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20 September 2008 @ 07:28 pm
fic commentary, lost: Make Your Own Kind of Music for falafel_musings  
And here we are with commentary #3, this time for Make Your Own Kind of Music and falafel_musings; beware that it contains quite a lot of rambling by yours truly and that since I had lost my definitive draft, I worked on the first one adding whatever differences there were from the version I had posted. But if something is weird or different it's because I missed it. My commentary is in bold.

The Statue: Repent, change life. It’s your last chance!
Don Giovanni: No, no, I won’t. Stay away from me!
The Statue: Repent, wicked man!
Don Giovanni: No!
The Statue: Repent!
Don Giovanni: No!
From Don Giovanni, W. A. Mozart*

* Alright, so this whole story started up from the fact that Desmond listened to Mozart in the S2 finale and that I am a complete opera freak who grew up on bread and Mozart. I’ll probably expand more on this part specifically further down in the fic, but for now I’ll just say that I needed to open it with this excerpt, since it’s the letimotiv of the whole fic anyway.


The first time Desmond heard Mozart’s music, it was at his first job with the Royal Shakespeare Company.*

* This and the following are all liberties I took with canon. I mean, they haven’t said much about pre-Penny Desmond apart from the monastery period, so I just went and tried to come up with a plausible way to have him listening to classical music. And since he was a set designer he made the whole thing easier on me.

He had moved to London after that disastrous monk experience. He had needed to go someplace else which was the complete contrary of what he was used to. Scotland didn’t fit the bill at all. It wasn’t like he was needed there anyway. He didn’t feel like taking up studies again, it was too far from where he stood at that point and Eddington, it was a place he didn’t feel like staying in. It reminded him of Ruth, anyway. He sure wasn’t going back to the factory that had assured him, his mother, Micheal, Sean and Robert a roof over the head and dinner every evening and London seemed just what he needed.* One of the biggest cities in the world, a crowd to get lost in, every possible opportunity. And that lovely Penelope girl he met outside the monastery lived there. He had her number and her address, it was a start when you knew someone. So he packed what he could and found himself an apartment, then searched for a job.**

* I completely made up the brothers’ names but I just kinda took a common one and then named the other two after Sean Connery and Robert Burns. If he had another one I’d have named him after Walter Scott or whatever Scottish famous person I could think of. I figured that working in a factory could have been a quick way of making money after dropping out of studies and I just tried to picture all the reasons for which he would go to London.

** They never said how actually Penny and Desmond came to live together, but since in Flashes they said they lived in separate places for a while, it was plausible that nothing really still was between them when he left Scotland.

He had always been good at designing and helping with sets at a small theatre in Glasglow had been his second part-time job which brought him the money he didn’t send home; though, Desmond didn’t think he was going to get the job with the Royal Shakespeare when applying.

In the end he was wrong and the day he got the call, Desmond called Penny a minute after and suggested to celebrate his new employment with a meeting at the pub, which she gladly accepted. Nothing had happened, but Desmond came back home that evening feeling light like he hadn’t since his father passed away.*

* I think that if he had just arrived in London and only knew Penny, he’d have called her first upon getting the news. I kind of wanted to show a sort of progress in their relationship here, so I started from a point where there’s just the mutual attraction. Of course it’s all made up but that’s what fanfiction is for, right?

His first job was at the Pit at the Barbican Center. Him and another pal named Ernest or something like that had designed the set for some strangely placed version of Lady Windermere’s Fan and got free tickets for three evenings.*

* I researched all the stages were the Royal Shakespeare Company sets plays up in London. That one was at the Barbican Center where there is also a concert hall and so I decided for that one, since I needed him to go to the opera. I think that the Barbican Hall is mostly for symphonic music but I figured it was good enough and that I could have taken a bit of poetic license.

The first evening, he invited Penny along. The second one, he went by himself. The third he decided he was going to pass and decided change the ticket with one for some other event there at the Hall.

Desmond didn’t know why he exactly chose a showing of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Barbican Hall. Maybe because it was a rare happening, he knew that it was where the British Symphonic Orchestra played but he thought it was mostly symphonic music. Maybe because his mother was fond of opera records though Desmond never really paid much attention. Maybe because he wanted to try something new.*

* Those are more or less the reasons for which random people I know who didn’t listen to opera tried it. Especially the latter one, but I guess that there isn’t a specific reason.

He changed the ticket and got some very high seat. He arrived half an hour earlier and bought a synopsis with a translation of the libretto. When the lights shut off, he wasn’t prepared at all.

It took thirty seconds for him to get completely lost in the music. Never in his life he had heard notes so powerful, so moving, so perfect and it was going to last three hours, he realized when the ouverture was over. He also realized that for the last minute of it he had been holding his breath.*

* I’m seriously convinced that while Don Giovanni might not subjectively be my favorite opera (that one is The Magic Flute for a bunch of reasons that wouldn’t be really wise to discuss here), there isn’t objectively one as perfect as it is. I realize that I might be biased and all, but the opening is one of the most powerful pieces of music I heard all my life and I’m sure that properly played it’s enough to keep one’s breath held for a while. And the rest of the music totally keeps up with it. Yeah, I’m kind of being very biased but hey, I said I was brought up on it.

At the end of the first act he stood speechless in his seat, his hands trembling, his eyes fixed on the closed curtain; the second one didn’t disappoint him either, oh, not at all, until the scene in which the satue asks Don Giovanni to repent and he doesn’t.

No, he said each time, a cascade of Nos that seemed never to end, until the last one and until Hell opened under his feet.

The last segment didn’t catch Desmond’s attention at all, stuck as he was on that little word. It wasn’t only the fact that he didn’t repent and didn’t consider his life a sin; Desmond thought it was one of the most perfect resemblants of free will he had ever heard. Saying yes meant regretting a life, however it had been spent; it meant giving up beliefs and choices and decisions, it meant playing accordingly to some commonly accepted rule.

But Don Giovanni says no and he negates it. True, he pays with his life, but what’s life in front of something so magnificent?*

* That’s exactly the whole point of this fic. Any opera expert reading me now would probably kill me for saying it in these terms, but the ending of Don Giovanni (not counting the last scene, I count the ending as the original one where he just ends up in Hell) is the perfect and utter example of the make your own kind of music policy. The final of Don Giovanni is IMHO the highest point of that opera. In the moment when you have a unrepetent sinner that does not repent, is willing to go to hell to defend the nonconformist (well, let’s put it like that) way he lived his life, you have the highest representation of free will and dignity you will ever find in such a setting. The magnificence of the character is in that finale, not in his charm or anything else. And I think that it would make a great impression on someone like Desmond. Then again, this is me going completely overboard and getting carried away. Sorry for the rambling.

Desmond walked out of the hall shaken and wide eyed, like he had witenessed the greatest thing ever happened in mankind’s history; the day his first paycheck came, first thing he paid the rent for the following month. Then went to a record shop, talked to the cash girl and came out with Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Così Fan Tutte, The Magic Flute and the Abduction from the Serraglio*. Then he went to a bank where he had opened an account with all the money he brought from Scotland, saw that even if he didn’t have much he had enough to live for two months, took the rest of his paycheck, called Penny and asked her out on a proper dinner.

* Which would be all the operas I quoted in this fic.

That night he kissed her for the first time and it had been also the first time they shared a bed.


Konstanze: Is it possible? Which delight, to press you to my breast, after so many days of grief!
Belmonte: Which delight, to find you! Now all grief must dwindle! Oh, how pleased my heart is!
From The Abduction from the Serraglio, W.A. Mozart*

* I kind of was undecided on which bit to take from that opera, but this one worked better than the other choice (which was those two saying they were willing to die together or something like that); while I realize it’d have been better for a reunion, I didn’t plan to arrive at that point. And I loved that piece anyway.

The day he came back from Widmore’s office, it’d have been plain reductive to say he was enraged. He was beyond enraged and it wouldn’t have been a good idea to tell Penny all that he was thinking of her father right then. Oh, she might have agreed, point taken, but the problem was that he was agreeing with him on more than one thing and he didn’t want Penny to know just how bloody low his self-esteem was right then. Well, when one felt less worthy than a bloody whiskey bottle, it meant his self-esteem was beyond low.*

* I guess it would be. Poor Desmond *pets him*. And I wanted to stress the fact that he does have an extremely low self-esteem and thinks he’s worth less than he really is. He just can’t see it at this point, though thankfully Penny can. That woman is indeed a saint.

She understood how it went at once and she didn’t need any recap of the encouter, saying she could imagine it just fine.

Desmond shouldn’t have felt like crying in front of her when she told him he was a good man, at least good enough to marry her. That night he remembers making love to her and it being sweet, complete, filling, slow. It was his most resisting memory in years, the feeling of her skin under his hands, her hair against his face when he kissed the crook of her neck, how soft her lips felt, the way he felt like she was the only end he was ever going to reach. He remembered not feeling worthless at all.*

* Here I wanted the scene to be sexy enough without going into detail and I tried to stress more the emotion than the physical aspect of it.


Tamino: How sweet, how fair this likeness is, so sweet as never eye beheld! Its heavenly image fills my breast, my heart, with new emotion pressed, some quality I never could name, yet it burns with steady flame. Should this emotion love be called? Yes, it is to love I yeld! Ah, could I now but find her here! If to me she were near [...] I should embrace her tenderly, close to my heart in ecstasy, and then forever she’d be mine.
From The Magic Flute, W.A. Mozart*

* That’s my favorite opera. Not my favorite part of it but it’s such a beautiful one and so fit for what I had in mind here that I had to choose it.

After that almost breakdown, he didn’t put a foot outside.

Not at all.

He found Le Nozze di Figaro and The Magic Flute in the records he had never looked at and was caressing the covers, unable to believe he could find there something from a world he didn’t even remember anymore but that he missed, oh, he missed it, and it ached so much.*

* I figure he would be uttermost happy to find something he knows about in the hatch, especially when he remains alone.

The alarm went off just then, he couldn’t believe 108 minutes had passed already. He went to the computer, inserted the goddamn bloody numbers and turned to the record player. His hand shook while he put the first vinyl of The Magic Flute into the slot, heavenly music filling the air, reminding him of when he had brought Penny to some crazy Mozart marathon which lasted all day and for which she had blackmailed him for weeks. Sometimes he had this flashes of them together which he didn’t know whether to love or hate. It was a bit like a single drop of water given to a man who had been stranded in a desert for three days. A temporary relief, good enough for a second but too brief for lasting more than that; and after it, your oppression is worse than before.*

*I’m ridiculously proud of this part. The one that goes from ‘Sometimes’ to the end of the paragraph. I usually suck at metaphors but when this one hit me I knew it was just the right one and I really liked how the whole paragraph turned out. It seemed to me like it summed up his condition.

He sat on the sofa, motionless, until the music quieted and left place to the first recitative, then stood up and walked a few steps around the room until the music started again and it was slow and sweet and wasn’t this the part when the hero sees the picture of the heroine and falls in love with her?, he thinks and his eyes fall on his and Penny’s picture which is there on a shelf and he starts crying.*

* I do realize that the hero falling in love upon seeing a picture is the oldest device ever, but I think that in such a situation Desmond wouldn’t have been in the right state of mind to think objectively. I think that in such situations, it’s more often than not a small, even stupid thing like a piece of music that sends you over the edge and that’s what I thought could happen here.

He has no reason not to; no one is watching him and he isn’t so far gone as to believe in ghosts. No one is here to call him a coward except himself and he just wants her to be there and tell him he’s a good man again, because Desmond hasn’t believed it for a long time but whatever she told him, if she were there, he’d believe.* Maybe he would have believed whatever a stranger would say. But strangers, he thought, were the only thing that bloody island lacked.

* That goes again with Desmond’s low self-esteem. At this point he’s so far gone that he’d believe that he’s an honorable man just if Penny was there to tell him, while at the same time he still feels like he isn’t worth her attention.

He realizes he’s stuck alone in the middle of nowhere with a button to push and a little less than two hours to do it. This means he won’t get any decent sleep, he won’t get to talk to anyone, he’s only going to have a button for damn good company.

He decided to get over with it right then and waited for his own personal river of tears to stop until he got a grip on himself. He just sat again, closing his eyes and thinking only about the music, trying to get in tune with it and not with all the rest. Thinking that when you are the hero of the story and you’ve got to overcome trials and danger to get back with your beloved one, your life is definitely easier than one could think.*

* I think of Desmond as an extremely romantic kind of person and while this is an enough delusional fantasy, I think he’d indulge in it, especially when stuck in the hatch. He’d probably see it as a way of not going crazy even if it can’t help him that much in the end.

When the two lovers embrace at the end of the first act just to be separated soon after, the alarm starts beeping completely ruining the mood he was in and Desmond guesses that you can’t escape reality forever.*

* Well, there I was probably being blatant with parallels, but when I had the alarm beeping exactly at that point I was choosing the worst possible one. I hadn’t actually thought about it but then I kind of counted the time of the opera remaining and it more or less fit with the timeframe.

I sigh and lament without wanting to, I twitter and tremble without knowing why, I find peace neither night nor day, but still I rather enjoy languishing this way. You who know what love is, ladies, see if I have it in my heart.
From Le Nozze di Figaro, W. A. Mozart*

* This was the piece that he was listening to on the Elizabeth in the S2 finale. And I thought it was a perfect choice for the moment, considering the context they put it in.

He was delighted to find his records safe in the Elizabeth.

Too bad that it was the only positive thing.

Forty days pushing that button alone were too much for someone to stay completely sane; but two and a half weeks of going around in a circle around that same, bloody, fucking piece of rock that he’s come to hate with all his heart, well, is enough to drive anyone completely insane even without having spent forty days pushing a button every 108 minutes.*

* I seriously can’t still figure out how come he didn’t get definitely crazy. Right, if he went mad we’d be talking about a different show, but staying sane in such a condition is hard enough.

So he does the only thing that can keep him sane. He lets the boat go wherever she likes, closes himself in the cabin and listens to music all the time in which he isn’t trying to sleep, which is always for no more than 108 consecutive minutes.*

* It’s my canon that Desmond wakes up at 108 minutes interval even when he isn’t in the hatch anymore and I think that this would have been the only way for himself to keep his head more or less in check. I saw it as his way to escape reality and I know myself that when you really, really love some music it’s the best way to ignore what you need to ignore.

Desmond knew every note by memory but didn’t care, it sure didn’t bore him. Listening to it all over again gave him something else to concentrate on, not to think about the fact that he was stuck, damn stuck, and that there was really no better that he could do. He was too far gone even for reading his book. He just drank, too desperate to do anything else, and actually started to flash those damn operas and he always was the male hero and Pen always was the heroine, fucked up as it was.*

* I realize that I kind of went mad with tenses here. I should have stuck to one but I really didn’t realize I slipped into past tense. But anyway, I think that flashing himself and Penny as the heroes of the tale is probably the moment he hits the bottom of his post-hatch depression. Originally this paragraph was way longer, I had actually had him flashing one whole scene from that opera with him and Penny, but then I cut it because it was getting too detailed and probably half cryptic, not to mention probably redundant. It worked better like this anyway. I wanted him to be sane enough to realize that doing this all day while getting drunk is a fucked up thing, but also to be wasted enough not to care.

Most of the time he was just too wasted to do even that. He knew he wasn’t ever going to find some kind of peace, peace didn’t exist anymore in his world, and that was what he was thinking when someone started going around on his head, he started shooting and the doctor and the two other guys found him there.*

* This actually was the point when I reconnected the fic with canon events and with the following bit. Maybe I should have spent a bit more on it but I liked the way it turned out.


Lucky is the man who looks at everything on the bright side
And lets reason guide him through all circumstances and trials.
What makes others cry, is for him reason of laughter;
And in the middle of the world’s storms, he’s going to find a perfect peace.
From Così Fan Tutte, W. A. Mozart*

* This is actually my second-favorite Mozart opera. Also kind of the most problematic in regards of what moral should it have and way pessimistic even if it doesn’t look like it. Which is probably why I wanted it there before the final section where I was going to close the circle. I also thought that the state of mind here described would be fitting for pre-flashes and post-hatch blowing Desmond, for how little it might have lasted.

He had almost thought he could make it.

The hatch exploded. The button didn’t exist anymore for anyone to push. And he actually found himself among other people. While the mere idea of it was enough to scare him for good, when someone offered him a tent and a long towel to sleep him first he tried not to break down crying, then took them with too many thanks and the actual setting hadn’t been too bad. The survivors were mostly friendly or at worst perplexed and he could understand why.*

* If you think about it, Desmond in S3 hasn’t really socialized with anyone apart from Locke someway and the Charlie/Hurley/Claire trio for the obvious reasons. I mean, you see him speaking with Sawyer and with Paolo there, he had that... let’s say rocky relationship with Sayid (which I’d blame on his refusal to help him with the boat), but I could see him being at least wary of being with other people again. When you’re with just another person for three years and on your own in his conditions it’d be hard to get a grip in such a situation.

For an handful of hours, he believed he had found at least some of that peace of mind he had been longing for, the one that after you passed all the possible trials you can be forced through brings you in that happy place where you get to laugh when everyone else is scared and doesn’t know what to do and that makes you stand still in the middle of all the storms that can happen in everyone’s life. And that Penny was the only missing piece of the puzzle.*

* And I think he’d be very much allowed to have such thoughts. Yeah, I was sort of directly referencing the opera up there, but I don’t rework lyrics and stuff for a fic-living for nothing ;)

Then the first flash came.

Then the second.

Then Desmond understood that peace wasn’t a word which was meant to fit with him. He didn’t need this too. He didn’t need another responsability, especially when it was a responsability of that kind. At least, if the flashes weren’t only about Charlie, it would have been bearable, but they weren’t and after each time he saved him his head pounded louder.*

* This fact that peace and Desmond aren’t words which are made to fit was also proved by S4 I think, since if they were made to fit he and Penny would have had the reunion in S6, but whatever. I wrote this before S4 even started so I didn’t take any post S3 canon into account. I think he wouldn’t have wanted such a responsibility at first; it’s different when it’s more people, but when you find out you’re committed to save one person only I guess it can’t be all that easy.

He wanted to both laugh and cry at that situation. There wasn’t a bloody bright side to look on, really, because Charlie didn’t understand that it was for him and God help him, he probably was thinking that he was becoming interested in Claire of everyone, like he was going to fuck around camp a day after they took him in.*

* Charlie was so thinking that during Flashes, he so was. Poor Desmond really.

When Charlie got him drunk and Desmond had to spill it out, he almost felt lighter the morning after. Or at least his head felt much more clearer.

Desmond decided to try to think about it in some rational way.

If this was the next trial fate or that old hag or anything had in store for him, he guessed there wasn’t much to do about it.

He could be the coward Mr Widmore thought him to be, leave Charlie be and do nothing. Which eventually would have brought Charlie to some certain death.

Or he could keep on trying and fight it because what the hell, he was repenting of having done what that hag said he was going to do in first place.*

* This is the line of reasoning I think he had. I mean, the second he decides to keep on saving Charlie, he proves himself of being worth more than Widmore would have judged him and while it can’t be the main reason for which he doesn’t ignore the flashes, I think it did push him a bit in the right direction. I like to think that he thinks about it as the last trial he has to stand before being allowed to get back to Penny and feel like he’s worthy of her, but now we’re talking about what I like to think, not anything that canon has made clear.

He looked at his side, where Charlie was playing guitar and a few people were listening.

Well, brother, seems you can’t get out of this, he thought standing up and walking in the opposite direction, feeling the sand under his feet and the wind blowing through his hair.

And if Charlie had an appointment with fate, Desmond was going to make sure it was postponed as much as possible.

The Statue: You invited me to dinner, now you know your duty. Answer me: will you come to dinner with me?
Don Giovanni: No one’s going to ever accuse me of cowardice.
The Statue: Decide!
Don Giovanni: I decided!
The Statue: Will you come?
Don Giovanni: My heart is steady in my breast. I’m not afraid, I’ll come. […]
The Statue: What’s your problem?
Don Giovanni: Which cold is this?
The Statue: Repent, change life. It’s your last chance!
Don Giovanni: No, no, I won’t. Stay away from me!
The Statue: Repent, wicked man!
Don Giovanni: No!
The Statue: Repent!
Don Giovanni: No!
The Statue: There’s no time anymore.
From Don Giovanni, W. A. Mozart*

* This is the same part I quoted at the beginning, only keeping most of that scene and not only the last half. I guess it was to give a more general impression of the context, but since it sets the pivotal point from which I went AU from the S3 finale I figured it needed its space.

When Desmond sees Charlie in that room, Penny (Penny!) on the monitor or whatever it is and that Other outside the window about to shoot the grenade, he understands at once what Charlie is going to do.

He wants to close that door and fucking drown there like... like his bloody flashes said.

It’s destiny, Desmond thinks for a second. It’s destiny, it’s got to be fulfilled, it’s how it’s supposed to be, it must end like this and it was meant to end here anyway. Yes.*

* And that’s when me and Darlton diverge. I mean, one moment, while here I was having Desmond not even trying to get Charlie out in the S3 finale he did try to get Charlie out, I need to be fair. But then again, the outcome is way different. I think he would have had that moment of doubting though.

But then he has another flash and it’s different. It’s the flash of a man who didn’t have an idea about islands, hatches, timers, keys, destinies, who just wanted to ask out that gorgeous girl he met, seriously asking out, who remained speechless for three hours, lost in a whirl of music and of people singing in a language he didn’t understand in the slightest, when someone had the courage of going to hell just to say No and prove that he was the one who decided and not someone else.*

* That was the point where I closed the circle. I found it interesting to have Desmond going against fate because he thought about his life before the island and about the admiration he had felt upon seeing that scene for the first time. If the make your own kind of music policy has to be Desmond’s policy as they had estabilished before that finale, it’d have ended this way. Without all my brainstorming about the Mozart issue probably, but anyway. The point is that I thought that if I drew the parallel this was going to be the moment in which Desmond would have gained back all of his moral dignity that he thought he didn’t have exactly as Don Giovanni gains a whole other moral dignity from the plain libertine he has been throughout the opera to a real symbol of free will. I realize that this is a completely twisted reasoning but bear with me, I tend to go overboard when I start brainstorming on the subject.

No, Desmond thinks. For another brief second another flash of thought says There’s no time but Charlie is closing the door already and...


* I guess it’s made clear that I am really fond of that small word.

Desmond runs like he never ran and his body is between the door and the wall in the exact moment in which Mikhail throws the grenade and water begins to flood everywhere. He feels a fucking sharp pain because hell, Charlie has practically smashed him, but he just takes a breath and before Charlie can say anything Desmond tugs his arm and realizing they’ll never be able to run since the water is rising too high, he motions for Charlie to take a breath and fucking swim. Charlie doesn’t semm too convinced but Desmond really doesn’t have the strenght to talk and hopes the homicidal look he’s sending Charlie is enough for him to understand.

He starts swimming and checks whether Charlie is following. He feels the sun on his face, tasting the salt of the water on his lips, the boat solid under his hands and manages to throw Charlie on board. Charlie coughs a few times and then looks at him.

Enraged, seemingly.*

* Here, S3 finale erased with much joy on my part. Except that I had to deal with the fact that in the S3 finale Charlie hadn’t really done much to escape when he understood what Mikhail wanted to do.

“Des, the bloody hell were you thinking?”

“What did she tell you?”, he asks avoiding the question altogether.

“That isn’t her boat.”

Desmond suddenly feels sick but it isn’t time. Not here. Not now. They’ve got to hurry back.

“You haven’t answered me.”, says Charlie again.

“Well, if that isn’t her boat, brother, I guess you don’t want Claire to go with anyone who’s there, do you?”

“But it was my...”*

* I think that at that point Charlie was seriously convinced he had to die. I think he didn’t have to but well, that goes unsaid.

“No, brother, it wasn’t.”

“It was fate.”

“You can make your own.”, Desmond answers, and Charlie first looks down, then smiles at him, shakes his head and starts helping him to move the boat. What did that bloody song say, make your own kind of music?*

* I think that Desmond kind of hates that song, but he could appreciate the meaning here, especially because he has just made it. His own kind of music I mean, in each possible sense.

Well, screw fate, it was exactly what he was going to do from now on. Then he thinks at that brief moment in which he saw Penny and smiles slightly.

The fact that she’s searching for him makes him feel somewhat warm and it’s better than he could have ever hoped.*

* I think that by this point he has realized he is indeed worth of her. I always thought that before Catch 22 he really didn’t have a proof that Penny was searching for him and that he held faith in their relationship because of the letter she put in his book, but it wasn’t like he was sure she hadn’t married again or whatever it was. When he becomes sure that she is searching for him indeed, I think it’s a step in the direction of said peace I was mentioning up and I think that closing it here was the best way. I wondered if I could make up a reunion, but then decided against it because I wanted it to close it in... well, I used the exactly same quotes at the beginning of both the sections, but I brought Desmond from a point to another and that’s where I needed him here. So I decided to close it this way and it probably shows I think about it too much, but I’m really, really proud of how this turned out.


feeling: okayokay
on rotation: vodoo - queen + paul rodgers
elliotsmelliot: Des gunelliotsmelliot on September 21st, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks for doing this! I feel like I have nothing new to say other than "squee" and it was great reading your thoughts. As someone who obsesses about the logic of space and time, I appreciated knowing all the thought you put into deciding on Desmond's workspace and the timing of his relationship with Penny. I also found your rationalization of Desmond's self esteem highs and lows very fitting.

Are you going to d an 'author's choice' one for me? Has writing these helped your muse come back?
the female ghost of tom joad: lost des personal jesusjanie_tangerine on September 21st, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm working on yours right now and I think you might just like what I chose ;) and I think it helped some. Also because I've spent too much time between yesterday and today searching for Titanic scenes on youtube and regretting owning only the VHS for that *coughs*.

Glad to hear it was interesting to read! Rationalizing the highs and lows of Desmond's self-esteem wasn't surely a hardship though ;)
elliotsmelliot: fickle bitchelliotsmelliot on September 21st, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Squee for the possibilities of more Ben crack! This leads me to believe my fic commentary is for his trial, or another one of your delightful crack fics! But I will be happy with anything!

My muse is back too. I'm just about to post my first fic in over a month.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost benjanie_tangerine on September 21st, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
He, you're right. Not the trial though, but we're there ;) *is off to post*

And after I'm done I'm off to read yours!!
falafel_musings: Lost 1falafel_musings on September 23rd, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for doing this, Janie! Sorry it's taken me a while to reply.

I love any fic where your passion for music shines through. The very structure of this story is operatic. Another thing that really impressed me was your level of research into your Brit setting, the RSC, etc. Good job doing your homework! As a fellow countryman of Desmond I appreciate the authentic feel of this story. It's a big pet peeve of mine when I see a Brit character or setting portrayed in a lazy unconvincing way, but you are never guilty of this.

*sniff* How I loved Desmonds low self-esteem even though it was so angsty and painful to write! I've just always bonded with him over that. And your idea that that Desmond still wakes every 108 mins is totally part of my personal fanon too.

the second he decides to keep on saving Charlie, he proves himself of being worth more than Widmore would have judged him and while it can’t be the main reason for which he doesn’t ignore the flashes, I think it did push him a bit in the right direction. I like to think that he thinks about it as the last trial he has to stand before being allowed to get back to Penny and feel like he’s worthy of her, but now we’re talking about what I like to think, not anything that canon has made clear.

Amen sista! That is exactly what I wanted out of the flashes story too. It's the only reasoning that makes emotional/thematic sense within Desmonds story. Without this factor the whole story is meaningless for Desmond. He was just a tool, a voicebox, a witness to Charlie's heroic journey; which was itself a pointless ordeal with no meaning or value in the end. And now Desmonds angst over whether he is worthy of Penny or not has seemingly gone out of the window. What a jip.

Desmond and Charlie's actions (and Mikhails) in their final scene in Looking Glass don't actually make sense. Darlton wanted Charlie to die, so they bungled together this forced contrived scene to MAKE him die. Then they played sad beautiful music over it to cover up for how stupid and unnecessary it was. The only way I could explain Charlie locking himself in to drown is the idea that he was suffering from Death Row Syndrome by that point. It's a depressing explanation but it's the one thing that would make sense. Sigh...I feel like my Charlie died a naive brainwashed desperado more than a hero.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost des/charliejanie_tangerine on September 24th, 2008 09:10 am (UTC)
No problem, glad you enjoyed it! ;)

I'm always happy when I find out I do my homework right. I mean, if I have to place a story in a determined setting I want to know what I'm writing and I don't like when places are portrayed badly or without the minimum amount of research, so I always try to do that well.

I totally miss Desmond's low self-esteem, too *sigh*.

Without this factor the whole story is meaningless for Desmond.

Amen, amen, amen. For how much I might have liked The Constant and his whereabouts in S4 I'm way disappointed by how they handled him after S3.

That final scene hasn't ever made sense to me, either. I remember thinking that Charlie was being an idiot when he locked himself down there, beautiful music or not. In the sense, one has to take for granted that he had thought it was necessary for him to die by that point because anyone with any self-preservation instinct would have tried to swim out *sigh*. But I think that it was an heroic gesture nonetheless, even if he thought he had to, though it didn't make sense from a logical POV. Really, the death handling in the last seasons makes me think that Do No Harm wasn't actually that bad regarding how they handled it. *headdesk*
falafel_musings: domfalafel_musings on September 24th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
the death handling in the last seasons makes me think that Do No Harm wasn't actually that bad regarding how they handled it.

I know. Even Boones death wasn't handled perfectly and from a fan perspective, it's hard to appreciate a favourite characters death anyway, but Boones death was dealt with much better than all the deaths that followed. Charlie locking himself in was illogical and unnecessary but Charlie had had it drubbed into him that he was gonna die, no matter what, that he HAD to die, so his loved ones could be rescued. If it seems like a crazy desperate descision to drown himself, that's because Charlie had been pushed to those limits. Charlie had good intentions, but he was also the victim of an unbelievable cruel universe that was essentially bullying him into suicide.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost charliejanie_tangerine on September 24th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC)
Boone speaking, I posted the other commentary just now ;)

That said, word. I have my whole lot of issues with Do No Harm, would be strange if I didn't, but at least they did deal with it. And I definitely agree with your take on Charlie there, doesn't really make sense otherwise. At this point, I'd have just preferred if it went according to Desmond's vision, at least it'd have been coherent with the continuity. The Lost universe is indeed cruel.