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for Pep Talk

9/12/2020 c1 44RobertCop3
OH. MY. GOD. You know, a part of me kind of hates you right now. ( ;

Because I've gotten compliments in my own writing on capturing the side of Mary that everyone sees: gruff, aloof, always in control, a red meat and motorbike gal. But she has another side to her, that raw, emotionally vulnerable side that only a few people get to witness. I haven't done enough with that side of her, and in this story... you NAILED it. I mean, she's so broken down that she actually says her SOUL MATE would be better off without her. It's harsh, but... her pain and anguish are executed so beautifully. I hope that doesn't make me sound like a sadist. :p

The role reversal was also beautiful. It reminded me of King's bout with wine and Percocet, except this time Mary was the drunk one, who needed a shoulder, and King delivered. However, King's style seems a little different. The slap was very much "her," but she wasn't wrong. Nor was she wrong in any of her counters. But the main reason we know Mary isn't a bad person is because she said she was in the first place. If she were bad, she wouldn't be showing any remorse or questioning herself, because a person who was truly bad would do all that stuff and sleep peacefully at night. And she wasn't entirely wrong with some of her actions. Maybe she got carried away with Ryo, but with Gun Guy... dude got paroled after a year, and the very first thing he did was go to the bar for some psychological torture. Yeah, the system clearly failed there. When that happens, gotta think outside the box.

And then at the end, King was just there. Falling asleep on the couch with Mary on her shoulder because that's what her lady-bro needed. Friendship goals, indeed!

This was a beautiful story that took a tough girl and just cracked her tough exterior wide open. It's a testament to how much I've loved watching them grow as I've read about them in your fic-verse. Thank you for gifting the fandom with this one.
9/8/2020 c1 134jojoDO

So... wow. I feel lots of emotions for this. Because as you well know, I myself have been critical of Mary in her recent goings, NOTABLY the uh... incursion on Ryo. I found myself feeling the same things Mary herself feels in this story, so it really feels like... it's all coming around. We've seen Mary reflect on herself as of late, but this MOMENT... was when it really just overtook her. And I saw every real bit of her sorrow and remorse. Now I think I understand your Mary better than I ever did, even though I will never agree with what she did to Ryo.

Not sure if I've ever said this before, but I'm very fascinated with the role switch here. King has always been the leading lady in your universe, since the beginning, since the very first chapter of this unholy life. King has always been the one who's lost, hurt, having others to lean on (even when she doesn't ask for it)

But this is proof that you've evolved so much as a writer, because MARY is the leading lady now. She's the one at war with herself, because her character has grown and changed just as much as King has, despite her starting off as only a supporting character for King. This is HER moment, to be hurt, to be vulnerable, and it's King's turn to be the support, to shoulder it with her, just as Mary has been her crutch in the past. Really beautiful stuff.

I'm not sure Mary's okay, but having a friend there to talk to made things bearable for her another day. Now she can at least wake up tomorrow and keep going. In closing, I just want to say, I feel like the weight both of these ladies carry for each other has become EQUAL, when in the past, I think Mary was the one bearing all of King's weight. It really is a perfect friendship.

Take a bow, illyrilex.
9/3/2020 c1 iwewia
A showcase of how deep their bond truly is. King's intrusive thoughts, Mary's depressive episode, and yet, all they want to communicate to one another is the love they feel.

This chapter is so difficult to review due to me not finding the right words to write in this space... I'll try.

What constantly amazes me in your writing is the complexity of the daily lives of these characters. You take iconic fighters and expand upon canon in a way that goes beyond overused fanfic tropes - and you know all of that already.

Here are the knots of the past, burdens of the present and uncertainty of the future. It's a battle of health, of conscience, of trust... The vulnerability in their friendship is something so raw! It's more than a "pep talk"! This is not a "you go girl", it's "you've f-ed up for this reason and I understand you and I love you". You've reached new heights with this chapter. You're not writing gal pals who are just sassy to one another, this is found family!

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