Best FF That Taught Me What GTO Stands for, Because I Honestly Did Not Know for the Longest Time, and I'm Ashamed of That, Yes, but This Theme Tends to Bring out the Shameful Confessions, and I'm Starting with Something Easy: Modes, by pearl_o. Due South, gen. Yes, you heard me. Gen. But this is the story that had to start this recs set, because it's all about transportation, and I'm not talking about the Australia thing, either. Is it any surprise that Ray Kowalski's life can be summed up through vehicles - taking this bus, driving this car, getting on that train? Kowalski's in motion, baby. And, even though this is gen, I think you'll like where he ends up. This is one of those stories that leaves me wanting more to the point where I go searching for stories that can serve as unofficial, unintentional, and totally spurious sequels. Which explains the next rec, in a way that will probably piss off both authors. Angering all sides is, after all, an honored fannish tradition.
Best FF That Makes Insomnia Something Sweet and Slashy, Instead of Pathetic and Irritating, Which, Trust Me, Is What It Actually Is: Stay, by Estrella, aka estrella30. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. Yes, two dS stories today, because I really don't irritate everyone enough with the obsessive Southiness (rhymes with mouthiness, and for a reason, people) as it is. And because I understand that there are people who go into stark raving withdrawal if their due South doesn't end with a Canadian shack, or actually, I understand that there is just one such person. Or, OK, three. But I fear those people, except for the one that is me. So, as a chaser to the excellent genish work of "Modes," we have the excellent and slightly more slashy "Stay." Because, you know, everyone stops moving sooner or later. And I think we all know that Kowalski stops in Canada, with snow and Fraser and sex, and if the sex doesn't exactly happen on the page here, well, I'm sure Estrella would've worked it in somewhere if she possibly could've, and I forgive her. Mostly.
Best FF That Almost Turns LAX into a Place You'd Like to Spend Some Time, as Opposed to the Suspected Portal Straight to Hell by Way of O'Hare That It Actually Is: Leaving on a Jet Plane, by musesfool. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Oz Osbourne/Xander Harris. This one is for everyone who has spent too much time in LAX, which, judging by the last time I went there, is everyone in the world. (And, I suspect, some people from other worlds, planes, and times. I swear there was an Anasazi trying to make a direct connection to Chaco Canyon in line behind me in Terminal One a few years back.) So it's no surprise that Oz and Xander would end up having a drink in one of the appalling non-service bars selling bad overpriced booze for your in-transit convenience; the only surprising thing is that the amazing, excellent, and wonderful kiss in this story isn't interrupted by 18 Sassofovic demons asking for donations to a spurious charity supposedly helping homeless impspawn back in their home dimension. (And the intercom - this is absolutely true - would then announce that giving money to con artists in strange nurse/nun hybrid outfits is totally optional. Because LA is the city of freedom, folks, and you can be cheated however you choose.)
Best FF That Brings Back Poignant Memories That, Embarrassingly Enough, Involve Both River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves: Idaho, by Punk, aka runpunkrun. My Own Private Idaho, Mike Waters/Scott Favor, sort of. Well. This is definitely a kick in the gut from my past; in retrospect, I should've known from my inexplicable fondness for this movie - inexplicable because, you know, I like my endings to be happy, or at least tolerable - that I was destined for slash. And this story is more of the same, more of the killer pain and sadness that hits at the end of this movie. It left me all sniffly and muttering, "Like, I really wanna kiss you, man" in a choked tone of voice. And, my friends, when a movie starring Keanu Reeves makes you sniffly a decade and a half after it was released, you know a) that's a seriously sad movie b) it nailed you right on your then-undiscovered weaknesses or c) you should've stopped with the sex and drugs and angsty sadness a wee bit earlier. Or, in my case, all three.
Best FF That Will Make You Feel Like an Intellectual and a Respected Pillar of the Community Because You Only Read Slash: Junk Novels, by Punk, aka runpunkrun, and Sabine, aka iamsab. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall. And here we have the flip side of Punk; apparently she and Sabine, when united, form some kind of uberhumor goddess, and I for one am totally prepared to worship whatever altar the goddess decrees. I love this story with a passion both intense and strange - strange because there is no sex in it, with the exception of some vague references to het, and I think once you've read the story you'll agree that it's a good thing those references stayed vague. I mean, really, are Punk and Sabine telling the truth here? Do junk novels like this actually exist? Because if they do, well, I don't see how anyone can give us shit about reading quality smut online. At least we don't have mothers having sex with their son's best (underage) friend. Well, not in my fandoms, anyway, and if that happens anywhere in HP, no one tell me about it. A Mrs. Black/James Potter story would kill me, or at least make me return to my unfortunate black-wearing, cemetery-hanging, moody-whining teenage self, and really, death would be better than that.