Together begins with Doug and Lili happy. It’s a direct sequel to Reversal, and they are living their dream. The first chapter makes it abundantly clear that they are where they need to be. There are little bumps in the road, but that’s life. So far, so good.
By the time we get to the second chapter, we learn that Jenny‘s wedding will be soon. Malcolm can bring a date, so he sends a note to Pamela, inviting her. Therefore, the astute reader should also understand that this is also a direct sequel to Intolerance.
Since there are no stories without conflict, and since a relationship such as Lili and Doug’s should undergo testing, the events are set into motion. And the main event is a massive kidnapping of humans.
Ten humans are removed from the NX-01 (Lili and Doug are aboard as they are hitching a ride to Jenny and Frank‘s wedding). Because the Witannen want them to interbreed, the group consists of five men and five women, and there is a separation into couples, namely –
- Lili and Malcolm – the idea is to play off Malcolm’s earlier attraction to Lili and also counterpoint her issues with Doug.
- Doug and Melissa – here, Doug’s frustrations with Lili are balanced with Melissa’s bisexuality, e. g. this is an area where Leonora cannot fulfill what her partner needs.
- Jonathan and Deborah – for him, it’s a chance to have someone to protect. For her, it’s the fulfillment of a long-term crush.
- Tripp and Hoshi – this combination plays off their friendship and also is an answer to endless Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction about Tucker and T’Pol.
- Jennifer and Travis – for her, it’s appalling as she is about to be married. For him, he’s with the hottest woman on the ship. But she is so horribly damaged that it’s no fun for them at all.
This is not to mention the other couples in the story, from before, during and after the captivity. Plus, what happens with Pamela? Stay tuned.
Music drives the story as characters come together and break apart throughout. Every major character has his or her own song, and couples share songs, too.
- Lili – by herself, her song is Crowded House’s Something So Strong. With Doug, to start, it’s John Legend’s Ordinary People. With Malcolm, it’s A Flock of Seagulls’ Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You). In her small family unit, with Doug and Joss, it’s Emilie-Claire Barlow’s O Pato but the fallout is Joe Jackson’s Breaking Us in Two.
- Doug – by himself, his song is Snow Patrol’s Shut Your Eyes. With Melissa, it’s The Cure’s Let’s Go to Bed.
- also, for Melissa – by herself, her song is the Allman Brothers’ Sweet Melissa. With Leonora, it’s k.d.lang’s Constant Craving.
- Malcolm – by himself, his song is the Style Council’s Wanted. With Pamela, it’s Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.
- in addition, Jonathan – by himself, his song is Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody to Love. With Deb, it’s The Cardigans’ Lovefool.
- Deborah – by herself, her song is the Divinyls’ I Touch Myself.
- Tripp – by himself, his song is Matthew Sweet’s Sick of Myself. With Hoshi, it’s Joe Jackson’s Kinda Kute.
- and for Hoshi – by herself, her song is Bette Midler’s Do You Wanna Dance?
- Travis – by himself, his song is Marvin Gaye’s Stubborn Kind of Fellow. With Jennifer, it’s Duran Duran’s Rio.
- Jennifer – by herself, her song is the Cult’s Fire Woman. With Frank, it’s Maroon 5’s This Love. Their wedding song (and this is the song played at any wedding where Jenny is a bride), is Dusty Springfield’s I Only Wanna Be With You.
- Brian and Yimar’s song together is Michael Jackson’s PYT.
- The final song is the Cure’s Love Song.
The story isn’t a musical, per se, but there is so much pertinent music that it practically could be.
Hence the story, in some ways, ended up an exploration of not only relationships but also of our mores as a society. What do we accept from people? Also, what do we expect them to do when the chips are down? People in the story make good decisions, and they make some terrible ones as well. Fallout does not stop just because you wish it all away, and the fights are harsh because it’s the people who love you – and know you better than anyone – who can truly hurt you if they really want to.
- Together on Ad Astra (contains reviews)
- Together on Fictionpad
- also, Together on Trek BBS (this version is Rated T)
- Together on Fanfiction.net (this version is Rated T)
- in addition, Together on Wattpad (this version is Rated T)
- older posting of Together on G & T Show forums
- Together in context
I put the rating at T, with the racier version on Ad Astra at M.
The story goes in a bunch of different directions, and it was to tie up loose ends up and then create any number of others in order to generate more plot ideas, including the idea for Temper, a story that really doesn’t work without Together as its foundation. Furthermore, any number of other overall plot elements don’t work, or can’t work as well without it.
In many ways, it is a centerpiece story, and many other tales hang off it, either as sequels or as prequels or in conjunction with it. Aside from Reversal, people read this story more than the others, and for good reason. This is because it helps the reader to understand so much more of my overall story line. Plus, I think it’s just a good, complex tale.
I’m very proud of this one.