156: LOL!

Nov. 19th, 2006 10:16 am
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Hey. You guys know everything, so: does anyone out there know about tea? Specifically, I'm looking for loose-leaf tea that I can buy online that is very, very tasty. Like, a nice assortment of it, maybe. Like, if you were going to get loose-leaf tea as a present, what specific teas would you want?

In return for any help you can give me in this (important!) matter, I offer you an assortment of amusing stories. Not actually written by me, no. But hand-selected by me! With artisan story summaries!

(Also, hey: check out my cool, be-snowified default icon, originally by [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie and modified by [livejournal.com profile] slodwick, who brings the seasonal cheer in buckets. Of course, this is the only snow I'll see this winter, because I live in LA and it's like forty billion degrees here every fucking day, but that just makes the snowy icon more precious. Thanks, Slod!)

The Funniest Joke Is the One That's on the Joker. Revenge, by [livejournal.com profile] astolat. Smallville(ish), Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

(Note: I say "Smallvilleish" because this is Shalott's special version of Smallville: set in the future, mixed with special elements of comics canon, and whipped into a delightful, frothy blend. And, really, I would love to read more stories like that, and I know there was a challenge to mix comics and TV canon there a while back. Anyone have a link?)

You've got to love the Joker. He wants nothing more than what we all want - to make people laugh, and rejoice, and be gay. Which is (obviously) why I'm starting the set with this story; it's got the Joker in all his glory, and who could be a better mascot for a humor set than him? (Do not, at this point, attempt to picture the Joker in one of those unfortunate sports-team mascot suits - I'm guessing it would be for, like, the Gotham Bats - prancing around and leading the crowd in cheers. You will go to a bad place in your head, and you might not come back. This is how people end up in Arkham rooming with Poison Ivy, thinking about things like that.)

And, in fact, the Joker does succeed here, in that I laughed. Except I was partly laughing at him, and I'm not sure that was his purpose. But I was also partly laughing at Clark and Lex, so that should make him happy. (Oh, boys, just give up and fuck each other already; unresolved sexual tension is un-American.)

The Funniest Joke Is One That Involves Baaaaaaaaby Animals. Two-Color Dog Happiness, by [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana. Stargate: Atlantis, gen.

(Note: if you followed along in [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana's LJ when she was writing this, you'll still want to click on the link, which has a special epilogue.)

Okay. I know there are people out there who do not enjoy thinking about various characters being turned into baaaaaaaaby animals. You people run along to the next recommendation, because I warn you that here there will be unabashed use of terms like "cute" and "adorable" and, well, "baaaaaaaaby animals."

Go. Go on. There's a special alternative to this story coming up for you.

And now that they've moved on, I think those of us who are left can acknowledge that we feel very, very sorry for them, yes? Because there is a certain pure and ecstatic beauty to turning characters into baby animals. I don't think I even need to sell you on the concept - I mean, funny! Cute! Baby animals! What else is there to say? - so I'll just register a formal complaint that this is not a thriving subgenre of fan fiction on at least the level of MPreg. We live in a world where male pregnancy is more common than random pandafication, and even though I can (and have) gone for a good MPreg, that is just sad. Where is the story in which Daniel Jackson is turned into a fuzzy, blinking alpaca? In which Sam Winchester is turned into a gazelle? In which Fraser finds a ferret breaking into the front door of the Consulate one evening? I have done my share; I've turned Ray Kowalski into a zebra and Tim Drake into a wombat. Have you done yours? (Because, hey, if you have, I need links.)

Or:

The Funniest Joke Is One That Involves the Leader of the Free World Having Indecent Relations with a Rabbit. (Note: Not Actually As Scarring As It Sounds.) Wabbit Hunting, by [livejournal.com profile] supacat. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor (ish). (I refuse to apologize for the fandom duplication here. I am totally unrepentant, thanks.)

Yes, this is the story for the people who couldn't take the baaaaaaaaby animals. Yes, there is, um, another animal transformation here. But it's Clark Kent, people, and he's the pet of Lex Luthor. Tell me that doesn't appeal. Tell me that's not, like, the plot of 3,500 stories, at least 30 of which you have saved to your hard drive.

Just, usually Clark isn't small and furry at the time. Is all. Very minor difference!

But I think even people who would, if given the option, take torture and death over widdle furry animals will find this story appealing. Why? Because Lex Luthor gets his awful revenge on Clark Kent at long, long last.

By naming him "Bunnykins." And scratching behind his ears.

I'm sorry, but if you don't see the joy inherent in that, you aren't even human.

The Funniest Joke Is One with Sound Effects and a Theme Song (Performed a Capella and in Slow Motion). My Observed Holiday, by [livejournal.com profile] stoney321. Scrubs, gen.

There is not a single animal in this one, unless you count Rowdy. No mention of baaaaaaaaby animals at all. So if you've got tragic textual fur allergies, you can tune back in now.

Instead, we have a simple message of love, of individuality, of finding celebration and meaning in this cold cruel world of ours, of the beauty of some TV show I've never heard of. (But that doesn't mean I don't love it, people! I totally do! I'm just - a little confused. Is it seriously about a man whose skin comes off his arms so you can see the muscles underneath? Like, they made a show about the Visible Man thing that we used in elementary school for our "science" classes, where "science" means "passing around a plastic liver and listening to your classmates make EWWW GROSS noises"? Because if so, I see that drugs have been a problem in the entertainment industry and a threat to our nation's mental health for much longer than I'd thought.)

In this story, J.D. and Turk teach us the importance of making and observing our own traditions. In these crazy times, we need cultural touchstones. And, frankly, sometimes the existing ones don't cut it. So what do you do? Do you continue to celebrate Arbor Day even though you're allergic to trees? Or do you choose to celebrate the magic of one Steve Austin instead?

I know what I'm picking. Won't you all join me in February for Baaaaaaaaby Animal Transmogrification Day? (Yeah, I totally lied about there being no mention of baaaaaaaaby animals here.) There will be themed snacks! I have cookie cutters and I'm not afraid to deploy them adorably! Or obscenely, as necessary!

The Funniest Joke Is One with Lots of Towels. Although, Sadly, This Is Very Hard on the Towels. Poor Towels. Five Times Arthur Dent Lost His Towel, by [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent/Ford Prefect.

The Five Things meme always fills my heart with joy. People can do amazing things within the framework of "Five Times They Boogied Until They Just Couldn't Boogie No More" and "Five Things You Really Didn't Want to Know That Fraser Is Going to Tell You Anyway." Sometimes you can even request these. Admittedly, I never have any good ideas - or by the time I do the person in question has 55 requests already and is considering fleeing to a new country and taking up a life as an itinerant mouseworker - but it's always fun seeing what other people come up with.

And it's a lot of fun to see what the actual writers do with these prompts. (Although, really, do I just miss all the multi-fandom prompts? The ones I've seen tend to be, like, "Five Songs That Tim Listens to That Batman Secretly Likes, Even If He Would Die Before Admitting That" and less along the lines of "Five Tattoos That Aren't Canon but Totally Should Be." Possibly multi-fandom prompts are harder. Or possibly this is just further evidence of me sucking at prompts.)

Anyway. Um. I kind of got carried away with the love for the meme and failed to talk about my love for this particular story. Which is - well. There's Arthur. There's towel abuse and carnage. There's intergalactic slang. I just - do I need to say any more to get you to read this? Because if so - wow. You are a tough sell, and you should totally write me a list of five things I could say to get you to read a really excellent story, so next time I can start there. (Suggested example: "Read this story or the baby animal gets it." What, you thought I could let the baby animals go?)

The Funniest Jokes Are Ones That Feature Extremely Humorous Nicknames That You Will Inevitably Think of at a Very Inappropriate Moment in the Near Future, and Then Have an Unfortunate Fit of the Giggles. So Skip This One If the Fate of the Free World Usually Depends on You, Okay? Eight Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Ward Sidekick Partner: or Dude you sound like a NAMBLA member, by [livejournal.com profile] brown_betty. D. C. Universe, Robin/Superboy.

I think we can all agree that the worst possible in-law in the whole history of ever is Batman. Oh, you may think that people who married into the Borgia family had it tough, but that was before state-of-the-art surveillance. Also, probably the Borgias like to have a laugh from time to time. Probably they hugged and stuff, too.

Just try to imagine hugging Batman. Yeah, I know. My mind goes to a bad place with restraints and blood tests and special Bat-shaped anti-hug guards, too.

Plus, Batman tends to be slightly, um. Protective of his Robins. I mean, sure, he can't keep track of each fallen Robin - notice how Steph STILL does not have a memorial Case of Angsty Batness - but he has standards. I think Betty's done an excellent job of delineating these standards here. The first one, for example, is "Don't." Batman probably has several stilted, abbreviated conversations with Robin along those lines, never getting any further than, "Robin. Don't." And then he gives up and goes to talk to Superboy instead. It's hard to date a Bat, man.

And yet Tim is obviously very tempting.

Poor Kon.

(If you were waiting for a baby animal reference: they are BATS and ROBINS, people. The animal references come built-in! Although Tim as an actual wee Robin would be - really, really disturbing, actually. "Quick, Robin! To the Batcage!" Yikes.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best Beloved suggested that, what with the whole Halloween and Day of the Dead thing that's happening around this time of year (not to mention my dogs' holiday of choice, which is known as Barking at the Place Where a Black Cat Probably Was Three Days Ago), it would be a perfect occasion for death stories. I agreed.

And then I kind of wimped out. But, hey, what I went with fulfills the theme, too, because what better way to celebrate the end of October than with a few of your best undead friends?

The One That Proves That There Are Two Teenaged Boys on This Earth Using the Internet for Something Other Than Porn and Networked Video Games. Yes, Really. I'm As Shocked As You Are. Going Under, by Aphrael (does anyone know if she's on LJ?). Hikaru no Go, Shindou Hikaru/Touya Akira.

One of the things I just purely love about Hikaru no Go is that the whole premise - sixth-grader haunted by the friendly ghost of the best-ever Go player - is just kind of, I don't know, taken for granted. Hikaru spends his time worrying that someone might find out about his ghost, sure, but it's about the same way he'd worry about doing something that could get him grounded. After the first day or so, there's no real reaction of, "Holy shit, a fucking ghost." (Which is totally understandable; if I'd been haunted at that age, I likely would've taken it with the same relatively blase air. Everything's kind of weird when you're a kid; for all you know, everyone could have ghosts and just not have thought to mention it to you yet.)

But the lack of holy fucking shit, a ghost reactions means the supernatural element of the canon doesn't really get explored. Which is why I love this story, which says, "Hey. Where there's one ghost, might there not also be another?"

Indeed there might. And just because Sai is the cutest, prettiest, smartest, friendliest, and most emotionally labile ghost you could ever hope to meet, that doesn't mean that other ghosts might not have, well, other agendas. We can't all be bought off with games of Go, vending machines, and fake fish, you know. (Although I have to wonder about those of us who can't be. Are we demanding too much? I mean, the universe supplies Go, vending machines, and fake fish, and yet somehow we want more. You realize this is what happened to the Roman Empire, people. Forget what Gibbon told you: the first sign of decline is a been-there, done-that attitude toward vending machines.) So. Hikaru's got a new ghost. And this one, uh, doesn't have much interest in Go.

The One That Gives a Whole New Meaning to the Concepts of Avoidance and Denial. Law of Conservation, by Lucia Zephyr, aka [livejournal.com profile] lucia_tanaka. Numb3rs, Charlie Eppes/Larry Fleinhardt.

And we go from the bad kind of ghost to - well, a whole different bad kind of ghost. Because, let's face it, you don't want to be haunted by anyone weird and creepy. But you don't really want to be haunted by anyone you know, either, because then that person has to be - and I don't want to harp on the obvious here, but, well, it's worth considering - dead. (I suppose the worst case scenario would be being haunted by a weird and creepy loved one. Yeah, my brain went to a bad place, too. Or, oh my god - my really and truly worst case scenario would be being haunted by myself, c. age 15. Weird, creepy, and as irritating as all hell: the undead unholy trifecta!)

And, of course, that's what's happening here. The thing I find interesting about this story is that - well, in due South, we take this kind of haunting for granted. Your dead father can come back to visit, and it's nothing more than an ongoing annoyance and about ten points off your yearly psychiatric evaluation. But taken out of its context - I don't know. I found this story sad, sad in a way I would never find Bob Fraser sad. And I'd put that down to a character I love being dead, except - well, I don't really know these characters. I had to look up Larry's last name to post this, even. But still: sad.

I suppose, transplanted into another reality and onto a different character, this kind of haunting looks like stasis, stagnation, and, well, tragedy. In particular, I find the last line very, very sad. But I'm curious if other people interpret this story that way, or if I'm just weirdly sensitive about this one. (Even if you do - it's a short story, and I'm going to be offering the antidote with the next rec, so don't let me saying something is sad scare you away. Anyway - I cry when I throw away frying pans. My sense of the sad is not necessarily anyone else's.)

The One That Proves That Your Really Good Friends Can Keep Embarrassing You Even After They're Dead. Divine Intervention, by Perpetual Motion, aka [livejournal.com profile] perpet_fic. Scrubs, J.D./Perry Cox.

But, hey. Haunting by a loved one doesn't have to be sad, you know? Particularly, in Scrubs stories it doesn't have to be sad. I mean, sure, tragic death and all, but if the people on Scrubs let that get to them, they'd have nervous breakdowns every episode instead of twice a season. The key thing is to get J.D. and Cox on appropriate terms, and if that means hanging around being obnoxious, well, I know one dead guy who is more than up to the task.

(No. It's not the Janitor. Are you kidding? If he predeceased J.D., he sure as shit wouldn't come back to help him get laid; he'd steal all his pens and make sure his coffee was always stone cold and that he never got laid again. Those cold, ghostly fingers can deliver quite the coitus interrupting pinch, you know, and oh my god I'm writing a ghost!Janitor story summary inside another story summary. Why didn't someone stop me?)

Just think, though, about how much it would suck to have to fix Dr. Cox before you could go to your eternal reward. That would be - that would be like the booby prize of the entire afterlife. (And, yes, thank you to all the Todds in the audience who just said, "I'd sure like to prize her boobies.") Or maybe that's the special hell we all keep talking about. Hmmm. Yeah. That makes a surprising amount of sense, actually. See y'all there! And fear not - we will prevail. Even Dr. Cox won't be able to hold out against all of fandom working as a concerted team. (Although, god, I don't want to think about wank in the afterlife. You talk about your truly eternal kerfluffles.)

The One That Provides an Inspirational Example of Triumphing and Achieving Success in Life and Love Despite the Setback of Being Basically Dead. Rodney's Bad Day, by [livejournal.com profile] boochicken. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

Given that Rodney's average day in the Pegasus Galaxy involves a near-death experience, it stands to reason that a bad day would involve an actual death experience. Or, in this case, more of your undead-type experience. Fortunately, Rodney's genius is totally up to the task of coping with vampirism. The keys, as demonstrated by Rodney, are to whip up some even higher SPF sunscreen. And, where possible, try to avoid biting your co-workers. (Unless they ask nicely.)

In this story, we get to see Rodney go through the Five Stages of Coping with Your Own Undeath (denial, creeping people out, anger, struggle with unfortunate appetites, and, in the fullness of time, using your powers for good). Being Rodney, he manages this with aplomb, provided you're willing to define "aplomb" as "mostly not eating anyone." After all, this is Pegasus. You can't survive 15 minutes on Atlantis if you let little things like being undead get you down.

(No, really. You can't, because something worse is always just around the corner. You know that Life Events Scale that assigns a numerical value to the stressfulness of various life events, and you check off the things that have happened to you in the last year and add up the points and find out you should be very, very sick, or maybe just crazy? Well, I bet Kate Heightmeyer is currently hard at work on the Pegasus Galaxy version. It starts off:

Destroyed universe: 10000
Committed genocide (own race): 1000
Nearly committed genocide (own race): 900
Committed genocide (other race): 800
Destroyed galaxy: 750

And, much further down, goes through such entries as:

Died (but got better): 73
Nearly died from someone else's incompetence:63
Nearly died saving everyone: 61
Had family or team member turned into hostile creature or entity: 60
Spent more than 48 hours trapped in an enclosed space with Rodney McKay: 59
Mutated: 58
Held captive (with torture): 57
Quantum mirror encounter: 55
Cloned: 51
Time travel (with paradox): 43

And so on. Unfortunately, her research is slightly hampered by the fact that, by even the most generous calculations, they should've had their first stress-induced death five weeks into the mission, and that death would set off a chain reaction of stress, stress-related illnesses, and stress-related deaths that would result in everyone being dead in under three months. She continues to work on it, though. It's a nice way to relax between running the Possessions, Mutations, and Violent Personality Changes Support Circle (Motto: "Friends Helping Friends, Even When They Happen Not to Be Quite Themselves Right at the Moment") and her "So It's Friday and You're Not Dead Yet: Coping with the Shock" lectures.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I am having a total I-suck day. And apparently I'm not alone. Did anyone not have a job disaster today?

Anyway.

I am going to cheer myself up, or at least get past the I-want-to-die point, with totally self-indulgent recommendations. From the general look of the old friends list today, I am not the only one who needs this, so I refuse to feel guilty.

The One in Which a Bowl of Soup Changes Everything. Marry into the Family, by [livejournal.com profile] julad. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

This story never fails to make me smile. Possibly it's the line "Say ten 'Hail Luthors' and perform an act of Callous Economic Rationalism." Possibly it's just - come on. Maybe your day was bad, yes. Maybe mine was. But I think it's safe to say that none of us came out to both Lionel Luthor and Jonathan Kent today, and don't you feel better already?

Story summary? Well, please just imagine an announcer doing a voice-over that says, "In a world where real love is sometimes real hard, Lex Luthor is about to learn that a bowl of soup can make all the difference." But it's not the plot that gives me the hit of pure joy when I read it; the joy is in the details, people. First of all, there's the way Lex totally throws Lionel for a loop, thus proving that soup and the love of a good man really can make your strength as the strength of ten. And then there's the scene with Clark showing that he learns entirely too well from example. (Oh, Clark. You're the archetypal impressionable youth.) And then there's the way that the ending of the story is actually the beginning of it, so by the time you find out that Lex and Clark are in a certain amount of trouble, you know it ends happily. I just - is there a better definition of comfort FF than this story? I would say no. (And if you'd say yes, please please give me a link.)

The One in Which J.D. Doesn't Quite Get a Unicorn Called Sparkles and Feed Her Gum Drops and Candy Canes. My Space Adventure, by [livejournal.com profile] skoosiepants. Stargate: Atlantis x Scrubs. And in my opinion, this is gen, because, well, everything that happens here could happen in Scrubs. Including the unicorn.

You know, until I read this, I had never once thought to myself, "J.D. is a perfect fit with Atlantis. I don't know why he isn't already there." But now I see clearly; only in Pegasus can J.D. achieve a true match between his life and his fantasy world. Actually, it'd be kind of a cage grudge match: J.D.'s twisted imagination v. Pegasus Galaxy. They'd go 40 rounds for sure.

This is another joy-is-in-the-details story. Like, of course Ted would have an iPod filled with motivational podcasts. (And a few prime time theme songs, I'd wager. You know, I hadn't heard of Charles in Charge prior to that particular episode of Scrubs, and - well, am I the only one who thinks that the show pretty much had to be about the wacky BDSM dungeon hijinks of a Master and his crew of misfit slaves? Oh, don't look at me like that. You're totally wondering what channel that's on.) Anyway. My point is - J.D. is a natural for Pegasus, and so is everyone else in the cast. Dr. McKay and Dr. Cox were clearly meant to have a tense, hostile, sarcasm-filled relationship until they night they get drunk together on Athosian krrrrup and spend three hours arguing about whether J.D. or John Sheppard is the greater burden on a sane man who wants to keep all his limbs attached. And Elliot would obviously be sent to Atlantis because no one could think of a place that was even further away. It's just - it's fabulous. You need to read this story.

The One in Which We Learn That There Are Two Types of Kids in This World: Those Who Take Applied Science Way Further Than It Should Ever Go, and Those Who Always Know Where a Fire Extinguisher Is. Aviation, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife. X-Men movieverse, gen.

(Yes, I'm trying to figure out which kind of kid I was, too. And - wow, I can hear Best Beloved laughing from all the way across town. But! Seriously! I could very well have been a fire extinguisher kid! I was just very accident prone. And, okay, slightly too interested in things that burn, but...) This story makes me happy in that quiet, joyful way where I just want to hug my monitor. Because - Scott! Being grown-up and worried! And Hank! Being HANK! It just does not get any better than this, people.

And, on another level - the very small number of levels that aren't totally occupied saying OMG HANK I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, which is, believe me, a very few of them when I'm reading any story in which the Real Hank appears - there's also substantial Xavier love in here for me. Which is something I don't feel that often, mostly because I do not like telepathy. Or telepaths. They just - seriously, I have a major telepathy phobia. (I have actually told Best Beloved, on more than one occasion, "If you develop mind reading powers, it's over." And I meant it, too. See why Best Beloved is a three-state smiling and nodding champion?) But I love Xavier most when he's displaying the wisdom telepathy has given him, and here he so does that, and I just want to kiss his shiny, shiny head.

The One That Manages to Make MREs Romantic. I Am Totally Not Kidding. You Will Never Look at Military-Produced Eggs and Cheese the Same Way Again. (Actually, I'm Hoping You'll Never Have to Look at Them at All.) Downtime, by [livejournal.com profile] merryish. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson.

What with [livejournal.com profile] destina_fic and the Jack/Daniel ficathon, SG-1 has been my total happy place lately. And I do believe that this story made me the happiest of all the ones I've read (thus far - that's a wondrously massive backlog of brilliant FF, folks, so it'll be some time before I've managed to process it all). It's like all the things that drew me to this pairing - the crazed missions, Jack's determination and quirky sense of humor, Daniel's intelligence and astonishingly deep kindness, missions gone awry, inexplicable aliens, involuntary camping trips, convoluted excuses for Jack and Daniel to get some alone time together off-world - packed into one glorious story.

This story made me so happy that I was genuinely depressed when it was over. And then I remember that there's a surefire cure for that, and I scrolled right back to the top and started reading again. And, you know, it made me just as happy the second time. This really is almost everything I love about these guys, and if there's a sadness there - I mean, as far as I know, the canon has closed the door on this pairing - it's the kind of wonderful ache that comes from thinking, "I was really, truly happy there" about a place you know you can go back to. And, oh my god, I need to stop before Hallmark offers me a job. (Of course I'd take it. But I'd probably end up making cards with pretty pictures on the front and verses like, "You were tortured/By a cruel snob/Let me heal you/With this blowjob.")

The One That Proves That Anime Vidders Don't Always Have Their Minds Fixed on Higher Things. Unless the "Higher" Applies to the Vidder Himself, As in "He's Been Higher Than Me Ever Since He Got the Really Good Crack." Waka Laka (for Osaka), by Scintilla. Azumanga Daioh.

Okay, anime vid recommending day was - um, back whenever I did it. But. I dug out a bunch more links for [livejournal.com profile] elishavah (And she's in a place of great weakness right now, people, so if you've got any shiny pretty anime or anime vids to show her, seize this moment.), and in the process I rewatched this one. And then I did it again. And I learned a great truth: this is the vid equivalent of cotton candy. Substance? Not so much. But it's sweet and wonderful and as soon as it's gone you want a lot more. Obviously, I watched it a few more times today.

And then I learned a second truth. A horrible, hideous truth, at that. Namely: this song is just - wow. It burrows into your skull and sets up home in your cochlear nuclei. And, as we all know, there are only two cures for persistent earworms. First, you can try to pass it on to someone else. I'm giving that my best shot here. (And, truly! Do not let the song dissuade you! This is all things shiny and pretty and you don't need to know a thing about the canon. It's cotton candy crack, basically.) Second, you can listen to the song a whole bunch of times and pray that you'll build immunity through repeated exposure. So, um...does anyone have this song? It's Waka Laka (E=MC2 Remix) by Jenny Rom vs. Zippers, apparently.

Bonus: Speaking of songs - the title of this post comes from Code Monkey, by Jonathan Coulton. (As far as I know, this is a totally legal download - he encourages people to share his music. I, in turn, encourage you to visit his website and maybe buy stuff from him.) If you haven't heard this, you so need this song. Especially all of you who have been having work problems lately. It's just - well, it's yet another thing that's making me happy today.

Courage in adversity, people.

Also, if tomorrow isn't better, I'm going to bite someone.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
My other choice for the title today was "Dress You up in My Love." Aren't we all glad I went with the slightly higher-brow option? Well. I mean. I've probably already used the other one, anyway.

Today: clothes. And not just any clothes, but clothes that are, from a cultural standpoint, inappropriate. So I guess my other alternate title could've been "Crossdressing for Fun, Profit, and the American Way." Really, every second I get prouder of myself for going with the one I did. (And slightly less proud of myself for telling you about the others, but, well, confession is good for the soul. And also for writing an introduction when you have absolutely nothing to say about attire-related fan fiction that you haven't said half a dozen times already. I like the clothing, people. Especially in fan fiction, where the clothing often comes off.)

You Know, I Used to Wonder if Bats Were Born Crazy or Had the Crazy Thrust upon Them. This Story Answers That Question. A Form of Confession, by Derry, aka [livejournal.com profile] derryderrydown, and Propaganda, aka [livejournal.com profile] notpoetry (Sorry, Prop!). D.C. Universe, Tim Drake/Bruce Wayne.

I have a stunning weakness for stories that show that Bruce has gone well beyond cracked, into an internally-induced, highly-controlled psychosis, and oh how this one does that. Here we have Tim playing a part, and Bruce living his part, and it just shows - well, what it takes to be the founder, patriarch, and lunatic-in-chief of the Batfamily. And guess what? Batfamily values are really fucking scary. "We knew this," you cry. "All that rubber and angst is a dead giveaway!" Well, yes. But did you know how much?

This is how Bats go crazy, people. I mean, okay, here we have Tim in a costume that just happens to be a dress, but that's not insanity-inducing, especially not for someone who voluntarily elected to live a life of spandex. (Side note: canonically, Tim looks incredible in drag. He makes a gorgeous girl, and there are the comic book pages to prove it somewhere over on [livejournal.com profile] scans_daily.) But Bruce - Bruce is way beyond a mere costume, and he pulls off a mindfuck of Gaslight proportions, here. It's just a wee bit crazy-making, of course, but I'm sure Batman will think it's educational for Robin. (And I switched names deliberately, there, because there's no chance Bruce even understands what he did here.) Just proves what I've always said: the iron core of any Bat, what really gets the grappling hook swinging, is his (or her!) insanity, fucked-up childhood, and Daddy issues. And those that aren't born with one or all of the above will surely acquire them after a few short years with Bruce. That man has so much crazy to give.

Sometimes Quoting Airplane! Can Be an Act of Unparalleled Courage. No, Really. I Was Surprised, Too, but This Is the Story That Proves It. Second Skin, by Toft, aka [livejournal.com profile] toft_froggy. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

This is a crossdressing story for people who don't like crossdressing, because it's really about how John wears a lot of costumes, but not the one he actually most wants to. One of the things that fascinates me about Sheppard is that he always does seem to be playing a part, wearing clothes that don't quite fit him, and, okay, that's probably something the actor - how can I put this kindly? - unintentionally brings to the role (No insult intended, people - god knows I cherish the Sheppard!), but it's endlessly interesting. Brilliant, even, when combined with the total lack of background they've given John. (For future reference, canon SG writers? That is a red flag to the bull of fannish writing. The only way to increase fiction output more would've been to have them kiss - in an entirely manly, heterosexual way, of course - right there on the screen.)

That makes for fantastic fan fiction - I mean, we can pick away Sheppard's ill-fitting outer layer and make all kinds of guesses about what's underneath. And this is one of the best stories I've ever read for that. Yeah, Sheppard's crossdressing here, but what really grips me is how totally that underscores how he always seems to be crossdressing. So part of the thrill of this story for me - oh, who am I kidding? The biggest thrill, because I am just that much of a dork for happiness - is the ending. It's just so good to see John growing into himself, into his skin. And if a skirt is what it takes for him to do that, Jesus, I'll buy him a fucking closetful. And so, as it turns out, will Rodney. (And that is just part of why I love Rodney.)

The Story That Taught Me That Happiness Is a Pair of Girl Pants. (And Totally Made Me Forgive the Color Pink for All That Hideous Lana Lang Trauma.) My New Pants, by Punk, aka [livejournal.com profile] runpunkrun. Scrubs, J.D./Dr. Cox.

Okay. There is a tragic dearth of Scrubs fan fiction. Seriously, what is wrong with the kids of today that they aren't writing scads of Scrubs stories? It makes me want to weep. Anyway, my point is - I've became so desperate for Scrubs FF that I'm actually watching the canon. That's tragedy, people: driven from the warm and welcoming arms of FF into a sleazy relationship with a canon that is still on the air and could thus turn on me at any minute, much like Dr. Cox's ex-wife, and then where would I be? Pity me. And then write some Scrubs FF, damn it.

But. My recent exposure to the canon (BECAUSE OF THE TRAGIC! DEARTH! OF SCRUBS FF, let me just remind you) allows me to say, with great authority, that this story basically is canon: absolutely indistinguishable from the real thing, except that it's written rather than acted. (Well, and also, no one sings even once. For Scrubs, which hasn't, as far as I know, had a musical episode only because pretty much every episode is, that's weird.) It's all here. And it's so beautiful. Ted and Todd and Dr. Cox may not be thrilled with J.D.'s new pants, but oh my god how I am. They are, in short, what the well-dressed fan fiction is wearing.

The Story That Makes Me Think, "My True Love Hath My Dog Tags and I Have His," Which Makes My Soppy Little Heart Weep for Joy. Engraved, by Sori, aka [livejournal.com profile] sori1773. Stargate: SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

And here we have a very dangerous kind of crossdressing - I mean, okay, it's not technically a gender-type crossdressing at all. It's more of an exchange thingy. But when it comes to wearing, uh, what Jack is wearing - seriously, he'd be taking less of a risk by wearing Daniel's underwear. Or Sam's, even. But, hey, isn't that what love is all about? (Taking risks, I mean. Not wearing other people's underwear. In most cases.)

And, actually, that - and let me just repeat: risks risks risks! Ignore the underwear remark! - is what I truly love about this story. When you're in love, it's normal to want to wear something that says right out loud, "Hey, I'm in love! (So it's a good time to hit me up for a loan.)" Even if that's, like, a t-shirt reading "My girlfriend can lick your girlfriend" or whatever. (Yes, I have dated some solid class in my time, people. Just be grateful I didn't share the story about the guy who gave me a ring I watched him find in the trash - shoved it onto my finger, actually - and then asked me to marry him. For future reference? Love is better if it doesn't require disinfecting.) And, um. Getting back to the story - see, lots of the guys we slash - even if they do happen, in this one area, to be normal, they can't do that. No rings, no ceremonies, no gift registries. (Except in certain sugary stories that I, being above all that, really don't read. Nope, never. Nuh-uh.) So, for me, this is a story about how people make their own, you know, meaningful statements. Well. That and the hot sex. Do not underestimate the importance of the hot sex.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
First, an administrative note: About half of my LJ comment notifications are showing up with nothing in them. At all. Except for the name of the person who left it. Which means that unless the comment is in my journal, or I can guess where the comment was left (like, it's from someone whose journal I left a comment in earlier), I have no way of reading them. If you really need to say something to me, in other words, email is the way to go; thefourthvine at gmail dot com. (Which I originally mistyped as "thefourthvine at gmail dot come." Bodes ill for the set, I'm thinking.)

So. If you were wondering about the State of the TFV, that state is: moody. (Or, in terror alert levels, "Run for the hills. We can live off the land until this is over.") I've been moody all week - not any actual mood, mind you. No, I've been fairly okay there, but my coefficient of moody friction is way, way lower than usual, so I know that the slightest push can convert my potential moodiness to kinetic moodiness, and then they will have to call out the National Guard. That's the way I've been this week.

I'm sure you can imagine the trepidation with which I have approached the internet. I mean, I love this habitation of links and string, but it's not a good place if you're right on the edge of qualifying for Superfund money to clean up your toxic emotions, you know?

And now I'm listening to my neighbors, or rather their teenagers, who are having a party. I'm not sure what the party is for, but if I had to pick a single word to describe its theme, I would go with: bass. Like, the kind where it isn't music so much as it is a seismic tremor capable of triggering alerts as far off as Texas. And I find myself wondering - see, I know it would be a bad idea to force people to live in communities based entirely around musical preferences. It would be, right? I mean, aside from the fact that I would inevitably end up living in the "No Detectable Taste of Any Kind" community, you'd have - you'd have, like, the people who force themselves to listen to Eminem so they don't have to live with the Classical Snots Who Still Believe That Elvis Is a Flash in the Pan, and you'd have the hideous shame of discovering that your recent illicit drunken download of the complete oeuvres of Britney Spears and Celine Dion meant no one wanted to live next to you anymore. That kind of thing.

But, still. I watch my windows vibrate - and these aren't even next door neighbors, mind you; this is the house behind the house next door to us - and I think, Hmmm. Maybe. And, let's see, who'd have to move? Us or them?

So, what with everything, it seemed like a great time to recommend a Random Mishmash of Stuff That Makes Me Cheerful. Go mishmash!

Best Not Exactly FF (But More Than Close Enough) to Feature a Pirate Queen-in-Residence, Which, I Now Realize, Is Exactly What I Want to Be If I Grow Up. Ever so slightly longer but not quite as thick: Toward a quantitative literary sexology of Harry Potter fanfiction, by [livejournal.com profile] blythely and [livejournal.com profile] circe_tigana. Harry Potter fandom. Well. I have to assume most of you read the title, giggled, said, "Oh, that's fabulous," and clicked. So I'm addressing this strictly to people so strange and unearthly that they don't want to propose marriage to both authors immediately after reading the title. And my first message to you sad few is: seriously, you can take a Spock imitation too far. Fake pointy ears are acceptable in many communities, but failing to find mock academic papers amusing is most definitely not.

And please don't tell me that you're excused because you don't read Harry Potter. You aren't. You'll recognize the concept under study here immediately, possibly with little cries of horror. (Or, if you don't, please tell me about your fandom.) If you've ever read any slash, or any academic papers of any kind, or you've even written a paper or a research report, this is a link for you. And, honestly, if you haven't done at least one of those things, I have to wonder what you're doing here, so how about leaving a comment and telling me? Those are your choices: explain how you've spent your life on Mars, breathing shallowly and avoiding porn and peer-reviewed journals, or go read this. (Hint: pick the latter one.) You'll thank me later. And don't miss the endnotes, which cheer me up more than any SSRI ever could; I don't know precisely how I lived before I read, "The authors wish to thank ... Flowery Twat and Sparcck for peer review." Flowery Twat should be given an award for the excellence of her name, which all by itself is enough to make me downright buoyant.

[Ah. Much better. The toxic emotional sludge is retreating.]

Best FF Featuring What Is, I Believe, the Least Romantic Proposition Ever in All of FF. Given the Characters, I Would Expect Nothing Less. My Sleepy Blue Ocean, by Sandy, aka [livejournal.com profile] circusgirl. Scrubs, John Dorian/Perry Cox. It's hard not to be made happy by someone whose life is both weirder and gayer than your own. (That would be J.D., for those not following along at home.) And that's true even when the topic is a wee bit sensitive, because death is just another source of weird gayness for J.D.; if Death actually showed up in Scrubs, he'd do something serious and dramatic, yeah, but he'd be carrying a trick scythe. (For those who are worried about reading a death story: it's a death of a character I'd not previously heard of, who I am pretty sure died in the canon, and also this story didn't seem very sad to me, if a personal testimonial is any good to you.)

In this story, the fine folks of Sacred Heart help J.D. through the five (or six) stages of grieving: Turk forswears mashed potatoes, Janitor reveals his inner, self-published depths (which are just as sticky and disturbing as you'd expect), Carla bonds with J.D. and ruins his shirt, and Dr. Cox goes above and beyond (and wants to hate himself for it, but can't quite manage it). There's a special appearance by Sister Utherina, also known as Yet Another Reason to Fear Nuns. And in the end, J.D.'s problems are solved with spicy pork rinds (no one tell me what those are; seriously, I am not kidding) and sexual healing. Scrubs fan fiction: you have to love it. (And you also have to write it, people. I consider the absence of a large body of Scrubs FF in this universe to be the definitive refutation of Pangloss.)

[Toxic sludge is way off in the distance, emitting little cries of pain.]

Best FF That Demonstrates the Importance of Thinking Outside the Box, Especially If You Are Currently Destined to Die Inside It. The Definition of Stupid, by Tangerine, aka [livejournal.com profile] tangeriner. Dead Zone, Johnny Smith/Walt Bannerman. I think this story had me when Johnny describes himself and Walt as frat boys trying to be superheroes, because that's a lot of the charm of the show; these guys weren't meant to be superheroes. Johnny, okay, he's got some of the Chosen One vibe going down, what with all the Only You Can Avert the Apocalypse stuff, and, well, just the visions themselves, but even so, he'd really rather be a teacher. Or, hey, married to Walt's wife. And Walt is totally not meant to be a superhero; he's a cop who doesn't have supersenses or anything. But, you know, there's these visions, so Walt has to try. They both try. And they mostly succeed. Um, sort of.

So. Right. The story. See, I love this story. There are always a few stories that define Yuletide morning for me, and last year, this was one of them; the obituaries, in particular, made for perfect holiday reading ("died suddenly in a sardine can"). (This does leave me with one tiny question: am I the only person on earth who doesn't have a list of stuff to do if I know it's my last night alive? Because I don't. Thinking about it, off the cuff, I'd probably tell Best Beloved and the dogs that I love them, try to call my friends, maybe post some kind of So Long and Thanks for All the Porn message here. Then I'd have sex and go to sleep, because if there's a single word that defines how I want to go, that word is "obliviously." But, you know, I only made that list just now. Am I leaving stuff off? Do the rest of you have detailed ones, all, Tell Muffy I never loved her and Hear Lumina play the piano one last time? I can't be the only one who never really thought about it, right? Right?) And I love - yes, I'm back to the story again - love love the ending. Any Dead Zone story has to be about Johnny, and any story about Johnny has to be about Sarah and Walt, and I love so much that Tangerine gave us that. Plus, hey - sex in a sardine can is always fun.

[Status Report: TFV - cheerful. Sludge - very very sorry for its sins.]

Best FF That Has Given Me a New Motto: "Life Hates Me, but I Hate Life More." Existence As Interesting As Possible, by [livejournal.com profile] waxjism. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard. Of course, SGA almost always makes me cheerful; I rejoice in the existence of a fandom so inundated with crack that no one blinks at mere telepathy or MPreg anymore, and it's not serious crack if only one person changes species. (I am quite seriously and patiently waiting for someone to write the story where Rodney finds this gun-shaped Ancient thing, and John is all excited and tries it out, but it doesn't do anything until he accidentally points it at Rodney, at which point they discover it's the Ancient version of Calvin's transmogrifier gun. "Colonel, I expect you to get me back. I liked that body, and don't you dare roll your eyes at that. At least you still have eyes! And - wait. Are you thinking about a turkey sandwich?" "Well, yeah. I'm hungry, Rodney." "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!")

But this story (which is totally not crack, even though in a different fandom unicorns would pretty much guarantee a crack rating of +++) also makes me insanely happy, because: dragon. The SG universe is sadly lacking in canon dragons (and don't tell me it's only in fanon that they encounter that kind of shit; promo pictures suggest that poor John Crichton ran into Merlin the second the SG folks got ahold of him). Thank god we have FF to make up the lack. And, seriously, if dragons won't get you to this story, consider John and Rodney stuck on a planet for the better part of two months, with nothing but unicorns and serious seismic instability for company. See? This story is most definitely a source of happiness in my life, and if you haven't read it, know that it can cheer you up, too.

[So. I feel better. And I imagine the Sludge feels better, too, in its new life as a bath tile cleanser. Fan fiction heals, my friends.]
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Well. This has been a revelation.

Last week, after much consultation with y'all, I decided what iPod to get for Best Beloved. (The video iPod, if you're curious. Best Beloved likes lots of storage space.) I went to the online Apple store, put a bunch of stuff in a shopping cart, and checked out. As I am a human being with functioning brain cells, I of course immediately made a note of every single number Apple gave me, including what I suspect is Steve Jobs's inseam size, and I also carefully inspected their predicted wait-until-shipping and shipping times, making a mental note that, since they were saying 5 to 7 days to ship and then 5 days for it to get here, I should send my first, polite email inquiry on November 15.

Except. And this is the part that is so amazing to me I can hardly stand it. The iPod is already here. It came on Monday. Yes: I purchased something computer-ish that came early. And it came with the latest version of its software - no need to download patches large enough to contain every book ever written in English! It came with all the right connectors and cords! I plugged it in and it just started working!

It was weird.

Obviously, it's early days yet - Ivan the iPod could still prove to be severely broken or just plain evil, and I could still spend the next several weeks exchanging email with a whole slew of people in India who will not even read what I have to say before linking me to an irrelevant website and thanking me sincerely for my business. Or it could prove that iTunes has compromised our desktop's integrity, installed a cloaked rootkit, and sent all our personal information, including bank account numbers and humiliating childhood nicknames, to the residents of Folsom State Prison. But that hasn't happened so far, which is already a minor consumer miracle. The iPod has been in the house for days and I have not even needed the Knowledge Base yet.

About an hour ago, as I was wistfully reflecting on how much I suddenly want an iPod of my own, I thought: Wow. If only these people made computers..

Thank you all; you told me what to buy, and you were exactly right. The wisdom of the friends list (greater than the sum of its parts, which was already a very large number, let me tell you) has prevailed again. What with your help and Apple's shockingly non-violent attitude towards consumers, this has been a completely painless, nearly fun shopping experience. (Did I mention that I got free shipping? That got the iPod and all its add-ons here before it was due? With everything I ordered right there, as though I had a right to these things simply because I paid for them? Whereas I am, for example, still struggling to get Amazon to disgorge an item I purchased nearly a month ago, which was supposed to be in my hands last week but will not be here until - if I am lucky - my birthday. With no promise made about which birthday. And I will not even talk about the many joyous conversations I've had with Amazon's contractors in India on this topic, except to note that I've spent so much time corresponding with Neetu and Srividhya that I feel we should be sending each other holiday cards. Especially as I suspect I also chatted with Neetu about my Dell not too long ago.)

So I'm expressing my thanks with recs. (Which is, yes, how I express pretty much everything in this LJ.) Today: family stories. Because, hey, iPods are family members, right? Join me in celebrating Ivan's arrival (OMG early) with this truly excellent fan fiction.

Can I get a yay?

Best Moose-Free Story Containing Surprising Links to a Moose-Intensive One with Which It Has Nothing Else in Common. The Water Moon, by Salieri, aka [livejournal.com profile] troyswann. Stargate: SG-1, and this is pretty much gen. There's mention of Teal'c/Drey'auc, but since they were canonically married, I don't think that exactly qualifies this as het. Because this story? Is so not about romance. It's about what comes after the romance, the marriage, the breakup, the dissolution, and it's about the way Teal'c's (eeesh, that possessive looks awful) choices and sacrifices have affected the people he loves. I love what Salieri does with the character of Drey'auc here. I'm totally unfamiliar with her canon appearances, of course, but I doubt that in them she has time to be anything like this, well, real. But that's why we love fan fiction, right? Equal time for lesser characters! (Our motto: proud to be forming whole pairing armies around characters who don't have canonical last names. Or first names. Or sexes. Hell, we can make a kerfluffle-ready pairing out of half a footnote and an unofficial spoiler.) Drey'auc is painfully human (okay, or Jaffa) in this story; she's in a bad situation that she didn't create, and she's making some very tough choices. There's also a wonderful original character in this, and while we're on that topic? Disturbing themes, people. This is a fabulous story, but it pulls no punches. Which is why I find it fascinating that the beginning of it comes from Salieri's silly, fun, moose-based Elvis Has Left the Building. As she says, this shows what context will do to you.

Best FF That Demonstrates Once Again That Evil Lurks in the Ocean. Do Not Trust the Shellfish: He Does Not Have Your Best Interests in His Squishy, Primitive Heart. Inheritance, by Dasha. The Sentinel, gen. No, wait! Come back! I know lots of people find the concept of Sentinel gen hilariously unappealing, like watery cheese or balloon animals. But, see, I like it. And you should, too. There, I've said it: you should read Sentinel gen, even though the show itself was apparently not really all that gen, judging from the vids. Because, see, there are aspects of the whole senses thing that are legitimately fascinating, in a way that makes me wish that TS had been written by other people. And, okay, I really have no idea what is canonically up with Jim's family, except that he is yet another character in the long line of them, stretching all the way back to, for example, Zeus, who has major daddy issues. Those things are like the plague, baby; they're everywhere. Which, um, makes me think of this, which I will put behind a cut for all our sakes: Jim sits in a bar... ) But getting back to this story - see, this is the Ellison family trying to enjoy a nice day out. But, no - they can't have nice things. They have to have intergenerational strife. And vomiting. I love this story for the Stephen point of view, the explanation of William's asinine behavior in re: the senses, and for the appearance of highly competent Sandburg. It's brilliant. It's compelling. It's the series the way it should've been written. Plus, just like the series, you can totally assume Jim and Blair are doing it. So, please - won't you try some Sentinel gen today?

Best FF That Teaches You About Ass Words. And Also the True Meaning of Family. Try Beating That Combination, People. My Claustrophobia and My Letter 'O', by [livejournal.com profile] julianlee. Scrubs, J.D./Dr. Cox. Okay, fine. All you people who said Scrubs was wonderful, you win. Best Beloved is watching it, and apparently it's good enough that soon I'll be watching it, too. So. You got your way. Happy? Good. Now write some damn Scrubs stories. How can the show be as slashy AND as funny as Best Beloved reports and not have more FF than this? Although, you know, what's there is choice, and these stories are fine examples of that. They are wonderful (yes, even as wonderful as Katharine Hepburn). And that's no surprise; Julian Lee writes great stuff, especially in what I have come to think of as the Dialog Fandoms (Sports Night, The West Wing, etc.), and Scrubs is apparently just such a fandom. The family connection does not actually come into this until the second story, which is an odd kind of familyfic, since it's about J.D.'s odd new family. But anticipation will only make it better, right? And in the first one you'll learn about ass words, so that's all right. And then in the second one you'll read a scene that I believe - although my studies have been necessarily limited because of a tragic lack of FF in this fandom - could only work in a Scrubs story. (I'm serious. I've been trying to imagine any other character ever doing it, and it's - really scary, people.) So read these. You have nothing to lose but your composure, and everything to gain. Ass words included.

Best FF That Makes Me Go All Wistful and Goopy over Numbers. Apparently, in My Secret Heart of Hearts, I Think Prime Numbers Are Just Adorable. Small Primes and Square Roots, by [livejournal.com profile] liviapenn. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. I think I fell in love with this story before I read it. Seriously. The title alone did it. Except, you know how it is; you start out loving something - cookies, a fandom, your new socks - to the point where you would even confess to loving it in public ("Socks! I love you!"), and then later - maybe after you've eaten a few more or read some FF or actually put them on - you realize that what you felt before wasn't even love. That's what happened to me with this. Because the title is excellent, yes, but that's - whoa. I was going to say, "That's only the beginning," but fortunately I caught myself in time. My point is: this is an excellent story. It's kidfic - we all know of my love for kidfic, right? - and it's from the Harlequin challenge - and we all know of my love for those stories, right? - and, hell. I can't say anymore. I'm afraid of, you know, spoiling it. Oh! But I can say that Rodney is so incredibly Rodney in this it's surprising he doesn't climb out of the page and off the screen and stomp around your living room calling you an idiot for wasting your time on fiction when you could be learning something. And also, couldn't you find something better to be a fan of? Like Star Trek or Penrose tiling or Richard Feynman? But the answer is (sorry, Rodney) no, you could not, because anything that produces fan fiction this good, is by definition, the best thing ever. (Also - the kid in this? I love this kid. Why wasn't I this kid?)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I...wow. I really haven't been updating much at all, have I? I just - sometimes life sucks, and then I go below the radar here. But I still love you all. And this time, at least, I've been paying some attention to what's been going on. By which I mean, of course, that I have been reading (and mercilessly organizing) FF. I have thirty sets neatly boxed up and ready to go and dozens more that are only missing one story - and that's just cataloged fic. You do not want to know what my uncatalogued list looks like. But this, as I remind myself, is a good thing.

What I'm saying is - sometimes you (not you specifically) have to, you know, go away for a while. I think we've all experienced that, right? Hurts but it's necessary. And the thing is, it makes getting back together so very wonderful. Would I have all these nifty packaged sets if I'd not gone on an interminable hiatus? No. Would you love me less if I was setless? Possibly. Do we not, instead, love each other truly and deeply? Well, I love you, and if you don't love me, I will sulk and make the Doe Eyes of Sorrow and maybe cry some, so my advice is: lie.

Um. Can I just start that paragraph over? And make it - I know, shock - slightly less about me? Or at least, less about my raving lunatic side?

Take two: to celebrate my reunion with the active side of fandom, I bring you stories about breaking up.

No, no, wait. These are breakup stories that don't hurt. (Like ouchless Band-Aids, except these are actually ouchless.) The breakup happens, but the story keeps going - or sometimes starts - and it leads not to sorrow but to a joyous (re)union, complete with foot-stomping finale and the whole cast (yes, both of them) on stage, and then everyone takes a bow and goes off for wild sex. Or, um. I meant cast party - wild cast party. Although, you know, thinking about it, there's not really as much difference there as you'd hope.

Best FF That Really, Really Makes Me Want to See the Remedial Version. With the Puppets. And That's Amazing, Given How Infrequently I Find the Occasion to Say, "Gee, I Wish My Life Had More Puppets." My Big Breakup, by Sabine, aka [livejournal.com profile] iamsab. Scrubs, John "J.D." Dorian/Perry Cox. Okay, first things first: the author says, in her note, that if you have not seen Scrubs, this story won't work for you. She is wrong. In fact, every Scrubs story I've read - and, seriously, I've been searching frantically for the stuff* - has worked perfectly for me, despite the fact that I know so little about this fandom that I had to look up the full names of the slashed characters to write this summary, and I spent the first portion of this story trying to figure out precisely what J.D.'s job was. (He's a doctor. Although, seriously, he could be the guy who wears the Goofy suit at Disneyland for all I know of him.) Doesn't matter. When Scrubs writers hit the voice and the tone right, it's gorgeously surreal and delightfully funny and surprisingly involving. Also? J.D. apparently narrates every Scrubs story ever written, and there is a reason, my friends: he has the best voice ever. He's, like, a conduit of pure crack comedy. I - seriously, I love this guy, and we've never even met. So, what happens in this story? Well, okay, check out the theme of this set and the title of the story and take a wild guess. Yep. J.D. breaks up with someone. Someone he didn't even realize he was, you know, that way with. Which, when that happens in real life? Embarrassing, folks. But in Scrubs-land, okay, it is also a little bit embarrassing**, but then it leads to the glorious reunion scene. And, even better, it's a reunion scene in which both parties are finally more or less on the same page. For these two, that must actually be kind of a disturbing experience, but: yay! Which is what this story will make you say. (To translate into Buffyese: it brings the yay.)

Best FF in Which John Is a Bit of an Ass and Gets - No. That Was Going to a Bad Place, So Let Me Just Say: Best FF That Will Forever Change the Way You Look at Scarves. And People Who Give Them to You. #435, the Atlantis Local Stitch 'n' Bitch Chapter, by [livejournal.com profile] rageprufrock. Stargate: Atlantis. SGA is the fandom of torture for me, lately; it has so many fabulous stories for nearly every category on my list (and yet it's entirely absent from a few of them, which is weird) that choosing just one is nearly impossible. Also, and I think I've mentioned this before, pure agony, so you should pity me. But in this case, it was easy, even though there's a solid boodle of great breakup stories in SGA, because this story has the funniest breakup ever. I don't want to spoil it for you or anything, so I can't go into detail, but I had to put my head down on my keyboard for a while after reading it. It's that good. And the best part is that I can totally see John doing that. Totally. Like, it plays out like a movie in my head, and that? Is totally a movie I would buy on DVD twice, in case I played the first one so much it wore out. Because that's what I do with that scene when I'm down; I read it over and over and over, and it makes everything better. This, people, is the breakup that heals. And I'm afraid if I type anything else here, I'll start describing it, probably with extravagant hand gestures that a) you all won't be able to see and b) that will take my fingers off the keyboard for large portions of my sentences, and then this whole post really will be gibberish, so, you know. Just read it. Be sure not to have any liquids nearby.

Best FF That Proves That You Can Get Lex Luthor to Do Anything If You Just Make It Difficult Enough. The Pragmatist, by [livejournal.com profile] nifra_idril. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor. Well, I could hardly let a breaking-up-to-get-together set go by without including something about Lex and Clark, could I? Look, don't argue with me. I couldn't. Or, okay, I could have, but I would never have felt clean again. Because, see, I like my Clark and Lex best in the future, and then there's that whole - well, let's just say unpleasantness - to deal with. I don't do well with stories that end with said unpleasantness; I have a tendency to snap at them, "Look, if I wanted this, I'd be watching the canon." And then I have to go find some independent small retailers to crush or mad scientists to hire, because, seriously, the unpleasantness makes me want to go all Lionel on the world. I know OTPing is out of fashion these days, but Lex and Clark go together. They do. So one excellent solution for me - and, of course, for the many good and noble regimes I would doubtless overturn if I went to the Lionel side - can be found in stories that, cleverly, start after the unpleasantness, and go right for the careful, hesitant, but clearly predestined reunion. And even in that delightful cadre, this story stands out. It's gorgeous and evocative and true to character - and that's tough, drawing an accurate picture of characters so far into the future, after so many changes, after they've grown up - and, really, it makes me want to whip out the adjectives only New York Times reviewers are allowed to use. So I'll just note that this has the best ever reason for Lex reuniting with Clark, explained in a bit that makes me want to send [livejournal.com profile] nifra_idril email filled with nothing but exclamation points. Go read this, and find it. And then you can send her the exclamation points, and I can get on with my - um, not-Lioneling.

Best FF That Has Sex, and Squid, but Not Squid Sex. Which, Given the Fandom, Thank God.*** Every Day I Love You Less, by V, aka [livejournal.com profile] deepsix. Ocean's 11 (And can I get some input on that? I mean, are we calling it Oceanverse now, or is it still just Ocean's 11?), Rusty Ryan/Danny Ocean. I once told [livejournal.com profile] musesfool that the most slashy thing about Ocean's 11 is that Danny always comes back to Rusty. Always. What I love about this story is that in it, Danny does just that - and, seriously, that's one of my big criteria for good O11 FF, that the rubber band connecting them be invisible but highgly operational - and then we realize that Rusty's done it, too. In short: this is a story about how the rubber band goes both ways. And I very much support equal opportunity rubber banding. Plus, this story features three breakups - all of which happen off-screen and prior to the start of the story - which makes it a total curve-breaker in the extensive, important class of Unsad FF That Could Be Called 'Breaking up Is Hard to Do.' And let me just note that there are many fandoms in which any story that started with the premise that two main characters had ended their canonical marriages would totally suck, but in this canon, the girls are pretty much...no. No, I am not even finishing that sentence. It was going to feature a terrible, hideous, horrible metaphor involving scabs. I'm not going there. Ew. I've got some class left. So let me just revert to classic story summary form and then get the hell out of here before I break any more brains: This is a good story. It has breakups. And a getting-together. And squid. You should totally read it. Good night.

-Footnotes-

* Where is all the Scrubs FF, people? How can there not be a giant archive devoted to this fandom? Is there one and I just can't find it? Help me out, before I end up requesting a fandom I've never even seen for Yuletide.

** For reasons unknown, most of the stories in this fandom don't trigger my embarrassment squick, mostly because they all seem to be taking place pretty much entirely in J.D.'s overheated brain. But this tendency of J.D. to do embarrassing things is why you won't see me watching the canon. It might very well hurt me. Irreparably.

*** Yes, it is a sign of hideous moral degeneration that there are so very many fandoms that I think would be improved by an infusion of squid sex. Probably you should defriend me now, before I start recommending - um. You know, I can't actually think of anything more shameful than some of the stuff I've already loved and recommended. I'm open to suggestions, though.

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thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
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