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

188: Nothing Maddens Like Wine. Unless It Is Other Drugs.

Normally, I celebrate Valentine's Day by recommending gen. Yes, I am ever the devil. But this year, I couldn't get a set together in time for the 14th, so instead I am going to commemorate something more appropriate for the day after the Big Love Day: intoxication and addiction stories!

Look, it makes sense in my head, okay?

The One That Features the Perversion of a Fine Old Tradition for the Purposes of Getting Two Guys to, Um, "Fulfill Their Destiny." And Isn't That What Fan Fiction Is All About? Misrule, by thehoyden. Merlin, Arthur Pendragon/Merlin. (Does Merlin have a last name? Is Merlin his last name, and his first name is, like, Egbert or Rupert or Meredith or Victoria or something? Egbert Merlin would be a lovely name for anyone, I think.)

I thought I'd start off with the most customary form of intoxication: alcohol! Ingested orally! They were nothing if not traditionalists in not-really-medieval-England. (Visit not-really-medieval England on your next trip to Las Vegas! It's like medieval England, but cleaner and prettier and everyone has nice teeth and tomatoes. No, really: Merlin (the show) is exactly how Las Vegas would recreate King Arthur's court. Which, actually, they probably already have, complete with a Merlin the Magician magic show and a Dancing Sorceresses All-Girl Revue; I have a carefully-nurtured mental block about Las Vegas.)

And, as is equally traditional, they really enjoyed dressing men up in women's clothes back in not-really-medieval England. Totally understandable, especially when the man in question is Merlin (and there are a couple of women around who apparently regret not having Barbie dolls when they were growing up). And need I tell you what happens when you get people drunk and cross-dressing? Sex, of course. It's elementary.

Really, this story is a microcosm of everything that a traditional intoxication story is and should be. Including extensive awesomeness.

The One That Shows Us That Ari Gold’s Kryptonite Is Angry Lesbians. As Well It Should Be, Ari. As Well It Should. We Have Secret Powers. If We Were Anybody and Get It Together, by fourteencandles. Entourage, Eric Murphy/Vince Chase.

There are certain themes that pretty much define a fandom. Like, I know that I'll be able to tag any Smallville story that's over 250 words "secrets and lies," because, well, if I told you to write a plot summary of Smallville without using any terms like "superhero" or "Superman" or "powers" or "so doing it," you'd probably end up saying, "It's. You know. There are secrets, and lies. And stuff."

For Entourage, the tag that will fit every story in the fandom is intoxication. Which, I mean, totally understandable, because in Entourage, there are four main food groups: drugs, blowjobs, power, and money. (No, of course they don't consume any actual food. This is Hollywood. You're only allowed to eat if it costs more than $15/calorie.)

But even for Entourage, Vince manages truly spectacular levels of consumption in this story (in the second part, but then, if you're a fan of happy endings, you'll definitely want to read these together as one story). Which means he gets to experience one of the oldest Hollywood traditions, right behind punching reporters: rehab. And I don't know about you, but I have always wanted to see Vincent Chase (which I keep mistyping as Vincent Chaste, a ha ha) in rehab.

And this is a nice, long, meaty story, one you can read even if you have no idea who these people are. (Hint: Vince is a movie star. Eric is his manager. They loooooooove each other. No, really, this is canon. They may not be fucking, but the marriage is already in place.)

The One That Demonstrates That in the Pegasus Galaxy, Masturbation Really Can Make You Crazy. I Can't Say I'm Surprised. Fix, by crysothemis. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

This story does not contain your more traditional drugs - alcohol, cocaine, magical fruit powder - but it does contain the ultimate drug of the Pegasus galaxy: Ancient technology. Addictive Ancient technology. Addictive Ancient sex technology. I know, you're already sold.

And well you should be. In addition to featuring addictive Ancient sex technology, a phrase that I am sure could cause Rodney McKay to achieve orgasm if uttered with sufficient conviction, this story is also choose-your-own-point-of-view, a concept that I love almost as much as McKay loves Ancient tech. (No, really. I love screwing around with point of view. And. I mean. I love fandom's tight focus points of view, but often I will, for my own enjoyment, write versions of stories or scenes from the point of view of some other character. I have been doing that to fiction since I was in second grade, and now I do it to fan fiction, too. I just cannot help myself.) I suggest reading either the John version or the Rodney version, and then reading the other one. (You can also do the combined one, but definitely do that one last, okay?)

Anyway. If you still aren't sold, despite addictive Ancient sex technology and choice of point of view, then - well, okay, I am sad for you, because I don't think there's anything I can say to sway you. But I will add that this story also is very satisfying to me, because I have long been convinced that the Ancients were incredibly skeevy bastards that you wouldn't want floating around your universe as disembodied all-powerful beings, and I believe this story supports that point of view most heartily. (Have we had an "oh, those skeevy Ancients" challenge at sga_flashfic? Because if not, I think I need to lobby for it. I want to spread my Ancient phobia as much as possible, thank you.)

The One Featuring That Time-Honored Slash Trope: Seduction by Peer-Reviewed Research. And If That's Not a Time-Honored Slash Trope, I Submit That It Totally Should Be. Let's Not Talk About It and Say We Did, by miriam_heddy, ReGenesis, Bob Melnikov/David Sanstrom.

I will be up front: I have no idea what this fandom is about. I'm guessing science comes into it somewhere, but for all I know, these people could be ninjas. (And, hey, possibly they are science ninjas, which I think we can all agree would be such an awesome television concept that Fox would probably cancel it halfway through the pilot.)

But, basically, it doesn't matter what these people are at work - accountants, modern dance choreographers, telemarketers, science ninjas for hire - because what they do at this uncomfortable dinner gathering is: have too much to drink and some uncomfortable conversation, followed by one of those hookups that you just know will be discussed in office gossip in mingled tones of horror and hope: "Either they'll kill each other and we'll all die in the resultant nuclear winter, or this will solve all our problems!" And I love that in a pairing.

Most of all, though, I love these characters. They're such - such people. And I have no idea if they're like that in the canon, or if this is part of what we might term the value-added aspect of fan fiction, but I love them. They have flaws! Many of them! And I just read this whole story hoping that their flaws will properly align and they'll end up together.

If you're still like, "Huh, slash for a television show I've never heard of that TFV knows nothing about - I think maybe I can pass this one up," let me add a special note for SGA fans. People, this is almost exactly like if you hooked up two alternate universe Rodney McKays. Seriously. Read it and I think you'll see what I mean.
Tags: [rec theme: intoxication], entourage, merlin, regenesis, stargate: atlantis
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