Dear Mother Nature,And:
I'm dying and you just keep putting out the pollen. Some of us are suffering here, but do you care? No. Heartless bitch.
Deeply looking forward to the post-modern technological dystopia,
Dear stomach,And (of course):
Ow. Also, ow. Also, ew. I'm sorry you've got problems, but do you have to let them affect our relationship like this?
Remember the experience with the chalk-flavored radioactive substances? It can happen again, stomach. It can happen again.
Yours in hopes of a future partnership that's more Ray-and-Fraser than killer-and-knife-named-Betty-Lou,
Dear Kimberly-Clark,Naturally, this got me to thinking about documents. And as I have a well-documented kink for the document-within-a-document, well, um, uh...damn. If I could've used 'document' one more time in this intro, I would've gotten an ice-cream cake.
Not. Stupid. Just. Menstruating.
This is how dreams die, people. Ah, well. On to the fan fiction.
The One That Teaches Us All the Importance of Occasionally Not Running for Our Lives or Getting Shot in the Ass. Leave the Light On, by cherryice. Doctor Who, gen. Disclaimer: I was one of the beta-readers of this story, but, seriously, I didn't do much; it was like this when I got there.
See, now, I do not know this fandom. Like, at all. There's a TARDIS, there's a Time Lord, there's a Companion, all this I know from watching my sister watch Doctor Who reruns on some random TV station back in the Dark Ages. (An advantage of Doctor Who fandom: it is, apparently, eternal. A fandom for the ages.) And my attempts to get to know the recent iteration of the fandom are uniformly doomed: downloads fail to download, or fail to extract, or fail to run, and discs disappear into the sandy mists of the postal service, and it's just...it's very doomed, is what it is - like, I suspect the Elder Gods of having an involvement here. So my knowledge is limited (by the forces of EVIL), but I do know that this new Doctor has a wrinkle. A wrinkle named Jack. And, whoa: turns out you don't have to know Jack at all to love his pansexual, uniformed, fifty-first century ass.
And this story is all about Jack, meaning I loved it pretty much from the get-go; in fact, and you'd need to check with cherryice to be sure, I suspect my beta emails were mostly incoherent, get-this-girl-a-drug-test-stat ramblings about the wonderful, wonderful, uh, you know, wonder of it all. My head is easily turned by a science fiction trope, and so I especially adore the colony world this story describes, the pathetic mundane probability of the scenario. I also love - and this is a lot rarer for me - the slow, horrifying build of this, the way realization sneaks up and whaps you on the head while you're distracted by this overwhelming wave of pure love for the Doctor, Jack, and Rose. And, because I am a total wuss, I also love (like, a lot), the way this story is structured: you get the hurt (all the more painful, at least to me, because it's so prosaic and possible) and the comfort (likewise simple and possible - I mean, except all the TARDIS-Time Lord-phone booth stuff). I just...I have love for this story, people. And also Jack. And the Doctor. And Rose. That is all.
The One That Teaches Us This Holy Lesson: Froot Loops Are Love. No, Really, They Are. Disgusting, Styrofoam-Flavored Love, but Who Am I to Judge? Fan Mail from a Flounder, by Punk, aka runpunkrun. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall.
Here, Danny discovers his one true love: email. Fortunately, that turns out to be a momentary blip, and he soon discovers his other one true love, but not until nearly everyone wants to punch him for talking about email so much. I think we can all sympathize. In fact, what's really miraculous is how charming Punk manages to make this behavior seem. Or, I don't know, maybe it's just me - I mean, am I the only one who has had to suffer through excruciating wedding receptions in which relatives tell me excitedly about how they've recently started using "the AOL"? (And I won't even try to describe the horror that was trying to explain email to my aunt, who believes in her heart that microwave ovens are destroying the American family. I will say, though, that the question, "But how does it get to the other computer? How does it know?" can still bring me to tears.)
This story is kind of a two-for-one, because there are two documents in it. One is an email that describes Dan as a "twenty-first century prince," which he probably is, and says that he understands the infield fly rule, which we know he doesn't because he's mostly sane and can still put his pants on without help. But the other is the one that reminds me exactly why I have loved, and will always love, this fandom. When a shopping list can make my heart swell with pure, sweet OTP love, well. That's a fandom that will never fade. Oh, Sports Night. My love is true.
The One That Makes Me Wonder What I'd Want My Epitaph to Be, If I Was Ever in Similar Circumstances.* Traces Through Time, by Icarus, aka icarusancalion. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.
Disclaimer: I love time travel stories. In non-fan fiction formats, I am the least critical consumer of them ever.** But, for reasons unknown to me, the exemption that all other forms of media get for giving me what I love (Time travel! Diaries! Gay!) does not extend to fan fiction; I'm an incredibly demanding reader when it comes to FF that hits my personal bulletproof kinks. When you can almost always get at least a little of exactly what you want, you're much less tolerant of near misses. That pretty much summarizes my entire fan fiction experience, right there.
Because, see, sometimes I do get exactly what I want. Like, take this story. I will just never leave fandom as long as there are stories in which Rodney is accidentally sent back in time and John reads his trapped-in-time diary and figures out how to help him and also gets to read a multi-page and very loving description of his cock. I just am incapable of even summoning up the words to describe my glee about this. It's like - it's like Marooned in Realtime***, but with an entirely happy ending. And the document. Oh, the document - I would totally kill to read an extended edition of this story with much longer passages from Rodney's Lost in Time diary. Or extracts from the symphony. Yes, he wrote John a symphony. (And that, my friends, is where my hard and shriveled little heart just melted into a puddle of extremely satisfied goo. Awwwwwww.)
The One in Which Batman Gives the World's Least Helpful Advice. "Assume Success" My Ass, Batty Boy. What Book Did You Find That Pedagogical Technique in, Breaking the Brains of the Next Generation? Able to Succeed, by brown_betty. D.C. Universe, gen.
I appear to be on quite the tear of "The Batuniverse Is Like Our Universe, Only Jam-Packed with Armed Nutballs in Armored Spandex" stories lately. (You know, I really didn't mean that to sound like a cross between a gay bar and a health food. It just came out that way. This is what happens when you try to write about the DCU, folks.) Here we have Tim (glorious Tim!) being inculcated into the Way of the Bat, by which I of course mean "winning through paranoia, obsessive-compulsive planning, and homoerotic overtones that are really much more overt than you'd think anyone could get away with."
There just aren't too many superheroes I can picture doing superhomework - I mean, sure, Charles Xavier runs a school complete with Danger Room (Danger! Room!) and suchlike, but does Rogue ever belly up to her desk and write a 20-page paper called "The Evolution of Team-Based Aerial Combat Techniques in a Post-Genosha Multiverse"? No. Wolverine? My god no. Cyclops? Okay, maybe. Probably. Almost certainly. But my point is, Batman's superhomework is just way cooler than that. Also way, way more insanity inducing, but that's just how they do it in Gotham; it is their native folkway, which we have all learned to admire greatly. (And oh my god, I just realized - someone needs to write a DCU story called "It's Hard out Here for a Bat." Please. Please. I'll...okay, I don't have anything to offer in trade, but I will love you forever I swear to god.)
* I'm joking. I already totally know what I want my epitaph to be, have for at least 15 years: "She lived in readiness for temporal anomaly." You may think you have a time travel kink, but trust me, it is nothing to my all-encompassing, seriously obsessive, downright disturbing time travel kink. I mean, I have a list of essential items I'd take back to any time period you care to name. I follow advances in particle physics solely for their relevance to potential means of time travel. I...whoa, I just totally outed myself as the geek of the century, didn't I?
** You know that version of The Time Machine that came out in 2002? (Before I looked it up, I was going to say "about a decade ago." Apparently my brain has elected to deal with the post-traumatic movie viewing stress by pretending it all happened a very long time ago. In another country. And the wench is dead.) I watched that with actual delight. (BB, immediately after we emerged into the harsh bright light of day: "Um. You, uh, you know that movie was bad, right?" Me, nearly skipping with joy: "Oh, yes. And I am so buying it the second it comes out!" BB: *nearly inaudible whimper*)
*** Don't even tell me you haven't read Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge. Just. Don't. Even. Go quietly and shame-facedly to the library, your local bookstore, or Amazon, obtain a copy, and read until you break.