tried to eat the safe banana
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.)
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
28 August 2006 @ 07:40 am
Last night, Best Beloved said to me, "Hey, remember when you used to rec fic?"

Of course, I immediately snapped, "I still do rec fic." And I was entirely correct. But it seems that some actual recommending of actual fan fiction might go a long way toward proving that.

And, possibly because it's been long enough that I have forgotten a hard-earned lesson, I've decided to start with everyone's favorite thing: an extra-long set of shorter gen stories!

Um. I don't hear any actual cheers. Or even any polite clapping.

That's - no, that's perfectly all right. I'll settle for a "Well, it's better than nothing." Can I get one of those, at any rate?

Fine. See if I care. I'm going to do it anyway. Let me just see if I can ... hmm. You, um, press some buttons, right? It's kind of been a while. But I'm sure it's like riding a bicycle. Although, of course, I can't actually do that.

Ah, well; unlike riding a bike - which, seriously, I have never understood how you're supposed to learn that, since you have to be able to do it just to sit on the damn thing - it's probably best to learn by doing. Shall we begin?

The One That Reminds Us That Batman Is Not Just a Mysteriously Sexy and Seriously Broken Crimefighter in Need of Several Successive Lifetimes of Therapy. He's Also a Skilled Nurturer of Those Qualities in Others! Squandered My Resistance, by Petra, aka petronelle. DCU.

Perspective is a major kink of mine, and this story hits my kink just about as well as anything ever has. (Okay. Except An Instance of the Fingerpost, which hit my kink for something like 500 densely printed pages and still left me wanting more.) The perspective, in this case, is Jim Gordon's, and if you know anything about the Batman canon (and I do mean anything - like, if you know who the Robins are, and how the first two retired, that's enough), you know more than he does here - only a bit more, though, because the man's no idiot. So it's not like we're learning any new plot in this one; the change in perspective is the story. And it's amazing what that change can do.

Jim Gordon is a good man. But he accepts the unacceptable, or what should be unacceptable, because, see - Robins, whatever else they are, are kids. (Dick Greyson was age 12 when he started as Robin, as you'll know if you're even vaguely familiar with All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (and if you have a sense of humor at all, click on that link, people - you don't need to know anything about comics to marvel at this truly stunning train wreck), also known as Who the Fuck Are These People in the Batman and Robin Costumes and How Did They Get out of Arkham Asylum?) Hands up everyone who thinks that it's a good idea to put kids in spandex and send them out to fight vicious criminals and psychotics, often in the company of someone only marginally saner than said opponents. All right. Frank Miller, seriously, put that hand down. And, oh my god, do not even tell me where you have your other hand. Okay. Anyone else have a hand up? No. And Jim Gordon's hand wouldn't be up, either. But he still accepts it - and not only that; he uses it, uses the Robins. And this story explains that. Which you will grant is amazing.

The other amazing thing about this story is that it's interstitial. All the action takes place off the page; it's like this is the text that happens in the space between the panels of a comic book. So, really, all we see is a series of conversations. But you don't need to know a thing about the canon to understand what's happening all around these conversations. This is the written equivalent of the kind of play where you hear the shots and the body fall, but you never see anything on stage but the characters' reactions. Except that in this story, we don't hear the shots. But it's impossible not to hear the body fall.

No, wait, I was wrong. There's a third thing that's amazing about this story, and that thing is Jim Gordon himself. Because on the Worst Jobs in Fiction list, Police Commissioner of Gotham has to rank in the top 50. And Commissioner Gordon is just a guy, a decent guy in an awful job he does because he can. That, to my mind, makes him as interesting as Batman, but it's rare that anyone, canon or fan fiction, actually shows that. Petra does. And that? Is totally amazing, and I love her for it.

The One That May Actually Make You Grateful for Adolescence. Who Knew That Was Even Possible? Slouching, Forever, by Torch, aka flambeau. Good Omens.

And now let us speak briefly of Torch, who has evidently recently ascended to the next level in her mystical pursuit of fictional perfection; in fact, I suspect she may be close to achieving union with the fictional godhead. If you cruise by her house, I bet you'll find her all swathed in robes and sitting in a lotus position, meditating. And then, once in a while, she'll leap up and go over to her computer and type stories like this. She calls them snippets, but oh my god. In almost all of them, she's turned the canon inside out, shaken out its pockets, and found a whole new universe inside, and I - I'm kind of scared of her, actually. What if she has other powers? What if she can change the universe or something?

I'm just saying, maybe we should wonder if there's a reason that Lance Bass came out recently.

Anyway. This story is maybe, maybe my favorite of all the "snippets" she's done recently, although it's kind of locked in a three-way tie with Over the Hills and Far Away and Suburban Consumption Rituals. (Which was written for meeeeee! And that just proves that Torch has mystical powers, because, as anyone who has ever gotten one will tell you, I give the shittiest fic prompts in all the universe. Only a very few, highly cherished writers have ever managed to make one of mine work. And yet - Torch took one of my prompts - and did - well, this.)

Of course, I've spent all this time talking about Torch because I can't really tell you anything about Slouching, Forever, except that you need to have read Good Omens to get the story. (But, well, you need to have read Good Omens, period, no exceptions, so I'm hoping all of you have.) If you have, get clicking. (The other two snippets, by the way, are SGA, and I can't tell you anything but that about either, except that they are just fucking amazing, so if by some chance you haven't read Good Omens yet, head for the other ones. And then get your butt to a library or bookstore and do some light reading about Armageddon.)

The One That Proves (Yet Again) That the Ancients Are Not Our Friends. In Fact, Just As a General Rule, I Think It's Best Not to Trust Those Who Think That Superior Power Makes Them Superior Beings. Uncanny Valley, by Sarah T., aka harriet_spy. Stargate: Atlantis.

I. Here's the thing. I secretly kind of believe this story. I've seen dozens of fictional explanations for Why John Is Weird (But We Love Him Anyway), and many of them made me want to do highly intimate things with the author. And most of them really worked. But this one works maybe the most of all of them, and - well, it doesn't make me want to do highly intimate things with Sarah T. It makes me want to take her hostage until she writes a fix-it sequel to this. Because the fix is hinted at, and I believe it's coming, but I want more. I want an ending with puppies and sparkles and love and very probably some pie. In general, I need stories with explicit happy endings way more than I need or even want stories with explicit sex, and for this one - well. I want "And they lived happily ever after" in writing. Signed by the author. And notarized. (Doesn't have to be in her own blood or anything, though. I'm no fanatic.)

You know, I'm kind of amused that I'm writing this whole "This gutted me but in a good way" writeup for a story in which no one dies and no one is, like, raped or tortured or drained by the Wraith or just anything like that. All that really happens is that two people eat breakfast. But, you know, in fiction, especially when it comes to making people honestly ache for a character, less is more. You really want to turn the knife? Don't give me star-crossed lovers killing themselves because they each think the other's dead. Don't give me all the death, loss, torment, and abuse you can pack into 57 chapters. Give me one loss, one loss of something essential, and then make the characters - and me - live with it.

(I'm also amused that I didn't rec the other SGA gen story that seemed to fit in this set because I was like, "Nah. Don't want people to think all gen is depressing." But, really. It's not! Even this story isn't, actually! It's just - it hurts. But there's a happy ending on the far horizon, and - okay, screw it, that's never going to work. How's this: the last story in this set is the perfect antidote. I'm offering the pain and the cure, people. What more can I do?)

The One That Proves That You Really Can Get Used to Anything. But You Might Not Want To. All His Funerals (Back in Black Remix 2006), by Punk, aka runpunkrun. X-Files.

This is such a small story in terms of word count. And it's in a fandom that I, despite all my efforts, still don't understand at all. But it doesn't matter - you can read this no matter what you know about the canon, as long as you know something about serial fiction. Because this is, yes, a gorgeous story about how one person gets used to a very particular kind of loss, but it's also a great meta commentary, because we've all been through this, I think, in one canon or another.

(I realized this at the end of X2, which I saw with my mother and Best Beloved. My mother knows nothing about comic books and had never heard of the X-Men before the first movie. And my mother is, by the way, the queen of being spoiler-free. As in, she saw The Phantom Menace and had no idea that Anakin was going to grow up to be - spoiler warning, people! - Darth Vader. And that Darth was Luke's father. Anyway, at the end of X2, she was all upset, and Best Beloved and I were stunned that anyone could be upset by that ending. Because knowing comics mean you develop the same attitude that Scully has in this story.

And, wait. Did I just spoil the story (or X2) or not? I can't tell. Um. If I did, someone let me know so I can cut-tag it; even if it is a spoiler, I don't think it'll have any effect on your enjoyment of either, but I aim to be polite. My mama - okay, she didn't give a shit about my manners, but my internet mama raised me right. Admittedly, my internet mama was Usenet, so she mostly did it via a constant stream of very clear examples of what not to do, but still.)

But here is the coolest part of this story - cooler even than the meta commentary. This is Punk remixing one of her own stories, and how insanely excellent is that? I would so love it if other folks who have been writing a while did this, because I've read the original of this story, and it is just. Um. Not the same. At all. Whereas the remix is brilliance. So the two stories together are the most perfect example in the world of how Punk has changed as a writer, and I would love to see that same demonstration for other people. So if any of y'all are, you know, bored or anything - well, just don't say I never give activity suggestions along with my recs.

The One That Gives a Whole New Meaning to the Phrase 'Body Dysmorphic Disorder.' The Kingdom of Heaven, by c_elisa. X-Men comicsverse.

This story contains spoilers for a certain development in at least one iteration of the X-Men, uh, "plotline," for lack of a better word. (Sorry, but I have no idea how many X-Men books/movies/universes/parallel dimensions/other assorted thingies have this development, and I lack the software equivalent of the TARDIS crossed with Hal, which is what it would take for me figure that out.) I'm not at all sure I can discuss the story without mentioning that same spoiler. So I"m cut tagging this.Collapse )

The One That Proves That, Looking at It from a Technical Perspective, the Wizard of Oz Should Have Been a Zombie Story. Big Damn Zombies, Sir, by shrift. Firefly.

This is another fandom I don't know from Adam, Eve, or in fact the entire garden of eden. I mean, Jayne - that's the guy with the hat, right? I see him in vids, acting dim or showing the ethics-free brand of cunning. He's generally comic relief in vids, except he also occasionally seems to do the thing that no one else could quite manage to, even though it really needed to be done. But, hey, I don't know him at all, so I could be totally wrong there.

My point is that obviously you don't need to know diddly-squat about Jayne or Firefly to enjoy this story. Because, see, what happens here is that Jayne turns into a zombie, and mirth ensues.

Now, wait. You need to understand just how weird it is that I am recommending a story about zombies as comic relief. Because, okay, I admit it - I'm afraid of zombies. I was not the happiest person in all of fandom when zombie stories got popular for a while there, because I'd be reading a story quite happily and then suddenly Daniel Jackson would be lurching around calling for brains. (But I never did see, say, zombie Aragorn, so I have much to be thankful for. Believe me, I'm quite aware of it.) And I would have to flee the story, or possibly the room, for a while.

But this story is funny even to a certified zombiephobe, because - I just, I can't explain it. It just is. I avoided it, for obvious title reasons, for quite a while, and I so should not have, because Shrift proves that zombies can, in fact, be entertaining to have around, providing they are made from the right sort of character. Or, more specifically, providing that the right sort of characters are standing around commenting on the zombie, because it is the dialog that makes this story. And that includes, but is not limited to, the dialog that goes, "Braaaaaaaains."

(I do feel the need to state, just for the record, that there is nothing amusing about zombies. They are a major imaginary scourge against which our planet has no defenses. Garlic does not work on zombies, people. Think about it. And in the next election, make yours a vote against the zombie menace. And don't forget to ask your politician of choice what he's doing to prevent the zombie takeover!)
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
(For those of you who remember entry 100: there will also be a Slashiest Fandoms post coming up soon. But as it is now a) tragically large and in need of serious editing and b) evidence of an indecisive and possibly deranged mind, I thought I would forge ahead with the regular sets. It's too weird to get a number anyway.)

(Also, this entry might well be subtitled "We Hates the Semagic, Precious," as said client managed to post a very early draft of this entirely without my permission. Does anyone out there have a favorite Windows LJ client to recommend? I'm not entirely sold on Semagic, obviously, and would be interested to hear reports on the others.)

So. The last entry was about families just in general. This one is about a specific kind of family: the kind where you take a (possibly) loving couple (or more, or less), add a baby or child or minor of some description, step well back, and wait for the fun.

Well, I find it fun, anyway. I have a great fondness for kidfic. I know that's weird. But there's something so happy about it! Generally! And also there's lots of humor! Again, generally speaking! Plus, you know, it's just - actually, I'm not sure love of kidfic can be justified. But I do think that the stories below can be enjoyed even by Kidfic Unbelievers. Because, seriously, there is some excellent stuff out there.

Best FF That Suggests a Cure for Supervillainry That Would Really Put a Dent in All Those Battles That Kill Innocent Civilians and Make Property Insurance So Very Expensive (I'm Betting) in Metropolis, Gotham, and Other Likely Battle Ground Zeros. Although I Suspect It Might Have Unanticipated Consequences for the Next Generation. Conflicts of Interest, by Pru, aka rageprufrock. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor. I think the original show is proving that you can keep a megalomaniac from conquering the world by pitting him against his son; this story takes that one step further. Remember Kon-El? (Kon-El, people. The son of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor. Canonically. Yes, just one more reason you should get yourself to a comic book store today.) Well, now he's in Smallville. Or, rather, a brand-new one is in Smallville: Conner Clark Luthor. And Pru has done a much better job than any canon ever did of creating a kid we can believe is the son of a super alien and a supergenius. (Hey. I love me some Teen Titans Kon, too; I'm not meaning to be down on him or anything; it's just that this kid is more like what you'd fear might come of that.) And then she does the impossible twice before breakfast by giving us a believable Daddy-Lex-Luthor, too, a Lex who was saved from all that tiresome world-ruling villainy by his son. Or, more specifically, by his son's hyperactive brain and hyperactive body. Because it turns out that even a Luthor can only keep up with the world or a child. Not both. And Lex, as we know, tends to make the right choices when it comes to personal loyalties. Wanting a third wonderful, impossible thing? This story is narrated by Conner, a precocious nine-year-old, and he is not annoying and quite believable and actually more funny than the author probably thinks he is. Here you won't find any of those irritating adults in children's bodies that infest original fiction, wandering around being nauseatingly wise and precious and just generally making the reader want to bite something. Although, seriously, if this story isn't original, I'm not sure anything is.

Best FF That Teaches Readers a Helpful Ditty for Interpreting Celsius Temperatures, Thus Improving Canadian-American Relations (Which, Frankly - Every Little Helps These Days) and Demonstrating the All-Round Educational Nature of Fan Fiction. Sunday's Child, by Dira Sudis, aka dsudis. Due South, and I'm afraid I need to err on the side of caution here, even to the extent of not giving y'all pairing information. See, Dira's style is so closely tied to the slow reveal these days that I feel guilty even mentioning that this is a kidfic, because I'm afraid I'm destroying some part of the essential experience of reading it. But, well, this story does belong in this set, as Frannie has a baby, after all - a baby who is probably made mostly of orange juice, actually. And I don't want to wait the slow eternity it will take me to assemble another surprise set. So I'm sort of going with the worst of both methods of recommending - I'm putting the story here, but not saying much about it. But, hey, did I mention that there's a kid in this? In the GTO, even, which shows the sincere importance of the kid in question. There's also a gradual build to a very happy ending (which I, for the record, consider to be absolutely mandatory in kidfic). Mostly I love this one for the sheer plausibility of it; I mean, I love improbable dS fic as much as the next raving Mountie-and-cop-fixated loon; our canon welcomes improbability with open arms, after all, so why shouldn't I? But still, I love the realism here; I read it thinking hey, yeah, that could happen, and that's a great feeling, especially when the ending puts god in his heaven and everything right with the world. Bonus: after you read this, you'll be able to dress like a Canadian. Only with less emphasis on the flannel and ear flaps, I would hope.

Best FF That Proves That Wings and a Halo Don't Render You Proof Against the Dreaded Gurgle of Alarming Cuteness. And Neither, It Turns out, Does the Pitchfork. Satan Will Probably Want to Get Right to Work on Patching Forked Tongue 401.2 to Fix That Little Unanticipated Feature. Bundle of Joy, by louiselux. Good Omens, gen. Ish. Though I myself believe that the next scene involves some rather breathless exclamations of "Oh my!" and "Merciful Heavens! Surely you didn't have that in the Garden! I would have remembered." Here we have a scene that should be totally vomit-inducing: Aziraphale babysitting and Crowley experiencing firsthand the joys of baby puke. But this was written by Louise Lux, the same woman who scarred me forever by making MPreg not just tolerable but downright touching*. (If you haven't read Baby Snakes, you must. Immediately. No one is excused from reading Baby Snakes, not even those who are afraid of snakes, or demons, or MPreg, or...well, actually, if you're not afraid of those, I imagine you're not afraid of anything. But that's no excuse, either. Read. Right. Now.) So of course there's something curiously amusing and sweet and so very in-character about all this: Aziraphale acting like a daft but doting uncle, Crowley trying to be aloof but once again failing his Resist Angelic Contamination roll. In the name of all that is unholy, Crowley, steer clear of the angel. Or you might end up, you know, liking him. Oh. Well, it isn't too late to prevent you from having a baby with him. Run!

Best FF in Which a (Relatively) Innocent Child Is Scarred for Life, a Noted Sports Anchor Experiences Involuntary Genital Mutilation, and a Precious Work of Art Leaves the World Forever. And We All Giggle Like Geese. Fluff, by Emily Brunson, aka janissa11. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall. Sports Night kidfics never fail to fascinate (me, anyway); they're not like the ones in other fandoms, because there's an actual canonical kid for authors to write about here. And that kid's relationship with Danny and Casey is, well, interesting. By the time of the series it's really surprisingly close to the same; both of them are the regularly visited and visiting paternal figure who is not a constant presence in Charlie's life. Which means that while in most other fandoms kidfic tends to be about (or at least feature) the relationship of the parents, kidfic here is usually much more about the differences between Danny and Casey. Truly; in the best Charlie and Danny and Casey stories, the guys are sort of the distilled essence of themselves, to the point where I figure if an author can write a good kidfic she's got the SN voices and characters nailed. So. What's in this kidfic? Well, I dirct you to the title of both the story, because it is pure, delightful, guilty-pleasure, depression-lifting fluff, and the entry, because all those things do happen. (The first time I read this, I kept waiting for Casey to say, "Dammit, we just can't have nice things.") So, basically, this story features the guys doing a very clumsy two-step around Charlie's presence in Casey's apartment. Well, Charlie and his new pet, Max. Whose fluffy and adorable exterior conceals vindictiveness and a plot for world domination, starting with an anti-curtain campaign.

Best FF That Reminds Us of Humanity's Most Enduring Traits: Fortitude, Duplicity, and Really Inventive Obscenities. The Dirt of Sowing and Reaping, by Salieri, aka troyswann. Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson/Sam Carter. Remember how I said there would be happiness and buoyancy and just a hint of baby vomit? Well, this doesn't have the baby vomit, but it does have the happy ending; you just have to get through the destruction of the world at the beginning. But you know what? So worth it. I think one of the reasons SG1 writers like to destroy the world/strand their characters/otherwise introduce a downer note is that they like to play with the characters outside the very restrictive trappings of their canonical life. The uniforms are shiny, yes, and so is the naquadah, but it all comes with regulations and ethics and responsibilities and duties. Turns out it's hard to make a happy ending for a relationship without destroying all that first. (Don't take that to mean that world destruction guarantees a happy ending in this fandom, either; I'm only saying that you usually have to go through the pain to get to the pleasure, not that the pleasure isn't sometimes, um, strictly artistic.) So sometimes the world has to take one for the team, or the team have to get off the world, and that is of course tragic and all that. But in this story - well. Remember how I've said I came to FF from SF? One of the reasons I stick with Stargate is that so often I read the stories and think, "That could've been in Analog." Well, this story made me think, "This could've been in The Year's Best Science Fiction," because it is just that good and multi-layered and wonderfully written and science fictiony. Brilliant characterizations, amazingly authentic city and culture and world, descriptions like pictures in your head. Isn't a story like that worth a teeny, offscreen, Goa'uld-intensive apocalypse? No, you say? Well, but Salieri also throws in the world's least likely kid, a kid that could only exist in SG, and then somehow makes him seem so very real. Still not enough? Sam, Jack, and Daniel make marvelous parents, and are so very much themselves. The world ended, but they just got - distilled. And apparently raising a child is one more thing they do best as a team, and raising this child is one more saving-the-world-by-the-skin-of-their-asses challenge that no one could pull off but them. Still not enough? Well, did I mention the sex?

-Footnote-

* Louise is also, for the record, the same woman who induced in my Best Beloved a tragic and instantaneous addiction to a carmel-filled substance known as "Tunnocks," which was an act of much-appreciated cruelty, given that we can't get these things in Los Angeles. I mean, I liked them, yes, but for a while I thought Best Beloved was going to leave me for them. (Or, more likely, leave America for them, taking me along because I am cute and fairly handy around the house. Plus, I speak rudimentary British.) So curse those wily Glaswegians and their addicting sweetstuffs! But love on Louise. I'm pretty sure she keeps Aziraphale in her basement.
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
10 August 2004 @ 02:15 am
Some noms sets just do not want to come together, and I've spent the last two days casually poking at one that is more snarly and resistant than a whole passel of teenagers. Werewolf teenagers.

Well, when in doubt (or severely bitten), run away. And what could be further removed from my usual orbits than the delightful weirdness of crossovers? With luck, a few seasons of this sort of strangeness should enable me to get the Grouchy Teenaged Lycanthrope Recs Set under control - consistency plus love plus a bullwhip is the key, I'm thinking - and if not, well, we'll always have crossovers.

Best FF That Shows That Love of Sharp, Pointy Objects Brings People Together, or at Any Rate Helps People Reconcile the Seemingly Disparate: The Gargantuan Garden, by yahtzee63*; can anyone tell me what name she uses? The Series of Unfortunate Events x Edward Scissorhands, gen. Yes, The Series of Unfortunate Events x Edward Scissorhands. I am not kidding. Neither is Yahtzee, no matter how much she takes the piss out of everything from LJ to Lemony Snicket to the distressed clothing fad. And, really, this almost makes a certain twisted sense. I mean, if you think about it, the Baudelaire siblings and Edward Scissorhands have a lot in common. They're orphans, they're surrounded by hostile people, their lives are filled with the strange and terrible devices of insane men (Daniel Handler and Tim Burton, respectively). And if there's one positive thing that can be said of The Series of Unfortunate Events, it's that it shows you that, really, there are lots of things worse than moving in with a strange stranger who has an apparent fixation on sharp, sharp blades (which should make anyone due to head off to college feel a lot better about the whole dorm situation). You'll need to have read at least one of Lemony Snicket's books to get the tone of this story, I'm thinking, but no big deal; we're talking about a few hours of your time. More than worth it to appreciate this story, people. And you don't need to have seen Edward Scissorhands; at least, I haven't. Although I spent so much of my adolescence with goths that I could probably test out of the movie at this point.

Best FF That Shows Us How Alligators Can Be Skilled Matchmakers Even Long After They've Ceased, Technically, to Be Alligators: Nice Boots, by Gloria Mundi, aka viva_gloria, who is probably even now working on a book called Better Writing Through Clinical Insanity. And the thing is, when she finishes it, I'll head out and buy it, and be grateful for the opportunity to do so. Peter Pan x Pirates of the Caribbean (because there's nothing Gloria can't cross with PotC), Captain Hook/Captain Jack Sparrow. Again, we've got characters who have a previously unsuspected amount in common: piracy, madness, travels with British runaway girls, persecution by annoyingly twee and pretty boys. The thing about this story is, by the time I finished it, I was sort of surprised Disney hadn't thought of it, which just shows that you can catch madness from writing if the author is talented enough. (You'll be relieved to hear that eventually I did recover a portion of my senses. However, I'm still searching for my disbelief, which has gone AWOL again.)

Best FF That Shows Us Just How Fortunate We Are That Joss Whedon's Universe Isn't Contagious: Satan Is No Gentleman, by afrai. Good Omens x Buffy the Vampire Slayer, either gen or Adam/Pepper; I'll entertain arguments either way. I think you'd need to have read Good Omens to appreciate this, but you only need to know the basic premise of Buffy. So. Pepper's a Slayer, and that right there tells you everything you need to know about this story. Except how good it is, and how amazingly right this look at the teenaged Them is, and how perfectly Afrai has got the tone of Good Omens down. And you'll learn those things when you read the story, which you might as well do now. It's only 500 words long (it's a response to Jae Gecko's Secrets Challenge). Yes, Afrai not only did a perfect GO x BtVs, she did it in less words than it would take me to say everything I want to say about her story. Which is why I'm shutting up now; I may not know much, but I know when to yield to my superiors. (My Best Beloved is ordered to stop snickering immediately. I didn't say I did yield, just that I know when I should.)

Best FF That Offers Hope to All Those Living in Tragic, Paralyzing Fear of Takeout Rice Containers: The Watchman, by madmadharri. The Dark Is Rising x Harry Potter, Will Stanton/Harry Potter, other pairings suggested. This, now, this is one of those crossovers that actually makes a lick of intuitive sense. Which isn't to say I could write one like this, or even imagine one; it's just that I didn't spend thirty seconds staring blankly at the screen when I read the fandom list. So. The war is over. And Harry has a severe case of what we might call magical shellshock. Fortunately, Will Stanton is on the case. Grown up, Will is exactly the kind of man we knew he'd become, if only because he was pretty much already like that at 11. I love, in particular, the way the author builds on Will's canon ability to sidle into difficult situations and take care of them without taking over or taking anything away from anyone. And, yes, I expect the prize for "Most Uses of 'Take' in a Really Unfortunate Sentence" will be on my doorstep tomorrow morning. So I think we can all see that crossovers render me more than usually incoherent, and, really, it's probably better if I move on while I still have some limited control of my verbs and nouns.

-Footnote-

*Thanks, untrue_accounts!
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
(Note: my apologies for the whole two-posts-in-one-day thing. I was in the mood, and I'd had both of these entries kicking around for a while and wanted them done. Plus, it's not like I'm usually guilty of anything even approximating regular posting, let alone flist spamming, so I'm thinking I can be forgiven this once.)

I have a special weakness for fill-in-the-blanks fic. This probably started in my misspent youth, when I spent a lot of time bitterly resenting books that ended too soon or didn't tell the whole story or left out the first part. (Thinking back on it, I was apparently a FF reader born, not made.) The only book I ever felt really covered everything sufficiently was David Copperfield, but in that case, what was mostly covered was whining. (Memo to David: Life sucks, yes, we know, especially when Dickens has hold of you. Get over yourself. You could be wearing a decaying wedding dress, you know.)

So I love those fan fiction authors that apparently share my need to get the whole story, and when getting it is impossible, to make it up. Go obsessives! (Because, hey, isn't that what fandom is really all about?)

Best FF That Shows Us What Mountie Training Is Really Good for*: Instilling Sufficient Poise to Watch Your Adolescent Fuck-Buddy Interact with Your Current Lover Without a Single Flinch: Passion, by Speranza, aka cesperanza. Due South, Benton Fraser/assorted, but I promise a Certain Person that it ends as it should, with all due (*snerk*) pairing correctness. I think we can agree that it's pretty much canon that Fraser's life has been a) sucky and b) remarkably loveless. But it takes a cesperanza to show us just how much that hurts. I love the little things in this - 12-year-old Ben's fury with himself over his inability to talk to his father, or 38-year-old Ben's fury with himself when he once again gets overwhelmed by passion. (Overwhelmed by Passion, by Roan Strober, from Harlequin: when young, cultured Cordelia Markham's ship founders at sea, she accepts rescue from the least-likely source - the dread pirate Bartholomew Bradley. He's a bad, bad man, but he's all man. Soon, she'll be...overwhelmed by passion!) Special added bonus for readers (of "Passion," not Overwhelmed by Passion, which does not exist but which I confidently predict contains no bonuses at all aside from a euphemism-filled heterosexual sex scene on page 79): the brilliant original characters in this story. Think OC = disaster? Doesn't. Here's proof.

Best FF That Shows the Hidden Horror of American Family Holidays Better Than 3 Million Student Films (or Ang Lee Films, for That Matter) Ever Could: Triskaideka: A Door Closing, by Luna, aka Violet, aka tangleofthorns. Homicide: Life on the Streets. Warning: this story is implicitly but extremely disturbing. Do not read if you are easily disturbed. By anything at all. And, yes, I do mean implicitly disturbing - there's nothing stated, but what isn't stated is so awful it's...well, I wish I could say beyond imagining, but the truth is it's all too easy to imagine. That's the problem. This story is about 13-year-old Tim Bayliss having a Magical Family Thanksgiving (tm), and I love the way Luna manages to overlay the sweet, wholesome images of this Great American Holiday (tm) with such horror. (umbo or anyone else who watched the TV show - is what Luna's implying here canon? Did this really happen to him?) "A Door Closing" is part of Luna's "Triskaideka" series, and I love this series concept. (I also love the series, of course.) I want to get a look at the 13-year-old version of every single character in every single one of my fandoms (excepting of course those in which the canon shows us the characters at 13), and I want it now, and I'm going to spend a lot of today whining because I can't have it. (Come on, people. Tell me you don't want to read about 13-year-old Casey McCall watching a baseball game by himself, announcing it under his breath, occasionally trying out 18 different inflections to get that one perfect one, or 13-year-old Ray Kowalski learning to tune a carburetor and failing to have a conversation with his father, or anything involving Midshipman Aubrey learning the, um, ropes, or freshman Danny Ocean hiding a smile while conning the senior jocks who thought they were going to kick his ass, or 13-year-old Logan listening to the declaration of WWII on the radio in some cruddy shack, wondering how many years it'll be 'til he can join up, or...look, stopping now. But you see the temptation, don't you? Tell me I'm not alone in this.)

Best FF That Shows That All's Fair When You're Helping War with Her Love Problems: Holiday in Spain, by Cimorene, aka minkhollow. Good Omens, implied War/Pestilence. Pollution learns a secret (this story is from therealjae's Secrets Challenge) and gives War some career advice. And, look, for personal reasons I am not typically fond of light-hearted stories on this particular topic (not spelled out because a) I want you guys to read the story, and you won't if I tell you and b) it'll spoil it but good), but Cimorene makes it work here, somehow. (Originally mistyped as "somewow," which seems like a - I don't want to say Freudian - Jungian slip?) Possibly because this story just sounds right. The little details help - the wine, Pollution's psychobabble (because psychobabble is pollution, people), the setting. I just really like this, and if that makes me wrong...no, wait. This is my LJ. I like this story, and that makes it right. (Yes, those years of assertiveness training have finally paid a dividend! My parents will be delighted.)

Best FF That Shows Us That Some Traits Persist Right Through Surgical Torture and Mind-Wiping, Leaving Me Wish I Was an Apollo-Type Rather Than a Midnighter-Type (and If That Doesn't Cry out for an Internet Personality Quiz to Determine Your Superhero Type, I Don't Know What Could): The Waiting Room, by Andraste, aka andrastewhite. The Authority, Apollo/Midnighter. I love this look at who they were before they wore Spandex and capes (well, before they wore them all the time) and had only one name each. In particular, I believe in this look at the man-who-became-Apollo; the man is clearly the father of the superhero, in this case. And I love this line from Midnighter, who can't remember much but sure can deduce based on what he does remember: "Clearly he was a moron in his former life." Normally I don't quote from stories I'm recommending, but I had to quote that, because, really - that's what I'd conclude if I had to judge who I used to be entirely from, well, any of my memories. (Which, um, suggests that I am a moron in my current life, so not the most felicitous of thoughts there. Moving on.)

Best FF That Shows Us That the Best Way to Vacation in Spain is to Visit France. And, One Assumes, Vice Versa.: Euskadi Six Hour, by Sabine, aka iamsab. Sports Night, Danny Rydell/Casey McCall. (Warning, because a Certain Person has proven to be even more ending-sensitive with Sports Night than with due South: you couldn't exactly call this a happy ending, though I choose to believe that there's an unwritten sequel that is set after the canon that has them work it all out in Spain at the Tour de France.) (Second Warning: this contains infidelity. It didn't trigger my fidelity issues, mostly because I consider that Casey only has to be faithful to Danny, but it could trigger yours. You know, if you have them.) I'm offering a bonus story today for several reasons. First, I am obligated by my new religion to include an SN fic in each set for at least the next month, but I'm feeling pretty guilty about it. Second, I really, really hope that people took my warning about "Triskaideka: A Door Closing" seriously and didn't read it if there was any chance it would bother them, so I'm offering this story as a substitute. Third, there's just too many good history stories out there to limit myself to four. Justifications end now. This story gives us a look at Casey, already grown up, pretty much the Casey we know, but a Casey without Danny, which turns out to be a sad thing. We also get to meet a different flavor of Danny - a Danny who is overage but not really grown up, a Danny who is, at least on the surface, just like most college guys. And yet when the two of them get together, they instantly become the single-word DannyandCasey of Sports Night fame (vaguely intoxicated edition). It's fun. At least while they're still in France.

-Footnote-

* Well, yes, Mountie training is good for that, too. But I figured that went without saying in the dS fandom.
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
14 June 2004 @ 07:04 am
Today, we pay tribute to an activity that is, too often, just a short stop on the way to somewhere else: kissing. You know. The lips-mouths-tongues thing. I realize that in many slash stories kissing is just the thing the guys do until the author can get something else in at least one participant's mouth, but a kiss can also be, you know, important. Pivotal. Worth at least a paragraph or two, in other words. These stories don't all stop with just the kissing - well, I mean, what kind of smutty recommender would I be if they did? - but they all have kissing that matters.

At least in my opinion.

Best FF That Uses Kissing as a Means of Dispute Resolution: Leap, by Kellie Matthews. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. My high school was full of suburban boys who appeared to have only one means of settling an argument - the traditional method, which inevitably led to mano-a-mano, bloody noses, and, in the fullness of time, the principal's office. If only they'd known that all such arguments could be resolved far more simply and quickly with a kiss. (Although, given my high school, I'm not willing to swear that wouldn't also have ended in the principal's office.) We all would have been spared the lingering ennui of the same old fistfights, and I would, I promise you, have been much more scrupulous about attendance. In this story (yes, I've gotten back to the story), Fraser and Ray argue about risk-taking behavior. And, of course, it leads to kissing. And sex. But kissing first.

Best FF That Uses Kissing to Explain a Confusing Religious Concept Far Better Than Any Theological Texts I've Read: Ineffability, by V, deepsix. Good Omens, Crowley/Aziraphale. This one is short and sweet, and if you don't get ineffability after reading the last line, read it again. Or, I suppose, you could seek out a member of the clergy. But, really, all things considered, I would just go with the re-read. And for those of you feeling squeamish about explicit sex between angels (as opposed to explicit sex involving Angel, which is a whole other fandom), this one does stop at (and start with) just kissing. So if you came here for smut rather than a religious education, you may want to skip this one. (But really, you shouldn't.) Note: this is a time-sensitive link; the host site is closing soon, and we will lose V's site, and Cimorene's site, and a lot of other good stuff. Read it and weep, folks.

Best FF That Uses Kissing as Ominous Foreshadowing: Trust, by the amazing penknife. X-Men movies, Magneto/Xavier. M/X stories just can't end happily. Oh, there have been a few authors who've tried. There're even a few who have succeeded, except that even as you're reveling in the characters' apparent happiness, you can't silence the small voice in your head saying: "If you two knew what's coming..." In this FF, Penknife doesn't try. We see Charles and Erik as they once were, but we also see the future coming in fast, like a fist, and we know how it will end. (For the record, in case you haven't been paying attention: in tears. Well, OK, actually in them developing major ideological differences and spending the rest of their lives on opposite sides battling each other for the title of King of the Mutants, but "in tears" is the short version. To the extent that there can ever be a short version in the Marvel universe.) Lends real poignancy to the kiss, let me tell you.

Best FF That Uses Kissing to Precipitate a Sexual Identity Crisis That Is, Frankly, Long Overdue: The Right to Remain Silent, by Kass and Justine - kassrachel and sanj*. The Sentinel, Blair Sandburg/Jim Ellison. There's a lot of competition in the Significant Kissing category in this fandom, but this one stands out because there's more than one Significant Kiss. Basically, Blair Sandburg goes over his nightly quota of said kisses, and finds himself switching teams before the week is out. Jim Ellison gets bitten and finds himself having sex in a car. All becomes right in the Sentinel universe. Readers everywhere cheer enthusiastically. And I end this set before I develop a tongue fixation.

* Thanks for the link, the_star_fish and kassrachel.
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
I associate crossovers very strongly with confusion; in the early days of my fan fiction reading, I didn't know about crossovers. (I was a sweet, innocent lass with a heart of gold, OK?) So I'd be cheerfully reading along, not paying close attention to the story summaries (mistake number one, right there), and suddenly the story would get...weird. And I would get...confused. I'd read through the rest of it wondering if I was supposed to recognize these strange characters from the FBI, or with fangs, or whatever, and wondering why the story had taken such an unusual turn. Basically, just wondering. It probably didn't help that this was when I was a single-fandom girl, so all these crossovers were in LotR, which is not a canon that takes well to incursions from, for example, television shows. ("Ah, Boromir." "Mmmm, Aragorn." "Hi! I'm Spike!" "That is...an unusual leather jerkin, stranger." "Not jerkin' just yet, pet. But I could be persuaded.")

That's probably why I disliked crossovers so much for so long. But I've learned that they, like everything else, can be totally brilliant in the right hands. And, naturally, examples of the right hands follow.

Best FF That Proves I Was Right All Those Years Ago When I Said That Metal Control Was a Fairly Lame Superpower: Curiosities, by penknife. Harry Potter x X-Men movies, Tom Riddle/Magneto, Magneto/Xavier (sort of). This, right here, was the first story I read that made me think crossovers could be more than just a gimmick. Because, well, I never in my whole life so much as wondered what might happen if Tom Riddle met Magneto, or how a battle of HP magicians v. XM mutants might shake down, but I was gripped by this story anyway. The story works, in large part, because Penknife keeps everyone soundly in character and blends a tiny portion of the two universes without breaking either one. Read it and behold the mighty power of the Penknife, which is definitely better than metal control. (And, for the record, if you're ever offered a choice between magnetism and telepathy? Pick telepathy. If you're even tempted to go the metallic route, read this story first.)

Best FF That Proves That Anything Can Happen in the Arctic Circle: Denser Still the Snow, by Jane St. Clair, 3jane. Due South x Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser/Oz. Well, now, this is a perfect example of what I mean about anything working in the right hands. I looked at the fandoms and the pairing and knew it could not work. Right then, I was ready to write an essay, complete with quotes and possibly even illustrations supporting my thesis that this could not work. And I read it, and even though there was a lengthy period in the middle where I wasn't sure if I wanted to embrace Jane or send my second to her door at dawn, I was just in awe. It works, it works, see how it works.

Best FF That Proves That Zen Is Applicable to All Walks of Life but Not Helpful in All Situations: Zen, by basingstoke. Due South x Homicide (I think), Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. I read the first part of this story thinking I knew who the, um, mystery detective was. I was wrong. (I Googled his name to find out what fandom he comes from, so if I'm wrong, someone please tell me.) I'd never heard of the guy before reading this, so obviously I can't say that he's in character, or that the two universes are nicely mixed (though, really, cop shows seem to go together pretty well most of the time). But I can say that this guy blends almost eerily well into the due South world. And I can also say that I read "Zen" and suddenly wanted to know much more about this intriguing character. Which demonstrates a major bonus (or flaw, depending on your point of view) of the crossover: a good one can work you into a new fandom effortlessly. Painlessly. Unexpectedly. (I'm proud to report, though, that I've managed to resist the lure of "Homicide." So far.)

Best FF That Proves That It's a Bad Idea to Mess with History If You've Had Too Much to Drink. Well, Especially If You've Had Too Much to Drink.: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, by daegaer. Good Omens x The Iliad, Paris/Helen, plus assorted hints of slash. I'm still bitter about Troy, and I haven't even seen the movie; all I had to do to get my hate on was read cleolinda's Troy in Fifteen Minutes. I got as far as Achilles in bed with two women and I could feel the rant welling up inside. Just as well I didn't see it, really. In any case, I offer this to those of you also nursing resentment; here is Paris as I always knew he was. And an explanation for the whole mess that's really the only believable one if you insist on discounting the gods. Yes, Wolfgang, I'm talking to you. (Can't wait to see what he's going to do to Ender's Game. Actually, no, I can wait. Forever, if necessary.)
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
Today I return to the charming, silly, and extremely redolent world of the drunkfic, in which confessions are made, men are fucked, and there's no regrets until morning. My reasons for using this theme today will become clear with the next Fandoms I Have Loved post; in the meantime, engage in drunken revels with the guys below.

Best FF That Leaves You Wanting to Give a Certain Character a Short but Pertinent Lecture on the Virtues of Knowing One's Ability to Tolerate Alcohol and Not Exceeding One's Limits: First Warning, by Rave, aka dorkorific. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack/Will. Yet another entry in the long series of stories in which Jack gets Will drunk and we're all very grateful. This one has excellent characterization - I think she's got both voices down very well - and is a bit of a tease. Just the thing to begin with, no?

Best FF Featuring an Excellent Use of the Word "Twee," Not to Mention Some Lovely Archaic British Slang: And When He Falls, by torch, aka flambeau. Good Omens, Crowley/Aziraphale. I would like the record to show that I am still absolutely appalled by the existence of Crowley/Aziraphale. Yes, I am. But I can't help loving stories that contain as many perfect lines as this one. My love affair began when Aziraphale says "billy-o." By the time I read "Aziraphale tasted like all things good and wholesome, and also like claret," I was prepared to marry this fic. Which I suppose would count as a drunken proposal.

Best FF Involving Meditation as a Cure for Hangover: Bacchus Blessings, by Kass. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. There are definitely downsides to getting drunk. Because waking up with a hangover is bad, yes, but waking up with a hangover and not being sure whether or not you had sex with a friend - that's hell. And it's a hell we've all visited a few times, so why not make a return trip with Blair in the hot seat?

Best FF Featuring the Customer of Every Used Car Salesman's Nightmares: Fall, by Mia. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Do we want to see Benton Fraser deep in the throes of repression? We do not, for it is scary and involves learning Arabic and running through chicken coops with the chickens' best interests at heart. Do we want to see Benton Fraser drunk? We absolutely do, even though it is scary, because immediately after the girl named Michelle comes the boy named Ray, and a happy ending - and orgasm - is had by all. Yay!
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
Let's face it. Some of the characters we read and write about aren't exactly normal. They have optional extras and built-in features, and hey, isn't that why we love them? It is. And if you had shapechanging ability or super-speed or whatever, wouldn't you make use of it during sex? You would. And so would they. Which is why this list is longer than my usual nominations sets; there's just so much mutant sex to celebrate.

Best FF Use of a Really Challenging Version of Hide and Seek: Hide and Seek, by jamjar. Eight Days of Luke, Luke/David. What do you mean you haven't read Eight Days of Luke? Go read it at once. I'll wait here.

All done? Then go read this story, which beautifully conveys the, um, special challenges of a relationship with a god.

Best FF That Proves You Don't Need a Vibrator When You've Got Flash: Face of Total Need, by Weirdness Magnet. Justice League, Superman/Flash. I never wanted to read a Superman slash story, because ew. I certainly never wanted to read a Superman with a sex toy story, because ew ew ew. But Weirdness Magnet wrote one so good I had to read it and like it, and don't think I don't resent it. This story has the perfect use of Flash's powers in a sexual scenario, and it left me giggling helplessly. Hee.

Best FF Featuring Some Serious Violations of Professional Ethics: Iris, by Janete. Alpha Flight, Northstar/Sasquatch. (Note: You can read this one without reading the books - I did - but if you have an urgent need to know more about the characters, click on the links.) I don't know what it is about the unholy combination of Jane St. Clair and Te that produces such excellent mutant sex stories, but I sure am grateful for it. Sasquatch's beast transformation may not be what he wants during sex, but it does make things interesting.

Best FF That Shows Us That Angels, Like Primates, Enjoy Social Grooming: Cumulative Effort, by magpie. Good Omens, Crowley/Aziraphale. See, with angels, it's all about making the effort. And once you get into the habit (no Satanic nun jokes, thank you), well... This one made me snicker. Quite a lot, really, and that's one of the reasons I'm reluctantly growing to love Good Omens FF.

Best FF That Follows the Noble Comic Book Tradition of the Angst-Ridden, Agonized Superhero, Although I Don't Think Even That Would Make Stan Lee Approve of This Story, Thank God: Perseus, Still, by Janete, the Amalgamated Queen of Mutant Sex. X-Men comics, Skin/Chamber. (Because it takes a special, twisted mind to keep up with the X-Men comicverse, links are to character bios.) We got yer mutant angst right here, folks, because these authors know that if there's anything more tormented than a teenager, it's gotta be a mutant teenager. This story has the most use of mutant powers during sex of any of these stories, and though you'd think it'd be vaguely oogy, it's so not.

Best FF Use of Various Orange-Based Beverages, Including Orange Julius, Which I Didn't Think Even Existed Anymore: Palooka, by Pares. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. Jim's senses are, obviously, something most FF writers take into consideration when they're writing sex scenes, and frankly I have rarely seen any special ability so uniquely suited to bedroom activities. It's like the series creators said to themselves, gee, what combination of characters and traits could get us the most slash fiction in the least amount of time? And the answer was The Sentinel. But even in a fandom filled with mutant-sex stories, "Palooka" stands out, winning the "Phenomenal Use of Jim's Senses" special Sentinel slash award. (Of course there are special awards. I'll be doing a whole nominations set on them, just as soon as I figure out what the rest of them are.)
 
 
tried to eat the safe banana
One of the things I love about fan fiction is the multiplicity of it – the number of avenues you can explore, questions you can ask, middles and endings you can try. Sometimes, those middles turn bad. Sometimes, so do the endings. These stories all explore how characters change in the wake of seriously unfortunate events.

Best FF That Hints Delicately at Horrible Things, Proving That It Really Is Worse in Your Imagination: Close Enough, by Helen. Harry Potter, Harry/Ron. This is a pairing that usually doesn't work at all for me; it just makes no sense for Harry and Ron to be romantically involved. But in this universe, Harry and Ron belong together. In this universe, no one ended up quite how they, or we, would've expected. The war changed them all too much. This story also features that rarest of beasts, a believably good Draco.

Best "What Happened After the Story Ended?" FF Ever: Living Arrangements, by afrai. Good Omens, Crowley/Aziraphale. This one's a jaw-dropper, pure and simple, because it makes so much sense. It works so well. There's a punishment for saving the world - a punishment as cold and logical as Heaven and as vindictive and vicious as Hell.

Best FF That Explains Why It's Better to Talk: Paying Silence, by Mairead Triste. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. In this one, Blair can't find the words, and he pays for it over and over. Not one of the happy stories so common in this fandom.