[Trigger Warning: Incestual Implications]
For today, I had planned to show you guys a really cute, domestic Homestuck fic, but fate intervened. While I was perusing through tumblr, I saw someone mention this fic about a relationship that I feel should get more attention than it does. However, this story also includes two things I don’t really enjoy: incest and werewolves. As I mentioned in some earlier posts of mine, incest just isn’t really my thing, but I also find werewolves a tired plot device at this point. Especially with all the pseudo-Twilight stories coming out. So the question was “can this fic actually pull this off?” It did so. Beyond my expectations.
Always Summer by ghosty is the kind of story that leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth and, like summer, is over too soon. In beginning we have Rose Lalonde getting to know a certain smart-mouthed, shades wearing kid and unintentionally bonding over their sharp tongues and intelligence. Sooner than either of them would have liked (which would be never, if they had it their way) the both realize that they have a crush on the other, but do their best to not focus on it.
This is where the ‘incestual implications’ comes from. In the series, Dave and Rose are siblings but not… really? They’re siblings through a convoluted biochemical process that sent their genes through a machine and created themselves (and their parents) as babies which they then were sent on a meteor to different places in time. Yeah. So, whereas they’re related biologically, they were never brought up together thinking of each other as brother and sister. This story doesn’t seem to be within canon—although they all carry the powers they had in the game to a certain extent—but I still can’t really see the KnightLight ship being outside of incestual. But, back to crushes.
One night while the inseparable duo must be parted (Dave was forced on a camping trip by his bro), Rose’s cat gets lost in the woods. Frantically, she tries to search for him but instead comes face-to-face with one of the wolves both her mother and Dave had warned her about. At first, it attacks her, but then to her surprise it leads her to safety. However, after this event not only is she frightened of the woods, but she also starts having adverse reactions to something she cannot define.
I’m impressed that ghosty was able to pull off what I consider such a trite plot device with skill. I felt like I was reading gothic literature while looking at this as their writing style is very elegant. But you all must be wondering what the relationship I mentioned in the beginning is if not Rose and Dave’s. I feel the most important relationship in this story is between Rose and her mother, Roxy. In Homestuck itself, Rose carries on this silent competition of fake kindness and silent jabs between her and her mother, although it’s implied that this is a misconception by Rose. In Almost Summer this competition is taken to heartbreaking levels as Roxy makes is clear that she really just loves Rose so much despite her shortcomings as a mother, but Rose is just so certain that everything her mom says is a jab at her. When they finally have a breakthrough, it’s so cathartic not only for the characters, but for the reader as well. Much like Brave, I feel there should be many more stories that have a focus on mother-daughter relationships and I’m glad to count this story among them.
As with our own summer, so too must this fic end. According to ghosty, the last chapter should be up within the weekend. It’s not a terribly long story as I read it start to end in about an hour. It’s the kind of story that you don’t really need to know much about canon to enjoy so, if you have the time, I would recommend it highly.