There are a lot of thought-provoking elements within the few short pages of this story. The outstanding impression of Susan is depression. Yes, Theodore has always been a dicey friend, playing her like a fish on a line, but she has allowed herself to be played. She knows, intellectually, that "he never had a solid foundation", but she keeps hoping that he will be something else, and failing to take care of herself.
The war has taken a big toll on her, and she has responded by isolating herself from people who could help her find her way back. A job in which she interacts mostly with strangers. A specific decision not to join the merrymakers at the Leaky Cauldron on Christmas. She complains of being alone on the holiday, but it is her choice, not her parents' fault. She focuses on what she has lost: her Aunt Amelia, "most of her immediate family" (though both her parents have survived). She faults her parents for leaving her to go on vacation (how dare they?). And she uses alcohol and loveless sex to try to fill the void in her psyche.
Not everyone who lived through the war is so far behind on the road to recovery as Susan is. I don't really see any insight on her part in this story. She has yet to take responsibility for her own happiness. It's a depressing story, and I wonder if it was depressing to write. But despite that, it's well-written, and the details all contribute to a tightly-constructed whole.
This is Soraya :) I enjoyed this! I must admit that when I set the prompts, I honestly had no idea what to expect, but I love Theo/Susan to pieces, so this was a lovely surprise :)
Rarepairs are great fun, aren't they? I really liked the set up of the story, starting with Susan waking up to find Theo next to her, and then going backwards. The scene in the pub was great, and I liked Theo's characterisation and his description. I thought the chemistry between Theo and Susan was written nicely, too :)
Anyway, I can't seem to think straight today, so I shall stop rambling. I hope you have a good Christmas, and thank you again for writing such a lovely story!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad that you liked it! When I got the prompts, your song prompts are what really gave me ideas. So I listened to all of them (some of which, I must admit, have been played countless times on my computer). The one that really got me thinking was Set Fire to the Rain, and from then on, this story just stuck. It's a great song to write to! Once again, I'm so glad you liked it and I hope your holidays are great as well! :]