But then I started actively seeking out all the different depictions of soulbonding in fan fiction, trying to figure out what the key elements of a soulbond are. (Yes, I have a list. It is a short list. Soulbonds are mysterious and mutable, is what they are.) And I found some fantastic stories in the process.
#BOOM!, by 26miledrive. Hockey RPF, Ryan Kesler/Andrew Ladd. (Helpful pairing primer featuring everything you need know to read this story. Although to be honest you don't even need to know who the guys are.)
Okay, so, first, I just need to say that this hockey thing has gotten out of hand. I know this because of two interactions with Best Beloved.
Scene 1: I am watching old hockey videos on YouTube, which I suspect is just about the worst way there is to watch hockey, but, whatever, it's what I can do. I am absolutely not yelling at the screen, no matter what BB says. BB is taking a bath.
BB, from bathtub: *laughter*
Me, assuming her book is amusing: What's funny?
BB: You. What happened?
Me: THAT WAS A COMPLETELY ILLEGAL HIT. THE BRUINS ARE FUCKING THUGS.
BB: *further laughter*
Me: It was! They are!
BB: I just can't believe you have opinions about this.
Me, sulkily: That isn't an opinion. It's a fact, and everyone knows it.1
BB: *laughs hard enough to displace a significant amount of water*
1 Yes, I said this even though I did not know it until very recently, and had to be taught by J. (Name redacted to protect the relatively innocent.) Thanks, J!
Scene 2: Dinner. I am breathlessly relating some hockey facts I have learned.
BB: Is the hockey season on right now?
Me: Yes! Of course!
BB: When does it end?
Me: Regular season ends in April. Why?
BB: Find out if there's tickets. Or whatever.
Me: But why?
BB: I can sense it coming. You're going to want to go to one. You might as well be prepared.
Me: Don't be ridiculous. I'm not going to a hockey game.
[Some days pass.]
BB: You want to go to a hockey game, don't you?
Me: ...Yeah, I kind of do.
BB: *does not say anything, but radiates smugness from every pore*
My point is, there has to be an end to this, and quickly, before I end up at a hockey game with no idea what is going on. (Keep in mind that I do not do well in crowds, do not like loud noises, do not process visual information all that splendidly, and have no idea what attending a hockey game might be like. I am basically the last person who should ever go to a hockey game. With luck I'll be able to hold out until April. If not - has anyone out there ever been to one? Any tips?)
But it isn't my fault I'm like this! Hockey fandom is just so great, is all, and this story - yes, we're back to the story now - is proof. Because, okay, I suspect that hockey doesn't actually, in real actual fact, have evil fairy godmothers nicknamed Biz Nasty. (Seriously. The man tweets as BizNasty2point0. On the one hand - if you were nicknamed Biz Nasty, wouldn't you try to pretend you didn't know? On the other hand, man, I wish every evil fairy ever invited to a christening was named Biz Nasty. That right there would improve most fairy tales by at least 50%.) And I also suspect that Mr. Nasty can't actually forcibly soulbond people to make them work out their differences. (Through hatesex. I mean. How else are you going to work out your differences? It's hockey.)
But, oh, it's so much fun to imagine a world where hockey does, and he can. And this story is where that happens. It's the comedy of the soulbonding world, filled with bad behavior in Vegas and poorly-chosen helicopter tours and some really, really questionable decisions made by your friend and mine, Bad Fairy Biz Nasty.
Read it for the giggles, my friends. Read it for the giggles.
Apres moi le deluge, by beyond_belief. Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.
And then, when you're done laughing, read this one for the quiet beauty and totally fascinating soulbond. (Sorry. I am basically the world's foremost soulbond scientist at this point. I cannot help categorizing these things; it is just my way. Look for my upcoming monograph, The Unbroken Thread: A Taxonomy of Soulbonds and Related Fantastical Connections, available wherever really boring books are sold.)
I love this one because - okay, if you're going to give two people a soulbond, hockey players who play for different teams and hate each other are actually a better choice than Nate and Brad. Usually, in fan fiction, we're writing about soulbonds between two people who spend, like, 18 hours a day together. (Oh, god, I just thought of a key and important question: Did anyone ever write a soulbond story in Sentinel fandom? I mean, they must have, right? Except it would actually be sort of pointless since it's basically canon. Still. If it's out there, I need to read it. I can't believe I never have.) Nate is off in Harvard, engaging in serious study and working to Make Our Nation Better! Brad is off in England, trying to drown Royal Marines! They have lives, is my point.
(And, yes, I did actually have a really long digression here about the worst fannish characters to have in a soulbond. I deleted it for the good of the recommendation, and I want you to know it was very hard to do. But if you have any opinions, feel free to weigh in. I mean, Methos? Buffy? Mycroft? So many possibilities!)
But in this story, in addition to lives, they also have a soulbond, and it's fabulous. I love how they fight it, how they learn to adapt to it, how they learn to deal with each other. And mostly I just love this story. I keep re-reading it, because it's one of those ones I just never feel finished with, you know? I'll be wandering around picking up toys and trying to persuade the child that there is a limit on the number of muffins we can make in one day, and suddenly I'll realize I need to go read that story. Again. And then I will spend the rest of the day thinking about the story while I pick up toys and make muffins.
Really, my only complaint here is that I want at least 50,000 more words of this. At least.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comments.