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08 February 2010 @ 09:57 pm
201: Sometimes You Just Have to Rec  
The One That Will Give You Flashbacks to the 1980s, Even If You Didn't Live Through Them. Kings of the Air, by fabularasa. Top Gun, Iceman/Maverick.

Okay. So. Two years ago, for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture, I re-watched Top Gun. I had not seen that movie in a long, long time. It, um, looked a lot different the second time around. (This resulted, by the way, in a never-posted Top Gun recap that would probably have broken the LJ post character limit, and 30% of those characters were along the lines of "RANDOM GAY VOLLEYBALL PORN OH MY GOD ARE THEY FUCKING KIDDING?")

Anyway. My point is: this is the story for that movie. This is what they were working towards the whole movie, even if they didn't know it (although, Jesus - how could they NOT know, given all that random gay porn?). This is the only story you need to read for this fandom. Although I myself would not mind several thousand more stories exploring the really gay, not really subtext of Top Gun, but my point is: if we never get them, that's fine; we can still file this fandom in the box marked "done," thanks to this story alone.

This is also a story you can totally read if you've never seen the movie. I will provide you with a summary, in case you need it. Spoilers, obviously.

Maverick: Hi, I am a Navy pilot, and I am just totally awesome. People cannot even get over how awesome I am. I sure can't get over it, because I am such hot shit my ass routinely catches on fire. Hey, would you like my autograph? Yeah, that'll be fifty bucks.
Goose: I am Maverick's gunner or wingman or something, and he's, yeah, fairly awesome. I am a nice guy who has a lovely wife and adorable small children. This is usually a terminal condition in an action movie. Just, you know. FYI.
Iceman: I am also a pilot. And, Maverick, sometimes when your ass is on fire, it's because someone is beating it. That person would be me.
Charlie: I am the token girl. I have a Ph.D. and a desire to fuck one of my students! And, mmmm, I love the taste of arrogance in the morning. Now, who shall I pick?

[Painful singing interlude.]

Charlie: I choose you, Pikachu! I mean, Maverick!
Maverick: Yay. And yet - Iceman - I must - um, engage in conflict with him. Yes. Conflict.
Iceman: You're not hot enough or good enough to engage with me, boyo. Just stand there and let me stare at you.

[Random gay volleyball porn.]

Iceman: Maverick, you piss me off so much that I need to punch you just so I can feel my skin against yours.
Maverick: YES, BABY, YES. Fuck - I mean punch - me harder.
Goose: *dies*

[WOE.]

Iceman: I win the competition we were having to be the best Navy pilot in all the land!
Maverick: PUNCH ME HARDER. I mean. Um. Yeah, you win. But I have Become a Man! In all senses of the word! Oh, god, YES.
Charlie: ...Wasn't I supposed to be the love interest?
Goose: *remains dead*

The One That Teaches Us That Brain Parasites Can Be an Effective Therapy. (Don't Try This in the Real World, Though.) Tongues of Men and Angels, by mad_maudlin. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

Okay. I have - a thing. The Goa'uld make me want to CLAW MY SKIN OFF. Just, you know, preemptively. In case they turn out to be real. And yet. This story, for me, is alllll about a relationship, and it's not the McKay/Sheppard one. (Not that I am not bang alongside the McKay/Sheppard one, of course. I enjoy it! I am pleased it is here! But it is not the centerpiece of the story for me.)

Because this is a non-Atlantis AU, and there are Tok'ra in it, and this, for me, is about what being a Tok'ra is like. It's about the relationship between Tok'ra and host, and it's the first story I've ever read that made me believe the Tok'ra might be more than just Goa'uld with slightly (slightly!) better press. I actually like the Tok'ra, as they are portrayed here. Okay. A few of them. But that is a huge thing for someone who is as mind-controlling-parasite averse as I am!

But this story is 60k words of gateversey goodness, so it is also a fantastic action piece, and it has great hurt/comfort, and some very nice bits for SG1, and engineering, and sarcasm, and, just, everything I want from an SGA story (except Go-playing ghosts and John and Rodney turned into seahorses who are disturbed to discover that MPreg is their new canon, because no SGA story can be absolutely everything). In fact, this story probably also makes perfect toast and can bring rain to parched lands. It's that good, people.

And it's amazing to me, because it's a happy ending for John and Rodney that doesn't involve Atlantis, and the thing is - I always kind of assumed that there wasn't a happy ending for them that didn't involve Atlantis, largely because, well, it seemed like they had had that relationship conversation with earth. You know, the one that goes, "It's not you, it's me. It's just - we don't feel the same way, and we want different things, and - yeah. I mean. I care. I do. But it's not working out." (In Rodney's case, he'd be the one saying this. In John's case, it'd be earth.) So I am frankly stunned that mad_maudlin could use the guys as, you know, roughly the same people (and not seahorses or circus performers or satellites or whatever) and find them a happy ending that does not involve a certain imaginary flying city.

Anyway. Read this. It's awesome.

The One with the Most Nearly-Literal Slave Collar I've Yet Seen That Is Canonical. Did the Canon Writers Notice This? Were They Paying Attention? Figure It Out, by lightgetsin. White Collar, Elizabeth Burke/Peter Burke/Neal Caffrey.

Okay. I do not know from White Collar. I'm at that stage where I have to check IMDb to find out what the full names of the characters are. Usually, at this stage, I have about a one-sentence summary of the fandom in my head, but in this case, I don't. Instead, I have a picture. Which I am unfortunately unable to show you, because I can't get into LJ Scrapbook for some reason Which I can totally show you, thanks to tzikeh. (It shows Neal handcuffed to Peter, who is kissing Elizabeth.) And, really, that says it all. Or at least all the parts I'm interested in.

Anyway. Like I said, I don't know from White Collar, but based on this story, if the DVDs were available, I would totally have Best Beloved watching it already. I might even be watching an episode myself (although that is unlikely, what with my current Kirk and Spock issues - but the very fact that I, deep in this weird TOSian fever, am willing to consider watching something else is significant). Because the characters are awesome, the concept is deeply appealing, and the dialog is first rate. In the story, I mean. My primary concern, if I had Best Beloved watch this, would be that the canon might not measure up to the fan fiction. This has happened before.

But, oh, it would almost be worth it, to know these three people better. Plus, you know, other people. I am sure there are other people in the show worth knowing. Probably.

So, this story - well. It is about Neal (conman!) and Peter (conman-catcher!) and Elizabeth (person who catches the conman-catcher!) and their really pure true love. But what I mostly love about it are the central questions it seems to ask, which is - how do you trust someone whose whole life has been built around making people trust him even though he's not, you know, actually trustworthy? How do you love someone whose job it is to make people love him? (And I would just like to note that it is awesome that for once the person whose job it is to make people love him is not a prostitute.) And exactly what happens when what is holding you together goes away?

(SECRET HINT: Sex! And PURE TRUE LOVE. And, knowing these three, someone (Neal) getting tied to something. But that's just my guess.)

The One Where We Learn That Even Logic Crumbles in the Face of a Really Short Skirt. Listening to Hear Where You Are, by frostfire_17. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock/Nyota Uhura.

Sooooo. As some of you may be aware, I have recently had my brain taken over by Star Trek: TOS. And Reboot. Anything with a Spock, basically. (This is a painful process, but I am told that eventually I may regain the ability to speak in complete sentences, so I am trying to be strong. And you should all give Best Beloved massive, massive love for standing by me through it.) And, see, my TOS obsession makes this story even better (although I'm going to be honest here and say a) it did not need to be made even better and b) Frostfire may be liable for various damages to readers' brains for the stunning level of betterness in this story even without TOS as a point of reference), because now I have seen the women's uniforms that are the centerpiece of this, and, well.

Look at some of the images Frost linked to in her notes.

Okay. Now picture that outfit on Reboot Kirk. (In a fetching shade of gold, naturally). Yeah, I thought that would get your attention. Because, let's be honest here - Kirk was born to wear that dress. And Spock and Uhura were born to fuck him senseless in it.

Seriously, this is like 8k words of fantastic threesome porn, which is all by itself a reason to love the story, but what I really love, here, is how in character everyone is. This is an awesome Uhura, an awesome Spock, and a Jim Kirk in a dress. (Which is, obviously, the definition of awesome.)

And it's also an awesome use of a costume that actually made my jaw drop the first time I saw it in action, because holy shit that is a short dress. (Usually the argument against skirts on people in space is that if there's an artificial gravity failure, the wearer will end up with a skirt in the face. Let's just say that is not a problem here, since in the event of a gravity failure, this skirt will look exactly the same.) This story made me love the uniform a lot more than I previously did.

Also, did I mention the threesome porn?

The One to Read to Remind Yourself It Could Always Be Worse: You Could Be Spending the Holiday of Your Choice with the U.S. Congress. Die Hard 4.5: I'll Be Hard for Christmas, by Aja, aka bookshop (thanks to multiple people!). Live Free or Die Hard, Matt Farrell/John McClane.

I'm going to just pause for a minute so you can let the awesomeness of the title wash over you. Pause - pause - pause. Are you ready? Let's move on.

So, I think the title alone is sufficient reason to convince anyone, including people who haven't seen the movie (me!) and people who sometimes fantasize about punching Bruce Willis in the teeth (hardly me at all, anymore), to read this story, but I have more reasons even than that.

Like, okay, obviously I haven't seen the movie, but I always think the aftermath of action movies would be so much more interesting than the part where our hero blows something up and our villain meets his graphic end, often more than once. What happens when our hero stands up in the wreckage of a major American city, tosses aside his rebar, and goes back to work the next day? (Or, okay, six to eight weeks later, to allow for healing.) And that's what this story is about.

I also have to note that this story has the most wonderful original character ever. (At least, I'm assuming he's original. If he's a stealth crossover from somewhere, please god tell me where.) I don't know when I last met a character who could pack so much world-weary, cynical snark into a single sentence. Every bit of this story that he's in is awesome, and I would totally read a large number of stories in the Amit Sasses Washington fandom, or whatever it would be called.

Plus, you know, there's a whole thing where Matt and John find love in the midst of briefings and Congressional meetings, which has to be a first. (At least, it's a first in that no one was prosecuted or lost a major election afterwards.)

And there's a fivethirtyeight.com reference. Seriously, there's something here for every fan, except possibly those who hate happiness and good sex.
 
 
 
I have a mitten and a chicken puppet!: white collar - peter - guntzikeh on February 9th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
Oh, sweetie, do you want White Collar episodes on DVD? Because I can send them. And, yes, IMO? The canon totally measures up to the high expectations you get from lightgetsin's story. Hell, I made an entire lj entry about how and why the tack can be your friend, using that story as an example.

Here's your picture--feel free to link in the primary post. Sorry I don't have the bigger one to hand.




ETA: You can watch every episode of White Collar that has aired here: http://tvgorge.com/shows/white-collar/ for free.

Edited at 2010-02-09 06:42 am (UTC)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for the photo! I don't know why ScrapBook hates the OT3, but apparently it does. I judge it for this, needless to say.

And, yes, we would love to have White Collar episodes! BB can't watch them in streaming, because our internet can barely deal with downloading a vid. (We are struggling with that first-world blight known as Declining Internet Speed as a result of our move. Obviously, we are both suffering nobly.)
(no subject) - tzikeh on February 9th, 2010 08:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 08:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tzikeh on February 9th, 2010 08:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
Oh - wait - tzikeh on February 9th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - azurelunatic on February 14th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
sprat: J2 - power of awesomesprat on February 9th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
Your rec posts are consistently wonderful. <3

Also, I think Aja might be bookshop, possibly!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! And, yay, an LJ identity for Aja! So, really, thank you twice.

Oh, hell. I will throw in a third thanks, just because.
nightcamedown: wc_otpnightcamedown on February 9th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for that Top Gun rec. I watch Top Gun about once a year (hey volleyball scene heeeey), but I always end up feeling like I've only seen half a movie. Kings of the Air is the other half :-)

OKAY NOW FOR A FANDOM PIMP: You simply must watch White Collar. There really isn't any alternative here - I'm trying to think of a loophole, but no. You just have to watch. The end. :-) I resisted watching until about a week ago (because I was under the completely erroneous impression I didn't like Matt Bomer), at which time I fell head over heels in love and mainlined all the existing episodes in one day.

I, too, have suffered from Fic>Canon Syndrome, but the canon here is marvelous (particularly Peter, who is an unflappable badass except for the part where he is befuddled by his incredible wife and his saucy convict boyfriend). Definitely give it a try sometime :-)
I have a mitten and a chicken puppet!: white collar petertzikeh on February 9th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
Peter Burke is simply the best character on tv today. YEAH, I SAID IT.
(no subject) - travels_in_time on February 9th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nightcamedown on February 9th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nightcamedown on February 9th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - starfishchick on February 9th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Paceuspaceus on February 9th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)
Aja is bookshop -- here's her Yuletide reveal post with that fic.

Isn't White Collar awesome?
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

And, yes, White Collar is proving to be both unexpectedly awesome and unusually rich in OT3. \o/!
je suis marxiste, tendance Groucho: leverage parker hardisonshinealightonme on February 9th, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)
But, oh, it would almost be worth it, to know these three people better. Plus, you know, other people. I am sure there are other people in the show worth knowing. Probably.

Kind of? I really love Neal's friend and landlady June, but she hardly gets any screentime (nor can I find a good pic of her, boo). There's a couple other FBI agents we see but, uh, they don't get a lot of screen time either. Pretty much the only other character we see a lot of is Mozzie, Neal's friend and fellow criminal. I quite enjoy the show, but when it comes to conartist hijinks and OT3 goodness, I prefer Leverage.

ETA: I should probably add, though, that I absolutely ADORE El Burke. SO MUCH. *draws hearts around El*

Edited at 2010-02-09 07:53 am (UTC)
Vanilla  ... Spiked with Slivovitz: red riding hoodjenna_thorn on February 9th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
other people in the show worth knowing
editing to clarify audience

TFV, there are --

Diana the FBI probie was in the first two episodes, spectacularly competant and resitant to Neil's charms, and I would love to see more of her. Sp. Agent Jones is a running character and has a moment of wordless loyalty to Peter and Elizabeth that is happy making in epi 7? (I mainlined most of them in one day, out of order, so the divisions between episodes in my brain are blurred) and June, oh June, knowing full well what and who Neal is and adopting him because she was wicked once, too and I would love to see more of her in canon and fanfic.

So, all that to say - June. Wait until you meet June. She needs more screentime, so I am agreeing with and giving detail to this comment, not telling shinealightonme about June, since clearly she knows. And Leverage is wonderful, too, but it's a different feel, more hijinky and less intimate.



Edited at 2010-02-09 02:17 pm (UTC)
Re: other people in the show worth knowing - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: other people in the show worth knowing - jenna_thorn on February 9th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sequinedfairy on February 9th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shinealightonme on February 9th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenna_thorn on February 9th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cranberryink: 0: bill & ted excellentcranberryink on February 9th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)
ICEMAN AND MAVERICK. OF COURSE. Filed under, "Why didn't I think of that?"
cranberryink: ds: beige frasercranberryink on February 9th, 2010 09:06 am (UTC)
ALSO, the actor who plays Slider in the film is the actor who plays Mark Smithbauer in due South. It's important to know these things.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
obsessive-compulsive squirrel: interspecies yoacari on February 9th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
John and Rodney turned into seahorses who are disturbed to discover that MPreg is their new canon

Wait, there is no John & Rodney as seahorses fic yet? There must be. They've been turned into anything under the sun. Paper clips! Girlscout cookies! Ketchup! No seahorses fic? Really? That is a disturbing thought.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV menorahthefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
Not that I can find! I know, I kind of feel like fandom has failed us.
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glassdzurlady on February 9th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC)
I have only vague memories of the plot of Top Gun, but Kings of the Air is totally fabulous! Thanks for the rec. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV shoesthefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
You totally don't need memories of Top Gun! (I only had the vaguest of vague impressions when I watched it two years ago. I remembered it as being mostly about planes. ...Yeah.) Stick with memories of Kings of the Air. It's way better.
kungfunursekungfunurse on February 9th, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC)
(In Rodney's case, he'd be the one saying this. In John's case, it'd be earth.)

I couldn't stop laughing and staring and laughing at this line! Because hey! So true!!

I too hate brain infesting parasites. I've avoided this fic up until now - but you didn't actually say that I needed to keep a safety tab open, so.....

If i break down and cry I'm coming back here to wipe my snotty nose on your LJ. Just saying.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV umbrellathefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
I too hate brain infesting parasites. I've avoided this fic up until now - but you didn't actually say that I needed to keep a safety tab open, so.....

I really didn't need a safety tab - I was absolute fine with it, and in fact the Tok'ra aspect was my favorite part. I hope it will be equally okay for you!

And, yes, if you end up crying, feel free to come back and complain. (Or if you don't, you can come back and say, "YOU WERE RIGHT THE TOK'RA ARE UNEXPECTEDLY AWESOME." Although I would remind you that this only means you can trust brain-infesting parasites written by mad_maudlin. You don't want to let your guard down around general brain-infesting parasites.)
let's get the seven lines.bookshop on February 9th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)

I'm going to just pause for a minute so you can let the awesomeness of the title wash over you.

ahahaha, THANK YOU. You have no idea how many times in the last year I've heard "great fic, horrible title!" and i'm just like *headdesk* bc the irony of the title was kinda part of the point, so I am really happy you got it and think it's awesome!

also YES, HI, AM AJA. :-h people emailed me! to tell me you recced me! it was exciting! and now i am reading said rec and OMG. YAY. thank you for loving Amit <3333333 (oh, god, stealth crossover, if only!) and for getting the 538 ref and taking away everything about this fic that I wanted people to take away. IDEAL READER, THAT'S YOU!

Think will just wander dreamily around my office smiling for the rest of the day. ♥
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how many times in the last year I've heard "great fic, horrible title!" and i'm just like *headdesk* bc the irony of the title was kinda part of the point

...The title was why I read it. It was like a small signpost saying, "There will be awesomeness and humor in here." *sadfaces at the title haters*

YES, HI, AM AJA.

HI HI HI! I actually know you as bookshop, because you are one of about five people who write Hikaru no Go, which for me is the Small Fandom I Would Force People to Love If Only I Could. (They whine at me, all, "But I don't waaaaaaanna read about animated middle-schoolers who play a board game!" And I have no choice but to judge them harshly.)

But I had not for some reason - likely serious inattentiveness - made the Aja - bookshop connection. So hi!
(no subject) - bookshop on February 12th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
London Clockwork: like nobody's watchingpolaris_starz on February 9th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
*throws White Collar recs at you*

My favorite fic in the fandom is Kate, Short For Kevin. I just adore it on so many levels, and it has a really excellent Peter. Everyone should read china_shop's epic Reasonable Doubt verse. I also enjoy Two Hundred and Eight Weeks, and Contractual Obligations is both hot and incredibly well thought out. There's also Boundary Conditions, which comes with smoking hot art and follow-up Five Things fic.

All of these are OT3, because this fandom is AMAZING that way. Also, you should totally watch the canon, or at least the episode where Neal gets drugged and tells Peter he trusts him.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
I've read Contractual Obligations and Reasonable Doubt and they are awesome! Now I must read your other recs. Thank you!

Also, you should totally watch the canon, or at least the episode where Neal gets drugged and tells Peter he trusts him.

Oh my god, that is SO relevant to my interests.
JaneDavitt: wc2bymejanedavitt on February 9th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
The D/s and threesome overtones in White Collar are visible from space, I kid you not. I adore the show and the way the fics are including Elizabeth in most of the slash as a matter of course. I've never seen a fandom go straight to a threesome as a default so fast. Not saying there isn't Neal/Peter, but there is a LOT of N/P/E and it works so well.

And like Castle, the supporting cast is great, too. Moz is adorable.

And everyone hates Kate :-)

starfishchick on February 9th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
Kate? Kate Beckett? Everyone hates her? Really? Sadness!
(no subject) - janedavitt on February 9th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - starfishchick on February 9th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janedavitt on February 9th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janedavitt on February 9th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dzurlady on February 10th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laughingacademy on February 9th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janedavitt on February 9th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Tragic Awakeninglaughingacademy on February 9th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
White Collar is sweeping LJ, and I approve. copperbadge wrote an awesome post in which, among other things, he points out that Peter/Neal is basically canonical D/s.

Edited at 2010-02-09 03:03 pm (UTC)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
AWESOME. I am off to read and learn. Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV Katamari Damacythefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
*snickers*

Actually, I have been considering putting a recap/review of any single episode or movie up at the helptheproject auction, but my concern has been that no one would want that. So, hey, if you're willing to donate to charity to see the horror that is my Top Gun recap, I am totally willing to put that up.
(no subject) - laura47 on February 10th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
starfishchick on February 9th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that Top Gun rec. It totally made my day week MONTH, at LEAST!!

Holy crap it was awesome.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV lettersthefourthvine on February 9th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Wasn't it AMAZING? *loves forever*
(no subject) - starfishchick on February 9th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)