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11 June 2010 @ 11:03 pm
206: Mixed Everywhere  
Best Beloved said no more recs until Friday! And now it's Friday. So: crossovers.

The One in Which We Learn That Jack Harkness Has Apparently Been Spending Some Time in Chat. Think about That for a Bit. Bluebird, by basingstoke. Torchwood x Addams Family, Ianto Jones/Jack Harkness.

Okay. I have seen the Addams Family movies - um, two of them, anyway. Are there more? But my point is - that was the Addams Family played for camp. And you might think, when you see the fandoms for this story, that that's how it would go here, because, let's face it, camp always seems like such a good fit for Torchwood (or Jack Harkness, anyway).

This story is not camp. If there is a country called Camponia, or Campite, or something like that - this story is located on a different planet than that country. This is the Addams Family taken seriously. And holy fuck it is creepy. If they'd made a movie out of this, people would still be watching it, and then they'd be sleeping with all the lights on. But t isn't horror as we typically think of it - there's no undead serial killer with a need to shove his chainsaw into token minorities and teenaged girls who have had sex. (Yes, I am entirely aware that I am stereotyping the entire genre unfairly, and there's a reason: when I was in high school, I sometimes got dragged to horror movies, and if you don't understand movies as storytelling and are entirely unused to discounting visual scenes of violence, horror movies are hell. I learned that it was better to spend the entire time staring at my own hands. So my experience with the genre is limited and it's never going to get better while I have any say in it. ) It's not even scary. It's just - it's just creepy. I can't put it another way.

And I love it. I love how well this works, how completely and bizarrely this makes sense, and how utterly I believe the last line. This is one of those crossovers that should never have worked, and yet it works so well that I find myself wondering why things are never this awesome in canon.

If that hasn't convinced you, I offer you a major bonus: after you read this story, you will think of your family, no matter how weird it is, as almost shockingly mundane. And you will always be able to tell yourself it could be worse when they come to visit.

The One That Teaches Us That Really Good Lipstick Has Many Uses. Seriously, I Almost Want to Buy Some, Just in Case. I Lie, I Cheat, I Steal (and I Just Don't Get Any Respect), by fiercelydreamed. White Collar x Leverage. Genish.

There are, in general, two kinds of crossovers for me: the kind that make me wrinkle up my nose in confusion and blink at my screen blankly (sometimes going so far as to say, "Really? Really?"), and the kind that make me do a wiggle dance of glee because SO OBVIOUSLY YES. I have learned, in my time in fandom, that the category a crossover is in does not signify; you get awesomeness in both categories, and both categories bring equal amounts of joy. (The only difference is how you feel if it doesn't work; with the first kind, you feel stupid ("What was I thinking, clicking on that DCU x LotR crossover with the Batman/Legolas pairing? My Bitter Old Fandom Queen raised me better than that!"), but with the second, you feel betrayed ("But it was a SURE THING!").)

This story fits into the SO OBVIOUSLY YES category. (Disappointment doesn't even enter into it, of course.) Because, I mean, totally: Leverage and White Collar. They were BORN to cross tracks. When I saw this story's header, I did the customary wiggle dance, all squeaky and happy. But I didn't anticipate the awesomeness that ensued, although, in all fairness, I'm not sure anyone could.

I mean, this story has so many great parts. I enjoy seeing Neal Caffrey being the Unflappable Hostage as much as the next girl, and of course I love the role-playing the Leverage folks get up to, and naturally I like seeing Elizabeth Burke reveal her fabulousness (in fabulous shoes, to boot). But this story is so much more than the sum of its parts. There is extra wonderfulness hidden in the kerning, I swear.

And then there's Hardison's narration. Dear Fandom: Please write many more stories with Hardison as the viewpoint character. Like, even in totally other fandoms. Because never has there been a character who so totally spoke the fannish, geeky language; you could write a story in which he communicates entirely in quotes from Star Wars to celebrate Star Wars day, and it would be, if anything, only surprising he didn't reprogram all freeway signs to speak in Star Wars quotes, too. And when he's not getting his geek on, he's checking out people's asses. He's one of us, is my point.

And you know you want to read that.

The One Featuring the Most Terrifying Sandwich Ever Made in the United States. China, by [personal profile] torch. Highlander x X-Files, Methos/Fox Mulder.

Okay, there are two ways to do this kind of crossover - there's the way where everyone has secrets (in this case, especially Methos) and the crossover characters don't necessarily know or ever figure out all of each other's secrets, and then there's the way where the author gives all the characters a sealed enveloped containing ep summaries, Wikipedia entries, and headshots. I prefer the first way.

And that is the route Torch goes here. I love stories like this, where you see two characters you know well (or, in my case, only sort of know well, since I read this back when I still thought the X-Files characters were named "Mully" and "Sculder," and since then have progressed all the way to the point where I can even tell you the first name of - okay, one of them, which I had to look up just now, BUT STILL) meeting and trying to figure each other out. And I especially love it when the characters can't figure each other out entirely.

But this is not just some snippet of awesomeness (although I tell you what: Torch's snippets are so reliably awesome that many fans have ascended to a higher plane just reading them). This is a whole story, with, you know, Mulder being Mulder, Scully being Scully, and Methos being whoever he feels like being this decade. There's a small town! There's accusations of witchcraft! No one gets burned at the stake! I just - I really love that it's not just about Methos and Mulder; there's all these other things going on.

And there's Methos, and Methos is never a hardship; I would read Methos is every fandom ever devised - I mean, Methos in Gundam Wing? Sure. Methos/Johnny Weir? Why the hell not? Methos on Sesame Street? I have no idea how it would work, but I'd read it.

Plus, you know, there's the sex. That doesn't hurt. I'm just saying.

The One That Teaches Us That a Giant Alien Robot Best Friend Is Hard on Family Values. Bumblee ex Machina, by hackthis. Generation Kill x Transformers. Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

I think I first suspected hackthis had superpowers when she picked a song for me. If you ever get the chance to do this, take it; she has uncanny gifts. She found a song that was so perfectly me in every particular that I was astonished, and it is still one of my favorites. One of the main reasons that I haunt her LJ is the hope she'll do another song meme.

But, okay, fine, so she has a song-related superpower - that doesn't mean she has powers, plural, right? Except she does. It's so unfair. I'm not even sure what her other superpower is called - TFV Catnip seems awfully specific. Maybe it's just called You Know You Wanna. Whatever the case, I have come to accept that if she plunges into a fandom, I have no choice but to follow her. I resisted her on Entourage for the longest time, and what was the result? I ended up in Entourage anyway, and she laughed at me for waiting. Seriously. I'm done resisting this woman.

I did think, though, that she might have pushed her superpowers too far by crossing Generation Kill with Transformers (although, you know, from what I understand about Michael Bey's profound love for the American military, maybe it does make sense). On the one hand, we have a canon about a bunch of sweaty, mouthy guys in Humvees. On the other hand, we have a canon in which those Humvees would transform into giant alien robots. It doesn't seem like a natural fit, right?

It fits. That's all I'm going to say. It works. And I have a strange soft spot for high school AU Brad and Nate (um, probably that can be blamed on hackthis, too, but then so many things can be), so this story is like extra joy for me.

Really, I'm not surprised. This woman could cross Justified with Jack and the Beanstalk, and I'd probably end up loving it. And you would, too, so stop resisting and start reading.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
You will believe you have actually bodily ascended to heaven after you read this, then. Enjoy! *g*
Alethia: GK Fandomalethialia on June 12th, 2010 07:36 am (UTC)
Bumblee ex Machina

I was just rereading this and here you are reccing it! And a story she wrote for me! AWESOME.

It's so, so worth it - just amazingly creative and surprising, and yet it works so well. Gah, the music alone...

Spot on rec. Great story, great writer, great fandom. ::hearts::
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
You are amazingly lucky: a hackthis story! For you! And it's this good! I would be jealous if not for the fact that I get to read it, too, so - seriously, keep inspiring her, or begging, or using a cattle prod - really, take the steps you have to.

Because, yeah. AWESOME story, worrisomely awesome writer, lovely fandom.
laurajacquez on June 12th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
Methos on Sesame Street? I have no idea how it would work, but I'd read it.

METHOS: Hi. I'm Methos, and I'm here to talk to you about the word "immortality". Immortality is when you live forever and ever and can't die. Say it with me! Immortality!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
The thing is, I've never really seen Sesame Street, but I still want to read this! *stares at you hypnotically*
laurajacquez on June 12th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
I have a whole Methos + Elmo segment in my head now that WILL NOT GO AWAY.
tried to eat the safe banana: Harriet Vane at typewriterthefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
SHOW SHOW SHOW SHOW SHOW. I want to read this! *makes desperate grabbing hands*
laurajacquez on June 12th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Noelia: [cross] lev/wc :: parker/neal :: best thnoelia_g on June 12th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Leverage and White Collar *clearly* exist in the same, shared universe. It's the universe of awesome, of course. And you're too right, I wouldn't even mind if every story ever was narrated by Hardison.

That Generation Kill AU. I've read this ten times or more by now and every damn time I'm sure it got better somehow. I don't even know. That's uncanny.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
It's the universe of awesome, of course.

It's also the universe where movie stars are average-looking compared to the total hotness of people involved in law enforcement and crime, I tell you what. People probably speed in that universe just HOPING to be pulled over so they get their daily dose of eye candy.

That Generation Kill AU. I've read this ten times or more by now and every damn time I'm sure it got better somehow. I don't even know. That's uncanny.

See? SEE? I told you, it's her superpower! One of them! When she takes over the world, I just want you to remember I TOLD YOU SO.
sharksdontsleep: My fandom makes do.sharksdontsleep on June 12th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Rec-ing GK? Just when I thought I couldn't love your recs any more, you go and do something even more awesome. hackthis makes it all work - AUs, crossovers, crossover AUs, the whole business.

"What was I thinking, clicking on that DCU x LotR crossover with the Batman/Legolas pairing? My Bitter Old Fandom Queen raised me better than that!"

Hehehehehe...that's all I got.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV Katamari Damacythefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
Seriously. It's solely because of hackthis that I not only read GK, but I have read Wright's book. And Fick's. She's DANGEROUS.

Hehehehehe...that's all I got.

Tragic Truth: last night, before I fell asleep, I tried to figure out how DCU x LotR Batman/Legolas would go. It - didn't go well. It didn't help me that I saw a drawing of Batman/Superman MPreg right before I went to bed, either. *shivers*
sharksdontsleep: Ray smiles.sharksdontsleep on June 12th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
We're talking about doing a book club over at the GK comm this summer (late June/July), if you're interested. Possibly OBA, but more likely War or something by Tom Ricks.

That picture is fucking disturbing. I'm like, brain needs to file that under BLACKBOX NOT RETRIEVABLE, because it haunts my dreams.
tried to eat the safe banana: Batman in the spotlightthefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
You know what bothers me the most about that picture? HIS SMILE. It's - disturbing.

Ooo, book club! Um, just because I am very very clueless about these matters - which GK comm?
Alethia: GK War Fandomalethialia on June 12th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
I do believe it's generation_kill. It's a pretty concentrated little fandom.
sharksdontsleep: Brad laughs.sharksdontsleep on June 12th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
You know what disturbs me about the picture? PREGNANT BATMAN.

This is still very up in the air, but it'd probably be at the generation_kill or at we_pimpin, depending on the mods' approval.
janne_d: sighjanne_d on June 12th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Ooh, ooh China - I love that fic and I haven't read it in years. Thanks for reminding me!

I've always wondered if the sandwich Methos makes with the lamb and banana would actually be nice.
tried to eat the safe banana: Foodthefourthvine on June 12th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
janne_d: sighjanne_d on June 12th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)

(Er. Unless it was funny.)

ALso, I would totally risk apocalypse for an awesome sandwich.
macey muse: rock on!macey_muse on June 13th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
I just want to mention that you have epic fic-pimping powers - guess what's up on delicious.com/popular/fic right now? That would be I Lie, I Cheat, I Steal. Guess what went up there last time you posted a recset? Graduate Vulcan. And those are just the ones I've noticed. I think this is what is formally referred to as 'Winning An Internet.' Congrats~?
But what if I'm a mermaid?: Leverage OT4deepbluemermaid on June 13th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me that I needed to leave feedback for the Leverage/White Collar story. It is sheer brilliance, as you say.

I am so with you on the Hardison front: he's my favourite Leverage character!

And then there's Hardison's narration. Dear Fandom: Please write many more stories with Hardison as the viewpoint character. Like, even in totally other fandoms.

As it happens, I am already fulfilling your request! I have just started posting a multi-crossover series of fics which, in my head, is called "5 times Hardison met geeks from other TV shows". He encounters Willow from Buffy in the first story, when they're just teenagers (they have adjacent booths at the national science fair). It was quite fun to write an outside perspective on the Scoobies and Sunnydale!

I'm currently revising the second story, trying to work out whether it would be overkill to have Hardison read every single Star Trek novel while at college. I had two of my geek consultants seriously arguing, over brunch last weekend, as to how long it would take someone to read them all (their conclusion: at least a couple of years)! I was thinking the college sci-fi club might have a special certificate printed to commemorate Hardison's achievement...
threerings: HL-methos-othreerings on June 15th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Methos/Johnny Weir

Great. Now I have a craving.
lesnameles_one on June 16th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
I love ur reviews...
...and Methos being whoever he feels like being this decade.

Why ::sob:: aren't there more METHOS fics?

Due to fic shortage:

- I watched Peter Wingfield playing a scientist in a cheesy SyFy movie. "something Apocalypse something" the Angel of Thursdays, Castiel (2 apocalypsi averted in the same month!), and Elizabeth Weir, or possibly a hybrid clone/Replicator, were also in the movie. I only unmuted to hear Peter's voice.

- I'm gonna go find a DL of that terrible last Highlander movie where Methos confessed he was he'd known Christ.
eveningblueeveningblue on June 28th, 2010 02:08 am (UTC)
Thank you for reccing "China." Pure gold.
asyouwishboyasyouwishboy on July 1st, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
those recs, and a word about wives

You so don't know me, I'm not a personage of note in any particular fandom but I came across you LJ and read it which leads me to send a couple of comments your way.

First things first, I just finished Phoenix Burning by Yahtzee which you recced. Since I don't intentionally spoil stories I won't comment about details of that piece, but I will say that I sincerely thank you for the rec. I don't read Buffy these days, I can't deal with wading through the massive amounts of refuse to find the gems but thankfully you so graciously did that and you deserve more credit than I can give for it. The story was gratifying, it was worth the read. That's saying something coming from me since Buffy is the main character and she's rarely done well, and even less often likable. She was good in this one. Thanks!

On a more personal note, I was moved by your comments about the "wife" word. I'm a husband. I live in the Southern part of the U.S.A. where things aren't very progressive and can be downright ugly if you don't fit a certain profile. I met my husband in college, I was probably the single most essential for his graduation since his degree required big math skills and he sucked at them but I was brilliant. lol. We became friends, then he married a woman, had some kids, got divorced and then tried the rinse repeat formulae. I was his friend, his his rock, his lighthouse, lots of poetic things but never more than a friend.

When circumstances conspired to bring us to a different relationship I had been out and open for decades but suddenly in order to protect the man I loved I needed to edge back to the closet in some measures. It nearly killed me, and frankly nearly caused us to come undone. Thankfully we moved beyond it and he came out. The results were wonderful and terrible. He lost a huge amount of business because people here don't associate with known homosexuals, ugly but true. It was fortunate because one of his children is gay and when he came into his teen years it wasn't nearly as tough with coping knowing his father was in a relationship with a man.

The thing is like so many others, they don't allow same sex couple to marry where I live. I have no real hope that they ever will. I'll never get to call my companion "husband" in any sense except a very personal and intimate way. We have to be armed with a raft of legal documents anytime we deal with the healthcare system, or government on matters that jointly affect us. I doubt I have to go into detail here but it's awful and depressing on levels that just boggle the mind. All because the union of two people who aren't heterosexual is irrelevant to everyone but them.

It's not our problem (and aren't they glad of it!) is what most of the folks around here think. I tend to think differently because when we diminish anyone we've done ourselves an injustice whether or not we realize it. You obviously get it, you spoke of it so meaningfully. I guess this comment is to touch that. To say that you have a wife, I have a husband, but I was moved and felt a kinship simply because of your words. Across geography, culture, gender and generation we share some of the same feelings and love really matters. It's not optional for some of us, and words matter as well. I'm happy for you, I celebrate your moment of being a wife. Odd to say that, but our language is fraught with a lack of correctness in these particulars. I hope that you get to hear "wife" more often, so much so that it becomes commonplace for others, I know it will never be that for you.

live well.