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Review:water_lily43175 says:
There's a part of me that doesn't want to read this. Because reading this means that Anguisverse actually comes to an end for real, and that thought is an utterly heartbreaking one. I suppose I could always read this chapter, and then leave the last one unread? FOREVER. Then IT WILL NEVER END.

Intriguing chapter image. Means that Cal goes back to Thanatos again. HO HUM.

Wonderful Gannifer moment. Jen says her piece - and I hadn't actually consciously realised before now that it HAS been all Gabe before. But then perhaps that's partly because more of their conversations have been from his point of view, not hers. Either way, so far things have been more about HIM, and how he's open with her in a way he's not with everyone else, and as he becomes more relaxed with her he tells her more. The focus has never really been on her, because it's never HAD to be. And now she feels bad about that. And I LOVE her little slip about children, especially because the thought clearly doesn't freak Gabe out at all. Whether that's because right now he already knows that he wants to be with her forever and have lots of babies including Matthias, or whether it's just that he's so relaxed and at ease and HAPPY with her that talk of the hypothetical doesn't freak him out, I don't know. Either way, they're adorable and I love them.

HAHA, Toby's comment to Cal about "you know what seven o'clock looks like?", my EXACT REACTION was "SEVEN? Normal people finish at five!" And then Cal said it for me. Bless Toby ... he'll never stop worrying or overworking, will he? That's just the kind of guy he is.

I think I've just hit on why I have a special place in my heart for Cal, even if in some ways he's the "lesser" of the four - he can be cocky and irresponsible at times, and he has a totally carefree attitude to life, and just wants to have fun, and makes mistakes - but he's got a big heart, and he truly loves and cares about the people who are closest to him, and he's loyal to a fault. That sounds pretty familiar to me. :) His and Nat's story is sad, particularly because I was holding out for marriage and a Quidditch team, but it's realistic, and it's actually nice to not have everyone settling down and being all lovey-dovey. It's all a bit bittersweet really, isn't it? I don't know whether you know what happens to Cal - I do like the idea of his and Nat's paths crossing again because judging by Ignite, they haven't done yet and I like the idea of him sweeping in and saving her from herself - but I also like the thought that he'll meet someone else who is just as good if not better for him than Nat, and that he'll be happy with his life. Not that he necessarily NEEDS a woman in order to be happy, but he's got a lot of love to give and besides, it would bring definite closure on his relationship with Nat. Which he deserves.

Anyway, enough exposition. THANATOS VISIT.

It's as though Cal has decided NOT to make a decision. And at the end of the day, now that I think about it - does he really need to? Visit as and when you want, Cal, it's as simple as that. Thanatos interests me as always, in the sense that he recognises his jail sentence as a fair price for what he has done, but still doesn't see what he's done as the WRONG thing. It's almost as though he's not completely lost his humanity - he sees that killing and torturing is wrong, but it's just that he views his victims as lesser beings and therefore in that sense it's okay. I may be wrong on this point, and he may just be a murdering tyrant, but I still feel like there's more to him than that. I guess there MUST be, given that he's always sworn that he's acted in Cal's best interests ... if he has the capacity to care about Cal that much then there must be some humanity in there, even if it IS twisted.

And Cal asks about his mother. YES. It's actually something I've always wondered - what was SHE like? Although I imagine that she was very similar to Thanatos but still, one never knows. The fact that he's now asking about her - and admitting to the fact that he DID have a mother once - definitely emphasises that he's finally come to terms with his parentage - yes, he was born to a couple of murdering tyrants, but he was raised by someone at the opposite end of the spectrum, who has had far more influence on the person Cal's grown up to become. But he shouldn't feel ashamed about where he's come from, because it's not HIS fault. It feels like this is closure for him, on this issue. Which is, I assume, the objective. ;) Big love for this one!

Author's Response: I've never written anything like the Cal/Thanatos plot in this story before. I've never had such a major relationship in the works and NOT known how it was going to end, not really. I usually had a vague idea how it would go, one way or the other. In this? I just sat them down and let them bounce off one another until Cal made his decision. And in many ways he decides... not to decide. And I think that's right for him. No absolutes. And he lets himself be selfish, to do it for him. I can't help but feel sympathetic for Thanatos as I write him, which is a dodgy sensation to have when you're writing a mass-murdering, torturing, bigoted terrorist. But the guy's life is literally ruined and Cal is the ONLY thing he has left in the world that matters. That can make his life have meaning. Cal is about the only thing he has left to live for.

I'd forgotten this last Gannifer moment was tacked onto the beginning of this chapter. It kind of belonged in the previous one. And, yet, didn't. Ah well. Yes, Jen has noticed the emotional imbalance and is keen to correct it here. And, of course, she brings up the future and of COURSE, it being Gabe and Jen, they both cope with it fine instead of freaking out unnecessarily (I'm looking at you, T/T). Gabe doesn't want kids yet, and neither does SHE, but they both know they're heading down that route and they have their whole lives to walk it.

And Ignite gives us proof with Matthias. ;) Anyway! Thanks for reviewing!

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