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04 April 2009 @ 10:56 pm
191: Rare Beauties  
I think my Yuletide glut has finally run its course. To celebrate: small fandoms!

The One That Shows Us That "Economy Sized Jackhole" Can Totally Be the Language of Love. (In Fiction. Probably You Should Not Test Drive That in Real Life.) What's the Story, Morning Glory?, by liviapenn. Psych, um. I consider this gen? I don't know. Categories are haaaard, people. But if there's a pairing, it's Burton Guster/Shawn Spencer.

So, Best Beloved has seen a season or two of Psych. I myself have not watched even an episode, and not just for my usual "television, so hard, woe is me" excuse. See, I understand that it can be lethal to people with severe embarrassment squicks. (No, really. I hear there are people who have embarrassment squicks gibbering in St. Mungo's because they were locked in a small room with Psych playing 24/7. It was apparently one of Voldemort's crueler tortures.) Often, even the fan fiction is fairly embarrassment-intensive.

But. The thing is. The Gus/Shawn pairing is so appealing and so obvious that I ship them intensively just from the tiny snippets (certified embarrassment-free) that Best Beloved had me watch. It's one of my favorite kinds of pairings: They are super good friends! Who clearly love each other! And are always there for each other! Above all others! C'mon, guys, just make out already!

So I am extremely delighted by this, which gives some gorgeous Gus and Shawn backstory that you can read either as gen or as the prelude to, you know, sex. (They already have true, true love. Canonically. Like, the kind of love where you know neither one will ever have an outside relationship that lasts longer than six months, and any relationship that does last that long will end with the other party saying, "I'm leaving because I'm sick of being a distant second to your best friend." And then, if it's Shawn, the person will add, "You asshole," and if it's Gus, the person will say, "But I really want to stay friends, okay? God, I care about you so much. I can't believe I'm breaking up with you.") I myself read it as gen but remain convinced that there is sex in this story's future, because I like to take every path there is. (This is entirely true, and let me tell you: it did not make me popular back when I played AD&D. But it did mean I was always the one with a good map.)

Either way, this is an awesome story, and has the bonus of being about these fabulous characters and not containing anything that will make my fellow blush squickers want to die.

The One with a Title So Good That I Can't Think of a Better Title for the Rec. The Underwire Job, by brown_betty (whose user name is giving me a great deal of trouble for some reason; in my Kindle, she's Brown Bewtty and Brown Better and Burn Betty) and emeraldwoman (who has no unfortunate Kindle aliases as yet). Leverage, Alec Hardison/Parker (who apparently does not have a first name, unless that is her first name, in which case she does not have a last one).

And, see, this would be one of those fandoms where I had to use the power of the internet to find out things like, oh, the characters' full names, and also, you know, what it is, exactly. (A television show! Apparently about people who, in a strange twist of events, do not fight crime! They make it instead. I guess maybe the crime-fighting field was getting overcrowded.)

I just. Okay. I love these characters. I have no idea if they're like that in the canon, but in this fan fiction, they are made of love. It's like someone asked me what I would find appealing in characters, and then made two of them. (Parker and Hardison, for the record. I am sure Elliot also brings the awesome on a regular basis, though.) I have re-read this thing maybe 15 times since it was posted, and that's solely because I want to spend lots and lots and lots of time with Parker and Hardison. I want them to get married and have geeky, antisocial babies. And then I want fan fiction about the babies. It's that bad, people.

And then. Well. There's plot, and kittens, and World of Warcraft jokes, and pushup bras, and frankly this story makes me giggle with glee just thinking about it. I cannot even tell you how much I love it.

But mostly it's the characters. I could spend my whole life with these people, I think. (Except Nate and Sophie, who frankly do not seem that interesting. Should I find them interesting? Do they have a secret sorrow? Or, better, a total lack of secret sorrows? And, oh oh oh, can either of them travel through time? The only thing this story lacks to make my joy complete is time travel.)

The One That Proves That Real Heroes Are Just as Irrationally Careless of Their Hearing When They Aren't Saving the World. (Someone Please Tell Me There Really Isn't a Ballpark That Close to an Airport.) National Pasttime, by Dira Sudis, aka dsudis. Live Free or Die Hard, John McClane/Matt Farrell.

First, let me offer my caveats. I did not see Live Free or Die Hard. I have, however, seen the original Die Hard, and based on my knowledge of that, I am guessing that in this canon there is a terrible threat against a member of John McClane's family and, you know, loads of other people. (A city? The country? The universe? Oh, oh, now I want to see Die Infinitely Harder, which would be set in SPACE, and it would feature John McClane - and Matt, why not? - versus bad guys in a SPACE STATION that they're going to take over and use to hold the whole world hostage. I like my cheese with zero gravity, moviemakers!) I am guessing there are manly grimaces and various wounds and weapons and last second saves. I am guessing someone says "Yippee ki yay, motherfucker."

I am hoping, based on the title, that this all takes place in New Hampshire, but I'm not betting on it. (Side note: if they decide to do a complete run of state motto titles, I don't want to be here for Die Hard Is Okay, although probably that would be the one where John McClane gets the therapy he so clearly needs.)

In other words, I know very little about this canon. Apparently, though, Brandon from Galaxy Quest is in it. And apparently - I find this so unspeakably odd I can hardly type the words - he has sexual chemistry with Bruce Willis. (I didn't know anyone had ever had sexual chemistry with Bruce Willis. Imagine my surprise!) Now, I have avoided learning anything else about this pairing, for the simple reason that big age differences make me vaguely geechy.

And then Dira wrote a story, and I put it on my Kindle in a moment of weakness, and I was lost. I don't even know why this pairing is so appealing, or why this story works so well for me. I just know I am now grimly trundling off to look for other stories in this fandom, even as I mutter under my breath about how I don't like large age difference pairings, and I haven't even seen the movie, and and and.

But it's hopeless. I loved this pairing and this fandom from about the thousandth word of this story. And if you read it, well, I would appreciate that. It's nice to have company in love.

The One about the Gay Superpowered Flying Alien from an Exploded Planet. No, the Other Gay Superpowered Flying Alien from an Exploded Planet. You Thought There Was Only One? Moab, by Parhelion, aka cirurussundog. Zenna Henderson's People series, OMC/OMC. (Do not run screaming into the night! That's not always a bad thing. And it's very in keeping with the universe.)

So, first, a summary of the People series, which, for a change, is a canon I do know. (Pause while I regroup from the shock.) The homeworld of an intelligent civilization of alien humanoids blows up. To the great surprise of many, they do not send earth just one scion who will grow up to have a lot of abilities and an unnatural fondness of skintight primary colors. Instead, they have a sort of diaspora. A bunch of them end up on earth, scattered in the Southwest. They, of course, have special abilities (that comes standard with the planet explosion in the civilization building kit). Sometimes they fit in; sometimes things work out. Sometimes they don't. Eventually most of them clump together and head out for somewhere better than earth (but less likely to explode than their homeworld, one hopes).

As it happens, I like this series a lot. But I love what Parhelion has done with it so very much more. Because there are gaps in Henderson's series, and what she's done - well. She's created a Person (do they get the capital letter in the singular? I have no clue) who I find more interesting and memorable than any of the characters in the original stories, and she's addressed a topic that I, frankly, find way more interesting: were there any People who were, you know, different? Unwilling to be folded into the big happy People sandwich? And, hey, maybe gay?

(Look, I'm a slasher. This can't be a surprise to anyone reading this. Or, hey, if it is? Possibly you are thinking of some other thefourthvine.)

This is one of the standout Yuletide stories of all time for me. (Not, you know, standing out in the same sense as the Carebears BDSM; that also stands out, but in a totally different way. Yuletide is large. It contains multitudes.) The style is perfect. The tone is perfect. The character is perfect. This is the People series, but better. As in, whenever I want to re-experience that universe, I will most likely turn to this story, not the originals. I can't think of anything more I can say to convince you, but oh: if you like the People series at all, read this.
X-parrot: psych bunnyxparrot on April 5th, 2009 06:27 am (UTC)
(They already have true, true love. Canonically. Like, the kind of love where you know neither one will ever have an outside relationship that lasts longer than six months, and any relationship that does last that long will end with the other party saying, "I'm leaving because I'm sick of being a distant second to your best friend." And then, if it's Shawn, the person will add, "You asshole," and if it's Gus, the person will say, "But I really want to stay friends, okay? God, I care about you so much. I can't believe I'm breaking up with you.")

I never cease to be amazed how wholly you grok shows you've never seen. Because, yep, that's Shawn/Gus in a nutshell. (In the most recent ep, Shawn goes on a date. With Gus in the backseat. Because y'know, that's just how they roll.)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
Well, I mean. Naturally. I always take MY best friend with me on dates.

Of course, I'm married to my best friend. But then, I suspect Gus and Shawn are, too.
je suis marxiste, tendance Groucho: Psych i love gusshinealightonme on April 5th, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
See, I understand that it can be lethal to people with severe embarrassment squicks.

Huh. I'm actually really intrigued that you say this because I have a huge embarrassment squick, and Psych bothers me not at all - well, I lie. It bothers me from time to time, but every show has some of Those Moments, and I wouldn't say that Psych is much worse than any other show, and it's much better than some. Perhaps it shall be necessary to rewatch the show and make note of the frequency of Those Moments so that there can be an accurate measurement of its Awkwardness Index.

(great rec set as always, by the way ^_^)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Interesting! I have learned, from the comments here, that Psych is lethal to some people with embarrassment squicks and perfectly fine for others. (Apparently the dividing line is whether you are embarrassed when other people should be but aren't.) I have been educated!

(And thanks!)
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: parker - wrong with medramaturgca on April 5th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)

(P.S. Nate does not personally travel through time, however, many of his and Sophie's aliases (aliasi?) come from Doctor Who. Does that count?)

Edited at 2009-04-05 07:01 am (UTC)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
Is it out on DVD yet? (We don't have a television that, you know, receives broadcasts.) Because I totally plan to force Best Beloved to watch it as soon as it comes out on DVD.
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on April 5th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brown_betty on April 5th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on April 5th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brown_betty on April 5th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
orwhoeveriamorwhoeveriam on April 5th, 2009 07:03 am (UTC)
It's funny you should mention putting fic on your Kindle, because I just spent like 30 minutes getting all the parts of this one story into one place and messing with html to convert it in to an ebook so it would both be on my Kindle and look nice. I'm feeling rather accomplished. (I know I could have just left it a text file, but last time I did that the story showed up on my Kindle with no punctuation besides periods and commas. It was traumatic.)

Also, I would totally watch Die Infinitely Harder. That would be awesome.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
I do almost all my FF reading on the Kindle these days. (I'm breastfeeding. I don't have a lot of computer time, but I do have a lot of time to read.) Do you follow kindle_fanfic? It's awesome when other people have done stories so I don't have to.

Die Infinitely Harder is such a clearly awesome idea, and the series even has a geek now! I fail to see why this movie is not ALREADY IN THEATERS.
(no subject) - orwhoeveriam on April 5th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Everybody wants a thrill: leveragekelly_girl on April 5th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
Die Infiniely Harder would be so much fun.

I love space movies and horror movies and when they made Friday the 13th part um 10, Jason in Space, I fell in love with the cheese factor and dude, Jason was in the future and in space and most of the cast from the Kevin Sorbo show was in it. Not the greek god show but his 'in space la la la' show.

I've read the underwire job and Parker and Hardison act just like that on the show. You must watch because they are amazing and Eliot is too. Nate and Sopie are like the parents and Parker, Eliot and Hardison are their wayward kids who still stuff with mommy and daddy's approval.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I think I am going to sulk until Die Infinitely Harder is a reality.

And I cannot watch horror movies - seriously, you don't want to be anywhere near me when something scary is happening on a screen; I have left scars on loved ones before - but I am seriously in love with the idea of Jason in space. Horror movie makers apparently have a sense of humor!

Everyone keeps telling me to watch Leverage. Maybe it will come out on DVD soon. *hopes*
kudra2324 on April 5th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
there are stories about how back in the 70s, pilots landing at laguardia during mets home games would tune their radios into the broadcast of the game and when they got close enough to the field as they were going to land, they'd rev their engines so that they could hear the rev picked up on the broadcast...
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV Katamari Damacythefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
OMG. I have two reactions to this:

1. No wonder people in NYC shout all the time. They've all sustained permanent hearing damage from baseball games.

2. Shouldn't those pilots have been FLYING THE PLANE? Especially during, you know, landing, which is kind of a critical moment? I just - I like to think, when I'm flying, that I can be totally relaxed (and in fact asleep, as I fall asleep pretty much the second the plane starts) because a skilled professional is paying close attention to the plane. It somewhat undermines this image to think of the pilot up there hanging out with, you know, popcorn, yelling, "GET SOME GLASSES, UMP."
(no subject) - kudra2324 on April 7th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
Karen: Front Page Newsodditycollector on April 5th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
John McClane/Matt Farrell.

Ask me how long it took me to realize you did not type "John McCain/Matt Farrell". ASK ME.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV lettersthefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that mental image.

In related news: there will probably be no more recs sets in this LJ, because I'm going to go become a nun. I will change the userinfo to reflect this, and also to indicate that it's YOUR FAULT.


*goes off to investigate degree programs in nunning*
Oagentotter on April 5th, 2009 08:36 am (UTC)
Oooooh, recs.

But also, I'm surprised to hear you say that apparently Psych is known to be bad for people with an embarrassment squick. I have a HUGE embarrassment squick, which is why I almost never watch any sort of sitcom (or actually, any sort of comedy period, because they mostly seem to rely on really embarrassing and ridiculous situations that make me want to die just watching them unfold), but I LOVE Psych. I feel no squickness at all while watching. It could have something to do with the fact that no matter how deeply and religiously ridiculous they are being, Shawn and Gus FEEL NO SHAME. Like, ever. At most, Gus works up some indignation, but that usually comes not as a result of Shawn's antics but rather as a result of Shawn not paying him enough attention. (I don't see the slash myself, really, but they are at last total hetero lifemates.) My favorite episode, "Cloudy... With A Chance of Murder" I must've watched about a thousand times. I used to put it on the TVs in the video store where I worked in order to subject other people to it. (My plan backfired. Mostly they'd end up coming up to the counter to tell me how much they love the show too and then I'd end up arguing with them over which one of us Shawn is totally in love with.)

ANYWAY, point being, you should totally give it a try and watch a whole episode sometime. Also Leverage. Very good. You'll probably like Hardison and Parker even more when you've actually seen them.

Additionally, I don't think Bruce Willis has sexual chemistry with anyone, either, much less Brandon from Galaxy Quest, and I can tell you from experience that the actual viewing experience of Live Free or Die Hard compared with the resulting fandom of truly fantastic writers will cause you headache-inducing cognitive dissonance. (On the up side, you'll get to look at Justin Long for a few hours, and that's never bad.)
aweszomerth: pulp - lusty mclustertonsinsense on April 5th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
I like and agree with your opinion on Psych, and that's exactly the reaction I had. I actually did a head tilt and said "bwuh?" at my computer screen when I read the bit about the embarrassment squick. I can't watch old episodes of Home Improvement, but I can watch Psych just fine! In fact, I can watch it over and over again.
(no subject) - beck_liz on April 5th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brown_betty on April 5th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on April 5th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thepouncer on April 5th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - agentotter on April 6th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - toft_froggy on April 6th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lithy: Leverage: Crazy headhalcyon_shift on April 5th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC)
Watched Leverage. Waaaaaatch Leverage. *swings fobwatch in front of your eyes* You know you want to, you know it makes sense. Alternatively, watch Leverage vids. Mmm Leverage vids.
Beck: Leverage - Teambeck_liz on April 5th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
BTW, I just recced your vid to her down below. Awesome vid, I love it so much!
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(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on April 5th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on April 6th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halcyon_shift on April 5th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - halcyon_shift on April 5th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on April 6th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
the wrong tune played til it sounded right: leverageladyjestyr on April 5th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC)
I have no idea if they're like that in the canon, but in this fan fiction, they are made of love. It's like someone asked me what I would find appealing in characters, and then made two of them.

That is Leverage canon :) They are like this ALL THE TIME. ♥

Seriously, Leverage is really worth a watch. The characters are adorable, and there is _banter_.
tried to eat the safe banana: The world is my fandomthefourthvine on April 6th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
That really does sound awesome. I am swayed! Except a) I will have to have Best Beloved watch it (and then she will pick out the best episodes or bits for me, because she is kind and good that way) and b) I will have to wait until it's available on DVD. But, really! I am sold!

*is sold*
Beck: Leverage - Teambeck_liz on April 5th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
FYI, I know you like vids, so if you want a Leverage vid to give you a visual idea of what the show is like, try Good Idea At the Time by Lithium Doll/halcyon_shift. Spoilers for all of the 1st season.
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on April 6th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
I have seen it and found it good! (Of course, I knew so little about it that BB and I spent almost the whole vid trying to figure out what fandom it was. "Maybe it's Leverage," I finally said. "Do you see Lindsey anywhere?" Thank god for recognizable actors from past fannish works, I say.)
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(no subject) - agentotter on April 6th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on April 6th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
Bettybrown_betty on April 5th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
For you, TFV, you may call me bwown betty.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on April 6th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
I am extremely touched. Bwown Betty it is! (May I abbreviate it as Bwn? I just think it would be awesome to be able to say, "And this is Bwn. She writes and stuff. You can tell because she has such an arty name.")
(no subject) - brown_betty on April 6th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Pet: MSC Leverage Teamapetslife on April 5th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
Your Die Hard recs sets are made WHOLLY OF AWESOME. Best place to start in the world. And PARKER AND ELIOT AND HARDISON. My love for the threesome is so great it can't be textually expressed.

\o/! She hit two of my favorite Little Wee Fandoms That Could! What an awesome thing to find on a Sunday morning!
wordwitchwordwitch on April 5th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
Rec for The Fourth Vine: That Guy, by Utopiantrunks
Start here: http://community.livejournal.com/hard4brains/27697.html

In Live Free or Die Hard, a computer security advisor was severely disregarded by the government, and decided to show them that he was not, in fact, being outrageously pessimistic. John McClane was sent to pick up one of the hackers that the advisor had "hired" to create parts of the software to make his point.

Disaster results, which only the yippi-ky-yay physical heroism of Our John, and the mad hackin skilz of Our Matt (better known as "I'm a Mac") can possibly handle. During the course of the movie, John leanrs respect for Matt in specific, and for Geeks in a distant general. Matt learns respect for at least this specific representative of The Government, but also learns about direct action to preserve the society for which he has felt such learned helplessness in his pity.

Near the end, John's daughter is kidnapped, and proves herself every bit as hazardous to 'nappers as is her father.

It is possibly the most beautiful and lyrical of the Die Hard movies, and I say that in the most explosive way possible.

In That Guy, Utopiantrunks explores what the actual long-term impact of the situation would actually have on the East Coast, specifically New York City. (They keep talking about the Fire Sale: this is code for "Everything Must Go," or the strategy of the Bad Guys.) Things are not repaired immediately; what impact does this have on John, as a cop? What does it have on Matt, who lives through electricity? Matt, no less than John, is furious in his determination that This Shall Not Happen Again - but what can he do?

What will make him "That guy," the one who steps up when everyone is running in fear?

The development of a relationship between the craggy John and the very twink Matt develops naturally, with full cognizance of the May-December aspects. Utopiantrunks is excellent.

Here is a short bit from McClane coming home from the hospital (of course) to find Matt unexpectedly in his apartment:
"What the hell did you do to my fridge?" John demanded.
"Oh, uh... well, there wasn't anything in there, so..."
"I know there was beer."
"Well, besides that, and I have low blood sugar..." John didn't need to turn around to see Matt's posture folding in on itself as his voice trailed off. "Sorry? The beer's still in there. I think it's on the bottom shelf." A chair scraped along the floor and there was another wooden sound as Matt propped his crutches against the table and sat down.
The entire refrigerator door and one of the shelves was full of three different colors of Mountain Dew, a few cartons of orange juice and some bottled smoothies. The rest was jammed with take-out boxes and types of snack food John didn't recognize. "Ugh," he said. With the assurance that the beer still remained in there somewhere, he plunged an arm into the morass. "Alright, so how about explaining what the hell you're doing here, cluttering up my apartment and my fridge?"
Matt took a deep breath. "Well, I got out of the hospital before you did, and I checked with the doctors and they said you'd be stuck in there a while longer, and I thought, you know what, I bet McClane left his apartment in a mess, with no food in the fridge, and that'd be lousy to come home to after saving the old U.S. of A. and everything--"
Well worth the time. Beautiful work. Enjoy it.

And then watch the movie. You will love it.
strina: comics - nerd on {nosilencehere}strina on April 6th, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
Seconded! Plus Leverage Recs
I love that fic! And it is totally UT's fault that I will always think of Justin Long as having sad cat-eyes.

There are also sequels. His Space, Point B, and Taking Names.

I've got links to Leverage and Die Hard stories here.

Also good in Leverage fic: The Green Light Job (gen) - the Eliot goes to prison job, An Unreliable Narrator (gen) - Nate introspection, and It's All So Clear to Me Now (Alec/Eliot, Nate/Sophie) - Parker character study.

Edited at 2009-04-06 12:46 pm (UTC)