luxken27: (Kids Inc - Together forever)
LuxKen27 ([personal profile] luxken27) wrote2011-05-16 09:35 pm

Kids Inc | Oneshot: A Birthday Surprise

Title: A Birthday Surprise
Fandom: Kids Incorporated
Universe: Canon continuation
Genre: Angst/Romance
Rating: T
Summary: Stacy receives a most unexpected gift on her twenty-fifth birthday.

Inspiration:Knock You Down” © 2009 Keri Hilson, Kanye West, Shaffer Smith, Kevin Cossom, Marcella Araica, Nate Hills [Keri Hilson]

Link(s): | LJ | DW | AO3

As evidenced by the lack of activity at this journal, I've been in something of a creative slump of late. However, it seems like half the world was celebrating their birthday yesterday o.O so it was pretty fast and furious with the gifts - including this fic, which was my birthday gift to my dearest KI fandom friend. After finding out she'd been laid up in the hospital for a week after complications from surgery, I knew I had to bump this up on my priority list. With a last-minute pinch hit from the fine folks at [ profile] awenish, I managed to shape this story into something she adored :D Huzzah!

Even better, she graciously gave me permission to share it with the rest of the world, so here goes! What is the one thing guaranteed to make a shipper feel better after a shitastic week? Romance, and that's what I set out to deliver in this story (as well as exorcise a few future!fic ideas that won't otherwise fit into my Stacy in Bloom universe).

The title of the story has a double meaning - not only does my main character receive a most unexpected surprise for her birthday, but this fic was a surprise for its recipient :) Writing this also proved to be a bit of practice for my Jonathan Creek [ profile] help_japan commission, so we all got a little something out of the deal, LOL.

Speaking of which - Stacy and Renee's birthdays are canon, for as much as Kids Inc has canon continuity. Episode 1x13 establishes Renee's birthdate -

While Episode 3x09 gives us the tradition of Renee and Stacy splitting the difference between their birthdays and having a mutual celebration in the middle (in what is one of my favorite episodes of the series) -

Of course, I was all excited to discover this when the Season 1 episode was posted to YouTube...only to realize that it completely conflicts with the plot of Stacy in Bloom *facepalm* Oh, well - here's my chance to preemptively make up for the grievous error yet to come in the epic fic :P

I was intrigued by this idea of the girls sharing a birthday, a tradition I can see lasting well into their adult lives, and causing one, if not both, of them a bit of misery. I personally view birthdays as a sort of "personal holiday" unique to each person, a day they should see fit to celebrate in whatever way they please. So, having a birthday ignored or forgotten is tantamount to insult - and for someone who feels naturally inferior to her older, more traditionally successful sister, that's cause enough for resentment.

I wanted to accomplish two things with this story - establish Stacy's emotional fatigue with her family, and contrast the baggage that comes along with those relationships to the one she shares with her long-time boyfriend. Anybody who knows me knows exactly what the identity of said boyfriend is without me saying it ;) but it was still fun to play around a little bit with the length and duration of the relationship.

As is probably becoming obvious, all of my future!fic tends to run in one direction - the characters here are not that dissimilar to the way they ended up at the end of Kiss Me, or the plans I've laid for the sequel to Stacy in Bloom - but, the devil is in the details. There are so many different places to take these characters as adults that the possibilities are endless - and even for someone like me who finds it difficult to stray from the head!canon path, there are plenty of variations on the theme.

I wanted to contrast Stacy's lifestyle with Renee's, and even the way she views her relationship with her parents to her perception of the way they relate to her sister. Anyone with siblings feels frustrated at times, thinking their parents favor their brother or sister over them, and growing up in the shadow of someone who's conventionally successful is hard. (Just ask Claudia Kishi, LOL.) Stacy lives the life she does in part as a rebellion against her parents' values and her sister's approximation of them - and in part because she's the sort of wild and crazy person who would thrive in a sort of never-ending whirlwind like this =)

I give Stacy's full name for the first time in this story as "Anastasia Elizabeth." There is no canon basis for this - in fact, it's cribbed from the BSC's Stacey - but this is one of the few details that will pop up again in my KI fic. I really liked the idea of Ryan being nervous and preoccupied with trying to decide if this was the right moment to pop the question, but once he did, launching into his query as he'd practiced a thousand times...and for some reason, the use of her formal name just adds to the romance for me :)

And then, of course, there's the ring :D I just LOVE nontraditional engagement rings, my weakness being blue sapphires. It was a lot of fun to go ring shopping, especially for something that could've been a vintage Tiffany's piece - and this is what I found:

*sigh* Gorgeous, isn't it?? I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide if he could've actually afforded it, LOL :P

I actually wasn't satisfied with the first draft of this piece, and I had a hard time pinpointing why. I posted it up to [ profile] awenish, a critique group here at LJ, and got some wonderful suggestions. It was a combination of thinking about those, and going back to the lyrics of the inspiration song:

I never thought I'd be in love like this
When I look at you my mind goes on a trip
Feels like I'm in the race, but I've already won first place
I never thought I'd fall for you as hard as I did
You've got me thinking about our life, a house, and kids
Every morning, I look at you and smile
'Cause boy, you came around and you knocked me down

(Said) If I could go back and make it happen faster
Girl, you know I would, baby, if I could

We were never meant be - baby, we just happened

that finally pushed me into writing this piece to my satisfaction. Somehow, that summed up for me the long and complicated relationship I saw Ryan and Stacy's romance take in this fic. Never completely able to let go, but needing a chance to grow up and reconnect before cementing their bond for good.

It's hard to feel squishy and romantic when RL is absolute shit, but letting it percolate definitely helped. (So did the confidence boost from having fresh pairs of eyes read this gave me! Shaking off the rust is a difficult proposition, indeed :-/) I'm hoping that completing this story means I'm back in the saddle, as it were, and can turn my attention to the laundry list of projects awaiting my attention. There's nothing worse than feeling like my creativity is being sapped away by RL bullshit, so *fingers crossed* that this is a stepping stone and not an island in the stream :)

Also: major kudos/thanks to GloriaFan for prodding the mods into updating the character list for the KI section!! I can't wait to see if having the casts from all seasons of the show inspires more writers to try their hand at fic...:D

[identity profile] 2011-05-17 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Yay for non-traditional engagement rings! While blue sapphires are great, I love the reds.

This is my engagement ring that's sitting on my finger right now:

I feel so trendy, especially with the royal engagement having such a non-traditional ring (which is ironic, because the prince was keeping tradition alive using his mom's ring). It's just nice to see something other than princess-cut diamond rings (which are gorgeous, just color-less, IMO) getting some love.

psyco_chick32: (Default)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2011-05-17 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
\o/ blue sapphire engagement rings for the win!
psyco_chick32: (MMPR - Tommy/Kim (Kisses))

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2011-05-17 02:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Sapphires are the best!!!

but i might be biased