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30 May 2016 @ 08:17 pm
All the Ships I've Loved Before 1  
So, uh. Mistakes were made. See, there was this neat meme going around on Twitter – one like equals one ship – and I was really enjoying seeing what everyone had stored deep in the depths of their pairing wardrobe. Except most people were tweeting pictures, and the last thing I want to do is google a whole bunch of names and spend time squinting at the screen going, "But is that the actual Jim and Blair from the Sentinel? ...What did they look like, even?" So instead I thought I'd do fic recs. I could easily come up with a dozen or so pairings and a dozen or so recs, and I didn't expect to get more likes than that.

Instead, I ended up with 66 likes.

So, over the next, uh, probably months, possibly years, I will be doing a very deep dive into my pairing wardrobe. (Yes, I do have 66 pairings. I counted. The sad truth is that even this will not empty my pockets of all pairings. I'm a ship magpie, apparently.) No particular order, because honestly this project is already ridiculous enough. I'll try not to use stories I've recommended before, but in some cases I'll do it anyway, because some pairings have to be mentioned, even if I've already recommended every story about them.

Are you ready for this? I am definitely not ready for this. There should be a special name for a meme that gets way out of hand. Memelanche? Whatever. Here comes my memelanche of pairings, one fic rec at a time.

Let's start with a classic.

The One That Made Me Realize the Horror of Having a Soulmate with a Really Long Name in a Wristname AU. (Like, Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla's Soulmate Presumably Has a Full Sleeve Wristname, So I Hope They Like Tattoos.) Gentle Antidote, by x_los. Harriet Vane/Peter Wimsey, Lord Peter Wimsey series.

Okay, so, if I'm doing an All the Ships I've Loved Before meme, let's start off with one of the ones that formatted my brain. I read the Peter Wimsey novels as an impressionable 12 year old, and I tell you what: that's the wrong damn time to read them. Developing brains and Dorothy Sayers are a potent, terrible mix; I will never stop expecting fictional het romances to require five years, five hundred pages of persiflage, and at minimum two dead bodies before any sort of consummation can be achieved. This is why I am terrible at reading published het romances. The characters meet and kiss and fall in love and bang in the space of like a week, and my hindbrain goes, "Nope. This is not how straight romance goes. I know this from my learnings. Where are the corpses? Where is the part where she refuses him fifty times and walks across England to avoid dealing with her feelings? Where's the banter and telegrams and Latin proposals?" My brain knows what it is due and just won't accept less. Sayers has a lot to answer for, basically.

But it turns out I do not require the years/persiflage/bodies in every single case, and, oddly, this pairing is one of the cases where I don't. At least in the hands of a writer as skilled as this, in a story as good as "Gentle Antidote." This is honestly everything I've ever wanted from a Harriet/Peter story – them, being so completely them, which will always be enough for me – and also everything I've ever wanted from a wristname AU – good worldbuilding, sensible reactions, total buy-in to the concept, wristnames that don't solve every problem and actually create a few, a happy ending.

This story makes me as happy as any two of the books it took Sayers to accomplish the feat of getting these extremely difficult people together. Partly that happiness comes from the sheer perfection of every word, and partly it's from my knowledge of everything the characters are going to avoid and accomplish, thanks to wristnames. (Hail, wristnames! I welcome our tropey overlord.) And while I think the former joy will be available to anyone who knows what a wristname is, the second pleasure is probably only for those who have read Sayers's Harriet Vane stories. (Which, I mean, is not time wasted or anything.)

But whether you've read Sayers or not, I recommend this story; it's the perfect story for the ur-ship. (Or one of them. But, well, we're going to get there. One pairing down, 65 to go.)

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
Tags: wimsey
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: ratatouille - passionate literacydramaturgca on May 31st, 2016 06:03 am (UTC)
You read Sayers way too young, I read Gone with the Wind WAY too young.
tried to eat the safe banana: !thefourthvine on June 1st, 2016 03:29 am (UTC)
Oh nooooo, that sounds even worse! (I've never read it at all, but BB has, so I've heard quite a number of lectures about it.)
snailsnailbones on May 31st, 2016 09:37 am (UTC)

You've just explained to me what's been wrong with my brain all these years; I too read Sayers around that age and the damn woman had the same effect on me, I just hadn't realised it till now. Curses! Is there a cure? No wonder I don't enjoy short stories and instant romances.

And thank you for the rec too.

tried to eat the safe banana: Andthefourthvine on June 1st, 2016 03:30 am (UTC)
I don't think there's a cure, no. The formula receptive, vulnerable brain + Dorothy Sayers = PATTERN ADHERED TO FOREVER. But at least you know the name of the disease know? Um. Assuming that's an improvement.

Isn't the story amazing?
HYPERFocusedhyperfocused on May 31st, 2016 03:19 pm (UTC)
/me waits gleefully for 65 more posts of brilliance. Limiting you to 140 characters is almost a sacrilege. (Obviously I mean characters in the Twitter way. 140 people characters is pretty close to 66 ships.

This was a cool meme to read. So far I've had to take it quite quite literally, since I got one "like", just like (heh) it says.
tried to eat the safe banana: Andthefourthvine on June 1st, 2016 03:31 am (UTC)
You're making me think there should be a 140 characters meme. Name your 140 characters! Give a fic link for each of them!

...NO NO NO NO THIS MEME IS BAD ENOUGH. *makes sign to ward off temptation*

*adds another like to your total*
HYPERFocused: OMG Whyhyperfocused on June 1st, 2016 03:54 am (UTC)
Hee! Thanks.

Ya know, a 140 character thing would make for one heck of a drabble challenge. Because you could probably come up with 100 words on 140 people( or whatever). Or a 140 characters about 140 characters Twitter tiny tales.
The Gauche in the Machinechina_shop on June 1st, 2016 12:08 am (UTC)
Wheee, I am so looking forward to this. *makes greedy grabbyhands*

Also, I have somehow existed 12 years on the edges of fandom and not read any wristname stories, so thank you for this. <3
tried to eat the safe banana: !thefourthvine on June 1st, 2016 03:35 am (UTC)
I know it's not your fandom anymore, but seeing your name will always make me think of due South. And so I started thinking about due South wristname AUs. So, hey, thank you for commenting! Not only is it always awesome to hear from you, but also you triggered a fascinating discussion on twitter.
The Gauche in the Machine: F/K/V - they all love each otherchina_shop on June 1st, 2016 03:47 am (UTC)
Aww! *beams and goes to investigate on twitter* Ahaha!

See, I am all about the OT3s these days. Is there a prevailing wisdom about how wristnames work for poly relationships? Fraser has "Ray" twice?! The possibilities!
springwoofspringwoof on June 1st, 2016 01:56 am (UTC)
Woohoo! Wimsey/Vane FTW!!
Apparently Sayers when you're 12 was a disease that was going around once upon a time, 'cause I caught it too....
tried to eat the safe banana: Bookthefourthvine on June 1st, 2016 03:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's a fairly widespread problem, I think especially in fandom. Well. At least we're in good company?
sheldrakesheldrake on June 1st, 2016 10:31 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I love this story! :)

*sits back to enjoy the memelanche*
The sanest lunatic you've ever metsdwolfpup on June 3rd, 2016 05:37 am (UTC)
I'm so glad this is where you've decided to take this! I look forward to seeing your 66 pairings!
filkferengifilkferengi on June 5th, 2016 06:36 pm (UTC)
I too imprinted on Certain Writers far too young. There are advantages in being inclined to prolong one's pleasure, but certain frustrations when one can't. In either case, thank you very much for the lovely rec; it is absolutely delightful!