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21 August 2004 @ 01:21 am
Slashy Nominations 79: These Are Weighty Secrets, So We Must Read of Them  
Secrets and lies, my friends, secrets and lies.

Best FF That Proves That, Well, Maybe You Can Go Home Again, but You Sure Can't Sleep There. Many Things Were Like Sleep, by someinstant. D.C. Universe, vaguely Tim Drake/Dick Grayson. Any set of stories about secrets and lies has to feature a Tim Drake story, and not just because I have this mildly sick love for him. See, Tim never especially enjoyed the secret aspect of being a hero (unlike, for example, Bruce Wayne, who clearly lives for it), but he built his life on lies anyway - hell, he built himself on lies. And now, in the canon, he's paying for it. (Paying, in my opinion, way too high a price, but that's another story.) Because, see, he thought he could just give up being Robin, put on the Tim suit, and go back to being a full-time teenager. Do I need to spell out why this isn't going to work? Didn't think so. I mean, there's some things even Tim can't do. So this is yet another Tim-jonesing-for-Robin story, except in this one, he's not the only one who wants Robin back. (Secret message to Tim: please, just test out of high school, move to Bludhaven with Nightwing, and give up on the whole normal thing. You aren't normal, and you never will be. And as for your parents - well, it's not like any other superhero has ever had a good relationship with his parents; did you think you'd be the first? It's time to face facts: you were born to fight crime. And fuck Dick Grayson.)

Best FF That Proves That a Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted. Especially If Alcohol Is Involved. Pool Series 1: Rack 'Em, by Emily Brunson, aka janissa11. Sports Night, Casey McCall-centric with a hint of Casey/Dan Rydell. (For further relationship developments, read the sequels, Running the Table and Going Penguin.) Casey has a secret. Actually, he's got a couple of them. And he's about to start coming clean. I don't know if every SN fan would buy this version of Casey, but I do. Because he's smart, yes, and geeky, and generally just a really good guy, but he also works that shtick a bit, if you see what I mean. When Dana said sometimes she didn't think Casey was very nice, I don't think she was kidding; he really does make good use of that lovable Midwestern farmboy bit, to the point where I keep expecting him to say "As you wish." I can totally see him keeping secrets, maybe even from Danny. But, hey, the truth will out.

Best FF That Proves That the Wish Is the Father of the Deed. Again, Especially If Alcohol Is Involved. Tell, by penknife. Harry Potter, Marauders-era, Remus Lupin/assorted. And, again, we've got a guy that just had to make an appearance in a secrets and lies set, because even in a secrets-ridden canon, Lupin stands out. He's been keeping at least one important secret for most of his life. (And if you read the canon the way I do, let's just say that it's good he had the lycanthropy for practice.) The only person who's keeping more secrets than Lupin is Snape, and we can't give all our love to the snarky Potions master of ill repute. (No, we really can't. Yes, I am well aware of the ongoing fannish effort to do so, but - look, let's not talk about this, OK? Just trust me that you have to look at other masters occasionally.) So in this story, we get a look at some of Lupin's early secret-keeping work, and...hmmm. He's not doing so well. But, hey, we have adolescence so that we can work out the flaws in our personalities and approaches to life in a safe environment, right? Whoops. Late-breaking news: that sentence should be amended to read "We have adolescence so that we can work out the flaws in our personalities and approaches to life in an environment guaranteed to cause as much lasting damage and pain as possible." Sorry for the error, and I'll ask the research department to be more timely with their input in the future. Sure explains a lot about my teen years, though. Wow.

Best FF That Proves That Honesty May Not Always Be the Best Policy, but It Beats the Hell out of Denial: Like That, by Debra Fran Baker, aka mamadeb. Due South, Fraser-centric. And warning, sensitive dS fans: this is not what we might call a fic burgeoning with joyous resolution. (I will of course be providing an alternate story, because one of the aforementioned dS sensitives knows where I sleep.) It is, however, a really nice look at what keeping secrets can do to you, especially when the person you're keeping the secret from is yourself. Fraser has a remarkable complement of self-destructive traits; one of the more subtle ones (i.e., one of the ones that doesn't lead directly to him standing in front of gun-toting bad guys while wearing a helpful target and a sign reading, "Shoot me to win big") is his need to be what people expect him to be. Other people see a Mountie, so he tries to be the ideal Mountie. Sometimes, folks, you have to be what you want instead of what other people demand. (This message brought to you by the Department for Excellence in Cliched, Trite, and Meaningless Sayings. Be sure to pick up our newest free pamphlet: "Achieving Success Through Time-Worn Sporting Metaphors," available in the lobby.)


Best FF That Proves That a Friend in Need Is Not Only a Friend Indeed, but Possibly Also a Friend with His Tongue in Your Mouth. Target, by Speranza, aka cesperanza. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. And at last, from that Queen of Certified Safe Alternate dS Stories, we have: a secrets-themed story that contains actual smut! And a reasonably happy ending! Yes, this is why all experienced slash readers have Speranza Shrines set up in our homes and gardens. (Tip of the day: burn coffee-scented incense before your morning prayers!) Mind you, this is not exactly a shiny happy story; it puts Fraser in the position of the kid standing alone at the edge of the playground, just waiting until the other kids get bored enough to torment him. But luckily - for all of us, actually - Fraser has Ray to protect him. And, eventually, to have sex with him in the back of a car.
kassrachel on August 21st, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, Lord, I do love that Speranza story you rec'd. I had forgotten it. It makes me happy all over again now. Thank you!
tried to eat the safe banana: universal fandom green - MMWDthefourthvine on August 22nd, 2004 02:25 am (UTC)
Yes, "Target" is wonderful. My only real complaint is that it drives my Speranza-love to unhealthy levels, and that's not a complaint so much as a...cause for concern, I suppose.

(Um. I'm guessing, from the uniform, that that is Fraser getting reading to perform a rectal exam in your icon. Do I want to know the circumstances, or is it better to live in blissful ignorance?)
kassrachel on August 22nd, 2004 05:51 pm (UTC)
I just made that icon; the image came from whitepuppy's webpage listing Things Fraser Carries on his person, and it was the inspiration for my latest piece of dS flashfiction...
tried to eat the safe banana: OH MY GOD - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 22nd, 2004 10:50 pm (UTC)
You are so evil. And I love you. That story is great.
the girl with the world in her eyescoconutswirl on August 21st, 2004 05:44 pm (UTC)
He's been keeping at least one important secret for most of his life. (And if you read the canon the way I do, let's just say that it's good he had the lycanthropy for practice.)


I've been awake for 23 hrs, my left arm hurts, I have a nagging heacage *and* I have to be at work in 7 hrs' time. And you still made me crack a smile. Yeah, coming here both for the recs and the smiles.
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on August 22nd, 2004 02:29 am (UTC)
Oooo. That's a wonderful compliment. Well, I mean, it's not that I take pride in keeping an exhausted and apparently wounded woman from her rest, it's just...actually, I guess I do. Um. Suppose I should work on that.

Thanks for letting me know you're enjoying the summaries and the recs; I'm always insanely flattered when people do that.

And get some sleep, for god's sake.
Zebrazebra363 on August 21st, 2004 07:28 pm (UTC)
Mmm, more Sports Night. You've got me hook, line and sinker. The DVD's are on their way.

This new interest is interfering a bit with my Olympics-watching - but on the other hand it's kind of an appropriate fandom to pick up during a major sporting event!

I read quite a few stories from shrift and nestra's recs page yesterday and was surprised at how many "unhappy ending" ones there were. I normally like that kind of story and seek them out, but here I think I've just about had my fill already. I'll be looking to you for pointers to some of the happier, fun stuff!

...such as the ones in this rec. I can't say yet whether I buy the characterisation, but I love to read about extreme competence. The mental picture of Casey being so good and Dan being both amazed and turned on is great.
tried to eat the safe banana: batvine grows on you - MMWDthefourthvine on August 22nd, 2004 02:37 am (UTC)
I am filled with glee. I have brought Zebra to Sports Night, and now Sports Night is coming to Zebra. It's a heart-warming parable, really.

I read quite a few stories from shrift and nestra's recs page yesterday and was surprised at how many "unhappy ending" ones there were.

Yeah. I really should have warned you about that. So, in the spirit of better late than never, I'll warn you now that it's too late. SN comes in two flavors: sweetly funny and ultra-angsty. And when SN writers go for the latter, they really move in for the kill; there are certain brilliant SN stories out there that were so painful and depressing to read that I cringe whenever I see their titles.

Be of good cheer, though. The fandom is small enough that soon you'll be able to identify the writers that are inclined to the angst end of the spectrum, and you'll know to approach their stories warily. And I will never rec the saddest ones, as I have to re-read stories before I rec them, so anything you find here is likely to be safe. Or at least have a happy ending.
I made this beat with my panflute and my keyboardjanet_carter on August 22nd, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I just reread that Speranza one! Maybe I should go read it again...And I love the Pool Series. It's not my view of Casey, but I can buy it as a possibility.
(Also, I'm friending you, because this recs journal is about 32% of the reason I created an lj. The other 68%? Boredom, keeping tabs on this and that, and my love of fiddling with screen colors. But, basically, you've pimped me into livejournal, as well as Due South, Narnia slash, and sundry pieces of other fandoms. Hopefully you find this flattering rather than stalkerish. Entertaining recs, good stories, and I'm so glad you've seen the light that is Sports Night!)
tried to eat the safe banana: universal language - MMWDthefourthvine on August 22nd, 2004 10:31 pm (UTC)
I'm extremely flattered. Being 32% of the reason for a LJ gives a person such a warm, happy glow. And, of course, at least 32% of the reason I have a LJ is to share the love, by which I mean "spread my multi-fandom insanity to others." It's always lovely to hear that my evil plot is working. Soon FF will rule the world!

And I must say that your love of fiddling with screen colors will make you a far better LJer than I; I have no visual talent of any kind, and my only real strength in that area is that I know better than to screw with such things. Whereas you, clearly, were born to have a LJ. Soon you will have a mood theme (I don't) and a customized layout (I obviously don't) and a banner (ditto) and all manner of shiny icons (I have icons only because of the kindness of my friends). And you will want to have more of every one of those things.

In short: welcome to LJ! Say goodbye to your free time and anything approximating a real life, but don't worry - you won't miss either one.
cupidsbowcupidsbow on September 3rd, 2004 04:41 am (UTC)
I hadn't read that cesperanza story before. Don't know quite how I missed it! Thanks for pointing it out.

I've just recently friended you because I'm always looking for good recs, and I've enjoyed yours a lot so far. Admittedly, I'm not letting you draw me into the fandoms you rec that I don't read yet (I just don't have time at the moment), but your hit rate is still pretty high for me. So thank you.

You say in your Info page that you're interested in other people's recs. I've got two rec communities. lotr_squee you won't be hugely interested in, because although it recs LOTR fiction, it primarily recs LOTRIPS, which you don't seem to be into at all. The other is more your cup of tea, but I only just started it today, rec_room. I'm planning to archive my backlist of multi-fandom recs there. There's also quite a few recs archived in my Memories (no need to friend me though, unless you want to--it's all public).