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After much harrassment by that wonderful BWG, Brian Belden, I am posting this story as a follow-up to Crush. There are supposed to be at least three stories that take place in between Crush and this story, but Brian insisted that I write this one first. So I did. And it sat on my computer and sat on my computer and sat on my computer. Brian kept asking me when I was going to post it. Over a year later, I brushed it off, re-wrote it, sent it to my editors, and did some more re-writing.

Speaking of editors -- I have an absolutely wonderful, marvelous, amazing editing team! Susan, Angela, Ronda, and yes, you, too, Beth, thank you for editing this story for me. Your insights and the questions you asked really helped. Really, really, really helped! Beth, even though you didn't have the time to really edit it, your feedback was invaluable. All four of you are simply Fantastic. (Can I call you the Fantastic Four, or is that too cheesy?)

And, Dana! Thank you so much for the eleventh-hour graphics. I know it wasn't what we originally had in mind, but they really do fit. I LOVE them. You totally ROCK.

Gosh, I'm so nervous about posting this.

Oh yeah, a warning! One of the characters in this story dissociates - severely. Brian refers to this type of dissociation as "Multiple Personality Disorder" (MPD). This story takes place in 1990, and that was the term that was used at the time. It wasn't until 1994 that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) changed the name of the disorder to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). If reading about this kind of stuff bothers you, then you may want to skip this story, and that is totally okay!

I'm sure there's other stuff I should be adding to these notes -- like Snow White is copyright of Disney, etc., etc. I just don't ever seem to have the patience to go through my stories and pick all those things out. I admire those of you who do.

Oh yeah! The verse by Joe Dassin at the beginning of the story translates roughly to: "And if you didn't exist, tell me how I exist. I could pretend to be me, but I wouldn't be real." I thought it was fitting.

There are two parts to this story. Click the next button below to start reading the actual story instead of these boring author notes. ;)