sotto_voce: Joshua Chamberlain staring into the distance, with caption "brains are sexy" ([iCarly] gibby says YESSS!)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2011-12-26 06:15 pm

Yuletide recs: part un

I am making my slow-ass, determined way through the archives, one alphabet letter at a time! (I'M ON TO THE G's! I'll get to Z eventually!) As for my own Yuletide this year, I wrote seven fics in six fandoms for a total of 14,500 words; I obviously can't confirm or deny anything until after the first, but anyone who successfully guesses one of mine will win a ~*prize*~. If you're reading this on Dreamwidth, you'll probably want to do so in ?style=light, as the regular page view fucks with my formatting like whoa.


The F**cking Movie Never Motherf**cking Ends
(This is epic and trippy and motherfucking magnificent and I cannot rec it strongly enough. It's one of those very special "only Yuletide" experiences. The entire thing is written in @MayorEmanuel style fake tweets, following Rahm's exploits in the other dimension, and it reads like Dan Sinker wrote it. The whole thing is absolutely killer, but his adventures through Occupy Chicago and with Kanye West in particular slayed me. And I do mean slayed; I laughed myself into multiple can't-breathe coughing fits.)
"Hi, I'm Hayden! I'm here because I'm really concerned about accountability and the federal bank bailouts." 10/15/11 7:46:02 PM

Hi Hayden, I'm Decatur Staley, I like long walks on the beach, piña coladas, and fucking the eye sockets of my motherfucking enemies. 10/15/11 7:51:34 PM

With One Eye Open
(Lovely fic where Ripley, Newt, Bishop, and Hicks find their way after ... was Aliens the first or the second movie? I can never remember. But I can read this and pretend that the later movies never happened!)
Ripley tightens her grip and Newt does the same. "They were scared," Ripley says. "People don't always do smart things when they're scared."

"You do," Newt says.

"Not always," Ripley says.

Rilla of Toronto
(Confession: I didn't read the later Anne books nearly as carefully as I did the early ones, where Anne was a girl, so I don't ... actually always remember who each of these characters are and how they're related to each other. I could really, really use Rilla's Powerpoint flowchart. But this is so charming! It's an AU set in modern day, and the IM conversations between Rilla and Una in particular are just great.)
rilla1986: you're right, una
rilla1986: and I have this idea
rilla1986: it's a terrible idea
rilla1986: by which I mean amazing
rilla1986: and when you wake up in three hours and see this
rilla1986: you're going to pot kettle me for the next century

Daughters Like This
(Una and Faith try to work out how to be a lady.)
Una nodded. "Quite sure, yes." She frowned. "I don't think I'd like to be a lady very much anymore. I don't much like the idea of having to dislike you."

"Me neither," Faith agreed. "I suppose what we'll have to do, then, is to become our own brand of lady."

An Inclement Day for Picnicking
(This is perfectly Anne, trying to find a way to be there both for Diana's birthday and for an important event for Gilbert. The tone is just -- mmf! Are you sure you are not L.M. Montgomery, anonymous author? Are you sure??)
Anne's lips thinned in a frown of determination and will so reminiscent of her guardian that for a moment, Anne and Marilla might have appeared blood kin. She would find a way to show both of her dearest their importance to one Anne Shirley.

"After all," Anne said to herself, her frame of mind leavening, "if a Redmond BA, principal at Summerside school and tamer of wily Pringles cannot divine a solution, it is certainly impossible!"

What This Means
(Jules is injured, and, with some help from Tony, Jess starts to figure out what they mean to each other. Simple and understated and really lovely.)
The door is open and Jules is sitting on a bed, leg stretched out in front of her. Jess abandons the nurse and dashes forward into Jules’ open arms.

“Are you okay?” Jess asks, the question buried in Jules’ hair.

“They had to wait for the swelling to go down to get a good x-ray,” Jules says. She seems cheerful enough, and Jess relaxes her hold enough to pull back so she can see Jules’ face. “You should have seen it, the entire ankle was like a balloon!”

The Cooperative Cetacean Extrication
(You guys, this is hilarious. All of the Middleman-y details and nicknames are perfection [I think my favorite is when Wendy calls Aquaman 'Captain Ahab'] and I could not stop laughing at all of Aquaman's bellowed dialogue.)
"My formal uniformed friend!" the big man bellowed. "A pleasure as always." He grabbed the Middleman's hand and shook it, then followed the gesture with a slap to the back that almost made Boss stagger. Wendy blinked, wishing she could see what would happen if this guy took on Sensei Ping. Whoa. "And who is this lovely young seaflower with you, old chum?"

(This is just as anarchistic as the show; very funny and frighteningly on-tone.)
Bernard flailed like a poorly operated Muppet. "No, not that abominable hairy creature - a pig! Swine!" He staggered over to sit at his desk, slapping his hand down on the counter top and groping for the wine bottle. He uncorked it, poured himself a glass, and swallowed it in one swig before continuing as if uninterrupted. "Pork! Ambulatory bacon! This little piggy went to market - it went 'wee, wee, wee' all the way home. Except it didn't go home, Fran!" He shook his head emphatically. "No, no, no, no, no. It didn't. This little piggy has occupied Little Bevan Street! It is a protestor. A piggy against the machine."

Our Thing
(I made noises while reading this. They mostly went: AHAHAHA! HAHAHA! AHAHAHAHJSDLSG! I've never seen Christopher Hanke speaking as himself [only as Bud Frump in the musical he's in with Radcliffe], but I hope the real man is anywhere near this devious. Also, I love any and all references to Susan Blackwell and her amazing interviews.)
Dan makes one of his Weird British Noises (still a bit like an annoyed hedgehog, but wearing a monocle this time, somehow).

“And you’re sure it’s not just this Blackwell woman.”

“Chyeah,” Christopher says, brilliantly.

Like Old Times
(Ben is in the Canadian woods with just Darryl the wendigo for company, and occasional visits from Abe. On one of those visits, they do an investigation together. The attention to creepy, creepy detail is wonderful, and so are the character voices.)
“Have any trouble finding the place?” Ben quipped as the footsteps crunched louder and stopped behind him.

“A porch light would help,” Abe Sapien said coolly. He’d gotten used to Ben’s sorry attempts at jokes; spending months at a time alone in the woods with a monster for company would suddenly make any horrible pun seem hilarious.

Grocery Run
(MADDY WESTEN IS THE BIGGEST BADASS ON THIS SHOW AND NO ONE CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. She has multiple 'crowning moment of awesome' moments in this fic that are so good that I actually clapped like a seal at each of them.)
Trying not to let her gun hand shake, she moved to close the trunk. "Who are you?" he asked finally, a faint accent showing through his careful English.

"Just call me Mama Westen," she replied thoughtlessly before she could second-guess herself. He gave her a rewardingly bug-eyed stare from the back of the compartment; and after a moment, she let the lid slam closed.

(Detailed and layered, and heed the warnings, for sure, but I thought this was a really interesting take on a potential end for an in-progress work! I liked that the point of view was generally with Jord or Nicaise.)
At night there were feasts and lavish entertainment and Nicaise drank little but noticed much. Laurent grew ever more tense as the days ran down to his coronation and the slave would not move from his side, looking more and more like a vicious hunting dog than a domesticated pet poodle.

a kind of grace that shades everything
(READ ALL OF THE BUCKY/STEVE/PEGGY! This is all great, but I especially appreciated the author's Peggy-voice.)
Bucky, of course, has already moved on from shocked to speculative. "I like the way you think, Agent Carter." He taps Steve's chest with the back of his hand. "You sure do know how to pick 'em, Steve. I'll say that for you."

"Gentlemen," she says, and it's perhaps the bravest thing she's ever done, "my quarters, nineteen hundred sharp."

The More Things Change
(This is in-character, well-handled Steve/Bucky with a whole lot of great lines from the Howling Commandos, and that respects and includes Peggy in ways that I thought were great.)
"Well, let's face it, we're kinda memorable," Jim said. "You got Cap for a start, all done up in his stars and stripes - and then, even without him, we're desegregated, two of us ain't even American, and nobody in the whole US Army has a moustache as gaudy as Dum-Dum's."

"You got a problem with my moustache?" Dugan said.

"Not at all, it's very fetching!"

(Peggy goes to the Stork Club. It's sweet and sad, and the Peggy-voice is great.)
“Hard to picture Steve in a place like this,” Howard comments next, and Peggy’s shoulders stiffen. It’s not hard for her at all to imagine Steve here, sitting next to her, perhaps drawing a quick sketch on his napkin of the scene in front of him.

It’s not hard at all to imagine him standing up and offering his hand, shyly leading her out to the floor where they would—

Peggy can imagine it, all too easily, which is why she refuses to do so.

no rapunzel she
(I love this character study of Peggy, and of just how hard her career path would have been, SO MUCH!!! The period details are killer, too.)
"We expect you girls to grow up to be the kinds of wives and mothers that the Empire needs," Miss Bronson was fond of saying. She was the principal, an older woman who always smelled vaguely lavender mothballs, who kept a framed official photograph of the royal family on her desk and still disapproved of women with bobbed hair. She approved of neatly-darned stockings, because they showed industry and thrift; she encouraged everyone to take part in hockey and lacrosse, because team games built character.

The Cinder-Fellow
(I don't know the Lackey canon at all, but this is SO DELIGHTFUL as a Cinderella story, with the Cinderella figure being a man, the prince not wanting to be a king, and the teenage feminist princess who wants to rule all. Highly recommended fairy tale!)
"Although I don't see what the problem is," Queen Delia added doubtfully. "She doesn't seem to be under any sort of curse."

"Of course not," agreed Elena. "But hasn't she been pining away with love for the mysterious nobleman she met at her brother's ball?"

The King and Queen exchanged baffled glances. "Er…no?" said the King.

"The man she danced with the whole evening? Who left as the clock struck twelve?"

"She's not yet allowed to stay up past midnight," said the King. "She's only fourteen."

Unreasonable Degrees of Happiness
(Cher and Josh through the years, growing up together. It's really, really sweet; the Clueless fic I never knew I wanted.)
One of the unwashed, a girl named Sunny, who smells like patchouli and onion rings, is talking loudly next to her. “And if people could just realize what the limits are—the glass ceiling hurts women more than anything—”

“Oh!” Cher interrupts. “Are you talking about the atrium at the Beverly Center? Did you go the new Gucci store?”

Dallased (Intro to Dream Interpretation 101)
(Holy shit. In which the gang has dreams where they're in various canons. It is so, so funny and epic; I strongly suggest not looking at the list of fandoms, and just reading it blind. The transitions are even funnier when you don't know what's coming!)
"And then I woke up, and told Troy about it," Abed finished.

"Oh, well that's nice," Shirley said carefully. She looked over to where Pierce had nodded off. "Should someone wake him up?"

"No, if we're lucky he'll sleep until we're done. And Abed, you told Troy? Troy, who stopped you five times to ask what happened next during the interminable period in which you were telling us that story? He had already heard the story?" Jeff asked.

Troy shrugged. "I get excited."

22 Short Fics About Abed Nadir
(What it says on the tin; absorbing.)
The point isn’t how many oddly specific capitalized phrases Abed can apply to his friends (answer: many). The point is how well they all fit together. In real life, groups of misfits just don’t assemble like this. A group so coincidental diverse but harmonious while still producing consistent tension has to be the result of network interference.


Cool, cool, cool.

Fandom Studies
Half an hour later, they were staring at something called Archive Of Our Own.

“Oh my god,” said Troy. “Oh my god.”

Abed’s eyes were wide as he scrolled down the list of hundreds of Inspector Spacetime stories. “We will never run out of storylines,” he said, sounding almost in awe.

“Click on that one!” Troy said excitedly, pointing. “Look, does that slash between their names mean that the Inspector and the Constable are like one person? Maybe it’s a two-headed Insponstable!”

Troy & Abed in the Yuletide
(ALL OF IT!!!)
“We’re everyone’s favorite pairing,” said Abed. “So far I’ve written two. In the first we fought a giant spider which bit you and you would have died but I sucked the poison out of your wound and then I nearly died, but Annie cried Disney Princess tears which saved me and we had a group hug. In the second Pierce locked us in the meat locker in the cafeteria and we cuddled to stay warm but it wasn’t enough so we took a hot shower together to recover.”

“So basically an average everyday week at Greendale,” said Troy.

even the stars fade away
(More serious -- but still in-character and funny; with a sadder, more bittersweet tinge -- look at how in the world a relationship between Troy and Abed would actually work.)
"You're really awesome at acting," Troy says. "You should get out from behind the camera sometime." He says this last part extra quiet, because he told his family that Abed was studying business.

"Nah," Abed replies, not moving his hands or shoulders, not changing his facial expression. "I like being myself." He makes it sound like it's not a big deal, but Troy wonders if maybe it is.

But I Don't Know Nothing 'Bout Love
(Troy and Abed figure things out.)
"I looked up what The Joy of Garbage is actually about, and it's supposed to help us turn green and recycle and stuff," Troy announces, ignoring the weird looks the other coffee shop patrons give him.

Jeff doesn't even look up from his phone. "Countdown to the Hulk reference in 3... 2... 1..."

"Does this mean we get to touch radioactive waste and turn into the Incredible Hulk?" Troy asks, then shakes his head. "Damn it! I know it's too good to be true, why did I have to ask?"

(I really enjoy how almost every fic in the archive is either Troy/Abed or Troy/Abed/Annie. This one is the latter, and Annie's attempts to subtly show them that she's okay with their relationship are hilarious!)
She puts her head on Abed's shoulder, except when she looks over at his neck, she's pretty sure she can see scratches on the back and trailing toward the front that Troy must have left there. She looks away and snuggles closer, glad again that Troy is so comfortable and sure about his and Abed's relationship that he doesn't feel threatened by this. Jealousy is awful.

She's glad no one here is jealous.

Extended Options in Twosomes
(Abed and Annie are bonding, and Troy feels left out. PITCH PERFECT, y'all.)
The next day, Vice Dean Laybourne kidnapped Troy to interrogate him on how he repaired the ventilation system using paper clips, a rubber hammer thingy, and a bunch of those teeny wrenches. Troy escaped by tripping Black Hitler and kidney-punching Lady George Washington, and then ran until he found Abed and Annie in the study room, dressed as Neo and Trinity and holding paintball guns.

What Normal People Do
(I enjoyed the quiet domesticity in this one, and Annie getting used to the weird.)
She looks from one to the other. Troy looks hopeful, the way he looks hopeful when they're asking her to make shadow puppets or to help them build the world's tallest paperclip castle. Abed only looks careful, like he's trying to work out her cues. They're tousled manchildren who smell like popcorn and grape soda – and they have just proposed to her. They have just proposed a crazy imaginary threesome wedding with wedding pancakes.

The Sinister Scheme of Sneezy Batman
(Troy's mortal fear of cats is hilarious.)
“Sneezy, like the dwarf!” Annie said. She was getting excited about the idea.

“Obviously we should call him Batman,” Abed said.

“I vote for Demonspawn,” Troy muttered. Both Annie and Troy ignored him.

Annie put on her “I’m going to be the reasonable grownup” face. “We can compromise,” she said. “Sneezy Batman!”

Getting Paid
(I love the way that the writer used prose and narrative to get into Deadpool's hilarious fractured head.)
"Come on, Wade. We never see you anymore. At least tell us what's going on, or if you're going to get us killed."

"Weasel," Deadpool said, "Weasel Weasel Weasel, I am in deep with something so cool, so huge that your head would explode if I could possibly tell you."

Below, two young women strolled hand in hand across the quad. A stray dog peed on a statue.

Out Cold
(Gosalyn is sick. My childhood rises before me!!!)
"Oh, no, have we come down with another case of a history test?" Dad asked. "Don't tell me it's unfinished book report-itis!" He sighed. "Not one of your better performances... Come on, Gos, you could throw in a few fake coughs. At least a sneeze?" He held his hand against her forehead. "Oh."

"I told you. Can I--" He was already gone. Dad didn't really have a setting between sarcastic and super-worried--Gosalyn wasn't surprised when he came back with the thermometer, the first aid kit, and a dictionary sized book that was probably The Hypochondriac's Guide to Sick Daughters.

Getting to Know You
(The voices, with Lucy being a force of nature and all, are so great in this. McClane/Matt fic is basically a Yuletide staple at this point. AND THIS ONE IS GREAT. The voices are genius and the little details in Matt's point-of-view third-person perspective in the narrative are fucking hilarious. I love McClane's friend, too, who is a hilarious kick-ass original female character.)
All told, it turned out not to be the worst play date Matt had ever had. He showed John how to make Tasey play “Back in Black” on its shitty speakers and dance a jaunty little jig, and John showed him how to sweet-talk the nurses into letting them have an entire decadent bottle of apple juice.

(“Go crazy, gentlemen.”

“Thank you, Marcus. We already have.”)

(This AU is chilling and unsettling and so sweet, all at once, thanks to Aurora and Cinderella.)
Her name had been something else, but in The Garden her name was Aurora because she'd arrived at dawn, frightened and alone. Miss DeVil named every flower in her garden, and the names they'd had before were to be forgotten or whipped out of you. She didn't much care for whippings, so Aurora she had easily become.

And it had been rather easy to become Aurora. The Garden was full of girls of varying ages, every one obedient but kind. The Garden was a beautiful house of blood red brick, sumptuously decorated over every inch of its three stories. It boasted classrooms for lessons, parlors for sewing and conversation, and a dining room with an electric-powered chandelier.

From Under a Sky That Is Falling
(The "what the fuck, where did Brandon go?!" story that I wanted after seeing the movie!)
Brandon supposes that there's a better way to come out to your parents besides leaving them a note reading "I'm gay, bitches!" and skipping town, but hey, it's what worked for him. Within hours of his departure, he's text bombed not only by his parents but by nearly everyone in his contact list and people he doesn't even know.

No Prince Charming
(AU where Nancy is the one to find Giselle, not Robert. IT'S GORGEOUS and I shall now ship these two ladies until the end of all time.)
“Yes,” Nancy cuts in hurriedly. “So Giselle’s going to give us a hand with everything, right, Giselle?” But when she turns to Giselle for confirmation, she’s not there.

Concerned—the woman came out of a manhole and generated a five-car pile-up in the middle of Times Square, for pete’s sake, and then there were the cockroaches this morning—Nancy looks around hurriedly. She finds Giselle sitting at a sewing machine, the needle practically flying across the hem of a large maroon skirt as she operates the machine as if she were born to it. Thirty seconds later, she stands up, cuts the thread, and hands the now-finished skirt to the stunned woman standing behind her.

don't wanna be taught to be no fool
(Cameron's neurotic, agonized voice is perfect here, and the subtlety of the Cameron-Sloane-Ferris connections is really lovely.)
"It's a Homecoming dance, not the seventh circle of Hell."

"Explain the difference to me."

Because, really, Cameron can't imagine Hell being much different - or worse - than wearing a ridiculous blue silk shirt no one else under the age of forty would be caught dead in, doing an awkward shuffle that's closer to having a seizure than dancing, to the oh-so-torturous song stylings of Menudo, all the while being cooped inside Shermer High's gymnasium for two and a half hours. ("You're overreacting," says Ferris, before swigging back his Pepsi and gargling it so the acidic contents wash over every square inch of his mouth.)

One Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Feet
(Apparently, what I really wanted out of my childhood obsession with this movie was threesome fic. And this is an excellent one! I love the Sloane point of view, and the fact that she works at Sassy, and that I've now read multiple Yuletide fics that reference Sassy.)
Sloane's always been a girl with a plan. A few of them, in order: Talk her mom into buying the Frosted Flakes. Be the first sixth grade captain of the soccer team. Steal her sister's off-the-shoulder sweatshirt for the first day of high school. Marry Ferris Bueller. Go to school far away from Chicago. Major in anthropology so she can get a PhD. Do not marry anyone. Do not major in anthropology and switch to journalism instead. Kiss Cameron, to get that look off his face. To figure out what she wants. To put a different look on Ferris's face.

Diamond Dust
(This is a really lovely detailed look at Celes.)
At the top of the bluff, she found a bird. A gull, one wing extended and dragging. She knelt by it, extending a hand, reaching again for a cure spell, but it stayed just out of her reach. The magic flared and then died, and the bird hopped away from her. She rested her hands on her knees. She couldn't even do one last good thing. Should she put the bird out of its misery? But she'd come unarmed. She couldn't bring herself to stalk the creature just to wring its neck. Maybe given time it could heal without assistance, unlike herself. She stood, and walked to the edge of the bluff. The tears burned her eyes; she hadn't thought she had any more to shed.

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