1. Many thanks to everyone who commented. I really appreciate that you took the time to let me know what you thought. You said such great things and my responses, I fear, were pretty lame. But I wanted to say that it makes me happy beyond what I can easily express to know how the story made you feel.
2. Oich U Agus H-Iuraibh Eile (Love Song) - Rankin Family. I had a fairly big playlist for this story and listened to it a lot. But this song is the one that will always be connected to 300 for me. I don't even know what the lyrics mean -- I haven't been able to find a translation -- but the mood of it is what I was trying to express in the story.
3. This was probably the second most difficult story I've ever written (Blood Will Tell is still first, I think). I started it over a year ago and fought with it for a few months. When I complained to Kest about it, I always called it the "soul-sucking InuKai" because it was so frustrating and so depressing.
Eventually I just had to put it away. I intended to pick it up again in the fall, but I was busy and every time I got it out, I could never think of how I could fix it. Once I even spent a lot of time editing what I already had, but I just never added anything new. I thought about just deleting the file, but could never quite bring myself to do that.
Then in December, I started another story that I knew would be a challenge. I spent a bunch of time plotting it out and snowflaked it into something novella length. Then I tried to write it and it kicked my ass. Between that and other fic, I felt like I wasn't writing anything worthwhile at all, just fluff.
In February, I put the novella away and decided that I had to get this InuKai out and do something with it, to get my confidence back. And I finally figured out what to do with it. I think I just needed the extra year of experience to get to the point where I could write that story.
I worked on it on and off, interspersed with other things, and made a big push this month to get it done. It was still really hard, but I felt more inside the story, finally.
I almost didn't want to post it, though; I'd had it so long, I sort of wanted to hug it close to me and keep it for myself. But I didn't.
I've always felt like I wasn't doing justice to Inui and Kaidoh because I could never bring myself to really hurt them. Not that angst automatically equals worthwhile or that a lighter story can't be worthwhile either, but I just thought I wasn't digging down enough. I loved them so much I didn't want to give them trouble. And that's really the worst thing you can do, in fiction.
So now, at last, I feel like I've given them something respectful of them as characters and of their relationship. That should give me credit to write a few fluff stories now, at least. :)
God, I sound like a freak! Good thing you are all freaks too.
4. InuKai is my 100% pairing. I'm not going to say OTP, since I cheerfully ship both of them with a lot of other people. But of all my pairings in all my fandoms, I love them best. I just like to say that once in a while. ♥♥♥
And that's all.