-11-17 06:28 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:November 4th, 2009 09:32 am (UTC)
I truly did not understand this fic at all, but liked it nevertheless.
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
Thank you! Sorry the story wasn't more meaningful, but thanks for reading, nonetheless.
[User Picture]
Date:November 4th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
omg, yes. so much yes that i really can't even elaborate more than that. other than to say that this is EXACTLY what i love about first war era fics, and you're brilliant. ♥
[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
I've already glomped you in a PM. But may I once again? Showing the complexity of The First War without being explicit, not having me tell you its implications on Sirius and Remus' psychologies is what I intended. Thanks for getting that.

Thank you for the rec, too. It made a huge difference to me and this little story. ♥♥♥

(Forgot the hearts, and they're good to give.)

Edited at 2009-11-17 06:27 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:November 6th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
I read this three times before I could think what to offer in the way of a review. The characters here are so vivid, so young and male, that their pain is a visceral thing here. This feels like intrusion to me. Which of course, is a testament to your skills as a writer that you get under someone's skin that way. This has the ultimate feel of canon. Not the Rowling canon aimed for children though but the ones where real people hurt and take it out on those they love. Canon where people can be wrecked until they betray one another.
[User Picture]
Date:November 24th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
I've told you elsewhere how much I appreciated your comment. What kind of thanks can an author give to a reader who understood all she intended to convey in her story? I suppose thank you is the best I can do, ♥.

Canon where people can be wrecked until they betray one another.

This may as well be the summary. Any way that Remus and Sirius would choose during the First War, they could not win. It all went wrong, despite their once blind love. Thank god for their mutual forgiveness later in life.

Grateful for your thoughtful reading and review.
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
You captured all of that confusion and misunderstanding and suspicion in their relationship at this stage beautifully. It was gritty, and raw, and didn't pull any punches. You showed how war and miscommunications/non communication can eat away like acid at a relationship. You showed the push and pull of a power struggle between the two of them. I loved your Remus who wasn't afraid to stand up for himself, for Sirius, or for their relationship, and who wasn't controlled and calm. He was very human, very real. They both were, but Remus was glorious.
[User Picture]
Date:November 22nd, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
Oh, man, thank you again for this comment. (Although, I still I feel as if I forced your nose into it.) ♥♥

Ah, yes, the communication breakdown is as important as this story's plot. How are they interacting as the war's climax nears? What went wrong for Sirius to cast away his relationship with Remus and avenge James (and Lily) in the manner he did, and how could Remus have taken Sirius' conviction in stride if there wasn't doubt about his innocence? And, as you say, here is Remus still standing up for Sirius as their relationship becomes more and more wasted. Nothing seemed to work, though, despite it all.

The First War brought so many storms to Sirius and Remus that they couldn't weather, affecting their acceptance of one another, their sex, their hope, and I love you read suspicion emerging in the story, because in the end, it's their loyalty which is killed, giving life to distrust.

Thank you again for reading and reassuring me that the story works like I had intended it to.

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