It was only a few months ago that I started realising how the Fletcher Gen 7 story had a freaking lot of inconsistencies and, let’s be honest, was written quite poorly. I won’t mention all the illogical moments that made me cringe upon reading it again, but I could have done much better with bringing the idea to life. I think I was just rushing the legacy instead of sitting back and giving the story some thought. Even though it was a background for Nate and Tobias, I was only getting to know them, and it’s no wonder their personalities were presented in a wrong and weird way. I claimed they were close friends, but they barely talked and only made assumptions about each other’s feelings (just like everyone in that story, it felt like all the characters were strangers, even if they were supposed to be family/friends/couple). Their attraction at times was only shown as physical, when they are and always were so much more than that for me. Despite it being a starting point to one of my best ships ever, it wasn’t the piece of writing I can be proud of.
I’m not deleting the original story, but I gave it a lot of editing so it became at least slightly tolerable. One thing I edited out is Tobias running away from home in a typical teenage fashion, leaving a note the night where he made it clear that he was bullied, and no one was looking for him (!!!). Everyone was just sitting there and crying because suffering is edgy and cool, while their son/brother/cousin/best friend might have been god knows where. For that scene, I was actually inspired by other stuff which wasn’t messed up to that extent, and I have no idea what was going on in my brain and why I even thought it’s okay. First of all, runaway storylines aren’t that simple – I won’t go into details, but doing a story with these themes requires a lot of research. Second of all, it’s just not Tobias. He was presented as a selfish asshole who wouldn’t even try to help his best friend and only thought about his own feelings, which didn’t seem to be real love. Love is when you’re ready to move the mountains for that person, and he was a complete opposite of that. Later, when I started writing other stories with him, I learned how wrong I was for portraying his personality like that. I never really thought of it in depth, which was a mistake because if you write, you have to think in depth. But Tobias, the real Tobias, would move the mountains. He’d do anything for Nate. He’d die for him. He knew his Nate. If something seemed off, he’d never throw a tantrum and leave him in danger, making everything about himself. He’s hot-headed, and stubborn, and may be many things, but he’s not a whiny child who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He’s not heartless.
So, this post is mostly to say that Gen 7 Story isn’t valid anymore. It stays up on my blog as a reminder of my first attempt to write about these characters, and an indication of me growing as a writer. But it isn’t a part of canon anymore. Uni AU is the main canon universe between Keith’s accident arc and the Nabias marriage, and Adventures pretty much represents how they really are too, even if it is a bit more of a fairytale than Uni AU. Even those small stories like One Year of Partly Cloudy show them in a true light more than the original one.
Tobias Fletcher is the guy who waited for months for the time machine to save Nate, even if Nate was brainwashed into killing him. He believed in him until the very last second, and saved him with the power of his love. The ending scene is how they’d normally talked out their feelings for each other. I’m quite proud of that story, actually. I feel like I redeemed him in it. In Uni AU, I’m trying to show both of them as real humans with real issues, but they still care about each other more than anything.
While Gen 7 story wasn’t perfect, it was experience, and I got to learn the true personalities of Nate and Tobias much later. Hopefully their real bond was visible in Adventures and will be visible in Uni. You may say I’m making a big deal out of it, but Nate and Tobias… So far, they’re the dearest and the most relatable characters for me, and it almost feels like I won’t let anyone represent them in a wrong way, even my past self. I hope I showed the true side of them since then. I hope that mess of a story will be forgotten and replaced by who they really are, which I’m trying to show now. I’m saying that not just because I’m self-critical, but also because I’m willing to develop, and my characters, who mean a lot to me, have to grow along with me. I don’t want them to be “simmy”. Some stories of mine, especially legacies and challenges like BCs, are kind of “dictated” by sims mechanics so it’s hard to make them realistic, and it’s perfectly okay, but this is not the case. These two have potential to become more than a part of half-assed storyline. I want to put thought into them, make my writing better through them, and endow them with real life qualities. It’s my goal for Nabias, and (I hope) for many more characters in the future. That was a lot of text, so if you got this far, thank you for reading, and hopefully what I’m trying to say makes sense.
Hello there! Long time, no see (my bad I know) but, here: an Alicia Zimmermann-centric piece as she goes to Parents’ Weekend during Jack’s freshmen year. [focus on Alicia, Jack, and Shitty] 6k
Somewhere, deep in her heart, Alicia Zimmermann knows she is a bad mother.
It started out as a worry, as maybe it does for all new mothers, that she will be a bad mother. That she won’t know what to do with a baby or a toddler that one day she will accidentally drop him or forget to feed him or feed him something he is actually allergic to or maybe she’ll scar him emotionally somehow and she worried but she survived his childhood okay. And then, after he was five or six, she stopped worrying about it. She thought she was doing pretty good. Jack had hockey and loved hockey and, sure, they didn’t have deep emotional talks but she didn’t exactly have any basis of comparison. Television families told her she was doing okay. No teenage boy wanted to have deep talks with his mother. And, look, if Jack didn’t talk to her all that much as he turned 12 and then 13, at least he was still talking to his father. Mostly still about hockey but she… she thought that had counted. Hockey was like French, to her. Another language she could understand but couldn’t quite speak. But Bob could. He was on top of it. Jack was taken care of.
She loved Jack. That was never the problem. The problem was that her love wasn’t enough. It didn’t matter. It didn’t alert her to any of the facts and maybe it even blinded her– She loved her son and her son loved hockey and so she loved hockey too. She loved her son and then her son seemed to love a boy named Kent and they never talked about it but she let Kent come over all the time and she figured they would discuss it at some point. She just… assumed everything was okay. Even after he was diagnosed with the anxiety disorder and given pills. It was always… well, that was a little problem but it’s handled and under control and everything is okay now.
See. Bad mother.
A good mother would have known somehow.
A good mother would have pushed and prodded or sensed it without even having to be told.
A good mother would have paid attention to how hard Jack was on himself. A good mother would have made sure her son had interests outside of hockey. A good mother would have known that Jack’s long silences after losses weren’t normal. A good mother would have preached balance and fostered friendships with different types of people and stopped the fucking hockey.
She didn’t though. Stop the hockey. No, not Alicia Zimmermann. She encouraged it. She went to the games and cheered the loudest and she even loved it a little bit because she thought it brought him joy, like his father. She bought into the vision: Jack playing hockey like Bob, the Zimmermann legacy continued throughout the ages…
God, she even used to tease Jack about how it took his father three years to win a Cup and she was sure Jack could manage it faster than his old man.
A good mother wouldn’t have done that. So, see, she’s always been a bad mother. Even now, now that she’s almost lost him, now that she’s promised to do better, now that she’s finally read all the books and online articles about anxiety and pressure and the danger of sports and hockey culture… now she’s still just as bad. Just for different reasons.
Now she is a bad mother because it’s Saturday afternoon and he’s been at Samwell for almost three months and she does not feel like mothers are supposed to feel in this moment.
She glances around. At the sea of other mothers and fathers crammed onto Samwell’s campus for Parents’ Weekend. They are not nervous. They are excited. Happy. Enthusiastic. Overjoyed to see the teenager they had left just a couple months ago again. To her right is a father almost (but not quite) breaking into a run to give his son a hug. To her left, a mother has burst into tears. Happy tears.
And then there’s her. She’s not excited to see Jack. Well, no. No, it’s not that she’s not excited. She is. She is. (She is. She repeats it once more just to remind herself). She is just…
She is nervous too. More nervous than she is excited.