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21 October 2004 @ 09:52 am
Slashy Nominations 92: Baby, You're So Strange  
(Note: I try not to do two entries in one day, because I figure my entries are long enough in people's friends lists without risking having two of them on the same page. What can I say? I'm bored. And I have this strange accession of energy brought on by sleeping for more than an hour at a time ; suddenly I'm not writing four nonsensical sentences, then heading into the kitchen in search of the caffeinated beverages I threw away when I thought they were causing the insomnia. It clears up all this time for - well, for what? That's the question. This, I guess. But my apologies to those who feel I'm oversharing.)

I love rare pairings. I love stories that stun me with their pairings - what? who'd ever think of writing this? - and then totally sell me on them. It's not an easy thing; I mean, there's a reason Ray/Fraser is more common than Welsh/Dewey (note to the easily alarmed: I've never actually seen a story with that pairing, so stop worrying) (note to the highly suggestible: I'm not sure I want to see a story with that pairing, either, so stop cackling in that scarily evil way) - subtext. It's a lot easier to slash people who have some chemistry. Hell, it's a lot easier to slash people who occupy the same part of the space-time continuum. But when an author finds some hidden gem of subtext or rationale for a pairing no one else would write, well, I want to embrace that author. And then tie her to keyboard and force her to write me stories every day. But I usually refrain from both those things, and I imagine the authors are grateful.

Best FF That Pairs the Two Least Scrutable People in a Whole Universe, Leading to a Relationship That Must Be Like Reading Runes in the Dark. But With Way More Sex. The Undiscovered Country series: Plans, by debchan, Sun, by Te, aka thete1, and Moon, by The Spike, aka spike21. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Daniel "Oz" Osbourne/Ethan Rayne. This is one of the very few series I've found with every entry by a different author; it's all the rarer because all the stories are good. (My personal favorite is "Moon," for the world's best look at the unimaginable power and impulsiveness of Ethan Rayne.) And Oz/Ethan isn't a pairing that seems like it would work, especially in a long-term sense - I mean, come on. Ethan Rayne? Committing to something? Committing to someone, and I don't just mean in the show-up-and-torment-him-every-few-years way, but in the here today, here tomorrow way that most of us mean by commitment? Except - if he was ever going to do that, it'd be with someone as deep and unfathomable (and, yes, those are horrible adjectives, but I'm sorry; they just are Oz, and there's nothing I can do about it) as Oz. Oz is never going to get boring, that's for sure, and yet he's reliable and constant. (That makes him sound like Oz Osbourne, the original strange attractor, but let it go.) Um, sorry, the Oz-love is getting a little overwhelming, isn't it? So let me just say this: read these stories, and you'll be able to buy into Oz/Ethan, too.

Best FF That Makes Me Pity a Character I Normally Dislike. And Makes Me Absolutely Despise Her at the Same Time. Which I Think You'll Admit Is Quite a Trick. Covet, by Speranza, ak cesperanza.* Due South, Stella Kowalski/Benton Fraser. Yes. I am not kidding. Speranza has clearly taken the Fan Fiction Writer's Commandments to heart (#8 states that there is no practical difference between love and hate when it comes to writing sex scenes). And this isn't just some random thing where someone thinks of the world's least likely pairing - Dan Rydell/Sally Sasser, say - and writes it, canon be damned. No, this is a totally believable Stella/Fraser pairing, which is one of the stranger sentences I've written today. But slashers, do not fear; this will not hurt you. RayK/Fraser shippers, including the one who shares my bed each night, do not recoil; this will not violate your deeply-held beliefs. And everyone who is looking from the pairing to the fandom and back again and saying, "What the fuck?" loud enough for the person in the next cubicle to look over in surprise, trust me. No, wait, don't bother trusting me; trust Speranza. You won't be sorry.

Best FF That Makes Me Forget All About the Stupidity of Rubber Suits, and Makes the Distant Sound of Squishing Frenchmen Positively Romantic. Springtime in Paris, by dijeron. I'm not sure what the fandom is - monster movies, maybe. Godzilla/King Kong. I am quite serious. And so is the author; this isn't played for laughs. When I started reading this, my mind was full of men in bad rubber monster suits tromping on tiny model cities, and I was prepared to giggle; when I was done, I understood for the first time why Peter Jackson wants to remake King Kong. I honestly can't think of any other way to describe this or to explain why you should read it. So instead I'll whine. See, the title makes me think of "Springtime for Hitler" - and, really, I'm not sure why, since there's only the one word in common - and every time I see it I find myself singing that under my breath. Which, OK, but there's a limit to the amount of time I want to spend with my own hideous live version of the soundtrack for "The Producers." Although that does suggest a rare fandom that I need to enter at yuletide...no, no. The sickness must stop.

Best FF That Accuses Dana Whitaker of Previously Unsuspected Evil - Namely, Love for K. C. and the Sunshine Band, Which I Think Is Punishable by Law in Some Boroughs of New York City. Girls' Night In, by Annie, aka out_there. Sports Night, Dana Whitaker/Lisa McCall. (I guess that's Lisa's last name, at least at this point in the canon history.) This story answers an interesting question: how did Casey get Dana in the divorce? I mean, yes, crush, yes, friends, yes, working together - but Dana was Lisa's friend first and longest, and that makes a difference. I would've expected, at the least, a year or two of strained friendship with both sides. But as early as the pilot episode, Dana has made her choice. Or did someone else make it for her? I'm amazed by this story, and the moreso because I have a hard time seeing femslashiness in Dana; she tries so hard to be simultaneously one of the boys and one for the boys that it's tough to imagine her focus switching to girls, even for a night. This story, though, describes a Dana who didn't used to be like that. It's astonishingly well-done and believable. All hail Annie, who saw the femslash potential in a show practically struck blind by the boy love. (Note: so far I have not been required to post a Certified Safe Alternate for SN stories. I suspect, however, that's only because I've never recommended a story that wasn't Danny/Casey and happy-ending-ful. We shall see if death threats and bouts of vicious pouting result from this rec.)

* Many thanks to estrella30, for solving the Mystery of the Missing Link (the missing link being me, of course, not the story; the story was there all along, but my brain was MIA) in a timely and soothing fashion.
lynnmonsterlynnmonster on October 21st, 2004 09:59 am (UTC)
Okay, so I have to curse your name thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening my eyes to the wonder that is Kongzilla.

And The Clocks Were Striking Thirteen: Squee!_redpanda_ on October 21st, 2004 10:07 am (UTC)
I second that. ::manyhearts::
tried to eat the safe banana: Freaksthefourthvine on October 21st, 2004 10:50 am (UTC)
I had nothing at all to do with it. I am merely the conduit. Don't blame the messenger!

You are, however, free to love the messenger. And, really: giant mutant monsters need love, too, and where are they going to get it? Fay Wray? Come now. Clearly, the only reason no one else has pegged Godzilla/King Kong as a OTP before now is...OK. Sanity. But, really, sanity is a thing better lost, don't you think?
BUT HARRY STYLES: BIKINI by tararestrella30 on October 21st, 2004 10:07 am (UTC)
Ah - 'tis my pleasure, M'Lady. I had the link so handy so quickly because I bookmarked the story myself and have reread it roughly 92,372,574 times since it was posted. (And that's just the rough estimate *g*)
tried to eat the safe banana: Black Canarythefourthvine on October 21st, 2004 10:54 am (UTC)
*doffs cap in courtly fashion*

(Much more of the knightly language, and I will be jousting or something. And I'm inherently clumsy and prone to injury, so that is probably a bad idea.)

And I, too, read that story - let's just say "a number of times," because that's, you know, a little more dignified - when it was posted. I can't think why I didn't actually record the link. Probably I've got some sort of slash-transmitted brain rot.

Ah, well. 'Tis a pleasant way to go, is it not?
out_there on October 21st, 2004 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'm just grinning and re-reading that rec over and over. (For I am shallow and easily pleased. Very easily pleased.)


she tries so hard to be simultaneously one of the boys and one for the boys that it's tough to imagine her focus switching to girls, even for a night.

Although Dana isn't slashy as all get-out, unlike the boys, I do see a certain slash potential to her. It's due to the way Sorkin writes the same-sex friendships instead of the romantic relationships. Compare Casey's canon love interests with his friendship with Dan -- it's easy to see that Dan knows him better, puts Casey's interests first more often, and that the friendship is more emotionally intimate than Casey's relationship with Dana, Sally or Pixley (and possibly than Lisa).

The same thing applies to Dana. Gordon, as serious as she was about him, barely knows *who* she is. Casey seems to still think of her as the girl he met in college, the alternative-Lisa. Sam gets her, but he's up and gone very easily. Compare that to Dana's relationship with Natalie. She confides in Natalie, she has confidence in Natalie; they can work together, they can talk together, or drink together, and there's an acceptance and understanding that's far deeper than Dana's relationship with any of her guys. (In fact, while I'm thinking about this, there's a couple Nat/Dana fics you should check out, Smokey Blue and White Dress Shirt, which do that wonderful thing of writing girlslash with as much depth as the guyslash.)

Plus, that's the glory of never seeing Lisa. It's easy to play with her character.

Oh, and while I'm here, you do know there's Dan/Sally fic out there, right? (Of course, Dan's all motivated by transferred lust for Casey, but still. It exists.)
out_there on October 21st, 2004 05:16 pm (UTC)
Aha! I found the links to those stories.

First off, my favourite piece of femslash in SN: White Dress Shirt and Smoky Blue, both by meadowlion. They're well worth the read, in my opinion.

And, the Dan/Sally fic: (I Can Turn You) Inside Out by musesfool. It was written for the Remix Redux challenge last year, and I love the way that it isn't slash but it's all about the slash:

And you want to hurt her, want to fuck her, want to take back what she's taken from you--No. From Dana. Never from you. You never admit -- not to Dana, not to Abbey, not to Lisa, and not even to yourself -- that you want Casey.

(tall and beautiful, milk-fed Midwestern boy, everything you're not and never will be, graces you with his presence, his friendship. Not right to want more, want him, his body next to yours, moving over yours, skin on skin and sweat-soaked sheets and jerking off with his name on your lips. Not yours. Never yours.)

I tell you, that last paragraph does things to me, things that shouldn't be repeated in mixed company.
the opposite of batmanpearl_o on October 21st, 2004 05:48 pm (UTC)
Although that does suggest a rare fandom that I need to enter at yuletide...no, no. The sickness must stop.

I, uh, actually put The Producers in as one of my rare fandom suggestions the first day they opened. Um. Yes.
tried to eat the safe banana: Smirkthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 05:48 pm (UTC)
Yay! I love you. I really do. The world needs Bialystock/Bloom. And since you suggested it, I don't have to, which is good, as I've got enough slash weirdness on the brain these days.

(I'm struggling not to suggest Jessie's Girl (song), narrator/Jessie. After an unfortuitous encounter with this truly ancient song, which I actually don't much like, the BB and I realized how, um, questionable the narrator's feelings are. I mean, notice how Jessie is the only one who even has a name, like he's the only important one. And the narrator's fantasies are all Jessie-centered; sure, he wants the girl, but only in the context of Jessie. Really, I think he's just repressing his passion for Jessie. But it would be madness to confess this in public by entering it on the fandom list for Yuletide, and I'm sure BB and I will recover from the obsession eventually.)