thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Tonight, Best Beloved basically demanded that I stop reading meta and recommend some happymaking vids. So, as a tribute to her: pairing vids. That make me ridiculously happy.

The One That Makes Maybe the Best Use of the Throttling-on-the-Bridge Footage Yet. Must Be Dreaming, by YouTube vidder bluefairy1113, who apparently also has done a Reboot Chekov vid to Dancing Queen, proving she is either a genius or a maniac, and either way, we may need to confine her for everyone's good. Star Trek, James Tiberius Kirk/Spock.

(Note: This vid pretty much takes jerky, stuttery editing to an artform. I'm just saying. It can almost give me a headache, and usually visual stuff doesn't do that to me.)

Okay. So. I admit it, I am totally a sucker for - well. Let's just make a list of all the things I am sucker for?
  • SPOCK. OMG HIS POINTY EARS I LOVE THEM.
  • Also, Kirk.
  • Also, anything based on that Reboot trope where Old Spock gave Kirk more than just the voiceover exposition in that mindmeld.
So, obviously I am not rational on the first point (true fact: I have been entertaining myself for the past week by mentally vidding TOS Spock to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback; I think my claims of irrationality have now been amply proven), and the second point's an issue for me as well, and the third one. But. I know I love this vid because of the vid it is, and not just because it happens to hit three of my current buttons, because it had a lot working against it, too.

Like, I have never recommended a vid that was only on YouTube before. I like more permanent links, and my experience with streaming video sites has demonstrated that ephemeral is more the adjective they're going for with respect to vids. And, also, I have seen another vid to this song, and it is a famous vid, and justly so. It is a Big Name Vid. And I honestly did not think I could ever watch another vid to this song without thinking of that BNV and making comparisons.

But here, I can. I do. I love this vid, and I love the song choice, and it has possibly the best clip in the world for the line "don't stop," and, just. This is really awesome, okay? And I am not just saying that because I have some Trek issues right now.

The One with the Best Clip EVER for the Lyric, "You've Got the Only Thing I Want." Mmm-HMM. I Just Bet. I'm the Cat, by Nicole (does she have a link, anyone?), [livejournal.com profile] wickedwords, [livejournal.com profile] sherrold, and [livejournal.com profile] feochadn. Highlander, Methos/Duncan MacLeod. (Please tell me I am not the only person who, every single time she writes that name, has to go back and delete the "of the clan MacLeod" part.)

Okay, this vid was made more than a decade before the first one, which in vidding terms is roughly the same as the time between the Statherian period and the Triassic. And yet they are both such awesome vids and they both get totally to the heart of these pairings (for me, anyway; feel free to share with me your equally valid opinion on them, but do keep in mind that I keep a whole roll of tinfoil in my lower desk drawer). Because, okay, the first one is all:

Kirk: I totally have no interest in you.
Spock: Likewise, but more so.
Kirk: Except...
Spock: I have evaluated the data and am 87.6% certain there can be no exceptions.
Kirk: Well, except for the fact that I, uh, kind of want you so much it's making me crazy, I was going to say.
Spock: In that case, Captain, I believe the appropriate human phrase to use is, "My place or yours?" Keep in mind I have 117 lubricating preparations ready made.

Whereas this one is like:

Duncan: I am serious and important! I care! Things matter to me!
Methos: I know, and it's cracking me up.
Duncan: We have a destiny!
Methos: But do we have beer, that's my question.
Duncan: And that destiny in no way involves any sexual interaction between us.
Methos: I hate the prudish eras. I'm out of here. Give me a call when hedonism comes back in.
Duncan: I won't.
Methos: Fine.
Duncan: Good riddance. I don't miss him at all.
Methos: Hi, I'm back. I brought you a penis gourd. Miss me?
Duncan: YES. LET'S FUCK RIGHT NOW.
Methos: Yay, hedonism!

Ummmmmm. I now realize I may have just exposed my irrationality more than I really want to in any one recs post, which is a problem, because I still have two more recs to go. I'm going to have to be super dignified and sane during them. So let me just note that you should check out the awesome body language in the clips they use here - Methos actually looks like a cat in a lot of them. It's amazing.

Now. More recs. With dignity! Probably!

The One That Proves That Space Bars Are Where All the Best Action Takes Place. Why Is There No TV Series Set in a Space Bar? Hurricane, by [personal profile] laurashapiro. Battlestar Galactica x Farscape. Aeryn Sun/Starbuck, and if that pairing alone doesn't make you sit up and cheer, I just don't even know what to say to you.

Okay. So. I watched this vid completely without knowing anything about it. (True fact: Best Beloved and I watch vids together, so I just download everything into one big folder using whatever filename the vidder gave it, and then usually much later we try to guess, based on file name alone, what fandom the vid is for. There is a victory dance when someone gets it right. Although sometimes this strategy backfires, like when, recently, we watched a vid with a filename that we could not help but read as, "Me. I'M on fire!" Which we loved so much it made it really hard to watch the video - we just kept turning to each other and insisting, dramatically and with much handwaving, that we were totally the ones on fire.) And at first I thought it was one of those compare and contrast vids, which, hey, I love those. And Aeryn and Starbuck have a lot in common, so that makes -

And then I realized what Laura was actually doing, and I believe I squeaked. Maybe even squealed. Because oh my fucking god there is no hotter pairing in the world than these two, and this is a crossover pairing (which in vidding is one of those things you totally shouldn't do, except sometimes you totally should and this is one of those times) so perfectly done I'm never going to be able to convince myself it didn't happen in canon. Seriously. In my head, Aeryn and Starbuck had a night of hot, mind-blowing, blowing-off-steam sex, and it was awesome. The end.

I also want to point to what Laura does with the, um, sexytimes clips, here. I have no idea if these clips came from canon, or if so, what canon (I have seen some eps of Farscape, although I tragically missed the Aeryn Tops one, and no eps at all of BSG), but, wow. Usually when there are explicit sequences in vids based on less explicit canons, I have one of two conversations with Best Beloved:

Me: What's happening? I can't figure out what's going on.
BB, with practiced patience: This is porn. You can't scan the clips fast enough to see it. Again.
Me, bewildered: It's porn?
BB, dragging the pointer back and hitting pause: THAT is a penis.
Me, surprised: So it is.
BB: And see how it's going into that ass right there?
Me: I would never have noticed that!
BB: Why is that you read all the NC-17 fan fiction but I'm always the one who has to look at all the cocks?
Me: Luck!

Or:

Me: Oh god, that's totally not the same person.
BB: What?
Me: Look how different their bodies are! And how differently they move! And how their heights -
BB: But they have the same hair color. You're supposed to be paying attention to that.
Me: I can't. I - look, that one has a tattoo. I think it says "Mom." You can't tell me Faith has a tattoo that says "Mom" on it.
BB: You're supposed to be looking at their HAIR COLOR. And their BREASTS.
Me: There were breasts?

It's tragic, is what it is. But my point is, we had neither of these conversations. No matter how many times we went back to check, we still just saw Starbuck and Aeryn having sex. (I - I did not mind putting in the extra viewings. For the record. Sometimes due diligence is pure pleasure, people.)

This is something everyone should see. I don't care if you don't watch Farscape. I don't care if you can't remember if Starbuck is the girl or the guy pilot on BSG (girl, for the record). This the story of two pilots who fuck each other, and it is hot like burning, and you should watch it right now.

The One Where I Swear Ianto Says "Fuck" Really Obviously on Camera. Are They Actually Allowed to Talk Like Grownups on British TV? A Curious Thing, by [livejournal.com profile] tavven. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

Okay, in some things, I am easy. And here is where I am easy in vids: if you make me laugh, I am yours. And this vid makes me laugh my ass off. I mean, we were watching it, all - ooo, serious Torchwood vid. And then there was a skipping noise, and suddenly we had changed tracks to Cheesefest Love Vid. It was wonderful.

Because - okay. How did I not realize that Jack Harkness needed an '80s soundtrack? This vid makes it so obvious that I basically have to hit myself on the forehead when I think of all the time I wasted not imagining Jack to these songs. Where is the Torchwood vid to Like a Virgin? Mickey, by Toni Basil? Love Shack, by the B-52s? Relax, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood? I just - I cannot get over how perfect this is. Jack looks right against the background of 1980s cheese, and this vid works that perfectly.

This vid is, basically, a fairytale. Once upon a time, there was a young prince named Ianto. He went on a heroic quest to save the woman he loved. He entered the dragon's lair under false pretenses and lured the dragon into being friends.

And then it turned out the dragon was really pretty hot, and kind of lovable, and he ended up in love with the dragon and fucking it on its hoard pretty much every night, which was okay, because the dragon had learned a thing or two in all that time he'd been alive, plus he was in love with the prince, and they decided to live happily ever after. The end.

And that, my friends, is the power of love.

(Let me just warn you, though, that proximity to Jack Harkness can warp the meaning of lyrics out of true; I now hear "Don't need no credit card to ride this train" as a totally cheesy pickup line. Come on. You can't tell me he didn't use it a time or two back in 1985.)
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)
This entry is dedicated to Best Beloved, who has dragged me back to my old system for organizing stories to rec. It's very inspiring, and I'm not sure why I've been putting it off for, um, three years or so. (Let this be a lesson to those of you who are likely to engage in a battle of wills with Best Beloved: she is implacable when determined. It is better just to give in now.)

Anyway, there may be some crazy amounts of recommending as we work through the new (old) system. If it reaches spammination levels, that would be Best Beloved's fault. (If you like it, of course, that's totally to her credit.)

Today: gen!

The One with the Best Damn Trial Scene in the History of Creation. Almost No One Makes It Out, by [personal profile] atrata. Iron Man.

When I was going through that phase of role-playing gaming where you have to try every system ever devised, I created several characters using someone or other's superhero system, where you rolled percentile dice (which, for you non-gamers out there, gives you a result from 1 - 100, or rather, from 01 - 00) on a chart to determine your Super Special Powers (mutant or otherwise - things like being really, really smart were on there, too). If you got 00, you got TWO powers.

I love this story, first and foremost, because it makes it very, very clear that Tony Stark rolled 00 on that table. He is not just a mechanical genius; he is also rich. Richness is a superpower all in itself. And if you take that superpower away from him, as [personal profile] atrata does in this story, you end up with a very different person. Richness insulates him from a lot of things: the consequences of his actions, the real world, his inability to deal with people. Richness also gets him lots of things: equipment, security, people to solve his problems, special privileges, and attention. And I just cannot get over how amazing it is that [personal profile] atrata took that away from him and still kept him the Tony Stark we all know and, um, probably feel vaguely conflicted about loving quite so much, because he is, in all honesty, a total asshole.

And I also love Pepper in this story. I simultaneously long for Iron Man fan fiction and avoid reading most of it, and at least half the reason is that I fear for what will happen to Pepper. It's deeply important to me that she remain independent of Tony even as she's managing him, and that she stay competent and smart, and I worry worry worry that in Tony/Pepper stories she will be reduced to helpless weeping. Plus, okay, I admit it; my actual ideal pairing for Tony Stark is some kind of complicated sex machine that he builds himself:

"Pepper! I've perfected my greatest invention, and now I don't need women!"

"Oh, really. Does that include me?"

"Don't be ridiculous. Hey, watch this."

"Oh my god no. I'll be upstairs. If you need me to dial 911, tell Jarvis." And then she calls Rhodey and they bond for a while over the Impossibility of Tony Stark, and I think it is now obvious to everyone that one of the reasons I don't read much Iron Man fan fiction is that I am already writing it in my head.

(And now that I've totally fallen in love with this story, I - well. You all know how Dark Agenda is having the Racebending Revenge Ficathon, right? Where people make a white character not white? I want someone to make Tony Stark's skin much, much darker and see what happens. I cannot even tell you how much I want that.)

The One That Can Double as a Portland Guidebook, If You Ever Find Yourself in Oregon and Wondering What Jim Kirk Would Do. Graduate Vulcan for Fun and Profit, by [livejournal.com profile] lazulisong. Star Trek Reboot.

Someone on my friends list (sorry, I can no longer remember who, but if it was you, fess up - it was [profile] brown_betty!) was talking a while back about her Secret Smarts kink, about how she loves stories where a character who is, you know, kiiiiiiind of a doof in the canon is revealed to have believable hidden skills or competence or brains. And I agree with her. It's a rare thing to see it done well, but when it is - oh my god I love it so. And this story is the exemplar of the genre.

For one thing, it is obvious to me that Reboot Kirk must have Secret Smarts. And not because of Pike's whole "genius-level" comment (many is the character I've been told was a genius, and usually I have a hard time believing it), but because I have seen TOS, and I tell you what, Original Kirk is no one's fool. (Okay, he's Spock's, if Spock needs one, because he is whatever Spock needs, but otherwise, no.) So it works for me that Reboot Kirk, in the process of becoming all tarnished and bruised, learned to hide his intelligence.

And I love the background [livejournal.com profile] lazulisong gives him here; it adds some complications and depth back to the Misunderstood Hero deal that Abrams went with. I mean, I love a Misunderstood Hero as much as the next girl - which is good, because otherwise I would have to move to a small island without electricity or any kind of communication with the outside world and read nothing but cruise ship brochures - but I love it most when the Misunderstood Hero has some other stuff going on. I like to add a few adjectives to his archetype, is what I guess I'm saying. And this story so perfectly does that, without in any way making him less perfectly Reboot Kirk.

As if all that wasn't enough to make me love this story, there is also an incredible OC in it. He's - he is everything I want in a Vulcan: he's smart, he's tricky, he's so stubborn that redwoods everywhere just give up and move on when faced with him, and he's just barely emotional, just enough to remind us all that Vulcans could be the masters of melodrama if they wanted to be but they choose not to be. (I tell you what, the Federation is lucky there isn't an inhibition-loosening drug that Vulcans use a lot, because it'd be fucking scary: 90% of the time, they're the living definitions of flat affect, but the other 10% of the time, humans everywhere are saying, "Dude, just - just calm down. And please, please, please - stop singing.")

The One That Proves, Once and for All, That John Sheppard Will Not Thank You for Doing Him Any Favors. Earth 2, by Martha Wilson. Stargate: Atlantis.

If there is one thing that we all learned from Gateverse canon (or, okay, that you all learned from the actual canon, and I learned from reading your ep summaries and meta), it's that Pangloss was right, after all: this is the best of all possible worlds. Which, okay, gives me some pause, because - seriously? Especially when you throw in the Goa'uld and all? These are the ideal initial conditions? But apparently there is no change that could possibly improve things. It's all downhill from here. (I am pretty sure that the Gateverse folks did not realize how inherently depressing this is. Try not to think about it, that's my advice.)

In this story, we get to see John Sheppard learn that very thing; he gets to travel to one of those other, less wonderful universes. But not just any of them. (I'm going to try to talk about this without any spoilers, but, seriously, you should just go read the story right now.) And not just any John Sheppard - it's the original, pre-Atlantis John Sheppard, and here is how we know how fucked up John is: Atlantis was actually therapeutic for him. As in, he got more emotionally healthy in an environment of constant stress, danger, and insanity. (I suspect Kate Heightmeyer had an unfinished paper on this very subject, talking about how John and Rodney, pretty much alone in the expedition, somehow got better from it.) As it happens, I have a sneaking fondness for early John Sheppard, so I love this story.

And this story also hits my competence (and smartness!) kink - here we get to see John (plus a couple of other people, naming no names) being surprisingly good at things, given that he is utterly clueless. (Something John should be used to, of course. Good But Clueless is pretty much his middle name.) And also there is a plot, which notice how I am determinedly not spoiling it.

...Actually, I had better shut up about this story right now, while that's still more or less true.

The One in Which We Learn That One of the Major Risks of Time Travel Is That You Might End up Being Schooled by Yourself. Klein Bottle, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Torchwood.

For most fandoms - television fandoms, anyway, and any fandom that has a lot of fan fiction in it - I find, sooner or later, that I've divided the fan fiction into eras, based not on when the story was posted, but when the story is set in the canon. And usually somewhere in there, there's the Nostalgia Point, the setting I miss most once canon (and therefore most stories) has moved past it. I re-read stories in the Nostalgia Point a lot, especially if the canon progresses to the point where I don't want to read new stories in it very much at all.

This story is set squarely in my Torchwood Nostalgia Point. I'm not sure when it is in actual Torchwood canon, since I've never seen any of it and have only a vague sense of the progression of events, but I know what I need the story to be set after. And, definitely definitely, set before. This is a twisty and blissful little story; it's filled with the complications of being Jack Harkness, his emo and his majesty, but it's also in the relatively innocent period of Torchwood, and I love that.

But that is not why I love this story. I love it because it's a time travel story, and time travel has always been one of my biggest narrative kinks, and here it is so very perfectly done. And [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke handles one of the difficulties of writing about time travel - if there are multiple versions of character X in the room, but they are from different times and therefore are different people, how do you deal with that? - as well as I've ever seen it done, here. And there has never been a better reason to use second person. (Plus, second person is the only way it's really possible for me to believe what I'm told about Jack's thoughts, because he's so shifty I firmly believe he could lie to an omniscient narrator if he wanted to.)

So: great story, great writing, great nostalgia. I really do not see what you could possibly be waiting for, here.
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)
Here are some things I felt like recommending! Seriously, that's the whole theme, here.

(Side note: If you wonder, as I sometimes do, why our entertainment products appear to be made by straight white men for straight white men, you might want to read this or, if you can, donate a little something to a woman filmmaker.)

The One That Makes Me Wonder Why No One Ever Covered Safe Mind-Melding in My Middle School and High School Sex Ed Classes. Did They Not Care About My Health and Safety? You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While), by [livejournal.com profile] seperis. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock. (Does Spock have a first name? A last name? And why is it Spock, when all other Vulcans seem to be named things like T'Pippi and T'Eppic and T'Pain and T'Eyla?)

So. These days, I do most of my fan fiction reading on my Kindle, which means a delay of anything up to five years (not really) between finding the story and getting it read. (People who write long stories and put them all on one page with no tables: I love you forever. Many times my will has just broken faced with twelve or fourteen separate posts to consolidate.) While this story was waiting to be converted to Kindle format, I went to an OTW committee meeting in which it was described as, "Everything you'd ever want from a pon farr story." (This is why OTW is more fun than any other non-profit in the world. You get recs along with your work. Also, we tend to end most meetings talking about tentacle porn; if we ever get committee mascots, ours will be a tentacle waving proudly, possibly clutched around a big shiny coin.)

Obviously, that booted the priority waaaaaay up. I mean, I don't even have any wants from a pon farr story, or I didn't - I only actually know what pon farr is because of a) Killa and T. Jonesy's vid and b) because people talk about, like, vid farr and fic farr and so I had to get a précis from Best Beloved a while back. But it doesn't matter, because that is so totally right: this is everything I never even knew I wanted from a pon farr story. And, having read it, I want several million more. I totally understand how this whole slash thing got started, now.

(Also, I don't know if this is canon or Reboot or just fanon, but I love how Spock is, in this story, all, I am totally the least emotional person on the planet la la la logic is my only guiding force, and he's actually totally faking it. Because you cannot tell me he's not making emotional decisions here. He's just, you know, putting a logical face on it. As far as I can tell, Vulcans aren't emotionless, they're just bringing new depth to the concept of repression. No wonder fandom loves them so much.)

The One That Makes Me Think We Should Institute a Program of Mandatory Homosexuality for Los Angeles Police Officers. Apparently It Makes Them Eaiser to Deal with, and God Knows That Would Be a Very Welcome Change. Son Is on a Midnight Run Like DeNiro, by [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. Southland, John Cooper/Ben Sherman.

(First, an important note. When I rule the universe, there will be a 25 year moratorium on naming fictional characters John or Jack, and anyone who tries to use either name will have his character named by me, instead, and I can tell you right now that the first one is going to be Gervase. I have had it with this. There are baby name books for a reason, television writers! How hard is it to find a name that doesn't already belong to a major character in every other time slot? Not hard at all. Just pick something that isn't John or Jack. Seriously: Evil Overlord TFV forbids fictional Johns and Jacks. Unless your main character is a girl, and then you can name her John J. Jackson III if you want to.)

Okay. I really needed to say that. But, aside from the John Issue (NO MORE JOHNS EVER I MEAN IT OR IT'S THE SALAD MINES FOR YOU), I kind of love this canon. I mean, I have no idea what it is - the lovely [livejournal.com profile] qe2 told me that it's about a canonically gay cop in LA, but that's where my knowledge ends. He could be a canonically gay robot cop in a post-apocalyptic LA populated mostly by centaurs and monkeys, for all I know.

Although in that case, this would be an AU. Because one of the many things I love about this story is - okay. I live in Los Angeles. And this is Los Angeles. I can picture these places! I have driven down that street! I would kill Ben Sherman and eat his corpse to own his house! (No, not really, but I can find you a thousand people who would.) I have no idea if [livejournal.com profile] hackthis lives here or if she does really awesome research (I suspect the latter, mostly because I have long suspected that she lives in a secret space habitat orbiting the earth, where she creates superplants and bends them to her will), but either way: oh my god, this is SO Los Angeles. And I love it.

And I love these characters even more. (Yes, even though one of them is named John. I am prepared to forgive even that. This time. Next time, though, it is Gervase for sure.) This is a classic slash epic, involving a main character who is broken (but getting better) and grouchy (but well-meaning) and hot totally despite himself, and I love that.

And I also love, let me add, that the younger, inexperienced partner here is totally the sexual aggressor, and does none of that virginal squeaking that we sometimes see. He's all: yes, I want to do this, now let's get some cocks in play, sir. I deeply, deeply love that. I can't tell you how much.

The One That Will, for the Next Ten Years or So, Make You Snicker Helplessly Anytime Anyone Suggests Purchasing a Shag Rug. And Then Argue That Sex Toys Should Not Come out of the House Maintenance Budget. Hi, I'm Captain Jack Harkness, by [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17. Star Wars x Torchwood, Chewbacca/Jack Harkness.

I am going to sit back for a bit and let that pairing sink in. Now, after it has sunk in but before you run away screaming, I'm going to share with you my own thought process when I saw this:

Me: I, um. Wookiee [and why does my spellchecker know Chewbacca but not Wookiee?]/human sex? Um. I really don't think...
Me: But it's Frostfire, though. She can make me like any pairing. I mean, okay, she's never challenged my limits this much, but...
Me: And if anyone was going to do it, it'd be Captain Jack Harkness.
Me: Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to read this.

And I did. And I was very, very glad I did. I mean, it would be worth reading just for the introduction, with its slightly frantic explanation of how she came to write this (and, even though she posted it for Kink Bingo, Kink Bingo is not to blame; she just sat down one day and decided to write this of her own free will, and I really had not believed I could love her more, but that did it), but it gets even better than that. It's Jack! And Chewbacca! And Jack so totally would do Chewbacca, and I can't even blame him (although the thought of all that hair touching me makes me want to claw my own skin off, but Jack does not have my issues, or, at this point in his canon, any actual issues that I can tell). And I totally have to congratulate Jack for having the good sense to pick out the best sentient being in the room.

But most of all, I love this story because it made me realize that Jack Harkness isn't kinky. Kinky, to me, requires that you have an unusual focus on one - or several - areas of sexual interest. (Fur! Bondage! Opera glasses and bouffant hairdos! Whatever.) Jack has no special focus whatsoever - he's equally interested in all fields of sexual endeavor. His preference is, basically, any way you want it. Which means that to me Jack Harkness is the definition of vanilla. Obviously I need to work on my terms a bit.

The One That Teaches Us That If You're Going to Do a Spurious Magical Ritual, You Should Do It Outside. Preferably While Armed with Electric Cattleprods, Just in Case. Accidents Will Happen, by [personal profile] holli. Supernatural, gen.

Oh, adolescence. A time of rebellion! A time of unfortunate fashion choices! A time when you accidentally bring the dead back to life in your parents' basement!

Okay, maybe that didn't happen to you. It didn't happen to me, either. But I did once spend four extremely boring hours listening to the angst of a guy who was absolutely convinced he was possessed by a ghost. I had mono, and I was in no mood, and I ended up faking an exorcism just to get him to shut up and let me sleep. (Seriously: I took my middle school Latin - yes, I did say "amo, amas, amat" at one point, so thank you for that, Mrs. Scher - and some candles and some assorted cooking herbs and spices and unpossessed him. And the lesson here is: don't get between a sick person and her bed.) If I'd been living in the world of Supernatural, probably I would have ended up desouling him or something.

I just love this story, and I love these characters - I think I used to know them, in fact - and most of all I love the perspective this provides on the Supernatural universe. Because, sure, there are badass demon hunters with magical guns and magical cocks (I may be wrong about the magical guns, but I can cite several million stories on the magical cocks thing), but there must also be lots of suburban girls with random superpowers. (Also, I bet fire insurance is a bitch to get in the SPN world. And every year good actuaries probably go mad, tearing at their hair and shrieking, "But my predictions should have been correct!")

And let me finish this with a helpful hint for any teenagers reading this: if you accidentally summon a big unconscious naked guy, for the love of god lock him up and call someone. Do not talk to him. Do not get him a blanket. Do not look directly at him unless you're absolutely sure he's out cold. That kind of situation is the definition of something you want to be someone else's problem.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
A long time ago, I was in a creative writing class with a person named Kelly. (And, seriously, why isn't there some service for finding fangirls if you only have their RL names? If she's not in fandom, she should be. And if you're reading this and you're named Kelly and you're a librarian and you once took a poetry class from a professor named Pat, I want to talk to you.) She wrote a poem about wishing she could send a videotape (See? A loooooong time ago.) back to a younger version of herself. I thought about that a lot. I still do.

And in these two stories, it actually HAPPENS. Sort of. In both cases, a reset (or Retcon) button gets pushed, and younger versions of Ianto and Rodney get inserted into the lives of current Ianto and Rodney. I cannot tell you how much I love this. I want this to happen to everyone. (Okay, not everyone. In Teal'c's case, lots of people would die, because younger-Teal'c would likely not be behind this whole killing-the-gods thing. And some people are so young already that it would be more like a de-ageing story - Clark, Merlin, I'm looking at you. But Depot-era Benton Fraser, oh my god. Ronon Dex before he was a runner. Jim Ellison before he joined the military!)

So, on to the specific stories.

The One That Demonstrates Why People Should Not Plan Like Action Heroes Unless They Happen to Be in an Action Movie. (If You're Not Sure, Assume You Are Not in an Action Movie.) Rewind, Reboot, Restore, by Rheanna, aka [livejournal.com profile] rheanna27 and [personal profile] rheanna. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

This story - well. If I had to pick just one character who got to see his new life as his old self, it would have to be Rodney. Because - okay. I used to complain that the Gateverse canon writers did not exactly get this novel concept we call "character development," but in Rodney, they totally prove that they do get it (they just mostly don't like it, and try to avoid it when they can, sort of the way some people are with cilantro). Rodney of pre-Atlantis really is a very different person than the Rodney we know and love, and that makes for quality drama when the two Rodneys meet. And in Rheanna's hands, it is quality indeed. If I had imagined how this might work, well, I don't think I could have imagined anything as wonderful as this.

Also, this story has one of Those Lines. The ones that stay with you and define the story for you, and that you think of often. (I cannot be the only one who has these. I refuse to believe it.) I am not sure if I should include it or not, so here it is, behind the cut:

Spoiler line. Do not cross unless you just like that sort of thing. )


For one thing: hurray, a use of "literally" that actually means literally, and if you don't think that's something to celebrate, I would like to live where you do, please.

But more - that line is the story. Except the story is so very much more. And if I listed all the things I love about this, I would spoil every last plot development, so instead, how about you just read it?

The One That Proves That If You Spend a Lot of Time near Jack Harkness, You Should Plan Like an Action Hero. It Might Be Fun, and It's Not Like You Could Make Your Odds Worse Than They Already Are. The Theory of Two Centres, by [personal profile] sam_storyteller. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

This one fascinated me. See, I have never seen Torchwood, and I don't read huge amounts in the fandom (although that is changing, especially since people keep writing nice long stories for me to put on my Kindle, and TW folks, I will totally take any recs you might have for those), so I really don't know much about Ianto. I know he wears suits. I know the entire fandom seems riveted by him. I know he's the guy who did right by Jack after the Master knocked him up. (Okay, maybe that isn't canon, but it should be.) Beyond that - well, I have a seriously hard time telling the Torchwood people apart, and they seem, from the posts I see on my friends list, to spend most of their time having massive team orgies, so it's not like there's been a pressing need in my life to know who's who.

In this story, though, Ianto is awesome. He seems kind of like Giles, except a) he went through his transformation from Ripper to the Librarian with the Core of Steel in four years instead of twenty, and b) it's not magic and demons, it's the Rift (and excuse me if I have some difficulty telling the difference sometimes). I - I have a weakness for characters who had wild youths and grew up to be staid individuals, for reasons that might be apparent to those who know me pretty well, and this makes me like Ianto so much. I just really admire those who, sure, they could have the sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll and dangerous leather outfits, but they'd rather have this spreadsheet. After all, it's an awesome spreadsheet.

So I love that, and I love the point of view factor here. (Rewind, Reboot, Restore is from the loved one's point of view, and Theory of Two Centres is from the actual rewound person's point of view, and it is fascinating to me the difference that makes in the tone of the story.)

And, most of all, I love that this story gave me the chance to get to know both younger-Ianto and, by the reactions of people around him, canon-Ianto. For people who don't actually know the canon, this story really cannot be beat. And that is very happiness inducing for me.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The intoxication set from last time got me thinking about secrets and lies. (And, yes, intoxication is totally linked to telling uncomfortable truths - I think that's alcohol's primary purpose to the human race, and certainly to fan fiction - but that's not what brought it to mind.) For one thing, a lot of the stories I considered for that set would fit in this one, too. Maybe intoxication and secrets and lies are the primary themes of fan fiction? Hard to say.

In any case. Onwards to the recs! (And, hey, for me, this month has been a crazy whirl of recommending. I think I've done three whole sets. I'm setting the world on fire!)

The One Featuring the Cutest Victim of Lies I Think I Have Ever Read About. Most Unpronounceable, Too. Is It Wrong That I Want One? They Grip the Ground, by [livejournal.com profile] giddygeek. Torchwood, and you know, if there's not actual cocks waving around, I consider all Torchwood stories gen, since, hey, that's about like canon. (And even with cocks, it could reasonably be an outtake. You can't tell me there aren't cocks all over the place on that set. I won't even believe you.) There's some flirting in this, which is really a pretty redundant thing to say. I mean, I already told you it was Torchwood.

So. Secrets and lies, my friends, and in this case the Torchwood staffers (I think "staffers" is a better term than "orgy participants," but you can make your own call, of course) are lying to a poor, innocent woodland creature. Well, assuming the woodland is from some other planet, and also assuming "poor and innocent" is a term you can apply to something large, irritable, and smelly. But it's the kind of lies I love in this: lies as a weapon! Lies that become truths! In some cases.

And more than that, I love the cheerful, frolicking nature of this story. I've been on something of a Torchwood kick these days, and disturbing themes are emerging. I don't know if it's just the stories I've been reading or what, but they tend to be rather, um, gloomy. These stories give me the feeling that there's a lot of fog in Cardiff. And rain. And people walk in that rain, and it mixes with their tears. And I am all for gloom, but I am also very much a proponent of joy, and this story is pure, shiny joy. Rhinoceroses! That aren't, exactly! Various lies! Frolicking (fully dressed, bizarrely enough)! A happy and g-rated adventure for the Torchwood crew.

Frankly, judging by some of the other things I've read lately, they need it.

The One Featuring John Sheppard's Worst Nightmare. No, Really; It's This and Killing His Own Team. And Maybe Clowns. Everyone Fears Clowns. Or Something Like It, by [livejournal.com profile] semivowel. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

I think we can all agree that some secrets and lies are necessary for a happy, functional life. But even more, they're necessary for our characters; some of them construct their entire lives around their secrets. (And then we give them additional extra secrets in fan fiction. Often these secrets involve blowjobs, which at least is a good kind of secret to have.) So the question becomes: what happens when you take the secrets away?

Terrifying things, obviously. And, more to the point, things that would trigger my embarrassment squick. So let me say, right up front: this story does not hit my squick. (And I have an embarrassment squick so exquisitely sensitive that I am currently writhing in horror over the Michael Jackson auction, not just because of the super-creepy (and oddly gilded) nature of the items, but because people are seeing this. He is showing people his creepy, slimy id! OMG ACK. The joke, of course, being that we all already knew about his creepy, slimy id, but still: I am embarrassed for him.) This story is more about - oh, teams, and the things they will do for you, and also how secrets and lies really are very integral to John's existence.

Which isn't to say that the truth serum isn't key. (And, oh, the way this story must look from John's PoV. I will tell you a secret: I actually wrote part of that out. I do that. Really more often than I should.) It's just an awesome use of truth serum, and an awesome, sweet story.

It kind of makes me want to see other truth serum stories, though. Clark on truth serum! LEX on truth serum! Benton Fraser on truth serum, which would give new and horrible meaning to "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," so help us god! Everyone in the entire court of Camelot on truth serum (hide the swords, the axes, and all means of making fire)!

But most of all, I just love and want and cuddle this story. John. Truth serum. No embarrassment. I could not ask for more.

The One That Will Be a Comfort to You the Next Time You Have to Eat with a Serial Killer or a Mother-in-Law or Whatever. It Could Be Worse. You Could Be Dining with the Luthors. Marble, by [livejournal.com profile] julad. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

Last time, I talked about how there are certain tags that define a fandom. Secrets and lies, it turns out, defines several fandoms, but Smallville is perhaps supreme among all of them. It's basically secrets wrapped in lies in a delicious betrayal sauce. So I had to look really thoughtfully at basically all my to-rec Smallville stories to pick one.

Except I didn't, actually, have to look that hard. This story was the obvious choice. And not just because it's what amounts to Smallville wish fulfillment for me. See, I know Clark and Lex are destined to end up enemies: plots to take over the world, doomsday machines, lots of paternalistic lectures. Superhero, supervillain - it's right there in the names. But what I really want is a future in which Clark and Lex team up and change everything. Clark has the body and also the unnatural array of superpowers! Lex has the intelligence and the actual sense and also a fairly decent body himself! They were meant to be. And this story gives us a glimpse of what they could do if they didn't let themselves get all distracted by ruling the world. (Or by Lana Lang, god help them both.)

No, the real reason this is the perfect story for this set is that Clark, the king of Truth Issues, talks about his desire to end the secrets and lies. (Superhero, heal thyself.)

(And a side reason for picking this is that it contains one of my top-ten alien coming out scenes in all of Smallville fan fiction. Awesome.)

The One That Proves That You Don't Want a Magician for an Interior Decorator. Caterer, Though? Maybe. Maybe. Onfindan, by [livejournal.com profile] astolat. Merlin, Arthur Pendragon/Merlin.

You may have gathered from the previous story that I have a certain yen for two people taking on the world. This is absolutely true. And if, instead, they choose to take on a series of assorted monsters? That is perfectly fine with me.

Merlin is another fandom that is defined by secrets and lies. It was, you know, kind of set up that way, what with Merlin's famous sorcerousness and Uther's nifty way with an executioner. But in this story, wonderfully and marvelously, the Merlin-coming-out-to-Arthur scene takes place before the story starts. We don't get to hear about it! Instead, the secrets and lies belong to Merlin and Arthur both. Because once you have a magical manservant, it's really hard not to use him. (I think we've all been there. Bertie Wooster, especially, totally understands.)

And once that magical manservant has inadvertently turbo-charged himself (again, these things happen - I accidentally turbo-charged myself way back in seventh grade), keeping the secret becomes really, really challenging. Fortunately, Arthur Pendragon (who I keep desperately wanting to say, "Arthur, King of the Britons," even though I know that would be wrong) is up to the task. And I think I do mean up. Yes.

Magic! Adventure! Sex! Merlin and Arthur, becoming all they can be! This is just like I hope the canon is. (Somebody tell me the canon is just like this. No, really. Lie to me. This is the right set for it.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
My Yuletide stories are in the hands of my betas. I am trembling with fear. Obviously, it's time for some nice long distracting fan fiction!

The One That Will Make You Want a Pair of Rust-Colored Trousers. Resist the Temptation. Please. Get Loved, Make More, Try to Stay Alive, by [livejournal.com profile] dsudis. Torchwood, Captain Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

Here's what I know about Torchwood: there's this guy named Jack, who was introduced on Doctor Who in the SCARIEST EPISODE I HAVE EVER SEEN OF ANYTHING. (From this, you may conclude that I am a wimp. You are entirely right.) He caught a nasty case of immortality a while back. Now he works for Torchwood, an agency that monitors alien presence on the planet Earth. (And where are the Torchwood x MiB crossovers? That's so obvious it has to be, like, a whole sub-genre of the fandom!) He's head of Torchwood in Cardiff. Cardiff is a very strange place. He and his team manage to fit some alien-fighting and world-saving in between their frequent orgies.

Okay. I'm making the orgies part up. It's just, every time I see pictures of the Torchwood cast on my friends list, someone is always macking on someone else, and so in my mind Torchwood is a story about alien fighters who fuck. Or fuckers who fight aliens. Whatever.

ANYWAY. I'm not an expert on Torchwood, but I can tell you that this story is shiny perfection. It's like Dira took perfection and then somehow polished it up and found a whole new level of perfect underneath. There is time travel! There is the future! There is romance and love and loss and what people wore! There is...okay, yes, there's MPreg. But it's the good kind of MPreg. (And, yes, there is such a thing.) Also, there isn't very much MPreg, or any description of, you know, pregnancy-related fluids and suchlike. Please do not run screaming.

This story features something I have always wanted to see done and never before witnessed in all of fan fiction: a guy gets pregnant and does not immediately decide that he's keeping his baby. (Not that there is anything wrong with either that concept or that vid. Far, far from.) For that alone, I would have loved this story, and then Dira had to go and add about 50,000 more words of wonderfulness just so that I would have to figure out what is even more love than love. (The answer, by the way, would be "love." It's very deep.)

This story is everything in the world that makes me happy.

The One Where We Get All That Unpleasant Character Death Business out of the Way before the Story Starts, and the Character Himself Doesn't Really Take Any Notice of It. The Difference Engine, by [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

When I went to write this set, I got all pouty because I couldn't rec this, on account of some dickwad hacked the community and deleted it. But now it is back, and I am recommending it while I can, because I love it. And who doesn't love stories in which John Sheppard is a robot? (Or, in this case, I think he's technically a cyborg. I don't know. I didn't major in cyberpunk or whatever.)

The first lines of this story are pretty much the textbook definition of a narrative hook - seriously, why can't I do that? It takes me like 2,000 words just to get to the part that might vaguely interest at least a few of my readers - and it just gets better from there.

I've always loved stories that offered solid explanations for John Sheppard's occasional, you know, oddness. ("He's a big ol' gay queer homosexual" is perhaps the most frequently offered explanation, but sucking cock can't explain everything, people! I know, I know. I'm heartbroken too.) And this explains it better than most. He has subroutines! He has programming! He has technically already died!

Wait. Does that mean this story is about an undead robot? Because I think if we start combining those two genres, we could end up with the kind of mutant subgenre that proves to have superstrength and mind control and starts taking over all of fiction.

And I for one will not be sorry if that proves to be the case. Only rarely is fiction this wonderful. Going on the available evidence, undead robots make everything better.

The One That Has Robot Space Mounties. Why Are There No Robot Space Mounties Right Now? Forget the Flying Car. The Future Will Only Arrive When We Have Robot Space Mounties. Real Boys and Real Worlds, by [livejournal.com profile] troyswann. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

Okay. I realize that, taken in conjunction with the previous recommendation, this set makes it look like I have some sort of deep need to see various characters as robots. That would be totally, entirely false. A scurrilous lie. For the record, I have not even considered, for example, the AU where all the immortals in Highlander are immortal because they're self-repairing robots (and their permanent deactivation switch is buried deep in their neck). Nor do I frequently ponder Jim Ellison as a robot with a superior sensory processor and a minor chip malfunction. And I never think about how I could totally read Supernatural if only Dean Winchester was a robot.

...Possibly I am a liar. It's totally not my fault, though; I imprinted early on I, Robot, which taught me the joys of robot-adjacent slash. It just took fandom to show me how much better it is if the robot is more fully involved.

Anyway. This story is so much more than just Benton Fraser as a robot. (Although you can hardly deny that that is the best concept to come down the pike in a very long time.) It's real SF, with a background world of extreme awesomeness and Kowalski as a queer (Not that kind of queer. Or, okay, not only that kind of queer) cop and Frannie as something so incredibly wonderful I will not describe it to you, but trust me, I nearly fainted with happiness when I read Real Boys for the first time. There was risk of joy-induced head trauma, I tell you what. This story has ACTION. And PLOT. (Basically, this story has all those really hard bits that I remember I can't write, every damn Yuletide.)

You know what this is? This is what Philip K. Dick would have written if he could actually write. (Look, the man had some great ideas, but he wrote like he was on massive quantities of opiates and had only a glancing acquaintance with reality and, you know, people.) Well, I mean, assuming he also had developed an interest in gay robots.

But, really, who is not interested in gay robots? NOT ME.

The One Where It's Totally in Character to Use the Word "Lover," and in Fact I'm Kind of Surprised the PoV Character Doesn't Surround That with Little Hearts, Too. Diplomatic Relations, by [livejournal.com profile] maldoror_gw. Naruto, Gaara/Rock Lee.

He's an overeager hopeless romantic! And he is a psychopathic serial killer possessed by a demon! Together, they fight crime! No, really, they do. It's very touching and sweet.

I have only the vaguest understanding of Naruto, and even my reaction to the idea of Gaara hooking up with anyone (for purposes of sex and romance - I mean, if Gaara hooked up with someone for a worldwide killing spree, that I would believe) was blank disbelief. And Rock Lee is not exactly - he's not exactly the mate for Gaara, is all I'm saying.

And yet. And yet. This so works. I'm not sure why it works - we're talking about a lengthy romance conducted between a guy who has only a passing acquaintance with humanity and a guy who sincerely believes in Truth! And Beauty! And Love! Above all things, he believes in Love. (Okay, and martial arts.) It's inexplicably wonderful, is what it is, and you don't need to know anything about Naruto at all to love this. (Here's what I know: there's these people, like ninjas except with extra super ninja goodness, and they fight. Um, each other, and also bad guys. Some of them are possessed by demons, which gives them even more extra special abilities, but causes them to have traumatic childhoods. The main character is Naruto, also known, in this case, as Sir Barely Appearing in This Story. And...that's really pretty much it. Oh, and the series apparently eats people's brains.)

This story is funny (turns out there is endless humor to be found in the fact that Gaara knows 3000 ways to kill people but only two and a half emotions) and engrossing. I mean, it's not like you don't kind of suspect that these crazy kids will make a go of it, and yet I, at least, was totally riveted to the screen, deeply anxious to know if, you know, they'd manage to deal with the inevitable disapproval of pretty much everyone! Fall in love without destroying major villages! Defeat the bad ninjas! Okay, really - here's the deal: this story just makes me feel good.

Oh, quick warning for media fans: don't read the author's notes. They will just confuse you. But read the story. You'll love it.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Not last time but the time before (although I am still totally on my deadline, so there), I signed up for Sweet Charity. The person who won me was [livejournal.com profile] adbaculum. Probably everyone who sells herself for charity has a moment of terror when she gets the request, but [livejournal.com profile] adbaculum's was actually pretty cool. Basically, she wanted me to rec some vids that might show her why vidding is cool, since she doesn't watch vids much.

I thought, I can so totally do that. Then, of course, I got eaten by the Meta Lizards. They come for you in the dead of night and make your posts three hundred pages long.

But! I persevered. I wrote the whole post, hacked pages and pages of meta back out of it (in addition to Meta Lizards, I am apparently tragically afflicted by a writing disorder that prevents me from ever shutting up), and I think - I hope - I now have something kind of close to what she wanted.

In any case, I'm going for it. [livejournal.com profile] adbaculum, thank you for buying me, for being such an awesome winner, and for having such an interesting request. Most of all, thank you for donating to charity. <3!

Why vids? )
Which vids? )
What's worth watching in vids? )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. Hi. Earlier, I, um, made myself sick by eating an entire jar of pickles. It wasn't a small jar, either. I have no idea what I was thinking, and in fact I'm fairly well convinced I wasn't thinking. Just - there was a jar of pickles. About an hour later, the jar was there, but it contained only a small amount of brine and some random floating spices. I spent a few moments theorizing about alien pickle abductions - were they stem-end probing my Vlassics in geosynchronous orbit ? - and then I realized that a) I was going to be sick and b) this was probably not unrelated to the missing pickle mystery.

Let my experience be a lesson to you: pickles only in moderation. Also, for god's sake use a plate. (No, as a matter of fact, I was not raised in a barn, but sometimes I think my parents wished I could be.)

So, in memory of my poor lost pickles - which, oh god, ew - I give you: food-related stories.

The One That Should Be Called 'Management Techniques of the Fifty-First Century.' Although If This Is Actually How They'll Manage Then, Well, Peter Drucker Will Be Horrified. Vitamin A, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Torchwood, gen.

When I bookmarked this, I noted that Torchwood is just about the only fandom I can imagine where a story can have a spanking scene between two grown men and still be gen. Jack Harkness is like some weird sexual anomaly field: nothing sex-related is impossible if he's nearby. And that includes even a totally non-sexual spanking scene.

But what I actually love about this story is - okay, there's two things. First, it's funny. And it will be especially funny to those of you who have ever managed a difficult employee. (Note: this story should not be taken as management advice. Some things can't be done by anyone but Jack Harkness; if you try this, you'll get your ass sued off. But feel free to imagine doing it in your next unpleasant work encounter.)

Second, it's a look at the way Jack Harkness's mind works. Apparently the fifty-first century has highly unusual methods of problem-solving. And they've managed to get thinking outside the box down to an art form. Or maybe that's just something peculiar to Harkness, too. (Does anyone know if there's any fan fiction that depicts life in Jack's fifty-first century aside from [livejournal.com profile] cherryice's awesome Leave the Light On? I would love some good stories that explain how he got this way. And I don't mean the, you know, eternity issue, because he was what we might term a highly creative thinker long before that.)

So, what's the food connection? Coffee. Owen apparently can't make it. Or, rather, he can, but you need to be immortal (and brave) to drink it. So I guess he's kind of the Starbucks of the damned.

The One Where You Learn That a Less Known Side Effect of Membership in the Clan MacLeod Is Flexibility in the Kitchen. No, Not That Kind of Flexibility. Although That Probably Comes with the Tartan, Too. The Freshest and the Best, by [livejournal.com profile] julad. Highlander, Duncan MacLeod/Methos.

This is part of Julad's shopping series (which is, by the way, thoroughly awesome); Duncan and Methos go grocery shopping. No, really, that's all that happens here, and it's wonderful. I love seeing Methos push Duncan around, even if I think the purchase and eating of eel is - well, not one of the best ideas Methos has had. Way more disgusting than a lot of pickles. (But if you are an eel eater, know that I honor and cherish your differences. And, um, I've been a vegetarian since I was 10, so I wouldn't really know, but isn't that stuff kind of rubbery? It looks like it would be rubbery.)

And I really love this version of the Duncan/Methos relationship - Methos is keeping Duncan young and flexible, which is both ironic (or, you know, the title of a book from the self-help section of the Watcher's Library - Chicken Soup for the Immortal's Soul: Tips on Staying Young from the World's Oldest Man) and totally appropriate, because someone needs to do that. (Look. I love Duncan as much as the next girl, but sometimes he acts like he has a katana up his ass.) In this story, Methos makes the decisions about the really important things - food, sex, saffron - and leaves the unimportant stuff - the Game, beheading, vengeance - for MacLeod to do at some point when it doesn't inconvenience Methos. In short, this is Highlander one of the ways I love it: light, funny, with characters I can honestly believe have lived a long, long time.

Additional bonus: you get TWO recipes for eel! Sort of! I mean, this isn't going to do me much good, but if you've got a lot of eel sitting around (deceased eel, obviously - if you've got a live eel, that's a whole different story) and you can't think what to do with it (which seems to be the likely outcome of having a lot of dead eel), here are some ideas.

The One That, I'm Warning You Right Now, Will Make You Think Impure Thoughts about Desserts. A Little Cheesecake, by [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg.

We've all fallen in love with a cheesecake - oh, don't even tell me you haven't; I saw you with that luscious slice of New York style, stroking her creamy sides and licking her off your fork, and don't think I didn't hear you moan - but most of us don't, um, take it quite as far as Jim does in this story. (And, no, seriously, stop thinking about American Pie. Stop it right now. He doesn't take it that far. At least not in this story, and I think it's safe to say I will never rec the story where he does. Although no one should consider that a challenge, please.)

This is a great look at Jim at the beginning of the series: so repressed he cannot be in the same state, or even plane, as an emotion. And it's a great look at how Blair is the perfect fit for that. See, there's a conversation in this that - okay. The first time I read this story, I had to click away in the middle of it because my embarrassment squick warning went off. If you've got an embarrassment squick, you're probably familiar with this. It's like the aura before a migraine; it's this little internal monitor that says, "Warning: this could get embarrassing, and then you will die. Just FYI!" So, you know, I paused in my reading to fortify myself. And then I clicked back.

And the thing is, Blair just manages this conversation like he was talking about chopsticks or something. He is the perfect counterbalance to early canon Jim: he's like a mediator, forcing Jim to get in touch with his emotions. Only Blair's mediation sessions come with blow jobs. (Note for licensed mediators: do not try this in your place of work.)

The One That Should Come with a Warning Reading, "Will Put a Song in Your Head That You Hoped You'd Forgotten." No, Not Celine Dion. Even Worse. But It's Worth It, I Promise. Four Boots, Five Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Feet, by [livejournal.com profile] kormantic. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

Bodyswap, people. Bodyswap. Is there anything better? No, there isn't. And this is an awesome bodyswap, filled with humor and fruit and comparative analysis of asses, so you want to read this RIGHT NOW.

And now every single one of you who hasn't already read this has clicked and is no longer reading this sentence; I can safely assume I'm addressing just those of you who have read it. (Okay, fine. And everybody who doesn't read SGA, and everybody who doesn't read fan fiction at all.) So I can tell you that in this story, Rodney and John learn a lesson that got totally skipped in kindergarten, at least for me, which is: if you start sharing there's just no end to it, and eventually you end up unable to call even your body parts truly your own.

(That would make an awesome lesson, don't you think? My kindergarten was clearly deficient. Although I'm not sure how you prepare small children for the future rigors of bodyswapping. Is there a felt board or a fingerplay for that? Maybe a song with mnemonic hand gestures?)

So, basically, on the Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Fan Fiction chart, this would be: share, but only with people you wouldn't mind having sex with, because we all know where sharing leads. (But another thing I've learned from fan fiction is that everyone wants to have sex with everyone, even tentacles, so, really, I guess this wouldn't change much.)

The food in this one, by the way, sounds genuinely tasty. But remember, kids: keep your alien fruit to yourself unless you want to get laid.

The One You Should Not Read Around Mealtime Unless You Are a Really Adventurous Eater. A Hell of a Dinner, by [livejournal.com profile] daegaer. Good Omens, gen.

And here's a story that I had to include because it a) is wonderful and b) features the most revolting dinner you could pay 115 pounds for (um, because I'm too lazy to look it up, does anyone know how to make the pound sign on an American keyboard?), complete with a link to the restaurant where you can go to get your very own expensive and hideous dinner. (BACON. In ICE CREAM. There are absolutely no words for this horror. And I cannot believe our governments are worried about things like drugs and terrorism in a world where people openly and wantonly make sardine sorbet. Priorities, people! Biggest problems first! Solve them with guns if necessary!) This is precisely the sort of food Crowley would fancy. In fact, he probably sat through the entire meal feeling vaguely bitter that he didn't think of it first.

(I also have my suspicions about who did think of it. Has anyone seen Famine since the world didn't end?)

In any case, this story is perhaps the ultimate thing to read when you want to feel better about making yourself sick with pickles. (...Yeah, okay, that's an audience that is limited to just me. Me and my SHAME. But it's also worth reading even if you've never had a pickle in your life.) Because you can read it and think, "Well, at least I didn't pay 115 pounds for those pickles." And also you will be very very grateful that it was just pickles you ate, and not pickle flavored ice cream. (Probably it be a sorbet, actually. Zesty dill pickle sorbet. Okay. Ew. Oh my god, ew. Actually, I - I think I need to go lie down right now.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Hi! I keep thinking, "When I am less miserable, I will post recs." And today, as I threw up for the third time (thanks to my allergy shots, of all things), it occurred to me: maybe I'm this miserable because I haven't posted any recs. Perhaps I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps the hideousness of withdrawal from recommending fan fiction is the thing no one warns you about until it is too late. (If it is, I am totally blaming all of you, and especially you recommenders. This is your fault. Maybe.)

It's a working theory that will keep me from despairing, and, frankly, that's what I need right now. I don't even care if it's not logical. Don't tell me. I want to believe that if I only post recs I will regain the ability to breathe and swallow, okay?

So. I sort of remember how this goes. I, um, pick a theme, right? And then I rec stuff in it. Except, whoa, I have no idea what theme to pick. So here's a thought: how 'bout stories that are not scary - are, in fact, funny and hot and deeply satisfying - that I still associate with fear?

Look. I said I was rusty. The goal here is to get my recommending back in gear before I die of fan fiction withdrawal. I don't have time for the niceties, people.

The One That Brought Me the Terrifying Knowledge That We Live in a World That Contains Two Orange Sports Coats. Two! How Could There Possibly Be Two? Will Dunk for Brains, by [livejournal.com profile] minervacat. Sports Night, gen.

I even checked with the author to be sure she wasn't making it up, and although she could have lied and let me move back to my happy place, she chose not to. Apparently she lives in service to the truth or something. Or possibly she just enjoys seeing me cower under my desk in terror. In any case, she says that there really are two orange sports coats in this world. And they both belong to men named Bruce. (I knew there was a reason I didn't trust that name! Obviously, Bruces are allied with the Dark Arts. The fashion-impaired Dark Arts.) I haven't seen photographic evidence on this, but I am still shattered.

It's just. It's hard. I mean, you want to believe good things about this world, you try to believe good things about the world, and then you find out that not only are there orange sports coats in it, but we could very well someday face the tragedy of having them on television. Where innocent children can see! (And, worse, where I can see.)

But, so, okay, this story shattered my world in the first few lines. I love it anyway. I mean, it links college sports with zombies. And it does so in a way that is awesome and totally in voice and funny. (Although we all know zombies aren't funny, right? Because they are the number one imaginary menace to our society. When you add that to orange sports coats, well, this story has a really high Society Menace Quotient. Possibly [livejournal.com profile] minervacat is trying to destroy us all.)

And it is Sports Night, and we all know the magic equation: Sports Night = love. So, trust me, you'll love this - it's a good Sports Night story, so what choice do you have?

Just, uh, keep a weather eye out for sports-coated flesh-eating zombies named Bruce. (Or Tyler.)

The One That Has Me Living in Fear of the Scorn of My Bookcases. Curtains Are Monogamous, by [livejournal.com profile] sheldrake. Anthropomorfic, Curtain/Curtain.

Okay, more than anything I love the tone of this story, the voice of it. I am quite convinced that if curtains could talk, they'd sound like this. (This is why we have blinds. No offense to curtains, mind you, just - if inanimate objects are going to be committing acts of intimacy on my windows, I at least want them to be having an orgy, by gum. None of this sappy curtain monogamy for my windows! OT16 all the way.)

Also, I love this because it contains Deathless Truths for the Ages. ("Curtains don't care whether people are girls or boys or anything, although we are mainly interested in other curtains." Those are words to live by, and I am quite seriously considering printing them out and putting them over my computer. Plus, I am going to try working "We are mainly interested in other curtains" into every sentence I can. Should be fun. Should also be unfortunate evidence in my inevitable committal hearing, but maybe I'll get lucky and get a fangirl judge.)

So, really, it's a minor quibble, really, that this story has left me wondering if all bookcases are that snarky and petty, and if they are - god, we have, um, lots. What if they all hate us? What if your furniture is what votes on whether you go to a Good Place or a Bad Place after you die? Our bookcases would definitely have the swing vote, and probably they deeply resent our habit of double-shelving and our half-assed approach to earthquake strapping!

Okay, okay, panic over. And it's a fabulous story. Just, you know. Maybe try to read it in a room without bookcases, if you can. (Do you think ours would forgive us if I hugged them? Hmmm. Probably they'd consider it a liberty. Also, there's that committal hearing to worry about; "hugs furniture" almost certainly would not go on the "sane" side of the balance sheet.)

The One That Reminds Me of the Night of Shrieking Terror, Also Known As the Night I Fired My Entire Friends List in Absentia. Stuck in Traffic at the Magic Roundabout, by [livejournal.com profile] xwingace. Torchwood x Doctor Who, and frankly I refuse to assess the gen/slash/het quotient of any story involving Jack Harkness. There is not world enough or time.

So. Okay. Those of you who have been constantly telling me that it's insane that I love time travel and yet have not seen New Who, fine, whatever, you win. The ninth Doctor is made of awesome, the new series is made of awesome, and I love all characters in it immensely and uncritically. Plus, OMG, time travel. You were right. Happy now?

But wait. Do not do your little victory butt-dance yet, my friends. You are still fired.

Because you also said, "Oh, you'll love Jack Harkness! He's fabulous! He's a fifty-first century guy!" and so on. And not one of you warned me that the two-part episode in which he is introduced is one of the scariest things ever recorded. I left claw marks in Best Beloved. I insisted we stop in the middle and turn on all the lights and lock all the doors. I squeezed my dogs tightly and refused to let them leave me. I hyperventilated, people. (Yes, fine. Those of you who are all brave and stuff can mock me. And those of you who are wondering why I haven't tried Supernatural, well, now you know. I don't handle stark terror well.) (And, by the way, what is wrong with the British? Life on Mars has a creepy child with a clown. Doctor Who has a creepy child with a gas mask. Am I the only one who can sense the evil plot at work here?)

Still, you were right. I do love Jack Harkness. Those of you who have seen the end of the first season will understand why I was thus a little less than pleased with it. (Okay, actually, a lot less than pleased. *snf*) It sort of left some, uh, loose ends, ends that Best Beloved tells me are not tied up in the next season. (I am resisting the next season. I don't handle change well; this may make me an unsuitable case for Doctor Who fandom.) But this story? This story ties all the loose ends, explains everything, provides the perfect link between Doctor Who and Torchwood (Which, no, I haven't seen - look, I'm getting there, okay? Eventually. Praise me for what I've accomplished!), and just basically makes me a shiny happy fangirl.

Seriously. If you've seen the first season of Doctor Who, read this. (If you haven't, go watch it and then read this. You won't be sorry, I promise you.) It will make your heart happy. (Which it will probably need after episodes nine and ten. Oh my god the terror. SO VERY FIRED, all of you.)

The One That Makes Me Fear Dorinda and [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. Trust Me, If They Combine Their Evil Superpowers, No One Will Be Safe. Admittedly, What We Won't Be Safe from Is Mostly Porn and Such, So I Can't Say I'm All That Worried, but the Point Stands. Some Living After We Die, by Dorinda. Life on Mars, Gene Hunt/Sam Tyler.

The moral of this story is kind of hidden, but it's very clear to me, so let me just state it right here, for the record: do not challenge [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. Because, okay, you might be sitting around in her LJ one day, making casual comments like, "Oh, I really don't see the slash in Life on Mars, because blah blah blah blah." And then she will give you a single devastating link and change your whole outlook on life and you will be forced to admit to her that yes, she was right and you were totally wrong. And also you will have a great story to read.

...Wait. What was the down side to challenging [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh again? I think I will go pick an argument with her right this minute and see what else she links me to.

Because this story, oh, god, it is so wonderful. See, I had this list of reasons I didn't see the Gene/Sam - like, you know, they're both obsessed with their jobs, and that's not how they work out the tension between the two of them (usually there's just a lot of punching), and also Gene wouldn't think of himself that way even if he did give a blow job, and anyway getting that man on his knees would require, I don't know, a gun and a couple of swift kicks.

But in this story, Dorinda takes all those reasons - acknowledges them, works with them, and then turns them into alleyway sex. I don't know how she did it, precisely - I assume magic was involved - but oh, I know it works. After reading this story, I went from "Yeah, I don't see it" to "Well...I don't exactly - okay, look, fine, I get it, I love it, I will totally take it home with me and feed it and let it sleep on my couch. So why aren't there more stories like this, damn it?" Because this is a Sam I buy, and a Gene I buy, and it is a perfect depiction of the relationship between the two of them. And it involves alleyway sex. Life just does not get better than that, people.

So, I guess the real moral here is: go argue with [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. You'll like her methods of changing your mind. But first read this story, because you'll like Dorinda's methods even better.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Do you ever have one of those Bad Fannish Idea days? Where, like, you think, "I know what'd be cool! A Fullmetal Alchemist x Supernatural crossover. Yes, I want that, despite the fact that I don't know either fandom and it would be so angst-filled that small nations would simply collapse under the weight of the despair and never really know why." Or you think, "OMG! I will buy a vidder in Sweet Charity, and I will have her vid Smallville to Thunder Road, with Lex as the narrator and Clark as Mary." (Speaking of Sweet Charity, won't some ho-ish type go over there and offer her services in Making LJs Pretty? I don't want a banner; I want someone to create general prettiness via magic, because I am really damn tired of my blue boxes. Someone must be willing to do that for a good cause!)

Anyway. I am having a Bad Fannish Idea day, obviously. (Come on! It'd be the Angsty Sons of Tragically Dead Mothers crossover. Or, OMG, a fusion, where Dean and Sam are alchemists and Sam is a suit of armor and - oh my god, this is total craziness. I don't know either fandom. Someone help me. At least give me a Bad Fannish Idea in a fandom I actually know.)

So, here is my feeble attempt at distracting myself from my Bad Fannish Ideas. (Or, like - I could buy a vidder and have her do "I Will Survive" for Jack/Daniel after Daniel's ascension: "So you're back/from outer space/I just walked in to find you here/With that same look upon your face/I should have locked the stupid gate/I should have changed your IDC/If I'd known for just one second" - oh god it's a sickness I can't stop won't someone for the love of all that is holy please help me? Think of the fandom!) Other people's Good Fannish Ideas! They can save me!

Perhaps I can catch some sanity off these stories. God, I hope so.

So, is there a theme to this set? Not really. Kind of. See, a while ago, I did the interview meme in [livejournal.com profile] vassilissa's LJ, and one of the questions she asked me was what I'm reading right now. I gave her the non-fannish answers right away, because, well, it's easy to list the books I have in my purse, on my bedside table, next to the stove, and next to the computer. (Yes. Fine. I have a reading problem. I've gotten better, okay? You should have seen me when I was little - except, wait, you couldn't have, because my face was always buried in a book.) The fannish answer, though, was a little harder.

I guess you could say right now, I'm reading sort of randomly. I'm in a phase of waiting, fannishly speaking: waiting for the next fandom to eat me alive, waiting for the next fandom I feel compelled to read through the entire catalog of and then whine bitterly for more more more. (If you've ever felt the desire to pimp me into something, now would likely be a good time.) So, while I'm waiting, I'm reading a combination of new fandoms - fandoms I don't know at all, with, of course, canons I don't know at all - and new stories in old favorite fandoms.

Let's start with the new stories in old favorite fandoms, shall we?

The One That Proves That When We Talk About How the Other Half Lives, We Really Don't Know the Half of It. (Uh, That Pun Was Unintentional. Please Forgive.) Freaky Tuesday, by [livejournal.com profile] etben. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

Oh, due South. I will forever love you, and not just because you have communities with names like [livejournal.com profile] stop_drop_porn. No, really, the love mostly comes straight from the characters themselves, and of course from the fact that in dS, anything goes. Bodyswap? Of course, no problem - if the canon had run a season longer, it would certainly have happened, and it probably would have in fact been explained just the way it is in this story: a minor error in the application of fabric arts.

(Hey, I'm not pointing fingers at the person who made the error, here. Macramé is hard. I know this for a fact because my mother took it up when I was six, mercifully briefly, for a summer that will probably be known in our official family history, in the unlikely event that someone writes one, as the Time of Unfortunate Knot-Related Incidents. Also, let me just share with you a hard lesson learned early: if someone asks you to hold something just for one second, and that person is doing a craft, don't. You'll end up knotted into a plant holder while your mother tries to figure out how to get you back out. I suppose my parents were lucky CPS didn't stop by while she was flipping through the book looking for the part titled "If You Have Accidentally Made Your Child a Permanent Part of Your Project.")

And this story reminds me of all the reasons I love and will always love dS. I mean, the way the guys adapt to being in each other's bodies - for Ray, this is just some deeper-than-usual undercover work, and for Fraser, well, he has weirder things than this in his closet, and I mean that literally. Plus, hey: it was written for [livejournal.com profile] stop_drop_porn. So there is sex. And since I firmly believe that these guys were OMG MEANT TO BE, like forever, with cherries on top (Yes. Cherries. Oh, you are totally a perv, you know that? You just read dirtiness into everything. It's why I love you.), so in love and totally doing it, the sex makes me almost as happy as the bodyswappage does.

The One That Got Me Reading a Book About a TV Show I Had Not Even Heard of Prior to Reading This Story. Yes, That's Pathetic, Because It Turns out to Have Been the Basis for One of My Favorite Shows Ever, but - I'm Slow, Okay? Five Things Sorkin Never Got to Steal from Sportscenter (But Probably Would Have, if Sports Night Hadn’t Been Cancelled), by [livejournal.com profile] scrunchy. Sports Night, gen.

Oh, Sports Night. I will forever love you, and this despite the fact that you managed to make me feel like a total idiot for not realizing that Sports Night, the show, was inspired on an actual TV show on an actual TV station. (They have shows! About sports news! On TV! Who knew? Oh, right, everyone in the whole world but me. Please hide your mocking laughter and pretend, at least to my face, that I am not pathetic and so culturally out of touch that I might as well be from Planet Zik'tch. Also, if you are in the neighborhood of Zik'tch, stop by and tell my people - no, not those people; I still have my boobs - that I miss them, okay?)

This is just - I am incoherent with glee about this story. For one, I cannot believe that these things more or less happened in the real world. For another, Scrunchy managed to convert them into the SN world so perfectly that I am starting to believe she's Aaron Sorkin reborn. (And before you say, "But Aaron Sorkin isn't dead," - look. I'm not saying he is. I'm just saying I think Scrunchy has his soul and his writing mojo. Maybe they have a timeshare arrangement or maybe she made a dark pact with the Elder Gods - I'm no expert on the metaphysics of writing, people. I just know absolutely perfect voice when I read it.) For yet another - wow, this totally gave me the best kind of emotional whiplash. It's not often that I go, within the space of a single five-things story, from real, honest laughing out loud to snuffling sadly to saying, "Awwwwwww" to the monitor, but this one makes me do that. Every single time I read it. And I will have you know I've read it an indecent amount since it was posted.

The One That Proves That the First Rule of Elf Orgies Is - Look, It Doesn't Matter, Because You All Stopped Paying the Slightest Attention As Soon As You Read the Words "Elf Orgies," Didn't You? An Earthly Knight, by [livejournal.com profile] ltlj. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/original female characters, John Sheppard/original male characters.

Oh, SGA. I will forever love you (and, yes, you do qualify as an old favorite now, so there), because - well, just look at this story. John turns into an elf. ([livejournal.com profile] ltlj has, um, some pictorial evidence that he maybe didn't have that far to go, which she might show you if she's feeling nice.) And it's just - well, of course he does. It's the Pegasus Galaxy! These things happen! If the characters have any sense, they're just thinking, "Well, it could be worse. He could be a feral elf vampire. With wings."

And, see, in another fandom, any story with this concept (and certainly any story with the rating "NC-17 for elfsex" - I mean, except in LotR) would be crack (...and if anyone mentions elf MPreg drawings right now, that's five points off the house of all humanity, and ten more if anyone links to them), but this is SGA. So it isn't crack. It's just a bunch of folks asking themselves that eternal question: what do you do with a feral elf? My own personal answer would be, "Run," but this is why I am not cut out for life in Pegasus, I suppose. The characters just knuckle down to some problem solving, Pegasus-style. (Except John, who knuckles down to the elf orgies. It's hard to be John Sheppard, folks.)

Note, by the way: this was written for the awesome [livejournal.com profile] 14valentines project, which I admire more than I can possibly say. It's over for this year, now - god forbid I should ever recommend anything in a timely fashion - but you can still hit the community and check out all the awesomeness it inspired. And you can still give to the causes it was built to support, because, sadly, women are still in need.

The One That Made Me Nostalgic for Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Which Is Odd, Because I Only Started Eating Peanut Butter Sandwiches This Year. Feel That, by [livejournal.com profile] fearlessfan. Friday Night Lights, Tyra Collette/Jason Street.

Yes, this would mark my subtle transition from fandoms I love to fandoms I, well, barely know. Fandoms, if you will, that I have slept with a few times, and now I'm trying to figure out their last names and if I want to hook up again with them on the weekend, and, like, do I have their phone number, even? Normally I try to avoid recommending stories when I'm in this stage with fandoms, mostly because it involves a lot of embarrassing things like admitting to myself that I don't know the full names of the characters, even, and cannot say what is canon and what is not, and in fact could not testify in court that the canon even exists. All I can say is, blame [livejournal.com profile] vassilissa. She asked.

So. I can't tell you anything at all about Friday Night Lights. (It's about teenagers! In Texas! Who play football! So actually I do know stuff. Just not, you know, minor details. Like names and things.) But I can tell you that I love this story, because, well. First, this is high school, people. Or perhaps I should say, "this is adolescence." I mean, I did not go to a small, football-obsessed high school in Texas - one could, in fact, say I didn't really go to high school at all, in any practical sense. But I did my time as an adolescent, as we all must. And that, of course, means I did my share of adolescent stuff (and also the shares of at least three random strangers - I was very dedicated to the whole teen experience, or at least the really stupid parts). And, wow - in this story, [livejournal.com profile] fearlessfan so perfectly captures the feeling of adolescence - the intensity, the awkwardness, the surprising moments of sweetness, the less-surprising moments of sourness, the way things change, the way small moments are really really huge.

Basically, I love this story because it made me like the characters. It made me believe in the characters. What more can I say?

The One That Proves That, No Matter What Hallmark Might Try to Tell You, an Anachronism Is Really the Greatest Gift of All. The Discovery, by [livejournal.com profile] kaneko. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones. (Hey, I only had to look up last names for half of this pairing! I already knew Jack Harkness, and I'm very proud of that, despite the fact that I believe everyone in fandom has heard of him by now. The man seems to, um. Get around a bit.)

Some of you may be aware that I have a time travel kink. And when I say "kink," I am - well, wildly understating the matter.

I've said this before, but - I watched the 2002 movie of The Time Machine with incredible enjoyment, despite the fact that - as Best Beloved pointed out to me when we left the theater - it, well, sucked. Because: time travel. You take a character, you send him through time, and I will be captivated and happy, even if the part of my brain that has actual intelligent function is sending out desperate cries of, "OMG help cannot take the suckage SAVE US." My point: time travel hits me in my primitive hindbrain, and my primitive hindbrain doesn't care if something sucks.

But this story, this story is the precise opposite of suck: it made my hindbrain and my actual brain happy. If time travel = happy TFV, then time travel + good story = TFV weak with joy. I mean, I don't know these characters at all - I understand that Jack is a stuck time traveler, and I hear he's in charge of a team of (possibly) lovable misfits in modern-day Cardiff, but that's where all my understanding ends - but I didn't need to know them to love this story. And I don't want to spoil the central plot point, here, but - god, it works. It's so perfectly normal, and then it's so perfectly time travel, and I loved every minute of Jack's reaction to this situation, I loved loved loved the plot point, I just - I loved the story, okay? And it satisfied the voracious beast that lives in my hindbrain and shrieks non-stop for time travel stories.

Really, I could not ask for more or better than that. Except maybe more of the same. The hindbrain beast is ever hungry, you know.

Profile

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

January 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 24th, 2017 08:44 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios