Departures by TheFicChick
"Every day for the rest of my life, I will wonder how kissing a virtual stranger goodbye could have felt like a hello." Rated M.
Reviewed by: Lisa A. Hollett
I first came across TheFicChick when it seemed like everyone I knew was rec’ing The Purple Banana Hammock. If you haven’t read it, stop reading this and go read that. Don’t worry; we’ll wait.
So when I saw in the A/N of this virtually grammatically perfect story that she didn’t have a beta, you can bet your ass that my overcommitted self PM’ed her and offered to take the slot. Weeks went by without a response, and I despaired that she’d chosen someone else. *Sniff* But turns out, like all of us, she was just busy. And what she sent me the next day literally blew my mind.
"Listen, Bella." He turns to face me, shifting his weight in one fluid motion to the shoulder still resting against the wall, and his face is as serious as I've seen it since he was recounting his decision to join the Army. "If this were any other day, and if I weren't flying off to fiddle with bombs in the middle of the desert, I'd ask for your number."
I attempt to swallow against the lump that lodges itself firmly in my throat. "If you weren't flying off to fiddle with bombs in the middle of the desert, I'd give it to you." My voice is barely more than a whisper.
Green eyes are pulling me in, and it takes all of the self-control I possess not to touch him. He watches me intently, and after a minute I see his throat muscles bob with a swallow. "If you gave it to me, I'd call. The same day. I wouldn't even try to do the whole 'play-it-cool-give-it-a-few-days' thing."
"I've always hated that game," I breathe.
"I'd take you out for Italian. There's a great little mom-and-pop restaurant near the house I grew up in that has the best ravioli on the planet." My heart aches, then begins to race as his large hand cups my cheek. "It would be really hard for me to say goodnight without kissing you." His thumb runs along my jawline.
"I'm not averse to kissing on the first date," I confess, and his eyes blaze.
Clearly, you are now as in love with this story as I am. How could you not be? It’s witty and poignant and just all-around amazing. Back when it first posted, it seemed like it was gonna be a one-shot, but luckily for every single one of us in the fandom, she continued it.
Just because Edward & Bella are separated by 7,000 odd miles or so and 11 ½ hours on the clock, this story does not drag. You experience Bella’s day-to-day life in her POV and get to experience the process of Photographer Bella falling in love with Solider Edward through their many email exchanges.
From: Bella Swan
To: Edward Cullen
Sent: Saturday, February 4, 2012 7:32 a.m. PST
I know what you mean. A part of me wants to put this whole thing under a bright light and really study it – figure out what makes it tick, where it came from, how it can survive under these conditions – and yet a part of me doesn't want that at all. All I know for certain is that when I see your name in my inbox, something clenches in my chest. When I watch the news, I don't see random soldiers anymore; I see you.
The what, why, how don't really matter. The who, on the other hand…that feels to me like everything.
Every chapter draws you more and more into Bella and Edward’s burgeoning relationship, and with every update, the delicious anticipation of their eventual reunion grows. And…not to be a tease or anything…who am I kidding?...but Chapter 7, the one I’ve read and maybe you haven’t made time for yet? It’s: “askhlknbkdgj” as “the social media kids are saying these days.”
Go read Departures. You owe it to yourself. And ArmyWard. It’s the least you can do for your country.
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