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Fan Fic: Free Fall
Freefall, a Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle fanfic by FarenMaddox, is a Real-world AU massive crossover fic, focusing mainly on the plot and characters from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and Xxx HO Li C, but featuring a fair few other characters and CLAMP references from series such as Chobits, Kobato and Cardcaptor Sakura.

Although it has shades of High School AU for a few characters due to their ages, this is not your average ensemble cast in the real world story, and major plot events are directly derived from the various canon works that make up Freefall. The result? An epic, sprawling story that takes place in the city of San Francisco and its surrounds and reinterprets the incredible events of the Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and Xxx Ho Lic timeline through the lens of modern-day America.

There is no magic in Freefall, no monsters or vampires. Time travel and destiny don’t come into play and Fei Wang Reed is nowhere to be found. Instead, the story focuses on the lives of the characters and their loved ones as they struggle to survive the hand they've been dealt— together.

This fic is complete and there is a sequel in the making.

A note on the author’s name choices: Because Freefall is set in modern-day America, the characters have been renamed accordingly. As such, it might be useful to read the author’s livejournal post explaining the rationale behind the new names, and to make sure you have an idea of who is who before reading. That said, the characterisation in Freefall is spot-on and it should be very easy for new readers to pick out which character is which within moments of them appearing.

(Not to be confused with the Furry Webcomic Freefall.)


This fanfiction provides examples of:


  • Abusive Parents: Karen's mother. Finn also suffered through a few sets of these being shunted from foster family to foster family as a child.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: literally for Molly, with her obviously-dyed platinum blonde hair, as the counterpart to the white Mokona from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
  • Alternate Universe Fic
  • Ambiguously Gay: Finn, though he can be quite flamboyant when he wants to piss off Caleb.
    • Lampshaded at one point:
    Caleb: I mean, are you even gay?
    Finn: I have no idea!
  • Batter Up: Arthur goes on a rampage with Caleb's baseball bat in chapter 25.
  • Bad Dreams: Finn. And how.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Finn has a tendency to wear shirts that are a little too short for him. Makes it easier to see his bandages from being shot later on.
  • Bear Hug / Cooldown Hug: the desperate hug Caleb gives Finn to try and stop them leaving in chapter twenty-four is a mix of these, with a hint of Please Don't Leave Me for good measure.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Averil and Zack have a lot of this, as much as Averil denies it.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Tom. Ian is definitely an example of this too.
  • Big Eater: Zack, and he's picky about what he eats too. Caleb and Lee are mentioned to have their moments of this too.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sara is recovering, but she's moving away; Caleb and Finn's relationship is stronger than ever, and Finn has been reunited with his twin, but Finn has many issues to work through and Caleb is still badly hurt; Averil and Zack are finally together and seem to be moving towards a life as a couple, but Averil is still recovering from his injuries; Ian and Gray are moving into a new phase in their relationship, but the latter still has doubts over his future; and the arrival of Clarence Reed and the return of Sara and Tom's Disappeared Dad promises trouble in the sequel.
  • Broken Bird: A male version in Gray, though this applies to Averil as well.
  • Can’t Sleep Without You: Happens to Caleb and Finn when the latter’s nightmares start to take their toll.
  • Chastity Couple: Lee and Sara are like this. They’re definitely in love, but they rarely touch each other. There are reasons for this, particularly Tom and Sara’s illness making her very fragile. As such, when they do hug, it’s all the more sweeter.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Caleb is mentioned to have been a champion marksman in his teenage years, justifying his Improbable Aiming Skills later on.
  • Chick Magnet: Sebastian, who mentions a string of past romances when he's introduced. Caleb thinks it would be more impressive if he could keep a girlfriend.
  • CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Subverted. When Finn gets shot, Caleb breaks his ribs trying to keep him breathing, gets covered in blood, and remembers to check if his airways are clear of blood and vomit before starting CPR.
  • Cool Bike: Caleb has one. When Sebastian shows up, he has one too.
  • Cool Car: Subverted by Finn’s powder-blue Beetle- or at least, Caleb seems to think so.
  • Cool Old Guy: Zack’s grandfather, Harold.
  • Cool Old Lady: Ruth, Karen's grandmother.
  • Continuity Cameo / Expy: Everywhere. Almost every single named character is derived from various CLAMP works, even the minor characters that show up in the background.
  • Covert Pervert: Claire. Sweet, kind-hearted blonde teacher's assistant that helps Lee find his voice in english class... that is studying to be a sex therapist and has a few opinions on various character's sexualities.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: All over the place, but especially when Lee finds out his bone marrow is compatible with Sara’s, and can stop her from dying.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Everyone, some more than most. Gray and Finn especially.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Zack, towards Averil. He really can’t stop himself.
  • Declaration of Protection: Zack’s attitude towards Averil is a lot like this. Lee also plays it straight with Sara, especially when Arthur takes her hostage in chapter 25.
  • Driven to Suicide / Interrupted Suicide: Sebastian. He doesn’t go through with it, but it was a close call.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Finn approaches the line a few times during the fic, and nearly tumbles over it when Arthur almost kills Caleb. He gets better, though.
  • Destination Defenestration: Averil tumbles out a window in a shower of glass in a nod to canon continuity- and is very, very badly hurt in the process.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sara and Tom's father, though his whereabouts are partially known.
  • Drama Bomb: dropped on the main characters every few chapters or so.
  • Dramatic Stutter: Zack occasionally slips into this when having a moment, usually caused by Averil's presence. It only seems to bother him when he has something important to say.
  • Emancipated Child: They're in their teens, but Lee and Averil are this.
  • Everyone Can See It: Happens for all of the main couples in some way or another.
  • Everyone Is Gay: Not quite, but getting there. Also lampshaded by Lee a few times where he wonders if everyone he knows is gay.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Sara acquires the nickname “princess” early on in the fic, and is treated by one by most main male characters.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: played for laughs a few times, with various characters having "mancrushes" on one another.
  • Eye Scream: Wouldn’t be a CLAMP fic without it. Oh, Averil...
  • Falling Into His Arms: After being released from hospital with a gunshot wound and broken ribs, Finn nearly faints and falls backwards down the stairs to be caught by Caleb, who then carries him into their apartment with no difficulty and in a rather possessive manner.
  • Fan-Art: Freefall has two short doujinshi drawn by the artist Konnichipuu, for chapter one and chapter twenty-four, as well as a piece that was based off a sneak-peak of the upcoming sequel. Warning! The latter two are spoileriffic.
  • Fan Fic: Freefall is adored to pieces by author Zelinxia so much that they wrote a fanfic for a fanfic! Warning: Spoilers for Caleb's past and the ending!
  • Generation Xerox: Zack closely resembles his grandfather, Harold, and quite a bit of Averil’s angst comes from the fact that while his brother Lee s the spitting image of their father, he himself looks nothing like his parents.
  • Gray Eyes: Gray. More the colour than the personality traits though.
  • Grumpy Bear: Caleb.
  • Guilt Complex: Averil,by the bucketload. Finn as well, but he’s a bit better at hiding it.
  • Happily Married: Tom and Yuri. Not so much on the married part, but the two of them are very much in love and together. Amy and Susan have shades of this too.
  • Harassing Phone Call: Finn gets these all through the fic, acting as in-universe Nightmare Fuel.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Yvonne.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Averil, a few times, usually when asked about how he feels about Zack. Fails utterly.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Averil, about Zack. No one believes him. Caleb has this regarding Finn later on, and eventually stops denying it since it's easier than trying to explain.
  • Headbutt of Love: Lee and Sara in chapter 17. It's adorable.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: All four of the main male characters.
  • Heroic BSOD: Happens to Finn when Caleb saves him from Arthur’s rampage and almost dies in the process. Takes a while for him to come out of it, even with Sara and Tanya’s help.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Caleb takes a blow that would have killed Finn and nearly dies in the process.
  • Hip Carry: After nearly falling down the stairs, Finn gets carried up them by Caleb, who grabs him with one arm and holds him against his hip.
  • Ho Yay: Everywhere. Between Caleb and Finn, Ian and Gray, Zack and Averil with the latter finally becoming a couple at the conclusion of the fic.
  • Human Shield: Happens to Sara, when Arthur takes her hostage in chapter 25. It doesn’t work.
  • Identical Grandson: Zack, to Harold.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: chapter 18, when Caleb accidentally brushes his hand over the surgery scar from Finn's gunshot wound, making him shiver and moan. Doesn't help that they were spooning together in bed, or that they were practically drowning in sexual tension from the get go.
  • If It's You, It's Okay / Single-Target Sexuality: Zack, regarding Averil. Zack even muses to himself that he's letting Averil decide his sexuality for him.
  • Ill Girl: Sara, and played realistically too.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Yvonne has a penchant for this, noted by Averil in their first meeting.
  • In-Series Nickname: Caleb, with Hot Shot, Papa Bear, Big Daddy and Cal-Baby just to name a few. Sara also gets one, being called “princess” on many occasions.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Averil, and how. Finn has his moments of this when he's playing "Mommy".
  • Instant Death Bullet: Subverted and played straight respectively the two times it appears. Finn takes a few moments to realise he’s been wounded when Seth shoots him in the stomach, and is able to talk for a little while before passing out. Later, when Arthur is shot by Caleb he dies instantly, though probably justified through the three-shots-to-the-head thing.
  • Instant Waking Skills: Caleb. Especially once he starts sleeping in the same bed as Finn.
  • Insult of Endearment: By the end of the fic, it's pretty clear that Caleb calling Finn "dumbass" is this.
    • Actually, it's already pretty obvious by chapter 8:
      "What are you going to do about it? I've got the gun, dumbass."
      Hey. That was Caleb's nickname for Finn. He couldn't use Caleb's nickname.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Caleb.
  • Lap Pillow: Finn "going to bed" in chapter 24, much to Caleb's mortification. Even Lee thinks it's kinda cute.
  • Life or Limb Decision: Caleb, in chapter 25, to save Finn. He doesn’t lose his arm, but the damage he takes renders it useless.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Ian is this for Gray, and Caleb becomes this for Finn.
  • Luminescent Blush: Pops up a few times, but especially hilarious when it’s Caleb doing it.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Much like in canon continuity, Averil needs to learn his lesson about how his self-sacrificing streak hurts those around him.
  • Meaningful Name: “Averil” means “April”, much like the meaning of Kimihiro. It's also noted that Zack's last name, "Williams", means "stout protector" and is used as some explanation behind his motivations re: Averil. On a more humorous note, due to a mistranslation, “Caleb” means “dog”.
  • Messy Hair: Finn. Doesn't stop Sara from thinking it's gorgeous though.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: One of the contributing factors to Finn ending up in jail when he was younger.
  • Near Death Experience: Sebastian had one when he tried to commit suicide, imagining his brother and calling an ambulance because of it.
  • Nice Guy: Lee, definitely.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Finn tries to pull this on Caleb with a lot of things, especially about how much he cares about Lee, Averil and Sara, and why he keeps having nightmares. Doesn't work.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Caleb. It's remarked that him not scowling is the same as a ear-to-ear grin on anyone else.
  • Prematurely Bald: Sara, after the chemotherapy kicks in. Results in a heart-melting scene where Finn combs her hair-out for her, and a refusal to be seen without a hat or headscarf afterwards.
  • Prison Rape: One of the many, many reasons Finn is so messed up.
  • Protectorate: Takes him a while to figure it out, but Caleb eventually realises Finn is this for him. Zack is far more open about what he’d do to keep Averil safe, and the same for Ian regarding Gray, and Sara has been this for Lee right from the beginning.
  • Rape as Backstory / Rape as Drama: Finn. Not played for comedic effect, or exploited for cheap drama.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Happens late in the fic for Averil and Zack, much to the latter's relief.
  • Scars Are Forever: When Finn gets shot, their scar remains for the rest of the fic. Abuse at Arthur’s hands also resulted in Sebastian having a prominently visible scar trailing from the corner of his mouth and up his cheek, immediately distinguishing him from his twin.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: pops up a few times, with various CLAMP pairings, but none of the characters here are shallow enough to be defined by his alone.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Lee, about Sara. No one believes him either.
  • She's Got Legs: Sunny, according to Averil. Also, Yvonne gets to show hers off once or twice as part of her "sex pot" act.
  • Shipper on Deck: Quite a few examples, for various pairings throughout the fic:
    • Sunny, for Zack and Averil, much to Averil’s dismay. Harold joins in as well, and makes clear his approval when Zack announces that they are a couple.
    • Lee, for Finn and Caleb, especially towards the end of the fic. Claire Elda has shipped them for quite some time, and Tanya joins in on the fun as well once she arrives.
      • Sebastian also becomes this within a few hours of seeing Finn and Caleb interacting together.
    • Everyone for Sara and Lee. Yes, even Tom, as much as he would hate to admit it.
  • Shown Their Work: On behalf of the author herself. The amount of research that has gone into Freefall is staggering, and a lot of links for supplementary material can be found on her profile, such as an apartment floor plan, information about the schools where characters study, and images of vehicles that the character’s drive. Other elements of the plot, such as Sara’s leukaemia, have also been exhaustively researched.
  • Snowball Fight: Happens in chapter one, and it's hilarious.
  • Speech Impediment: Zack has worked to overcome a stutter. He's not at all embarrassed by it, much to Averil's chagrin.
  • Stepford Smiler: Finn, just as much as his canon counterpart. His smiling mask starts to crack in much the same way as the plot progresses.
  • Straight Gay: Claire insists that Caleb is this. Her boyfriend refuses to believe it when she tells him.
  • Stutter Stop: Inverted. Zack only stutters when his emotions get the best of him.
  • Survivors Guilt: Quite a few characters have this, particularly Finn.
  • Taking the Swing: Caleb performs a diving save for Finn when Arthur takes a swing at his head with a baseball bat.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: A lot of the CLAMP bishies featured in Freefall qualify, but definitely Caleb, with an emphasis on the "tall" part. It's also implied Zack will grow into this when he gets older.
  • Team Dad: Caleb gets roped into this role as the story progresses, much like he did in canon. Gets called Papa Bear and Big Daddy by Finn quite a lot also.
  • Team Mom: Finn. No surprises there.
  • Tearjerker: Lots of ‘em. Finn breaking down when he is reunited with Sebastian is a good example that manages to double as Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, and Finn's utter devastation in the wake of Arthur's attack is a literal in-universe example as well as one for the readers.
  • The Alcoholic: Finn. He has good reason to be. Yvonne is implied to be this too.
  • The Charmer: Although it makes him a little uncomfortable, Finn has no problem turning up the charm to get what he wants.
  • The Klutz: Sunny, as a reference to her canon-counterpart’s Doom Magnet tendencies. Nearly kills Averil when her clumsiness results in him falling out a third-storey window in a shower of glass.
  • The Nicknamer: Finn, mostly directed towards Caleb, although Sara becomes known as “princess” early on in the story and the moniker sticks. And just like in canon, when he does call Caleb by his real name, it’s a sign things have gone horribly wrong between them.
  • The Stoic: Zack. Kid’s got a serious poker-face going on. Does have his moments, though.
  • The Woobie: Averil. Things just don’t go right for him, no matter how hard he tries.
  • They're Called Personal Issues For A Reason: Finn. Oh so very much Finn. All of his secrets come to light in the final arc, after Arthur exposes his traumatic childhood, and he explains a lot of what has happened to him to Caleb when the latter is recovering in chapter 26.
  • Through His Stomach: Averil's got skills when it comes to cooking, and they're good enough to cover his share of the rent. Later, when he starts living with Zack and Harold, it's one of the many reasons Zack is insistent he stay.
  • Tsundere: Averil, and how. No prizes for guessing who bears the brunt of his tsun-tsun tendencies... and later becomes the focus of his dere-dere side as well.
  • True Companions: The main cast ends up like this.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Occurs a few times with various characters. Notably with Caleb when Finn gets shot and has to have a kidney removed, only to break the moment Finn wakes up and with Zack and Averil, due to the latter’s tendency to get himself into life-threatening situations. Tom also does this for Sara when she’s first in hospital.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • Between Caleb and Finn in a big way, especially once they start sleeping in the same bed, but played very subtly.
      • Lampshaded by Lee when he remarks that their relationship must be complicated, or they would've gotten it over with and had sex already.
    • Averil and Zack have their fair share of this too, though more on the Belligerent Sexual Tension side of things.
    • Ian and Gray; as Dovie remarks, they've built up enough between them for it to start oozing out their ears.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: As much as they snipe at each other, Caleb and Finn are close friends, and only get closer as the series progresses.
  • Wake Up Fighting: Finn takes a swing at Caleb a few times after being woken suddenly from a nightmare. Implied to be because of the sexual abuse he suffered in prison.
  • Wham Episode: Every few chapters or so.
  • When He Smiles: Finn, on the rare occasions he actually means it.
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