[Reviews - 185] starstarstarstarstarPrinter
FeatureSummary: Winnie Guster always prided herself in her infinite patience.  It was a simple invitation to join the Spencer family for dinner.  She could suck up her pride and go for the sake of her son.  After all, it was just dinner...right?
Rated: T
Categories: Season Characters: Gus, Henry, Shawn, Winnie Guster
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Casefile, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 24 Completed: Yes
Word count: 56003 Read: 87312
Published: November 23, 2008 Updated: June 05, 2009
Story Notes:
Many thanks for this story go to Dragonnan, GBfreak and Stacy.  I know I said before I was on the five year plan for another fic.  What can I say other than I haven't followed my own rules before, why start now?

1. Well of Course There's a Flashback! by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 17] starstarstarstarstar (596 words)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

2. I Don't Need You - I Just Need This...Pencil by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (2236 words)

3. This Spy Camera, This Lamp and This Pencil...That's All I Need by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarhalf-star (1054 words)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Again, special thanks go out to my story helpers Dragonnan and GBfreak... you both astound me!

4. I Just Need My Ketchup...I Don't Need My Ketchup by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 11] starstarstarstarstar (842 words)
For the record, this story takes place before Christmas Joy.  Mainly, because I don't feel like going back and re-editing everything to bring this up to speed.  Lazy, I know, but that's just how it is:)

5. It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This - And Not in a Good Way! by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 10] starstarstarstarstar (829 words)
Another short one, but it just couldn't be helped.  Enjoy!

6. And So it Begins... by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (1753 words)
In many ways, this story is just beginning.  Dragonnan, GBfreak, Patster - thank you all for sticking with me so far.  Your encouragement is the driving force fueling the reason I just couldn't keep myself from posting this next update.  I tried to be patient.  I really did:)

7. And to Think this Evening Started Out so Well... by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (1520 words)

8. The Next Time, We're Going Out to Eat by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 2] starstarstarstarstar (2324 words)


Many thanks again to Dragonnan and GBFreak for the beta and encouragement!


9. Escalators can go down, but this one just keeps going up...and up...and up...and by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 1] starstarstarstarstar (2280 words)
Five thousand thanks go to GBFreak and Dragonnan!  You wanna blame...I mean thank...someone for the added intensity of this chapter - blame them!  Thank you, my friends, for the spit 'n' polish.

10. Of Ordinary Heroes and Extraordinary Circumstances... by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 15] starstarstarstarstar (3710 words)

I'm celebrating the return of power and heat after 4 days in wicked cold temps with an update!  I've been dying to post this update for some time. 

Please note: while I do not consider this M worthy, this chapter is certainly more violent.  You are warned.

11. Don't pretend you can't hear me. I'm standing right here, screaming at you! by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (1159 words)
Stray, Patster, GBFreak, Dragonnan - thank you all so much for your continued support!   You guys are the reason I've decided to keep posting this.  This one's for you:)

12. Broken Homes - Broken Lives - Broken Ruby Slippers by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (1982 words)

13. Sure I've Got Myself for Company...But I Hate Her... by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (1000 words)
This one goes out to Patster who wanted one chapter that didn't involve Shawn on the brink of death...

14. The Key to Waiting is to Pace Yourself: Pace, Pace, Pace... by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (2466 words)

Ok, so I messed up slightly last time.  It was Stray insisted that she have at least one chapter where Shawn wasn't on the brink of death.  Sorry about that mix-up Stray...




15. Gus! Be a Table! Be a One Legged Table! by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 9] starstarstarstarstar (2312 words)
Extra special shout-out to Dragonnan...details to follow:)

16. Walking the Path to Recovery Three Steps Backward at a Time by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 0] (2375 words)
Thank you to all the awesome reviewers!  I've had a couple of killer weeks and I appreciate you all sooooooo much!

17. Make That Two and a Half Steps Backwards by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 7] starstarstarstarstar (1118 words)
Thanks again to Dragonnan and GBfreak for the continued encouragment!

18. Mr. Sandman, What is Your Return or Exchange Policy? by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 8] starstarstarstarstar (3343 words)

Thanks to Dragonnan - thank you for allowing me to shamelessly snurch from you and for the gift of putting a finger on exactly what an update needs!

Big thanks also go out to GBfreak and Raych - I was fully prepared to let this shrivel up and die had it not been for your support and encouragement.  If anyone is still out there, pass your thanks along to these two lovely ladies:)

19. Knock Me Out and Wake Me Up Later - Much, Much, Later... by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 5] starstarstarstarhalf-star (3645 words)
A million thanks to Dragonnan for helping pull this chapter together.  i could NOT have done it without your help.

20. Ahh Yes, the Ole' Dream Sequence Bit... by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 0] (3536 words)

I should be running out the door right now to get to work. However, since nearly losing this chapter I feel compelled to post this before anything else happens!  

Many thanks go out, here.  Dragonnan, for being awesome and a super-duper, on-the-spot guru!!!  Stray, just cause she's that cool.  Patster, likewise.  And to JR88 and Tazmy, welcome aboard!  I'm thrilled to have your amazingness along for the ride!

Thank you all so much!!

Ok, now I go to work....

21. A Touching Story of a Boy and His Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 5] starstarstarstarstar (3866 words)
To Dragonnan: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!  You deserve many wonderful presents for all your awesomeness!

22. Fears For Tears. Or Is it the Other Way Around? by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 6] starstarstarstarstar (3483 words)

To Dragonnan - THANK YOU!  You helped pull this chapter out of my head and helped sort through the many variations that it took before it became the chapter that I wanted it to be all along.  *deep breath*  Thank you!  Also, I snurched the chapter title from you.  I'll have it back by midnight.

Taz - I brought it.  Now its your turn to deliver.  It.Is.So.On!  Also, I didn't update this fast because you told me to, so there!  *sticks out tongue*  Thank you anyway;)

23. In the Map of the Universe, You Are the Red Arrow in the Center That Says 'You Are Here' by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 4] starstarstarstarstar (4454 words)

How many times can I thank Dragonnan for her patience and exceptional encouragment?  Lots.  That's how many.  Just...lots.

And then lots more.

24. We Can Has Go Bye-Bye Now? by SydneyWoo [Reviews - 15] starstarstarstarstar (4120 words)

I am tying the pretty red bow of completion on this thing!  WooHoo!!  

With this epilogue comes a mixed bag of emotions, that even now I have a hard time pinning down in words.  I've grown from a semi 'ehhhh' view of Winnie Guster to absolutely loving that woman beyond what's rational!  I vacillated between love for this fic as one would love a child to downright hating on it like a spurned ex-boss (sure, I could have said boyfriend or something traditional like that, but I'm going with what's on my mind right now:)  Sometimes, I would have a whole range of these warring emotions all within a span of five minutes...or even five seconds (if I have to be honest).

With that being said, because there were a whole host of times that I loathed this so much for causing me endless hours of lost sleep and frustration, there is a honkin' big laundry list of thank-you notes at the the end of this epilogue.  Seriously, friends, without the people listed I would have been very happy to end this in a character death (or five) just to get it out of my sight.  Thankfully, there are people around me who care enough to save me from myself and support me in my weakness.  I would greatly appreciate it if you would thank them as well.