sotto_voce: A heart drawn in the sand, with a foot in the shot ([misc] hearts)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2015-01-01 02:36 am

Yuletide reveals

I was completely panicked for Yuletide this year, thanks to outside factors not at all related to fandom or my awesome recipient, but I wound up writing two fics and being really happy with both of them! Since quitting Glee (ugh), I've felt disengaged from fandom and I've really struggled to get words on the page, so I'm tremendously grateful for the annual kick in the butt that Yuletide provides. Without further ado: REVEALS. Which is probably not much of a reveal; I'm an obvious creature. BUT ANYWAY I WROTE:

إن سرقت، اسرق جمل، وإن عشقت اعشق قمر for [personal profile] ar (Evy O'Connell/Rick O'Connell + Alex O'Connell, The Mummy)
Odd Man Rush for [personal profile] ageorwizardry (Eric "Bitty" Bittle/Jack Zimmermann + team, Check, Please!)

إن سرقت، اسرق جمل، وإن عشقت، اعشق قمر (The Mummy; Rated T; Evy/Rick + Alex; 8000 words)
The sun is setting fast, outlining the wadis and the sandy hills in red and orange and gold. The temperature is already beginning to drop, but Evy feels warm pressed against Rick's side. She's still holding the elephant gun in her other hand, while he has a pistol in his.

"Right. Rifle lesson?" he murmurs into her hair.

"I had rather a different sort of lesson in mind," Evy says, low and husky.

Every dang time I c&p the title it comes out differently, so, uh, I hope it is actually saying what I think it is! I also hope it is actually an Egyptian proverb; I googled to the best of my ability and enlisted [personal profile] genarti's help translating, but there was a point where I kind of just threw up my hands and wished for the best. This was such a delight, oh my gosh!!! It was one of those happy Yuletide turns of fate where you bookmark a fantastic letter because you want to write treats, and then that is your assignment. [personal profile] ar asked for fic about Evy and especially called out the potential in the third Mummy movie, with its reveal that Evy and Rick were SPIES during World War II.

I started with doing my due diligence, as chronicled by [personal profile] littledust when I spent a group writing session cry-laughing over Tomb of the Dragon Emperor instead of actually writing, and by the big pile of books on my bedside table. I see the same people on my commute every day and I'm so, so curious what they thought when they saw me reading a different Mummy novelization or Cairo-related book each day one week. I did my best with research, though I'm sure there are still phenomenal cock-ups; I comfort myself with the reminder that the people who wrote the movies gave zero shits about historical accuracy (ancient Egyptians did not remove the heart and place it in a canopic jar during mummification, COME ON GUYS) or even their own timeline (if you compare Alex's stated age in the sequel to the years listed at the beginning of the first and second movies, it ... doesn't match up).

The first two movies were the loves of my childhood; they were so formative in building my taste, and they hold up so well! I watch them every time they come on TV, which, well, is a lot. Plus I had an ancient-Egypt-nerd stage in my childhood! So my assignment this year was SO GREAT and also so scary, but mostly SO GREAT. Coming up with adventures for Evy (and Rick and Alex, but lbr: Evy) was a ball! I also really appreciated [personal profile] ar's request for dealing with the third film - I've always just ignored it, after seeing it once; it's still not a movie I want to watch again, hilarious lava-explosions aside, but there were interesting bits and pieces to pull from it. I had a grand time trying to fill in the pieces between the movies, and then to fix things after them! I just love these movies and these characters so, so much. ♥

Finally: it killed me that I could not talk about Susan Travers without giving my assignment away. Susan Travers is incredible. I stumbled across her book while researching the northern Africa campaign in World War II, and while it provided absolutely invaluable detail that I used in my fic, I mostly came away delighted that I had read it! Travers is the only woman to ever officially be a member of the French Foreign Legion. She unapologetically slept her way across Europe as a high-society semi-professional tennis player until the war broke out, whereupon she joined up, got shipped off to Africa, and drove ambulances and cars for the Free French forces, including the time that she was the only woman at the battle of Bir Hakeim and led the successful French evacuation straight through a minefield and enemy lines in the middle of the night. I'm going to post separately about the book because I have SO VERY MUCH to say (like that the famous general she drove for and fell in love with was a giant wad), but like: holy cow. Susan Travers.


Odd Man Rush (Check, Please! [webcomic + Twitter]; Rated T; Bitty/Jack + Chowder, Lardo, Shitty, Nursey, Dex; 5000 words)
The second Chowder drags himself through the door, Eric has to restrain himself from rushing over, hugging his face, and demanding to know who hurt him.

“Chowder!” Nursey calls from the diseased living room couch that is the bane of Eric’s existence. “Dude, would you please tell Poindexter that Voracek isn't gonna win the scoring race this year? It's ridiculous.”

Apparently, no one else on this team is capable of recognizing total frog devastation when they see it.

No less than four people guessed that I wrote this. My teamlove is my downfall! [personal profile] ageorwizardry's wonderful letter talked about how great the team is and how rad all the characters are, and I was like: Y E S. The enthusiasm was completely infectious! That is my explanation for how "oh, what if I wrote her a cute little Madness treat!" ballooned into this monstrosity, anyway. I love all of these characters and I have massive team-takes-care-of-its-own feelings, so I guess I was really a goner from the start. I've been listening to a slightly modified version of this fic's playlist nonstop for days; bring me all the (mostly) female vocalist pop and dance music!!! I keep dancing while waiting for the bus.

Some of the weirdest stuff here happened behind the scenes - I asked the comic creator about the frogs' heights (serious questions, always). I never said a word about the deadline, not wanting to push, but she was awesome and immediately answered all of my questions at ungodly hours of the morning right before the archive was going to open; I wanted to thank her in the author's notes, but I also didn't want to give away my identity! I think we very briefly tried to figure out how much height Chowder's bangs add.

The other hilarious thing is that I AM PSYCHIC. I wrote in that Chowder had been casually seeing Volleyball Girl since Winter Screw and that she was from Santa Clara and they were planning to hang out over break, with absolutely nothing canonical to back any of that up and no mention of Volleyball Girl in ages. Three days later, the in-character Bitty Twitter tweeted that (A) Chowder was now officially dating Volleyball Girl, and (B) she's from California, implied to be near enough to him that they've seen each other over break. PSYCHIC!!!! I'm pleased in general, because Chowder's my fave and Volleyball Girl's introduction was super cute, but I am extra excited that technically my fic could still be canon! Volleyball Cutie hasn't been named yet in the comic, and, like, they could have gotten back together, YOU DON'T KNOW. YOUNG LOVE IS FICKLE!!!

It is such a battle to call Bitty anything other than "Bitty." I kept having to replace my automatic "Bitty"s with "Eric"s, and then I'd come back ten minutes later and wonder who the hell Eric was. The hockey fic nickname struggle is real.

I still need to finish commenting on the stories that I loved, and I want to write thank-you replies to my commenters and also send another note to [archiveofourown.org profile] winterhill, the magician who wrote both of my giftfics -- but the archive seems to be down at the moment. I'll get there! In the meantime, happy 2015, everyone. May this year be better than last!