Thank you. Thank you for writing for me. Thank you for picking up my pinch hit. Thank you for buying it a drink, taking it three times round the dance floor, then taking it home and fucking it through the floor and cuddling it all night and making it breakfast. You people didn't just take the pinch hit, you owned it, and I am so, so grateful to you. You made Yuletide - the best holiday in all the land! - for me.
And here's my ridiculously fantastic list of stories, in order of length, because I don't have any way of knowing which is the fantabulous official story and which are super-extra-lucky presents for me.
Sentimental Reasons, Casablanca, Rick/Sam, and so amazing I cannot even tell you. It's a long (16k words! On a Yuletide pinch hit!), gorgeous romance, with a smart, loyal, determined Sam and a smart, determined, and eventually loyal Rick. I was in love with this story from the moment Rick flopped down on Sam's piano, and it just kept. Getting. Better. The dialogue is absolutely in keeping with the movie, the tone is perfect, and the relationship is everything I wanted from the canon and didn't get.
Sam in Casablanca, Casablanca, gen. This is about Sam being stuck in Casablanca in his head, even after he's moved on - and about how he finally gets out of it. It's a lovely bittersweet piece (I originally wrote "bittersweet pie," by the way, which - I guess is appropriate?) that takes us into the post-war period, and takes Sam past Rick's betrayal and into his own life.
It Had to Be You, Casablanca, Rick/Sam. This is a look at Rick and Sam in the early period of their friendship, bracketed by the movie. This is Sam's story. Sam gets to do things, including rescue Rick, which is awesome, and the Rick/Sam relationship is wonderful and, through our eyes, tinged with sadness.
Cookies and MILF, Motherlover. I haven't actually been able to read this one yet (fandom: killing servers with our awesome since - I don't know, probably the first Mulder/Scully flamewar on Usenet or something), sadly, but, um, the title is incredibly perfect! And, come on, it's Motherlover - how can you not want a piece of this?