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Welome to From the Ashes

Welcome.

This is going to be something new for me, something of an experiment.  For the past decade (actually, a little longer), I've written fanfic exclusively in one fandom.  As I wrote dozens of stories -- most complete, some incomplete, one absolute monster incomplete -- I never had a strong urge to try writing in a different universe.

Until a few days ago.

That's when I happened upon a website about the US soap, Days of Our Lives.  Now I cannot claim to be a long-time viewer of the show.  It's been on nearly 45 years, and I probably watched on-and-off for about 4-5 years in the mid-1980s, mainly during high school.  But most fans of the show consider those the golden years with such great characters as Bo, Hope, Roman, John (sometimes Roman), Marlena, Steve, Kayla, Eugene, Calliope, Mike, Victor, Stefano, etc.

But none of them compared to Kim & Shane, the ex-hooker survivor and the sexy superspy.

I mean, I absolutely loved those two and, for several years, followed their ups-and-downs, two marriages, two divorces, two kids (neither of which was originally thought to be Shane's), injuries (I think Kim was in a car accident and a helicopter crash, while Shane was shot at least four times, got knocked out more times than I can count, and was believed dead from an explosion/fall -- but, in true soap fashion, only had amnesia).  I won't try to detail their entire history here, but here are basic character histories for Kim and Shane.  I'll just say that, like most fans, I wanted them to get together and have a happy ending.

As fans know, that did not happen during their original time on the show.  Patsy Pease, who played Kim, left and came back a few times in the early 90s and Charles Shaughnessy, who played Shane, left to do primetime shows in 1992, eventually winding up on the Nanny in 1992.  When he left, Kim and Shane were divorced, and Kim was about to remarry.  The viewers were deprived of their happy ending.

Sort of.

About a week ago, while meandering through the internet, I came across a website that mentioned Days reuniting Kim and Shane this summer.  Curious, I searched for video clips on YouTube and watched the reunion.

It was a bittersweet experience.  Yes, I got the "happy" ending.  Yet it felt like, for every good thing, there was a countervailing weak point.

I squeed when Shane appeared in the South American jail, but hated that it was just a way for him to play second-fiddle to Rafe.

I loved when Kim reunited with her siblings, but hated how she was angry at Shane for disappearing.  (And, seriously, Shane disappears for more than a year, but she never mentions it to his former brothers, Roman and Bo?)

I loved when Kim and Shane appeared together for the first time, but hated how Kim immediately lashed out at him.  Wouldn't she have asked where he was, if he was in danger, if he had been hurt?  (This was a man who spent several months presumed dead with amnesia, Kim.  Maybe there was a reason he didn't come visit you when you had leukemia.)

I will admit that I liked that Kim and Shane did not just rush into each other's arms and left with an understanding that they would try to work things out.  There relationship was far too complicated for a full reconciliation in the few episodes in which they appeared.  But I did not like that the seeming "obstacle" to their future relationship was Shane's job with the ISA.  That was just too pat.

And where were "the children" that Kim mentioned them being in Salem, but we neither saw them or even got a clue about them.  This is a soap opera where kids born years after Andrew and Jeannie have been SORASed into adults.  Andrew was born two years after Sami, and she has been an adult for a decade had multiple carriers, a stint on death row, four marriages, and four kids.  Will was born several year after Jeannie, but is now midway through high school.  Yet Kim made it sound like Andrew and Jeannie could be in diapers.

Anyway, that is all a long way of saying I was disappointed.  And that led to a voracious plot bunny.  How would I have done the reunion differently, albeit still fitting it into the general structure of Rafe stumbling onto Shane in a South American prison in an unnamed country (well, in this fic, it will be called Costa Blanca)?  So I started writing.

That's when I realized I have another problem.  In my other fandom, if I have a canon question, want to share a draft of a scene, or discuss possible future plot twists, I have a wonderful group of longtime friends who will act as sounding boards.  But now I'm trying to write a story set 20 years after I stopped watching the show -- a show that airs five times a week -- and there is so much history that I missed.  Victor Kiriakis is a major character in my plot bunny, as I always thought he and Shane were true foils for one another, but I didn't even know if Victor was a current bad guy or in a redemptive phase.  And Rafe.  I didn't even know how he got to that South American jail.  If the only characters in the story were Kim & Shane, it wouldn't be a problem, but that wouldn't really fit the story back in to the Days universe.

So that led me to use this unused LJ site.  I don't want to post to ff.net, because that has always been where I put final stories.  For this story, I am going to post draft scenes that can be revised to eliminate canon mistakes and other confusion resulting from the holes in my Days knowledge.  I also intend to revise scenes to make the characters sound more "true" to the show.

I'm also hoping that posting here will help me find some readers who might be willing to serve as plot doctors via email.  I would love to find some people who will answer canon questions before I make mistakes or will listen to some plot ideas as they develop.  (For instance, can anyone tell me if we know the condition and whereabouts of John Black and Marlena as of spring 2010?  I know the remarried when he was paralyzed and went to Europe for treatment in early 2009, but did we ever learn anything more, say, from someone mentioning a call with Marlena?)  For the most part, I am not going to be concerned with canon after the starting point of this story, though I might use bits and pieces of recent events to flesh out some of the secondary characters.

I don't know what will come of the bunny.  So far, I've just written the prologue, which explains how Shane got to jail.  From the original how did Shane get into the jail and then get back to Salem idea has spawned some ideas for a sprawling epic that will go far beyond Shane and Kim returning to Salem.  I'm not sure I'll go fully down that path.  I might write a few stories.  I might write some stories focused on Andrew and Jeannie.  I just don't know where this will go..

But I think it will be fun to see, and hope you will join me on this experiment.

Jess