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24 September 2010 @ 10:58 pm
209: Wondrous Strange  
Those of you who were on the earthling filter way back when he was still leasing space in my body may remember that I suffer from a very severe case of Familial Lyrics Disorder, as did my father and my grandmother before me. (Some of our incorrect songs have been handed down through three generations!) It's not just that I mishear and misremember lyrics, it's that my brain hardwires the wrong things in and will not admit any correction. (It's worse with traditional songs that you mostly sing rather than hear. Never sing these with me. Ever.)

So. Recently, thanks to a certain Star Trek: TOS YouTube vid, I have been listening to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback from time to time. And. Well. There's a portion of the lyrics that goes like this (and I am copying these from a lyrics site, because god knows you shouldn't trust my brain on this one):

Come here girl
Go ahead, be gone with it
Come to the back
Go ahead, be gone with it
Go ahead, be gone with it
Drinks on me
Go ahead, be gone with it
Let me see what you're working with
Go ahead, be gone with it
Look at those hips
Go ahead, be gone with it
You make me smile
Go ahead, be gone with it

...And then my brain just INSISTS that the next line is:

Julia Child
Go ahead, be gone with it

Now. Best Beloved (and the aforementioned lyrics site) has pointed out to me many times that he is actually saying GO AHEAD, child, but my brain of course cannot possibly believe this. Every time I hear the song, I find myself singing about Julia Child.

Which means that my brain now believes it to be canon that Julia Child is pretty much Justin Timberlake's ideal woman. (He tells her to get her sexy on!) It just does. Nothing can convince it otherwise. And so I will be driving in my car and thinking about how sad their true love is, what with her being married and, you know, dead and stuff. I picture him secretly owning the complete Julia Child collection, including the extremely rare early public access shows, and saying to his bandmates (and I don't even remember which band he's from, which I know will get me soundly scorned in fandom, but probably not nearly as much as pairing Justin Timberlake with Julia Child), "No, guys, go ahead, I have - uh, some stuff I need to do here."

And then he puts on a DVD - ooo, forcemeat! - and sighs wistfully at the screen, thinking, Man, they don't make them like this anymore. And then later he does a perfect Julia Child imitation, and everyone laughs, and he smiles too, but inside he's dying, of course.

A long time ago (11 internet millennia), Bone told me that sooner or later, I'd find the RPF fandom that would drag me in. I considered it a promise. Ever since then, I have tried to read one story in every RPF fandom that came down the pike, always hoping that this would be the magical one that broke whatever it is in my brain that can't deal with RPF. And now I'm afraid I have, and the fandom in question is Justin Timberlake/Julia Child. I mean, what if this is the only RPF pairing my brain will ever accept? It's too weird even for Yuletide! No one else anywhere is interested in this pairing! It's just me and my defective brain!

It's very sad. And yet I experience such joy every time I hear Justin Timberlake say "look at those hips" and my brain pictures Julia Child. (Try it! You'll like it!) So really I have no regrets.

Now. Obviously, with a lead in like that, I have no choice but to offer you rare pairings. (And I would offer you Justin Timberlake/Julia Child, but unfortunately the entire archive is located in my head.)

The One That Features Very Serious Neckcloth Hurt/Comfort. Ascots and Ties May Wish to Skip This One. Clean Linen, by [dreamwidth.org profile] cimorene. Georgette Heyer novels, Claud Darracott/Felix Hethersett. (And, yes, even if you have read every Heyer novel ever, you may be sort of groping through your mind for who these people are. That's why they are a rare pairing! (Which I just almost wrote as rairing. OH GOD NO.) And if you've never read any Heyer, you may be thinking you shouldn't read this. Go right ahead! You don't need to know the canon, and it will allow you to see if you like Heyer's style, since this is basically Heyer, but with gay sex.)

So. One of the weird things about Heyer for me is that - okay, sometimes, reading older books, I have the sense that the author is sneaking gay people into the margins - leaving clues for people who know but not saying anything so as not to scare the horses. And generally I assume I'm right. I suspect Dorothy Sayers was really doing that, for example. But with Heyer I know I can't be. I learned this from one of her detective novels, which features a canonically gay character. Heyer was not the woman you wanted to be writing those, turns out. Her coded-as-gay characters are much, much more realistic than her ham-handed attempt to write an actual gay man. Also, she appears to have believed, in all seriousness, that homosexuality could be caused by childhood asthma. (Wait - I had childhood asthma! And I'm a lesbian! SHE WAS ON TO SOMETHING, PEOPLE.)

And yet. With so many of her male characters - often including the ones who end up, you know, married and all that - she seems to be standing on a rooftop shrieking, "GAAAAAAAAY. They are ALL GAY. MY MALE CHARACTERS LOVVVVVVE COCK!"

Cimorene appears to have been hearing something similar. And, wow, she does this up right. She gives the character an actual gay life, appropriate to the times and the country in question, in addition to Heyer's apparently unconsciously inserted (but nonetheless very clear) desire for cock.

So, here are the reasons to read this story:
  1. A secret gay Regency lifestyle!
  2. Hijinks and shenanigans!
  3. It's awesome!
  4. It's like it was written by a Georgette Heyer who owned her intense interest in gay men. So, basically, a healthier, happier Heyer. Who doesn't want that?

The One That Suggests That the Holidays Will Be More Interesting Than Ever in the Kirk Household This Year. Common Bond, by florahart. Star Trek Reboot (with TOS references, as one does). Winona Kirk/Sarek.

For reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture, it took a lot of temptation on the part of fan fiction writers before I could face up to reading Winona Kirk stories. (It will not surprise you to hear that this story was my gateway drug.) But I've started to love stories about her. Partly that's just because it's really rare in any canon to see the mother of a hero treated like a person. (Her most typical role is as a gravestone, and in any case, she exists primarily to give him interesting issues. Which is perfectly fine; that's the price you pay for having a hero, lady! Next time, have an accountant. They probably remember their mothers' birthdays.) And partly it's because I love the things authors in this fandom do with her, and how she, more often than George, gets to be the source of the Kirkiness in Jim's gene pool. (I firmly believe she was, even if in the movie all she really did was, you know, the actual action of becoming a mother.)

But this story is unusual even among the Winona Kirk stories, because it's about her in the canon now, as opposed to when she was young and crazy. (And I think the entire fandom is in agreement that to produce someone like James Tiberius Kirk, you probably have to be crazy.) This is an incredibly rare beast in fan fiction: it is a story about romance between adults.

In this story, Sarek and Winona both have jobs and grown-up (if only in the numerical sense) kids, and they've both had relationships before. And I don't mean "She'd been married before, of course, but she realized as she gazed into his eyes - sorry, I probably mean searing cerulean orbs - that she had never truly known what love was before this moment." I mean, I love a true first time as much as the next girl - more, actually, in most cases - but it is so refreshing to me that this first time isn't First Love or Best Love, it's just, you know, the first time for Sarek and Winona. They don't sit around ranking their relationships by total trueness of love, with the clear understanding that there can be only one! (Beheading the also-rans is optional. In some cases.) They know what they want and are comfortable with it! Or, you know, are pretty sure wanting is against the teachings of Surak but willing to take it anyway. (Vulcans, in some cases, are starting from well behind the line in the grown-up races.) They're confident in bed! They have to clear their calendars to get to bed! It's just - it's weird, is all. And awesome. I'm not used to reading fan fiction about people who are more mature than I am.

And yet they're not all dignified and shit. I don't even know how [dreamwidth.org profile] florahart did this. It's like they're real people!

The One Featuring a Novel Means of Accomplishing MPreg That Is Really Never Going to Be Popular in Fan Fiction. I Hope. Please God No No NO. Ahras Huitwalassis, by frostfire_17. Historical, Mita/Lakan.

This story is a historical gay romance. And the historical site in question - this would not surprise anyone who had ever spent more than about ten minutes with frostfire_17, although it's going to come out of left field for everyone else - is Hatti.

Now, possibly you are thinking to yourself, "I don't want to read about Hittites." Possibly you didn't even know Hatti meant Hittites until just a sentence ago. (I didn't, until I started listening to frostfire_17. She is extremely compelling on the subject, and after you spend a few hours talking to her, you switch from not really caring at all about Hittites to wondering if you could find an authentic recipe for the thick bread.) But this story is wonderful. I promise you, even if your interest in Hittites is mathematically indistinguishable from zero, you will love this story. For serious. I went into it all, "Hmm. Hittites? Well, Frost is usually reliable, so -" and came out of it thinking that really she should write a whole book series set in this period. (I would read it! Hittite mystery novels, for example, would be excellent.)

It's just - this is incredible. I love the characters, I love the rich details of the setting - there is so much incredible worldbuilding. Which sounds strange to say about a historical period, so perhaps instead I should call it historybuilding. I love the progression of this romance. I basically love everything about the story except that it ends. (Every time I read it, it takes all of my willpower not to send Frost an unhappy email indicating that this story is not over until Mita and Lakan die of extreme old age, in their bed, surrounded by sorrowing great-grandnieces and nephews.)

And if that was not enough: I am not kidding about the MPreg, which you will be relieved to hear is not part of the actual story. It's a myth, and it's a real one, and it proves that fan fiction writers have nothing on the religion builders of old. You need to read this myth. Most of all, you need to read Mita's reaction to the myth, which will be familiar to everyone who has ever, to her astonishment, found herself reading MPreg for the first time.

The One That Proves That Canon Writers Should Not Make a "Secret Swinger" Joke, Unless of Course They Want Us to Take Them up on It. Wear a Moonlit Face, by [dreamwidth.org profile] gloss. DCU Silver Age, Barry Allen/Iris Allen/Bruce Wayne. (Don't worry if you have no idea who some of those people are. I will explain in a moment why you're probably better off that way.)

Comics are hard. Perhaps once upon a time they were light-hearted entertainment for children, but now you need a bank of computers and several dedicated data analysts to be able to figure out what's canon. (The good part about this is that when everything's canon, nothing is. You can pick and choose! Want a character who is at this moment dead to be alive in your story? If he's alive at any point in the canon, you can do that. Want two characters who have never met to fuck? Well, it's not like you can trace anyone's whereabouts through the entire continuity; the continuity doubles back, twists around itself, dives through a wormhole, and explodes, so just pick a time when the character is not actually in a panel. After all, anyone who wants to call you on it is going to need those dedicated data analysts, too.)

I bring all this up for three reasons:
  1. The only Flash I know anything about is Wally West. This story is about Barry Allen, so I went to Wikipedia to try to get myself up to speed (Ha! Oh, I slay myself sometimes) on the character. I'm going to give you the link, but take my advice and do not click until after you've read the story. (It will make a nice aperitif, provided you like your cocktails with gin, bitters, nitroglycerin, and just a hint of LSD.) That page is hysterical, because it's an attempt to summarize and explain something that cannot possibly be understood.
  2. This story does not require you to know any of that shit. Seriously, all you need is in the author's notes and the two panels (or the transcript of them) offered in the story itself.
  3. Everyone should read this story just for those two panels alone. I seriously think comics canon gets so complicated that even the writers don't hear themselves, because I do not know any way to interpret those panels besides the one [dreamwidth.org profile] gloss went with here.
This is a story about Iris, Barry, and Bruce having sex. And I'm using the Flash's and Batman's secret identities - their actual people names - deliberately. This whole story, to me, is about exactly how much a secret identity can fuck you up. (It should be required reading for Pa Kent over in Smallville, who honestly appears to believe that keeping secrets will be heathier for Clark.)

In this story, Barry doesn't fit inside his own skin. Bruce is playing the Asshole Playboy with his customary single-minded dedication. And the thing is - okay, I always have just assumed that Bruce was the three-dimensional equivalent of a cardboard cutout propped in the mansion window. But of course he wouldn't let that happen: Bruce would have a role, and he'd play it perfectly. And I am not at all surprised that he'd be kind of a dick. I cannot imagine Batman ever managing to pull off the role of cuddlebunny.

So what I love about this story is the way it shows what secret identities really mean. Which is, in this case, that Iris Allen is fucking two men who aren't real and aren't exactly there. Seriously, guys, a suggestion: therapy. Also, consider ditching the masks. They are not healthy.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
the girl with the cow-eyes: thursday years ago [by letmypidgeonsgo]leksa on September 25th, 2010 06:46 am (UTC)
You know, your Justin Timberlake/Julia Child scenario is amazingly, amazingly reminiscent of certain actually beloved characterizations of Justin Timberlake that I can remember from back when I was in the popslash fandom. (I think that means something - I'm not sure what. Maybe that JT/Julia Child is TRUE?)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
IT IS. I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT. He really is saying Julia Child!

Could this be what a tinhat feels like? Because if so, I never thought it would be so wonderful!
Daegaer: I will now go on the internets!daegaer on September 25th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Now, possibly you are thinking to yourself, "I don't want to read about Hittites."

tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC)
If you want to read about Hittites, you really, really need to make the acquaintance of Frost. I mean, okay, I have found it to be true that people basically don't have boring academic loves, but Frost's dedication to the Hittites is unusually entertaining and contagious EVEN FOR AN ACADEMIC. After a few hours you find yourself wishing to go back to school and major in - Hittitiana? I'm not even sure what it would BE. Something in the big scary humanities building that I avoided for much of my college career. But my point is: her love is true. GO READ HER RIGHT NOW.
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: ratatouille - tastydramaturgca on September 25th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
Julia Child is awesome and everyone should be in love with her. Like, seriously, Julia Child is basically my answer to "who is your hero?" (Also on that list, Julie Andrews, Helen Mirren, Ian McKellan, and Haviva Reik) If Justin Timberlake was in love with Julia Child, I would be forced to actually like him.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Julia Child IS awesome! But, sadly, I think you'll have to start liking Justin Timberlake, because he SO LOVES HER OMG HE DOES.

*admires shiny tinhat*
Sometimes You Get Marshmallows: feetflorahart on September 25th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
♥ for the rec! *beams*
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the awesome story! Although I suppose I should be shaking my fist at you for giving me this incurable Winona Kirk jones.

*attempts to hug you and shake fist simultaneously*

*falls over*
(no subject) - cranberryink on September 25th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
sheldrakesheldrake on September 25th, 2010 09:48 am (UTC)
Oh, I am entranced by your new fandom. ENTRANCED. (Come on, I did write curtains).
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
Clearly you should also write this! C'mon! Justin and Julia 4EVER!
(no subject) - sheldrake on September 26th, 2010 08:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
lightning rod for criticismannakovsky on September 25th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
GREAT, now I really want Justin Timberlake/Julia Child, so thanks for that!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV Katamari Damacythefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
OMG YOU SHOULD WRIIIIIIIITE IT OMG PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Think of it! Time travel! ( came up with that, and you can't deny it is awesome almost past your ability to deal with it.) Justin Timberlake in a hat! Paris! JULIA DOES JUSTIN!

(no subject) - annakovsky on September 25th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
like the boy who cried wolf, but with lesbianssequinedfairy on September 25th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)

...the scariest part is how little i'm kidding.
_medley__medley_ on September 25th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
EXACTLY. *is scared with you*
(no subject) - thefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sequinedfairy on September 25th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
frostfirefrostfire_17 on September 25th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD YOU PIMPED THE HITTITES FOR ME. I love you. I love you SO MUCH. I have actual *tears in my eyes* right now, from loving you so much. I mean--okay, first, I am so GLAD you liked the story! Yay! and secondly, that is my favorite ever myth, oh my god, <3 Kumarbi x a million, and thirdly--the HITTITES. My cup runneth over with joy, no kidding. ♥ ♥ ♥
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV menorahthefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
That is because the Hittites are awesome! At least in your hands. I wasn't kidding - I really do think you should write novels set in the era. You could bring popularity to the Hittites at last!

Now you need to tell me the part about the sex with the cliff face. That puts Prometheus in the shade, I tell you what.
(no subject) - stasia on September 26th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frostfire_17 on September 26th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
_medley__medley_ on September 25th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
Like sequinedfairy, I'm kind of scared by how much my brain approves of Justin Timberlake/Julia Child.

You know the U2 song that goes, "have you come here for forgiveness/have you come to wake the dead/have you come here to play Jesus/to the lepers in your head"? I know it's lepers. Jesus, lepers, I get it. Really. But my brain insists beyond all reason that it's leopards. Jesus and the leopards, I feel, might be a more interesting story. *g*

And now I'm off to read fic in fandoms I don't know, YAY.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV shoesthefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Your brain is clearly an entirely sensible brain, and it can join mine in the Justin Timberlake/Julia Child fanclub.

Jesus and the Leopards would make an AWESOME parable. That is precisely what Christianity needs: more leopards.
(no subject) - _medley_ on September 26th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - innocentsmith on September 26th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _medley_ on September 26th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Professor Liddle-Oldmanliddle_oldman on September 25th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
First -- do you know that these are called Mondegreens? The most famous, of course, is "Scuse me, while I kiss this guy!".

Second -- secret identities. In the WB Batman, there was on ep in which he ended up in Metropolis, and he and the Big Boy got into this weird competition for the attention of Lois Lane. At one point, Bruce Wayne says to Superman, "She kinds of likes us. It's the other guys she doesn't care for." I thought that was -- interesting, for a cartoon.

Third -- and you understand that I mean this is a purely objective fashion, with no personal involvement or inferences whatsoever -- you are so cute. Though -- who wouldn't pine for the unattainable Julia? Think of the dinners.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
1. Yup! Although, seriously, mondegreens are only the beginning of the terrible things my brain can do it lyrics. It's criminal, is what it is.

2. At one point, Bruce Wayne says to Superman, "She kinds of likes us. It's the other guys she doesn't care for." I thought that was -- interesting, for a cartoon.

See, to me this is comforting, because at least Lois knows what she's getting into. Iris Allen didn't find out she'd married the Flash until their first wedding anniversary. (Hint for any superhero out there: don't do this.)

Of course, it also suggests some interesting things about Lois. But with the WB Batman, there's at least a chance they meant to do that. The terrible thing with the comics is that you have all these moments of doubt, because on the one hand there's no other possible interpretation, and on the other, you suspect they didn't get it.

3. Hell, sometimes I pine for the unattainable Julia. She's basically the ideal woman. Plus, there's a woman who knows how to french a green bean, if you get my drift.
(no subject) - mari_redstar on October 12th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
je suis marxiste, tendance Groucho: dw jack/daleksshinealightonme on September 25th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
I...I really want the Justin/Julia Sexyback fanvid now.
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on September 25th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
OH GOD ME TOO. It never occurred to me until you said that, but now it is a burning desire that will never fade.
Pouncer: Pink berriesthepouncer on September 25th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
Justin obviously arranges for a private, after-hours tour of the American History Museum in DC. The curator is all, "want to see the Star-Spangled Banner? :DDD" and Justin is all, "JULIA'S KITCHEN!!!! CAN I GO INSIDE??????"

And then he stand wistfully among her cabinets and pots and pans and cries that he never got to tell her how much he loves her.
blah blah blah: Karen Gillan Cameraunusualdemoness on September 26th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
...I think you've just given me a new pairing. Justin/Julia <3! Awwwww. Who wouldn't love Julia? She was awesome.

I mix up song lyrics a lot, too. I can't think of which ones off the top of my head right now, but I know I've done it and then felt really stupid when I realized I'd gotten it wrong.
Everybody wants a thrillkelly_girl on September 26th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
Lyrics I love to get wrong and will sing very loudly: Bad moon rising by Creedence Clearwater. "There's a bad moon on the rise," becomes "THERE'S A BATHROOM ON THE RIGHT!"

I would read Justin/Julia because Justin is magical and had me convinced he and TI were dating in TI's rap video 'Dead and Gone.' I watch that vid and am convinced I could actually put Justin and TI into the Supernatural(tv show) because there's a crossroads and Justin pining after TI who is going to jail and Justin lighting his piano on fire. And Justin makes a deal with a crossroads demon to get TI back...and I have thought about this too much.
lesnameles_one on September 26th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
I learned this from one of her detective novels, which features a canonically gay character.

Is that Guy (I think) Matthews from "Behold, Here's Poison"? I read that when I was about 11. I couldn't figure out why the mean uncle objected so strongly to Guy being an interior decorator that he wanted to ship him off to S America. Um... If I didn't get that, then I would've been oblivious to coding.