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04 May 2005 @ 07:52 pm
Slashy Nominations 116: Speaking in Tongues  
You know you love somebody, be it in a friendly or romantic or familial way, when you can turn to that person and make a comment that appears to all others to be a random assemblage of words, and that person laughs or pats you sympathetically or nods sincerely and offers another random word array that makes total sense to you. At least, that's how I know; private language is perhaps the ultimate symbol of closeness in my world. (This may just be because I don't make much sense most of the time, so I'm really touched when someone actually gets me at all. I still maintain that it works on a more general level, though.)

These stories are all about private language, be it the language of two or the language of one or the language of people stuck in a pocket universe with only their own brilliance and absurdity for company. (And, you know, someday I want to see a story like that for every fandom. Except Sports Night, where I think that's pretty much already true in the canon.)

Words. They're all we have to go on. Given certain fairly inclusive definitions of 'words.'

Best FF That Contains a Reference to The Night of the Hunter. Which Makes Me Wonder if Ray Has Seen the Movie. Or Fraser Has. D R A W N, by serialkarma and lalejandra. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Isn't it lovely to see two people really communicating? Well, no, not when they're, say, the people behind you in a movie (the woman who repeated words at random from the dialog of Mission: Impossible to her husband with sinus problems, for example) or in line at the supermarket. ("I see where that boy is still on trial." "Isn't it Michael Jackson on trial?" "He's just after the money, you know." "Who?" "The boy. Michael Jackson wouldn't do that. He could do better." "Oh, I don't know. Maybe he did. What I say is, does it matter? They're all like that anyway." And meanwhile you're wondering a) is it contagious, b) will the checker understand if you abandon your half-unloaded groceries and flee the store, and c) why you don't carry a gun. Or at least, that's what you're wondering if you're me.) But it's pretty damn nice when it's Fraser and Kowalski, especially when they're communicating by means of drawing. On each other's skin. With ink. And how they do it is nice, too; Fraser telling a story using his own private, unspoken, unexplained language - because for a man who talks a lot he's not much with the communicating - and Ray keying into it intuitively - because for a detective he's not much with the logic. That's so them. A big part of the appeal of this pairing for me is that it involves two people no one has really listened to. And then they start listening to each other. And if that doesn't just make the tears of joy well up inside...well, you're probably not pre-menstrual, at any rate.

Best FF That Left Me Reaching for the Book on Animal Sounds in Other Languages That I Do in Fact Own. It's Like I Spent Years Preparing to Read This Story! Absurdity Theory, by julad. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/Radek Zalenka. So. If it quacks like a duck, but does not in fact look like a duck, what is it? In this case, two people paying a slightly higher-than-usual price for certain unkind comments. But, hey, if you know stuff, it doesn't matter that you can't talk to others; you can still entertain yourself with a Turing machine or the Theory of Universal Absurdity or lots of sex. This is why everyone needs science. (The sex. Though the entertainment is nice, too.) And everyone also needs this story, although you probably don't need it as much as I did when I first read it, because it was the perfect antidote to an unfortunate vid experience I had last week. Vidders, please: avoid the all talking heads, no action, no meaning blue-light-special vids. But if you're going to make one, for Christ's sake don't center and zoom in on those faces too far. Because you may find that dramatic, but all I see is nostrils. Gigantic, flagrant, unignorable nostrils. ("Nostrilriffic" is not a word I had previously been tempted to coin, but this vid - it needed adjectives as yet undiscovered in the English language.) And when a love song is wailing in the background but huge nostrils are flaring in the foreground, I am in an unhappy place. Or, actually, a seriously happy place and laughing myself sick, but that's probably not where the vid was supposed to take me. Worse, after I watched said vid, I couldn't read SGA without thinking mostly of nostrils, and it was inhibiting my new-fandom love. But then, fortunately, I found this story, which completely derailed the memory of hysterical nostrils via hysterical quacking, and also the honking, and also the Czech. So my love has returned. Healed by the magic of fan fiction!

Best FF That Reminds Us That No Matter How Strange and Illogical Our Own Culture's Marital Customs Are, It Could Always Be Worse. For Example, It Could Involve Parakeets. A Bird in the Hand Gets Tangled in the Sheets, by The Grrrl, aka thegrrrl2002. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. You know, for someone whose whole life has been about communication, Daniel's private language is remarkably singular; no one speaks fluent Daniel Jackson. I love this story in part because it proves that that doesn't matter. Jack speaks enough and is patient enough, and the rest of it...works out. (For Daniel and Jack. Probably not so much for the men who had to do whatever-it-was involving birds after they married, which in my opinion goes a long way toward explaining why that particular culture died out. Marriage and birds are not an OTP.) The other reason I love this FF may say more about me than it does about the story, but who am I to shy away from writing down potentially revealing personal information and posting it in a searchable, public medium? I mean, I'm on Livejournal, here; oversharing is the name of the game. So I will not hesitate (except, you know, for all the preliminary verbiage, which is more of an art than an avoidance thing, really) to tell you that this story contains the sweetest and best declaration of love of all time. Really. Actually, it contains two of them, because the response is just as good and sweet and true. This is one of those short pieces I read whenever I'm feeling especially out of touch with the world; it reminds me that it doesn't matter if the world gets me. It only matters if one person cares enough to try. And, lord, the treacle is practically coming out of my ears, now, so we'd best move on to the Batworld, where things just don't get that sweet.

Best FF That Proves That There Are Modes of Attack Even Tim Drake Hasn't Anticipated. I Know, I Know - It's Crazy. But True! Obsessive, by Derry, aka derryderrydown. D.C Universe, Batclan, Batgirl/Robin III. Yet another story I love intensely, and not just because it incorporates both of my favorite Batclan characters. (Nightwing is a close third, though.) What I love is this look at Cass, who I suspect was introduced to the DCU solely so that there'd be one inhabitant harder to understand and write than Batman. (Because, look. I love him as much as the next girl, provided I get to pick who the next girl is, but the man is about one cerebral misfire away from Arkham Asylum. If that.) Cass spent much of her life mute, and she still prefers not to speak. Also, she fights crime. So I don't have much in common with her (I never shut up, and the closest I come to fighting crime is giving dirty looks to vocal movie attendees), but I still relate to the language Cass is speaking in this story. Body language shouldn't be a private language - we all speak it, we all read it - but a lot of the time it seems like it is, because so many people do all their body communication unconsciously. Sadly, I'm not as fluent in it as Cass is (I mean, I can't manipulate anyone with it. Tragically. Because if I could, you can bet world leaders would make a lot more sense.), but I'm more comfortable with that language than any of the other non-verbal ones. And the thing is? Once you start watching it, it really is this easy to read. I love that Derry gets that, and even if her Cass doesn't read bodies the same way I do, I read this again and again because it makes so much sense. I don't know if it will to you, but I don't think it matters. Even if you can't picture the conversations described in here, you should still read it for a look at the world through Batgirl's eyes.
What the hell is up with the mummy?!: a little bit deadlyserialkarma on May 4th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
Yay for getting the Night of the Hunter reference! I wasn't sure how many people reading this would pick up on that.

(and yeah, I don't know if Ray's ever seen the movie either, all I know is he thinks it's cool.*g*)
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
The funny thing is, I wrote most of this post, including the dS rec, a week ago. I just cleaned it up and posted it today, and I didn't realize until you commented that I was talking about Night of the Hunter, one of my favorite movies, on my other LJ today, too. Apparently once you start thinking about it, that movie is everywhere.

Though we should all hope the preacher isn't.


Great movie.

(And my theory is, Fraser's probably seen it - it's old and it's a little-known masterpiece, so it's his kind of thing - and understands it on a technical level: the brilliance of the direction, Robert Mitchum somehow ascending to a higher acting plane for this one movie, the allegory, everything. Except how scary it is. And one night he'll bring it over for Ray to see, because Ray really doesn't seem to appreciate anything made before 1972, and there's a wealth of entertainment and culture he's missing, and a movie is an easier way to start on that than the Ring Cycle, right? Ray will bitch - black and white, Robert Mitchum, he's seen Nightmare on Elm Street eight times so what does some old lame-o "thriller" have to offer him? But after ten minutes, Ray will be gripped, almost completely still, he's so entranced. And after twenty minutes, Ray will be scared to death, because he'll totally pick up on the creepy aspect instead of the technical brilliance. And he'll insist Fraser stay the night. And then he'll insist that Fraser tell him a story - but nothing creepy - so he can go to sleep, because he's seeing that preacher when he closes his eyes. And then...but do I need to tell you more? Anyway, the next morning he'll wake up with Fraser, and grin, and write LOVE on his knuckles. Just LOVE. And wait to see how long it takes Fraser to notice it.)
(no subject) - serialkarma on May 5th, 2005 04:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serialkarma on May 5th, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fanofall on May 5th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fanofall on May 6th, 2005 08:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 6th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fanofall on May 7th, 2005 10:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 7th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fanofall on May 7th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
out_there on May 4th, 2005 08:04 pm (UTC)
Except Sports Night, where I think that's pretty much already true in the canon.

*giggles* I was about to mention that, when I started reading your intro, and the you beat me to the punch. There's just so many scenes in SN where a new person comes in, and yet, Dan and Casey (or any other two characters, really) continue referring tosomething that the new person has no knowledge of.

Mind you, my favourite example would have to be in S1, with the guy who assaulted Natalie. His manager guy insults the show and Dan responds with, "But that'll all change when I grow a goatee."

Casey's, "And he's crazy enough to do it," cracks me up every time.
tried to eat the safe banana: I've been badthefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)

There were originally five recs in this set (there's more in the category, a lot more, but these were the five I wanted to rec right now) and I couldn't decide which one should go, so I picked it with a random number generator. The one that got left out was the SN one - meadowlion's story where Casey reflects that he and Dana are never on the same page, but most days it seems like he and Danny are co-writing a novel. I love that story, even though it's really short, because it perfectly sums up the way that Dan and Casey communicate; they so totally are in their own pocket universe, all the time, and they don't even care if what they're saying sounds like quacks to everyone else.

It's one of the big reasons they're such a slashy pair. For me, anyway.
Bettybrown_betty on May 4th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
I've read that Julad story before and holy glossolalia Batman, I love fic that is sexy and funny and smart all at once. I have since become julad's full time stalker. I'm glad to see it here.
tried to eat the safe banana: Kiss methefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
I first encountered julad (well, her writing) long, long ago; I don't even remember which fandom I originally read her in (if that makes sense). But of course I loved her. And then (*wah*!) she moved on to QaF, one of the few fandoms I don't read. So I was thrilled when I found out she was writing SGA - it's always a delight when a writer I've long admired, but not shared a fandom with, moves into a new fandom that I'm already reading. It's cause for joyful dancing.

SGA has been providing me with many, many of these experiences, and I'd love it for that alone. If, you know, I didn't have other reasons.
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Procurator Generalfanofall on May 4th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)


What's up with that? I have no idea what the storyline is, who the people are (although I will admit that I at least looked the show up on scifi.com so I could picture these people in my head when they're talking), or what new and horrifying dangers they will experience this week!, but the fic (so far, thanks to you and norah has been pretty good.

I can't have another fandom. Seriously. No.
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
You can, my sweet, and you will. And let's not have any of this "But - I can't! No!" I seem to remember saying that about SN, once upon a time, and you ruthlessly and mercilessly ran me down, captured me, and dragged me, kicking and screaming, into that fandom.

There will be no mercy on you now, for you have shown none to me; I will be recommending SGA until you give it a fair shot. (And let me tell you, 80% of the best FF writers out there are in this fandom right now. You might just as well surrender, girlie.)

Of course, I can't pimp the way you pimp; that would require me to have actually, you know, seen the canon, and it would also require your phenomenal pimpmaster skills. I can offer you vids, if you like - there are a bunch in this fandom, and although many of them are repetitive some are very good (let me know if you want recs) - and a general summary of dubious value, because I haven't got a good handle on the canon details yet.

(Summary will follow in the next comment; it got too big. My hope is that if I post it publicly, people who know the fandom better will correct it, educating us both at the same time.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
Summary, Part One (Well, I told you it got big.)

Once upon a time, there was a thing called a stargate. It took people to other planets with a whooshing noise; in particular, it took people named Jack, Daniel, Sam, and, after some initial exchange of gunfire, Teal'c. These people worked for the SGC, a branch of the American Air Force. They had encounters with the Ancients and their technology, most of which did not go too well for the SGC, although not because of any meanness on the part of the Ancients. They also had encounters with snake parasites called the Goa'uld; those encounters generally didn't go too well for the snakes, despite considerable meanness on their part.

After many adventures, they discovered a big underwater city that had originally (I think) been on Earth, but had been moved to the Pegasus galaxy in a last-ditch effort (by the original inhabitants) to avoid an enemy as bad as the Goa'uld. (In the the Stargate universe, the general rule is that everything, including rocks, trees, and sticks, will eventually try to kill you. The smarter they are, the more it will sting.) This was the lost city of Atlantis, the home of the Ancients.

Jack, who by that time was commanding the SGC (I think - I'm still back-engineering this fandom, so this is all third-hand knowledge), agreed to let a multi-national, mostly civilian group go through to investigate Atlantis. When they got there, they (meaning Rodney McKay) realized they didn't have enough power to go home, and they (meaning John Sheppard) accidentally sent a homing signal to the Wraith. Which were, as it turned out, the enemy that the Ancients were fighting and that they eventually lost to. The Wraith look like goths who've been a very strict diet, and they act like vampires; they "cull" most of the nearby planets on a regular basis.

Exploration teams were formed (the main one in the show is Sheppard, McKay, Ford, and Teyla), integrating science, military, and the local friendlies, who aren't exactly local but are definitely friendly (the Athosians). They face many dangers, including Wraith, Genii (hostiles allied with the Wraith), and Atlantis itself.
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on May 5th, 2005 06:08 am (UTC)
Your summary is sheer brilliance, and quite helpful, too!

I will read. Some. Possibly. Because I think if I spend too much time around Rodney McKay, even the written version, I will strangle someone. My, but he's an arrogant bastard.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glass: Ferris Wheels by Dzurladydzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:48 am (UTC)
Actually, they knew about the power before they left, but they took the gamble that they'd find a ZPM when they got there.
The wraith were awakened when Teyla and several other Athosians and Marines were captured by the Wraith in 'Rising' and Sheppard, Colonel Sumner and some others went to get them back; then they accidentally awakened the Wraith while doing so, and Sumner was killed, leaving John the ranking military officer.

Also, if you have vid recs, I'd love to have them!
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dzurlady on May 5th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - casapazzo on August 22nd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
JOHN SHEPPARD: Major in a disputed branch of the U.S. military. Even less like a real military officer than Jack O'Neill, which must've taken some doing, and which may explain why O'Neill likes him. He never talks about his past, he's charming (if vaguely and sometimes strategically obnoxious) without letting people get close, and he's smart (without a lick of common sense) but underplays it. He's also sarcastic and not at all diplomatic. One of the few who can stand McKay. He likes flying, math, and risk-taking. He is the sole possessor (in the Atlantis crew) of the ATA gene - aka the Ancient gene, a sort of marker used by Atlantis to identify the people who belong there. (The Ancients are actually the progenitors of humans.) This means he can operate city tech. (Other people now have the gene from "gene therapy," which sounds like a dubious scientific proposition to me. But Atlantis still prefers John.) Slashed mostly with McKay, but has a FF reputation as a total slut.

It may help to think of him as Jack with a little Daniel and a lot of sarcasm added.

RODNEY MCKAY: Canadian physicist (sometimes listed as an astrophysicist, but then what is he doing in Atlantis?) who heads the science division. Brilliant, knows it, lives it, loves it. Sarcastic, chock full o' attitude, no hint of tact or people skills. Many people hate him. He's prone to panic attacks, allergic reactions, fainting, and pessimism, which makes his regular bouts of heroism all the more impressive. He likes food, coffee, math, physics, gizmos and gadgetry (he's like an engineer-physicist hybrid, really), Samantha Carter (he worked at the SGC before Atlantis), and problem-solving. He still misses his cat. Slashed mostly with Sheppard, but also Beckett and Zelenka (among others).

Think of him as half Daniel, half Sam, plus a 4XL serving of attitude.

AIDAN(EN) FORD: An American Marine Lieutenant. He seems to be cheerful, helpful, just generally nice. In FF his personality does not come through particularly well; the best analogy I can draw is to Barry (Hyman) as described in the book Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson. This will not help you unless you've read it. (And you should; it's an excellent book, but read Life Among the Savages first.) Not regularly slashed; sometimes paired (mostly as a sub-pairing in a McKay/Sheppard story) with Teyla.

Think of him as a placeholder. I do, and will until I find a story that gives him some personality.

TEYLA EMMAGEN: An Athosian (friendly native(ish)) who specializes in fighting with big sticks; mildly alien in background and behavior. She's the diplomat, linguistic, peace-maker, and pretty girl on the team. She knows all the locals (for many planets around) and has been fighting the Wraith et al for a while, but she still remains true to her roots (as evidenced by her fondness for hand-tooled-looking leather vests). I've read a few good pieces about her, but have not yet obtained a coherent view of her personality. She seems likable, though.

Think of her as three-quarters Teal'c, one-quarter Daniel.

CARSON BECKETT: Scottish physician. Sometimes slashed with McKay (or, more rarely, Sheppard.) He came to Atlantis to do research, but he spends most of his time patching up McKay and Sheppard. He also came up with the (dubious) gene therapy, and he has the ATA patch, as I like to think of it.

RADEK ZELENKA: Rodney's Czech (?) second-in-command. Very intelligent. He's got a sense of humor, a good personality, and a sharp tongue. He's one of the select few who likes Rodney and gets along with him. For some obscure reason, he reminds me of a hobbit. Slashed most often with McKay; it's one of my favorite pairings in this fandom.

ELIZABETH WEIR: The American diplomatic commander of the mission (civilian). All I know about her is that she's regularly paired with Sheppard and she gives the impression (in vids) of being wound tighter than any galactic nucleus ever found or spring ever made. Her whole body is tense all the time. It drives me crazy. As a result, I don't like her much. Also, she doesn't seem to be all that good at her job, though that could just be my prejudice showing.
(no subject) - delurker on May 5th, 2005 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - delurker on May 6th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dzurlady on May 6th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - just_katarin on June 5th, 2005 11:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - delurker on May 11th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nightengale on November 10th, 2005 10:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fanofall on May 5th, 2005 06:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - delurker on June 4th, 2005 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
Katie M.katie_m on May 4th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
this story contains the sweetest and best declaration of love of all time. Really. Actually, it contains two of them, because the response is just as good and sweet and true.

Oh, yes. I love this story, for exactly that reason. I love him when he's... generous.
tried to eat the safe banana: Swoonthefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes. It's such a fabulous story. The bird train of thought strikes me as very Daniel (though I am in no wise an expert), and the Daniel/Jack conversation sums up a lot of what I enjoy about this pairing - the inexplicable attraction, the incredible efforts to bridge huge gaps (because, seriously, Daniel and Jack are so different - they should loathe each other, or at least that's how it seems to me), the strangely gentle acceptance and love even of things they don't understand about each other. The, as you said, generosity, especially (again, at least in my mind) on Jack's side.

Of course, there are many downsides to (or problems with) the pairing, too, but we're focusing on the happy, right?
best_beloved on May 8th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)

Obsessive, by Derry is giving me a 404 error.