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04 November 2011 @ 11:41 am
222: First You Kiss. Then You Fall.  
Today, a themed recommendations set! Yes, apparently I still do these. I don't know what to do with myself. The end of Delicious has changed me. Or changed me back, I guess?

But this is a weird set, one that I did not, until recently, think I'd ever be able to put together. (Thank you, Avengers fandom. You made me think this was possible.) It's first times that are actually someone's first time; in other words, to the best of my knowledge, someone loses some kind of virginity in all of these stories. Woo!

And now: stories.

The One That Proves That the Drunken Avengers Would Be Simultaneously the Best and the Most Horrifying Comic Book in All the World. (Yes, Even if You Take the Haunted Vagina One into Consideration.) Ready, Fire, Aim by gyzym. Avengers, Steve Rogers/Tony Stark.

Oh my god, you guys, the Avengers fandom is killing me with the first times. It's like everyone looks at Steve Rogers and thinks, "There is a dude who needs to have some adorably sweet first times with a total sex monster." Or, hey, maybe they say that in the actual canon. (Which is - a movie? And a trailer? I don't know. It turns out I can have a small child or I can keep up on popular culture. Not both. Although to be honest I wasn't doing such a hot job with that before we had the earthling, so it may just be the old problem with me and popular culture, here.) It could be canon! Many Marvel products have lengthy scenes in which costumed superheroes explain how they really don't have time for love, Dr. Jones.

...No. And I suppose if I mention that that would make me more likely to purchase their products, Marvel will, in the fine tradition of Western comic book publishers everywhere, make double double sure that never happens. But it doesn't matter, Marvel! There is fan fiction enough for everyone. And in the fan fiction, Steve Rogers gets to have sex with Tony Stark a lot the end.

But that is not all I love about this story (although Steve Rogers/Tony Stark is, as far as I'm concerned, a winning combination right there), because this story has great Tony voice and great Steve personality. I like my Steve, you know, a trifle fucked up by the fact that he's risen from the dead and doesn't even get the pointy teeth and sparkles, and this story delivers on that. (Although oh god a whole Avengers vampire AU just popped into my head unbidden, and I have to hope that someone has already written it. Someone has already written it, yes? Please?) And I like my Tony to be just precisely the sarcastic neurotic hyperactive asshole that somehow we all end up loving, and this story delivers on that, too.

Plus, I mean, adorable first time. There you go.

The One That Reminds Us Not to Run Around in the Hot Sun with a Full Wheel of Brie in Your Stomach. (Frankly, I Get Queasy Just Thinking About It.) Summer 2010, by cimmerians. Glee, Kurt Hummel/Finn Hudson.

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I generally avoid fiction about teenagers. (And, yes, I have since I was a teenager.) My reasoning is: I had to live through it, and that was bad enough. I shouldn't have to read about it.

But I will make quite a few exceptions for [dreamwidth.org profile] cimmerians, who writes consistently amazing stuff and has a name that means Best Beloved and I occasionally conquer her in Civilization. (She's a barbarian state. I'm as surprised as you are.) And one thing you can say for fan fiction about teenagers: it's where the first times are a lot more believable. (I really struggle with, for example, first time stories about immortals. I'm sorry, but if you haven't tried every sexual act there is to try after the first three hundred years, you are not putting forth your best work effort. Immortality is wasted on the prudish and unimaginative, and Methos would tell you the same if you asked him.)

So obviously this story started with some advantages. (Author and fandom, in case you missed it in the rambling.) But there is so much more than that here. First, there's Finn, who is adorable and galumphing and confused and sincere. It's - well, I already used the word adorable, so let's just say - no, I have to go with fucking adorable. And then there's Kurt, who - do I need to say I've never seen Glee? I've never seen Glee. But I love Kurt in the fan fiction, so much so that it was a struggle to pick just one story from the fandom for this set. He's got the witty dialog going for him, and the intelligence, and this combined confidence and vulnerability that just makes me want to hug him and also want to enable him to skip his teenaged years entirely.

Except not. Not if people are going to write stories like this about him - stories that feature an entirely reasonable modern-day summer of love and discuss the gay subtext we all know is lurking beneath the spandex of all those superhero costumes.

The One in Which We Learn That, Really, an Obnoxious Little Sister Is a Life Advantage. I Would Like My Older Sister to Take Note, Please. Make Kings and Vagabonds, by noelia_g. Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick. (Which I initially wrote as Brad Fick/Nate Colbert. This means something. Maybe just that I need more sleep, though.)

There are some stories you read because the concept is instinctively right. And there are other stories you read because the concept is so very wrong you suspect it might actually be right, and even if it remains horribly wrong, it will still be really fucking funny. This is one of the latter.

Because, okay: Brad Colbert stars in The Princess Diaries. Tell me you didn't fall over laughing when you read that sentence. And tell me you aren't also staring speculatively at it, your mouse hovering over the link as you wonder if that could possibly work, because probably not - but if it did, oh if it did -

Well, I tell you what: it works. It works precisely because Brad Colbert is one of the last of fandom's favorites you'd pick to be a sudden unexpected princess. (I did have a lot of fun while I was reading this trying to imagine the ones who would be even worse at this than Brad. I mean, John Sheppard. And Aeryn Sun. Brian O'Conner, I guess. But it's a surprisingly short list. Buffy would handle this better than Brad, even though it would make her vampire slaying activities really challenging (paparazzi and vampires, never a good combination). So would Captain Jack Sparrow and every major member of the Marvelverse, including Erik Lehnsherr. Although I tell you what, I would pay actual money for a ringside seat at the first attempt to put a tiara on Erik.) Brad also makes a surprisingly excellent star of YA novel - moody, a trifle sulky, and with a Hidden Secret, but prepared to rise to the occasion awesomely when necessary. And Nate Fick works perfectly as Best Boyfriend Ever material.

The only real problem with this story is that I wanted at least another 30,000 words of it. (Which is the true sign of a great YA novel, in my opinion: not that you can't put it down, but that you can't give it up.) It's just - gay Princess Brad, trending on Twitter! (Okay, fine, he's a prince, whatever. He'll always be Princess Brad to me.) Just thinking those words makes me happy. Reading a story involving them made me happy all day long.

The One That Proves, Again and Again, That the Primary Advantage of Getting Older Is That You Can Be More Creative About Sex. The Winter of Banked Fires, by yahtzee63. X-Men, Charles Xavier/Erik Lehnsherr, Rogue/Wolverine.

You know how it is. You meet someone, and it's wonderful. The two of you share something you've never shared with anyone before. You can't get over how amazing your beloved is - how amazing the world is with your beloved in it. It's bliss. It's perfection.

Then you have a really bad breakup and your beloved starts trying to destroy the world, and all you can remember even about the perfect time is how the seeds for this hideous nuclear winter were planted way back then.

That's pretty much my relationship with the X-Men, right there. Except. Except. Lately I've been able to go back! Revisit my past love! Remember why I thought it was so awesome, and forget about that whole unfortunate nuclear winter thing that came between us! Thank you, fan fiction. (I guess technically I should also think the fine cast and crew of X-Men: First Class, except I have not actually seen the movie, and also I suspect they may not have been seeing the key X-Men relationships exactly the same way I do.)

And, of course, that's not just my story with the X-Men; it's also one of the main stories in the X-Men, how there were these two awesome boyfriends in love and then ideological differences came between them and then, well, you know how it goes: decades of bloodshed and yearning. I think we've all been there.

This story simultaneously addresses both of these traumatic breakups. It's a blend of the X-Men movieverse (um, what are we calling the old trilogy, now?) and First Class - sort of the good parts version of all of them, from what I can tell - so it deals with the every-so-slightly fraught relationship of Charles and Erik. And resolves it. (And, okay, no spoilers, but they actually come out of it saner, which has to be the first time this has ever happened to anyone in the Marvelverse anywhere.) It's fucking brilliant.

And then there's the relationship between Wolverine and Rogue. And the plot, which has everything I have ever wanted from an X-Men story that I would never get in the canon. And, just. Everything. This story has everything. I will smile more for the rest of my life, just because it exists.

And that is why I'm recommending it, even though everyone in the world seems to have read it already. (If you haven't - please please please do. It's pure joy, people.)

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
Katejuliansinger on November 4th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Iron Man I & II and Captain America the movies, plus yes, a trailer for The Avengers which comes out eventually but not yet. So people are basing stuff largely on the trailer, though of course they may be infusing comics canon in there, too. (Haven't read the 'fics, don't know for sure.)

But, plus, in Captain America (the movie), Tony's dad almost (but not quite) drools on Cap, so I suppose one could argue it was inevitable due to genetics.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on November 4th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, fandom. I love you so much. Of course, now I'm worried that the Avengers movie will be a tiiiiiiiny letdown, but even if it is, look how much awesome stuff there already is!

And I'm guessing some comics canon snuck into the fandom, since, for example, Tony seems pretty upset during one of Cap's deaths. And that's just one scan of so, so many.
Pet: STR Kirk OMGapetslife on November 4th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
It's like everyone looks at Steve Rogers and thinks, "There is a dude who needs to have some adorably sweet first times with a total sex monster."

Yes.

This.

This, precisely.

You are a GENIUS and that is the best way I've ever seen it put, ever!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on November 4th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
I have not seen the most recent version of Captain America, nor do I know who played him, but I have to assume it was an actor with the world's most potent I Am a Sweet Innocent So SEX ME UP field.
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Hello Sailorlaughingacademy on November 4th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
Cap is played by Chris Evans. I have not seen his other films, but I had the impression that his usual role was The Dude Who’s Kind of a Jackass — like, he may be a good guy, but interacting with him involves a lot of eyerolling. As Steve Rogers/Captain America, however, he is my favorite Humble Hero/Mensch since Adrien Brody as Jack Driscoll in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong. Plus, y'know, once they put him through the Beefcake Machine, GODDAMN.

Edited at 2011-11-04 10:19 pm (UTC)
tried to eat the safe banana: !thefourthvine on November 4th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
I so desperately want to believe there's a Beefcake Machine, and most newbie actors are like, "Oh, hey, this role comes with a trip through the BEEFCAKE MACHINE. Score!" And then there's the indie actors who spend all their time telling their friends they'll NEVER go through the Beefcake Machine because they are all about their ART. And then there's some of Hollywood's, like, more emeritus stars, who have been through the Beefcake Machine so many times that if they go through once more they're afraid their dicks will fall off. And so on. (If the side effects are cumulative, that could explain a LOT about the spectacular meltdowns aging A listers are prone to.)

Now I want pictures of Evans pre- and post-Beefcake Machine.

This mental image is never going to go away, is it? I assume this is revenge for the haunted vagina remark. In which case, well played.

*shakes tiny fist at you*
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: SPN - Saying something?laughingacademy on November 4th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
I was referring to the canonical Vita-Ray device, but an actual Beefcake Machine would explain a lot. (For example, Jared Padalecki c. SPN season 1 vs. season 4.)

Edited at 2011-11-04 11:02 pm (UTC)
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Metropolis - Maria's winklaughingacademy on November 4th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
You know, I had forgotten about the haunted vagina until you brought it up, so thanks for that. :P

Oh man, between "Ready, Aim, Fire" and "Tomorrow Belongs to Me," Steve/Tony has eaten my brain. I pray to God that there's chemistry between RDJ and Chris Evans.

I suspect they may not have been seeing the key X-Men relationships exactly the same way I do. — I would bet good money that James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender see Professor X/Magneto exactly the way we do. Also, since Hugh Jackman's Wolverine makes a brief cameo in XMFC, I think we're meant to believe it leads into the X-Men trilogy films. (Third movie? What third movie?)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on November 4th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
I don't know how anyone could forget about the haunted vagina. Are you seriously telling me you don't sometimes wake up at nights thinking "You have to get out of here! Your vagina is haunted!"?

I would bet good money that James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender see Professor X/Magneto exactly the way we do. Also, since Hugh Jackman's Wolverine makes a brief cameo in XMFC, I think we're meant to believe it leads into the X-Men trilogy films. (Third movie? What third movie?)

WE WILL ALL FORGET ABOUT THE THIRD MOVIE NOW.

Instead, I will dwell on the idea that maybe the movie really is as awesomely slashy as it sounds.
feochadnfeochadn on November 4th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
You do know that Ready, Fire, Aim has a sequel?
And is apparently going to be a trilogy?
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on November 4th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
I knew about the sequel but not the impending third one. YAY THIRD ONE!
Anoel: glee kurt/finn gaga heartanoel on November 4th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Looove that Glee fic. I actually think I forgot to post feedback so nice reminder.

If you'd like another great Glee fic where someone loses their virginity, try Good (You know what I mean) which is a Kurt/Blaine 50s AU with a very interesting Kurt characterization that totally works. It killed me in the best possible ways.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on November 5th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
Ooo! Thank you. "Killed me in the best possible ways" is quite a rec.
Alethia: GK Brad Yeahalethialia on November 4th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
(Which I initially wrote as Brad Fick/Nate Colbert. This means something. Maybe just that I need more sleep, though.)

HA! Or you were right the first time!

Brad Colbert stars in The Princess Diaries. Tell me you didn't fall over laughing when you read that sentence.

Hee! It's a very fun story and I love the voice of it. She does a great job putting a smile on your face.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV Katamari Damacythefourthvine on November 5th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
At least I didn't write "Brad Fick/Nate Fick." That couldn't go anywhere good.

Hee! It's a very fun story and I love the voice of it. She does a great job putting a smile on your face.

She really does.
blah blah blah: bookshelvesunusualdemoness on November 5th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
Although oh god a whole Avengers vampire AU just popped into my head unbidden, and I have to hope that someone has already written it. Someone has already written it, yes? Please?

Someone has! I haven't read it yet, so I don't know if it's good or not, but I did get it off a rec list so hopefully that means it's well done.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV lettersthefourthvine on November 5th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
AWESOME. Thank you! MUST READ THIS NOW.
Always Addledalwaysaddled on November 6th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
The Avengers dynamic, in which one of the pair is fine, upstanding do-gooder who needs mussing up and the other is a sarcastic sort playing at disaffected but really is not, reminds me of Due South. *happy sigh*
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV menorahthefourthvine on November 7th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
OH GOD BENTON FRASER AND STEVE ROGERS WOULD HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY TO EACH OTHER. Why did I never think of this before now?

...Great. There's a crossover yearning that's going to be with me forever. I just. They'd BOND, you know? It wouldn't be like OMG hot sexy sexytimes - it'd be like a support group for good guys who feel out of place in the modern world.
Always Addledalwaysaddled on November 8th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
Yes! This exactly. They would bond and thus scare the crap out of everyone who knows them. Somewhere out there in Fanficland is a speakeasy where Benton and Steve bond over their love of Ella Fitzgerald while Ray K and John Sheppard slouch by the bar and Tony and Rodney cover the wall by the bathroom in equations, arguing about the multiverse.
cindyrama on November 7th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
Waving
Hi, fourth vine!

This is star watcher, setting Cindy up on her new iPad. We have a bookmark for her LJ page, now. (I think.) Anyway, she'd like to be added to the Earthling filter, please, so she can read about him direct.

Thank you.

Starwatcher
tried to eat the safe banana: Earthling playsetthefourthvine on November 7th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
Re: Waving
I have earthling'd you! You should now be able to read all the earthling posts on LJ.
twfftwtfwftw on November 10th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
But this is a weird set, one that I did not, until recently, think I'd ever be able to put together. (Thank you, Avengers fandom. You made me think this was possible.) It's first times that are actually someone's first time; in other words, to the best of my knowledge, someone loses some kind of virginity in all of these stories. Woo!

Just how averse are you to being introduced to the Supernatural fandom? Because I know of a canonically virginal angel/snarky manslut pairing that may be Relevant To Your Interests.

Also, I apologize if someone's already given you the Coles Notes and I missed it, but: Avengers is a 'verse. Just like the Buffyverse encompasses both Buffy and Angel: multiple shows in one shared fictional reality. 

So Iron Man, Iron Man II, Thor, Captain America, and I think one of the Hulk movies are all in the Avengers 'verse. There will be a movie next year called "Avengers" which will also be in this 'verse - but right now we only have the trailer for that.

Most Avengers characters have been in one or more movies already, if only briefly. However, the movies haven't gotten to the point in the 'verse timeline where Steve Rogers is living in the present day (he's only just woken up from his ice nap). So any fic that has Tony and Steve interacting is based on the "Avengers" movie trailer, and speculation (and possibly comics canon).

...did that help or just make things worse?
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on November 19th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
Just how averse are you to being introduced to the Supernatural fandom? Because I know of a canonically virginal angel/snarky manslut pairing that may be Relevant To Your Interests.

I am not at all averse to being introduced to SPN fandom! Just, you know, incest is one of my ironclad squicks, sadly, so I cannot read the Dean/Sam, even if it isn't graphic. And I've made some attempts to read Dean/Castiel, but am always confused by the, um, everything. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON, is basically the deal. So if you know of some long stories that work as an introduction to the fandom, lay them on me! YAY.

...did that help or just make things worse?

Helped! Thank you! Though, wow, now I am seriously worried that the Avengers movie is going to come out and DECIMATE THE FANDOM.

Edited at 2011-11-19 07:22 pm (UTC)
twfftwtfwftw on November 23rd, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
I am so right there with you on the incest. One of my very favouritest authors has written extensively in SPN - and it's all Sam/Dean. I tried, once; I was all "The characters are so spot-on! The voices are so perfect! And oh God, that's only making it worse."

My fic tastes run more to the short and sweet, but I'll definitely raid my friend's bookmarks list: she's all about epics. I'd also be happy to give you a primer. The story isn't actually that complicated. It's just unusual. "Steve and Dann-o are cops and partners, in Hawaii" pretty much gives you enough context to understand their relationship and their universe: cop partners. Done. "Dean and Cas are the Righteous Man and the angel who pulled him out of hell" just requires a smidge more backstory.

You think the movie will decimate Avengers fandom? Unmet expectations? Canon preventing speculation?
Hmm. You may have a point. Although I'd note that the movie is being done by Joss Whedon; I believe his previous works have found some limited acceptance in a small, isolated, very un-vocal corner of fandom.
Red Fiona: filmsredfiona99 on November 16th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
Given James McAvoy spent interview time saying that the ending upset him and that in a perfect world Xavier and Magneto would ride off into the sunset together, I think they (and the director and writer who agreed) are on the same page. I'm also in continual love with Jane Goldman, aforesaid writer who said, 'yup, it accidentally turned into Mystique:Origins' because that was the film I enjoyed watching the most out of the three films First Class was.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on November 19th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, James, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. (That totally makes me like him a lot, because - YES. I have been being sad about that for a decade myself!)

And I have acquired sudden love for Jane Goldman. GO JANE.
Red Fionaredfiona99 on November 19th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
James McAvoy is utterly adorable most of the time.

Jane Goldman is awesome. I also heavily, thoroughly and utterly recommend 'Stardust' that she also wrote the screenplay for.

theviolonisttheviolonist on January 22nd, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
I am so happy that you exist right now.

I mean, where do you get real, developed, critical commentaries on fan fiction these days?

That's right. Nowhere. (Don't get mad, other amazing people, I'm just being a bit hyperbolic.)

Which doesn't change the fact that I'm thankful for you existence. I just thought you should know.

And, you know, thank you. For the fic. Although it won't help with my homework, but when you have to hose between Hegel and Steve/Tony... not much of a wager.

(And it is really difficult to find good Finn/Kurt, so a double thank you. There's not much good Glee fic, actually, although I have to admit that this declaration has much to do with the fact that no Glee pairing works for me a hundred percent, but if you haven't read it yet, Occupational Hazard (and all its sequels, of which there are regrettably few) must be the Glee fic that has the most potential to be weird but isn't and is instead wonderful, hysterical, well-written and adorable. That is all.)