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22 September 2004 @ 07:21 pm
Slashy Nominations 83: Each Unhappy Family Is Unhappy in Its Own Way  
Sometimes it seems to me that the only thing worse than having a family would be not having one. This is, of course, only in reference to those families we don't choose, our families-of-origin. You know who I mean, right? The people you spent three years talking about in therapy? Good.

Because sometimes in fan fiction we get so focused on, um, one certain kind of relationship that we totally forget the other kinds, which are usually just as emotional and involved but, and let us all be grateful for this, not nearly as sexy.

Best FF That Shows Us There Can Be - Yes! - an Almost Normal Relationship in the Batworld: Fathers and Daughters, by David Hines, aka hradzka. Batclan, gen. I cried a lot the first time I read this. Unsurprisingly, that turns out to be something I brought to the mix. When I re-read the story a few weeks later, I realized it was brilliant and sweet and really not at all sad. And I do mean brilliant. David likes to show off in his fan fiction, I'm realizing; why else would he write a gen Batverse story about Jim Gordon (and there just is not enough Gordonfic, is there?) being paternal, and then toss in, apparently just to show he can, Batgirl? (Yes, I do see Batgirl as one of the toughest characters in the Batclan - toughest to know, toughest to write. I mean, it's sort of tough to find the voice of someone who spent a large part of her life mute. And that's just for starters - she's actually much more challenging than this would seem to suggest.) So David's a total show-off and I'd absolutely hate him for writing so well if I didn't secretly love him to pieces. Well, OK, not so secretly.

The Best FF That Reminds Us Just How Badly Attempts to Run Your Adult Child's Life Usually Turn Out: Grace, Paradoxically, by Laura Jacquez Valentine, aka jacquez*. The Sentinel, very mild Jim/Blair. We all know that Jim has mommy issues, but this is just about the best take I've ever read on them - on Grace, and why she left, and who she was, and who she became. Because Grace is just a plot point in most FF, but here she's a person, and while not entirely likable, she's definitely believable; this all just makes so much sense. And this story is from Grace's point of view, which just makes it that much more impressive. It's actually part of the Gone Native series (second from the top; there's no jump page link), but it can stand on its own, so jump right in. Additional inducement: this fic may also contain the strangest reason ever for Jim and Blair to get together. So, really, totally worth reading.

Best FF That Proves, Once and for All, That in a Really Difficult Situation There's Nothing Quite as Unhelpful as Parental Interference: Third Person, by julad. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Fraser, being Fraser, cannot have father issues like everyone else. He has to have the ghost of his dead father hanging around commenting on his father issues, usually via totally nonsensical stories about Buck Frobisher and that time on the DeWitt 10-Meter Ice Gap when they got their man by constructing a primitive turbine engine out of a sapling, goose grease, Buck's second-best hat, and four live wolverines. "And that's when I learned that it's important, no matter how much of a hurry you're in, to grab wolverines behind the temporomandibular joint, son..." And meanwhile Fraser is trying to live his life and, you know, maybe even construct a primitive turbine engine of his own. In short, Fraser has to do everyone in the world one better even at having annoying parent problems, but it's hard to envy him. It is, however, really easy to laugh at him. And then go all gooey over the way his friends - well, let's be honest and just say Kowalski - don't laugh at him. Or, in this story, strangle him.

Best FF That Shows, Yet Again, That You Can Be a Great Parent Even If You Aren't a Remotely Perfect One: The Medal, by Celli Lane, aka celli. Sports Night, mild Dan/Casey. There's a surprising number of family stories in this fandom, maybe because almost all the relationships are just so - so - familial. Or maybe it's because Aaron Sorkin has issues of his own that he works out through his characters. Anyway, this story gives us both sides of parenthood, as Casey tries to be a perfect father (but is actually a dorky, uptight, and loving father) and Danny remembers being a flawed son (while providing the cool, calm, and loving side of the parental equation). I also like this story because it caters to my, well, OTPish leanings in this fandom; here Casey and Danny have clearly been together, and happy, for a long time. And I, of course, totally believe that long-term happiness for those two can only come in the form of sex, followed by more sex, followed by a painless emergence from the closet and the acquisition of the top ratings slot. (Yes. In my dream world, I also have my own personal wombat, a button to press to bring world peace, and a patent on the cure for the common cold. It's a nice place to live, my head.)

* Thanks, mamadeb!
I have tactile telecuntnesis.: Batgirl isn't afraid (by themisproject)zeelee_penguin on September 22nd, 2004 07:39 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I loved Fathers and Daughters. (And I *think* I actually sent feedback on that one--if not, I meant to, I swear!) There really isn't enough Cass fic out there, either. *sigh*

You know who I mean, right? The people you spent three years talking about in therapy?

Only three...?
tried to eat the safe banana: what big eyes I have - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on September 22nd, 2004 09:09 pm (UTC)
Only three...?

Well, more, in my case. But I operate this LJ under the assumption that I'm the most morally, emotionally, and mentally diseased of all my readers.
David Hineshradzka on September 23rd, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks, zeelee_penguin; glad you liked that one. I'm working on another Jimfic -- though it'll probably have to await my new computer -- but I'll try to do another Cass story at some point.

Eudoxia -- thanks as always for the rec. Especially such a glowing one. I think I could have made the story a little stronger in terms of handling Jim's process (not being needed to being needed after all), but I'm glad the inter-character bits work well for folks. And hope I made you cry in a good way.
Mama Debmamadeb on September 22nd, 2004 07:40 pm (UTC)
Laura Jacquez Valentine = jacquez

Very cool monkey she is, too.
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Procurator Generalfanofall on September 22nd, 2004 08:05 pm (UTC)
Okay. I give up. Where are the really cool avatars coming from?
Mama Debmamadeb on September 22nd, 2004 08:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, my goodness. It was so long ago. There was a website where you could make your own.

tried to eat the safe banana: Quasi-methefourthvine on September 22nd, 2004 09:31 pm (UTC)
This is my so-not-like me avatar that I didn't even bother to load it until you asked Mamadeb about hers. If you want one like it, you can try Abi-Station. There's also this one. And, of course, the famous candybar doll maker, which I've never managed to get all the way through without experiencing severe ennui. (But who knows? Today could be the day, so I'm taking another stab at it.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Quasi-methefourthvine on September 22nd, 2004 09:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I've updated it. Somehow, in what can only be described as a seizure of stupidity, I managed to forget that she's already on my flist.

She's a cool monkey, yes, but I'm afraid I'm not even qualified to be a lower primate. At least not tonight.
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Procurator Generalfanofall on September 22nd, 2004 08:06 pm (UTC)
Wow. Contrast this with the events of this week, and I think I like your version of family better. YAY!!! And SportsNight! YAY!!!
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on September 22nd, 2004 09:50 pm (UTC)
You must explain this comment further to me in email, you realize. You cannot escape the all-inquisitive might of the Questioner General. Which makes me sound like a torturer, but never mind.

(And after time spent in Oz, it is indeed yay Sports Night. I need the sweetness and goodness of the Dan and Casey love after I've spent time with the Beecher/Keller bad craziness.)
Ardent: Honeymoonardent_muses on September 22nd, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)
I love julad's stuff, especially "Gift Horse". I had good memories of this one, and had the pleasure of re-reading it. Wow. Really good story. :::humbled:::: I wish she'd stayed in DS. Drat those shiny boybands!

Loved your write-up, too, which I thought was borrowing from the story, but turned out to be very original and creative. You have a knack for DS. *hint*

tried to eat the safe banana: batvine grows on you - MMWDthefourthvine on September 23rd, 2004 04:33 pm (UTC)
So it was the boybands that took julad from us? Curse them! Curse them and their hair products, too!

And I'm very glad you liked the write-up, which did indeed come from my own fevered brain. Bob is tons of fun. But the hint is not taken, because I am not a fic writer. Although I do confess to writing the occasional total horror-show of a fic in Sports Night; sometimes stories force their way out of my body despite my attempts to suppress them, in which case they are immediately relegated to the Secret Fic LJ of Shame. But that's never happened in dS, and I don't think it ever will.
Keys and locks, roots and branchesomnia_mutantur on September 23rd, 2004 06:29 am (UTC)
thank you, nice lady.

today needed some shmoop to start it off.

(for values of start where you've already been up for four hours, thanks to a new kitten)
tried to eat the safe banana: Kiss - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on September 23rd, 2004 04:25 pm (UTC)
You know, I had this fantasy (I love animals, just generally, but I have dogs and will only ever have dogs 'cause I am really really allergic to cats) that kittens would be much easier than puppies. I take it that was just my delusion about how the other half lives?

And, yeah, I was feeling schmoopy after the whole Ozfest. That fandom never fails to send me reeling into the arms of the Fandoms of Safety and Comfort: Sports Night, due South, and The Sentinel, in that order.

Glad you liked the recs!
Keys and locks, roots and branchesomnia_mutantur on September 24th, 2004 05:53 am (UTC)
i've never had a puppy, so i'm not sure about the easier.

but i imagine that puppies are, at the very least, a lot less pointy, and comfine their issues mostly to ground level.

a kitten can get anywhere. (and anywhere includes things like tangled in the blinds, halfway up the window, or overturning laundry baskets on top of herself, or leaping, all four feet akimbo, into a plate of nachos, or jumping into the shower because she thinks you're doing something interesting in there)
tried to eat the safe banana: bra/head: OTPthefourthvine on September 24th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
but i imagine that puppies are, at the very least, a lot less pointy

Hee. No, really, this is deeply amusing to me, because puppies are so so so pointy. They have these needle-sharp teeth, and they put their mouths on everything. Every single piece of clothing I had back when my First Dog was a puppy (and we're talking about a year of puppyish behavior) is full of little holes. Now, of course, I get all teary-eyed and reminiscent about those holes, but at the time - well, let's just say there were whole months when my hands were always slightly swollen from all the biting.

...and comfine their issues mostly to ground level.

Mostly. Until your dog starts climbing up on counters, at any rate.

But, you know, this is probably a sign that it's been too long since I've had a puppy; I actually found your description of your kitten really endearing and cute.

Yup, need another puppy, so I can remember the joys of getting up every two hours and being bitten all the time and trying to train a creature in constant Brownian motion.

Young animals are such fun, aren't they?
Keys and locks, roots and branchesomnia_mutantur on September 24th, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC)
well, let's just say there were whole months when my hands were always slightly swollen from all the biting.

good to know.

my toes (or, as zara thinks of them, bedmice) are currently suffering the slings and arrows of the little one. it's a fascinating way to wake up, because it hurts and it tickles, and if you flail, it makes it more interesting for her.
Zebrazebra363 on September 23rd, 2004 06:46 am (UTC)
I think The Medal and its sequel are the first long-term, happy, established relationship SN stories I've read. Thanks!
tried to eat the safe banana: word whore  - MMWDthefourthvine on September 23rd, 2004 12:07 pm (UTC)
Isn't it weird? There's, like, a serious shortage of happy LTR fics in SN, and yet the guys are basically in one. I mean, that scene in "Thespis" where Isaac tells Casey to make a gesture, remember an anniversary, be a good husband and go make up with Danny? Explain that some way other than long-time love.

Of course, happy LTR fic is a challenge to find in any fandom.