tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine) wrote,
tried to eat the safe banana

154: In a Man's Letters, His Soul Lies Naked

Dear Amazing and Wonderfully Kindly One,

Thank you for the Frank-o-Lantern! I would offer a story in return, but, well. I can't. So instead I will give a gift in your honor. (And if you want to suggest a recs set theme or something, my comments are here for you.)

Much love and many happy returns of the season,

Dear Ants,

Fuck the fuck off. My house is not your house. No, not even a tiny part. No, not even if it's cold and moist outside, because - look, I'm sure it sucks to be an ant, but if you want a nice warm house to keep you safe from moisture, develop your own technological society and get your own mortgage.

Also, stop whining about moisture. We live in Los Angeles. It's a fucking desert. If you can't cope with this level of water in your environment, move to Mars. You will not be missed.

Please consider this as your final eviction notice before I poison you hideously ha ha ha,

Dear Symantec,

Do you - do you hate customers? Or is this some sort of incredibly comical performance art type prank? Or are you maybe, just maybe, run by evil troglodytes with mud for brains? Because I find your insistence that I run Internet Explorer, aka the least safe browser on the planet, in order to use your webstore to buy a subscription to update my anti-virus definitions to be - well, somewhat nonsensical, in the same way that setting my own toes on fire because I might soon have a headache would be nonsensical.

Also, if you want to outsource your CS, fine. That is your choice. But if you cannot find people who can accurately transcribe addresses after not one but three repetitions, thus resulting in the delivery of my product - which I had to order by phone, because see above in re: IE, and how I would not be at all sorry if someone set your toes on fire - to some random address to be signed for by some other random person, and fourteen email exchanges before I even managed to get my money refunded, then perhaps you should think about how the C in CS stands for "customer," not "crappy."

Off to see if some other anti-virus software vendor wants my money and is willing to take it via Opera or Firefox,

Dear daegaer,

Thank you. I think. Because the snippets of my imaginary fandom were gorgeous and wonderful and seeing it in text was perhaps the strangest kick of my life - and I'm including my teenage years in that - but now I am writing stories about it myself. Many of them. This can only end badly. Especially since you write one of the main characters far better than I do.

Love, hate, and authorial convenience,

As you may have guessed from the above, it is time for a hearty round of document-related stories - specifically, letters. And their ilk.

The One That Proves That Your Mother Was Right When She Told You Not to Put It in Writing. (Well, My Mother Told Me That, Anyway. And She Was Right. Because Telepaths and Schoolkids Could Be Reading It.) Repair, by penknife. X-Men movieverse, Scott Summers/Jean Grey.

This one is going to feel deeply, deeply familiar to anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship. And I'm not restricting that to romantic relationships, either; I think any not-precisely-fight-but-definitely-not-a-non-fight with anyone you've known for a very, very long time works like this. (Although, for your sake, I hope yours have ended better than this one does; it ends on kind of a hopeful note, yes, but - well. Only kind of.) Familiar as it is, though, we can all learn an important lesson from this: do not make innocent faucets the victims in your semi-fights. They don't need to suffer.

Also, if you live in a building housing many people, including the occasional telepath, remember that Miss Manners, if she was an entirely different kind of person than she is, would tell you that there are two things you should keep decently behind closed doors: fighting and fucking. Your fellow residents do not need to know about your orgasms, your arguments, or your arguments with the people who give you orgasms.

My college experience would have been greatly improved if other people had followed this simple rule. (Frankly, I'd rather they'd covered this in freshman orientation than how to buy books. Why would you be in college if you didn't know how to buy books? But almost no one knew how to live with a person not a relative, do laundry, or cook food. Were those topics covered? No.) And I'm sure the people at Xavier's School for the Mutant Arts or whatever it's called are wishing Scott and Jean would follow it, too. (Probably loud enough for Jean to hear. I would. If she's going to go be telepathic all over the place, by god I'm going to make my thoughts as embarrassing and unpleasant for her as possible. Not that I have, you know, telepathophobia or anything.)

The One in Which We Learn That Peace of Mind Isn't Possible When Lex Luthor Has Your Email Address. Of Epistles and Epiphanies, by nifra_idril. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

It was once said of Dave Lister that when he got drunk, he really got drrrrr-unk, and all he did was end up broke, diseased, and 793 million miles from home. Lex Luthor would naturally not do anything that simple. Well. I mean. If he woke up broke, diseased, passportless, and in the wrong part of the solar system, it'd take him about two weeks to get home, and he'd conquer the solar system as a byproduct. So obviously he can't go with the tried-and-true for his drunk fuck-ups. No, Lex - if Lex is going to do something stupid, it's going to involve Clark.

In this case, it involves writing the whole truth and nothing but the truth to Clark and then sending the email. The story is about Clark's reaction to said email, and it is delightful and perfect and I don't think I need to go into it here.

But what I love, once I've reveled in the actual story for another re-read, is to picture the other side. Because, okay - we've all had moments where, seconds after we clicked "send," we wished we could get the message back. Or maybe just die a merciful, humiliated death and be buried under a nameless stone that merely reads: "She clicked 'Send' too soon." But Lex - Lex really must've wanted to cancel that message, and he's not good at not getting what he wants. He must've woken up the next morning and tried to, like, buy out the internet. Or maybe he knew better. After all, if there's anyone who can keep Lex from doing something, it's Lex, so maybe he just laid there in bed, one arm over his eyes, and thought, Well-played, Self. But next time the drunken mistake calls, I think I'd rather just nuke Metropolis.

I'm betting he still wiped out a few telecommunications conglomerates after he thought that, though. It's just his way. And that's why we love him, am I right?

The One in Which We Learn That You Shouldn't Try to Hack the Afterlife. Sincerely, by rageprufrock. Angel, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce/Charles Gunn.

Fred teaches Angel to use email. This is, as you might expect, fraught with difficulty - frankly, only a person used to fighting against long odds would even have considered such a thing. But the biggest problem doesn't exactly come from the places you might think - Angel getting involve with Nigerian scammers or penis enlargement schemes, Angel discovering that "the god in the machine" is actually a demon, Angel accidentally taking down the entire internet for seventeen hours and nearly kicking off a worldwide economic collapse.

No. The problem is that he's getting email from Cordelia. Who is, actually, dead.

What I love about this is the hope of it. It argues that some things never change, and even when they do, and even when the change is for the worst, some things can be salvaged, and the important things keep on. I also love that it shows what Cordelia meant to the Angel crew, what a pivotal place she had. Because, you know, the Angel team? Totally a family. And when you lose a family member, things go into unstable orbits for a while.

Basically, this is a story about finding new stable orbits. Well, and email from beyond the grave. And I am quite aware that it is very thoroughly jossed, and I do not care. In my head, they're still out there, helping the hopeless forever. And dealing with the inevitable disasters and tragedies pretty much like this - with romantic comedies and Lush bath products and the occasional technological seance.

The One in Which We Learn That Boys Being Naked Together Can Be Quite a Problem. Unless You're Invited, Too. A Change in Relationship Dynamics, by debchan. Samurai Champloo, Jin/Mugen/Fuu.

You probably don't need to know the canon to read this, although it would help. But some stories are as old as time, and we all know them - two warriors and a girl with a squirrel, wandering through ancient Japan to a background of hip-hop music, chasing and being chased by prostitutes, organized and disorganized criminals, foreigners, politicians, and fighters of all shapes and sizes. I think we've read and seen that one countless times, yes? (And if you haven't, well. Maybe you should try watching Samurai Champloo, you big dork.)

Plus, this story is mostly about a girl thinking about two boys being naked together, and if you can't relate to that, well, why exactly are you here? So you can certainly read this without the canon.

What I love about this, though, is not the indubitably right Samurai Champloo feel, or the way it acknowledges that Jin and Mugen and Fuu are all essential to the story, or the way this is one of the few threesome stories I see leading to a stable relationship, or even the diary entries. (Although I do love the diary entries.) No, I love the way it makes me giggle, pure and simple. Every time I read it, the word "naked" seems funny for days afterward. It's as fun and shiny as the canon can be.

With added sex. I really don't see how you could ask for more than that.


The One That Elucidates Several Methods of Coping with Boredom. The Only One I'd Recommend You Try at Home, Though, Is the Sex. The Fuu Diaries, by gogoangelgunboy. Samurai Champloo, Jin/Mugen.

This is a bonus because - well, you really do need to know a bit of the canon to appreciate this, um, diary entry. But, hey. I think I've already made it clear that the canon is very much worth getting to know. Get thee to some Champloo. It's worth it in its own right. And to read stories like this one.

Because if you know the canon, this story is wonderful. I can hear Fuu's voice reading this out loud, and the focus (on the last piece of sushi) is so very right for her, because if there's one thing that Fuu teaches us in the canon, it's that food is more important than. Um. Basically anything.

And if there's one thing that Fuu teaches us in this story, it's that there's no point in trying to deny the sexual tension. Just succumb to it. Saves a lot of wear and tear on the swords (...No. Really. That was not a double entendre. I did in fact mean actual swords. Okay. And cocks, but there are swords here. You can't deny that.), and you don't miss out on the food, either.

Plus, I had to recommend this alongside "A Change in Relationship Dynamics," because in my head they will always go together. I think, when you read it, you'll see why.

After you stop giggling, that is.
Tags: [rec theme: documents], angel, samurai champloo, smallville, x-men
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