Um. Lost focus there for a moment. Sorry.
Anyway, yeah. I'm a big ol' fan of the wankfic. But then, who isn't? And since I don't seem to be able to write a coherent introduction, let's get right to fic.
Best FF That Proves You Can Tie a Vampire Up, But You Can't Keep Him Down: A Lesson in Principles, by Annie Sewell-Jennings, aka anniesj. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike/Xander Harris. (Does Spike ever get a last name? Is there some kind of law in Buffyland that vampires only have one name? Nail-thin models and female singers with distressed hair: is this the right kind of company for Whedonist vampires? Hmmm. You know, maybe it is. OK, objection withdrawn.) So now I have a humiliating confession to make: I like Spike. I like his attitude; I like that he doesn't take himself seriously. (And, yes, I grant that Angel learns this trick, too, when he has his own show. We're not talking about that now.) He doesn't take anything seriously. Other people might mope and brood and bleed, might obsess about the past and worry about the future, but he's having fun in the now, dammit. He's almost Zen, really. It's an example we could all learn from. Only not the evil and the biting and killing parts. (And no one should try to emulate the hair, 'cause I don't think there's anyone else in the world who could carry that off, and I'm not convinced he does, either.) But there's a downside to Spike's in-the-moment approach to undeath, as Xander learns in this fic. When he's not happy, it's not like he, you know, suffers in silence or anything. Here we get Spike at his most gleefully provoking, and I just love it.
Best FF That Strikes a Much-Needed Blow for Women's Rights to Equality of - Well, OK, Masturbation. But Don't Tell Me That's Not an Important Right. Really, Reasonable Founding Fathers Would've Put It in the Constitution. Jilling, by Te, aka Ficusbane, aka thete1. Smallville, Chloe, and I honestly don't know enough about the fandom to know her last name. (Or, hey, maybe she's a singing model bloodsucker, and she only has the one name. Could be.) But I do know that girls do not get even close to equal representation in the masturbation fic realm. Trust Te to do her part toward redressing the balance. Gotta love this woman, and not just because she kills every ficus she lays hands on. So here we have Chloe being her own best friend, so to speak, while fantasizing about talking to - no, let's be honest - teasing Clark Kent. It should act as an inspiration to all those authors who don't think girls merit equality in every realm. (Try, as you consider this concept, not to imagine the League of Women Voters taking up this cause, because that could end all aspects of your sex life forever.)
Best FF Featuring the Quidditch Showers Being Put to the Use I Am Sure the Hogwarts Founders Intended for Them. Which Would Be Cleanliness Emergencies, of Course. Afternoon Showers, Chance of Rain, by contrariwise. Harry Potter, Sirius Black/Remus Lupin, Marauders-era. HP fangirls have devoted lots of time to the question of where boys who attend boarding schools jerk off. (Really, we should write a FAQ or something to help out the real-world boys heading off to Phillips or Hotchkiss or Deerfield or wherever. Only there'd probably be way too much focus on cleaning charms and silence charms for it to be entirely useful.) This particular story goes for that perennial favorite: the showers. Wanking, watching, water: it's a classic slash trifecta! What's not to love? (Oh, come on, admit you love it. Like you wouldn't read every story in a challenge built around those three words. Or maybe that's just me, in which case - well, you folks already knew I was a pervert, so I refuse to apologize.)
Best FF Featuring a Canoe Being Put to a Use I Am Quite Sure Its Manufacturers Did Not Intend: Cover. During a Shootout, of Course. The Sporting Life, by Speranza, aka cesperanza. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Ray Vecchio. This is actually the second in a series; the first one is Breaking Cover. It isn't necessary to read the first to get the second - I mean, if you're familiar with the concept of masturbation, you'll be fine - but it is fun. This is short, but it packs quite a wallop, and Speranza really makes the unusual setting work. (One of the many reasons I love dS: I can think of relatively few fandoms in which sex during a shootout in a sporting goods store would work, but in dS anything works, as long as it's weird enough. Or funny enough. Or, ideally, both.) And I know I've said bad things about stories in which Ray Kowalski is called Stanley, but this showcases one of the exceptions: when Vecchio is being dismissive. And, as Vecchio learns, you don't just write off Kowalski. He won't let you. Really, I think this story is the living definition of "safe even for hardcore F/K shippers," but because there's one extremely persuasive person out there I know I won't convince, I will, as always, provide a Certified Safe Alternate Story.
Best FF Featuring a Pillow Being Put to a Use I Am Relatively Certain It Didn't Mind. And I Can't Actually Think of Anything Not Perverse to Say About That. Fighting, by kassrachel. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. The theme of this pair of unsafe/safe recs is "flashfiction by two of the grande dames of the fandom." My subtle point here is, if you read dS, you should be reading ds_flashfiction, because great stories are posted there, often faster than I can rec them. So why wait? (And if you aren't in dS or one of the other fandoms that has a flashfiction community, you should start one. What, like you were going to do something non-fansmut-related in the next half-hour? Of course you weren't. So you might as well do something constructively smutty; it's getting the best of both worlds, really.) To get back to this story - which, you know, is technically the point of this part of the rec, even if I usually act like I don't know it - here we have a certain entirely normal and documented reaction to the endorphins triggered by physical combat put to a lovely slashy use. And I think you'll agree that the only thing better than boys being boys is when that's immediately followed by boys doing boys.