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25 October 2011 @ 08:33 pm
221: Wish I Could Be Part of Your World  
We recently watched Operation Petticoat, as you do. (Look, sometimes a person needs to see Cary Grant being suave. I am quite sure this has happened to you.) And I finished it feeling that you people had let me down, because while I am sure this has been thoroughly documented within the White Collar fandom, no one told me.

And what no one told me is that White Collar is an Operation Petticoat AU.

It's so obvious! Tony Curtis is the guy who joined the Navy for the shiny uniform and turned everything to his advantage, and then smooth-talked his way into being the supply officer for the submarine, and then robbed an entire Navy base blind to get the stuff he needed. Cary Grant is the captain, using Tony Curtis's skills because he needs them, but always aware this is a double-edged sword with no handle. Come on; that is obviously Neal and Peter, right there. And if you needed any proof beyond that, there's the name of the Tony Curtis character, which is: Nick Holden. As in, you know, one letter different from Neal Caffrey's favorite alias.

(If you're curious, by the way, Mozzie is clearly Ramon, thief and conman extraordinaire. Elizabeth, we decided after a lot of discussion, is the best parts of Lt. Crandall and Lt. Duran, combined; this is clearly why the OT3 vibe is so strong in White Collar. But there is no Satchmo equivalent. I guess you can't have everything.)

Anyway. If anyone has been yearning for a WWII White Collar AU that's heavy on the humor and features a pink submarine, there's one available for rental. I just thought you should know, in case your friends were keeping you in the dark, too.

And if you already knew, here are some other AUs for you to consider.

The One in Which We Learn That in the Right Hands, the Sketchbook Is Scarier than the Sword. Never Leave a Trace, by [dreamwidth.org profile] sam_storyteller. White Collar, Elizabeth Burke/Peter Burke/Neal Caffrey.

You know what's weird about White Collar? I remember the stories, but most of the time I can't remember if a given story was gen or OT3. (If it was something else, I remember.) I assume this is because White Collar itself is so OT3 that gen is just OT3 without actual sex scenes. (Dear White Collar people: Just have the canon sex scene already. The Burkes have a big enough bed, and it would save us all a lot of confusion and double-checking. We all know the fucking is happening, you realize. It wouldn't come as a surprise. <3, TFV) So take my pairing notes with a grain of salt, is what I'm saying. I double-checked, and I double-checked again, and I am pretty sure I'm right. But with White Collar, you can never be sure.

And now let's talk about this AU. It's not, like, the Neal, Peter, and Elizabeth gladiator AU. (Um. Please tell me there is not actually a White Collar gladiator AU. I think I sprained something just imagining that.) Instead, it's the show, except with magic. And this is not shiny happy magic with clear rules, where every first-level spellcaster gets one magic missile spell per day and his party only keeps him alive because at level 15 he will get lots of magic missiles. (And also because the player will whine if you let this character get killed off like the last one.) This magic is - fuzzy. Murky. Edgy. This is magic I can - okay, not believe in. But this is magic that works for me. (Hey, there's a reason I never played a magic user, okay? And not just because magic missile doesn't do all that much for me. I just have a hard time having fun with magic that's structured like an Amway sales chart.)

I love how this story manages to be so much like the actual show in the basics - I mean, everyone still has the same jobs and no one is wearing a toga - while being completely different in tone and genre. I love how much sense the magic makes, how it totally works to have prison, a place where people suffer and are often powerless, be a nexus of supernatural power. And I love how even though the entire picture is different, Neal and Peter and Elizabeth are still absolutely themselves.

This story is gorgeous and involving and lovely and great. And that's all I can say. Go read it right now.

The One That Starts and Ends in Pretty Much Exactly the Same Place, and Covers the Entire Galaxy in Between. It Is the Infinity Symbol of Fan Fiction Stories, Basically. Only Good for Legends, by [dreamwidth.org profile] leupagus. Star Trek XI, Jim Kirk/Spock.

Star Trek is officially the canon that ate my life. It should come with a warning, actually:

WARNING: Susceptible individuals may find themselves dramatically altered from continued exposure to this material. Changes may include, but are not limited to, a tendency to write "Spock" in hearts on your shoes, laughing at stories rated NCC-1701, and partial or total loss of your leisure time. You will never recover, and there is no way to know if you are susceptible until it is too late. Please check your schedule for the next four decades before opening this DVD.

I mean, that totally happened to me. So it is extremely cheering to me to happen upon a story like this and know, for sure, that I am not the only person who lost her soul and her evenings to Star Trek. (Okay, yes, I already know I'm not alone. [dreamwidth.org profile] frostfire fell down the well with me. But more company is always nice. It's a very big well.)

And then I get to read the story. Which is, well - it is a giant sprawling epic in which Spock is a cop and Jim is, you know, Jim. (I'm pretty sure in Iowa they use "Jim Kirk" as a descriptive phrase. As in, "Did you hear about Roger? Pulled a Jim Kirk with a Klingon; hear he won't be walking for months." Or "The barn's missing and there's giant letters spelling out a graphic insult where the floorboards used to be; gosh, this looks Jim Kirk-y.") And then stuff happens. I mean, a lot of stuff, because did I mention the sprawlingness of this story? Trust me, it's worth mentioning twice. This story goes from earth to Vulcan and back again.

I love lots of things about this, but probably what I love most is the mystery plot line. Mostly that's because SF mystery is something that's hard to do and, in my opinion, totally worth doing (All the time! Everywhere!), but I admit that there's also the fact that the mystery plot line has got a lot of Vulcans in it. I love Vulcans, especially when they aren't being a frankly creepy faceless monolith, and they are the furthest thing from that here.

Plus, T'Pring is wonderful in this. In fact, my notes on this story read, in large part: "Come for the Kirk/Spock, stay for the T'Pring of awesome." (If you're wondering why I don't share my bookmarks on Pinboard too often, this would be why. I rec slowly because no one anywhere should be subjected to my immediate reactions to stories. Also, said reactions are often at least partly expressed in long strings of vowels. I try to edit that out of the final recs, too.)

The One in Which We Learn What Happens When You Hire a Wizard as an Interior Designer. The other things the road to hell is paved with, by [dreamwidth.org profile] luciazephyr. The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden/Susan Rodriguez, Harry Dresden/John Marcone.

The Dresden Files is turning out to be one of those fandoms where I find myself inexplicably sulking at the internet, wondering why there isn't more fan fiction for it out there, even though I have not taken the time to get to grips with the actual canon. But Dresden/Marcone apparently speaks directly to the part of my brain that was shaped by intensive exposure to Smallville fan fiction.

No, seriously, if you've ever wondered to yourself what the world would look like if Clark Kent had magical powers instead of, you know, super powers (primary difference: none noted) and Lex Luthor was a businesslike criminal instead of a criminal businessman, Dresden Files fan fiction is where you should be turning. And if you have no idea at all what the Dresden Files is about, not to worry, because this story will teach you everything you need to know. (And if you don't want to dive in there until you know, here you go: There's magic and crime. Dresden has magic. Marcone has crime. There are some complications. And then they have sex the end. Okay, technically that's what the fan fiction is about, but I think it's already established that in this case the fan fiction is my canon.)

This story is perfect for me, because I am - well, pragmatic might be a good way to put it. In Smallville, I rapidly grew tired of Clark's Lone Hero pose; I always wanted Lex and Clark to team up, because Lex got shit done. And Clark, honestly, needed someone to get his shit together. And then Lex could borrow (and slightly modify) Clark's moral compass, and together they could save the world. Seriously, people have no right having these prolonged declared mortal enemies/rivals things going on when by working together they could be so much more effective. Basically my message to them is always: With great power comes a great need to get your head out of your ass. (It's probably a good thing I'm not on any comic book writing team.)

Well, that is what does happen in this story with Dresden and Marcone, provided you are willing to consider Chicago to be roughly the same thing as the entire world. (It isn't. However, it definitely has the strangest pizza in the world, and that is almost the same thing.) Dresden even manages to get his head out of his ass. I cannot tell you how immensely satisfying I found this.

(I cannot help but notice that I'm a lot more concerned about Dresden's issues than Marcone, and I'm concerned that you might be envisioning me as a sort of chaotic neutral type person now. I'm not. I used to play paladins. Really, I did. I still like them! I find the concept of lawful goodness truly interesting! I give to charities and am kind to puppies and hardly ever break any important laws! Just, in fiction, I tend to prefer people who are effective but immoral to people who are the kind of moral where they screw things up all the time but for the best possible reasons.)

Anyway, this story is long and glorious and features the unstoppable team of Dresden (in charge of magic) and Marcone (in charge of everything else). Which is as it should be. The end.

The One That Left Me Twitching with a Need for the Recipes, Damn It, the RECIPES. Grande Soy Triple Dirty Chai, by friskaz. Suits, Mike Ross/Harvey Specter.

You can blame [dreamwidth.org profile] frostfire for this one. She's the person who emailed me while she was in a distant country with a summary of this fandom, which meant when I started seeing fan fiction for it I responded with "Oh, right, that's the one with Harvey and Mike! The lawyers!" instead of "So, what, we're big into Brioni/Armani now? How does that go? 'Oh, baby, slide your button into my notched lapel - harder, harder, YES.'"

(If you don't know the canon, although it's hard for me to believe I could be speaking from a place of greater knowledge than anyone when it comes to a currently airing show - it's about, well, Harvey and Mike. Harvey is a lawyer with an awesome boss. Mike doesn't actually have a law degree but is practicing law anyway. Note for people following along at home: In the real world, it is better not to do this.)

So. I think we can all agree that the barista AU is a fine and honorable tradition in fandom. (Although - when did this start, exactly? Is there a Highlander barista AU, in which Methos is the guy who knows everything about the history of coffee but will happily drink the stuff from a vending machine and Duncan is the guy who takes coffee way too seriously and works endlessly to bring good coffee to everyone? Is there a Starsky and Hutch barista AU where they hug a lot and fight corporate coffee? Is there a TOS barista AU in which Kirk is the - you know what, no. I can work a Reboot barista AU fine, but trying to imagine James Tiberius Kirk mark 1 as a barista is hurting my head, even given the worrisome similarity between Starfleet and Starbucks.)

Anyway. My point is: I can generally take or leave a barista AU, except when they are awesome. This one is awesome. I buy Mike as a barista (yes, based on my extensive experience with this canon, which involved reading not one but two intercontinental emails, I feel wholly comfortable making this assertion), I love the way Mike and Harvey interact, I love the (I assume) original characters, and this is just a totally satisfying, sweet, lovable story, from beginning to end.

Much like a really good pie. Which, note, if you read this story, you're going to want some pie. (Or other dessert of your choice, pie-haters; I know you're out there. I'm married to one.) I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Just, some stories should come with a kitchen warning up front ("Warning: Do not read if you don't have ready access to a kitchen or at least the excellent products thereof"), and that's what I'm giving you here.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
lynnmonsterlynnmonster on October 26th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
Your posts are just like pure joy to me. PURE. JOY.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
Thank you. *beams* *reads comment again* *beams harder*
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on October 26th, 2011 07:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
cathalin: startrek spock smirkcathalin on October 26th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
although it's hard for me to believe I could be speaking from a place of greater knowledge than anyone when it comes to a currently airing show

*whistles innocently as her comprehension of various flisters' posts regarding a show named after men's clothing drastically improves*
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
With frostfire_17, I would have expected that a show called Suits was about either a high-end men's clothing store or, you know, Feds. TV IS HARD.
jenna_mariannejenna_marianne on October 26th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
The commentary on Operation Petticoat made me LOL. Need to watch it again.

You always give the best recs! (Love the Dresden Files one and can't wait for the follow ups)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
Operation Petticoat is always worth watching. I mean. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. That's all the reason I need.

(And I'm looking forward to the next ones in the series, too. Dear universe: MORE DRESDEN FILES STORIES PLEASE.)
(no subject) - jenna_marianne on October 26th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kumquat Weekendkumquatweekend on October 26th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)

God, I love your recs. Your prose is Wodehousian, is what I'm saying.

Oh, and I eventually read and enjoy the fic you're reccing, too.

*hearts you forever*

tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (And, you know, I read Wodehouse obsessively when I was a pre-teen, so I really appreciate that compliment.)

*hearts you back*
Ekaterinn: methosgreen (by kathyh)ekaterinn on October 26th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
Is there a Highlander barista AU, in which Methos is the guy who knows everything about the history of coffee but will happily drink the stuff from a vending machine and Duncan is the guy who takes coffee way too seriously and works endlessly to bring good coffee to everyone?

OMG, now I WANT this! Does Joe make them secret Irish coffees after hours?

Also, thanks for the last two rec; I hadn't read them before, and I'm always u for a good AU. (Also, I should be in bed, but I feel that turning two major grad school assignments should be *celebrated*).
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
I want it, too. *hopeless yearning*

And, yes, CELEBRATE. That is why we have fan fiction! Or, okay, it's mostly for procrastination, but I think it works fine for celebrating, too. (Two major assignments! GO YOU.)
Omphaloskepsis: goofydragonpaws on October 26th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
Silly TFV, that's because TOS!Spock would be the hippie barista, while Kirk would be the sexy corporate high-flyer seduced by Spock's espresso. Duh.



...if this exists, will someone please link me to it?
Spatz: Bunnies stories or stiltsspatz on October 26th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
TOS!Spock would be the hippie barista

Or rather, the exactingly precise barista who produces miraculous recipes from his equipment (custom-designed by Scotty, of course), whose relationship with his father is strained, and who trounces all of his customers at chess - until a certain corporate maverick walks through the door....
(no subject) - illariy on October 26th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV lettersthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
I think you've got the earliest documented instance thus far, then. (Over on DW, and I are in agreement that the first time we saw a barista AU was SGA. However, I seem to remember it was already an established thing then. And popslash invented so many things; I can believe it could be the genesis of this!)

I want a Fanlore article on this. I YEARN for it. Join me in hopeless yearning?
(no subject) - schneefink on October 31st, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 31st, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - schneefink on October 31st, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aethel on October 27th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
Stasiastasia on October 26th, 2011 05:46 am (UTC)
So, I shouldn't mention my un-written barista-AU for Harry Potter with Remus as the overworked, hardworking, stressed out Starbucks manager and Severus Snape as the bitchy, picky owner of the new age "vitamin" shop several shops down in the strip mall?

*grin*

Stasia
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV menorahthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
MENTION AWAY. Although I think my heart just shriveled slightly at the thought of Snape as the manager of ANYTHING. Management skills: he does not have them.
(no subject) - stasia on October 26th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on October 27th, 2011 03:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - stasia on October 27th, 2011 05:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on October 27th, 2011 07:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
corvis_corvaxcorvis_corvax on October 26th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
"With great power comes a great need to get your head out of your ass" Is now my new you're-over-heroing-it slogan d'jour. I will soon make t-shirts. FYI, my old you're-over-heroing-it slogan d'jour was "There's a fine, fine line between Capt. America and Capt. Hammer."
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV shoesthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
IF YOU MAKE A T-SHIRT I WILL BUY ONE. Because that slogan could apply to so many heroes, oh my god. I spend a lot of my time wishing superheroes would just get over themselves, you know?
a particularly troubled Romulan: st:xispocklookingupillariy on October 26th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
Eee, someone else has watched and loves Operation Petticoat! *_* It is such a fine film but not well known at least in the circles I frequent. Pink submarines FTW!

Damn. Now I imagine a Reboot AU.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV umbrellathefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
I do love that movie. And now I love it more, because it's a White Collar AU.

And pink submarines are AWESOME. If the US Navy really loved us, they'd paint one of their submarines pink.
concinnityconcinnity on October 26th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
And then I get to read the story. Which is, well - it is a giant sprawling epic in which Spock is a cop and Jim is, you know, Jim. (I'm pretty sure in Iowa they use "Jim Kirk" as a descriptive phrase. As in, "Did you hear about Roger? Pulled a Jim Kirk with a Klingon; hear he won't be walking for months."

How fandom has affected my brain: I read that and thought, "Well, I know fanonically Jim is kinda packing, but I don't think Iowa is that open-minded. They wouldn't go for Klingons in Iowa." *facepalm*

...er. Nothing against the fans in Iowa. Its just - I'm sure you're lonely sometimes.
tried to eat the safe banana: ST TOS Kirkthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
Lu (Not Your Average Retelling)elucreh on October 26th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I never connected OP and WC before! SO TRUE!!!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
Once you see it, it's like the secret of the universe has been REVEALED TO YOU. Or at least that was how I felt, although I also tend to feel like that if I eat really good chocolate ice cream. But still. It's AMAZING.
ubixtiz on October 26th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
*reserves Operation Petticoat at the library*
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on October 26th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
My work here is done.

*glides away radiating satisfaction*
Seadreamerseadreamer on October 26th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
Before I read a word, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see you not only reccing The Dresden Files, and echoing my own views on the whole Marcone/Dresden pairing. John absolutely Gets. Things. Done. I like that in a Mobb Boss. ^_^ Thanks for the rec!!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on October 27th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
I like getting things done in anyone. As far as I'm concerned, heroes should:

1. Get shit done.
2. Find the right shit to get done.
3. Where possible, not be batshit crazy.

Notice how standing on the street buffeted by wind and rain weeping over the agony of being really extremely powerful DID NOT MAKE THE LIST.
82828muscatlove on October 27th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Ahaha, I just spent all of last night mainlining "Only Good for Legends" after stumbling over it on AO3 and I concur completely. While I loved the Kirk/Spock (and what an adorable Spock, and Alison Chapel as Number One raised on Vulcan!), T'Pring made me very happy indeed. I found myself sliding down the STXI hole a few months ago, and then Netflix and its TOS episodes sent me even further, and now I am embarrassed to admit that not only have I read a metric ton of fic, I am reading a William Shatner ST novel (which makes me so happy because it's Tarsus IV aftermath, even if I wish it was slashier), have a library copy of "Spock's World" waiting, and bought an English STXI doujinshi last week. I love, love, love a new fandom that has so many years' history to explore!
tried to eat the safe banana: STR Life long and prosper hostilethefourthvine on October 27th, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
I fell down the same slope in 2009, and my life has NEVER BEEN THE SAME. But I would say I'm happier now. Probably way down on the geek hierarchy, but happier. BECAUSE SPOCK MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER.