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If anybody has read Confidence - which btw is a rec as well (it`s a multi-chapter J2 AU) - would you care to give me your take on the ending?

Because I seem to differ from lots of others in my reading of the way it ends.

Not the fact that it is an unhappy ending. Those are not my personal preference and I`m not sure I`d ever write one myself but it was powerful and suited the story.

No, I read a lot of "Jensen did go through with the con after all". And I really felt: no, he didnt.
Well technically maybe but it wasn`t like he woke up, decided the con meant more to him than silly Jared and did it all business-like. His behaviour was emotion-based, he went through with it out of love, motivated by a threat and not even to his best interest. Which would have been to flee indeed.

So did he end it like a true con-man? No. Not for me.

Also to me the ending pointed more in the "Bobby is pissed off enough to order a kill-strike" direction. Sure, it could be read as that Jensen is a valuable enough commodity to him to "just" be taught a lesson and then continue working for him.

But I don`t know, the man struck me as a) vengeful enough and b) a good reader of people so he`d know that Jensen finding himself again confined to a life he hates might not possess the certain je-ne-sais-quoi anymore to be as effective as he once was.
Jensen was depicted as a survivor sure but losing a certain drive can be fatal in his business. It`s not like he wouldn`t go back to the way of not-caring he did before.

So yeah, I read it as pretty final.

Comments

( 11 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
lacesforalady
Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
Hi, don't know you, just finished reading that fic and it struck a chord. I liked the ending. It was totally unexpected, I was waiting for the usual fanfiction "cop-out" feelgood ending (because, hey, isn't fandom usually about fluffy feel-good bunnies?), and then Jensen didn't leave. I had to reread the whole last section, to make sure I hadn't missed anything (I was all, "wait! He didn't leave? What?" :p).

Anyways. Rambling aside, I thought that he was not long for this world, and he knew it. For some reason that was the vibe I got. It's equally possible he took Bobby's offer and lived a miserable life. It was unusually grim for a fanfic not labelled as a dark-fic. I loved it.
astri13
Dec. 3rd, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
I thought that he was not long for this world, and he knew it. For some reason that was the vibe I got.

Yeah, me too. And normally I`m all about feel-good endings - need a break from RL :) - but not at the expense of the story and there are some stories where it doesn`t fit.

What I was most worried about was Jensen going through with the con after all and that didn`t happen, at least not to my understanding. Sure, he got the money from Jared but not for money`s sake. In the end he acted like a protective lover, not like a con-man. That he technically did a con doesn`t change it for me so I was a bit surprised to see so many exclamations about him going through with the Con and wondered if I`d missed something critical.
apey1013
Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Umm...I just finished reading it but I pretty much read it as "in the end they're both totally screwed so excuse me while I go cry because DAMN that was well-written!" Maybe I read it too fast but I thought it was the "kill-strike" ending.
astri13
Dec. 3rd, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC)
I just finished reading it but I pretty much read it as "in the end they're both totally screwed so excuse me while I go cry because DAMN that was well-written!" Maybe I read it too fast but I thought it was the "kill-strike" ending.

*nod nod* Me too, was a very grim but fitting ending.
trishabooms
Dec. 3rd, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
Jensen clearly conned Jared but he set himself up to take the fall with Bobby didn't he? He handed over the money I think to protect Jared, but knew he'd have to pay the price with Bobby.

At the end he knows that Bobby is going to make him suffer but he's just hoping Bobby will kill him rather than leaving him to live knowing what he's done to Jared. That's my reading of it anyway.

It's an excellent story isn't it?
astri13
Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
Jensen clearly conned Jared but he set himself up to take the fall with Bobby didn't he? He handed over the money I think to protect Jared, but knew he'd have to pay the price with Bobby.

Yes, totally what I got from it as well, it was just that throughout the story I feared Jensen would go through with the con after all and in the end I was well, not happy, but at least a bit satisfied that he didn`t. Then I read so many comments how he did and was confused. For me the distinction of motive is critical. He started out a con-man, his sole object getting the money out of people.

In the end he did what he had to to protect Jared and he did it the only way his con-man self thought it would work so it was technically a con but to me not in the way I`d feared. If that makes any sense other than to my jumbled brains. :)
goldenseal
Dec. 3rd, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
When I got to the end of that, I broke down for just a second, and then my mind started formulating a long, angsty sequel in which Jared returns and confronts Jensen, who is alive but broken, and in the end they play Bobby at his own game and skip town... And live happily ever after... *sheepish grin*
astri13
Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
and then my mind started formulating a long, angsty sequel in which Jared returns and confronts Jensen, who is alive but broken, and in the end they play Bobby at his own game and skip town... And live happily ever after... *sheepish grin*

I like it. I`ll adopt it. :)
isoldam
Dec. 4th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
I did not like the ending at all. Now, I admit that I prefer 'happy' endings, but that really was not my problem with this story. I would have been satisfied with an 'unhappy' ending in which Jensen did not behave like an idiot. If, after finding out that Bobby meant to kill him, Jensen had warned Jared and then skipped town with no intention of seeing him again I would have been satisfied. If Jensen had anticipated Bobby's reaction and had an elaborate plan, possibly including Bobby's murder and skipping town with all Jared's money, I would have been satisfied. But why oh why did a supposedly street smart con artist hang around town in places that Bobby knew he would be? Bobby strikes me as a strictly small potatoes local thug. New York is a Big city and its a big old world out there. There was no reason Jensen could not have hidden out until he left town.

This fic was disappointing to me because I wanted Jensen to be more like the Robert Redford character in 'The Sting' and less like a small time incompetent con artist.

I also did not like the way the ending left things hanging, but that's just my taste. We are left with the impression that Jensen is going to be killed, but hey, he could have gotten away. I know a lot of people like that device. It allows them to make up their own endings. Personally, if I don't like the ending I'm going to make a new one up any way. I just want to see what the author thinks is going to happen.

Isolda
astri13
Dec. 4th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC)
I would have been satisfied with an 'unhappy' ending in which Jensen did not behave like an idiot. If, after finding out that Bobby meant to kill him, Jensen had warned Jared and then skipped town with no intention of seeing him again

Hm yeah, good point. I guess it depends heavily on how much of a threat Bobby is supposed to be and I too got the local mini-mobster vibe so what indeed kept Jensen from running off with Jared to Mexico or even to somewhere in the States and live a quiet life?
son_heir
Dec. 5th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
I didn't see it as Jensen doing the con at all, and even now you've mentioned it I can't see it as him doing a con.

He did what a lover would have done, decived the one he loved to protect him.

I can't even really see it as stealing either.

And this may make me a romantic, smushy wimp but I was soooooo not expecting that end! I acctally belived we were going to get a happy ending.
( 11 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )