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16 July 2004 @ 09:41 am
Slashy Nominations 65: Make Me Immortal with a Kiss  
(Note on the title: I flirted briefly with "kiss me and be quiet" as a title for this post, but it just seemed so right to use Marlowe. In fact, I may use Marlowe as often as possible in the near future; he's perfect for the Slashies, and he'll make such a lovely change from Shakespeare and The Bible.)

Today, we'll look at kissing. And not just kissing on the road to something else; this is just kissing, only kissing, nothing but kissing. Sounds dull, you say? Look. Do you remember when kissing was new and strange and weird and yet totally fascinating and you could spend a whole afternoon doing nothing else? Think of these stories as a way of revisiting those long-lost days.

Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss, yes. But sometimes it's a hell of a lot more. Wondering when or how or why? Read on.

Best FF That Explains Sexuality in Terms of Writing Skill. Oh, Wait, That's What Most FF Does, Isn't It?: A Better Writer for It, by Anna-Maria Jennings (sorry, but her front page doesn't work, at least for me, so that's the best link I've got for her - does anyone know if she has a LJ?). Sports Night, Danny Rydell/Casey McCall. I figured I might just as well get the now-obligatory SN story out of the way first. But, actually, this is a fascinating story. For one thing, it's one of the longer pieces I've read built around just a kiss (well, OK, two kisses); it's divided into two parts, so be sure to click 'next' at the bottom of the page. For another, this is unusual for the fandom. In SN canon, it seems to me that Casey and Danny need each other, and need each other equally. Oh, yeah, on a given bad day or during a given bad experience one may need the other a lot more, but overall, it balances. And that, I think, is one of the things that makes their relationship successful (and so, so slashable). So it's sort of unfortunate that in many SN stories the need is all one way - usually, but not always, Danny needing Casey. This fic isn't like that; in fact, I'd argue that the major point of this story is Danny realizing just how mutual their need really is. So, you know, insanely excessive analysis there, but my point is: good story. Read it. And if the analysis didn't convince you, read it because it contains one of my favorite non-humorous lines ever from any fic.

Best FF That Makes Me Say, "Hey, Slashfen, They're Playing Our Song": Undercover, by Halrloprillalar, aka prillalar. Gundam Wing, Duo/Heero. See, now, this is why I loved the Week of Boy Kissage; it gave us lots of stories outside the usual fandoms and outside the usual patterns of FF. Here we have the classic Gay Defense Maneuver, only things don't turn out quite the way they usually do. (May I say here and now that I'd pay good money to see a Hollywood movie turn out this way after two "straight" men pull the Gay Defense?) And, see, this story has everything I'm learning to love about Gundam Wing FF - a repressed, manly (yes, manly, even though he's drawn like a transsexual cat), uberhero Heero who just cries out to be put in uncomfortable, embarrassing, or unmanly situations, and a boundy, gleeful, amusing Duo who apparently lives to do just that. Gundam Wing fic: because we're laughing with Duo. And at Heero.

Best FF That Demonstrates That Chicago Is Where One Goes to Have Dramatic Insights into One's Life. Does This Explain O'Hare? Can Anything Explain O'Hare?: The Outline of a Circle, by pearl_o. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser, Ray Vecchio/Stella Kowalski. This is, again, an unusual story - maybe kissing-only stories just tend to deviate from the norm. (Although in all honesty I must admit that there is another sex act here, but it's, shall we say, solitary. And Fraser treats jerking off more or less like brushing his teeth - something that must be done, and done properly, for reasons of hygiene. But that's no reason to enjoy it or anything.) What's so unusual about this story? Well, Fraser and Ray spend most of the story apart, Fraser in Chicago and Ray in Canada. That's not exactly normal. And we only get to see Fraser's perspective; we have to trust him to know what's going on in the duet, because we never hear from Ray. And you'll have to admit that a quiet Kowalski has the value of scarcity. And then there's the ending. Which you'll just have to read the story to see.

Best FF That Shows Us the Aphrodisiac Nature of Mud and Puddles: September Song, by Natalka. The Dark Is Rising, Will/Bran. (This fic is part of a series; you can find the other stories at the link for the author, above. I couldn't find a better link for her.) I think those of us who have read the stories will all agree that if Will and Bran are going to kiss, this is where they'd have to do it. Everything else important in their shared lives happens here. Take careful note of the time setting here, because when I first read this I thought they were younger than they are. It's actually kind of nice to see Will, who seemed to spend his childhood going for the title "Oldest Person in Any Given Room, and That Includes Rooms in Nursing Homes," acting like a boy here. (I almost wrote "real boy," but it gave me this horrible Will-Pinocchio hybrid image. And no one is to take that as a crossover plot bunny. Eeeww.)
 
 
 
on sateda, i was an accountant: you were saying? [by saava]minervacat on July 16th, 2004 09:08 am (UTC)
Best FF That Demonstrates That Chicago Is Where One Goes to Have Dramatic Insights into One's Life. Does This Explain O'Hare? Can Anything Explain O'Hare?
That made me snort Coke out my nose, and as a Chicagoan, I'd like to vote "no, nothing can explain O'Hare, just please, please don't make me fly out of Midway".

And thanks for the SN rec; every time I think I've read everything in the fandom, something entirely new turns up. *thumbs up*
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 16th, 2004 09:36 am (UTC)
I had a dramatic insight into my life in O'Hare once. It was: "I am never flying through this freaking city again if there is any alternative, even if said alternative is flying from Los Angeles to NYC via Easter Island." Actually, I had two insights, but the other one involved fast food, and I won't put it here in case you're eating.

I hear you can have other dramatic insights in Chicago if you actually leave the airport, though. Would you, as someone who has actually spent time in non-air-travel-related parts of Chicago, agree with this?

(And I'm really happy to hear that some of my SN recs are new to at least some fans. I figured there was a good chance that everyone in SN had read every single fic out there, so I've been recommending with the SN newbie in mind. Although I notice that, for example, many of my favorite fics have not yet been recommended on crack_van.)
on sateda, i was an accountantminervacat on July 16th, 2004 09:51 am (UTC)
Would you, as someone who has actually spent time in non-air-travel-related parts of Chicago, agree with this?
Oh, absolutely. There's the "Cubs fans are drunk maniacs" insight, and the "There are how many Indian restaurants within a mile of Western and Devon?" insight (answer: more than a dozen), and the "Traffic sucks on the Kennedy no matter what time of day it is, and that includes 4 am on a Tuesday, too" insight, just to name a few. But it really is a great town - I moved here expecting it to be a temporary stop-over in my life journey, and I went and fell in love with the city when I wasn't paying attention. It's really got a great amount of charm, outside of the airports. And the traffic.

Re: SN. I think that a big part of why a lot of fic is older but still relatively unknown is because the archive at Trickster, which was the primary comprehensive archive for the fandom, was down for a good number of months last year. A lot of stuff is only there and therefore was unaccessible for months, and a lot of stuff written in the meantime has never made it onto Trickster because it was down, so it's sort of a big jumbly mess of places to find fic with nothing central. And hey, I'm always in favor of new SN fic, so I can't really complain.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 16th, 2004 12:16 pm (UTC)
You know what's scary? Your insights actually made me want to visit Chicago, particularly the area around Western and Devon. (But then, I live in Los Angeles, home of the "Lakers fans are maniacs even when not drunk" and "God, the 405 is the work of the devil, because there's no other way it could be gridlocked 24/7" insights, so I'm already emotionally prepared for those aspects of Chicago. But we don't have nearly enough good Indian restaurants. And I'm a woman whose head is easily turned by naan and gobi aloo.)

The tragic part of the Trickster crash, for those of us new to SN, is that some stories seem to have disappeared completely. I see them mentioned on various SN pages, usually with a link to Trickster, but I can't find them anywhere. And then there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, let me tell you.
on sateda, i was an accountantminervacat on July 16th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC)
There are many good things to be said for Chicago - the live music scene is amazing, for one - but one of the biggest, for me, is the absolute amazing variety of ethnic food you can get here. There's a stretch of restaurants south of my apartment, where there's a sushi place next to a Caribbean place next to a Mexican place next to an Ethiopian place. It doesn't get better than that. (And now I'm craving Indian food. With none to be had within at least two miles of my office. Damn.)

The tragic part of the Trickster crash, for those of us new to SN, is that some stories seem to have disappeared completely.
Oh, I know. I entered the fandom right after the site went down, and waited paitently for it to come back up so I could read all that stuff and then ... gone. And I bet they were really good stories, too. The transient nature of the internet is damn frustrating sometimes.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 16th, 2004 12:46 pm (UTC)
There's a stretch of restaurants south of my apartment, where there's a sushi place next to a Caribbean place next to a Mexican place next to an Ethiopian place.

I? Hate you. That is all.

Well, no, it actually isn't. Because if I didn't hate you for lording your ethnic cuisine superiority over the less fortunate, I would love you for using an Old Kingdom trilogy reference as your name. And I would like you for being new to SN, too, and for commiserating with me on the whole story-deprivation thing. I bet this all averages out to reveal my true feelings about you, but damned if I can work it out.
on sateda, i was an accountantminervacat on July 16th, 2004 06:42 pm (UTC)
You know what I'd like to see? Old Kingdom fic. It's such a rich world, and I, for one, would be totally fascinated to read about, say, Lirael's adventures that the Disreputable Dog refers to in the epilogue, or anything at all about the Abhorsens before Sabriel's father. Yeah.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 16th, 2004 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, god, I know. I've been looking for that forever.

I've even considered writing it. Fortunately, the fever passed, but I would love to see Old Kingdom fic - gen, slash, het, whatever. There's so much story there, and Nix doesn't appear to want to write it.
on sateda, i was an accountantminervacat on July 17th, 2004 06:59 am (UTC)
AHA! Garth Nix fic at fanfiction.net. I make no claims about the quality, but there are 188 stories there, so at least one of them has to not suck, right?
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on July 16th, 2004 08:37 pm (UTC)
Have you tried the Internet Archive?

"What is that?" You say? Why, I'll tell you! They go through and archive internet webpages, so you plug your handy-dandy broken link into the Internet Archive (AKA the Wayback Machine, heh) and if it was archived, it brings the page up for you! EVEN IF THE LINK'S NOW BROKEN!

I bring youThe Internet Archive: Wayback Machine!
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 16th, 2004 11:45 pm (UTC)
I actually did try that for some of the stories. Problem is, the Wayback didn't archive the story pages as far as I can tell - just the front pages.

Grrr.
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on July 16th, 2004 11:49 pm (UTC)
Okay, I thought that would work. Hmm. Perhaps I will have to think on this some more.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 17th, 2004 12:44 am (UTC)
Well, it was an excellent idea. It just didn't work this time. Although, now I think about it, does Wayback archive Geocities pages? Because with the way Yahoo! is disabling every site that goes inactive for, like two minutes, I get a lot of bad links that way.

Now I wish I'd saved my bad links so I'd have some way to check. But that would be so, so anal retentive. Too much so even for me.

I hope.
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on July 17th, 2004 12:46 am (UTC)
What would the title of that "favorites" folder be? "Porn I have to put through the Wayback Machine"? ;-)
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvine2 by MMWDthefourthvine on July 17th, 2004 12:52 am (UTC)
Now I may have to make the folder just to use that title. Because, let's face it, we should all put porn through the Wayback Machine. It would suddenly acquire a badly synthesized soundtrack, lots of heavy gold jewelry, big lapels and flared pants, and Star Wars Original Trilogy hair.

Wait. Now I remember why I don't put porn through the Wayback Machine.

(Um...what's going on in that icon? I'm at loss.)
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on July 17th, 2004 12:55 am (UTC)
It's from the movie Troy, and specifically from the brilliant cleolinda's Troy in Fifteen Minutes, which can be found at her Movies in Fifteen Minutes LiveJournal Community.

Basically, the Trojans lob flaming balls of... well, I really do think it's twine...at the Greeks, and if you snark AT ALL, you're thinking, "BEWARE THE FLAMING BALLS OF TWINE!"
mr duck's embarrassednigeltde on July 16th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC)
*sets phaser to unlurk*
I'd like to second the above; I thought I'd read every SN out there, so this came as a very pleasant surprise. Thanks a whole bunch! And thanks, too, for these recs. They are just as delightful to read as the stories themselves and an absolute treasure trove for good fic. You and crack_van are my crackiest recs places ever!
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 17th, 2004 12:47 am (UTC)
Re: *sets phaser to unlurk*
Ooo. I'm in the running for Crackiest Recs! What do I get if I win?

(And you should unlurk more often. I want to hear your comments!)
torch: thoughtful Heeroflambeau on July 16th, 2004 10:34 am (UTC)
Heero who just cries out to be put in uncomfortable, embarrassing, or unmanly situations

This sums up so perfectly why I like him so much. Heero and Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach. I swear they have signs on their backs saying Tease me. Please.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on July 16th, 2004 12:11 pm (UTC)
Heero and Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach. I swear they have signs on their backs saying Tease me. Please.

Well, if Duo's been anywhere near Heero, that's about the best thing the sign could say.

(And, see, this whole tease-the-Heero thing stuns me, because normally I writhe in sympathy when embarrassing things happen to characters, even - and this is a good trick - when the characters themselves aren't embarrassed. It's my gift, and it sure makes reading in certain fandoms tough. But I never feel that way about Heero. Oh, I would if he was humiliated, but when it's just Duo attempting the impossible (i.e., to get Heero to lighten up a bit), I'm cheering instead of cringing. It's...odd. But refreshing!)
torchflambeau on July 24th, 2004 04:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know what you mean - I have a huge embarrassment squick, too. (It doesn't just make fandom difficult, it makes tv-watching difficult...) The teasing has to be done just right. :)
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on July 27th, 2004 12:49 am (UTC)
Yop. That's actually one of the many reasons I don't do the TV thing (except, of course, on the orders of fanofall, who could persuade a stone to watch Sports Night); the people who write the shows clearly do not agree with me on the whole humor v. embarrassment thing. Fandom's actually an incredibly relief when compard to most mass-media entertainment offerings.
torchflambeau on August 6th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, except for the people who have a kink for embarrassment and write stories that make me want to hide under the desk... (Not a suggested theme for recs! very not. *g*)

But everyone should watch Sports Night! And Firefly was good that way, I don't remember cringing or hiding at all.
tried to eat the safe banana: Lady Shiva says: ENOUGH - wanderlustlovethefourthvine on August 6th, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, except for the people who have a kink for embarrassment and write stories that make me want to hide under the desk... (Not a suggested theme for recs! very not. *g*)

Rest assured you'll never see that theme here; I'd die in the assembling of it.

And I'm with you on the horror of embarrassment fic; there's not as much of it as mass-media embarrassment humor, but what there is is excruciating. I mean, I don't exactly enjoy serious sexual humiliation fic, but non-sexual humiliation and embarrassment kill me. And it isn't something that gets warnings, so I'll be happily reading along and suddenly Harry will be - well, out of consideration for you, I won't say it. I'll just say it happens in front of his entire year. And then I swoon, and I have to go lie down with a cold cloth on my face.

The only thing worse than fic that makes me act like a Victorian lady with the vapors (like embarrassment stories) is fic that makes me want to be an illiterate, cloistered nun in a Spanish convent (those gut-kick, right-on-the-squick stories that destroy your will to read FF for days on end). Vapors fic and Spanish Convent fic: scourges of our time.
torchflambeau on August 9th, 2004 02:12 am (UTC)
Vapors fic and Spanish Convent fic: scourges of our time.

Ain't that the truth. There should be a support group. :)
Zebrazebra363 on August 26th, 2004 05:07 am (UTC)
And if the analysis didn't convince you, read it because it contains one of my favorite non-humorous lines ever from any fic.

I have to ask... which line is that?

The link to the story doesn't seem to work any more. I read it at the main SN archive.

I'm counting the days until my DVD's arrive!
tried to eat the safe banana: Love writing - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 26th, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, the version at the trickster archive is missing the second half, and the second half is the part with my favorite line in it. Or have I just lost my mind? I swear the SN archive story ends with Danny and Casey chatting about Danny's happiness and writing skill in Danny's apartment. Which is not where the story itself actually ends. Damn.

You must let us all know when your DVDs arrive. (Did you buy them without having seen the show, or have you seen it before? Because if you haven't, don't judge it by the pilot; I understand that one is not so good. "The Apology" is actually a better place to start, or at least, that's where I started.)
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 26th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC)
Ah ha. I have found a copy of the story that has both halves: A Better Writer for It. Note the all-important "next" link at the bottom of the page.

But given the challenges inherent in finding this story, I'm thinking you'd better read it fast.
Zebrazebra363 on August 27th, 2004 02:35 am (UTC)
Thanks a lot for the link. I had read only the first part (which made me wonder, since it didn't have the kiss/es you mentioned!). The second part is a bit heavy on the tears, but a good story.

Are you going to tell me your favourite line now?

And no, I haven't seen any of the show except for short video clips I downloaded from a website. After reading some episode transcripts I decided I must own it! With any luck it'll arrive next week.