Title: Failure Is Not An Option
Rating: PG-13 (possibly R in later chapters)
Pairing/Character(s): Jim/Bones, Uhura/Spock, Pike, Chekov, Sulu, Scotty; past Jocelynn/Bones; background Trip/T'Pol, Sulu/OFC
Length: ~30,000 (WIP)
Warnings/Spoilers: AU Star Trek: 2009, with a dash of TOS and ENT; language, minor character death
Disclaimer: All characters, situations, quotes et al are properties of their respective owners and I am merely using them under Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine, without intents to infringe upon or defame anyone's legal rights. It wouldn't be worth the cost to sue me anyway.
Summary: It's Christmas 2028, and Leo's been at Aquarian Aerospace for two months now. But, the longer he stays, the more secrets he discovers, some of which could keep them from ever reaching the stars.
If Leo's learned one thing in his life, it's that ideas were dangerous, far more so than actions.
NASA's fear of loosing more astronauts was leading to the early conclusion of the Constellation Program. Russia's fear of loosing it's foothold in the Caucasus and, thus, becoming vulnerable to Turkish forces, had led to the Third Chechen War. People's instinctive fear of change had brought men like Boian Ayel and Robert Richardson into power.
Maybe it was fear that was truly dangerous. But other feelings – other ideas – were treacherous too. And that Leo knew far too well.
Saturday, 23 December, 2028 (L-207 days)
The scene Leo walked into as he left the infirmary was something straight out of a nightmare. Or a Brady Bunch episode, though for Leo they were near enough the same thing:
There was a small, much loved (and more maligned) poker table in the middle of the table, occupying the overly large gap between the training simulators and the computers that ran them. Reference books, open to random pages, were stacked precariously atop of brightly-coloured binders across its surface; spiral-bound notebooks missing half their pages and notebook computers with lurid designs on their covers hung at awkward angles over the edge of the table; uncapped highlighters were drying at random intervals.
Jim was perched on a rickety wicker chair at one end, the eye in the middle of this tornado of research and chaos. His flight jacket was open, revealing a white t-shirt with oversized black union jack that may or may not be the most sedate thing in his closet. The orange highlighter clipped to the front of it matched his shoelaces perfectly.
At the other end of the table, Pike and Spock have managed to eke out a small corner for a chessboard and were playing a match. Spock, clearly winning, looked almost bored. All he could see of Pike was his back, but from the set of his shoulders he knows there's this intense look of concentration on his face, near as to be identical to the one Jim's wearing now. (One of these days, Leo thought, he'll have to ask Jim just how he met Pike. He might even get a straight answer. He usually did.)
Chekov, the Russian who was apparently such a spectacular genius that it was worth having him around even though he was only seventeen, and Sulu, who might well be the only sane person he'd met since this whole escapade started, were bent close over one of the simulation computers. They've changed out of their flight suits – Sulu into jeans and white button-down, the kid into slacks and a dark shirt, looking almost, but not quite, like an adult. When he got closer, he saw they were playing a video game, and immediately took back any thoughts of adulthood or sanity he's ever had towards either of them.
And, while Scotty was nowhere to be seen, Uhura was, sitting on one of the dying couches that also inhabited the no-man's land between computer banks and sims. The couch was faded red, her sweater was snow white, and so were her teeth when she smiled widely at him and waved for him to join her.
It's not particularly domestic, not in the 1960s sense of the term. The only concession to the holiday was the presence of a small fake tree on one of the computer consoles, and even then it's not a perfect miniature pine or spruce or fur. No, it was something out of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and, somehow, he wasn't not sure if that's worse or better than a normal tree. And yet...
And yet there were Christmas carols coming out of the speakers that dotted the hangar. Leo's fairly certain, by the smell, there were gingerbread cookies somewhere in the room too – probably somewhere in the mess Jim's made of the poker table. It's about as far from a holiday special as you could get, but...
It feels more like home than his house in Athens ever did. (Which just proved his whole marriage to Jocelynn had been a mistake, but, hell, he'd been fairly certain of that since the moment the honeymoon ended. Which, if anyone was curious, was three days after the wedding. It might've taken longer, but she'd had a huge case coming up wouldn't take any more time off than that. Which also proved that marrying a divorce lawyer was possibly the third stupidest thing a a person could do, after letting oneself be kidnapped by rouge astronauts and being peripherally involved in the death of a senator's son.)
He snorted at this thought, which caused Uhura to raise an eyebrow as he sunk onto the couch next to her. "Care to share with the class?"
"Just a thought I had."
She smirked at him for a moment, as if she thought she knew what he meant, and began to say something more, only to be interrupted by the soft ping of the elevator door behind them and a rich brogue calling out, "Laddies, it took visiting every off-licence an' petrol station within fifty miles, but I've returned with libations. I've got beer for the colonel – eh, no, you cannae have any, you throttle-jockey; you agreed to take me an' Pavel to see me girl before who go an' see yours an' you're not doing it sozzled, thank you very much – an' a case of some of fruity concoction for you, Jim lad. An' there's egg nog an' scotch for the rest of us, if you dinna mind the wee bottles. It was all they had.
"Oh, an' there's the carry-away in the rest of these bags – the Golden Dragon was all that was open, an', since I was the only one there, I had them whip up two of everything, so that should last you lot through the weekend, at least..."
Spock and Pike pack up their chess game. Uhura started picking up random piles from the chaos that was the poker table and moving it to the floor, while Chekov and Sulu brought chairs over from the computer banks. Leo was still at a loss to do in these incredibly intimate, familial moments, where everyone else seemed to know their place and he's just left to fit in where he can.
But then Jim kicked out the chair next to him and gave him a look that said, you coming man? and, somehow, it didn't matter any more that he didn't know the first names of half the people in the room, let alone anything else about them. Jim trusted them and he trusted Jim, despite the fact he'd been instrumental in kidnapping him at least twice now and wore shoes with orange laces and clearly had more issues than most long-running magazines.
And, yes, Jim had been acting strange for the past couple of days, ever since the military had decided to move something or other for one of Aquarian's contracts with them ahead. Leo wasn't exactly sure how that worked – if the air force was one of the infamous Stockholders they would sometimes go on about, or if individual members of the military were involved, or if Aquarian was actually a real company with real contracts – and didn't really care what the truth of it was so long as he wasn't expected to play nice with them. He was notoriously bad with hobnobbing with idiots who felt they owned him because they had donated money to wherever he was working at the time.
Nevertheless, because of the change in the timetable, the trip to Tobago Jim had promised him had postponed indefinitely. Jim had not been pleased, even if Leo was.
("We're going up in seven months, Bones," he'd said. "Shackleton's exotic as they come, and, granted, day trips to Mare Cognitum and the Fra Mauro Highlands aren't anything to shake your finger at either, but you can't go to the Moon without seeing Earth first. You just can't." He'd then promised vacations to Paris and Rio before running off to help someone with something or other. Leo'd been trying to decide if it would be better to bring along vials of benzylpenicillin or just to cultivate the P. chrysogenum himself and, as such, hadn't been paying much attention to the details of Jim's theatrics. Leo then had spent the next three hours debating with himself if antibiotics would really be necessary in the vacuum of space, and then a great deal more time reconciling himself to that vacuum.)
What all this had added up to was that, because of the military thing, everyone else had been rather busy fretting (or, in Jim's case, sulking) over it, and had spent the last week or so up in Iowa City, doing whatever it is they did while Leo fretted about antibiotics and analgesics and how much of the rest of the World Health Organization's Essential Medicines list really was essential. As a result of this, this was the first time everyone had been in the hanger at the same time in over a week.
He still wasn't too comfortable with the others. Spock bugged the crap out of him; Uhura reminded him of one of his cousins, and not in a necessarily good way; and Chekov was too young. Scotty was nice enough, as was Sulu, but he really had little in common with them other than the fact that all three of them were going to the Moon, and Pike... Well, Pike still reminded him of a lawyer. Or a modern-day Mafia boss with an overdeveloped sense of paterfamilias. Okay, maybe not a mob boss, but someone who felt that anyone he took under his wing became, to some degree or another, a member of his family.
Which really was the source of the problem. They were family and he wasn't. Leo was fantastically horrendous at office politics and even worse when it came to remembering which parts of his family weren't speaking to each other. Oh, Jim was trying fantastically to fit him into the tree, though damn if he could tell where, but, despite all that, he'd only been with them for two months. They may have drugged him with truth serum and they mightn't believe he killed Bryon Richardson, but they didn't really trust him yet. Not like family anyway.
Which was probably for the best, as his marriage had stalled before the first week was over, even if it had taken another seven months to properly break down, and his interactions with people he actually shared blood with tended to be somewhat more painful.
All that being said, though, he still found himself looking forward to the mission. Yes, large parts of it scared the shit out of him. Yes, a great deal of it went over his head – he got the feeling that there was a great deal of things that they kept from him, failed to share with him, and generally assumed he already knew. But, God, was he looking forward to it.
Shaking his head, Leo took the seat – and the proffered sesame chicken – and decided it didn't matter. None of it. For better or worse, these people were Jim's family, and, by curious default, his too. And if he found himself minding that fact far less than he should, well, that was probably the Stockholm syndrome talking.
Sunday, 24 December, 2028 (L-206 days)
Spock, according to Jim, had been born in south-western Iran shortly before everything went pear-shaped in that region. He, like T'Pol, was ethnically Kalimi – which extensive googling had revealed to mean a member of the Persian Jewish community, though, from what he understood, most Kalimi lived outside of Iran these days. (Leo also got the feeling that Spock and T'Pol were related somehow, if distantly, but that was more of a hunch than anything else, based in large part off a twenty-year-old photo he'd found of the woman in the online encyclopaedia under notable Persian Jews taken a few years before she'd founded Durandal Security Services.) Spock's family had left Shiraz for Pretoria when he was very young, and then he'd gone to England for schooling. This last bit had apparently caused some rift between Spock and his father, though no one had bothered to tell Leo why and, undoubtedly, never would until ages after the whole thing had been resolved.
For the most part, Leo respected Spock, for things like his inability to equivocate and his useful, if singularly annoying, encyclopaedic knowledge of the physical sciences. The guy was obviously good at his job and could have been the next Witten or Chandrasekhar if he actually worked at a university doing whatever it was theoretical physicists did rather than at trying to find ways to send people clandestinely to the Moon and keep them alive for an indefinite period after they got there. Granted, he was a bit of a self-righteous mother-fucker who could be more obnoxious than some of Jocelynn's lawyer friends twice over, but he seemed decent enough. But what did he know? Most of the time Leo'd spent with him had been in sims with half-a-dozen other people. The only one he really spent much time with one-on-one was Jim, or sometimes Pike or Uhura.
Uhura. Jim claimed that she and Spock had some sort of thing (his exact words; what was he, twelve?) going on.
Still, regardless of the relationship that might or might not exist between their resident science guru and their comms officer, it was because of her that Spock was trying to exercise his (distinctly non-existent) powers of equivocation right right then.
They'd spent the first part of the morning whittling down the core anaesthetics on the WHO's essential medicines list from thirteen to six, considering weight, flammability, volatility, likely necessity, and off-label uses. Then they'd done away with all three recommended anti-leprosy drugs, crossed off all twelve TB meds, and, in a burst of minimalist enthusiasm, eliminated the entire antiviral category in one fell swoop before breaking for coffee.
Leo was actually feeling pretty good about this, despite probably managing to set back the standard of healthcare back fifty years between the two of them, but what could they do? There were severe limitations to what even Leo would be able to do, medically wise, on the Moon, and there was no use bringing along four types of local anaesthetics when one would work for their needs just fine – let alone meds to treat ailments it would be downright impossible for them to contract in space.
Then, of course, Spock had come back into the infirmary (with tea), and decided to tell him in his usual, subtle way: "I feel it is my duty to warn you that Nyota has a tendency to adopt projects outside her nominal expertise, as well as a penchant for becoming emotionally attached to said projects," which, of course, was only subtle in that it left Leo with no idea what he was talking about.
"Okay?" he managed, drawing the word out to cover the awkward pause that followed.
For a moment, Spock looked almost amused, but it was a passing thing or, more likely, a trick of the light, and the subject dropped.
It wasn't much later, though, when he was starting to get curious about how Spock knew so much about opioid analgesics, enough for Leo to start considering asking, before they're interrupted, his only warning being one of Spock's not-amused not-expressions angled at a point somewhat past Leo's left shoulder.
He didn't spin around quickly enough and shortly found someone hands covering his eyes.
"What the fuck Jim?" It could only be Jim. No one else lived as if life was some sort of joke the universe was telling itself, as if being alive was excuse enough for bad jokes and worse pick-up lines.
"Sneaking up on you, of course."
"Yes, but why?"
"Why not?" The answer was so guileless, Leo almost believed it. Almost. "'Sides, I need to steal you."
"Colonel, it is by definition impossible to steal a-" Spock began, to be cut off a moment later by Jim removing his hands from Leo's eyes, flipping Spock off with one, and tugging on Leo's shoulder with the other. It was a somewhat inelegant movement, at least as viewed from about five inches away from the middle finger in question, but that was Jim.
"Jim, Spock! Jim! Don't you remember? It's my name and that's what friends do: call each other by their names. And Bones doesn't mind if I steal him, do you Bones?"
"You've already kidnapped me twice-"
"You agreed to come along the second time. Technically that's abduction."
"-what's one more? Though I should point out that, if you wanted me here badly enough to kidnap me in the first place, you might, I dunno, let me do the work you brought me here to do some of the time. It's hard enough trying to figure out what medicines we'll need without dealing with your wanderlust."
Petulantly, "But my wanderlust is why we're here, Bones. Well, not mine so much as the Tuckers', and maybe Barnett's, but mine's definitely a part."
"Fine," Leo sighed. "Where are you dragging me off to this time? Paris? Tobago? Bora Bora?"
"Next door, actually, but if you want to go to Bora Bora we'll have to wait 'til monsoon season is over. And this horrible thing with the X-63 is over and done with. Though, admittedly, it wouldn't have been a problem if General Barstow hadn't decided he wanted to indulge in a bit of insider trading and force us to have it finished enough to announce to someone more than just the Senate's strategic forces subcommittee before the next fiscal year. Seems to think it will cause his stocks to sky-rocket. Hopefully the IRS or FBI or whoever looks into these kind of things will catch him before it ever makes it into production."
"Is that actually what happened?" Leo asked as he hauled himself out of his chair. He hadn't been at all clear on what had caused the rush, especially when Aquarian seemed to have planned everything else down to the letter.
Jim waved a hand idly (and far more gracefully than when it had been in Leo's face), "No. It's just the usual Russo-Turkish border issues in the Caucasus, but the State Department is spooked and, well, that's what the X-63 is for. Place one over Uganda and, bang," he actually snapped his fingers here, "problem solved. Theoretically. Which is, of course, the problem. Though wouldn't it be nice if it actually was something as banal as insider trading?"
"Good man." He clapped Leo on the shoulder and proceeded to manoeuvre him down the hall.
"So why am I being kidnapped this time?"
"Stolen, Bones!" he laughed, sounding happier than he had since Chicago. "Stolen! 'Sides, it's for a good cause."
"And the last two times weren't?"
"Me and Aquarian are good causes. You'll like this one too. It's gooder. Better. More good. On a larger scale, at least, so something like that. Anyway, you know the X-63?"
"Vaguely." Leo shrugged out of Jim's hold when it became clear that by next door he meant Pike's office, not the simulators or whatever building was closest to the inn above ground (which, knowing Jim, was just as likely to be a bar as someone's grandmother's house). "Still haven't explained what it's got to do with me."
"We need you to write a report."
"A report? I thought I was supposed to be lying low and not at all connected with Aquarian. And I don't know anything about this plane you're building."
"Well, first thing you've got to know is that the X-63 isn't so much an experimental plane as an experimental system of orbital spy platforms that could potentially destroy the world if some idiot ever thinks to equip them with with nukes. Which they'll probably want to do sooner or later." By this point they'd invaded Pike's office and Jim was pulling papers off of the desk, his tone making it very clear what he thought about the idiots who wanted that.
Leo favoured him with a look that explained his thoughts on idiots who wanted him to do unnecessary paperwork. He didn't notice.
Eventually Jim brandished a cardboard tube at him, the kind that posters were mailed in. Inside was an incredibly detailed artist's rendering of something that looked exactly like your stereotypical satellite, baring one or two key differences. They're so subtle it took Leo a moment to realize what he was looking at but, when he does, his stomach dropped like it had when he'd seen the first headline accusing him of Bryan Richardson's murder. "It's a death star." It looked absolutely nothing like one, but the shared purpose was clear.
"Call it an orbital platform. Please. If I have to hear one more joke about it, or one more not-so-oblique Star Wars reference, I might just go mad. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've already gone ahead and done so in preparation."
Normally, this would have been the perfect time to make a jab about Jim being one to talk, being lord and master of the bad joke (and the only person Leo'd ever met that could actually draw a laugh with some of them), or maybe something about orange shoelaces, but he couldn't. "You're building a death star for the United States military." The words were flat, somewhat pained. "And what does this have to do with me?"
"Technically, we're only designing the X-63s, and they're meant to be more... all-encompassing, all-knowing master satellites, each operating a platoon of lesser spy satellites. Our original contract was to make something that could be the new eyes and ears of the military, and that itself isn't a bad idea. It'd just be a new way to track enemy aircraft and troop movements. Give the technology another twenty years and the X-63s might even be able to dispatch, direct, and control unmanned aircraft to problem spots... Pop one over Peru to cover the eastern seaboard, another over Uganda to keep an eye on the Caucasus, and a third around Papa New Guinea and you've got global satellite coverage...
"They're not designed to be highly manoeuvrable, or to be armed, or be really anything other than a way of keeping us in-the-know. I'd prefer the tech to be in the UN's hands," he added lightly, flopping onto the couch next to him with a stack of binders in his hand. All were in lurid colours. The laptop balanced on top had a plaid cover.
Strangely, this made Leo feel a little bit better; if Jim could laugh about it, could cover it in bright colours and ridiculous patterns, than it couldn't be as bad as he was making it sound. He'd seen Jim serious, and it was nothing like this. Hell, it was better than his recent moping over the loss of his Tobagonian holiday.
"But, then again," Jim continued, "Pike tells me I've been biased towards the United States military ever since they kicked me out. I've tried to tell him, no, I've always been like this, but he doesn't believe me. I don't know why. It's all very disheartening.
"Oh? And please don't call it a death star. Somewhere in the world, you're causing George Lucas to roll over in his grave. Or want to die if he's not dead yet. I'm not sure which, but I'm sure neither option is very pleasant."
Leo couldn't restrain his exasperated sigh. "You've still not explained what it's got to do with me, Jim. I know you enjoy kidnapping me – and don't think we're not going to be having a talk about that one of these days – but, really, is there an actual report you want me to write, or was this just your way of trying to save me from Spock?"
"Former, mostly, though a bit of the latter. Spock just takes some getting used to."
"If you say so."
"I do. And, if we have to talk about my propensity for kidnapping, we really need to talk about yours for getting kidnapped. I'm sure it will all stem back to our parents withholding affection from us as kids – isn't that what psychologists always say?"
"The paper, Jim?"
"Fine, Bones. Be that way. See if I care. The paper...
"Well, you see, Barstow – he's in charge of the Air Force Space Command; it's his first major command, and I think more than half of this is him trying to impress his superiors – wants to present the designs for the X-63 to the Senate's armed forces committee by September. Now, obviously, we won't be here, but we have to keep up the pretence to keep them from pulling the contract and giving it to someone else, like the Indian aerospace firm Romulus and Sons' bought up a couple of years back, Narada something-or-other. The one named after a Hindu sage anyway, not the WWI yacht-cum-patrol boat-cum-yacht – at least, I don't think...
"Anyway," he back-pedalled, apparently chided by Leo's rolling eyes, "Our hope with the X-63 contract was to draw things out long enough that we're on the Moon before the plans were finished. Only now that's gone to pieces and, if we stick to his time table, we're expected to hand him the finished designs before the end of April. Which we can't do, 'cause there's always a possibility he'll push it through manufacturing and have them up before things get any sort of settled, and that will just mess up our plans entirely."
"I'm pretty sure half the world's militaries will notice the moment Enterprise takes off, and the rest will know before we ever land."
"Not those plans – no, we want them to know we've gone up. No, the problem is that, if we give them the plans too soon, they'll be in definite US military control, but if we delay... well, it might be a government contract, but the people at Tanaka, Ueda, and Fujihara assure us that the plans belong to Aquarian until the moment we officially turn them over. And then we can control who gets them... Well, the Stockholders will, but that's neither here nor there.
"But, basically, we need you to come up with some sort of medical concern that the government will be forced to look into before they can present the idea to Congress and write a report to that effect, preferably with lots of big, dangerous-sounding medical words. Uhura's going through the motions of making it look like we hired you legitimately rather than, you know, drugging you and pulling you out of that dive in St. Louis, so there's no need to worry about that. Spock's covering the environmental angles, so we can have a couple of different issues for them to worry about. Just think of something that will delay us having to hand over the plans until we're already on the Moon, that's all we're asking."
"So you can cheat the government out of something it paid for?"
"They'll probably freeze all our assets once they figure out who's behind the launch anyway. There's a reason why Trip moved his company headquarters to Cannes and Barnett is building an island or three."
Leo didn't know what to say to to that, so he didn't try, just picked up one of the binders and began flipping through it.
It wasn't until Pike came into his office, clearly surprised to see them both on the couch – Leo tucked at one end, balancing a laptop on top of Jim's feet, which had somehow ended up in Leo's lap around the time the wayward astronaut started talking about micrometeorites, – that the thought even occurred to him that the infirmary was just down the hall and had adequate work space for both of them. Space that wouldn't require them to sit in such close contact.
Only when this thought was quickly by another, this one along the vein of too comfortable to move now, did Leo realize he had a problem.
Wednesday, 27 December, 2028 (L-203 days)
The story went like this:
Leonard McCoy met Jocelynn Arceneaux in September of '27. She was two years out of law school and working at respectable, though hardly renowned, firm three blocks from the hospital. This proximity had been the only reason that M'Benga had chosen them when he needed a someone to handle his divorce. Jocelynn had been assigned to his case and Leo had been called in to testify on Geoff's character. Why Leo had been chosen for this honour, he was never quite sure, but he'd gone in and explained that, despite Mrs. M'Benga's disbelieving protests, her husband's only mistress was his job, as the number of hours he worked would attest. And if he found Geoff's lawyer attractive, so what? He put in too many hours at the hospital to think of doing anything about it.
That didn't Jocelynn from coming up to him after his disposition and asking him out for drinks.
They'd gone out that night, partly because it was the only night for a week they were both free, and had moved on to proper dates before the ink on M'Benga's papers was dry.
It was an odd sort of courtship – they both worked far too many hours, and would go days without seeing each other, only to meet up in the middle of the week for lunch and end up fucking in the nearest by-the-hour motel to the restaurant before one or the other had to go back to work – but it worked for them.
Both of them had had to work over the holidays, but she'd dragged him down to Baton Rouge that New Years to meet her parents. She'd been very insistent on that, and Leo'd rather gotten the impression that at least two of her previous relationships had ended because Mr. Arceneaux hadn't thought them good enough for his daughter. But, unlike her previous boyfriends, he was a doctor, a brain surgeon even, and that apparently passed muster, despite his Baptist upbringing. Still, they'd all had too much champagne when one of her cousins had said they were so perfect for each other that they should get married. He'd said, "Maybe we should," and, like that, they'd gotten engaged.
They'd gotten married shortly before Valentine's Day. It was around then he'd realized that, though he might love much about Jocelynn – her passion, her drive - the more time he spent with her, the less he genuinely liked her.
Leo tried to change that, he honestly had, but then his dad had gotten in a car accident. He'd still lived in Cecil, over four hours from Athens, and had already been in surgery by the time Leo had gotten to the hospital in Brooks County he'd been taken to. He'd died three days later. His death had been hard on Leo, but Jocelynn, despite her own relationship with her father, hadn't seemed to understand, and they found themselves growing further apart.
Easter had come with Jocelynn announcing they were going to have a baby, and by then Leo had known he'd stay with her, if only for the kid's sake, though he'd known full well that was the wrong reason to be married to anyone.
Mother's Day had brought the news she'd miscarried after a particularly difficult day in court. For all that he'd wanted the baby, it would have been lying to say there hadn't been a part of him glad that they would not be brining a child into their fractured marriage. It was a treasonous though, and Leo hated himself for it.
He'd taken Bryan Richardson as a patient not long after, and, by Veteran's Day, she'd filed for divorce, representing herself. Taking advantage of the bad press surrounding Bryan's death, she had taken Leo for everything he had.
Leo reminded himself of this quite forcibly when Jim came into the infirmary, threw himself across one of his chairs (head over one armrest, feet dangling over the other), and begged to be entertained. The story was a testament to how badly things went when you confused lust with love.