Sweetest Downfall Series

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Title: Sweetest Downfall Series
Author(s): Bethany
Date(s): July 2009 - July 2014
Length: 184,979 words (excluding lost chapters)
Genre: romance
Fandom: Hanson
External Links: http://extemp.placetohide.net/downfall and http://archiveofourown.org/series/40167
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The Sweetest Downfall Series is a Hanson fanfic by Bethany. It contains four stories, two short and two long, and was written primarily from July 2009 to July 2013, although several lost chapters have been added since then. The original female character in the series is 'played' by Karen Gillan and the series takes its title from the Regina Spektor song 'Samson.'

Cause and Effect

The first story in the series, Cause and Effect takes place in the spring of 2009, while Hanson are in Nashville to record their fifth album. Zac's marriage to Kate is already on the rocks when he meets a graduate student named Spencer who he quickly forms a deep bond with. That bond soon becomes physical, although Spencer fights it. When she accidentally becomes pregnant, she secretly has an abortion and chooses not to inform Zac, believing she's sparing his emotions and reputation. They part ways when he leaves Nashville for good, and Spencer assures him a relationship between them would never work.


The second story in the series, Cesura is a oneshot set in the summer of 2010. When Zac returns to Nashville on tour, he asks Spencer to see him again. She gives in and is surprised by how much he has chanced since his divorce. After a physical reunion, Zac stumbles upon paperwork from Spencer's abortion and the two part on bad terms again.


The third story in the series, Interwoven is set in the fall of 2012. Having graduated with her doctorate in English, Spencer takes a position at the University of Tulsa, even though she knows moving to Zac's hometown isn't the wisest move. Meanwhile, Zac is slowly learning how to be a single father and re-entering the dating scene. He and Spencer quickly reunite and, in spite of Spencer's hesitance, begin to date. They are drawn even closer when a stalker begins to leave threatening notes on their cars and post incriminating photos of them online. After a confrontation with the stalker that nearly ends Spencer's life, she realizes she does not need or want to live without Zac.


The final story in the series, Denouement is another oneshot set in the fall of 2013. In it, Spencer overcomes her fear of Zac's fans and joins him on tour briefly. After this little vacation, Zac takes Spencer to a restaurant near the spot where they reunited a year prior and proposes.

Reactions and Reviews

From a review by Elizabeth of Cause and Effect on Belle's Fanfic Reviews:

Speaking of sequels, Cause and Effect doesn’t have the happiest of endings but not every story can, which is something that I like. Yes I love happy endings but let’s be honest real life does not always give happy endings to people and after all every character has been through in this story I don’t think a happy ending would be right.[1]

From a review by Elizabeth of Interwoven on Belle's Fanfic Reviews:

I definitely think this is one of Bethany’s strongest pieces to date and I would say read it as well as the drabbles that she has done from this universe too. You really won’t regret it and it’s a good way to waste some time when bored.[2]

From a comment on Hanson Fiction @ LJ:

And--because Spencer is the best OFC I've seen...pretty much ever--I have to include the Sweetest Downfall series.[3]

Related Fanworks

Bethany herself has written several lost chapters and even one remix of this series. The lost chapters fill in gaps between the stories as well as showing Zac and Spencer's life after the conclusion of the series. The remix, Pride and Joy, Et Cetera, is an alternate universe beginning with the chapter of Cause and Effect where Spencer had her abortion. In it, the abortion pill fails and Spencer eventually gives birth and reunites with Zac. She names the baby Eleanor, a nod to another character played by Karen Gillan in another hanfic by Elizabeth.

Elizabeth herself has written a few remixes as well. In her story The Broken One, which primarily features a relationship between Zac and his sister Avery, there is a brief mention of an ex-girlfriend of Zac's named Spencer. Zac tells Avery she has returned to Nashville and is dating a 'Ryan Gosling lookalike' named Cameron—a character who was cut from an early draft of Interwoven. Elizabeth has also written a zombie apocalypse remix, New World, wherein Zac dies saving Spencer, Kate and Shepherd, leaving the two women to raise Kate and Zac's son together.

Other fanworks:


This series won awards in the Blank Page Awards and Thieves and Liars Awards. It is featured in the PlaceToHide.net hall of fame.