sotto_voce: Joshua Chamberlain staring into the distance, with caption "brains are sexy" ([misc] yuletide!!!)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2010-12-26 01:21 am

this post could probably use a title

The first of several [ profile] yuletide fic rec posts! I'm trying something new this year and am moving backward through the alphabet. (I need to catch up on Sons of Anarchy, Terriers, and the Temeraire books so that I can read without worrying of spoilers; I am staring covetously at those fics!) I shrieked with joy about the fabulous, fabulous fics that I received here, but I also listed them under their proper fandoms in this post. :D

(I nominated this video after watching it obsessively for two months earlier this year and I am over the moon that fic now exists for it. The moon!!!)

The Curse of the Bambino (And Other Love Stories)
(THIS WAS FOR ME AND I LOVE IT SO HARD. It's set in the early days of the guys' friendship; Ed [aka baseball player] invites Devon [aka guy wearing the glasses] over to watch the baseball game. In which Ed is a closet Red Sox fan who doesn't like to rock the boat, and Devon is a little hapless yet somehow manages to be more with-it than Ed. It's so lovely!)
“You do realize that our knowledge of baseball combined can only fill a Post-It note, right? I can’t help you with this one.”

“I bet we could fill more than a Post-It note,” Devon counters, pulling a notebook out his backpack.

This is the list they end up with:

What Devon and Robbie Know About Baseball
1) There are four bases, one pitcher, one catcher (“Shut up, Robbie.”), bats, baseballs, and baseball gloves involved.
2) There are nine innings. A “seventh inning stretch” is a metaphor that makes sense in context, but is hard to define.
3) If the other team catches the ball, you’re out. If you’re tagged with the ball, you’re out.
4) Running around all four bases is a home run. (“So is sex.” “Shut up, Robbie.”)
5) The World Series only involves U.S. teams.
6) You need eight guys for a team. Nine? Is that for basketball?
7) New York has two teams: the Mets and the Yankees. (“Which one do we root for?” “Dude, I’m from Philly. Neither.”)

“You are so screwed, man,” Robbie says, but not unsympathetically.


At the End of the Week
(THIS WAS ALSO FOR ME [I had an embarrassment of riches this year] AND WHEN I TRY TO SAY MORE THAN THAT MY FINGERS JUST GO "KSDFKJSDG." Marc and Cliff come back into each others' lives post-canon, thanks to a Mode photo spread; the author somehow manages the tough task of being both heartwarming and dangerously, terribly funny. It gives Marc and Cliff the shot that they didn't get in canon, and it does a whole lot of justice to most of the supporting cast, too. In my heart of hearts, this happened after the show ended. All 12,000 words of it.)
“Oh, please,” Cliff mutters. “Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of the Eiffel Tower from an original angle? I tried for two days! In the end I just bought a postcard.”

Marc fails to suppress a giggle.

“And everyone in Paris was all skinny and pretty and bitchy and reminded me of you.”

“Aww, I'm sorry.” Marc tries to sound sympathetic, but he's rather pleased by the comparison.

Cliff glances at him out of the corner of his eye. “You totally took that as a compliment,” he says, and doesn't seem fooled by Marc's innocent look. He kicks at Marc's foot lightly, and Marc, instantly remembering their first date, kicks back, feeling a tiny glimmer of hope.


Meta Yuletide Fic (The Fic You Wish Your Fic Smelled Like)
(This is exactly what it sounds like: delightful meta from the Old Spice guy. Warnings: TV tropes. No, seriously, the fic warns for TV tropes.)
Why hello, Yuletide reader. Why don't you sit down for a bit? Get comfortable, because when you click my link you will be reading a work of such magnificence that you won't be able to look away, even if a crew of zombies breaks through your window and bites your neck.


Letting Go
(Weeks after she's gone, Woody is still making plans to rescue Bo. Uplifting and really sad at the same time.)
Another bout of silence, this one much shorter than the last. When Woody lifted his head, he looked to Buzz, the hurt finally evident after holding it back for so long.

“I’m gonna miss her, Buzz.”

“We all will, cowboy.”

Finally uncurling himself, Woody slipped off his hat and held it between his hands. It was almost as if he was finally paying his last respects while Buzz said not a word. After a few minutes, he placed his hat back on his head and sighed, eyes still cast toward the distance.

“Thanks, partner.”


You're Ready and You're Willin'
(This fic's fandom is the Scooby Doo apocalypse shirt, We've Got Some Work to Do Now. I can't get enough of fic based on this T-shirt! I love competent-but-fashionable Daphne, and how much ass she and Velma kick [for a little while, anyway].)
Daphne's been so brave, so fucking competent, reaching in herself and finding some reserve of steely resolve Velma wouldn't have ever guessed she had. Daphne found them guns, found them knives, fashioned them outfits both deadly and somewhat fashionable (it's heartening to see she is, in some ways, still Daphne). It was Daphne who used the last Scooby Snacks on Earth to turn Scooby-Doo into a vicious zombie-eating machine, and it was Daphne who spent a weekend with a book and a stolen set of tools, learning how to fasten a chain onto Velma's glasses so securely she'd never lose them again.


Marie of Roumania
(The back-and-forth between CC and Niles in this is delicious, and watching them navigate life while the original Mrs. Sheffield is still around and then after her death is strangely touching, which is a perfect tone for The Nanny.)
“Maxwell!” CC whined, chasing him through the living room. “We simply must do this benefit! Think about how good we’ll look to the theater community if we try to fight this blight on mankind!”

Niles didn’t look up from the laundry he was folding on the couch. “Why would you willingly attend your own execution?”

CC grabbed the pillowcase from his hand and shoved it over his head. “Stuff it, Downy Fresh.”


Past & Future
(Rick and Evie are perfectly charming, and the hint of their next potential adventure is fun!)
"I've never seen this before," she said.

Up close, the ring was instantly recognizable as Egyptian, of rare pink-gold. It was a swivel ring, the top side showing the face of a lioness, inset with carnelian eyes. It was a miniature work of art, and Rick imagined it would have brought a pretty penny on the black market.

"You must have pricked yourself on the ears," Rick said.

"I suppose." Evie sounded doubtful.


Devils Won't Be Caught
(The moment that I read the section that's a reference to "Why Don't You Love Me," I knew I was going to dig this. Featuring badass bank-robbing Honey B!)
B never knew living life on the wrong side of the law could feel so good.

She gets up in the morning, makes herself up - primer, foundation, powder, blush, eyeliner (pencil on the bottom, liquid cat eyes on top), plum lipstick, slick gloss; she used to resent it, but now it's a costume, a mask. More than that, it's a secret identity, a movie trope, something out a pulp fiction novel. No one actually thinks the femmes fatales can do anything more than be rescued, not in real life; strong, sexy women are nothing but broken inside.

It's so nice to subvert expectations.


It's a wonderful life
(Stephanie has hapless adventures at Christmas. It's all great, but Stephanie's voice is so, so funny, and handled so well.)
When I was eleven, my mother dressed me up as an angel for the Christmas show. I've stayed away from glittery gold with white trimming ever since. These days I usually end up in varying shades of doughnut stains, but at least my mother isn't dressing me anymore. So I can't really blame her for having to creep through my sister Valerie's garden on Christmas Eve, with size twelve Santa boots, an itchy wig-beard and my biggest, fattest feather pillow stuffed down my front. Santa doesn't have it this hard, but I'm Stephanie Plum and I do.


Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
(The pun in the title is genius, and the voices -- and the progressively more ridiculous hoops through which Janson has to jump -- are very, very funny. IN WHICH: Janson screws up, Squeaky is enjoying this way too much, and Booster Terrik gets involved.)
Janson closed his eyes, one hand lifting to scrub at his brown hair and then rub fingers against his temples. The puddle of brandycream was still there when he re-opened them. And so, unfortunately, was Squeaky.

“Are you going to ask me to fetch you a sponge and a new bottle?” Squeaky wondered, evidently enjoying the moment.

“Would you get them for me if I did?”


Clean and Even
(Face and Phanan make a poor decision in RE: prank targets. I laughed forever.)
To Face’s right, Ton coughed once, then more forcefully. Face opened his mouth and took a tentative breath. Chemicals stung his throat, and he fought down a cough. They stood almost waist-deep in white, sticky goop, which oozed rapidly down the corridor in either direction.

“This feels strangely familiar,” Ton said, his voice hoarse.

“Yeah,” Face agreed.

“I’m going to make a wild guess that we are the victims of revenge.”


(This is fun! It's a night out, running through the perspectives of all of the characters; Tim's section features a fabulous graphic that visualizes how he is seeing the situation! Which is as a noir-style comic book page. Brian's cracked me up as well!:)
"So," I say, and they jerk a bit in their seats. I can't cope with petty social interactions that paper over the cracks in the human condition rather than exposing them. So I ask, "Either of you going to sing tonight?" I gesture with my head to the sign in the corner.

"Oh, no, no," Daisy begins, and Tim adds, almost on top of her, "I doubt they have the Doctor Who theme on the playlist." Daisy gives him a strange look. "Can you even sing that? That doesn't have any words. It's just like, 'Dah, daaaaaaaaahh, dah dah dah." Tim interrupts with, "No, it's like this, Doo, doo, dooooooooooo, wooo-ooo-oooooooo. Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo doooooooo..."


One Day Like This
(A day in George's life with Jim, before the accident. This is achingly beautiful, especially in light of what the reader knows is coming; the writing is lovely.)
"Hey," Jim says, as George turns to leave. "I don't get a goodbye?"

George huffs, and smooths down his tie. "Out here?"

"Hmm, I guess one of the neighbours could be hiding in those trees over there. They do that sometimes. Weird neighbourhood."

"Don't be facetious."

"And don't be an ass. C'mere." Jim grabs the sleeve of George's jacket and drags him back - though truthfully, of course, he isn't pulling with enough force to drag an entirely unwilling George down for a kiss. Jim's mouth brushes softly across his, lips parted - he tastes of coffee, and he smiles into the kiss. George thinks of Susan who lives across the street, and the close-mouthed kisses he has watched her dutifully receive and bestow on the doorstep each morning.


I Don't Know What's Happening and I Can't Pretend
(THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF MY GIFT FICS; I love it to bits and pieces! Stacey and Wallace decide that Scott needs to get out of bed and get his life going again, and that the way to accomplish this is by making him experience Thursday over and over again until he gets it right. It's Scott Pilgrim Groundhog Day fic, and it is the funniest fucking thing, I cannot even. The voices for each of the characters is bang on, and the little Pilgrim-esque touches are a delight!)
The letters EIGHT A.M. appear bold and black over Scott’s face. He looks like he hasn’t slept in years.

The phone rings. Scott picks up. He whispers, “Stacey, the aliens want my brains.

“Scott, we are officially giving up on you. Congratulations. You are the least self-aware person in the universe.”

“What?” Scott’s brow furrows. “Did I win a contest?”

“Seriously, Scott, I can’t even believe I owe Wallace a trip to the mall over this. No lunch today. Goodbye.”


Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive and Well and Living in Paris
(This is quiet and lovely, and I like to pretend it's what happened after the play.)
They finish their breakfast, then go to take a walk through the small winding stone streets of the city. The stones are uneven in places and the buildings are unmistakably old - not that they’re shabby, but they look settled, like large cats that have set themselves down on the sides of the road and got very comfortable. Some of them are even leaning into one another. It is all so whimsical that Guillaume wants it to feel like a dream.

There are other people exploring the streets, ostensibly enjoying the relative warmth of the day. He doesn’t feel familiarity with a one of them, which is something of a relief. As he starts being able to separate what feels familiar from what doesn’t, a picture of a life begins to emerge. He is Guillaume, he lives in this city and speaks this language but doesn’t know many people; so far there’s only Rosaire with whom he shares an apartment and a bed, and so far as Guillaume can tell that seems to be enough.


Etude: Composition
(This is SO META; it's delightful. Post-canon, Fakir keeps writing, and, in the process, keeps changing the genre.)
Fakir grits his teeth. “I’m fine.”

“Quack.” Duck flutters onto his knee, and then up to his shoulder, peering at his head. “Quack –”

“I told you, you don’t need to concern yourself over me! I don’t deserve –”

Autor rolls his eyes and slams Fakir’s notebook binder down on the study table. “Honestly, this isn’t even good hurt-comfort,” he complains, in the startled silence that falls. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home before I start confessing dramatic hidden feelings for either of you or Duck turns out to be your long-lost sister. I’d advise you to switch the genre back before things get even more ridiculous. Enjoy your post-love-confession awkwardness.”

Inscribed on Glass Plaques
(This is so, so cool and clever. The fic takes the form of the inscriptions on plaques at the Gold Crown Museum of Fine and Performing Arts; specifically, the Princess Tutu Collection, donated by D. Autor.)

[DROSSELMEYER] The Prince and the Raven. Frankfurt, 1781, Köhler Fuchs Scholz,. 1 st edition.

Quarto; 168 pages; 12 engraved plates; calfskin; handwritten message on frontispiece: 'To Edel, who serves me better now than when she was with me.'.

Although lauded by contemporaries as one of the foremost storytellers of his day, Drosselmeyer sank into literary obscurity soon after his death. Outlawed by secular authorities and declared heretical by Catholic and Protestant denominations, his books and plays were burned by the dozens. His current stature in fairy tale literature is almost wholly thanks to the novel Princess Tutu, whose publication in 1910 sparked a massive revival of interest in his work.

This volume, a rare first edition of The Prince and the Raven, was a posthumous gift from Drosselmeyer to his ex-lover Edel. It is not clear why Drosselmeyer chose to have his book published in its unfinished state, but in hindsight the decision was fortuitous. He fell ill shortly after the publication of this novel, and died a year later without ever producing an ending to the story.


Home Cooking
(Lottie is trying to learn to cook; Tiana helps. This is super ridiculously adorable. I love that the story makes the point that while Lottie's a little silly, that doesn't mean she isn't smart.)
Lottie sniffles, but at least doesn’t wipe her eyes on her apron. Tiana would have had to say something, because she can’t help but run a clean kitchen, even when it’s not her own. “I don’t think I’m cut out for this whole lifestyle,” Lottie mourns, sweeping some onion peels to the side so that Tiana has a place to rest her elbows. (Tiana, of course, picks up the knife and begins chopping out of sheer habit.)

“There are lots of different lifestyles,” Tiana says firmly. “There’s no shame in not being cut out for one, so long as you work hard with what you’ve got.” And then, because she’s learned a thing or two since she met Naveen, or maybe just remembered what her daddy taught: “And make sure you’ve got love, but honey, everybody loves you already.”

The Thing About Good Food
(Naveen is insistent on learning to cook! Tiana thinks it is a bad idea, but eventually agrees. DISASTER ENSUES. Naveen's enthusiasm is very endearing. My very favorite part of this fic is the last line; it's darling and I giggled forever. I'm not quoting it here because I think it should be read in context, but for real: I beamed.)
He doesn’t even blink before launching into his plea. “But, Tiana, you are single-handedly preventing me from my goal of learning how to do everything.”


“Yes, absolutely everything! I must, after all, make up for all my idyllic years of uselessness, no? I have already mastered ‘doing the dishes’, and I am well on my way to understanding the confusion of your streetcar system, but now here you are, standing in the way of my noble goal.” A person could go cross-eyed trying to keep up with all his dramatic gestures.


(This is really lovely!)
When Inigo was twenty-four, he still loved swords. He loved using his sword to slice up teddy bears (for practice) and to cut up meat (for the kittens). He took pride in keeping his sword sharp and free of blood (for Inigo, there was nothing worse than people who didn't clean their swords, except – of course – the six-fingered man).

When Westley was twenty-four, he knew exactly what love was. His heart twisted with it whenever he thought of Buttercup. She was beautiful (perhaps not as witty as he would have hoped, but she was certainly strong-minded and that was enough for Westley). He thought about his love for Buttercup every night before going to bed and every morning before getting up. He despaired over it and wondered if Buttercup would ever return his affections. He sang soft ballads about it underneath her windowsill until she threw her left boot out the window at him.


Everybody Knows (Except You)
(Inspector Japp, Miss Lemon, and Hastings all notice what's going on before the great Hercule Poirot.)
Monsieur Hercule Poirot knew that it is the smallest of details which makes the difference, which can turn the case on its head. How often he had explained such to police or gathered suspects. Yet when presented with it, with a single word, but the most telling of words, he very nearly missed it.

It was shortly after Hastings’ return from Argentina, when he had settled at Whitehaven Mansions for an undefined period of time. They slipped comfortably into the same old routines from long ago. And then, one morning over croissants and coffee, Hastings asked “I say, Hercule, could you pass the butter?”

The comment passed unnoticed at the time, and like a fool, he did not notice the import of the statement until nearly lunchtime, when with a start, and the exclamation of “I am ten thousand times an idiot!” the moment of clarity arrived.


A Nice Normal Evening
(Poor Annabeth and Percy just can't win. Every time the phrase "dumb and shouty" was repeated in this fic, I laughed like a monkey.)
Percy rolled his eyes. For someone so smart, Annabeth could be dense sometimes. "Yeah, of course I wanted to go out. I thought we could have a date. Do something normal together."


"Well, yeah. Something that people our age do. Something that doesn't involve fighting mythical creatures and hoping that today isn’t the day that we die."

"I think I can make time for you, Percy. I don't think you should hold out for normal, though. Anything with you's going to be weird."

It Wouldn't Happen to Homer
(The first-person Percy voice is utterly delightful!)
Probably bad poetry isn't the best gift you could give to a child of Athena - knowing they're smart enough to do better with both hands tied behind their backs and a pen in their teeth is a bit depressing, if nothing else - but what else did I have going? We couldn't really go on a date like mortals do without drawing every monster in a hundred mile radius, and nothing says "hey, want to make out now?" better than being chased by fire-breathing drakons halfway from the movie theatre to the closest open area. Not that I'm talking from experience, or anything.

We could probably go see a play here at camp, but Mr D has been on this huge Euripides kick for, like, the last hundred years, and all of those plays are just depressing. Nothing that really gets you in the romance mood, you know?


Involuntary Response
(THIS WAS WRITTEN FOR ME AND I WANT TO ROLL IN LEAF PILES WITH IT. Or, maybe more appropriately, cavort through Mood with it. The voices for both of them are spot on [the high-energy singing! the southern belle impression! TERRIBLE DANCING] and the writer somehow managed to successfully juggle silliness with something much more touching, and make it look effortless.)
A couple months later, he doesn't miss the cameras that much but it still feels weird to take a nap in his studio and not get hassled for it. To not wake up and see Austin bent over a sewing machine or pinning something to a dress form. To know that no one's going to argue with him over his fabric choices or put the wrong kind of sleeves on something or try to add a cape even though adding a cape is almost never appropriate. He calls Austin while he's at the fabric store, hesitating between a couple bolts of fabric.

"What do you think? Chiffon or mousseline?"

"Chiffon," Austin says immediately.

Santino looks between the bolts for a long moment. "I'm getting the mousseline." He can actually hear Austin rolling his eyes on the other end of the line.

"Is the mousseline fuchsia?" he says.

Santino briefly considers lying. "Yes," he admits a little grudgingly.

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