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Lipstick Traces, Pt 2b



---

Darren bounded up the stairs to the lobby of Christopher's apartment building and scrolled through the listings on the intercom until he found the name COLFER and gave it a buzz. "Hey!" he called when Christopher picked up. "You ready yet? I want to make sure we get good seats."

"It's a wedding, Darren. Not a Lakers game."

"I know," Darren said. "But we want to make sure we can see. If we get there late, we might get stuck behind some giant or next to some great aunt who cries through the whole thing."

"Admit it," Christopher said, a smile audible in his voice. "If anyone in our row is crying, it's going to be you."

Darren laughed. "Maybe just a little bit."

"I knew it. Be right down."

Darren stepped back and put his hands in his pockets, surveying the lobby while he waited for Christopher to appear. It was very clean and modern, though the building's exterior looked like it had been built long before Darren had been born. "Probably a remodel," he said to himself as he caught sight of a mirror and approached it to give himself a final once-over.

"Look who discovered what a razor is for," Christopher said as he appeared in the reflection behind Darren. "You clean up-" he stopped himself and smirked as he shook his head. "You look nice."

Darren smiled at him. "Thanks. You too. I'm not showing too much chest hair, am I? I know it isn't exactly formal, but you know – I want to be respectful."

Christopher poked at the tuft of hair poking from the open collar of Darren's white button-up and grinned. "I think you're safe." He adjusted the Panama hat he wore and removed a pair of sunglasses from the brim. "SPF, don't fail me now," he said as he slipped them on.

Darren opened the door and held it as Christopher passed through. "Whose car should we take?"

"Mine," Christopher said. "It's smaller and easier to park."

"That works," Darren said, following Christopher to the parking garage behind the building. "So what did we get them?"

Christopher led him to a blue Prius in the far corner of the first floor and climbed into the driver's seat. "I got them a set of commemorative plates featuring Elvis Pressley's finest cinematic moments."

Darren got into the car and stared at him. "You're kidding."

Christopher jerked his thumb toward the back seat. "Open it up and see. Rule one of gift giving: keep the recipient in mind."

Darren frowned. "I thought we'd be going in together, since we're pretending to be a couple, and all."

Christopher started the car and sighed. "Fine. Give me a hundred bucks, and I'll let you sign the card."

Darren was aghast. "A hundred bucks?"

Christopher grinned. "The King does not come cheap."

---

"This is beautiful," Darren said once they'd found a parking spot and Chris led the way to a secluded beach.

Christopher nodded. "Stiv's uncle owns a lot of real estate out here. He provided the location as his wedding gift." He nudged Darren's shoulder and urged him forward. "Come on, I think I see some weepy great-aunts with tall husbands approaching."

They made their way to a butter-striped tent and laid the gift at a long table already piled with festive packages. "I hadn't realized there would be so many people," Darren said. "I get why you didn't want to come alone."

Christopher reached for Darren's hand and gave it a squeeze. "Thank you," he said, looking in the opposite direction. "For doing this. I really wanted to be here for her, but I couldn't have done it on my own. Weddings, they're-"

"Hard," Darren said, eyes locked on the pink flush creeping up Christopher's throat. "I know my brother's was, when he got married last year. All night long, people kept shaking their heads and saying what a shame it was that I still hadn't found my match. All it did was make finding her seem even less likely to happen." He squeezed back. "I can't imagine how much harder it would be if I hadn't believed she was out there."

"But you found her," Christopher said, giving him a sad smile. "I'm happy for you, Darren. I really am. Someone as romantic as you are deserves to have their love returned."

Darren let his fingers fall from Christopher's as something inside of him lurched and the odd sensation he'd first felt that night with Ashley returned. "We all deserve that, Chris," he said as they reached the rows of white chairs lined up facing the ocean. "Even you."

---

They'd been sitting and chatting for about five minutes when a steel drum began to play. A man in a light grey suit to began walking up the aisle, followed by three men Darren assumed to be Stiv and his groomsmen. Two girls with thick bangs and bright red lips were next, all smiles as the white crinolines of their yellow bridesmaid dresses swished around their knees.

Everyone stood up as Marley appeared from a smaller tent, holding tight to the arm of a man bearing a striking resemblance to her. She wore a strapless dress with a full, tea-length skirt, splashes of yellow at her waist, on her feet, and in a cluster of feathers and roses tucked behind her right ear. "Thank you, Daddy," she said as she pressed a kiss to his cheek, wiping at a tear in the corner of her eye before she turned to face her groom. "Hi," she said, a giggle erupting from her throat.

"Hey," he said, his eyes twinkling as he took her hands. "You look beautiful."

"So do you," she said, leaning in before she stopped herself. "Guess I can't kiss you yet, huh?"

"Not yet," the man in the grey suit said, prompting a sea of tittered laughter from the guests. "I promise we won't keep you waiting too long.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said as he addressed the crowd. "We gather today to celebrate the marriage of two perfect souls; Marlene Elizabeth Raymond and Stephen Ferris Jacob. Or Marley and Stiv, as most people call them. I have been performing weddings for many years, and it delights me that the ones who seem perfectly in tune and on the same path are no longer as uncommon as they once were, but it's rare I find a pair quite so in synch as these two. Both have not the other's first name, but their nickname as their mark, and both in most auspicious places. This speaks of an innate understanding of who the other is, and a complete willingness to take them as they are. As has become the custom in recent decades, Stiv, Marley, please place a kiss on each other's marks."

Marley beamed as she spun around and kicked her right leg into the air behind her. Stiv wasted no time in lowering himself to one knee and bringing his lips to the pointed black letters reading 'STIV' just above her ankle, looking up at her adoringly as he let go and she turned around to face him. She reached for his right hand and kissed the rounded letters of her name at his wrist before pulling away and lacing her fingers with his.

"Marley can take no step without Stiv leading her way, and he may take no action without her guiding his hand. Such is the way the best of couples operate. Marley and Stiv, I truly believe, are among the best I have had the honor to know."

Marley held tightly to Stiv's hands and gave a tiny squeal of happiness as they looked into each other's eyes. Her mouth was split in the biggest smile Darren had ever seen on her, and Stiv's own grin looked ready to burst at the seams when he winked down at her. 'I love you,' he mouthed, and though Darren couldn't see her too clearly, he was sure she returned the sentiment.

"Do we have the rings?" the man asked, prompting two of their friends to hold them out for the happy couple to take. "Repeat after me. I take you as my partner not only by fate, but by choice, as well. May we continue to find the ways in which we are one, and overcome the ways in which we are not. You are in my heart, in my soul, and there will never be another." They repeated the words together as they took turns sliding rings onto each other's fingers, the utter joy and excitement they each felt radiating into the crowd. "Marley and Stiv, do you agree to this union?"

"I do," Marley said, her knees quivering with excitement as her eyes stayed locked on Stiv's.

"You bet your ass I do," Stiv said, causing a blend of laughter and gasps from their guests.

"By the powers vested in me by the Universal Life Church and the state of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife." He leaned in to bring his face between Marley's and Stiv's. "You can kiss him now." He moved out of the way just in time for her to launch herself at Stiv, wrapping her arms and legs around him as they kissed with unapologetic fervor.

"They're very enthusiastic," Darren whispered to Christopher.

"I know," Christopher sighed as he stood to clap his hands. "Isn't it great?"

---

"So how long have you two known each other?" asked a woman who'd clearly spent too much time with a bottle of spray tanner.

"About two months," Christopher said once he'd swallowed his bite of salmon. "We met at work."

"Is that so?" she asked, cocking her head and smiling at them. "Such a handsome couple, the two of you make."

"Thank you," Darren said, scooting his chair closer and draping an arm over Christopher's shoulders. "He's made me a very happy man. Didn't know what love was until this one came into my life."

Christopher smirked. "Among other places."

Darren's head whipped around to face him. "What?"

"Nevermind," Christopher said, lifting his glass and taking another sip of wine.

"You two," the woman said. "So cute. Who cares who comes where, as long as you keep it coming, am I right?"

"You aren't wrong," Darren said, raising his glass to clink against hers. "We like to give each other a hard time, but we always make up for it later."

"Usually involving other things that are hard," Christopher said, causing Darren to spray the sip of wine he'd just taken back into his glass. "What?" he asked, batting his eyes and feigning innocence.

"So how long d'you two think it'll be before we see you boys taking the leap?"

Darren pushed his glass aside and waved for one of the servers to bring him another one. "Oh, I don't know. We're still learning about one another. We have time."

"That means he has cold feet," Christopher said, leaning in conspiratorially. "Commitment-phobic, in this day and age." He shook his head. "I'll get him over it. I know I will. It's meant to be, and neither of us can argue it – no matter how much we've tried."

"So where are they?" she asked, eyes darting back and forth between them. "Y'know, your marks."

Darren rushed to unbutton the cuff of his shirt and try to pull up his sleeve. "I can't get it up," he said, frowning as it stuck just above his elbow.

Christopher took another sip and looked away. "You'd better not say that tonight."

Darren stuck out his tongue at Christopher and rolled his sleeve back down before holding the fabric taut over his skin. "Can you see it?" he asked, leaning his arm toward her. "It's right there."

"Isn't that lovely," she said, tracing the flourish of the S. "Chris is such a nice name. It really suits you."

Christopher's head snapped back to catch a glimpse of the mark before Darren let go of his sleeve and it became harder to see. "Thank you," he said, suddenly subdued. "I've always thought so."

"A person's mark says a lot about them, you know," she said, pointing a finger at Darren's arm. "That's a very special one. You're wearing your-"

"Heart on my sleeve, I know," Darren said. "I get that a lot."

"Yeah, yeah, but you got that goin' two ways," she said. "It's not just where you have it, but how it looks. You," she said pointing a finger at Christopher. "You lucked out. This guy here, he don't play around when it comes to love. He's got a lot of it to give, and he's never gonna hold it back." She took another drink of her wine. "You're a lucky man, Chris. Lucky, lucky man."

"So where is yours?" a young woman sitting beside him asked. "We've seen his."

"Oh," Christopher said, beads of sweat appearing at his hairline.

"That's a secret," Darren said, wrapping his arms around Christopher and smiling enigmatically. "Only really lucky people get to see it."

"That's right," Christopher said, cheeks pink. "It's private."

"Oh, it's down there, eh?" the older woman asked with a grin. "Good for you," she told Darren. "Good. For. You!"

"Aunt Lacey," Marley said, approaching their table with Stiv. "Are you being mean to my friends?"

"I'm just makin' friends!" Lacey said, her hand flying to her throat. "Chris and Darren here? Sweetest couple I've ever met, present company excluded, of course."

"That so?" Marley asked, raising an eyebrow as Christopher and Darren plastered large grins on their faces. "Good to know. One thing about these two - they always keep you guessing."

---

"They look so happy, don't they?" Christopher asked, hand propped on one hand as he and Darren watched the happy couple sharing their first dance in the center of the tent.

"They look perfect," Darren said, something sharp tugging at his heart. "Really perfect."

"Of course they do," Christopher said wistfully. "They're a matched set."

"I love this song."

"You would."

Darren hesitated. "Do you think there's something wrong with me?"

Christopher turned to face him. "There are a lot of answers for that question, but I don't think any of them would make you very happy."

"Ha-ha." Darren said, his tone dark and flat. "You know what I meant."

Christopher pursed his lips and jiggled his head as he fought with himself over his response. "There's nothing wrong with you," he finally said. "Really."

"You mean that?"

"I do," Christopher said, cheeks flushing as Aunty Lacey descended on them once more.

"Had to visit with some of the family. You know how it is. Ugh, aren't they a dream? Such a perfect couple. No surprise. Just like you."

"Right," Darren said, his stomach churning. "Just like us."

The song soon flowed into another, and when Marley waved her arm to encourage more people onto the floor, Aunt Lacey was quick to grab hold of Darren's arm. "Come on, let's cut a rug! I may be sixty-six, but I still got some moves in me. You," she said, turning to point at Christopher. "I'll get to you later."

"I'm sure you will," he told her, then lifted a hand to wave as Darren was dragged away.

"Such a nice boy, aren't you," she said as Darren took her hand and they began to dance. "Your sweetie, too. I just love seeing young people in love. It does wonders for the heart. Better'n Aspirin!"

"Love is pretty awesome," Darren said, not sure what else he could say.

"The best," she said, nodding solemnly. "I can't tell you how happy I am the rest of the world's finally catching on to this. Your generation doesn't want to believe it, but I'm telling you – things were different when I was your age."

"How do you mean?" he asked, looking down at her.

"No one likes to talk about it, of course," she said in a hushed tone; "but even back in the seventies, the two of you wouldn't've had such an easy time. People were ignorant, back then. They thought it was a choice, that it was something you did because you were perverse or somethin'. We know better know."

"Right," Darren nodded, remembering some of the things his teachers had glossed over in history class. "I think I remember hearing about that."

"Damn shame," she said, shaking her head. "Lots of broken hearts and broken homes before people understood it's as natural as anything else there is. One of the best things to come outta these, that is," she said, tapping his upper arm. "One people started catchin' on that, yeah, some Larrys are supposed to be with Steves, it got a lot harder to argue against. I mean, some people did, but that brought their own matches into question, and-"

"No one likes having their heart interrogated," Darren said quietly.

"Yeah," she said, looking up at him with sad eyes. "Wasn't until the mid-eighties that things started gettin' better. There's still ignorant people out there, always gonna be ignorant people, but there's not so many and they're a lot quieter than they used to be. Most people are smart enough to know that love is love, and fate is fate. You can't fight either one of 'em, and you're an idiot to try."

Darren frowned. "Idiot seems like kind of a harsh word, don't you think?"

"I don't think it's harsh enough," she said with a frown. "Love is THE greatest thing in all this world, and sooner everyone learns that, the happier they are. Mark my words."

Darren looked past her to their table. Christopher was sipping a glass of champagne and chatting animatedly with one of the bridesmaids. The young woman said something that set him off, and he threw his head back in peals of laughter, his mouth opening wide enough that Darren could count two fillings in his molars. "Yeah," Darren said. "I guess you're right."

"Course I'm right. Now, while I have you away from him; tell me more about that boy's mark. Big and bold as yours is, I gotta know what his is like."

Darren paused. "Like he said, it's kind of personal."

"Okay, okay," she said, rolling her eyes. "Give me a little something to work with, okay? Big? Little? Color? Style?"

"I can't tell you," Darren said, wishing he could at least make something up. "He'd be mad, if I did."

"He plays it close, that one does," she said, eyeing Christopher as they swayed. "No matter. I'm sure I've seen and heard stranger. Take mine," she said, lifting her glasses. "Didn't know what it was for years before I found my Morty."

Darren squinted, not sure he saw anything until she took his hand and placed his fingertip upon her skin. "Oh," he said, feeling the series of dots beneath her eye. "That's-"

"Yep," she said. "I thought it was some kind of skin condition for years until I met him. I wasn't so sure about blind dates to begin with – in the usual sense, you know - but when my girlfriend Jill kept insisting, I figured I could humor her." She chuckled. "Little did I know. Forty-eight years old, and WHAMMO! Was like bein' sixteen again, I tell you. Ah," she sighed. "He passed away last year. Miss him every day, but wouldn't trade a second with him for all the gold in Knox. That's how I know that the markings are special. They always mean more than you think. I mean, come on, how else do you explain having the name 'Morty' in Braille underneath my eye? Little too much to be a coinkydink."

"So," Darren said carefully. "If someone had one on their lip, for example, what do you think that would say about them?"

She looked into his eyes and shook her head. "Oh, honey, that's obvious. What do we do with our mouths? We talk with them, we kiss with them, we make love with them. You meet a person, first things you look at are usually the eyes and the mouth. It's a big deal. You can go a couple days without paying much mind to most parts of your body, but your mouth? You're usin' that constantly."

"So you're saying a person with a mark on their lip is-"

She nodded. "-someone who can't stop thinking about love, and who won't let go when they find it." She threw her head back and gave a little cry of joy. "Theirs will be a meeting of the hearts, the minds, the body parts of their choosing – lucky bastards. I've never known anyone who's got one there, but I think if I did, I'd be jealous. They're in for a good thing. Good things, indeed!"

"Right," Darren said, nodding solemnly as they turned and he caught Christopher's eye. "Good things."

---

"I'm so glad you got him to come," Marley said as Darren led her around the floor in a circle. "I'm sorry we had to seat you with Aunt Lacey, but I thought you guys could handle her."

"She's great," Darren reassured her. "She's enthusiastic. She kind of reminds me of Ashley, now that I think about it."

"I can see that," Marley said. "Salty tongues, complete lack of anything resembling a filter. Yeah. That makes sense."

"Sounds like someone else we know," Darren said, leaning in to kiss her cheek. "You're a beautiful bride. Thank you for letting me come."

"Yeah, well, if you really want to thank me, you can leave me a really great tip next time I see you at the diner."

"Done," he said, smiling as he dipped her and she squealed.

"Excuse me," Stiv said, tapping him on the shoulder. "I think I'd like to dance with my wife, if you don't mind."

"Not at all," Darren said, shaking his hand. "Congratulations, both of you."

"Thanks," Stiv said, taking hold of Marley's hips as she draped her arms around his neck and began to sway in time with the music.

"Can I have this dance?" Darren turned to see Christopher standing nearby, his hands in the pockets of his white linen pants and his sandals gone to whatever fate his hat and shades had already met.

"Of course," Darren said, taking his hand and pausing for a moment while they silently negotiated as to who would lead.

"So," Christopher said as they began to move to the music. "I guess we caught a lucky break."

"Excuse me?"

"Your mark," Christopher said. "That it says 'Chris.' It came in handy while Aunt Lacey was asking us questions. Hiding one was hard enough.

"Oh, yeah," Darren said, a lump forming in his throat. "Lucky." They moved in silence for a few moments before he could make himself talk again. "Look, you want to take a walk or something? I think I need some air."

"Sure," Christopher said, eyeing him carefully. "Are you okay?"

"Fine," Darren lied, wondering when that got to be a habit for him. "There's a lot of people in here. It's getting stuffy."

Christopher nodded and took his hand, grabbing a bottle of Champagne from behind the service station as they made their way out of the tent. "Let's go this way," he said, heading for the direction opposite the groups milling about. "It looks quieter."

"Thanks," Darren said, his pulse racing as his eyes took Christopher in. The long lines of his legs and arms, the curve of his back and the thickness of his hair. "You look nice," he said. "In case I didn't tell you earlier."

Christopher looked over his shoulder and smiled. "You did, but it's always nice to hear. So do you."

Darren swallowed and took a few strides forward to catch up with Christopher's long legs. "Thanks. I bought a new razor and got my hair cut and everything. I figured no one would believe your match would be as schlubby as I looked before."

Christopher sighed. "They would have, once you began to talk and showed everyone how charming you are. Is it okay if we sit down for a while? My feet are starting to feel gross."

"Should have brought your sandals," Darren said, walking up to the line where the sand became wet and kicking his own sandals off. He buried his toes in the cool, wet sand and leaned back on his hands. "I love the beach."

"So you've said," Christopher said as he took a seat beside him.

"Aren't you worried about your pants?" Darren asked.

"Not really," Christopher shrugged. "I've spent more money on work outfits that I only got to wear once. I think I'm allowed to be frivolous in the name of comfort, every now and then."

"Frivolous in the name of comfort," Darren said as Christopher popped the bottle open. "I like that."

"I would like it more often," Christopher said, running his tongue along the side of the bottle to catch some of the froth spilling from its neck. "Sorry there aren't any glasses, but I grabbed it on a whim. I promise I don't have any cooties."

"Maybe I do," Darren said, then shook his head. "I don't have cooties."

"Good," Christopher said, handing over the bottle. "Drink."

"As you wish," Darren said, wrapping his lips around the heavy glass and tilting back to take a drink. "I love champagne."

"That's one thing we have in common," Christopher said, taking the bottle back and having a drink of his own. "It makes the world feel friendlier, doesn't it?"

"Friendlier," Darren said, stretching out on his side and looking up at him. "I like that."

"I'm so surprised," Christopher said, the corners of his mouth turning up. "You're usually so cold and unfeeling." He cast a glance down at Darren and burst into laughter. "I almost kept a straight face."

"Points for effort," Darren said, reaching out to take the bottle from him. "Can I ask you something?"

"Maybelline SuperStay." Darren blinked. "My lipstick," Christopher said. "How I kept it off the bottle? That's what you were going to ask, isn't it? You were looking at-" he broke off. "Never mind. What?"

Darren opened his mouth and closed it, biting his lips as he considered his words. "Why don't you go by Chris?"

Christopher paused, the bottle still held to his lips. He darted his eyes toward Darren, then chugged for a couple of seconds; his Adam's apple bobbing in his throat as he swallowed. "I uhm, I used to," he said once he'd pulled the bottle away. "Until I was sixteen. I always liked it better."

"Then why did you change?"

Christopher laughed once under his breath and shook his head. "Same reason I did everything else. To make it easier for someone to find me, if they were looking. Christopher can be Christopher, Chris, Topher – I thought it might increase my odds."

"You don't need help with your odds," Darren said quietly.

Christopher took another gulp from the bottle and rested it in the sand. "It was a beautiful wedding, wasn't it? I've never seen Marley look so happy."

"Dance with me?" Darren asked, eyes unflinching as a new song started in the distance. "I really like this song."

"Of course you do," Christopher said as he got up and extended his hand. His palm was damp as Darren took it, and it was hard to tell if it was from sweat or the bottle's condensation.

They swayed slowly in time to the music, Darren's temple resting against Christopher's face. "I've never danced with anyone on the beach before," he said quietly. "It's nice."

"It is," Christopher admitted. "I might have to come to the beach more often."

"You should," Darren said. "One big thing, made of lots of really tiny things. It's kind of like love. We always think of love as this thing that just happens, but it's really more like a lot of little things that fall into place."

"You and your metaphors," Christopher said, and Darren could feel the smile against his cheek even as they both refrained from looking at one another.

"What can I say?" Darren asked as he took a step back and forced himself to catch Christopher's eye. "Sometimes, they're the only way to say what you're really thinking."

The air was just beginning to cool, making Darren all the more aware of how warm and solid Christopher felt in his arms. His pale skin stood out against the falling sun, the pink and blue streaks against the sky picking up the hint of color at his lips and eyes almost perfectly. 'Did you always look this way?' Darren found himself thinking as they moved together.

"Darren?" Christopher asked, shaking him from his reverie.

"Yes, Chris?"

"Are you okay?"

"Yeha, I just-" Darren shook his head and cracked his neck from side to side. "Perfect."

"Are you sure?"

"Well, I-" he broke off, taking a deep breath. "I was just thinking about how much I've enjoyed all of this. The wedding, Aunt Lacey, spending time with you…it's been one of the best days I've had in a long time."

"Me, too," Christopher said quietly. "It's been almost perfect."

Darren swallowed. "What would take away the almost?"

"This," Christopher said, leaning in and pressing their lips together.

"Same," Darren gasped, reaching up to dig his hands into Christopher's hair and hold tight. His lips parted, and he groaned as he felt Christopher's tongue slide in beside his own. His pulse was racing, his mind was swimming, and both his lips and his upper arm were buzzing as he fought to keep his legs beneath him.

"Please," he gasped when he finally managed to break the kiss. "Tell me what it says, Chris. I have to know."

"No," Christopher said, his eyes damp as he pulled away to look at him. "I can't let you be one of them."

"One of what?" Darren asked, eyes locked on the soft, pink pillow of Christopher's lower lip.

"Those guys who kiss me because they know they can," Christopher said in a tight voice. "The ones who know it doesn't matter, and don't care about pressing their lips against a mark that isn't theirs because they know they have someone else to go home to when everything is done."

"But-"

"Ceecee, Darren. You have Ceecee. I have no one. That hasn't changed." He sniffed loudly and looked away as he brushed himself off. "We should go."

"No, Chris-"

"Stop calling me that," Christopher said, his voice catching. "Please."

Darren remained where he stood. "I'm sorry."

"Yeah," Christopher said, walking forward and not looking back. "You should be."

Part 3



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( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
mead0wlark
Jul. 15th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
This is amazing.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 15th, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
rm
Jul. 15th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
I love this story and it's almost making me insane because I'm pretty damn sure I know what the mark is, and aren't you the clever one? I can't wait til it sorts out.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 15th, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you! If my current pace holds out, I think we have at least 50/50 odds that it'll wrap up within a week. This whole world just kind of kapow'd out of nowhere, and it's been in quite the hurry to get out.

I'd love to know what your theory about Chris's mark is. You should pm or e-mail me, just in case you're right. :)
likeasouffle
Jul. 15th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
OMG This is so awesome. Everything is so mysterious and suspenseful. After chapter one I could have sworn Darren's mark was Chris and Ceecee's real name that she hates was Chris and Christopher would start going by Chris... So now I assume Darren's other mark is Cecelia and he's got two marks, but it is driving me crazy not knowing what Chris' mark is! The examples of names in braille and in other languages are great because they get one's mind working, but what weird way could Darren have of writing his name? Maybe it doesn't say Darren at all and the soul mate thing is bunk. Aaaaugh great chapter. :D
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Darren only has one mark, and it does say Chris, but that doesn't necessarily count Ceecee out. We'll find out her full name before the story is through. ;>

Glad you're still enjoying it! The fishy balloon (yes, I still have it!) sends his love. :D
likeasouffle
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
LOL! Hi fishy balloon! :D
mixed_berryjam
Jul. 15th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
j[fewaqrefewafew

Chris. Darren. Guh.

Also loving ceecee's drunken escapades and Ashley - hilarious.

You're killing me with this story. And beaches and weddings and champagne kisses and jfieopwafew.

cannot wait for more <3
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:20 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! :D
(Deleted comment)
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I've been seeing this as something of a modern fairy tale from the get go, so your description just made my heart go whee! :)
such_a_steph
Jul. 16th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
so perfect ♥
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D
fabrisse
Jul. 16th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I can wait a week. *whimper*
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
You can do it! I believe in you! :D

(If you can't, you can always check out the link to the prompt on the kink meme. I've only missed one day's posting since the third. :) )
xxxraquelita
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:05 am (UTC)
This is so beautiful and oh my goodness *grabby hands*
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Aw...thank you, bb! <3
mugglegato
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
I just love the whole idea of this. And it's still driving me crazy trying to figure out what Chris' marking is. Can't wait for more. :)
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D

I love that people are so interested in his mark. I hope it's satisfying when it's revealed!
samehere18
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:55 am (UTC)
oh, Odd, you never disappoint girlie...~happy sigh~ this is yet another of your wonderful, slightly-left-of-center, blissful creations...I adore your work...the suspense is killing me, but I don't want to think too hard and spoil your reveal, it's always better to let you unspool the yarn. Thank you again for your words!
iwrotestuff
Jul. 16th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you for *your* words!

I love that you said left-of-center. It's one of the ways I'm most likely to describe myself (as well as a pretty good song by Suzanne Vega). :>
chouxi
Jul. 16th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC)
Derp! Yeah, I just want to derp derp at the ending. I can't even begin to convey the derpy feelings I have about that cliffhanger. Chris... you derp.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
We all have our derpy moments, don't we? ;>
lruck
Jul. 16th, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
Oh I'm loving this Odd! Not usually one for soulmate fic, but I would read anything you have written. I have a couple of ideas as to what Chris's mark says... But I will keep them under my hat! I adore your work, can't wait for the next chapter. Wish I could write...
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D

I've enjoyed a lot of soulmate fics, but my overactive brain always gets to wondering about how the whole thing works and the ways in which something like that could go really, really wrong and screwy and well, it's been really fun having a chance to explore that. :>

Have you tried writing? I gave up on it for close to a decade because I got frustrated and decided I'd never be any good, so it was pointless to even bother. I could barely keep things together for even one scene, and I had about a hundred notebooks and text files with a few hundred words of stuff that was never going to go anywhere. I just started writing again a little over a year and a half ago, and I think I've made a lot of progress. I still have insecurities and anxieties about it (often really bad ones), but I've kept going, and having it as an outlet has really helped. I cringe at some of the stuff I wrote back when I first picked it up again, but it's nice to see how I've improved. Don't give up! Give it a try and let it happen. :)

(Like I've been telling others, you should totally pm me your guess.)
frumiousme
Jul. 16th, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
jesus, odd. you really know how to play my heartstrings.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D
frozenphire
Jul. 16th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
I just cannot with this story. I. Cannot. It's definitely the best soulmate story I've read to date.

As with most reviewers here, I have some theories about Chris's mark, but I reckon you'll trounce them all when it's finally revealed.

Gah. <3
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I've had a lot of fun with it, and it's really encouraging to see others enjoying it, too. :D

You should totally hit me by pm with your theory. I wont' tell you if you're right or wrong, but I'd love to know how many guessed it before the reveal. :)
ilovescarves89
Jul. 16th, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
So. Many. Feelings. Seriously, I'm flailing here.

I hope you finish the story soon, because I just need to know what Chris' mark says. It's killing me and I haven't the faintest clue! But I also kinda don't want it to end, because this is just so well written I don't even know where to start with the compliments. You're making a guy insecure about his own writing over here. Please never stop writing. <3
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D

I'm afraid we've probably got another week to go, give or take, depending on how much time I'm able to squeeze. I'm guessing the final total to be somewhere around 45k, at this point. We're about 30k now, but between the two weekends, I might be able to make it happen.

Don't let my stuff make you insecure! I made that mistake about a decade ago, and ended up giving up entirely. It took ages for me to get the guts to try and write anything again, and I'm frequently upset at how much time I wasted when I might have been doing something that brings me a lot of happiness and satisfaction. Focus on the things you want to write. That's the important thing. :)
ilovescarves89
Jul. 22nd, 2012 11:22 am (UTC)
It's okay. Draw it out as much as you need to! I'm kinda enjoying the torture, ha.

Thanks for the advice. I try to let the amazingness of other writers inspire me rather than get down on myself, but sometimes I see stuff that makes me just want to go 'alright, I give up. What's the point?' but then I remember that the point is to just enjoy what I do. So I'm not giving up. :) And I'm definitely learning to just write what I want. I'm currently working on a fic with a bit of an obscure theme, and I don't really know that there's that much of an audience for it, but I'm writing it anyway. :p
chefreeni
Jul. 16th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
i don't know why I haven't commented on this yet! It's really evocative and lovely, and I love the links to songs and... accessories. :D They're all over the spectrum, and I Knew I Loved You is forever a 90's benchmark for pithy sap. Loved the wedding, it was so laid-back rockabilly vintage and of course her dress would be short so she could kick up and Stiv could kiss Marley's mark.
I like your CC, if Glee hadn't taken off I totally can see him going into a less everyman type of performing. And of course DC would be very much into shaking his underwearless ass for extra tips while tending bar, but be very particular about being not a caveman for a wedding, no matter how informal.
I know you posted pix of the people you cast, but instead I was picturing the Ceecee of New Girl when she was dancing on the table.
tl,dr. big comment is blabbly.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D

Beach weddings should always be laid back and comfortable, I think. I'm not a big fan of really big and elaborate weddings in general, but I think they're especially awkward in situations like that. How would you even be able to deal with a train with so much sand around? :>

I haven't watched New Girl since the first couple of episodes, but it's funny you say that. Zooey Deschanel was actually the first person I thought of when I began to picture everything, but I found myself thinking more of Alison Brie as I sat down and actually began to write. :>
diamond_sky18
Jul. 17th, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
I had to pause at a few points from laughing so hard, when they were at the table, especially when Darren spat out his drink because I remembered when I was just at a wedding last month and I spat my drink all over my dad's face. I had to even pause typing this lol.

Anyway, ahhh angst. The ending of this part shocked me a little, because there were a bunch of little ~moments before that but I still didn't expect.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Spit takes will never not be funny. This is just a fact of life. :D

To be honest, it shocked me a little, too. Things on the beach didn't play out quite the way I'd expected them to, and it's made getting everything after it to cooperate a bit of a challenge. Oh, boys. :/
diamond_sky18
Jul. 21st, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
I both hate and love having an idea in mind, and then you go to write it and a pile of stuff you didn't expect happens.

I'm dealing with that right now.

Sigh.

I'm patiently awaiting how the rest of this fic is going to go down. Yours, I mean.
brighton_girl
Jul. 19th, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
This is really so incredible...can't wait for more.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D
cmf
Jul. 20th, 2012 05:27 am (UTC)
aaaah! omg where's the rest?!?!?

i mean, i am loving this. keep writing! :)
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Hehehee - thanks! This week's roundup isn't as long as usual, but I promise the next one will more than make up for it. :P
whenidance
Jul. 21st, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
Just - this is why you are my favorite CC writer. SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 21st, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
*flails*

Thank you, bb. You don't know how much that means. :)
pushplaytobegin
Jul. 22nd, 2012 06:36 am (UTC)
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

*headdesk*

Your stories suck all the smart words out of my brain.
iwrotestuff
Jul. 24th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
I highly doubt that is possible, as your brain is filled with smartness. :)
mangobaby
Jul. 24th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
*flails* I know there's more, and I'm on my way to it, but omg. I love this so much. SO damn much. I just had to take a breath and let you know.

*clicks part 3*
whisperyvoices
Oct. 1st, 2013 01:18 pm (UTC)
*enthralled*

( 46 comments — Leave a comment )

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