I'm trying not to want to see it again.
When we can't have what we want, we sublimate, yes? Thus: a set about water. And the thing is, what I saw today was just seriously excellently cool, but these stories? They are better.
Best FF That Demonstrates the Importance of Embracing Your Ethnic Roots. Or Embracing Mutants. Whichever. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Give or Take), by Merry, aka merryish. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard. Have I mentioned how totally I love this new fandom? Because I do. I love it enough to marry it. I mean, the funny, and the snark, and also the occasional appearance of actual science and math - any two is enough to make this girl's heart go pitter-patter, but all three is just. Wonderful. Really. In fact, now that I've braved the due South canon (reminder: it actually is as wonderful as the FF would make you think, or at least season three is, and you should watch it immediately), SGA will likely be replacing it as The Fandom I Love So Much I'm Afraid to See the Canon. This is a highly coveted position, folks. Or at any rate, it is in my personal universe. But I have to put SGA there, because - well, look at this story. The humor - and I'm talking about humor that made me giggle like a loon even after the first time I read this. The near-death experiences, with accompanying panic attacks (excellent!) and hostile, defensive sarcasm (even better!). The believably intelligent characters. Who are also believable people. And did I mention the plot here, and the setting, and the wonderful extension of canon? And also the humor? Oh, I feel the love, folks. And if you have any sense, you'll start feeling it, too, because I'm not alone; some of the best writers on this planet are also clearly loving this fandom to the point of bringing it home to - well, bringing it home, at any rate. You want this fandom, my friends, you so totally do. Don't even try to deny it.
Best FF That Always Makes Me Say, in Tones of Muted Horror, "There Isn't Really a Streisand-Gibb Duet. Is There? Really?" Abeyance, by witling. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, gen. Y'all know I enjoy giving you fictional whiplash, right? (No. That is not what we Americans develop after any impact more bracing than a kiss if a major corporation is at fault. It is, you know, whiplash. Given to you by fiction.) Well, you should. And so we go from a near-death experience in water that is funny and sweet and light to water as a safe haven is a story that is not funny or sweet or light but is just really damn good. I have a major, ongoing anger at the way Xander-the-character was handled after, oh, season three - I mean, I don't know whether it was that he was a bone of contention between the writers or if the actor was pissing everyone off or if they just thought, "Wow, we really need a one-dimensional running joke in bad shirts! That will make this show great! And I know, let's use a major character for it, too!" Whichever, though, Xander was never the same. Here we get to see him as he always should've been, and I can't even describe how it is, so just go look. Plus, swimming. Which witling must know, because she describes it here perfectly, enough to make me hearken back to my own (yes, shameful but true) swim-team days. I just have an unholy love for this story, and if it always makes me a little sad, it's only because it's so good. And because I wish someone on the writing team had understood Xander this well.
Best FF That Makes Me Reflect Thoughtfully and Just a Trifle Unhappily on the Phrase "Blood Is Thicker Than Water." Bloodline, by Sarah T., aka harriet_spy. D. C. Universe, Batclan, gen. And now we go back to water as a near-death experience; its appearance is briefer than in the previous two stories, but when I think of this, I always think of water. And blood. And one other thing, which I won't tell you now. This story is just - amazing. Seriously amazing. So amazingly wonderful that when I read it I insisted my Best Beloved read it immediately and confirm for me its wonderfulness. Because, OK. It isn't just the vaguely AU-ish storyline, here; it's also - this is the way Dick really was as Robin. This is how things really were between Batman and Robin I. Or at least, that's how I remember them, from the canon - the neediness, the sense that all parties would benefit from years of intensive psychotherapy, the strangely upbeat Robin voice that somehow made the whole thing seem worse. (Yes, Batwriters: an orphaned teenager in frighteningly brief spandex issuing bad "wise"cracks at terrible villains will certainly lighten the tone of the books and make them more suitable for children. How did you know?) But don't think this story is - OK, well, it is dark. But not how we usually mean it in fandom. And if there's angst, it's only what the canon brought there. And it is just so goddamn good. And Best Beloved will back me up on that.
Best FF That Once Again Proves That What a Pirate Really Needs Is a Ship. But He'll Still Take Anything Else That's Going - or Coming - His Way. Out of His Depth, by Gloria Mundi, aka viva_gloria. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow/Will Turner. And now water becomes a metaphor - and, of course, an actual substance, something boats float on, something you swim in, something unwary boys might sink in. Well, I mean, we had to have one sailing-fandom story, didn't we? Water. Sails. They go together. And this is a story I have loved since it was written (for the first Yuletide), even though the pairing, not to mention the point of view - well, let's just say Will Turner was not the most compelling character in the movie to me. Even if you subtracted all the other characters that had more than five lines from the competition. But that's why I love and adore this story, because he was so totally out of his depth, from the beginning to the end, and maybe what he needed was to, you know, sink. In all senses of the word, including the one at the end of the story. And the thing is, this Will is three-dimensional in a way the on-screen character simply was not, and yet I can buy this Will, can totally buy him. You know those programs where you put in a line drawing and it makes it all perspective-y and three-dimension-y? Well, this story does that to Will. And a writer who can do that, well - in my opinion, she can do anything. And should.