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I'm going to admit, I think this series falls a little too much to your typical 'seme/uke' set up, moreso if you just read part 1. Part 2 changed my mind a bit, and while I prefer Takumi angst over Leo, the few fics I find that focus on Leo angst are really well written. I am still going to recommend part 1, because you really should know what is going through both character's heads, but part 2 is really the superior version.

This author tends to be hit and miss with me, but her ideas are so good that I can forgive the 'seme/uke' setup. And fuck me, I do like to see Takumi happy in the end. >.>

Series: Fire Emblem: Fates
Title: i am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
Author: CarbonFootprint
Genre: AU on Conquest timeline/Drama/Romance/Flangst, though swings more to angst than fluff
Rating: T
Warning: Massive amounts of angst from Leo and Takumi, end spoilers for Conquest, spoilers for Revelations conversation
Couple (if applicable): Leo/Takumi

Plot: 9/10 - I'm going to admit, this is the sort of AU I like, where one event changes and basically a butterfly effect follows. I'm putting this under a cut, because the plot basically spoils the end of Conquest. So basically, Leo decides he doesn't want Takumi's death being done by Corrin's hand on her conscious, and instead, uses a spell from his divine weapon on Takumi. He's not sure what it will do, because he was never able to successfully cast it and translate it, so basically, it's a coin toss. Either the spell will kill him, but allow Takumi to die as himself (Reference from the end of the actual game), or it'll allow him to live. Also, we're gonna ignore the part where Ryoma commited suicide too, that it was an illusion created by Leo as well.

And depending on what part you're reading, you'll see different things. Takumi's part focuses on his comatose state dreams, and you once again, get a rehash of their damn in game supports. I really wish people would just add their own damn flare instead of cooking 'copy pasta' of the whole thing. When he finally wakes up, he realizes the boy from his dream was that, a dream, and he has to deal with that and his own issues. You can kind of guess what the spell did to Takumi, and reading part 1, I didn't really understand why Leo was flipping out so badly.

Part 2 actually cleared up my big problem with part 1. And it makes a lot of sense. It's also really well written, and it satisfied my angst itch along with clearing up the problem I had with part 1. Basically, part 2 is from Leo's point of view and parallels part 1. And it does so really well. Part 2 also has an epilogue and there was supposed to be a part 3 (Never happened, the author kind of dropped out of fandom for some reason?), but part 2 ends in a satisfying enough way to not need anything after.

Basically, out of all the stories that cover 'soulmates' and Conquest AU endings, this one is probably the best well written.

Writing: 7/10 - The writing is just okay in part 1, though the interactions that Takumi has with his siblings save it a lot. Part 2's writing is far superior, and we get into Leo's head and the big problem I had with him from part 1 makes a ton of sense.

Though, to be honest, the writing is just okay, though it does greatly improve as the story moves on. The flow and the ideas of the piece, as a whole, are what make this two parter stand out from the rest of the stories I find on Ao3. This would be a great example of a really good and creative idea boasting the writing quality in general. I say boast, because the writing isn't bad, and is above quality work. It's just that the ideas and the conversations between the family members are really well done and stand out way more than the quality of writing.

I think the only thing that suffers is that Leo and Takumi sort of suffer from your typical 'yaoi seme/uke' setup. I say it's mostly on Takumi rather than Leo, but I'll get into that later.

Overall, it's a really good read. Despite the 'copy pasta' of the support conversations. Though I will admit, part 2 does sort of give it a flare of it's own compared to part 1.

Characterization: 8/10 - I would've given this score a 5 or a 6 if I was just basing it on Takumi and Leo's relationship to each other. There's too many tears and Takumi suffers more from the 'uke' syndrome that I see commonly in nearly every fanfic. It's a bit more excusable to some degree with him because of all his emotional baggage, especially in the conquest timeline.

Leo is somewhat excused from it in part 2 to some degree. I mean, I know he feels guilty that he basically put part of himself into Takumi and that because of it, he's basically sort of locked him into living and to some degree, forcing his own feelings onto him. I almost screamed in part 2, 'But he's alive because of it!' Though it's so simple, I think really, in the end, it makes sense for Takumi to tell him that and it's only because Takumi tells him that he finally believes it.

However, they way the Royals are written is what saves it and allows me to excuse the typical yaoi dynamic. I freaking loved that the most in part 1, when Takumi finally wakes up and the way his siblings react to his awakening and recovery, because it's realistic and touching. I also like the interactions with Leo and the other siblings, how he keeps going to Corrin and asking her on Takumi's condition and the conversation he has with Xander.

Despite the small seme/uke hiccup, the rest of the cast is remarkably IC, and while Leo and Takumi dance near the OOC boarder, they never come too close to it to hurt the story.

Negatives: Somewhat cliche seme/uke setup, part 1 is somewhat inferior to part 2

Summary: An AU to the Fates Conquest timeline. During the final battle of the Conquest timeline, Leo notices the small spark of life behind the possessed Hoshido's Second Prince's eyes. Instead of killing him, he then decides to take a gamble on a untranslated spell from his Divine Weapon, Brynhilder...

Overall: 8/10 - A story that has a few hiccups, but is definitely worth the read. I recommend reading both parts in order. I wouldn't recommend it if you're not a fan of the pairing already, but if you are, this fic will satisfy you greatly, more so if you want an AU done right.

Anyways, I think it's break time again (I think I had my fill of Leo/Takumi for the moment) since Persona 5 is coming out real soon. MAYBE I'll find another Persona 4 fanfic in the meantime. >.>
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