It's a working theory that will keep me from despairing, and, frankly, that's what I need right now. I don't even care if it's not logical. Don't tell me. I want to believe that if I only post recs I will regain the ability to breathe and swallow, okay?
So. I sort of remember how this goes. I, um, pick a theme, right? And then I rec stuff in it. Except, whoa, I have no idea what theme to pick. So here's a thought: how 'bout stories that are not scary - are, in fact, funny and hot and deeply satisfying - that I still associate with fear?
Look. I said I was rusty. The goal here is to get my recommending back in gear before I die of fan fiction withdrawal. I don't have time for the niceties, people.
The One That Brought Me the Terrifying Knowledge That We Live in a World That Contains Two Orange Sports Coats. Two! How Could There Possibly Be Two? Will Dunk for Brains, by minervacat. Sports Night, gen.
I even checked with the author to be sure she wasn't making it up, and although she could have lied and let me move back to my happy place, she chose not to. Apparently she lives in service to the truth or something. Or possibly she just enjoys seeing me cower under my desk in terror. In any case, she says that there really are two orange sports coats in this world. And they both belong to men named Bruce. (I knew there was a reason I didn't trust that name! Obviously, Bruces are allied with the Dark Arts. The fashion-impaired Dark Arts.) I haven't seen photographic evidence on this, but I am still shattered.
It's just. It's hard. I mean, you want to believe good things about this world, you try to believe good things about the world, and then you find out that not only are there orange sports coats in it, but we could very well someday face the tragedy of having them on television. Where innocent children can see! (And, worse, where I can see.)
But, so, okay, this story shattered my world in the first few lines. I love it anyway. I mean, it links college sports with zombies. And it does so in a way that is awesome and totally in voice and funny. (Although we all know zombies aren't funny, right? Because they are the number one imaginary menace to our society. When you add that to orange sports coats, well, this story has a really high Society Menace Quotient. Possibly minervacat is trying to destroy us all.)
And it is Sports Night, and we all know the magic equation: Sports Night = love. So, trust me, you'll love this - it's a good Sports Night story, so what choice do you have?
Just, uh, keep a weather eye out for sports-coated flesh-eating zombies named Bruce. (Or Tyler.)
The One That Has Me Living in Fear of the Scorn of My Bookcases. Curtains Are Monogamous, by sheldrake. Anthropomorfic, Curtain/Curtain.
Okay, more than anything I love the tone of this story, the voice of it. I am quite convinced that if curtains could talk, they'd sound like this. (This is why we have blinds. No offense to curtains, mind you, just - if inanimate objects are going to be committing acts of intimacy on my windows, I at least want them to be having an orgy, by gum. None of this sappy curtain monogamy for my windows! OT16 all the way.)
Also, I love this because it contains Deathless Truths for the Ages. ("Curtains don't care whether people are girls or boys or anything, although we are mainly interested in other curtains." Those are words to live by, and I am quite seriously considering printing them out and putting them over my computer. Plus, I am going to try working "We are mainly interested in other curtains" into every sentence I can. Should be fun. Should also be unfortunate evidence in my inevitable committal hearing, but maybe I'll get lucky and get a fangirl judge.)
So, really, it's a minor quibble, really, that this story has left me wondering if all bookcases are that snarky and petty, and if they are - god, we have, um, lots. What if they all hate us? What if your furniture is what votes on whether you go to a Good Place or a Bad Place after you die? Our bookcases would definitely have the swing vote, and probably they deeply resent our habit of double-shelving and our half-assed approach to earthquake strapping!
Okay, okay, panic over. And it's a fabulous story. Just, you know. Maybe try to read it in a room without bookcases, if you can. (Do you think ours would forgive us if I hugged them? Hmmm. Probably they'd consider it a liberty. Also, there's that committal hearing to worry about; "hugs furniture" almost certainly would not go on the "sane" side of the balance sheet.)
The One That Reminds Me of the Night of Shrieking Terror, Also Known As the Night I Fired My Entire Friends List in Absentia. Stuck in Traffic at the Magic Roundabout, by xwingace. Torchwood x Doctor Who, and frankly I refuse to assess the gen/slash/het quotient of any story involving Jack Harkness. There is not world enough or time.
So. Okay. Those of you who have been constantly telling me that it's insane that I love time travel and yet have not seen New Who, fine, whatever, you win. The ninth Doctor is made of awesome, the new series is made of awesome, and I love all characters in it immensely and uncritically. Plus, OMG, time travel. You were right. Happy now?
But wait. Do not do your little victory butt-dance yet, my friends. You are still fired.
Because you also said, "Oh, you'll love Jack Harkness! He's fabulous! He's a fifty-first century guy!" and so on. And not one of you warned me that the two-part episode in which he is introduced is one of the scariest things ever recorded. I left claw marks in Best Beloved. I insisted we stop in the middle and turn on all the lights and lock all the doors. I squeezed my dogs tightly and refused to let them leave me. I hyperventilated, people. (Yes, fine. Those of you who are all brave and stuff can mock me. And those of you who are wondering why I haven't tried Supernatural, well, now you know. I don't handle stark terror well.) (And, by the way, what is wrong with the British? Life on Mars has a creepy child with a clown. Doctor Who has a creepy child with a gas mask. Am I the only one who can sense the evil plot at work here?)
Still, you were right. I do love Jack Harkness. Those of you who have seen the end of the first season will understand why I was thus a little less than pleased with it. (Okay, actually, a lot less than pleased. *snf*) It sort of left some, uh, loose ends, ends that Best Beloved tells me are not tied up in the next season. (I am resisting the next season. I don't handle change well; this may make me an unsuitable case for Doctor Who fandom.) But this story? This story ties all the loose ends, explains everything, provides the perfect link between Doctor Who and Torchwood (Which, no, I haven't seen - look, I'm getting there, okay? Eventually. Praise me for what I've accomplished!), and just basically makes me a shiny happy fangirl.
Seriously. If you've seen the first season of Doctor Who, read this. (If you haven't, go watch it and then read this. You won't be sorry, I promise you.) It will make your heart happy. (Which it will probably need after episodes nine and ten. Oh my god the terror. SO VERY FIRED, all of you.)
The One That Makes Me Fear Dorinda and tzikeh. Trust Me, If They Combine Their Evil Superpowers, No One Will Be Safe. Admittedly, What We Won't Be Safe from Is Mostly Porn and Such, So I Can't Say I'm All That Worried, but the Point Stands. Some Living After We Die, by Dorinda. Life on Mars, Gene Hunt/Sam Tyler.
The moral of this story is kind of hidden, but it's very clear to me, so let me just state it right here, for the record: do not challenge tzikeh. Because, okay, you might be sitting around in her LJ one day, making casual comments like, "Oh, I really don't see the slash in Life on Mars, because blah blah blah blah." And then she will give you a single devastating link and change your whole outlook on life and you will be forced to admit to her that yes, she was right and you were totally wrong. And also you will have a great story to read.
...Wait. What was the down side to challenging tzikeh again? I think I will go pick an argument with her right this minute and see what else she links me to.
Because this story, oh, god, it is so wonderful. See, I had this list of reasons I didn't see the Gene/Sam - like, you know, they're both obsessed with their jobs, and that's not how they work out the tension between the two of them (usually there's just a lot of punching), and also Gene wouldn't think of himself that way even if he did give a blow job, and anyway getting that man on his knees would require, I don't know, a gun and a couple of swift kicks.
But in this story, Dorinda takes all those reasons - acknowledges them, works with them, and then turns them into alleyway sex. I don't know how she did it, precisely - I assume magic was involved - but oh, I know it works. After reading this story, I went from "Yeah, I don't see it" to "Well...I don't exactly - okay, look, fine, I get it, I love it, I will totally take it home with me and feed it and let it sleep on my couch. So why aren't there more stories like this, damn it?" Because this is a Sam I buy, and a Gene I buy, and it is a perfect depiction of the relationship between the two of them. And it involves alleyway sex. Life just does not get better than that, people.
So, I guess the real moral here is: go argue with tzikeh. You'll like her methods of changing your mind. But first read this story, because you'll like Dorinda's methods even better.