The Story That Demonstrates Just How Embarrassing It Can Be to Have Your Father Take an Active Interest in Your Sex Life. Especially When Your Father Is Famous for Having Sex While Wearing a Swan Costume. (Huh. Does That Make Zeus a Furry?) An Affair to Remember, by Scarlette Sky and Randi DuMois. (Does anyone have LJ names or websites for them?) Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, Hercules/Iolaus. (Note: this story has some formatting issues, but it's so worth it.) Clearly, there's been some discrimination going on; I mean, gods can be just as perverse as any alien you care to name, and yet this is the first story I've ever read in which the Gods Make Them Do It. Which is a pity. Obviously, Hercules should be absolutely full of gods with NC-17 agendas, but according to my Fandom Informer (marycrawford, and seriously, people - don't ever let her come near you with links unless you just want to spend upwards of a day giggling over a little pig in a Hercules outfit), it isn't. This story makes up for a lot, though, particularly with Hercules's spectacular cluelessness and his seriously inappropriate triumph. (Note for the denser demigods out there: "Take that, Ares!" really isn't appropriate pillow talk.)
And, seriously, do not even tell me you don't know this fandom well enough to read in it, because those Greek myths you read as a kid are all the orientation you need for this story. But, okay, want a summary of it? Ares: war god with anger management issues. Zeus: slut who looks nice on a throne. Hercules: son of Zeus and a mortal woman (I'm not even sure if it's still Alcmene in this canon) who looks heroic in costumes that would make any average mortal despair. Iolaus: witty, scrappy sidekick. Xena: unnaturally fond of leather. Joxer: I haven't a clue - something I have in common with him, judging by this story - but he seems like one of those guys who is bags of fun to have around right up until you have to punch him in the mouth, and sometimes he's still fun after that, especially given how he really doesn't hold it against you. There you go. Now go read this and be inspired to write lots of other stories in which the Gods Make Them Do It. It would be a blight on all of fandom if a handful of old-time myth writers beat us on the perviness score, and yet have I seen the story in which Rodney McKay is seduced by a golden shower? Uh, no. And I don't want to. But the gods are totally fair game.
The Story That Focuses on the Unexpected Bonuses People Get for Being Touched by a Psychic. And, Wow, "Touched by a Psychic" Would Totally Work As an AU Title for This Canon. Walt Bannerman Is Gay, by Tangerine, aka tangeriner. Dead Zone, Walt Bannerman/Bruce Lewis. You know, I really didn't think a Johnnyless pairing could work in this fandom. The canon is very focused on him, on his visions, his point of view - unusually so for a TV series. (Actually, maybe lots of TV shows do this. But I only know TV shows from fandom, and usually fannish TV shows are about either a duo or an ensemble, and the point of view isn't so locked onto just one character.) So, you know, this story, written from Bruce's point of view and with Johnny only making cameos, has the potential to feel very much out of line, very off. It doesn't, or it doesn't to me. Instead, it's a look at the world surrounding Johnny, this more mundane Cleaves Mills where people just try to do their jobs, sometimes with the help of Johnny's visions, yeah, but never with OMGWTFArmageddon, not to mention a totally malfunctioning brain, looming over them every minute of every day.
And that's what made this pairing work for me. Turns out there's a weird symmetry about it, because these are the two people whose lives have been most warped, but not fundamentally altered, by Johnny's dead zone. In other words, these are the two people who best qualify to have the Psychic Make Them Do It. And there's a twist in that which I am not going to spoil for you, but that twist made me even more happy that I'd gone along for this nearly vision-free ride. Because, yeah, Bruce and Walt are still affected by the Psychic Mojo here, but they're also their own people, and the thing about people is that things never go according to plan once they get involved. Even the psychic can't change that. Maybe it's just my delight in ornery displays of free will talking, but I love that.
The Story in Which Ray and Fraser Prove That It Is Entirely Possible to Die of Stubbornness, and They're Just the Boys to Do It. An Incident Along a Poorly Guarded Border, by kindkit. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. And from psychics with - well, not specifically needs, more like a mystical imperative, we go to an entirely other kind of mystical imperative. Specifically, here we have the Vaguely Ethnic Spirits of Magical Realism Make Them Do It. Well, so does they weather, but - seriously, sometimes Ray and Fraser get into this place of being total blockheads, and it takes being hit over the head with their impending deaths to get them to kiss. (And this despite the fact that they've already done it in the canon.) This is what happens to them here (hardly surprising, I'm guessing, given that I elected to bring it up in the story summary), and the metaphorical clue-in-the-form-of-a-brick is a snarky Inuit, which I just love beyond the telling of it. I mean, it's bad enough when you need a near death experience and a spiritual intervention to get you together with someone, but when your Big Fat Honking Clue is mocking your denseness, well, it's time to loosen up and fuck right, folks.
Fortunately, Ray and Fraser manage to do just that. And there are so many joys here - seeing Ray and Fraser tag-team on their spiritual advisor is worth the price of admission (well, I mean, it would be if there was a price) all by itself. And it's wonderful to see that Ray and Fraser have standards, because, yeah, okay - it's one thing to initiate sexual relations at the behest of a deceased Inuit, but letting that Inuit watch crosses the line. Frankly, we could all stand to follow their example. (Or at least I could. My lines are not what they once were. And I don't mean when I was wee and innocent; I mean my lines have migrated substantially since this time last week. Fandom: consistently enabling me to achieve new moral lows.)
The Story That Is Going to Give Your Universal Remote a Serious Complex. The Scientific Method, by cupidsbow. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/A Whole Bunch of Bystanders, Innocent and Otherwise, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. What, you thought I could get all the way through a "by god, something makes them do it" set without bringing SGA into it? Allow me to chortle heartily, because this is the fandom that brings all the inexplicably sex-focused deii ex machina to the yard. (And ceremonial altar and science lab and emergency snow shelter and prison cell and alien brothel and rustic glade.) So here we have that great favorite of mine: Ancient Technology Makes Them Do It, and when I say "them," I mean, well - see the pairing label. Because, you know, maybe Rodney can kill people with his brain. None of us is surprised by that, really. But John can make people come with his brain, totally without meaning to, and that is even less surprising. (Let's face it. If ever there was a man who could have an orgy accidentally, John would be that guy. Hell, is that guy.)
I'm as disturbingly vocal a fan of something-makes-them-do-it stories as you would ever fear to find, but it's actually the little details that make me love this story. I love Exceedingly Competent Rodney demonstrating that all that field experience is good for something. I love the way John and Rodney negotiate one of those embarrassing mess hall scenes with such consummate skill that you'd think they had uncomfortable post-sex conversations all the time. I love, love, love the name Rodney and Zelenka gave the Ancient device in question; I assume it's a tip of the hat to James Randi, and it made me snicker helplessly the first time I read this. All in all, this story is fan fiction equivalent of chocolate ice cream, and I don't mean some newfangled, flash-in-the-pan thing like brownie superfudge chunk; I mean chocolate ice cream: sweet, satisfying, and classic.