thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
This is a recs set with a special purpose: to give some entertainment to [profile] thetankisclean, whose three-year-old son, Gus, has brain cancer. Obviously this is not a thing I can fix or even help with, but kidfic is her happy place. So I am recommending some long, happy kidfics for her; at least this way she'll have something to read on the many sleepless nights in her near future. (So far, by the way, the news on Gus is basically all good, or at least all the news that followed "he has brain cancer." I'm hoping hard that things stay good for Gus. And if you pray, [profile] thetankisclean has asked that people please pray for him to reach ten healthy and strong and relapse-free.)

The Only Fan Fiction Ever to Make Jeweled Teeth Endearing. (Note: Jeweled Teeth Are NOT Endearing.) The Place of That Desire, by [archiveofourown.org profile] yekoc. Swimming RPF, Ryan Lochte/Michael Phelps.

For those of you who, like me, were not really paying attention to the 2012 Olympics, let me assure you: Ryan Lochte is an appalling human being. This dude recently picked Auburn to win a college football game between Texas A&M and LSU, so we can see that he is not the brightest brick in the Duplo box. He has a signature word, and it's such an awful one that I refuse to type it here because I might teach my autocorrect terrible habits. He once tweeted "A Qm" (complete, total tweet) and people favorited the hell out of it as vintage Lochte at the very peak of his communications prowess.

And that's not even getting into his - attire issues. I mean, okay, I knew he had some weird thing about jeweled "grills," but I managed to persuade myself that this must merely mean buttons or maybe Elton John type sunglasses until I was in the middle of this story, when I could resist no longer. I googled. And then I bowed my head and WEPT FOR HUMANITY. (Don't google. If you haven't seen it, DON'T GOOGLE. Just know that he wears bejeweled mouthpieces and be grateful that the phenomenon hasn't spread to other sports. Or, if it has already spread to other sports, don't tell me about it.) And then I showed the picture to Best Beloved so we could weep a little more together. (TFV Marriage Tip #121: Spend a little time each day being mutually appalled together.)

But when we were done, I wiped my tears and kept reading, because this story is fantastic. I have a special love for stories that manage to make seriously disastrous people lovable without erasing any of their problematic elements. And I basically worship this story for convincing me that Ryan Lochte, Ryan Lochte, would be adorable with a baby. And good with a baby. And an actual quality parent. And that he's - yeah, okay, lovable.

Frankly, this story is not just sweet and adorable, and it doesn't just have its best scene take place in a pool, it's also deeply inspiring. At least if you are the kind of person (me) who can be inspired by the discovery that even profoundly flawed human beings can still be reasonably awesome ones. And if that's not enough for you, this has perhaps the best coming out scene in all of recorded fan fiction. At least if you like your coming out scenes the way I do. (My impression of coming out was forever warped by my own experience of it, which was notable for the following conversation between my mother and sister:

My sister, cranky because seriously don't talk to her in the morning she's a fuzzy ball of snit until ten: Are we out of milk?
My mother, on the phone to me: Your sister's a lesbian.
My sister: Fine. I NEED MILK FOR MY CEREAL.

If you're going to come out, and you're worried about the response you might get, I encourage you to practice on my sister in the morning. Okay, really any time, but you'll get much more amusing results if you start early.)

Location of the mother: Absent. But, I mean, this is a character who had unprotected sex with Ryan Lochte, so I can't think anyone would be surprised.

The One That Leaves Me Wishing I Could Download All the Adorable Photos Taken During the Story. Whyyyyy Can't I Make Photos Appear with Just the Power of My Brain? I Swear I Would Use My Power Only for Good! Enough to Crush Your Veins, by [personal profile] doctor_denmark. Hockey RPF, Jeff Skinner/Eric Staal.

When this story first came out, I had several late-night arguments with people about it. And that is definitely a sign of a quality story: people, some of whom have CHILDREN and all of whom have to get up in the morning, spending precious sleep time a) reading a story and b) communicating with friends in other locations who are also up way too late reading the same story. (My father, when I was little, used to tell me about a strange time in our country's history when almost everyone watched the SAME TV SHOWS at the SAME TIME. It was like the world's least social party, the way he described it. "That'll never happen again, of course," he said. If he were alive today, I would tell him that it still does happen. Sort of. In the sense of several thousand people all reading the same pornographic fan fiction story at the same time and mutually shrieking about it via email and Twitter. The thing about my dad is that he would probably have found that inspiring proof of humanity's basic amazingness.)

Anyway. So basically this is the story that put nanny AUs in a box marked done for me, because I'm never going to be able to read all the way through another one without taking this one out and reading it again. It is GREAT. It is CLASSIC. And it works for me - well, okay, first it works for me because the toddler OC is an actual toddler. (I cannot read stories featuring alien toddlers from another dimension. Unless of course they are billed that way. Which reminds me: why don't people write Vulcan toddlers more often? WHERE IS THE VULCAN TODDLER FIC?) But mostly it works because it takes an abused, overused plot element (two people who really need to talk to each other and yet don't) and perfects it. This is how that's supposed to be done, is basically what I take away from this story: two people being idiots, yes, but because of reasons! It makes all the difference.

And, oh, there is so much glorious stuff here. I don't want to spoil it for you, but trust me: if this is the kind of thing you like, then you will basically want to wallow in this story, roll around in it, maybe print out a copy so you can put hearts in the margins in some places. Not that I have done any of those things. (Except I do re-read this basically every time I'm sick, which, given that I have my very own germ vector, means I've re-read it at least 20 times since it was posted. In April. One area of raising a toddler where this story does not achieve realism is in the area of constant illness, but I just assume Eric and Jeff and Joey all have superhuman immune systems, which are probably issued to you free through public health care up in Canada.)

Location of the mother: Present (albeit temporarily in another country)! A good parent who is ACTUALLY INVOLVED IN HER CHILD'S LIFE WHAT IS THIS MADNESS.

The One That Confirms My Theory That Airports Were Put in This World to Test Us to Destruction. Don't You Shake Alone, by [personal profile] dira. Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

I always feel like I'm cheating when I recommend a story by Dira. Everyone knows she's good by now, right? Everyone who would even consider reading a lengthy Generation Kill based kidfic did so immediately after she posted it, right? It's like: Dira wrote a good story. In other news, Neil deGrasse Tyson is a basically perfect human being and this Labrador Retriever puppy is cute enough to make your teeth hurt.

But in the end, I don't recommend a story based on whether I think there's an English-reading fan anywhere in the solar system who is unaware of it; I recommend a story because a) I want to write about it and b) I want Best Beloved to read it. (She refuses to read stories I go on about at length unless I actually sit down and write about them. This is the motivation for like 90% of the recommendations I've made in the past four years. TFV Marriage Tip #382: Know how to motivate your partner, and then use that knowledge to make her do things she actually wants to do anyway.)

So. This story is incredible. And not just because it's frankly adorable kidfic set against a background of realistic PTSD, which is not something most writers could manage. This story - like, I read this and I cannot believe that Dira doesn't have children, because she depicts, perfectly and clearly, the complete sea change a new baby brings to your life, and how being a new parent is kind of like - well, in birth classes they talk about "pain with a purpose," because the purpose is supposed to make all the difference. As far as labor goes, this is bullshit. Labor pain is pain. (It's pain with an END, which is way more important than a purpose, at least to me.) But being the parent of a new baby actually is pain with a purpose, and the purpose is making you attach so fiercely to a tiny helpless human that you would cheerfully kill hundreds of people to protect the useless larva that has kept you from sleeping or doing any uninterrupted tasks for the past three months. If human beings were intelligently designed, it was by someone with a massively warped sense of humor.

And if there was ever a fandom designed to underscore the warped nature of human reproduction and development, Generation Kill is that fandom. No one gets how fucked up basically everything is like Marines, is what I'm saying. Plus, the fundamentals of baby care involve a lot of sleep deprivation and random bodily fluids. Again, sort of the wheelhouse of the US Marines. (I'd suggest everyone hire a Marine as a babysitter, but it would have a deleterious effect on the vocabulary of the next generation.)

So this story is just fundamentally right. Plus, you know, hot, sweet, gorgeous, perfect - enough said GO READ.

Location of the mother: Planned absence.

The One That Proves That What Every Parent Really Needs Is Superhuman Senses and Magical Powers. I - Find This Unfair. Kindred, by [livejournal.com profile] maldoror_gw. Naruto, Gaara/Rock Lee.

Yes, okay, technically this is a sequel (although you could read it as a standalone, but why in god's name would you want to?) to Diplomatic Relations. I'm recommending it anyway because:
  1. It is a great story in its own right.

  2. If you haven't read Diplomatic Relations yet, that's a tragedy, and if you want to live a tragedy that is your choice and I can't be held responsible. All I can do is try to show you the light.
So. Either you should go read Diplomatic Relations, stopping off if necessary at my original recommendation of it, or you have already done this task (and thus been fitter, happier, and more productive for the past four years) and are ready to move directly on to Kindred. Either way, let me tell you about Kindred.

My own theory for how [livejournal.com profile] maldoror_gw decided to write this story is that she was sitting in her home one day, thoughtfully considering Gaara, as you do, and she suddenly realized there was something even more terrifying to contemplate than Gaara in love: Gaara with a CHILD. Parenting a child. Raising a child! (If you have no idea who Gaara is, it shouldn't hold you back from reading this story, by the way. He's a psychopathic, demon-infested ninja whose childhood consisted entirely of trauma and killing. But as an adult he's really much improved, and some optimistic people even believe he might have a facial expression someday. In short: spacetoaster!) It really is the kind of concept to give you nightmares.

But this story is the exact opposite of a nightmare. Yes, that's in part because Rock Lee, whatever his other faults (mostly excessive enthusiasm and sincerity, and if you don't think sincerity can be a fault, obviously you need to read up on Rock Lee), was basically designed to be a good parent (despite having a traumatic childhood; as far as I can tell from my limited exposure to Naruto, the number of ninjas with traumatic childhoods is all of them). But it's also because Gaara is used to working around his faults, and there is no more accurate description of parenthood than that.

This story is funny, fun, and touching, basically all the things good kidfic should be. Plus it features ninjas in love. I'm not sure how things can ever be better than that. (Okay, maybe if you also added robots? I don't know, it might be overkill, but in my experience robots usually make things better.)

Location of the mother: Deceased, but this is Naruto, where like 80% of adults don't make it past 30, or at least that's how it looks to me from my place of total lack of canon knowledge. (To give you some idea, Rock Lee was orphaned at an early age. Gaara's mother died when he was born and his father died later; you could list "Gaara" as the cause of death for both of them with reasonable accuracy.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best Beloved said no more recs until Friday! And now it's Friday. So: crossovers.

The One in Which We Learn That Jack Harkness Has Apparently Been Spending Some Time in Chat. Think about That for a Bit. Bluebird, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Torchwood x Addams Family, Ianto Jones/Jack Harkness.

Okay. I have seen the Addams Family movies - um, two of them, anyway. Are there more? But my point is - that was the Addams Family played for camp. And you might think, when you see the fandoms for this story, that that's how it would go here, because, let's face it, camp always seems like such a good fit for Torchwood (or Jack Harkness, anyway).

This story is not camp. If there is a country called Camponia, or Campite, or something like that - this story is located on a different planet than that country. This is the Addams Family taken seriously. And holy fuck it is creepy. If they'd made a movie out of this, people would still be watching it, and then they'd be sleeping with all the lights on. But t isn't horror as we typically think of it - there's no undead serial killer with a need to shove his chainsaw into token minorities and teenaged girls who have had sex. (Yes, I am entirely aware that I am stereotyping the entire genre unfairly, and there's a reason: when I was in high school, I sometimes got dragged to horror movies, and if you don't understand movies as storytelling and are entirely unused to discounting visual scenes of violence, horror movies are hell. I learned that it was better to spend the entire time staring at my own hands. So my experience with the genre is limited and it's never going to get better while I have any say in it. ) It's not even scary. It's just - it's just creepy. I can't put it another way.

And I love it. I love how well this works, how completely and bizarrely this makes sense, and how utterly I believe the last line. This is one of those crossovers that should never have worked, and yet it works so well that I find myself wondering why things are never this awesome in canon.

If that hasn't convinced you, I offer you a major bonus: after you read this story, you will think of your family, no matter how weird it is, as almost shockingly mundane. And you will always be able to tell yourself it could be worse when they come to visit.

The One That Teaches Us That Really Good Lipstick Has Many Uses. Seriously, I Almost Want to Buy Some, Just in Case. I Lie, I Cheat, I Steal (and I Just Don't Get Any Respect), by [livejournal.com profile] fiercelydreamed. White Collar x Leverage. Genish.

There are, in general, two kinds of crossovers for me: the kind that make me wrinkle up my nose in confusion and blink at my screen blankly (sometimes going so far as to say, "Really? Really?"), and the kind that make me do a wiggle dance of glee because SO OBVIOUSLY YES. I have learned, in my time in fandom, that the category a crossover is in does not signify; you get awesomeness in both categories, and both categories bring equal amounts of joy. (The only difference is how you feel if it doesn't work; with the first kind, you feel stupid ("What was I thinking, clicking on that DCU x LotR crossover with the Batman/Legolas pairing? My Bitter Old Fandom Queen raised me better than that!"), but with the second, you feel betrayed ("But it was a SURE THING!").)

This story fits into the SO OBVIOUSLY YES category. (Disappointment doesn't even enter into it, of course.) Because, I mean, totally: Leverage and White Collar. They were BORN to cross tracks. When I saw this story's header, I did the customary wiggle dance, all squeaky and happy. But I didn't anticipate the awesomeness that ensued, although, in all fairness, I'm not sure anyone could.

I mean, this story has so many great parts. I enjoy seeing Neal Caffrey being the Unflappable Hostage as much as the next girl, and of course I love the role-playing the Leverage folks get up to, and naturally I like seeing Elizabeth Burke reveal her fabulousness (in fabulous shoes, to boot). But this story is so much more than the sum of its parts. There is extra wonderfulness hidden in the kerning, I swear.

And then there's Hardison's narration. Dear Fandom: Please write many more stories with Hardison as the viewpoint character. Like, even in totally other fandoms. Because never has there been a character who so totally spoke the fannish, geeky language; you could write a story in which he communicates entirely in quotes from Star Wars to celebrate Star Wars day, and it would be, if anything, only surprising he didn't reprogram all freeway signs to speak in Star Wars quotes, too. And when he's not getting his geek on, he's checking out people's asses. He's one of us, is my point.

And you know you want to read that.

The One Featuring the Most Terrifying Sandwich Ever Made in the United States. China, by [personal profile] torch. Highlander x X-Files, Methos/Fox Mulder.

Okay, there are two ways to do this kind of crossover - there's the way where everyone has secrets (in this case, especially Methos) and the crossover characters don't necessarily know or ever figure out all of each other's secrets, and then there's the way where the author gives all the characters a sealed enveloped containing ep summaries, Wikipedia entries, and headshots. I prefer the first way.

And that is the route Torch goes here. I love stories like this, where you see two characters you know well (or, in my case, only sort of know well, since I read this back when I still thought the X-Files characters were named "Mully" and "Sculder," and since then have progressed all the way to the point where I can even tell you the first name of - okay, one of them, which I had to look up just now, BUT STILL) meeting and trying to figure each other out. And I especially love it when the characters can't figure each other out entirely.

But this is not just some snippet of awesomeness (although I tell you what: Torch's snippets are so reliably awesome that many fans have ascended to a higher plane just reading them). This is a whole story, with, you know, Mulder being Mulder, Scully being Scully, and Methos being whoever he feels like being this decade. There's a small town! There's accusations of witchcraft! No one gets burned at the stake! I just - I really love that it's not just about Methos and Mulder; there's all these other things going on.

And there's Methos, and Methos is never a hardship; I would read Methos is every fandom ever devised - I mean, Methos in Gundam Wing? Sure. Methos/Johnny Weir? Why the hell not? Methos on Sesame Street? I have no idea how it would work, but I'd read it.

Plus, you know, there's the sex. That doesn't hurt. I'm just saying.

The One That Teaches Us That a Giant Alien Robot Best Friend Is Hard on Family Values. Bumblee ex Machina, by [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. Generation Kill x Transformers. Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

I think I first suspected [livejournal.com profile] hackthis had superpowers when she picked a song for me. If you ever get the chance to do this, take it; she has uncanny gifts. She found a song that was so perfectly me in every particular that I was astonished, and it is still one of my favorites. One of the main reasons that I haunt her LJ is the hope she'll do another song meme.

But, okay, fine, so she has a song-related superpower - that doesn't mean she has powers, plural, right? Except she does. It's so unfair. I'm not even sure what her other superpower is called - TFV Catnip seems awfully specific. Maybe it's just called You Know You Wanna. Whatever the case, I have come to accept that if she plunges into a fandom, I have no choice but to follow her. I resisted her on Entourage for the longest time, and what was the result? I ended up in Entourage anyway, and she laughed at me for waiting. Seriously. I'm done resisting this woman.

I did think, though, that she might have pushed her superpowers too far by crossing Generation Kill with Transformers (although, you know, from what I understand about Michael Bey's profound love for the American military, maybe it does make sense). On the one hand, we have a canon about a bunch of sweaty, mouthy guys in Humvees. On the other hand, we have a canon in which those Humvees would transform into giant alien robots. It doesn't seem like a natural fit, right?

It fits. That's all I'm going to say. It works. And I have a strange soft spot for high school AU Brad and Nate (um, probably that can be blamed on [livejournal.com profile] hackthis, too, but then so many things can be), so this story is like extra joy for me.

Really, I'm not surprised. This woman could cross Justified with Jack and the Beanstalk, and I'd probably end up loving it. And you would, too, so stop resisting and start reading.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The OTW is having a fundraising drive! (And this time, there is swag. It is awesome swag. I am just pointing this out.)

I love the OTW - I volunteer for them, in fact - and I love what we do there. But most of all, I love the idea that someday, the works I recommend will be mostly hosted on the Archive of Our Own (soon to enter open beta!), and I won't have to post knowing that in a year or so, half the links will be broken. You have no idea how awesome that would be. Donate to the OTW! Do it on behalf of your fannish recommenders!

The One That Makes Me Feel Guilty That I Wasn't Paying More Attention in 1999.Sixteen Days in September, by [personal profile] tevere. Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

This story is amaaaaaazing. It isn't always easy to read - because I am a wimp, there are places I totally had to skip - but it's gritty and so believable it hurts. It's an AU; instead of joining the Marines, Nate joins the Peace Corps. And gets sent to East Timor, on the eve of the independence vote. (And if you're thinking, East Timor? Independence vote?, well, I am not surprised. The only reason I knew anything about East Timor before reading this story was that I looked it up on Wikipedia because [personal profile] tevere lives there. But, fortunately, you don't need to know about the country to read this.)

The great part about this story, though - okay, one of the great parts - is that it's so much like the canon. I don't think I've ever seen an AU achieve such perfect parity with the canon's tone and content. It's astonishing. I'm reading Generation Kill right now, and this story perfectly matches its blend of great characters, moments of human triumph, and screaming fucking incompetence. (My basic reaction to Generation Kill is that human beings are not competent or organized enough for war. When I am the secret ruler of the world, I will require people to prove that everyone in their chain of command has intelligence and common sense. If they can't, sorry! No war. It sucks, but if you can't find your ass with both hands, a GPS unit, and a scale map, you can't have any guns.)

I do need to warn you, though - the independence of East Timor was not pleasantly and easily achieved, and this story reflects that. If you know the Generation Kill canon, well, there will be nothing worse here than you've seen or read there. If you don't, you can still read this story, and I encourage you to - this is one of those things that is worth it - but do pay close attention to the story header.

The One That Makes Me Wish I Had a Shirt with Fake Tits on It. (Although at the Moment I Have All the Boob I Need. Thanks, Breastfeeding!) To Let, by [livejournal.com profile] amand_r. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

You know how good this story is? The whole thing is told in second person, which would normally be enough to drive me to stockpile weapons and tack great big maps up in my (non-existent, because we live in California, and believe me, this was a major source of bitterness throughout my childhood) basement, but here, I don't even notice. Seriously. Every time I re-read this story, which I do a lot (because it is wonderful), I am surprised once again that it is in second person.

Telling a story longer than ten words in second person is one of those things where, if you have to ask if you're good enough, you're not. Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] amand_r is, in fact, entirely good enough. She probably has extra talent she has to store in old spaghetti sauce jars because she can't fit it all in her head at one time.

Because, really, this story is just plain awesome. I love the outsider view of Torchwood, and, frankly - and I know this is a major crime for a fan, tantamount to admitting you secretly want your canon to get cancelled - I love the original character, who is interesting. And even canonical characters aren't always interesting. (Sometimes it seems to me that a major function of fan fiction writing is making a two-dimensional character, you know, three-dimensional. So if we can do that, and we can, why do we tell each other we can't write original characters? I get confused about that.)

There's also a coda, linked at the end. I actually like the coda, especially in light of Recent Canonical Events, but, well. If you are, like me, of a sensitive disposition, you might want to pay close attention to the warnings. (Although if you're like me, you'll read it anyway, and you probably will not be sorry.)

The One That Makes Me Wonder Where the Great Chefs Go When They Die. I Mean, It Can't Be Hell, Because Then There'd Be Good Food There, but Most of Them Are Not What Me Might Term Heaven-Qualified. City of Sinners, by [livejournal.com profile] kaneko. Oz, Tobias Beecher/Christopher Keller.

So if you know how Oz ended, you know that a post-series happily-ever-after for Beecher and Keller is, shall we say, slightly unlikely. (If you don't, you should still read this - it's that good - but you'll have have to just trust me: not likely.) Which is why I am kind of astonished that Kaneko managed to make one. Oh, it's not the perfect happily-ever-after - there's no ice cream or anything - but then, I think Keller and Beecher had kind of reached a place where they couldn't take that. Some people really can't have nice things, and if you're not that kind of person when you get into prison, I would imagine you are after you've been there a while. Beecher and Keller sure were.

So this is their kind of happily-ever-after. Which is, okay, in hell. But! It’s not a bad hell, as hells go, and, really, they wouldn't fit in in heaven. (Plus, they'd probably have to be quarantined; otherwise, they'd have a terrible effect on the angels.)

Plus, I just love the world-building (Can I use that term in this case? Do I mean plane-building?) here. This is totally a hell I can believe in. If I, you know, believed in hell. Anyway. My point is: this is a wholly awesome story.

And I would think that this kind of went without saying - I mean, if you have a story that's set in the afterlife, certain warnings are just not necessary - but, okay, yeah. There's some character death in this.

The One That Makes Me Very, Very Glad I Am Not a Vulcan. Fever, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife. Star Trek, Amanda/Sarek. (Does Amanda have a last name? I'm not even going to get into it with Sarek - I've learned that with Vulcans, it's better to just take the information they give you and be happy - but Amanda comes from earth. Surely she's got a last name.)

Soooo. Pon farr is one of those things that seems to have been made for fan fiction writers. Slashers, particularly. It's like the writer of that episode - holy shit, Wikipedia says Theodore Sturgeon, and frankly I would not in any way be surprised to hear that this is exactly what he did - sat down and said to himself, "How can I make sure that Star Trek is a fandom for the ages? And maybe get Spock a little more love from the ladies? Although, frankly, if the lady fans loved him any more, there could be riots. But then, I like a good riot." And then he thought of pon farr.

And if that was his plan, it worked. I am brand-new to the Star Trek fandom, compared to its overall tenure on this planet, and I have already read, I would estimate, thirteen thousand pon farr stories. It's like catnip to the fan writer's hindbrain.

The thing is, though - I've enjoyed pretty much all the pon farr stories that didn't spell Spock Spuck. But. Well. I never really thought about what pon farr would be like - for Joe Vulcan, for his mate (the lovely Jane Vulcan, or the equally lovely Jack Vulcan if Vulcans swing that way, or, in this case, the awesome Amanda Probably Has a Last Name but I Don't Know It).

This story is short, but it packs a hell of a wallop. And, really, I guess all pon farr stories should carry a dubcon warning - pon farr is the sex pollen you carry along with you! - but this one plays with that edge a little more than most.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The other day, a blogger I read intermittently said she really loved packing and moving. I had to leave the computer for fifteen minutes to avoid leaving a comment that a) called her a psycho lying liar pants b) advised her to seek therapy IMMEDIATELY for the sake of her children and c) begged her to come take care of our move, since she likes it so very much.

It's at this point that I need to make it clear that I am not in my right mind. And I have good reason to be crazy. Back in college, I knew every semester would end in tears. And not because of the finals, or the yay-finals-are-over relief - because I had to pack up my shit. I would happily have taken finals forever to avoid that.

And that was when a) I was a college student, so my major possessions consisted of a stereo system (this was back when we had stereo systems), three pots, and inflatable furniture and b) I moved every semester, so you'd think I'd've had it down to a science.

Now - well. We've lived in this house for ten years. We've been moving for four months. I hate this so much I can't begin to tell you. And that's actually the good part of this week. Other highlights include Assorted whining behind cut. Key concept: I won't be going to Vividcon this year. )So, really, life is sucking a fairish amount right now. (Did I mention that the earthling is on a new medication that makes him tired and cranky? No? Yet another fun factor in all this!)

Obviously, it's time to rec something. But this time, I am hoping to make it interactive! See, I will rec three stories that have alleviated quite a lot of misery for me, and then maybe you can recommend a fourth one to me!

Because, wow, I need the escapism right now.

The One That Proves That the Difference Between Marines and High School Boys Is - Something. Probably. I Will Figure It out Eventually. Get Some, by [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

If you don't know what Generation Kill is, you don't entirely need to - the joy of an AU this long is that it's basically self-contained - but I hear there are weird purists out there who like to know what the characters look like and stuff. If so, there's a primer here. (Warning to people like me: this is a show about Recon Marines. Which means they spend all their time in camouflage and big-ass hat things that make them look like khaki Q-tips. Which means, of course, that to me they are all identical. So if you're like me, skip the photos and just read the summaries. Or, hey, just read the story.)

I read this story like five times the week it was posted. And here's the kicker: I don't like high school AUs. College AUs? Absolutely. But my feeling about high school is that I did that, sort of, even though I ditched four days out of five and spent most of one year in detention and skipped the last year altogether and - you're probably starting to see why I don't read high school AUs.

But I read this one. I love this one. [livejournal.com profile] hackthis has a knack for making me love characters I normally wouldn't - I'm thinking of sending her a letter about this, but the thing is, I can't figure out if it would be thanks or threats - and she succeeds in spades here. I mean, I was already reading Generation Kill because she made me (I am pretty sure I recall that gunpoint was involved, but I could be remembering wrong), but this story took it to another level. A frankly embarrassing level, in that I was silently beaming messages to the earthling: Be hungry. Ask to nurse. I need to finish my story.

This AU satisfied a need in my soul. I don't know what that need was, but you know that feeling you get when something is exactly perfect and shaped just right for you? I got that from this. I am betting a lot of you will, too.

Bonus: walks down memory lane for people who remember 1994!

The One with the (Fake) Giant Well-Hung Golden Bull. Perhaps I Should See If I Can Get One of These for Our New House. Operator, by [livejournal.com profile] troyswann. Stargate: SG-1 x The Matrix, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

My love for the Matrix series has been well documented in these pages, and of course by "love" I mean "oh my god what what what did they seriously just spend three-quarters of my life DANCING, and also what the fuck was that with the electric crucifixion thing?"

So I am not exactly panting for Matrix crossovers. But I read this, because frankly I would read anything she wrote, up to and including a crossover between SG1 and Regency England, and I was not at all sorry. This, my friends - this is the awesomeness that I was promised with the Matrix movies. (Seriously. People kept saying, "You love science fiction! You'll love this SO MUCH! You have to seeeeeeeeee it." I finally saw it, and I loved the first, like, 20 minutes, nad then I spent the entire rest of the time hissing things like, "Entropy doesn't WORK THAT WAY" to Best Beloved. Normally I am better behaved in movies. I was better the second time through the first movie, and then I saw the second and third ones, and it allllll went south again. Like, Antarctic-south. I think I sustained permanent damage from all the eye rolling.)

I love this story. I love Jack as the captain of one of those ship thingies (what are they called?), Sam stuck inside the matrix (Sam is so awesome here), Daniel the operator, Vala the reluctant fighter for good (I mean, she's not reluctant to fight, you just get the feeling she wishes there was more moral ambiguity involved), and, of course, Teal'c. Teal'c is awesome.

This isn't necessarily a story I could crawl into, but, oh, it's escapism at its very finest.

The One That Shows Us That True Love Is Killing Spiders. (Really True Love Would Be Killing Cockroaches, and I Mean All the Cockroaches in the World. Why Don't Mad Scientists Ever Get on This? Mad Science, You Have Failed Me.) Junk Cheap, by [livejournal.com profile] devildoll. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

I have read this AU several thousand, thousand times since it was posted. I don't know why I haven't recommended it before. It's one of those inexplicable oversights. (Except maybe not, because this story always makes me want to make lasagna, and I went through enough of that in TS fandom. There are only so many lasagnas a woman can make, fandom! I am perilously close to my lifetime limit, and will soon have to pay an extra Surplus Lasagna Fee for each one.) But I am remedying that now.

The key concept here is: John owns a junk shop, and Rodney does not want him. Not at all. No siree. Who wants to sleep with a junk shop owner? Not Rodney, that's who! Even if he's, you know. Kind of hot.

This seems, perhaps, overly simple. I assure you it is not. There is action! There is the other kind of action! There are leaky showers! (I assure you leaky showers are extremely compelling within this context.) And did I mention that there is lasagna, and also baked goods of various kinds? (You don't get to eat them.)

But the real joy of this, and the reason I come back to it again and again, is that it is absolutely the kind of story I can crawl into and pull over my head when things get bad. There's true love, and comical old people, and a junk shop, and just enough conflict to keep it interesting without raising my blood pressure unhealthily, and it is just adorable and fun in the same way that old movies starring Audrey Hepburn are. I love it. And, right now, I need it.

So. Now it's your turn! Rec me something? Something fun and escapist? (Vulcans are appreciated, but in no way necessary.) I suppose the ideal story would be an AU where there are no real estate agents or car salesmen, but I will gladly settle for any kind of happiness. Really.

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