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Fanfic / For Him to be Blamed, For Them to Fix

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He felt a wave of regret he never felt before. Why did he leave this country in the first place? WHY did he leave his siblings? Why the hell did he let Peater be in charge in the first place? The scene was gulped in an never ending wave of guilt.
Kendrick's subconscious, summarily describing the nature of the series in a nutshell

For Him to be Blamed, For Them to Fix is a Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare fanfiction, and a sequel to I'll Fight 'til the End, written by ZePeaWithZeGoggles. It is set in the same universe as another arc written by Stwolfgang "Peas" Ambrose.

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Four years after the events of the first story, the same events from the second game have played out: the zombies have won and the plants are working to quickly undo that. In those four years, however, the seven main characters have changed - Ane's team, SF Alpha, has mellowed out from their previous personalities, and the Hodges family has been torn apart from disappearances (one of which was a Disney Death) which quickly begin to resurface.

After a bit of downtime at the base, Ane is alerted to a tip that the Zombot is being rebuilt for a new siege, one that may doom the plants for good. His team quickly springs back into action, while several other events from the second game replay themselves to an extent. Then Lynnith, a Rose, cuts herself in front of Ane after a botched spell, which opens up a whole new can of worms...

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It all goes downhill from then on - or at first it seems.

A sequel was planned that deals with the characters ten years later, but was eventually considered dead. Fortunately, this story takes place in a Shared Universe, and the other author that writes for it has written a story that takes place in the same time period, albeit with entirely different, unrelated characters.

Needs Wiki Magic Love badly.

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This work has the following tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: The only thing that remains of the canned sequel is the names and personalities of Ane and Sarah's children: Annika and Alnerd. Annika is written as a selfish and slightly spoiled child, while Alnerd is the runt due to being The Voiceless and several other undisclosed reasons. There's also evidence that Flowery, who was a one-off character, was supposed to enter the greater scope of things, making him a Greater-Scope Villain.
  • The Aloner: Peater turns out to be this during the four-year Time Skip, as any attempt to return to his friends would end with someone having his head. He's right.
  • Aloof Ally: Hershel, to the point where his reaction to Ane killing his father is closer to a Dull Surprise than anything else. Justified as he's a mechanic and isn't fully aware of the war as a result.
  • Always Second Best: The Asteraceaes, Mystic's family, are this to the Helianthuses, the family of Allison from Ambrose's stories.
    • To a lesser extent, the Hodges are this to the Lathyruses, also from Ambrose's stories, though this has never been explicitly mentioned. Justified as while the Hodges are side characters, Pete Lathyrus is The Hero of his own story.
  • Arc Welding: Ane's past implies the war started with the simple lawn defense of the original games until it escalated into a full-blown military armed conflict.
  • And I Must Scream: The enigmatic Flowery decides to torture Hershel out of the blue by projecting fake corpses of Mystic, all of which have been stabbed to death. It is never explained why he does this, and due to his true debut being canned, it never will be.
    • Ane learns the hard way that there is no afterlife, only a black void and a screen of some sort which shows his friends endlessly berating him. Thankfully he doesn't spend that much time in there, as the medics are quick to revive him.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: In Sarah's Heroic BSoD:
    Sarah: (in response to Hershel saying she's overreacting, Suddenly SHOUTING!) Overreacting?! Didn't you see what Ane did?! He was one of the plants that I depended on! He-he... he was one of the few plants I truly loved...
  • Asshole Victim: Ane's father is the resident Hate Sink and is just as much of a Jerkass as Kendrick is, if not worse. Which makes his death at his son's hands less sympathetic; most of the shock comes from the fact that Ane crossed the Godzilla Threshold at the wrong place and time.
  • Babies Ever After: The Stinger ends with Sarah asking Ane to meet their daughter - though peace doesn't exactly settle for long.
  • Break the Cutie: Hershel, one of the most innocent members of SF Alpha, becomes the closest to going fully insane.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ane used to have high respect for his father. The instant he killed another human, however, his son ran away and could only see him as a monster. Ane's newfound opinion is justified - he's not really the role model Ane thought he was, and is such a Jerkass that he's Defiant to the End.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the story has no lighthearted intentions, it seems fairly innocuous at first, until chapter 10, where the origin of Ane's closeted hemophobia is revealed.
  • Child Soldiers: Everyone who has a major role in the story was at or under 18 when they entered the war. Thankfully, four years was enough to grow out of it.
  • Defiant to the End: Ane's father turns out to be a cruel, sadistic, Faux Affably Evil Chomper who is a far cry from the one that raised him. At no point does he change his ways, not even when his habits turn deadly, and not even when his clash with his son ends in the worst way possible for him.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Crossed thrice. See Heroic BSoD below.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Chomp's ultimate fate, killed off as a meaningless casualty of war with no death scene of any significance. Kendrick's other friend, Larcus, only gets slightly better treatment, as he's shot in the head in front of the former's eyes.
  • Disney Death: The return of the Hodges aside, Ane literally dies to the Zombot after trying to cripple it, only to be revived through a highly experimental take on the in-game revive system that doesn't even work the first time... and then lives through that despite spending ten months comatose and encased in sheet metal.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: A minor detail. Ane finds a room full of guns developed for the plants. The thought of them being brought to use fills him with dread. Although, they could also be the guns used on the Infinity Time mechs.
  • Easily Forgiven: Tensions rarely last more than one chapter, despite the causes for them hitting hard and leaving deep wounds (sometimes literally.) In terms of writing, this is sort of justified, since at entry-level, longer negative relations are very difficult to write fluently.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Against all odds, including at least three instances where a main character could've died, the Zombot is defeated, SF Alpha's members live and (eventually) return to normal life, Peater and Kendrick own up to their mistakes, and peace is finally restored. In particular, Zomboss is arrested after what is revealed to (most likely) be Kendrick beating him to a pulp, stopping any future conflict from going military like last time, and The Stinger ends with Sarah and Ane becoming parents. In fact, the only two named characters who perish are Chomp and Larcus, and even then those were inevitable due to Sorting Algorithm of Mortality.
  • Eaten Alive: Ane's father succumbs to this after his son enters a trance from the adrenaline coursing through his body and devours him alive.
  • Everybody Lives: The main seven make it to the end without any tangible permanent injury, against all odds. The others aren't nearly as lucky.
  • Expy: A flower who plays tricks with the perception of his victims, is hell-bent on killing everything in sight, whose work involves white particles, who taunts and is a fan of prolonged torture, and is absolutely insane? Where have we seen this before? His name's Flowery, by the way.
    • The only difference between the two is that Flowery knows that Hershel will want his head and there's nothing he can do if that day comes.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Ane's father is this. He appears on the outside as a strong role model who has his son's approval, but eventually outs himself as being cruel and sadistic, and possibly fueled by ego given his genuine shock upon realizing that Ane wasn't about to let the sounds of the carnage go uninvestigated.
  • The Future Will Be Better: Ane believes in this, apparently. When learning that Hershel is converting an RV into a time machine, he responds with a huge cheeky grin before Hershel tells him no, it won't be able to go forward in time, to which he immediately slinks away. Remember that this is when the destruction of the plants seems imminent.
  • Genre Savvy: In the epilogue, which takes place exactly one decade later, Kendrick suddenly has PTSD-induced flashbacks of the climax in the main story. The unusually-coordinated timing leads him to immediately suspect foul play, and given where the story was supposed to go by then, he's probably right.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Kendrick's attempt to murder Peater ends with him nearly igniting one of LEAF HQ's wings and almost making Icee's intervention a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Similarly, an innocent destruction mission for SF Alpha results in Ane crossing paths with his father for the first time in years, followed by the death of the latter and the desertion of the former.
  • Irony: Ane's father pleaded to his son that the death of the human they lived with was an Accidental Murder (which isn't entirely true; the Conels are known for poor emotional control.) He befalls the same fate as the human and his son undergoes the same stress.
    • Hershel is a mechanic but treats the last-ditch treatment performed to save Ane's life like his magnum opus.
  • Hate Sink: It's pretty clear you're not supposed to like Ane's father, who blatantly disregards life in general and would've held his son to absurd standards where Failure Is the Only Option if he had the chance.
  • Heroic BSoD: Quite a few.
    • First off, we have Ane, who is left for dead in a zombie-controlled area as Sarah forces the team to abandon him as punishment for murdering his father.
    • Right after, Sarah winds up having a mental breakdown out of cognitive dissonance following the above event.
    • Near the climax, Hershel encounters what appears to be Mystic lying dead in a murky Z-TECH facility. He immediately removes his helmet to cry before realizing it's actually hallucinatory psychosis kicking in - and not even that...
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. During the clash between Peater and Kendrick, Icee steps in to intervene. When it seems like Kendrick is about to end the young Peashooter's life once and for all, Icee dives in and takes the hit for him. She is initially thought to have perished but recovers easily as the knife Kendrick used barely missed her vital organs.
  • It's All My Fault: Kendrick is revealed have secretly believed that Peater and his mistakes were still his responsibility, showing that he still had some humanity when it came to treating his family.
  • Karmic Death: Ane's father devoured a human they lived with long ago and refused to see the gravity of the situation beyond it being an accident.note  He faces the same fate at the hands of his own son.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Peater is slashed with a Z7 blade near the climax. When he wakes up a day later, he's more concerned about the recent amnesia, ignoring the fact that he could have very well been bisected in the field. What makes this particularly telling is that the Hodges are Badass Normal - the other major Peashooter family, the Lathyruses, have evolved to have better combat resistance.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Guilt is a recurring theme throughout the story. Ane, Sarah, and Kendrick experience one Heroic BSoD each for a grave error they've committed:
    • Ane lets his instincts kick in during a scuffle with his father, and instantly kills him. The immediate guilt of an Accidental Murder is exacerbated by Sarah abandoning him and threatening to kill him if he ever returns.
    • Sarah immediately realizes that the above event and her role in it was a horrible idea.
    • Kendrick, amid all of his hatred and anger, seriously regrets getting involved in the war to begin with. And with good reason, too - Peater's mistakes got good people killed and Kendrick secretly thinks that his little brother is still his responsibility.
  • The Nothing After Death: Averted. When Ane spends a brief amount of time dead, he sees his friends mocking him for his sins.
  • Properly Paranoid: Peater was afraid to return to his allies in fear that someone will be ready to kill him the first chance they get. Upon walking to the kitchen at the new HQ, his fears are completely validated.
  • Sanity Slippage: Kendrick is clearly not all that straight in the head. The first thing we see after he returns is Icee chewing him out for being blinded by patriotism, but at that point it's a mere accusation. However, Peater's return confirms it, as it turns out he was plotting to murder him under everyone's noses, suggesting Kendrick may be an emerging psychopathnote , reformed only after the actual murder attempt has Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Spartan Sibling: Kendrick. Loves Icee very much as a sister, but utterly detests Peater for the mistakes he made four years ago. This comes to an extremely disturbing head when it turns out he had calmly considered Peater disowned (to the approval of no one) and equally calmly plotted to murder him... and nearly succeeded.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: A last-minute example. In Kendrick's flashbacks, he gets more time out in the field than Ane does (to the point where he discovers what is basically the Chomper's corpse) and ultimately becomes the true hero of the final battle, Hypering his way towards what is implied to be a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with Zomboss himself.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Many of the characters are cynics in-universe barring Mystic and Hershel, but the way events play out show tangible idealist undertones, as they succeed and make it out alive no matter what's thrown their way.
  • War Is Hell: Although most of the conflict is more personal than it is actually related to the war, the climax and epilogue flashbacks kick this into high gear, with terrifying weapons being unveiled, background characters dropping like flies, and nearly killing off the protagonist. The initial subversion seems to justify why the two major arcs in this universe never cross (besides the fact that they're written by different authors.)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sarah's immediate response to Ane murdering his father is met with immediate shock and disapproval from everyone in the surrounding vicinity. Of course, she doesn't last a day before cognitive dissonance kicks in.
  • You Are What You Hate: Kendrick is clearly determined to go down as defying his bloodline's reputation of constant, critical screw-ups. He learns all too late that this is his own mistake.
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