Author's Notes:

Okay, so first—major major thanks to anne, whose basic idea this was.  We had been discussing Meghan Black and Rusty Reid's classic Bad!Ben! story Familiar Stranger, and anne started spinning a slightly different take on the tale.  "Oooh! Oooh!" I said, sounding rather like Horshack from "Welcome Back Kotter." "Are you gonna write that?"   "No," she replied—and whoosh! I was out the door and running up the block like a maniac.  So thank you anne, and thank you also to Meghan and Rusty for the inspiration and for their own fabulous story.  Please consider this something of a respectful homage.

Thanks also to resonant and Livia who brainstormed with me back in the storyboarding stage.  Thank you Jessica for understanding me when I said I wanted a "Wayne's World type wavy thing" (?!?—like, uh, speak English much?) to set off the flashback, and for making me the .gif at top speed.  Gigantic thanks to Mia, who then fleshed out the bare bones of the story with me, helped me strategize about each of the ten billion plot points, and asked for Benton Fraser in a black leather jacket.  Mia, this story is for you—and so is the jacket.  You. Are. The. Best.  Big smooches also for Terri, beta and typo-spotter extraordinaire—this woman's got 250K of eyestrain on my account.  Are there enough good things in the universe to say about Mia and Terri?  No, see, I told you so—there's just not.

Before you read the story, I'd like you to ask yourself:  "So, if it ends up being a little bit like "The Usual Suspects" meets "The Fugitive" meets "The Sound of Music"—well, is that really a *bad* thing?"

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