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17 August 2004 @ 11:58 pm
Slashy Nominations 77: Watching Thee from Hour to Hour  
My fandoms like to watch. All of them. Because, actually, fan fiction is watching - we're peering into the parts of our characters' lives that the creators wouldn't show us. In other words, we're all voyeurs. But, as these stories show, we're in excellent company.

Warning: if you're already borderline paranoid, you'll probably want to skip these, unless you think you'd enjoy a future in which you cannot have sex without assuming that someone, somewhere, is watching.

Best FF That Teaches Us That Discourtesy Has Consequences, and That We Should Therefore Always Remember to Knock. Unless, of Course, We Wish to Make Difficult Yet Erotic Discoveries. Intruding, by helvirago. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Sort of. Those are the characters involved in this story, anyway. And what is the story? Well, certain psychologists say our lives are all stimulus and response. It's possible one of them wrote this story, although I really hope that helvirago is not B. F. Skinner in disguise, because that boy was creepy. But this is a story any behaviorist could love. Fraser is, um, stimulated. And then he responds. If there's a moral to this story besides "it only takes an extra minute to be courteous," it's, "you know, hotels put locks on both sides of connecting doors for a reason, folks." (Never say that slash hasn't given you words to live by.) This story will also help you to understand the importance of watching. Because, hey, it's the best way to learn, yup? And you want to learn, don't you? I'm sure you do. At least, you probably wouldn't mind learning what Ray Kowalski has to teach.

Best FF That Teaches Us That Homemade Pornography Should Be Handled Like Radioactive Waste: Reduced to a Mass of Charged Electrons or Buried in Secret Vaults Guaranteed to Hold for 15,000 Years: Masking Tape, by Cita Powers, and does anyone have a link for her? Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall. Danny experiences the joys of voyeurism once removed, and Casey learns the folly of leaving your amateur porn in the hands of others. They have a typical spat that is resolved with stubbornness and synonyms. In other words, this is Danny and Casey doing their thing, the thing that makes it impossible for anyone who sees the show to believe they aren't totally, totally in love. Take home lesson from this one (aside from the porn thing, which I really hope you already knew): those stupid things you did in college can bite you in the butt when you least expect it. So, you know, if you are in college right now, do your stupid things, but also do your best to burn the evidence, OK? And if you're already finished with college, well, your best shot is probably to start honing some humorous stories. Or I guess you could flee the country and start a new life under a stolen name. Whichever.

Best FF That Teaches Us the Importance of Checking for Surveillance Devices Before Beginning Any Private Activity, Although You Probably Want to Do That Secretly to Avoid Unfortunate and Totally Unnecessary Committal Hearings: Maybe There Are Secret Places, by Te, aka thete1. D.C. Universe (Batclan), Barbara Gordon (Oracle) and Bruce Wayne (Batman), but not exactly as a pairing. For those who can only do the slash thing, well - this isn't slash. It isn't het either, exactly. But there's descriptions of, you know, girly parts*. Caveat lectrix. So. The Bats are sort of, well, creepy, you know? They spend their nights flitting around dangerous cities in tight clothes and yet they are never arrested for prostitution. They fight crime with advanced technology, amazing skills, and more mental illness than any given state hospital for the criminally insane could possibly handle, and yet, to the best of our knowledge, they aren't even taking Prozac. It should be no surprise to anyone that they are as twisted in their time off as they are when they're swinging moodily through the rain, thinking, well, whatever thoughts it is that Batpersons think, which I frankly think we're all better off not knowing. So, yes, we've got our full complement of Bat-twistiness in this story. What's impressive, though, is that this is all about an under-fic'd character, Barbara Gordon. Here, we learn that she has what it takes to be truly Batty. And also that even Bruce's paranoia sometimes nods. The second take-home lesson here? That repression works for heroes, and it can work for you, too.

Best FF That Teaches Us That Privacy Isn't Much of a Feature of the Superhero Lifestyle. And, Also, That Mick Jagger Was Apparently Hot in Some Strange Alternate Universe. Steaming, by Jane St. Clair, aka 3jane. The Authority, Apollo/Midnighter, Jenny Sparks/Shen. Look, I love Charles Xavier as much as the next person (unless the next person is Magneto), but Jenny Sparks is a much more realistic leader. Xavier's principled. Jenny's pragmatic. And in this particular case, she's using her special abilities to, well, check on her people. And if those people happen to be doing things they'd rather keep private - well, let's just say that at this point I very much doubt that Jenny has any illusions about her behavior. She does it because she can. And that, my friends, is the difference between the way Marvel sees humans with special powers and the way I think they'd really be. And it's not because Jenny is evil - she is emphatically not. She's just, well, on a different plane, I think. And she's a good leader, to the extent that anyone could be for her crew. If that's not enough to make you love this story, there's also a lovely look at the private lives of Apollo and Midnighter, who really do seem to be the only happy people in their world sometimes. Here we have love without schmoop, sex without smut. It's an education, is what this story is. The second thing this story should teach you is probably to love Jane St. Clair as much as I do.


* I did indeed say "girly parts." If you read my recent rant, you'll know there are an estimated 3.4 million worse words to use for "cunt," including every single word in the vocabulary of the average American 5-year-old. If you're wise, you'll take "girly parts" and like it, because the alternatives are, trust me on this, the kind of worse that leads to prolonged hospital stays and a great intimacy with neuroleptic pharmaceuticals. And do you really want to be the person twitching and moaning, "the cookie...the cookie...put it in the kitten..." on the rubber mattress? Thought not. Girly parts it is.
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tried to eat the safe banana: what big eyes I have - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 18th, 2004 01:11 am (UTC)
I'm afraid of "The Hart and the Lion." The concept is wild, and it's such a committment, and, well, I'm just plain chicken. Is it good? As in, that good? Eighty-nine chapters worth of good? Need reassurance and encouragement before I can embark on that one.
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tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 18th, 2004 11:13 am (UTC)
I won't say I'm entirely free from fear, but I do think you've persuaded me to give it a shot.

*opens link*

*gazes at story in fear*

*tremulously clicks on chapter 1*
(Anonymous) on August 18th, 2004 02:12 pm (UTC)
Hey, the chapters are short! Eighty-nine go by like that. ::snapping fingers:: There's no need to fear, little girl...


Sorry, no lj, no homepage. But you can e me at citapowers at yahoo dot com. Snarks and praise both welcome.

tried to eat the safe banana: what big eyes I have - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 19th, 2004 12:53 am (UTC)
Well, I continue to be scared. But, yes, I have been persuaded.

(Why no LJ? You need a LJ! Or, at any rate, I need you to have one. And are you still writing, and if so, what and where?)
(Anonymous) on August 19th, 2004 10:39 am (UTC)
(Why no LJ? You need a LJ!

Um. ::blush:: Because I already have two under different pseuds. And I really can't justify yet another lj.

And are you still writing, and if so, what and where?)

Yep. Using a different pseud. I'd be happy to let you know what it is privately, if you're interested. Otherwise, I'll wrap my anonymity around me for warmth and skulk off into the twilight...

tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 19th, 2004 01:45 pm (UTC)
LJ proliferation needs no justification. But, OK, if you already have two, I'll let you off on a technicality.

And, yes, I'd love to know what your current nom de FF is! Could you email it to: deepbluesea at postmark dot net or thefourthvine at livejournal dot com?
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tried to eat the safe banana: hand clasp touch - runpunkrun basethefourthvine on August 19th, 2004 12:55 am (UTC)
*goes bravely into that good night*

Or, rather:

*goes bravely into that good fic*

Or, actually, not at all bravely, so:

*goes into that good fic, trembling with fear and leaving notes behind about who should be blamed if she's found catatonic at the keyboard*
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tried to eat the safe banana: wombat OTP - MMWDthefourthvine on August 18th, 2004 01:09 am (UTC)
Well, I am just exuding smugness, because I thought you'd like "Intruding."

But I'm sorry to hear about your wretched day, bubele. Let us all give thanks for the healing power of lovely, lovely smut.

Now go get some sleep before you pass out at your computer and end up with keys tattooed on your face.
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on August 18th, 2004 09:38 am (UTC)
What MMWD said.

Again. Some more. :-D
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tried to eat the safe banana: angry elektra - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 19th, 2004 12:58 am (UTC)
And stupid dates for trip to A Starbucks Near You have changed yet again, will keep you updated when I know AUGH.

Grr. I have a mind to find the god responsible for screwing with your life and give him a stern talking-to. Plus a kick on the butt. He deserves it.

You do realize that "the cookie" and "put in the kitten" were both actual euphemisms discovered by people who somehow survived the experience at least long enough to tell me about it? Because I don't think you'd be laughing if you appreciated the full horror. I, myself, am walking around in widow's weeds and a black veil, stroking worry beads and muttering about the end of the world as we know it.
Zebrazebra363 on August 18th, 2004 05:56 am (UTC)
OK, you've completely sold me on Sports Night. As soon as the Olympics are over, I'm going in search of episodes.
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on August 18th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC)

Another convert!

All hail the power of the Bhagwan SportsNight!!!!
tried to eat the safe banana: sharing - MMWDthefourthvine on August 18th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC)
Yay! Another lost sheep - or, well, zebra in this particular case - has been brought into the fold, placed upon the true path, brought to the show of shows. You will love Sports Night, for Sports Night is love. SN will bring joy and greatness and lovely, sexy banter into every part of your life. It will fulfill you and make you whole again. Also, the DVD set can remove unsightly blemishes and cure foot pain if you have the right incense in your SN shrine.

All hail Sports Night!

My work here is done, or it will be when you report back to us on your reaction to the episodes. Welcome, my child, welcome.
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tried to eat the safe banana: Love reading - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 18th, 2004 09:44 pm (UTC)
Nope, mostly because the play was so damn grim. Is Jagger hot in that? My brain is warping trying to imagine such a thing.
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tried to eat the safe banana: Kiss - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 22nd, 2004 02:11 am (UTC)
(First I must just say that your icon fills me with unholy glee? It's wonderful.)

Um. You know, I have been trying and trying and trying to imagine a way in which Mick Jagger could be transformed into someone hot, and at this point I'm thinking alien lifeforms (he could be one, which might explain his mouth), divine intervention, and magic.

As you might imagine, I'm becoming increasingly anxious to witness this miracle. It's just...the play was so sad, and I have a very weak stomach when it comes to concentration camp stuff anyway.

I'm thinking screencaps. Will screencaps, assuming I can find them, capture the hotness? Or is this one of those "you have to see him move" kind of things?
Sienamystic: de chiricosienamystic on August 22nd, 2004 08:13 pm (UTC)
Maybe There are Secret Places
Wow, this was a fantastic story, and I'm only on the furthest edge of Bat-fandom (I liked the comics way back when, and the most recent animated show. Plus, *cough*, the Biff Pow! tv show, which included a massive crush on the Riddler. No, I don't know why either.) I've always liked Barbara Gordon, and I liked this fic very muchly as well.