leandraholmes: (Charles Eric Kiss)
[personal profile] leandraholmes
Title: A Christmas Carol (4/4)
Fandom/Pairing: X-Men: First Class, Charles/Erik
Genre: Drama/Romance
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 4,070
Summary: Around Christmas 1962, Erik gets a nightly visit by a strange woman with extraordinary abilities who claims to be the Ghost of Christmas – Past, Present and Future. Despite his objections – after all, such things only exist in stories – she takes him on a journey to re-discover himself.
A/N: I will be posting one chapter every day, ending on Christmas Eve.
Many thanks to my two beta readers yourareunearthlything and sonicshotguns, and also merci beaucoup to gabrielmanga who helped me with some French lines in the first chapter (translations at the bottom).



Westchester, New York, December 24th

The tree was one of the most beautiful ones Charles had seen since his childhood. Tall, with the golden angel on top almost reaching the ceiling of the sitting room; fairy lights from bottom to top and big, shiny orbs in red and gold. The others had really outdone themselves decorating the living room as beautifully as possible, and Charles found himself smiling despite the fact that the warmth and happiness such a day should cause hardly filled his chest as much as a sense of melancholy that he was unable to shake off. Melancholy was, in fact, rather mildly put, though Charles tried to shove the feeling into the back of his mind.

It was not fair to the others, to Moira, Hank, Alex and Sean who had been bending over backwards to make this year's holiday season as enjoyable for him as possible; he was not unaware of their constant concerned looks, the hushed conversations that always ended abruptly when he entered a room. Charles knew they worried about him, and it made him both grateful and, ironically, a little angry, though the anger was probably addressed more at himself than any of them. He knew all too well what it was like to care and worry about people close to oneself, had caught glimpses into their minds and the worries they had for him.

"Some eggnog?" Sean asked with a smile on his lips as he leaned down to hand Charles a mug filled with the creamy-sweet drink.

"Yes, please. Thank you," Charles replied and took a small sip. "Oh, are you sure that's just eggnog? It tastes rather like you've added some rum," he said, chuckling faintly and mentally patted his own shoulder for the fact that he managed to uphold a lighthearted attitude at least for a little while. He owed this to them. And to himself.

Sean grinned sheepishly. "Um well. It's possible we spiked it a little," he said and exchanged a glance with Alex who grinned in return and then shrugged at Charles apologetically. Moira gave them both a slightly stern look, and – even without reading her thoughts – Charles guessed she may be a little worried about giving him too much alcohol to drink.

That thought made whatever happiness Charles may have achieved fade and be replaced by a sense of shame and inability.

Aside from their general concerns, Charles had also picked up on the theory that they all seemed so set on. A theory that, when diving briefly into Hank's mind after having been asked whether he was sure he felt nothing in his feet, had no less than insulted and angered him, though he had been too shocked to even show any reaction to it. However, also a theory that had planted a seed of doubt in him, had kept him up at night with the attempt to force himself to move, to examine his own mind, re-evaluate all facts and circumstances and medical evaluations. And when he finally came to the conclusion that what they were considering may very well be true, he had felt so ashamed and embarrassed that he had not been able to see the prospect of being able to walk again and instead wished it was an ultimate injury.

At least, that he could deal with, could gradually get used to being in a chair the whole time – and he had become quite apt with handling it now. Imagining that this was all just some psychological trauma, which implied – despite his better knowledge of human psychology – that he had somehow lost his mind, felt like nothing he could picture dealing with. Because it felt like he was being stupid, made him feel flawed and ashamed and even angrier with himself than he already was for so many reasons; reasons other than just the physical effect of the events on the beach. A part of him knew he should not feel that way, also knew that the others most likely didn't regard him as being responsible for his own misery, but that did not change the fact that those thoughts and feelings were there, impossible to get rid of and to even begin the healing process that would solve this mystery eventually.

"Stop staring at that present," Moira said to Sean and tore Charles from his reverie. Despite the slightly admonishing tone of voice, her features were friendly as she looked at Sean with a crooked smirk.

"You know," the boy said, "in some countries they open their presents on Christmas Eve."

"Yes, but we're not in 'some countries'. How old are you, buddy? Ten?" Alex teased and Hank shot both of them a look as if he meant to say he'd slap their fingers if they were to reach for any of the colorfully wrapped boxes beneath the tree.

Today was going to be a good day, Charles had to remind himself, focusing on the expectation of everyone opening their presents, smiling and thanking each other and filling the house with positive energy. At least, he succeeded to hold on to such thoughts for a few moments, before his mind drifted back to everything else he wished he didn't constantly have to think about, most of all to those that weren't here with them today.

For a second, he thought this very train of thought must have caused a cruel illusion in his mind, the illusion of feeling a presence he hadn't felt for over two months now, though even before that he had not so much as allowed himself to sometimes reach out for the contours of that mind, never fully diving in, because he had promised he wouldn't. But he knew the feel of it, the shape and edges of that mind, like recognizing a house from the outside without ever walking in.

Before he could ponder why his mind was playing yet another cruel trick on him, Hank jumped up as the sound of the front door opening could be heard, and Sean as well as Alex were ready, too, should an intruder have found his way into the mansion. But then, a shape appeared in the doorway, reluctantly peeking around the corner, golden eyes wide and reflecting uncertainty as well as the faint smile on her blue lips. But an enormous sense of longing and emotion that Charles was sure not even somebody without telepathic abilities could miss.

"Raven," he found himself breathe out, his voice cracking in the back of his throat as his nose started prickling and his eyes burning, and he was only very vaguely aware of the surprised gasp from Moira and the expletive from Alex.

"I… hi," she said, her own eyes filling with tears though the smile on her features was spreading. She took one reluctant step into the room, faltered for a moment and then, finally, rushed the remaining distance and knelt down at Charles' feet, her arms around his knees. "I missed you! I missed you so much," she said, her own voice weak with tears, but the joy of seeing him again was limited by still persistent uncertainty in her eyes as she looked up at him. At him, who was staring disbelievingly down at her beautiful face, unable to find the right words or even any at all, to begin with.

"Oh God, Charles, say something," she nearly begged. "I'm so sorry. I should've never left. When I learned what happened to you…" She swallowed, lowering her gaze.

For the first time, Charles found himself capable of speaking, and it was that sense of shame and frustration that made his words sound more bitter than he had intended. "Is that why you came back?"

Shock was visible in her eyes and her lips parted. "No. No, no, gosh, Charles, no. When I heard what happened I felt horrible. If at all, it was all the more reason why I didn't dare coming back. I didn't know whether you'd hate me… I still don't know… Gosh, Charles, I was so stupid and so stubborn."

"I don't hate you," he said, and a faint smile lay on his lips despite the tears making his voice thick and heavy. "I never could, Raven. You're my oldest friend. You're my sister, and I love you. I always just wanted what was best for you. I never meant to make you feel like you weren't good enough."

"I know. I know!" she almost laughed and shook her head. "I was being a brat!"

"And I a patronizing arse," he chuckled out through the tears that now spilled from his eyes. Raven let out another laugh and leaned further up to wrap her arms around his shoulders, hug him as tightly as they hadn't done for many years – which he realized now.

When he blinked away the tears and let his gaze briefly flicker over the other four people in the room, he found them all torn between trying not to stare and watching in touched amazement, and he could not hold it against them in the slightest. Though he could have let the embrace last forever, he did draw away from it and spread an arm in an inviting gesture, beckoning the others to come near.

"I suppose we'll have to set the table for one more tomorrow," he said, his heart giving a joyful jump in his chest as he looked back at Raven. "You are staying, aren't you?"

"If you'll have me?"

"Oh God, yes!" Charles exclaimed with another teary laugh as the others drew nearer. Hank was the first to place his large paw on Raven's shoulder as she got up and pull her into a hug as well, and she laughed some more as she let Alex embrace her while Sean asked: "So, you're staying for good then? Not only over Christmas?"

"Yes," she beamed, and her joy was so contagious that Charles felt it swell inside his chest, chasing off all the dire thoughts and emptiness.

"What made you change your mind?" Moira asked now, equally happy, and maybe even a little more for the fact that she wasn't the only woman among four men any longer.

The smile on Raven's lips faded somewhat then, but the joy did not vanish, was only slightly camouflaged by a hint of abashment. "Well… um… Someone told me to… listen to myself," she said vaguely, and her gaze drifted to the doorway of the living room.

Charles' gaze followed hers, confused and curious and, as proven to himself with such a sense of shock that it pressed all air out of his lungs a second later, completely clueless. Clueless because he would never, not even after the unexpected reunion with Raven, ever have dreamed to see the face again that he was now looking at; the face that became clearer for him to recognize when the helmet that had obscured half of it was lifted and Erik took one more step into the room.

And his mind, beautiful and unique like Raven's, was back in Charles' consciousness, his presence rushing into him as that night on the water when he had first felt the depths and dark edges of the other man's mind, calling him and entrancing him like nothing else before ever had, and nothing ever could. As if a part of him that he had believed to have lost forever came back to life.

~*~

Erik had expected to feel and experience a multitude of things during the long hours he had waited for this moment; when he had first made up his mind in the middle of the night in Budapest to pack up his things and check out to make his way to the airport and catch the first flight to America – for a reason he learned about only much later, he had not been able to make a connecting call to Emma Frost's house to contact Raven. When he had waited in Frankfurt, Germany of all places, for a connecting flight to New York and tried again, in vain, to reach Raven, because it would have been so much easier for him to simply ask Azazel to teleport them. Though he first had to find out whether Raven even wanted to come with him. And during the eight-hour flight that finally landed at JFK at 6 pm local time – before he finally had reached Raven, finding out the phone line had been disconnected due to a storm - he had had more than enough occasion to picture this moment. To brace himself for the things he might be feeling, things he would need to say... things that could be said back at him to ruin whatever hope had sparked and grown in him during the past twenty-two hours.

What he had not been prepared for, what he simply had not been able to anticipate, was the fact that he found himself unable to speak at all, unable to remember any of the countless things he had prepared in mind carefully. And he even found himself unable to grasp a specific emotion, other than that he suddenly felt very... young. As little sense as that made even to him.

He didn't know how much time passed then; it could have been just two, three seconds or maybe an entire minute, and he was even less sure whether he heard his name spoken out loud or only in his head or even in his imagination, but it didn't matter. It was that, as well as the look on Charles features, his deep blue eyes shining with tears and lips gently parted in wonder, that finally made Erik move. Hasty steps took him towards Charles, though he stopped at arm's-length from the other man. What words could ever cover everything that he was feeling and thinking in that moment?

“Please, somebody pinch me, or I might think I'm hallucinating,” Charles got out, his voice trembling with tears, and there was an odd, strained chuckle coming from one of the boys, and a faint sob from Moira, as far as Erik could tell. He did not look at any of them.

“Alright, maybe we.... hey do you guys have any dinner leftovers in the kitchen? I'm a little hungry,” Raven spoke and led the others out of the living room who all followed without protest. Erik was quite thankful for that, because the moment the steps of the last person faded into the distance on the hallway floor he felt tears spill into his eyes and a breathless gasp leaving his lips. He had also not anticipated just how much he'd missed Charles. Physically, desperately, and wonderfully.

“You convinced Raven to come back?” Charles' voice still trembled slightly, but there was something serene and gratuitous in it as well as he looked up at Erik who still stood at a distance.

“No. I convinced her to simply do what she'd been wanting to all along,” he replied, realizing once again how much it applied to him as well.

“And you...?” Reluctance to believe just yet clearly visible on his features, but hope all the same.

“I was a fool,” Erik finally blurted out, swallowing the lump in his throat. “I was a fool to think I could find purpose in leaving everything good I've ever had. I was such a fool, Charles. About everything.”

Another faint sound left Charles' lips, and his brow furrowed with the pained frown that spread over his entire features. He reached for the wheels of his chair to cross the last remaining distance, but Erik was faster, and a split-second later he was kneeling at the side of the wheelchair, one hand at the back of Charles' neck as he stretched up to make up for the distance their position caused.

“I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Erik,” Charles said in barely more than a tear-strained whisper, but Erik immediately shook his head, his other hand reaching for Charles' knee, wandering up to his hand to take it and grasp it as tightly as he could without causing the other man any pain.

“No, I'm sorry, Charles. I should have listened to you. I should have fought for you. Not against you. But...” There were so many things he wanted to say, wanted to explain and in return understand himself, but he did not know where to start, did not know what aspect to focus on first until he realized that none of this even mattered. Those were details, and there would be much time talking about each and every one of them.

“You were wrong in one aspect, Charles. We do want the same things. I just had to find out what I wanted most.” When the words had left his lips, it became more clear to Erik, more clear still than it could have during all those long hours when the moment of reconciliation was but another far-away dream. When he felt the soft hair in the back of Charles' neck under his fingertips, the goosebumps on his skin beneath that caress, and the hand in his holding on as tightly as he did, it was a moment of purest, simplest clarity that could not even have been foreseen in the epiphany-like dreams or visions – whatever they had been – he had had the previous nights.

“All I want is... is this. What we started together. With everybody,” he started, something wide and big spreading in his chest that was not entirely pleasant or unpleasant. And he needed to spell it out completely, needed to say the words that would express what he had denied himself to realize all along. “All I want is you.”

It was then that Charles seemed to let go of his last remaining restraint and doubts, and he leaned forward to wrap his other arm tightly around Erik's shoulders, pull him near and let the tears flow freely that forced their way out of him with unrestrained sobs.

“Can you forgive me?” Erik whispered against the side of Charles' head as they embraced more closely than he could remember they had ever done. Even in the moments they had shared most intimately, they had never held on to each other with such need and sheer desperation.

“Oh God, Erik, of course I forgive you,” Charles said more willingly than Erik thought he deserved. Maybe it would really take some time for him to be fully able to forgive himself. There was a lot to work through, for both of them it seemed. And a lot to face. Together.

When he slowly withdrew a bit from the embrace, their foreheads still touching, Erik also let go of Charles' hand and let his own gently rest on the unmoving knee, and he realized there was something else he needed to say, a second, most important truth that he needed get out now, no matter if his nightly visions had shown him the truth, and most importantly if they hadn't.

“I'm sorry for what I've done to you,” he said and heard a faint gasp leave Charles' lips, but he continued. “But you must know that none of this matters to me. So if you can forgive me for this as well, I still...” He didn't know how to say it, how to express how much he still wanted Charles, not any less than before, and probably even more now that he had gone through what it meant to lose Charles. But he did not find any words that could sufficiently express just how much he wanted Charles in every way, how much he loved him. And so he did the only thing that he could think of to let deeds say more than words and leaned up to bring their lips together in a firm kiss, suppressing his need to breathe in deeply, needing to make sure Charles understood, felt it with every fiber of his being as much as did Erik.

“Oh Erik,” Charles sighed as their lips parted, and there was something sad and regretful in his blue eyes as he looked down at him. For a moment, Erik feared that Charles would say he did not want him in this way any longer – for whatever reason; be it that he had to deal with his disability first or could not imagine a relationship of more than a platonic kind in the near future. Or ever. Though in that case Erik was determined to make sure it wouldn't be due to Charles thinking he was in some way inadequate.

“I believe I've done you a terrible injustice,” Charles continued and bit his lower lip for a moment. “You see, the bullet that hit me – which was a terrible accident in the first place, well, it didn't cause any lasting damage.”

Erik wasn't sure if Charles was saying what he thought it implied, and he could not help the faint gasp of confusion leaving his lips as he looked up at Charles with furrowed brow. He could not deny that each of the three nightly visits had left an enormous impact on him, but in the end he had found it most likely and most logical that all of them had just been a way of his subconscious to lead him to the realization that was more important than any of these details. But if they had shown the truth, had shown reality after all...

“You're not paralyzed?” It was not quite a question addressed at Charles but almost a realization for himself.

“No, I... well, technically I am since... You... you do not sound surprised. Did somebody tell you? Did Raven speak to anyone about this and they just didn't tell me?” Confusion rose and rose with each question, noticeable in Charles' tone and features, and Erik could not help but let out a faint, breathless laugh of relief.

And utter amazement.

“It is a very long story, but no, nobody told me,” he replied then and placed his hand back on Charles' knee, caressing it softly as he looked up into his eyes. “Do you feel anything?”

“I feel... happy,” Charles replied with a faint chuckle, but his legs remained unmoving.

And that was all that mattered. To Erik, at least, and he hoped to Charles as well. Whether the paralysis was really only temporary and would start lifting come tomorrow, or in a few weeks, months, years, or never, it may have initially changed the amount of guilt Erik had felt for that terrible accident, but it didn't change the way Erik felt about Charles. And it never would.

“H-how do you know this though?” Charles asked, the confusion not completely absent from his tone and features despite the lasting smile.

Erik let out a curt chuckle and lowered his gaze. “Well, I suppose I've been... Scrooged.”

“I beg your pardon?”

Another amused, if rather thin chuckle that Erik found came over his lips quite naturally. “I'll explain everything to you, but as I've said it's a rather long story. Though, if you had a copy of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' somewhere around here...”

“You're not making any more sense, I'm afraid,” Charles said, confusion mingling with amusement as well, though he did take another deep breath and blink away the moisture – tears of pure joy now – that formed in his eyes. “But you're right. We have all the time in the world for you to explain.”

“Well,” Erik shrugged. “I suppose I'll take that as a gentle hint that we have a Christmas party to continue?”

“If you don't mind celebrating it.”

He shrugged again, though his hand remained on Charles' knee, caressing even though the other man couldn't feel it. “You do know your Jesus was born in late summer anyway, don't you? So, no, I don't mind celebrating a Pagan holiday.”

Charles laughed out, freely and in pure amusement, and shook his head. “Oh, my friend... My love. How I've missed your sense of humor,” he said and gently caressed the side of Erik's face. It was impossible then to resist to lean in for another kiss, and this time the contact of their lips lasted longer, more tender and patient to slowly re-built what had never been fully broken.

The others could wait just a minute longer.

~ The End ~

A/N: There'll be a New Year's Eve sequel to this, for those of you who have been hoping for a chapter with a slightly higher rating than PG-13... if you know what I'm saying ;)
I hope you did enjoy the story and its ending. Merry Christmas to you all! :)
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-12-25 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] atroppa.livejournal.com
+100000000000

Date: 2011-12-25 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
I'm staring to find it adorable how you guys throw in some big words and state something is wrong/problematic, yet entirely failed to explain how and why, especially after all the questions that I've raised. ("Ok, if this is problematic, how about this and that?" - "ignore ignore. It just IS. You're evol!")
Cute ^^

Btw, my beta reader yourareunearthlything is Jewish. She helped me find out the Hanukkah dates for the years mentioned.

It's also absolutely adorable how you all immediately assume, without a doubt, that I am of 'privilege'. Even after I once mentioned in the comments that I have something that can be counted as disability, which I'm not going to disclose in public because it is too private. None of you bothered to ask via PM what that was or give that a second thought. You all just set your mind on something, and no matter what I said, you wouldn't be satisfied. I bet the only thing that would have made you happy would have been me deleting the story and apologizing in public for ever having written something so horrendous.

Um. No. Not gonna happen. So yes, you're right. In one regards: it's a lost cause.

Oh, and I'm still curious as to - because nobody ever answered that either - you go about hunting down other stories where Charles regains his ability to walk as well. In the light of equality, I think you should really do that. Shall I give you a list of the ones I know?

Or are you finally realizing how (adorably) silly you are?

Date: 2011-12-25 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You don't mention Erik's being Jewish once in a Christmas-themed story, or Chanukkah, for that matter, and your Tumblr is filled with things like Charles and Erik in Santa hats and acerbic diatribes about how everyone who doesn't 'get' your vision is a politically correct-obsessed whiner. That's all [livejournal.com profile] usakeh is pointing out.

Also, the fact that you keep immediately going back to, "Well, if I had Charles' disability, I would want it fixed" is what is grossing people out. It's ableist* to assume that disabled people are broken. Also, for all your yammering about how "it's just fiction!" and how all medical shows should be cancelled and all doctors fired for trying to cure ailments, you keep bringing up your real-life lactose intolerance and bacne an awful lot as a parallel. Obviously, the story is heavily overlaid with your disgust/pity for Charles - which, by the way, isn't something that happens in every story where he might regain his ability to walk. That's all you.

Same with your conclusions that "I bet the only thing that would have made you happy would have been me deleting the story and apologizing in public for ever having written something so horrendous." Nobody has threatened you with anything in this entire debacle. On the other hand, you have consistently tried to drum up sympathy for yourself on three different social networking sites, bad-mouthed everyone who doesn't 'agree' with you, and then block them from defending themselves while you continue to complain about them publicly.

* It's pretty easy to run a Google search for "ableism" and/or "privilege" since you obviously don't understand what they mean.

Date: 2011-12-25 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Oh hi, I'm really sorry that you apparently seem to have a reading-disability. Privileged with my extraordinary mental prowess as I am, I immediately assumed you must possess the same capacities. But to explain it to you: In the first chapter Hanukkah is mentioned, and Erik does raise the objection toward the "ghost" that he is Jewish. You obviously had difficulties reading those words. (I'm not going to assume you to be so rude as to troll someone's journal and not even having read the fic in question).

I am also terribly sorry for being so rude as wanting physical integrity as good as possible. Apologies from me and in the name of every person that ever got treatment for any kind of physical condition/disability. We are very sorry to have offended you.

My lactose intolerance was just one smaller thing in a list of several, in addition to a thing I have and cannot (easily, risk-free and affordable) get fixed. Again, I'm feeling really sorry for your incapacity to read. It must be so difficult to go through life like that.

Yes, I am horribly disgusted by people in wheelchairs. Of course, I said that. And I meant to imply just that. Of course. Wheels are just icky. I'm also terribly scared of cars.

Yes, I have blocked people. Actually, just one though. One person that shares your reading-disability and could somehow not understand my saying we had long reached a dead end and would not come to any agreement, hence could abandon the discussion as it led nowhere. I then made the mistake to assume the person was just being daft and rude, instead of acknowledging my superior reading comprehension as something quite unusual.

I am also really sorry I ever mentioned my feelings. Obviously, my hurt feelings < your hurt feelings.

I'm sorry, but I don't know how google works. I'm too dumb to use it. Ohh, but there's that manufacturer for washing machines called Privileg.

Date: 2011-12-25 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
LMAO! you rock my sox!

IMO this entire argument is invalid in the first place since there's this tiny,insignificant thing called "artistic license" which gives leandralocke the right to cure Charles' paralysis,acne,hair loss and god knows what else. in short (and I'm not gonna be PC about it so sue me!): she can/will write whatever she bloody well wants. I for one didn't see the "offensiveness" of the story line she chose to use....maybe I'm not as morally developed as you are, my dear trolls.

constructive criticism is all fine and dandy this however was just pure trolling and very destructive, not to mention the fact that these trolls were using ableism in a very cynical way, nothing but self-righteous crap based on absolutely nothing, in short : a witch hunt.

If it were me I'd tell you all to piss off but I guess she's a better person than I am and was trying to actually explain herself , to no avail.




Date: 2011-12-25 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
IMO this entire argument is invalid in the first place since there's this tiny,insignificant thing called "artistic license" which gives leandralocke the right to cure Charles' paralysis,acne,hair loss and god knows what else.

Artistic license doesn't mean that your, say, racist story isn't racist. Let's say a character is black in canon, but I have him turn white magically because he's more "whole" that way. Wouldn't that be artistic license as well? According to you, yes. Does that make it not racist? I hope that you can see that it would not (make it not racist, that is). Now, [livejournal.com profile] leandralocke has the right to do what she did, but it doesn't make her (or her story) not ableist.

Date: 2011-12-26 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
And yet again, as I've previously mentioned you're continuing to use ableism (and now racism as well) in a very cynical way.
to me the story is neither racist nor ableist.
and not canon (it's called AU!!) is a punishable crime by your standards it seems. god forbid we write something that isn't canon! is there a word for that as well? canonism?

Date: 2011-12-26 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ohschmidt.livejournal.com
LOL. Please, show us where anyone has expressed a problem with AUs rather than just sub-par fanfics.

In the interest of wrapping this up, here is a concession: If Leandra had not been a dick whenever anybody told her they thought her reaction to criticism was skeevy, this whole thing could have been avoided. Obviously, artistic integrity only counts for so much when you go out of your way to change the ending of the story - that is, on some basic level, she seems to agree that her original idea was ridiculous.

Date: 2011-12-26 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
And banned. Go on create new accounts (as this one clearly is). One more and I'll report you to LJ for trolling and harassment of other users. I don't want you here. This is my journal. So please, kindly, fuck off.

Date: 2011-12-25 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's never been about your feelings. It's about asking you to educate yourself about something you don't seem to have considered previously.

Date: 2011-12-26 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This is not about artistic license.

This is not about your power and authority as an author.

This is not even about whether this story is offensive to "most" people.

This is about you acting like an asshole, [livejournal.com profile] leandralocke. You keep airing your dirty laundry on every social network you can find and then you complain that strangers are "trolling" you. I've followed the whole debacle, and you are the one who is trolling. They're trying to explain how you offended them, and you ignore it all and crow about how you know everything and your opinion is the right one.

This is not the first time you've done this. I am someone who was (until now) on your friendslist, and I've seen this attitude of yours shine through several times. Your over-the-top behavior the last couple of days has made me afraid to comment with my username, because I worry that you'll take your vindictiveness even further and ban me from a community you moderate. Congratulations.

Since it hasn't seemed to sink in yet, here is what you did wrong and why everything you say makes you look like an asshole:

When someone says to you, "I'm uncomfortable with what you've said, I think this is problematic," you should say, "I'm sorry if you were offended. Would you mind sending me a private message to tell me what exactly makes you uncomfortable and how can I fix it?"

You didn't do that. You tried to justify your choices, and then dismissed the people who were offended and tried to publicly humiliate them on Twitter and Tumblr. When more people came to tell you you were behaving like a child, you did the same thing, even blocking them to keep them from speaking up against the lies you're spreading about them.

It's not trolling or flaming to disagree with and call you out on your bad behavior. It is trolling to act the way you have been, especially the comment I'm replying to. I'm embarrassed to say I ever had you on my friends list.

Date: 2011-12-26 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Hi Delia. Bye Delia. ^^
And I dunno. My definition of trolling is not one person complaining about things but SEVERAL people coming after them and commenting on and on and on and sending their friends after that person to do the same, keep coming after being blocked. But obviously we have a different definition of trolling.

And it's funny, because I suppose you may be referring to a discussion in the past where I found something highly problematic and you were all for freedom of kink (child abuse fics btw, and imho child abuse tops any kind of -ism, but maybe that's just me). You're being quite the hypocrite now.

Anyway, have a nice life. And it does not speak FOR you that you think so badly of other people to expect I'd stoop so low as to ban you from _pinto... which has NOTHING to do with this.
(deleted comment)
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-12-25 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Fixed :) Merry Christmas. ("Everyone else" before you being ONE person. I suppose you're mathematically challenged)

Date: 2011-12-25 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spider.livejournal.com
I'm not even in this fandom, but I am a Jew and I did read this story, and I'm just putting it out there that you are 100% right to be disgusted by this ableist, anti-Semitic bullshit.

Date: 2011-12-25 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Hahahaha, ooooh good one. Now you're just cracking me up. ^^ It's because I'm German, right? You read that somewhere and thought you had to make a pun. Funny, really funny. Sure my Jewish beta-reader (who helped me find the Hanukkah dates for the years mentioned in the fic, like... where I mentioned Hanukkah? You remember? Since you've READ the story? Where I mention that Erik had celebrated it with his parents?) will be highly amused about this comment as well. Or the Jewish friend of mine that celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas every year with his family and always wishes me a happy Christmas.

Date: 2011-12-25 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spider.livejournal.com
Your Jewish friends don't care, so that totally makes it okay!

I direct you to the classic OMG I CAN'T BE RACIST I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS argument. Google it, I promise it'll blow your little mind.

Date: 2011-12-25 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Sorry. But I REALLY don't care enough. Bye bye

Date: 2011-12-26 08:53 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I have to post anon since I don't have a LJ account (nor do I want one after reading the stupid troll comments regarding this fic).
but my tumblr url is : http://yourareunearthlything.tumblr.com. so you are welcome to comment (or troll probably....)

a) the fact that you're using a Natalie Portman icon doesn't make you Jewish.
b) saying that this fic is Antisemitic is a very serious accusation, back it up with proof! what specifically in this fic was antisemitic?
c) I'm Jewish and I didn't read one word that I've considered antisemitic in this fic.
d) if you're not a part of this fandom what the hell are you doing here?

and finally, if you really are Jewish you might understand that (too bad I can't use hebrew fonts here) : at para stooma veboosha la-am hayehudi...

IMO all those trolls might be the same person posting under different accounts.

Date: 2011-12-26 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ohschmidt.livejournal.com
It's not trolling if people are forced to comment anonymously/using other accounts. Also, I assure you, there is more than one person involved at this point.

Date: 2011-12-25 04:03 am (UTC)
avictoriangirl: (x-mas kissing)
From: [personal profile] avictoriangirl
Oh, this was just lovely! And I'm looking forward to the sequel! ;)

Date: 2011-12-25 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Aww thank you :)

Date: 2011-12-25 09:20 am (UTC)
ext_27141: (X Men ErikCharles)
From: [identity profile] telperion-15.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this! Christmas fluff of the highest order!

And am also looking forward to the sequel! :)

Merry Christmas!

Date: 2011-12-25 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Thank you ♥
And merry Christmas to you too.

Date: 2011-12-26 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rebootfromstart.livejournal.com
The first chapter is heartbreaking, and I loved the line about Erik not being able to connect himself to anything but revenge anymore. I also loved his sass at the Ghost, with "Hanukkah, right?" "Finished yesterday." It was nice to see that even in the depths of despair and self-recrimination, he still has his snark.

The psychosomatic paralysis is an interesting idea, and I liked Hank's theory about Charles's powers enforcing it. It's possible that it might have been explained a little better by the thought that swelling in the muscle around the spinal cord caused a temporary paralysis that his powers convinced his brain was permanent, since medical tech in the 60s wasn't great and the doctors might well have told him to prepare for the worst just in case, and in trying to prepare himself for the possibility of permanent paralysis he flipped that switch in his mind, but I think you explained it reasonably well. We can convince ourselves of all sorts of things; the brain's kind of scary like that.

I really like the callback to X3. Disliked the movie, but the continuity nod was nice. Older!Erik being so broken was heartwrenching, but also pretty IC, in my opinion. I can see him crumbling without his powers, since he's spent so long defining himself by them. I also like the contrast between the younger Erik's rage and the older Erik's resignation; it's a poignant touch, I think, the idea that he's finally learned what he needed to, too late.

Charles's point of view was sad, in a very quietly dignified sort of way, if that makes any sense? You got across the difficulty he's having with his condition, and I liked the touch of anger. It's not easy going from being able-bodied to needing help, and his resentment at the need for Moira to be concerned was very realistic, at least from my experience. I also think his rejection of the idea that his paralysis might be psychosomatic was very realistic, especially for someone like Charles, who's always had such control over his mind and his powers.

The reunion between Raven and Charles was lovely. I liked that Charles admitted he could be patronising, even with the best of intentions. I also liked that Erik kept the helmet on until afterward; it felt like he hadn't wanted to distract Charles from being happy about his sister being back. And then, of course, the reunion and reconciliation between Charles and Erik. Erik admitting that he was wrong, that they do want the same thing, was lovely. And again, Erik's snark about not minding celebrating a pagan holiday because Jesus probably wasn't born in December was amusing.

I have to say, I do like that you didn't have Charles recover immediately. I think it would have felt a little too neat and convenient for him to suddenly be able to feel his legs just as Erik came back. I also like that you haven't definitely stated one way or another whether it is psychosomatic or not, because that's something that's difficult to tell. I do like the possibility of him being able to work through the psychological block; it ends the fic on a nice, hopeful note without being trite.

All in all, I loved this, and I'm very much looking forward to a sequel. :)

Date: 2011-12-26 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
Wow, thank you for that lovely and detailed comment.

About the explanation: Yes, I admit, it was a bit difficult to write that bit because Erik is just a silent observer, and I didn't want to bring in too many explanations because it wasn't the first time they had been discussing this, and it wouldn't have sounded authentic if they had explained too much. With the help of [livejournal.com profile] speak_me_fair I made some additions to stress Erik's confusion and bring across that the topic IS, in fact, not sufficiently explained. That he'd like to ask questions to learn more about it to understand what exactly is going on, and how it's even possible, medically and in detail.

But there's the sequel ^^

I'm also glad you liked Charles' POV. It was greatly inspired by that one entry by a woman who spoke about her own condition of psychosomatic paralysis, and another by a friend of another woman who had the same. The first said she felt so ashamed and stupid as soon as it started to sink in that this must, indeed, be psychosomatic. I wish I had bookmarked it, but it was in German anyway.

And yes, I thought someone that's before always been in charge of things, always the one to take care of others, would feel very insignificant if the roles were suddenly reversed. I think that's something many of us can relate to even if we don't have the same condition. But many of us have been in similar situations where we suddenly find ourselves unable and in need of help.

And I think you're right about the ending being open. I had initially planned for it to be a bit of a "Christmas miracle" but that would have ended up being TOO cheesy. (Cheesy is an accusation I'd have gladly accepted ^^). So, all that criticism did leave some impact and lead to me probably writing a better story in the end than I would have. Though that still doesn't seem enough for some people, but oh well...

Again, thank you so much for that lovely comment.

Date: 2011-12-26 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ohschmidt.livejournal.com
You can quit sucking [livejournal.com profile] speak_me_fair's balls anytime, now.

Date: 2011-12-26 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leandralocke.livejournal.com
I'm not sucking anyone's balls. [livejournal.com profile] speak_me_fair and I had a really nice, polite and civilized discussion in which we found common/middle ground and she helped me improve things by explaining herself politely and sufficiently. It was a really great example of constructive criticism, and my reaction to her would have been the same to everyone else if I hadn't been insulted, accused, outright not listened to (you guys do know that there are things like MISunderstandings right? - And a misunderstanding doesn't have to be one party's fault alone but mostly is caused by BOTH poor expression and wrong/preconceived perception).

But why am I even commenting. You people are - excuse me - to daft to understand the basics of a) constructive criticism b) civilized disputes and differences in opinion and, most of all, c) how to fucking treat other human beings. H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.T.E.S!

Date: 2012-01-02 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melonbutterfly.livejournal.com
I must say, I quite enjoyed this story! And I didn't feel like you handled the psychosomatic paralysis insensitively at all, especially since Charles didn't miraculously regain his ability to walk as soon as Erik came back. To be honest, I really like the idea of psychosomatic paralysis – it does fit into comic canon better, doesn't it, what with Charles still being able to walk when he meets Jean AROUND TWENTY YEARS LATER COUGH. I very briefly considered reading the wank, but, really, I didn't even care enough to give it that much attention.

Image

Moving on to more important things!

What I really enjoyed – of course – is the end, the whole scene with Raven appearing and then Erik lurking about while she and Charles make up and then Raven ushering everybody out again, and of course when Erik and Charles make up. It was just sweet and fluffy and wonderful all around!

I really like how involved Raven was in this, first the thing with Erik abandoning her and the impact that has on her and then her coming back and making the first step towards Charles. Many stories just sort of gloss over the fact that hey, Raven is there as well, she left too , perhaps this had a huge impact on Charles as well? She and Charles were all the other had for quite a while, she's very important, and I feel you did that aspect justice. (That is something I am not sure I handled well (or, say, AT ALL…) in my story, but it was mostly Erik's POV so I wasn't sure how to include it.)

So, I loved this! :) It's a wonderful story.
Edited Date: 2012-01-02 02:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-01-04 05:56 pm (UTC)
ext_42580: icy kitty (Default)
From: [identity profile] clexy-operative.livejournal.com
aww :D ....sweetest X-Men Christmas Carol ever!!!

Date: 2012-01-06 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shameless-klutz.livejournal.com
Ah! Just finished this. And it was perfect! I love it. I'm trying to figure out which 'ghost of...' was my favorite and I honestly can't decide. I love them all. But God that last one. On top of Charles and the pic of Raven and the chess piece. T__T You broke my heart. But then you fixed it with Raven and Erik at the mansion. :3

Also screw all the haters. I can't believe the bs I've seen in the comments. It's ridiculous. People need to get over themselves and stop being so damn touchy. Just know I loved the story!! I thought it was a unique take on the post divorce that I haven't seen before. ♥

*off to read the sequel*

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