sotto_voce: Trees strung up in red-pink Christmas lights with giant blue-lit spheres hanging from the boughs ([scenery] turn on the lights)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2015-12-28 11:36 pm

The Yuletiding! It's happening! #2

SUCCESS, I have read the archive! Or, well, read what I wanted to read in the archive, anyway; I do not claim to have read the entire thing. That would be intense.

JURASSIC PARK MOVIES
Beautiful, Terrible Things
(Lex from the first movie and Kelly from the second movie are in love, and Lex has - very reluctantly - been talked into designing the security system for the newest park. This is fantastic. Their relationship feels very real and lived-in, and I live for Lex's paranoia.)
“Better with me than without me,” Lex said, like a mantra, low enough that no one else in the room could hear her but Kelly.

“Better with you than without you,” Kelly repeated, soft as a breath against her ear. “Always.”


JUMANJI
One and Two Total Three, Run Away From the Zombie
(ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE AU OLD-MARRIEDS. I love how deeply competent and capable both Sarah and Alan are, here; their entire system for keeping their home free and clear of zombies is great. And their love for each other!!)
Sarah!” he hollers again, his throat hoarse. The zombie reaches for him. Alan bats it away with the shovel. It’s still pretty fresh; the shovel doesn’t deter it much. “Sarah, I need you!

Hasn’t he always needed her, though? To roll the dice, to free him, to love him. To hold him in the night when the drums beat in his head and his breath condenses jungle-hot in his lungs, strangling him from the inside out.


A KNIGHT'S TALE
Curry Night, Clothes Optional
(Modern AU Knight's Tale! All of the character voices are A++ excellent, and Chaucer cracked me right up.)
Will makes a strangled sound, and the legs of his chair scrape against linoleum, that particular sound that only happens when someone stands up too fast and the flimsy plastic chairs that the university's provided come close to falling over backwards. "I think, stranger," Will says carefully, "that you might be a bit more in need of some clothes?"

Because, yeah. The man isn't only a stranger and probably a mature student, he's also completely stark bollock naked.

The Book of the Duchess, or, In the Dungeons of Her Grace
(Chaucer tells a story, while the peanut gallery rages on. Great character voices, and a great twist to the story!)
"Hang on," Wat said. "I thought she was raised on a rock in the middle of the ocean. How could you have met her already?" He rolled his eyes. "I mean, the scrivener."

Chaucer's teeth were grinding together so forcefully, the noise was nearly audible over the general clamor of the tavern. When he could loose his jaw enough to speak, he said, "Have you ever heard of suspense? I cannot build any if you are forever interrupting me."


KNOW NOT WHY - HANNAH JOHNSON
Not Unseen
(AU where, instead of kissing in the fake flower aisle, Howie and Arthur become roommates! All of the characters are SO GOOD; the Howie-isms in particular just fucking slayed me. The progression of their relationship is really lovely and warm. I feel like this author is Hannah Johnson. Like, for real, are you Hannah Johnson??)
This is a GREAT plan. Howie’s gonna lay some smooth here’s-how-you-do-that vibes down on Arthur, and Arthur’s going to start looking at his main man Howie Jenkins like a gay man should look at another man who is almost-definitely-gay and wants to get with said… first man. This is going to go down like butter on toast. Like marmalade on… whatever people eat marmalade on.

The problem, Howie realizes after several days of discretely tailing Arthur Kraft the Second looking for primo touch-up-on-my-man opportunities, is that Arthur is just so freaking competent at everything.


LACKADAISY
Lesson One
(This is a sweet little fic, with fantastic character voices - Ivy wants to learn. Viktor reluctantly teaches.)
Viktor is working on the car, and Ivy is sitting on the hood and swinging her legs, making little scuff marks with her heels. Viktor winces with every thump.

"How do I throw a punch?" asks Ivy. "A good one."

"You don't," says Viktor, and glances up to see Ivy's cheeks puff out in anger.


LILO AND STITCH
College and Family
(Lilo and Nani have piggy banks for every occasion. I love this - what a fabulous exploration of Lilo and Nani's relationship. Everyone sounds perfect, and Lilo especially is so lovely - petulant and imaginative and sweet.)
They had a grey penny bank with blue raindrops that said "rainy day fund," until Lilo smashed it with a hammer one afternoon when she was bored. In Lilo's defense, it actually was raining that day. Also in her defense, smashing it was only way to open that particular penny bank. Nani sighed and helped Lilo pick up the coins scattered all over Lilo's bedroom floor.


THE LOSERS
To Set Aside Childish Things
(Jensen and Cougar in Bolivia, before the bulk of the movie begins. Cougar starts bringing broken toys home from the factory where they're working. Everything hurts.)
Cougar shoots him a sidelong look like he's the weird one for holding the broken toy, like he isn't just holding it because Cougar, the actual weirdo in this situation, brought it home in the first place.


MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Fernweh
(The Splendid Angharad befriends Furiosa. I love the wives' support of each other, here, and Angharad slowly wearing Furiosa down.)
“It’s green,” she says next to my ear, her voice low and rough like the crunch of tires over dirt. “Home. If you stand in the center and look every direction, you see nothing but green fields.”


THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (MOVIE) / AGENT CARTER CROSSOVER
A Single Art To Be Learned
(The voices here are SO GREAT; it packs quite a punch into a short treat! I can hear Henry Cavill and Hayley Atwell's voices on all these lines.)
"There was a minor incident on the way down from London," Solo said. "It was handled."

"What a wealth of things can be glossed over with the well-timed use of the passive voice," Carter said. She finally capped her pen and set it down, slipped it and her notebook into her handbag, and took a sip of tea before leaning back in her chair. "You look terrible."


MISS FISHER'S MURDER MYSTERIES
A Series of Optical Illusions
(20,000 words of pitch-perfect Miss Fisher fic, my goodness. The period details are a marvel. It carries all of Phryne's liveliness and spirit and joy, so beautifully. There was a point where I had to stop fist-pumping with delight because my arm was getting tired. Phryne will never stop being astounded at the strengths and lovelinesses of women!!! The prose is absolutely stunning. If we never get a season 4, I'll always have this fic to come back to.)
Phryne's friendships have always been what Aunt Prudence calls outrageously intimate, but there are intimacies and there are intimacies, and Phryne knows very well how to hide caution behind exuberance. Nobody gets all of her; hardly anyone even gets most of her. She and Jack Robinson have spent years offering one another secrets and emotional truths like small, carefully wrapped gifts, doled out in quiet moments and over late-night drinks. Maybe they'll never know everything. But they understand one another, and in a world of judgemental glances and the urge to stamp out anything that breaks a mould, Phryne will take that over full transparency every time.

With a Whisky in Hand (And Perhaps Some Divine Plan)
(Mac gives Jack a talking-to. The details are fabulous and Mac, in particular, is a matter-of-fact force of nature -- I love Jack feeling wobbly from the very fine whiskey they've been drinking, and Mac stepping neatly right out the door without so much as a bobble.)
"Then why torture yourself?" Her voice is kind. "I'm sure we share a similar burden, Inspector, in that sometimes our days can be quite grim."

He looks at her out of the corner of his eye, and she grins at him.

"I'll take whatever frivolity I can get," she adds.

you just can't differentiate
(JACK IS A ROBOT AND EVERYTHING IS GREAT. More specifically: the tone of this is gorgeous; it sounds just like the show!)
After two months’ acquaintance, then, this is what Phryne Fisher knows about the automaton designated JAC742GV-0014, more often known as Senior Detective Inspector Jack Robinson:

His skin is entirely metallic, so far as she’s seen, and she’s seen rather a lot, between cases. He can drink but not eat, and prefers to do the former only sparingly; his mental and physical functions are powered by an engine in his chest. He’s stronger than a human man, but prefers not to use his strength unless it’s absolutely necessary.

A Question for the Asking
(I don't want to spoil what Camellia has going on here, but it is FANTASTIC and I love it so much. Watching Lin slowly try to work it out, and then work out how best to quietly support her, is just magical.)
Phryne soon makes it plain to him that his charm, though manifest, is not in the least adequate for the drawing of secrets from a clever and canny woman. She smiles and demurs, pours him tea and smiles slyly, and tells him nothing at all. It is Dorothy from whom he receives any knowledge at all - as she hands him his coat, she asks him,

“Mr. Lin, are you wanting to know Camellia better?”


NIMONA (WEBCOMIC)
Evolution
(This gift was for me, and what a gorgeous look at the evolution of the relationships between Blackheart, Nimona, and Goldenloin it is! The little character details are so fantastic, as is watching Goldenloin in particular try to come to terms with what he's done, and what he needs to do going forward. I laughed and I got totally choked up, which is the best of all worlds for Nimona fics! Love! Friendship!!)
Ambrosius has learned a lot since the Institute was shut down, things that Ballister knew since the joust. Ambrosius is only now catching up, enough to know he's got another kind of catching up to do. Now that he's recovered, he's found a way to atone for his association with the Institute.

At first, working at the soup kitchen felt useless. He used to help so many more people with so little effort before. He still feels useless when he compares dipping soup with a ladle with vanquishing villains with a sword, but it's not the Institute's hand on the ladle. He's no longer a two-edged sword, as likely to hurt any given citizen as to help them.

a song for the new world order
(Blackheart imagines all of the ways in which Nimona might come home, after the comic, but he doesn't think to imagine the way it actually happens. The silliness of some of the fantasies is wonderful and so in-keeping with the heightened reality of the comic, and the others are lovely and sad.)
Or maybe this:

He's been out -- with Ambrosius, maybe, or looking at Meredith's latest invention. He opens the door to his workshop and it's brightly lit, and a few things are bubbling that probably shouldn't be, and she's lying on a workbench, stretched out, hands tucked behind her head. She looks older, this time, and maybe a little more tired, as if time has passed for her just the same as it has for him.

Home (Is the Place You Return To)
(Nimona gets too comfortable, and then she travels after the comic. I love the Nimona voice here, and the sheer inventiveness of what she gets up to! Laser death weapons are a must.)
Here are some goals Nimona sets for herself:

She is going to travel the world. She’s always itched to find out what lies beyond the horizon, and now she’s going to find out what lies beyond every horizon, until she circles all the way back around. And then maybe she’ll do it again.


OVER THE GARDEN WALL
Possessed
(This is the story of how Lorna came to live with Auntie Whispers and how she became possessed, and it is so deliciously macabre and perfectly fairy-tale. I've definitely accepted this as my new personal pre-show canon!)
"You're late back, child," Miralda said when Lorna entered the house carrying the bucket of black turtles.

"The turtles were slippery and hard to catch this morning," Lorna lied. It was the first time she had ever lied to Miralda.


PARKS AND RECREATION
if you're lost you can look and you will find me
(Leslie is running for governor, and Ben needs a break. I really enjoyed all the character voices here; Andy and April in particular cracked me up! And Ben and Leslie bring it all together with the feels in the end, just like on the show.)
“It would just be for one night,” Leslie says, hands clasped imploringly at her chest, standing in an all-too-familiar doorway. Wesley and Sonia are bickering vociferously in the background about which classic Power Ranger is superior; Steven is engrossed in the Oregon Trail 3D HD remake on his 3DS. “You’re my only hope, which, now that I’m saying it, is terrifying and absurd, but I’m trying not to dwell on it too much.”

The camera shifts to reveal April and Andy. Andy’s arm is slung around April’s shoulders, and April is apathetically gnawing on a piece of gum.


PRINCESS TUTU
Did Not Do the Research
(Fakir really, really needs to do his research before he writes, because he is Fucking Science Up.)
Autor took some time before answering. “I leveraged my knowledge of physics and principles of motion, such as Newton’s third law -- that is, every action has an equal and opposite reaction -- and carefully calculated trajectories so that-”

Fakir raised an eyebrow and exchanged glances with Ahiru.

“You mean you slid on your butt and shoved off of things until you got here,” Fakir said. “After falling down a lot.”


REDSHIRTS - JOHN SCALZI
Textual Poaching
(The Redshirts characters may have escaped the TV show Narrative, but there's a more insidious Narrative in town: fanfic. This plays with a ton of tropes super delightfully! It's campy and full of fabulous references. The Lwaxana accords!!)
“It was a pheromone thing,” Jimmy said, in lieu of giving her any prurient details. “Andy analyzed the flowers from the central tree and realized that it caused changes at the genetic level that enabled the kind of hybridization we were seeing.”

“Only Andy would get hit with sex pollen and sit there analyzing the situation instead of fucking,” Duvall said.


THE ROAD TO EL DORADO
the hungry heart, the roving eye
(This is a modern AU that does a fantastic job of bringing the characters into a completely different era without losing sight of who they are. The character voices are wonderful, and, because I didn't read the author's note and I'm bad at guessing plot twists, I had NO IDEA what was coming, which was a killer surprise!)
“He’s my dog, and you ignored me for a week while committing international theft,” Miguel called out instead, the injustice of it all rankling severely. “And I thought you were dead. And you didn’t invite me to your wedding.”

“I didn’t invite anyone to my wedding,” Tulio said, and the note of apology didn’t help this time. “It was me, Chel, and a priest.”


THE SADDLE CLUB - BONNIE BRYANT
Bridleway
(They get married! on! horseback!!! Carole is still so meticulous with the horses! Stevie is still so very Stevie! This is so sweet. What an awesome take on the biggest obsession of my childhood.)
Stevie didn't cry. She really didn't. Or she tried very hard not to, anyway, which was pretty much the same thing.

It was just that Carole looked so beautiful, and so, well, Carole, in a white riding habit and boots shined to Marine standards, flowers slightly askew but reins held in perfect form, hair braided and pinned so neatly that no judge anywhere would dock her points for it, smile a little shaky but still lovely, perched tall and confident on Starlight's back.

Hoof Prints
(This is a pitch-perfect 20k-word Saddle Club fic that might as well be an actual Saddle Club book; it certainly feels like it! So gentle and warm and kind. The horse details, the girls [STEVIE'S JOKES] and their families, the treasure hunt -- perfect.)
“Colonel Hanson!” Stevie said, coming up to join Carole and Lisa and the Colonel. “I was hoping you’d be here today.”

“Oh no,” Carole said, accurately translating the look on Stevie’s face. “She has new jokes, doesn’t she.”

Lisa took one look at the twinkle in Stevie’s eye and had to conclude that Carole was right.


SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
ain't it strange how love put things together
(The Stefon touches are incredibly absurd and excellent, and the fic as a whole, looking at the Stefon/Seth relationship, is really sweet.)
"Who is DJing?" Seth asks, interest piqued, and Stefon shrugs as if it's obvious.

"Nobody. For opening night, they're doing that thing where you put on sunglasses and take a hit of acid while Civil War reenacters mime the plot summaries of Mad Men episodes."

"That does sound like -- something," Seth says.


SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
Never Let No One Man Worry Your Mind
(I've read [and loved] a whole lot of OT3 for this movie, but one thing I haven't read much of is fic where Cosmo is queer, Don is straight, and everyone is perfectly happy with this state of affairs. This is really, really fantastic -- I love the period details and I love Cosmo and Don's friendship and banter!)
"Well, it happened like this. After a few more drinks, when I was giving some instruction in the Black Bottom — " ("Oh, you were," Don muttered,) " — dancing the Black Bottom, Bessie got to talking about a Turkish bathhouse, and we all decided we should go."

"A Turkish bathhouse!" said Don. "You got arrested in a bathhouse? I didn't even think there were any bathhouses in Towertown!"


SOME LIKE IT HOT
And So They Did
(This is, boiled down, the happily-ever-after for Osgood and for Jerry, who's sometimes Daphne, and it's fabulous. I love that sometimes he's Jerry and sometimes she's Daphne -- there's no forced choice. The little details, especially about Osgood's wealth [the fish tanks!] are killer, as are Daphne/Jerry's friendships with Sugar and with Joe.)
On Friday Jerry said, “I think I'd like a dog,” which was something he'd wanted since he was a child, actually. And so they got one, a spotted English Bulldog with more energy than sense

Three days later Osgood said, “Would you like to take dancing lessons?”


SPY
Reports May Have Been Exaggerated
(This is one of those fics that starts out grand and then tops itself and tops itself until by the end, you're curled into a weak shell of your old self, sobbing with laughter. My actual favorite quote is probably something from the last scene, which I really think should be read in context for the full glorious effect, but honestly, the entire fic is screamingly funny and eminently quotable. Every single character reads like they've been pulled straight from the movie.)
There was a mouse in the largest and curliest part of [Rayna's] hair.

"Do you think we should tell her?" Nancy hissed.

Susan watched the mouse.

"Nah," she said. "It looks so happy. Look at it, I think it's nesting."


STAR WARS: X-WING: ROGUE SQUADRON
you can't torp bureaucracy
(If you know me, you [probably] know that I really, really love Plourr Ilo, so when I saw that she was tagged in this fic, I basically rolled around screaming, too excited to read it, for a while. And then I finally read it, and guess what, IT WAS GREAT. There is far too little fic for the Rogue Squadron comics out there [read: there is, like, none], and this is delightfully funny and in-character and does such a fantastic job of bridging the gap between the comics and the books! It made me want to pull out all my comics and read everything all over again. A++!)
The Rogues cram themselves into Hobbie's recovery room: Tycho, Wes, and Avan in chairs, Plourr and Xarrce leaning on the wall, and Feylis perched on Avan's lap "because there's no more space, Tycho." The med droid kicks up a fuss about so many people in a room at once and the Tunroth counting as three, but Wes takes the droid by the arm and leads it into the hallway, where he immediately shuts and locks the door on it.


THINK OF ENGLAND - KJ CHARLES / MISS FISHER'S MURDER MYSTERIES CROSSOVER
Civilian Life
(MULTIPLE PEOPLE wrote fics for this crossover, which is genius. In this one, Daniel and Archie retire to Melbourne for a taste of the quiet life after decades of adventures. Their neighbor is Phryne, so their retirement is about as quiet as you'd expect. I love the character voices, especially Daniel, who's perfectly brilliant and quick and also cranky. And Mac's tailor!!!!)
“It’s settled, then,” Daniel announced grandly. “Where better for a couple of old queers to retire than a nation founded by criminals?”

The Rescuers Down Under
(I was literally rolling around cackling within the first paragraph. The character voices are an absolute scream for every single person; Fen's narration is such a delight. I love that Fen and Pat are in competition with Daniel and Archie [the martial gleam in Pat's eye!!] and are so unimpressed with Australia/its dudes. Their quiet joy at getting to be openly together, in Miss Fisher's house, is so, so lovely. What a good.)
"Now Jack," said a woman's voice, light and amused, "that hardly seems necessary before we even know if it's a murder."

Inspector Robinson's eyes closed for a moment in an expression so intimately familiar to Fen that she couldn't quite stop herself from staring. It was a look she knew from Pat's own beloved face, equal parts dread and delight, and she would not have expected to see anything like it on Inspector Robinson's too-serious countenance.


TRUE GRIT
The Good Old Way
(Absolutely fantastic Mattie voice; I love that she has become a shrewd [and caring] investor and business owner.)
You will scoff, but I have long believed men to be the more sentimental sex, prone to rash decisions and susceptible to all manner of emotional pleas. Especially when it is not in their favor to be so.
kindness_says: (Default)

[personal profile] kindness_says 2015-12-29 07:31 am (UTC)(link)
...can I just say how impressed I am every year at the fact that you manage to get through the archive alphabetically.

Also, due to this rec post, I just reread that seth and Stefon fic and I may have wept a teeny tiny bit like the fucking nerveball weirdo I am :)
kindness_says: (Default)

[personal profile] kindness_says 2015-12-29 07:32 am (UTC)(link)
I mean thank goodness for these email alerts or I wouldn't get to have this thoroughly embarrassing experience ;d
lunamystic: ([avatar] Toph thinks you're swell.)

[personal profile] lunamystic 2015-12-31 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I look forward to your recs every year. Thank you! :D

(Ploooourr!)
escritoireazul: (Default)

[personal profile] escritoireazul 2016-01-02 12:31 am (UTC)(link)
I'm so glad you liked Beautiful, Terrible Things, and that was a high compliment indeed in your rec!