However, in a tribute to navel-gazing (the official sport of California!), I have decided to make this set all about me. Well, I'm making the titles all about me, and I'm selfishly picking stories from some of my favorite fandoms, including the ones y'all are insanely tired of, so - yeah. All about me. Go me!
Best FF That Implies That There Are People in This World Who Don't Appreciate Being Dragged to the Bedroom and Told to Take Their Clothes off Slowly. Which Is Certainly News to Me, and Unwelcome News at That. Adorned and the sequel Borealis, by Resonant, aka resonant8. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. This is one of the stories I read first in this fandom, and it ruined me for PWP for at least, oh, a week. Because this? Is maybe the ultimate Kowalski and Fraser character study. Every line tells us something important about one or both of the guys, and the sex would be unimportant if it wasn't just as revealing. Here we have the difference between the outer Fraser (god-Mountie, worshipped everywhere above 40 degrees north, known for cleanliness and smiling in the face of fate's cruelty) and the inner Fraser (I'll let Resonant surprise you). Here we also have the inner and outer Kowalski. And we get a nice long look at how they manage their appearances. And was not that just the worst story summary ever? It was. So, look, I cannot summarize this at all, obviously. But it's good - great, actually - and it's got a happy ending, provided you read the sequel. And it's got the ritual exchange of jewelery and other adornments analyzed in enough detail to spur three or four anthropology dissertations. Just read it, OK?
Best FF That Describes Wee Blair Sandburg as Little Orphan Annie, and, You Know, I Can Totally See It. And I Bet He'd Have Made That Godawful Movie Much More Interesting, Though I Don't Know That I Want to Hear Him Sing. Dork, by Francesca, aka cesperanza, and Miriam Heddy, aka miriam_heddy. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg. Yes, I did have to include a TS rec today, because some evil person linked me to the Sentinel mah jongg game, which is impossible and which never fails to give me a headache (itty bitty tiles featuring itty bitty pictures of Jim and Blair, including some that are nearly identical), but which I nonetheless cannot stop playing. I suspect subliminal mind-control, frankly. So, anyway, I've had TS on my mind a lot lately, because this game has little sound bites as well as little pictures and sometimes bigger pictures, and I thought it was time to reacquaint myself with those aspects of these guys that aren't related to a Chinese tile game. What better way to do that than to dress 'em up, or, rather, to let two very skilled authors dress 'em up? In this story, Blair cuts his hair (!) and gets in touch with his inner nebbish, and Jim loses his mind and gets in touch with his inner gay lust monster. I think we can all agree that that is a mighty appealing concept.
Best FF That Features Pink* Flip-Flops and Pink Baby Booties and Yet Is Not at All Girly and Does Not Feature Any Actual Babies. Sports Night, the Fandom of Internal Contradictions, How I Love Thee! Tin Men, by Punk, aka runpunkrun. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall. The SN lovefest continues on this LJ with this story, which combines some of my favorite elements of the show: Danny's snitfests, Casey's cluelessness, waist-down sartorial weirdness (live pants-free anchoring is canon, folks, and I've seen the episode that proves it!), killer dialog, and fantastic supporting characters. "Tin Men" incorporates all that in a light-hearted, funny, frothy mixture, and it throws in an established Casey/Danny relationship, which is all the canon needed to make it perfect. (Well, I believe that said relationship is canon, but I still want them to come out and say it.) So, basically, this story is exactly like the show. I think I'm required by law (or at least by fanofall, Procurator-General and Sports Night Pimp Mama) to note that if you like this story you should probably try a few episodes of the show, because if you don't, babies the world over will develop debilitating earaches. But, hey, don't feel pressured or anything.
Best FF That Made Me Secretly and Pathetically Proud of My Results on the Which Teen Titan Are You? Quiz. I Was Tim. I Am Cool. Albeit In a Truly Geeky and Pitiable Way. Management Strategies, by weirdnessmagnet. Teen Titans, Tim Drake/Kon. (Can somebody remind me what Kon's last name is, please? I've got superhero-induced memory rot.) I hope it's a surprise to no one that Tim's not Robin anymore. If it is, um... Hey! Guess what? Tim's not Robin anymore! So, how will our anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive, multiple-persona-loving Boy Wonder cope now that he's out of spandex and kevlar forever? (Or, you know, until DC figures out what to do with him.) Weirdness Magnet has the answer, which turns out to be, "not as well as you'd expect given how well he handled the massive strangeness of the Batfamily, although still better than 85% of superheroes would." Tim's learning to be a Real Boy, and he's finding it just about as easy and pain-free as Pinocchio did, provided you're judging by the XXX-rated movie Pin-POKE-me-o: Pinocchio's Adventures on the Island of Dominatrix Toys (probably not a real movie). But, hey, there's an upside: he may not be a superhero right now, but he can still have sex with them. On the couch. In his father's house. See? He really is learning how to be a real teenager!
* Apparently the flip-flops are not textually pink. But the author doesn't say what color they are, so I feel free to imagine that they are pink, and I intend to make full use of said freedom.