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04 May 2009 @ 08:47 pm
Eight Days of Happiness: Old Self, Meet New Self  
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 rheanna27 and [info]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:

Rodney let out a long, low groan. "I hate myself," he said. "I literally hate myself."


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 [info]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.
 
 
 
09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0: torchwood kissinglaura47 on May 5th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
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.)

He would! he's a stand up guy, that Ianto Jones!
tried to eat the safe banana: TARDISthefourthvine on May 6th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Definitely. The Doctor, he's in and out, the Master, he's up and down, but Ianto Jones sticks around. *g*
macey muse: Sai ^_^ - hikagomacey_muse on May 5th, 2009 09:01 am (UTC)
No clue if you've read these, but my Torchwood (& my epic & long Torchwood) tags ^_^ (although some are split over an annoyingly large number of posts. viva la dw revolution!)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on May 7th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you!

(And, man, I am so glad that DW post limits will be longer. I don't have TIME to paste together millions of pieces. *whines pathetically*)
macey muse: violin ~ music-<3macey_muse on May 7th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Enjoy ^_^

(I know right? the sheer amount of /time/ I spent copy-pasting bad ff.net HP fic into word docs at the library whenever Mother Dearest confiscated my internet... 't was dire. looks like this summer will be limited-dial-up, too. *sadface*)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on May 7th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
I know! Seriously, it's AWESOME.

Except now I think I have to go watch that vid.
Caminando, desaparezcomargueritem on May 5th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
Cilantro is good with fried rice!!!

*wanders off to be random somewhere else*
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on May 7th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
*eyes you suspiciously*

I am pretty sure cilantro should NOT be in fried rice. That sounds like a horrible perversion of herbs.
Caminando, desaparezcomargueritem on May 7th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
*eyes you like you're crazy*

I have a recipe for chinese fried rice! It says "cilantro" right here (added at the end with the spring onions)! *points at book* Plus, it tastes good. Mmmmm.
mchanjchildmchanjchild on May 5th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
Heyo!

I'm one of the lurkers on your FL, I have an Ianto!rec for you if you haven't read it already - Shades of Ianto by Sarcasticchick http://www.whofic.com/series.php?seriesid=910

Lovely and epic and just a brilliant read.

I love getting a rec post from you - there is always at least 2 stories I really enjoy!

Catch ya round

M
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on May 7th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
Hi, lurker! *embraces*

And, ooo, thank you. I will have to prepare that for my Kindle immediately.

I'm glad you're liking the rec posts - though the eight days of happiness ones will be weird enough, and short enough, that I can't promise you'll find much you like there. Still! We can hope.

*waves*
wiseoldwolwiseoldwol on May 5th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Slightly OT
but you may like this real life example. Stephen Fry to his 16 year-old self.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/apr/30/stephen-fry-letter-gay-rights
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV Katamari Damacythefourthvine on May 7th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
Re: Slightly OT
Ooo. Interesting. Thank you for the link. *ponders*
Nobody said it was easycopperbadge on May 8th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Hi! I meant to drop by days ago and say thanks for the recc (I'm sam_storyteller in a parallel universe). I'm glad you enjoyed Two Centres!

We don't have much actual canon for Ianto before he started work in London (indeed, before he came back to Cardiff), but what we do know does tend to suggest a rather Giles-ish existence: he had a likely working-class childhood, was arrested on misdemeanour theft as a teen, didn't go to university, "drifted" for two years after leaving school, got picked up by Torchwood London, and then came back to Cardiff after Torchwood London fell.

And yeah, the Rift is basically the Hellmouth, except instead of attracting the occult it attracts aliens and spits out random time-and-space-traveling junk. :D
Nobody said it was easycopperbadge on May 8th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Oh also -- Torchwood reccs:

http://delicious.com/tw_fic

That's my personal reccspage. It doesn't list the lengths of things, but it's guaranteed to be either high-quality writing or good concepts and a warning. :D Sorted by era, 'ship, characters, and rating.
Gwynevere1gwynevere1 on May 25th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
it's not magic and demons, it's the Rift (and excuse me if I have some difficulty telling the difference sometimes).

I use Anomaly/the Hellmouth/the Rift/Stargate interchangeably, no matter what show I'm watching.
Gwynevere1: Doctor Who -- Jack gwynevere1 on May 25th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Torchwood fanfic recs
Like a lot of people have mentioned above, I have all my Torchwood fic recs tagged here.

If you're looking for nice long stories, in particular, I highly recommend The Place That Didn't Exist by slasheuse (NC-17). It's a crossover with Lewis, but all you need to know about that fandom is that it's a British buddy cop show, where the two leads so *clearly* want to be doing it with each other but needed the amazing slash abilities of Jack Harkness to inspire them to take that final step. Otherwise, DI Lewis and DS Hathaway could just be really interesting OCs in a Torchwood fic. (If you do like them, though, you might want to check out the inspector_lewis community.)

Another superb story is Cheating Time by dark_aegis and wendymr (Teen). It's Doctor Who-centric, actually, but Team Torchwood does put in a good appearance. It also makes *wonderful* use of time travel (which I know is one of your kinks), as the Doctor crosses his own timeline, in an attempt to get Rose back. Needless to say, it all ends in tears.