sotto_voce: two bunnies sitting in a pair of shoes ([misc] bunny shoes)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2012-12-29 10:56 pm

2012 Yuletide recs: part 2

Star reccing, across the universe! (If you don't recognize that reference, this video will either delight you or leave you wondering if you somehow ingested acid without realizing. Maybe both. Relatedly, I'm very sorry about the ear worm.)

HAWKEYE/YOUNG AVENGERS
Scenes from a Wedding
(I somehow missed a chunk of the fandom when I made my initial read-through, so here are two bonus recs for Young Avengers and Hawkeye! And this is a delightful one, man -- happy, in-character [with some fix-it history -- JUST THIS ONCE, EVERYBODY LIVES!!], hilarious wedding-fic.)
Billy let his head fall back against the wall with a dull thud. “This is not how I thought the night before my wedding would go.”

“What, surrounded by mutants and aliens and people from Florida who keep trying to pinch my cheeks?” Tommy said, raising his eyebrows. “Because it’s how I always pictured your wedding would go. Give or take some more hysterical crying.”

something good waitin' down this road
(Yuletide has taught me that "Kate and Clint banter while Lucky rolls around at their feet" is a thing that I would read the shit out of every day of my life. This is a glorious addition to the canon, with excellent appearances from other Avengers.)
Lucky just looks at him and Clint becomes uncomfortably aware of the fact that he’s attempting to have a too-personal heart-to-heart with his dog.

“Well, “ he says to the darkened room, “at least I realize that I’m a disaster of a human being. That’s half the battle, right?”


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
EGGS?!
(Astrid and Hiccup, darlings of my heart! They're drawn beautifully here, as is the whole village. Toothless too -- I loved the twist.)
"It's times like this I wish we had elder dragon experts to go ask about stuff," Hiccup says and Astrid laughs a little bitterly.

"We're going to be the elder dragon-keepers people go to, Hiccup," she says. "We get to learn things the hard way."


INTO THE WOODS
the rope you began with (was never that straight)
(God, this is gorgeous -- Cinderella [and the Baker, his son, Jack, and Red] after the Woods. The cameos from other fairy tale characters are inspired, and watching Cinderella find her way, and help others along theirs, is marvelous.)
"Very nice," Cinderella says. She's brought her basket of washing out into the small patch of garden not overtaken by vegetables and herbs, and is folding things peacefully in the sunlight. To look at her now, she could be the same old Cinderella of her first life, filling her days with domestic chores. But this morning she went for a long walk and picked berries simply because she wanted to, and next week she's going to a class in cake decoration hosted by one of the rich ladies in town, and nobody in this house calls her names or holds things out only to snatch them away. This, she chose.


JURASSIC PARK
carrion crows on the motorway
(Not everyone loves dinosaurs: three looks at Muldoon, Gennaro, and Lex. I really liked the insight that all three of these gave into each of their characters, but Gennaro's especially was like a punch [in the good way], giving him more complexity than the movie did.)
It was Tim's birthday, and a day at Marine World was his present of choice. And whatever her brother wanted, no matter how stupid, he always got.

It wasn't that Tim was the favorite, Lex told herself, inspecting the already lengthy strip of sunburn forming on her shoulders (Mom's manicured fingers still digging in, still a warning). It was that he expertly knew how to play their parents - not that he realized it.

Trixie Seven
(SCIENCE!! With a bibliography and everything! And Ellie being fabulous!)
Ellie Sattler was half way through her doctorate when she officially decided she was sick of being asked about dinosaurs. It was probably around the fourth or fifth time she had to explain to her Aunt Heather that her work on fern diversity during the Cretaceous period was, yes, related to dinosaurs in that some dinosaurs ate ferns, but no, she didn't study dinosaurs. She studied ferns, and it would be nice if people recognized how interesting that was.


KISS KISS BANG BANG
The Wrong Man
(Yuletide just isn't Yuletide without Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fic in glorious first-person in which Harry fucks up enormously and then Perry berates him while saving his sorry ass. This is a FANTASTIC specimen of my very favorite genre!!!)
“You know what, call me Perry,” I said. “Or Per. Or Per-Bear. I love that.”

Then I tried to put my feet up on Perry’s desk, suave, you know, and that made the rollers on Perry’s stupid chair go crazy again, wheeling me back several feet away from the desk. I inched back, holding onto the chair like it was going to buck me off, which, fuck me, it probably wanted to. This chair was obviously loyal to Perry, and didn’t appreciate me impersonating him. Well, fuck you, chair! You’re inanimate, and people put their butts on you.


LACKADAISY
Relatively Unreasonable
(Zib and Dom dance around each other, with fucking excellent mentions of/cameos from other characters [I laughed out loud at Freckle meeting Mordecai, in particular]. The character insights in the narrative are pure gold; the humor is on the dark, twisty, and maniacal side. I agree with one of the commenters -- this is the perfect kind of Lackadaisy fic.)
“Just a minute,” Dom says, to Zib and Ivy’s earnest nods of agreement. “Don’t go anywhere.”

As soon as his back is turned, they do a quick shimmy out of the booth and then the door.

“Well that was a riot,” says Ivy. “Next stop, Viktor’s house!”


THE LOST WORLD - ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
So Many Miles and So Long
(Roxton/Malone! I seriously cannot even figure out how the author managed to emulate the book's style so thoroughly at all, much less while writing in a different point-of-view than the book and through a sex scene -- it's marvelous and quite possibly black magic.)
“She’s married,” Ned said, too loudly.

He licked his lips. The words seemed to hang in the air between them, coated in some tart substance that stung the back of Ned’s throat as they departed his mouth. He tightened his grip around his tumbler, and sloshed the whiskey in a circle.

“Damn me,” Roxton said, sitting up in a rustle of leather. “Gave you the mitten, did she? Your own Doctor Illingworth, is that it?”

This Latest Wondrous Calamity
(Again, this is a damn fine pastiche. And Malone is so oblivious!)
I could not think to find a better man than Lord John to lead our second foray into the still mostly unknown wonderland, but I confess, our entire journey down the Amazon on the inestimable Lady Annabella, through the thick, dangerous forests and in fact all the way up to the very base of the basalt cliffs of the plateau, I expected Professor Challenger to spring out at any moment and once more inform us that he would lead the expedition to the fantastical land of which he has pronounced himself gatekeeper.


THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES
Careful, It's a Long Way Down
(WHAT A CAROLINE VOICE, OH MAN. It makes such sense for the way that Caroline acted, too -- if only!)
Caroline only pulls away again to get Lizzie's underwear down her legs and off, and rises up saying, "A Lee knows how to make an apology stick." Her tone is much too serious for someone who's half naked and kneeling between a half-naked someone else's shins.

transition markers
(Charlotte and Maria have a talk about Charlotte's future. I love the sisterly bond here and how Maria pushes, and the things that go unspoken between them but are understood anyway.)
“‘Dancing in the Rain,’” Charlotte read aloud and then had to hold up a hand to her mouth to suppress a bark of laughter. “Oh my god, this is definitely the one where Lizzie stars in a wacky version of Singin’ in the Rain as Donna Lockwood. And you had to play Kathy. Do you remember that?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “Do I remember that? I was always playing her love interest because Lizzie couldn’t romance her sisters and you always wanted to be behind the camera. How many ridiculous school movies did we make where I was the popular girl-next-door?”


MATILDA - ROALD DAHL
Hopes and Fears and Fidgets
(A lovely series of vignettes following Matilda [and Miss Honey] as she grows up.)
Lavender doesn't feel like navigating the crowds tonight, so she and Matilda end up on a blanket on the roof of one of Crunchem Hall's outbuildings to watch the fireworks.

A bright silver bolt shoots into the sky to begin the show.

"Aluminium," Matilda whispers, just loud enough for Lavender to hear, and when the silver blooms out into a thousand sparkling pieces, she adds: "and antimony."


MEAN GIRLS
Dyke
(Janis and Regina's middle school friendship. It captures that age beautifully, how immediate and important things feel and confusing friendships become, and -- as canon demands and as the title would suggest -- it's brutal at the end.)
But things are beginning to change. Being inseperable can only last so long. Regina’s growing band of worshippers are demanding more of her time – and their attention, their devotion, feeds a strange cold flame that flickers inside her. And Janis – sometimes Regina sees her hanging out with a few other kids she doesn’t know, some of the weird kids beneath her radar, the ones who never dare come speak to her. She sees them food-fighting in the cafeteria, sees them laughing loudly and and tousling each other’s hair. One of them is a boy. Regina feels a bitter twinge every time Janis touches him.


MICHAEL BUBLÉ BEING STALKED BY A VELOCIRAPTOR [tumblr]
Keep Your Head Down
(This is the fandom I've been looking forward to ever since I saw it nominated, and this does not disappoint -- it is somehow simultaneously completely bonkers-hilarious and slightly menacing, as everyone around Michael Bublé deals with his, uhh, friend. I spent the entirety of this fic spiraling further into a gurgling mess of laughter.)
The crowd shifts as everyone cranes for a look at the stage, and a woman squeaks as something scaly brushes her bare arm.

"What the hell?" she says, turning half around.

"Don't worry," says her friend, who has been to a Bublé concert before. "It's just the velociraptor."


MONKEY ISLAND
Letters from Monkey Island
(Messages in a bottle, throughout the course of the games. Perfect insouciant feel!!)
Dear Mr. Thriftweed

My captain, the esteemed Ghost Pirate LeChuck, requests that you refrain from sending him any more futile missives. He and his beautiful bride are very happy together and he will hunt you down and drown you at the bottom of the ocean if you continue to bother him.

Have a nice day!
Bob


OGLAF
Deck the Dungeons
(What a glorious adaptation of Oglaf's very distinct [fucked up, hilarious] tone from an image-based medium to a text-based one! That's not easy, though the author makes it look like it is.)
Soon the red silk was draping on the floors and walls and the poisonous-but-very-pretty berries were hung in every dark, secluded corner and the lightning spell she'd cast on the ceiling arced with a festively eerie glow. Mistress drew the line at politically correct holiday signage but allowed her guards to wear the bells, as long as they let them dangle out their panties like tiny, jingling testicles, because that was totally funny and slightly holiday-subversive.

Snowed In
(The mercenary returns to the snow queen [after some spectacularly Oglaf-esque adventures] -- it's hilarious and bittersweet.)
"What is this place called?" she shouted, squinting upward and shading her eyes against the sun.

"Prickstown!" He paused, obviously considering the look on Grier's face, on hearing it. "WE MAKE CACTUS WINE HERE, ALL RIGHT?"


THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS - ROBERT MUNSCH
The Dragon's Treasure
(Princess Elizabeth starts a [spoiler]! What a lovely follow-through on the book.)
"You're not Princess Elizabeth," someone said. "You're wearing a dirty old paper bag!"

"You're not Princess Elizabeth," someone else said. "Your hair is all tangled!"

"You're not Princess Elizabeth," a third someone said. "You smell like ashes!"

Paper Bag Diplomacy
(Elizabeth learns to rule, in a kingdom that has no library and no soldiers. The exchanges with the dragon are particularly delightful, as are the illustrations!)
“No,” Elizabeth said flatly. “I appreciate how sparkly it is, but I am certain that armor is supposed to cover more of me.”

“I have altered a guard uniform and chain mail,” the Head Housekeeper said when the blacksmith had gone. “It should fit reasonably well.”


PARKS AND RECREATION
talk to your friends, talk to my friends
(Ben asks for advice from a whole host of sources. Character voices! Hilarity!)
“If it helps, she’s pretty ridiculously into you,” she says. “Like, seriously, you would not believe how many texts I have gotten about how cute your butt is.” Her eyes go wide, and she taps her phone meaningfully. “So many texts, Ben, you don’t understand.”

“Trust me,” Ben says, pulling his phone out of his pocket, “I know.” He taps his way to his messages and spins the phone so that Ann can see Leslie’s most recent: Ann looks super cute today! her butt is like a pair of delicious peaches. As they stare at the phone, it buzzes again, and a new message appears: I love peaches. Are peaches in season right now? I want peach pie.


PRETTY IN PINK
I turn around again, and it's love
(Andie and Blane, through the years; this carries their dynamic from the movie and works really well, and I loved the appearances of other characters like Duckie too.)
Duckie spun Andie around once they were a safe distance away. "Andie, my dove! My jewel! My rapture! Please tell me you almost kneed him in the balls."

Andie laughed and gave her oldest friend a hug tight enough that he made an involuntary squeak. "Almost," she assured him.


PRINCELESS
There's No Such Thing as Elegators
(Pitch-perfect Princeless fic in Sparky's point of view? It must have been Christmas!!)
It's nothing they ever taught her, in tower training. Tower training was all about humans. Fight the humans in the metal suits, never ever hurt the human in the fluttery dress. The first time her girl had put on the metal suit, she'd had a horrible queasy moment while her training whirled inside of her, telling her to flame, to strike, even though she'd seen her girl picking up the metal pieces just moments earlier. She'd had to close her eyes and just listen to the chirp of her girl's voice until she was sure she had herself under control.


PRINCESS TUTU
Die ente magd
(Rue's story never changes, at its core. Or can it? This one is twisty and clever and stunning in its fairy tale roots, as only befits a Tutu story.)
She remembered her role as soon as she'd put the princess's crown on her head. It was like waking up from a long slumber, but still being paralyzed by the dream. In this case, she thought, it would be a nightmare. No matter how much she tested her bonds, they only tightened around her neck and wrists as the gears clicked onwards, picking up in speed.

She was a handmaid and a false princess. Once upon a time, she had been a cruel stepsister, an evil queen, a wicked witch. There must have been a time she was someone else, before that, too. It was getting harder and harder to remember with each story. She couldn't remember, didn't know if she ever had a happy ending.

The Duke's Daughters (or: Overture, King Lear)
(This reads like an episode of the show. It's Adel and Ahiru and a new story, and just perfect. Drosselmeyer is chilling.)
"Raise the wind!" said the Man Without Hands. "Let the storm cover the town." Six marionettes cranked the great machine, and above in Gold Crown Town, the snow rose ever higher. "Set the spotlights." Two marionettes lit two stages, both in the depths of the forest. Two more marionettes set up viewing windows. In one window, the Duke shivered in his thin robes, the snow settling on his head and arms. In another window, the Duke's youngest daughter sat, sobbing. Somewhere she'd found a shawl to cover her head with. Her silk gown was torn at the hem and covered in mud and snow.

Erlkönigs Tochter
(Ahiru saves someone; Fakir helps. Lovely, with quite possibly my favorite twist ever on the post-canon ending.)
“The Erlking,” the girls sang, their high silver voices blending in an eerie carillon. “She will stay with the Erlking’s daughters; we will lead the nightly dance.”

Ahiru loved to dance. And he wasn’t nice enough to her; he yelled at her; the Erlking’s daughters would love her better –

“No!” shouted Fakir, because if there was one thing he knew, it was stories. “The Erlking’s love is death!” he yelled.


PROJECT RUNWAY RPF
It's a Delightful Day in the Neighborhood
(In which Tim Gunn [or someone who sounds very much like him] dispenses Tim Gunn-esque advice to various parts of his daily life. It's very funny! FIND YOUR VOICE, Starbright Diner!)
STARBRIGHT DINER
I’m ambivalent, I admit.

Who’s your customer? Who is she? The mint-green formica table-tops say she’s either a goofy hipster with an over-developed sense of irony, or a single mother working three jobs who’s too tired to notice her surroundings. But the sushi section on your menu says she’s a middle-american tourist naive enough to order sushi in a diner. It’s a mishmash, Starbright Diner! You need to find your own voice.


SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH
Poor Little Fancy Cat
(Salem is having a rough Christmas. His sulky, overwrought reactions are SO PERFECT.)
Salem jumped into the oversized armchair next to his iPad and got online. This was a time for serious internet research. He pawed in his password and ran a search for "Talking Cat Jobs". All the devices in the Spellman house were connected to the Witchnet, so this wasn't a totally futile search, but it also wasn't very promising.


SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE SKETCHES [Hamm & Bublé: canon]
Don't Stand So Close to Meat: A Hamm and Bublé Text Adventure
(This is beautifully inventive and demented. It's also very dark, so heed the warning-tags, but to summarize: it is what it says on the tin. Which is a fic written in the form of a text-based game, of Michael Bublé trying to figure out how to escape a sociopathic Jon Hamm.)
> get hostess stand

It’s a giant piece of furniture. Which pocket were you planning on putting it in?

> just get the damn thing

Or maybe you were planning on putting it on a dolly and wheeling it around. Were you?

> what if I was


SAVED!
Some Glue or Something
(In which Hilary Faye learns to be a doper person, with some help from unexpected sources. I really enjoyed the character voices and was very surprised to find myself caring about Hilary Faye, which is entirely due to the mystery author!)
"I'm sorry I was such a bitch to you last year." Cassandra shook out a cigarette and lit it. She rarely smoked around Hilary Faye anymore, but as she took a drag, her hand trembled slightly. "I mean, you were a total bitch too, so we're pretty even, but I just thought I should say it."


SEN TO CHIHIRO NO KAMAKAKUSHI | SPIRITED AWAY
The Emissary
(A vision of a grown-up Chihiro [and Haku] that's delightful. I can't imagine her doing anything else with her life, now.)
The tengu swallowed, a long black tongue flickering for a moment in the depths of his beak. "Where'd you get that?"

Chihiro slipped the band off her wrist and used it to tie her hair back. The shorter strands at the sides fell loose to frame her face, like a princess in a historical drama.


SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
Girl Of My Dreams
(This is so absolutely perfect that I don't even have the words -- the banter, the warmth, the pure affection as Cosmo gets to know Kathy and comes to adore her... It's just right.)
“She really likes you,” Don adds.

“Miss Selden has almost impeccable taste,” he says. “You're the only blemish in her otherwise perfect copybook. She's far too good for you, but I don't think she's noticed.”


SONS OF ANARCHY
Christmas Fixes
(Gemma, during the rape in season 2, flashes back to her past, particularly with John Teller, Tig, and Clay. The Gemma voice here is killer in every sense of the word -- vindictive, profane, malicious, calculating, vulnerable, dangerous. This is brutal as hell and a tough read [given the source material, that's every bit a compliment].)
She stopped at the last page that held pictures of Thomas. The rest of the book was too stark a reminder of their family shrinking from four to three. She felt her lip quiver as she wondered if it had now shrunk down to two.

Two was dangerously close to being alone. Jax would only be at home for another handful of years. And then there would be one, an aging, graying scarred woman who’d once been married to John Teller.


STARSHIP TROOPERS
The Stars At Dawn
(This is Dizzy, and, I mean even setting aside just how exciting it was to see a Dizzy-fic/fix-it fic, IT'S MARVELOUS ALSO! It feels deeply embedded in the Starship Troopers world -- all of the casually tossed-off scifi details are fantastic.)
You died, they tell her later. And, Your Federation still needs you.

(Neither of those things surprises her.)


STATIC SHOCK
with the roses of the may
(God, I am just obsessed with this. It was written for me and it's wonderful, with a particularly great Virgil voice [it's so hard to write characters at different ages than they appear in canon, and it's done so well here!] -- Virgil on becoming part of the older generation of heroes.)
"'Sup, V?"

Virgil bit back his laugh. Richie? Was too old to be talking like he was still sixteen. But Virgil wouldn't have him any other way, talking young and growing old gracefully just like Virgil himself.

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