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.)