In Every Time and Season

Ebook cover for the arc

An arc loosely inspired by the alternative ending, and pondering how this could be made to happen without undoing the momentum of the whole series. Happy Endings for All!

Black Turns to Blue

Lin Shu survives, and, with a certain amount of salutary brow-beating, finds a purpose in doing so that moves him to enter the world again, seek out his loved ones, and start walking a meaningful path forward with them. Drama with Adorable Romance, I-3

For a long time, or what might have been a long time, he was afraid he’d failed, each time he woke. He woke weak, groggy, never able to rouse to full awareness, and he knew that sensation from a decade worth of illness, fought stubbornly against it, as he always had, to push his thoughts past the fog to grip on the world again.

This time, though, he could never force himself past the cloudy uncertainness of almost-dreams. And what did that mean, if not failure, to fall ill again before his last task was done?


Red Heart and White Sword

Lin Shu and Nihuang settle into life at court, in the field, and in Jingyan’s home while Lin Manor is repaired. The rest of the court may need a few stiff drinks to recover from the process, especially once a complex political scandal breaks in the middle of it. Drama with Politics and Porn, I-4

Now Jingyan returned his gaze, steady and serious. “Even though you hoped to be done with being the strategist, after Prince Qi, my brother’s, and Lin’s and Chiyan’s names were restored?”

For a long moment, he was silent, because that had been true. “I did finish with it, though,” he said at last, slowly. “And I returned to my old self, my own world, long enough to die there. I thought that would be the end of it, and I still believe I was right about that. This,” he swept a hand around, at the palace, at the ministers and officials and ladies moving through the halls and gardens, each intent on their own ends and ambitions, and the three of them in the middle of it all, “this is what comes after that end, another new life.” He gave Jingyan a tiny smile. “Now, what I can do, all that I can do, is for you and with you, nothing held back. That’s as it should be, and I have no wish to be done with it.”


The Yellow Season

Jingyan is figuring out why Lin Shu likes to be held tightly, in bed, and in the process shakes a few truths loose that he didn’t expect. Porn with Characterization, I-4

Perhaps this wasn’t something he would have expected of xiao-Shu, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t put the pieces together when they were in front of him—and he was more than willing to oblige.