the plains of heaven

Fic Update

Summary:  A Hook/Emma angel/demon AU. They hide in plain sight, the servants of heaven and hell. The angels and the demons, who can save your soul or damn it. They stand on opposite sides, they are the bringers of light and the agents of darkness, they are enemies in an eternal war, but what happens when an angel and a demon are inexplicably drawn to each other?

Read this chapter on ff.net here or on AO3 here

                                               Part Nineteen

Saint Luke’s was lit up against the night sky like a Christmas tree, the bright red EMERGENCY sign followed by an equal sided cross that was the universally recognized symbol of first aid across the Western world were both clearly visible from across the wide street as Emma parked her Bug in a miraculously open spot behind a van emblazoned on the side with the logo of a local news channel. Two more news vans were parked a little further down the block and white floodlights pierced the darkness, each coming from atop a TV camera aimed at the hospital. Emma stood next to her old yellow car for a moment and watched, taking in the stone-faced security guards who had come outside to hold the clamouring reporters at bay just outside of the entrance to the ER. They were like a flock of vultures, swooping down to pick apart the latest juicy carcass that had crossed their path until there was nothing left but the bones.

“-unconfirmed reports that Caroline Spencer, wife of longtime city councilman and mayoral hopeful Albert Spencer, was brought here to Saint Luke’s by ambulance from the Prince Hotel approximately an hour ago. A source has told us that Mrs. Spencer was found in a suite at the hotel in considerable distress and hotel security called 911. It is not known if Albert Spencer was with his wife at the time or the exact nature of her medical emergency, hospital representatives are refusing to confirm if she even is, in fact, a patient, citing confidentiality laws. We’ll remain on scene as this story continues to unfold, now back to you in the studio.”

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10

John Martin (1789–1854, England)

Dramatic landscapes 1

John Martin was an English Romantic painter and one of the most popular artists of his day. He was celebrated for his typically vast and melodramatic paintings of religious subjects and fantastic compositions, populated with minute figures placed in imposing landscapes. His dramatic and subjective style of composition was in stark contrast to the emerging schools of naturalism and realism, which led his work to fall out of critical favour soon after his death, however a revival in interest has occured towards the end of the 20th century, and now his major works are popular pieces of many museum’s collections.

The love we feel for the splendor of the heavens, the plains, the sea, and the mountains, for the silence of nature which is borne in upon us by thousands of tiny sounds, for the breath of the winds or the warmth of the sun, this love of which every human has at least an inkling, is an incomplete, painful love, because it is felt for things incapable of responding, that is to say, for matter.
—  Simone Weil, Waiting for God
6

The whole thing and nothing but the thing so help me gods. (x)

Pour your sorrow down my throat
All of it!
Until you’re empty and I’m overflowing
Suffering, for the both of us
Dead, alive
Somewhere between the two
Are you listening?

Tell me again all the dirty little things you did while I was grieving
I pulled you up
Dragged you from hell
Put my lips against yours
Breathed in your sin
And loved you still

I feel trapped here, on earth
But even heaven has doors
Gates, pearl or plain
Locks and keys
A hierarchy

I touch myself to the breath of you–
The memory of your finger between my lips,
Like you wanted to touch my words so badly
That you reached inside of me
Deeper,
Deeper

I want to taste your darkest secrets
Devour them, before they devour me
Am I too late?


Summary:  A Hook/Emma angel/demon AU. They hide in plain sight, the servants of heaven and hell. The angels and the demons, who can save your soul or damn it. They stand on opposite sides, they are the bringers of light and the agents of darkness, they are enemies in an eternal war, but what happens when an angel and a demon are inexplicably drawn to each other?

Read this chapter on ff.net or on AO3

                                             Part Eighteen

Going to court was nothing like the way it was portrayed in the movies and on TV. Glossy dramas set in hushed courtrooms full of dark wood panelling where telegenic lawyers in designer suits and perfectly styled hair gave stirring arguments to an attentive jury, spontaneous confessions on the witness stand or the sudden discovery of last-minute evidence that exonerated the tearful defendant while the room erupted into chaos and the judge banged the gavel and called fruitlessly for order, press conferences held on the courtroom steps under blindfolded statues of Justice with her scales held aloft while the guilty were punished and the innocent walked free as the music swelled and the credits rolled.

The reality was a rather ordinary office building with no tall columns or grand porticos, where bored cops chatted and drank coffee in the fluorescent-lit halls while they waited to be called into traffic court, husbands and wives hashed out divorce settlements and argued over child custody agreements in the mediation rooms and overworked, underpaid lawyers who hadn’t landed the plum jobs at white-shoe firms hustled to file endless reams of paperwork for DUIs and landlord-tenant disputes, the six-figure student loan balances they had little hope of ever paying off hanging over their heads like the sword of Damocles instead of Justice’s impartial scales.

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For the first time I’m doing an official fic rec list! These few are the AUs I’ve been obsessing over lately and I’ve been horrible enough to the authors to not comment on every single chapter on why I loved their stories.

Between Heaven and Hell by @alexandralyman

Author’s summary: A Hook/Emma angel/demon AU. They hide in plain sight, the servants of heaven and hell. The angels and the demons, who can save your soul or damn it. They stand on opposite sides, they are the bringers of light and the agents of darkness, they are enemies in an eternal war, but what happens when an angel and a demon are inexplicably drawn to each other?

My comments: I’ve found it amazing that I’m obsessing over it because I’m mostly attracted to fics that have angst as their main category. But this story has managed to touch me with its complexity of the characters, the depth of the story with the flashbacks and the such. I’ve been feeling I was reading a novel while reading this fic. I think I’ll be having a hard time because I read all 15 chapters in one go and now I’ll have to compromise with the updates that will come I don’t know how often. Anyway I have to say that seeing Killian having even the slightest of wishes to touch Heaven, and getting the highest flat on the highest skyscraper thinking this is the closest he can get touched me right where I didn’t expect it. The emotion they share feels so intimate and I kinda forget their statuses when they’re together, focusing only on how much they love each other.

(I wanted to scream hell yeah [pun not intended] when Emma opened her wings. Both times)

P.S. Super amazing passionate smut.
P.S.2 I love how open it is to violence and heavier issues. Also can’t wait to see the confrontation between Rumpelstiltskin and Killian.

Amaranthine by @caprelloidea (complete)

Author’s summary: In which soulmates are rare, and those that have them stop aging at adulthood. Rarer still – and dangerously conspicuous – are those that have special abilities. Immortality and powers alike fade when soulmates come in close proximity with their other half. In which Emma’s touch heals, and Killian’s kills.

My comments: Angst ahead! The one hesitation I had reading this fic is that Emma and Killian would choose to be together because Fate Said So. But this story manages to break through that and make clear that even Killian, who hated being what he was, chose himself to take this path and you see what he sees in Emma and she in him. His self-loathing is off the charts but honestly I started this fic hoping it would be. The Liam part killed me, I’d hoped it hadn’t happened this way but then I found out that it did and… I loved it. I also loved how you described Emma as suffering too, what with hearing the voices calling her to help and save them. And Gold, oh my God. When I thought that he’d found his soulmate, I was sort of happy that he wouldn’t be able to control poeple, but I hated the idea that Belle would be stuck with him. I love how the story has an open ending, making you wonder what will happen and if they’ll escape Gold for good.

The Path of Lost Souls by @curiousthingdarkness

Author’s summary: After an encounter with a dangerous criminal, Emma Swan takes in Killian Jones, a stranger that is grieving a terrible loss that leaves him vulnerable and alone. The two strangers bond over their shared experiences and discover that seeking comfort in each other may provide them with exactly what they’ve been missing. (Modern CS AU)

My comments: Even more angst ahoy! I can’t really tell you how much I appreciate the fact that Killian uses his defense mechanism to its full potential in the first chapters, and how even then his defense breaks and he cries openly. I love how Emma seemed to see herself in his broken self and wanted to help him like no one had helped her. Their short trip by the coast was so beautifully described, and the outburst they both had right before that was so realistic. I think that’s what I appreciate the most about this fic, how realistic it feels, how we can relate to the characters even if our lives have been nothing as tragic as Killian’s and Emma’s. Killian’s reaction to attacking Gold was fantastic, tragic and all but still it gave me the chills in on of the best ways possible. And again, Gold here is so amazingly creepy! I felt like I was reading a horror story in both scenes we see him. 

Going back to the CS part, I have to say I loooove the slow burn! I’ve yet to read the new update (this week has been busy!) but I can’t wait to finally see them get together, even if I still love the slow progress they’re having. Their hugs and how they’re written are so emotional!

The Beach House by @flslp87

Author’s summary: Emma Swan and Killian Jones - can their love transcend time and space to give them their happy ending?

My comments: Basically a CS AU in the style of the film “The Lake House”. This film is one of the few romantic films I’ve loved. The progress in the fic suggests a slower burn, and since it is CS, I can’t express how much I appreciate this. The characters’ lives are fully developed, you know almost every single detail about them and what kind of people they are. The descriptions, especially of the place where the Beach House is are so imaginary and beautiful and I always feel like I’m travelling there and seeing it in front of my eyes. The dog’s name is simply fantastic. As I said, the burn here seems to be slow and steady and I’m all in for it. Going by the film, I suspect some major angst on the far end and I think it will be so worth it!

Find Your Way Home by @drowned-dreamer

Author’s summary: When young Killian Jones finds himself pulled from a life as a slave to the Land Without Magic, 300 years in the future, he will do whatever it takes to get back to his brother. But instead the lost boy finds a lost girl. Will their relationship overthrow the will of Fate? Or does Fate have other plans for them?

My comments: The angst to end all angsts. I’ve teared up TWICE reading this fic and I don’t freaking cry for anything. Well I’ve had once or twice but you know, I can count the times on one hand. And then this fic comes with this teenager who loses what little he’s left and you want to wrap him in a blanket and protect from everything but you also sorta want to keep this fic going because it’s written just so perfectly, especially from a teen boy’s POV. Nothing seems like it’s going good for our troubled young man, at least until a bit the last update, Chapter 6, which I don’t think could have had a most fitting title by the way. I love how there’s only a handful of canon characters in the fic. You usually expect to find them but here you know it’s not the case. I’m actually avoiding talking about the angst truly because READ IT. If you want to see some real emotional pain and a 14-year-old hating himself and growing to become a closed-off adolescent, read the thing. It will touch your heart, rip it out and crush it and you’ll love every single second.

(Over-dramatic mode de-activated. Now go read the things!)

Fic Update!

Summary:  A Hook/Emma angel/demon AU. They hide in plain sight, the servants of heaven and hell. The angels and the demons, who can save your soul or damn it. They stand on opposite sides, they are the bringers of light and the agents of darkness, they are enemies in an eternal war, but what happens when an angel and a demon are inexplicably drawn to each other?

Read this chapter on ff.net or AO3

                                        Part Seventeen

Paris - 1794

Revolution had decimated the aristocracy and turned Paris both upside down and sideways, but some traditions continued virtually unchanged. The famous salons, where playwrights, philosophers, foreigners, women of learning, naturalists and theologians all gathered to debate and discuss various topics of interest continued while the rumbling wagons transported the condemned on their final journey to meet Madame la Guillotine every morning and headless bodies were heaped like cords of firewood in mass graves just outside the city limits every night. A man could be holding forth on the ideals of Enlightenment and be the toast of the city one heady eve, yet waken to the gendarmes come to arrest him as the newest enemy of the state come morning.

Killian handed his dark cloak to the waiting footman who withdrew with a silent bow and adjusted his lace cuffs before stepping into Madame Maleficent’s fashionable parlour. In her youth she had been a sought-after courtesan who once rather notoriously appeared at a Court masque dressed as a dragon, in a horned headdress and sporting a green silk tail longer than the queen’s own train, taught by a Gypsy street performer to actually breathe fire from a mouthful of strong brandy. She had set the Duke of Anjou’s wig alight and the servants all panicked at the sight, snatching it right from his head and dousing it in a large tureen of soup waiting to be served. The broth was spoiled, but the Duke was unsinged and she quickly became his favourite mistress. Having entered her fourth decade as La Révolution decimated her clientele, she retired from her former profession but was still quite striking in appearance and as slippery as an eel, avoiding arrest while others fell around her and holding weekly salons that maintained her reputation as one of the best hostesses in Paris.

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So I was playing magic the other night and had a 29/29 on board…
I’m so proud.
My little deck has come so far.
(Undergrowth Scavenger with Nighthowler enchantment)

Fic Update - Between Heaven & Hell

Summary -  A Hook/Emma angel/demon AU. They hide in plain sight, the servants of heaven and hell. The angels and the demons, who can save your soul or damn it. They stand on opposite sides, they are the bringers of light and the agents of darkness, they are enemies in an eternal war, but what happens when an angel and a demon are inexplicably drawn to each other?

Read this chapter on A03 / on FF.net

                                             Part Fifteen

Emma didn’t know the precise nature of Arthur’s sins, but she could make an educated guess at what was behind his smarmy white grin and dated pickup lines. As soon as he sat down at her table he waved over a waitress and ordered them both a drink and a shot, brushing off her protest that she was still working on her gin and tonic with a comment of, “Come on, live a little, sweetheart. I’m buying.”

His smile was bright but it didn’t reach his eyes, hard and flinty and calculating, he sat way too close and his fingers brushed her knee under the table when he shifted in his chair. She raised a brow at that and asked him what he thought he was doing, clearly taking him by surprise at being confronted, but he recovered quickly and played it off like an accident. It was almost believable, but to her angelic ears the lie was as clear as a ringing bell.

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