Instead of TTNH, today’s subject is - okay, I call this category “long,” but really the stories are somewhere between short stories and novellas in length. Basically, if it would take more than one LJ post to get the whole thing up, then it’s long. (If it would take more than five LJ posts, then it has moved into the territory of “very long.” I am so rigorous in my classification schemes that someday I will rule the world through quantitative analysis. Although there’s a major kink in this system - and notice, SGA fans, that I did not capitalize “major,” and thus I am not referring to first-season Sheppard’s well known fetish for long fiction - in that a lot of long stories don’t get posted to LJ. Researchers continue to study this problem round the clock at the famed TFV Fan Fiction Laboratory, so please view this as a merely interim story classification method.)
My point is, sometimes you need longer fiction. Today, I need longer fiction, and, well, as long as I was looking the stuff up anyway . . .
The One in Which We Learn Why Touya Akira Needed Shindou Hikaru: Because Every Almost Immoveable Object Needs an Irresistible Force. Inertia, by rageprufrock. Hikaru no Go, Akira/Other, Hikaru/Other, Akira/Hikaru.
Okay. Here’s the thing. I didn’t actually want to rec this until I’d uploaded all the manga, because this is a story set well after the canon and so it spoils almost all of it. Then it occurred to me that I could rec this and upload all the canon, because - well, here’s a long story by rageprufrock; what’s more tempting than that? So, first, here’s links for the complete scanned and translated manga: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Let me know if any of these time out or are broken or what have you.
So now my only problem is - what can I say about this story? Because, well. Okay. See, I’ve been reading Go websites. (It has nothing to do with my sudden interest in Hikaru no Go; I’m just, um . . . fine. I admit it. I’m obsessed. And, to be honest, I find it much scarier, as far as tragic proof of the kind of addiction that my loved ones should be scheduling an intervention for, that I’ve been reading stories blind at fanfiction.net.) And here’s the thing. Sometimes I get embarrassed for fandom, all, oh my god, people, please stop being on my side. Because we do have our moments of shame. So it makes me feel much better to note that Go fans are just like us: they too can get wank out of a stone. (Or, rather, out of 361 of them. Oh, I slay myself sometimes.) And Go wank is - um, special. (Like, there’s this one relatively recent wank that was instigated in large part by the Chinese press. Say what you will about our wank, at least it isn’t often started by New York Times headlines reading “For 41st Year in a Row, Fan Fiction Feedback Inadequate, Officials Say. Also, Real Person Slash ‘Totally Gross. Boyband Members Aren’t Gay!’”)
So I was going to write up this story talking about the yin/yang themes running all through this, and that’s totally appropriate to Go, of course, because . . . and then I thought I’d better make sure that I was right about the white and black stones having something to do with yin and yang. A short visit to Sensei’s Library later, I had learned that a) white was totally yin b) white was totally yang c) black was definitely female by default d) black was definitely male by default and, finally, e) Go players also obey the law of conservation of understanding. (“A debate continues until an equal distribution of understanding is achieved. Thus, given the general population of the internet, an open internet debate proceeds until no one understands anything.” And I just made that up, so I can’t source it for you, but you can’t deny that it’s true. Nor can you deny the corollary: “The introduction of one new person who believes he or she knows the right answer will begin the entire debate again, so that it can once again find understanding equilibrium (i.e., complete lack of understanding). This process can continue indefinitely. And almost certainly will. Thus, bringing up Nazis is really an act of mercy.”)
So I will avoid the whole attempt at literary analysis. It was bound to end badly anyway. Instead, I will say that this story is excellent, and it shows Akira being acted upon and Hikaru acting upon him, and it is totally how I am now convinced they end up after the canon. Also, there is sex. You want to read this right now. And you also want to read Hikaru no Go; trust me on this. Seriously. Just by downloading and reading one of those files (for clarity’s sake, it should be the first one), you can make me happier than I’ve been in months.
Don’t make me bring out the Doe Eyes of Pining, people. Read the manga. And then read the story. And then everyone wins.
The One in Which Lex Shows Us the True Meaning of Multiculturalism, and Clark Shows Us the True Purpose of Harem Pants. Moving On, by astolat. Smallville fused with DCU to make a delightfully frothy confection. Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.
It’s an excellent idea to get Lex Luthor off the planet, am I right? I mean, why should earth have all the fun? This is the reasoning that a number of people apply in this story, only to realize much too late that they are a) stupid and, also, b) really really stupid. (Except Batman, who stands in the background, being grimly and mercilessly right. The only reason his fellow Justice League members haven’t killed him by now out of sheer irritation is that they know in their hearts that Batman would stop them and then shake his head, say, “I knew it,” and walk off exuding an aura of I’m Too Sexy to Be This Right All the Time, but by God I’ll Have to Until Someone Else with a Brain Shows Up. No, Tim, I Don’t Mean You.) Lex, meanwhile, gets to take the party to the whole universe. Given that this is Lex, the party involves a lot of deep strategy, a number of hostile mergers, and gay, gay outfits. (If Lex ruled earth, Wall Street would be just the same, except that traders would be required to wear fabulous purple outfits, and also they would routinely assassinate each other right there on the trading floor. I would so buy season tickets.)
Clark, of course, tries to save the universe from Lex. And now pause with me and say, “Oh, Clark. When will you just accept who you are and stop with all these superfights? Blowjobs are so much less damaging to the country’s [galaxy’s, universe’s] infrastructure.” Eventually, there is a happy ending. Plus, of course, more excellently weird costumes. Do not miss, by the way, the unspeakably wonderful Lex Paper Doll Set, by mutecornett. I mean, if Lex gets to wear fabulous outfits, shouldn’t you be able to take them off him?
The One in Which We Discover That It Does, in Fact, Take the Threat of Death to Get a Certain Cop to Clear His Paperwork. And We Totally Fail to Be Surprised. That Good Night, by Dira Sudis, aka dsudis. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
One of my major problems with recommending dS these days is that I’m not, um, always the most careful person in the world about marking what I’ve already recommended in my database, which is in any case a total mess thanks to del.icio.us (and also to my prize-winning laziness). So a lot of the stories I’ve loved forever I look at and say, “I’ve rec’d this, right? I mean, I’d be a fool not to have rec’d it. But, well, let’s just say foolishness isn’t totally out of character for me, so . . .” But I’ve decided not to get all obsessive about this crap, so I’m damn well recommending this one anyway. My promise to you: anyone who can point to the slashy set where I’ve already recommended a story gets - um. My thanks? I don’t really have a lot else to offer. But I will offer you another story recommendation. You can even pick the fandom, within the limits of what I’ve got to hand.
See, sometimes there are these little signs that, um, maybe we need to sit down and reassess our goals, our purposes, our lives. For example, if we spend a lot of nights getting drunk. Or if we cannot remember the last time we touched another human being. Or if we stay up late into the night solving tsumgeo (Go problems) solely because we know in our hearts that a fictional, two-dimensional ghost would approve. Or if a creepy old guy wearing a weird hat and carrying flowers keeps turning up and making eerie pronouncements about how we’re on the way out. Of the world.
In this story, Ray experiences more than one of the above. (Three guesses which, but here’s a hint: I am quite sure that Ray Kowalski has never in his life solved tsumego. Although Fraser probably has. He’d probably feel a real bond of sympathy with Hikaru, actually, all, “Yes, ghosts can indeed be a bit of a trial, but - no, Dad, I didn’t say anything. Yes, I’d be delighted to hear about the 81 uses for frozen beavers. Again. Even though I am already quite conversant with all - yes, Dad.”) And do you know what Ray learns? The solution to those little life crises involves lots of sex with Benton Fraser. (And a sun lamp.) Now that is what I call excellence in alternative medicine.
The One in Which We Learn That Rodney McKay, in Addition to His Many Other Fine Features, Is Also a Grammar Snob. And Thus My Happiness Is Made Complete. Cleave, by amireal. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.
The first time I read this, I got partway into the first page and said, “Oh my god, so much yes.” Because one thing that John Sheppard and Rodney McKay definitely share is demand resistance; if you tell them they absolutely cannot do something - well, John smiles insincerely, swears he won’t, and then does it, whereas Rodney just basically does it. So, really, if you wanted the two of them to have sex - and I am not for a moment suggesting you might want any such thing, of course, but if you did - the fastest way to get them there would be to tell them they weren’t allowed to, and then put a lot of obstacles in their way. Make the obstacles totally, provably insurmountable and you’d probably have full-scale buttfucking before you entirely finished explaining the terms. (“And furthermore, if you defeat that barrier, a crack team of trained ninjas will emerge from the secret - damn. Miss Zygen, please send in a bucket of cold water and a crowbar; Dr. McKay and Colonel Sheppard are at it again. Hmmm. Maybe we should add some bioengineered cobras to level 7.”)
So, yeah, that appeals to me, and I don’t mean the sex. (Well. I don’t just mean the sex.) See, some people would tell you that I have, on occasion, been ever so slightly demand resistant myself, and I actually, um, admire it in other people. (We are the few. The proud. The very contrary.)
The other thing that appeals to me is allergies, and this is a total schadenfreude kind of thing. There’s a moment in this story where they think maybe John is allergic to water, and I just - when you have a bad cold, and also allergies on top of that, and you can’t get the shot that’s supposed to fix your allergies because your doctor has elected to go on vacation (Vacation! When there are people suffering here! With very unpleasant sniffles!), there’s nothing that cheers you up quite like imagining someone else being allergic to water. Really, this story gets me on all kinds of levels.
And did I mention the sex? Because the sex is excellent.