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) wrote2011-12-28 01:57 am

Yuletide recs: part deux

I continue to systematically barrel my way the fuck through the archives! EVERYTHING IS YULETIDE AND NOTHING HURTS! The only way my days can possibly get better is if I had cake!! (Note to self: make cupcakes tomorrow. Note to anyone reading this: it is late and I am punchy.) Part 1 can be found on Dreamwidth or on livejournal.

Fake Plastic Life
(Character piece on Alexander; the voices and the insights are fantastic.)
Alexander closed his eyes and focused on positive thoughts, starting with the thought of not punching his commander-to-be in the face. Then he gritted his teeth, picked up the prosthetic by two pairs of fingers, and put it on. For some reason, he was expecting it to feel like a victory. Instead it felt like a wearing a dead animal, only stickier.

Two months later, he was taking the skullcap home at night.

Galaxy Quest Episode 57: "The Fairest of Them All"
(A fan page write-up for a Galaxy Quest episode, right down to memorable quotes and continuity errors. So fun!)
Most of the actors remember this episode as one of their favorites, with the exception of Gwen DeMarco, who has gone on record in several interviews to complain about its problematic glorification of the alternate Taggart as a seductive alpha male, and about how uncomfortable the bikini was to run in. She did, however, state that it was “fun” to get to hit Jason Nesmith with a large painting of herself.

The episode was nominated for the Gernsback Award that year, but lost to Flash Gordon.

The Alien Lover
(I had no idea I wanted to read Galaxy Quest fan fiction so badly, BUT I TOTALLY DID. This one follows Laliari's interest in humans; so charming!)
When she was a scholar at the local academy of knowledge, Laliari often heard others talk about their ideal mate.

“He will have blue skin with pink shading,” Hyluntir would say, waving a tentacle for exaggeration. “And we will breed three sets of spawn.”

“Oh, I want four,” Gthur would say, eyes turning iridescent with longing. “Four breedings and a grullp.”

Five Songs Make a Story // Five Stories a Song
(This is sweet, and I have a ridiculous weak spot for (A) this cast [even fictional versions of them] (B) being funny and absurd and sweet together.)
Ah, young love. Or, Chris amends, young actors and their casual physical boundaries. But that still doesn't explain the- Oh! Of course.

"I've got gadgets and gizmos aplenty!" rang Darren's voice above the crowd. "I've got whozits and whatsits galore!"

Someone, Chris thinks it might be Harry but it's hard to tell a) at that volume and b) with everyone else talking, shouts, "Not that again! Sing something new!"

The Cheesecake of Christmas Present
(This is flawless, and bittersweet and sad and uplifting all at once. The character voices are excellent and the grasp on all of the canon details is intense and I suspect I know who wrote this, and I love it.)
"Any further interruptions?" Sophia looks around. "No? Okay. Picture it, Sicily, 1922. It's three days before Christmas, and the boat leaves for America on Christmas Eve. I've got my suitcase packed. I've picked my outfit for steerage. I'm leaving behind my family for the sake of the American Dream. Mama knows this. Mama knows that she and the family will come join me in a year or two. And Mama just won't shut up about spending Christmas alone. You'd think she was the one getting ready to spend weeks in a cramped bunk between two strange men. Of course, if you're Blanche -- "

"Watch it, old woman."

Got High Apple Pie in the Sky Hopes
(This is adorable fic about the little girl in the Google theme [which I happen to use] where everyone is waiting at the bus stop. I love Yuletide.)
You've always been concerned with the sky, for as long as you can remember. (Which may not be so long; you're pretty young, it's true.) Let's face it, though, the sky is where it's at.

It's where all the best things happen. You can spend the day chatting with your friend, the giraffe, (it's no good on the ground; she can't reach down that far) or put the very last snowball on top of a very tall snowman. You can climb the tallest ladder anyone's ever seen, just to see who's up there.

in this world of hope and risk
(This is exactly the post-canon Hanna/Sophie fic that I dreamed of after seeing the movie.)
Hanna remembers the warmth of Sophie’s lips against hers, the candy-sweet taste of her mouth. Kissing requires a total of 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. Hanna had thought kissing would be difficult when she read that in her book, but it had been easy, kissing Sophie.

Let your hand melt a hole in the frost
(This is fun! Alex meets a superhero and is very frustrated that no one seems to care, until she meets Rosalie.)
"Dating's stupid," Max puts in. "May I recommend lots of casual sex and a sweet beautiful princess kitty to come home to?"

Penny kicks him. "Grindr's not available for us, you know that."

"Sucks to be you," he says. "Best thing that ever happened to me. Don't even have to get dressed usually."

The screen finally flickers to life. Alex goes to Google and enters "Chicago superhero lady in leather".

Stay and See (What Becomes of Us)
(Oh my God, the Helga voice. Everyone is great here, but HELGA G. PATAKI I LOVE YOU AND YOUR REFUSAL TO BE ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. OH, KIDS!)
Arnold scrambles down the ladder after her. “Helga, you’re not being fair. I know you’re better and kinder than this. I know it.”

Helga pivots in the corridor outside of Mr. Hyunh’s room, bag dutifully following and bumping into her hip. “What do you know about me? Bupkiss,” she spits. “Goose egg. Less than your batting average, buddy. Newsflash, football-head: the world laughs at wussy little bleeding-hearts like you. I don’t want to be one, and I sure as heck don’t want to be with one.” A final messenger bag collision — this time with the hallway phone — precedes her thunderous passage down the stairs and out of the house.

Five Times Marshall Didn't Slap Barney
(The tone and the voices are dead-on, and the author makes fucking fabulous use of all of the show's stylistic quirks and tricks.)
"How did you get rid of this one?" Robin asked. "Wait, no, let me guess, you're a doctor who specializes in separating Siamese twins and you got paged for an urgent case of, uh, Siamesean."

"Oh, I've got one," said Lily. She always liked this game. "He's a scientist and they've just discovered life on Mars!"

"Better," acknowledged Robin. "But what about an admiral, who just returned from ..."

OK, kids. This went on for awhile. Anyway …

Jane Eyre Has a Posse
(Jane Austen's Fight Club meets the Charlotte Brontë Fight Club with Some Contributions from Emily Brontë. It is just as brilliant as you would expect.)
"I want you to hit me as hard as you can," said Lizzy Bennet halfheartedly to Elinor Dashwood, who shrugged and yawned in response. Lizzy turned her attentions next to Fanny Price, who only sipped her tea with equanimity. "Who am I fooling?" said Lizzy glumly. "Hit me or don't; it makes very little difference."

"I am Marianne Dashwood's crippling sense of ennui."

Elizabeth Bennet and the Pandemonium Undertaking
(This is another OH MAN, ONLY YULETIDE moment; I honestly don't even want to spoil anything about this, because the moment that I first understood what was going on was such a great one.)
If I do not care for Miss Crawford, I care for Mr Crawford even less. He is a rake and a scoundrel who played with the affections of my cousins Maria and Julia. He made love to my cousin Maria despite her being engaged to Mr Rushworth and now that Maria is gone to Bristol with her new husband and Julia, he is attempting to pay his attentions to me, as I am the only one left for him to charm--and he is the sort of young man who is at a loss if he is not charming someone. But I am not charmed.

If I had an unsightly growth, I would name it Henry Crawford.

(Lovely, quiet post-canon fic with Jane and Rochester.)
"We could host a ball."

Jane goes still and quiet. She has no complaints about their life together, but their life is theirs alone. Her husband was never the most social of creatures, and his sensitivity over his disfigurement has faded only with her continued encouragement. Surely the townspeople and their neighbors must have questions, swap rumors about them, but Jane has never brought herself to care for the opinion of others. It's her own heart and conscience she must answer to.

"Your enthusiasm is overwhelming," he says dryly."

Adèle Varens
(Oh, I love this! Adèle is 19 and a grown lady, but still irrepressible and independent as ever. The style is a perfect pastiche.)
I know perfectly well that I remain a vexatious topic between them, as Miss Jane has always loved me as her own daughter, or nearly, and Mr. Rochester is cautious about any action that could be interpreted as claiming me as his own. I do understand he is trying to protect Henri's future, but really, sometimes his English caution reaches the ridiculous.

Even So Come
(I always felt sad for Rosamund Oliver, and frustrated as fuck at St. John. This is a lovely, lovely fix.)
“St. John,” you say, infinitely softly, “do marry me, and help me spend my money. I have plenty of bonnets, and parasols. It is ready to do good, so much good, for the land you once loved, and do love, and will love again.”

He shoves his chair back roughly, and stands, raising you to your feet in the process. “God,” he murmurs, hoarsely. "I've been shattered."

Please please please...
(#1: go watch the ad; it is adorable and an entire movie theater full of people coo'd out loud at it when I went to see Sherlock Holmes last week. #2: read this fic, which made me incredibly nostalgic for the impatience of waiting for Christmas as a kid [and also for wanting to kill my brother as a kid], and then clap my hands with delight at the ending's surprise crossover.)

Lewis has taken to staring at the stars out of the front room window in the evenings. He's learned the names of the fortune-telling ones from his mum's magazine, but he can't see any stars that look like a fish-goat, even with 3D glasses on to make the shapes stand out.

Earth and Ash
(Pre-film fic; there's something very lyrical and almost otherworldly about the prose.)
Lancelot's smile flashed quick and brilliant, but faded as soon as it arrived. What went on in Lancelot's head, Arthur could not say, but he meant to find out.

They were to be friends, after all.

Working Through the Pain
(The Harry narrative on this one makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.)
I guess you could even say we’re friends, though I can’t imagine saying that to Perry’s face. But fuck him, we totally are; we are secretly friends.

One of the ways I know this is that, after the hospital kicked me out, Perry let me stay at his place, even though he’s got one of those super-expensive homes you see in magazines, where everything is in super-classy shades of gray and you know you’re not supposed to touch anything or you’ll break it. Perry gave me this long lecture about my shoes on the furniture and the temperament of Italian leather, but he let me sleep on his couch, which is roughly the size of a Siberian tiger, and cost more than my first car. And when the hospital sent their bill collectors after me, because it’s not like petty thievery comes with health insurance, Perry paid them off for me. And of all the things he ever bitches at me about, and bitching at me is like his favorite pastime, that never comes up.

the butterfly effect
(The author really, really got the characters down; I can hear all three actors' voices reading these lines, and see them doing these things.)
Ellie gets in early the next morning and finds the two of them passed out on the couch, Ian's head on Alan's shoulder, both of them snoring away. On the floor in front of them is an empty bottle of cheap malt liquor and a notebook covered in equations and badly drawn dinosaur cartoons. She covers her mouth with one hand and tries not to laugh out loud, then grabs a blanket from the closet and tosses it over them before heading off to unpack.

Sometimes I Don't Hate You Anymore
(This song's lyrics are the most problematic shit, but I CAN'T STOP WATCHING the absurdist video, and this fic is SUPER CHARMING and captures the entire feel so, so well!)
Kathy Beth Terry likes to think of herself by all three of her names. It makes her feel important, like a writer or a movie star or something, and like people might listen to her when she's mad. The thing is, it doesn't really work. Because every Friday night she calls up Rebecca Black to tell her that this is Kathy Beth Terry and she would really appreciate it if she could keep it down, and every Friday night, Rebecca says, Oh, honey, and hangs up on her.

Life is a test
(Pitch-perfect hilarious future fic for all of the boys.)
When he was fifteen, after a summer of carefully disguised research and experimentation, Dewey successfully crossed a jet pack with a hot air balloon and fulfilled his lifelong dream of being able to fly to school.

Malcolm offered to patent and commercialise the design (in fact he insisted, then demanded), but Dewey had already put the entire thing up on Wikipedia.

In retaliation, Malcolm told Lois about the jet pack. Lois screamed at Dewey for using her good bed sheets in the balloon part, then confiscated Dewey's only working model. Hal cried, and so did Jamie.

Five Tuesdays in the Life
(What it says on the tin -- five Tuesdays in Mary Poppins's and Bert's lives, and oh, are the tone and the voices perfect.)
Mary Poppins made rooms brighter by standing in them, made hands warmer by touching them, made Bert sleep by singing to him. She made tea for Mummy. She took Bert to the park, to the zoo, to the market, and to the museum. They walked along the Thames and down the Strand and up the steps of St. Paul’s. He showed her his favorite screevers with pride, but they all knew her name. “Mary Poppins!” said every single one with great cheer. They drew pictures of her, drew flowers for her, and snuck him bits of chalk when she wasn’t looking.

Between You, Me, and the Stove
(Fuck is this one a heartbreaker; the writer did an amazing job of capturing the sadder, darker, bittersweet side of the show. It's all written in letters from Father Mulcahy to his sister (the sister) (and to the stove, because when they're about confessions that he has heard, he immediately burns them), and oh, god. The character voices are all excellent, but Mulcahy in particular -- with his need to help, and his uncertainty that he's doing any good, and all of his insights on the other characters -- just killed me. I cried, multiple times [I also laughed, as you do with any MASH fic worth its salt]. This is one of those where you finish [and it's a doozy, too; 20,000+ words] and everything hurts. Which is a compliment, I promise. Also, on a less-serious note, THERE ARE SHOUT-OUTS TO MY HOMETOWN! Leave me alone, Maine does not often get namechecked in fiction.)
I do sometimes wonder why I was assigned to a unit that has all of two Catholics. Don’t get me wrong, I can perform an Ecumenical service general enough to appease all the faithful, or it would if any of those faithful ever bothered to show up. I’ve even performed a Jewish service or two in my time. But as unattended as my services are, the dying and the dead can and do benefit from the presence of a priest. In performing the Last Rites, I’m seeing to the souls of young men minutes away from meeting God. If I don’t help them prepare, they could be lost. The thought of failing even one of them keeps me moving from body to body, and from operating table to operating table. The doctors, I fear, think it’s a bit ghoulish. They don’t understand that what I do is far less about death and far more about ensuring as best I can that those in my charge are granted eternal life. The responsibility is staggering, only dwarfed by the cost of failure.

(Oh my god. I don't even like pugs or Michael Fassbender, but I howled my way through this story. My ribs legitimately hurt. The set-up is genius, the jokes are fantastic, and YOU KNOW this is what your dog does while you're at work all day. YOU KNOW! ONLY IN YULETIDE. MOST ENTHUSIASTIC OF RECS RIGHT HERE.)
“And how was your day, little man?” she asked.

Pugsley did his best to radiate y’know, little sleeping, little chilling, little eating as she got changed, but inside his heart was beating like a drum. He had to find something relevant to blog about, he thought, he had to find something that people would like and want to follow. Fuckyeahdogfood didn’t seem like it had a broad enough appeal. He didn’t want to buy into the objectification of pugs on the cutesey blogs. He needed to find something to blog about that would get him hits and the adoration he deserved.

A Sword Sharp as Your Wit
(THIS IS THE BEST!!!! It's an ADVENTURE STORY starring Carla the Sword Master!!!)
"Maybe it's time for you to leave," she said evenly. "I hate to get a nice clean tavern floor all bloody so early in the evening."

The rat muttered something that sounded like "Oh yeah?" as he crawled back from her sword and scrambled out the door.

Carla sheathed her sword and surveyed the room, her look asking— Anyone else? Men turned back to their drinks, and the flow of talk and song resumed as she made her way to the bar.

待龙纹身的女孩 (Dài lóng wénshēn de nǚhái)
(This one is a Mulan/Twisted Princesses fic, and, especially as I didn't realize that second part when I was reading and had to work it out as I went, it is SO BADASS COOL.)
Below, the woman stood in a crouch, likewise waiting. The dragon rose from her skin, the tattoo peeling free and leaping outward as a physical thing, but still anchored to her body. And her eyes, Shang saw with a chill, had frosted over to pure, blind whiteness.

"She can still see," the shortest and stockiest of the Fa said, into the dead silence that had fallen. "She sees with the dragon's eyes, which are better than yours. And she can put a thousand men to flight with a single attack."

Writing with Chopsticks
(Lovely long fic where Mulan finds her place with the emperor's advisors, and with Shang.)
“Oh.” Mulan tried to imagine Shang with a pretty painted wife waiting for him in a beautiful home and failed. “I…um…oh, well, yeah.” She lowered her voice the way she had when she first became Ping. “Good luck with that, man,” she said, awkwardly punching him in the shoulder.

“Yeah, thanks.” He glanced at his arm. “You still need to work on that, you know. I barely felt it.”

My Drunk Yuletide
(This is the weirdest little fic and I love it.)
How long has it been since you’ve updated your Twitter status? You should do that.

Where did the damn cat go?

Step two: You should probably decide what you’re going to write.

Oh, there’s the cat! The cat looks pissed that you haven’t fed her. Hint: She does not want wine, even if you spill it on the table.

Weddings Take the Cake
(I was laughing hysterically by the third line. I like to pretend that this is a real episode; it certainly reads like one. It is amazeballs and makes me want to be drunk.)
"On this very -- " Hannah starts, and the scene jumps as she retries. "This is a very special-- " A champagne cork blows behind her head. "Bachelorette party!" she concludes. She gestures at the kitchen. The bachelorettes smile and wave.

"My friends Lila and Monique are getting married next week," Hannah tells you, trying for serious and hitting seriously drunk. Already. This is going to be a hell of an episode.

Monsters and Me
(In all honesty, I have no idea what Pioneer Trail is, but it doesn't really matter because this is fantastic. It's about Bess, who hunts ghosts and werewolves and protects people across the wild wild west. So fun!)
Once Ma is settled, Bess heads out on her own. She’s a trick rider and a fast shot, and she knows how to make her way in the world. Following the trail of a vengeful ghost leads her straight into a rodeo, and on a whim, looking for some fun, she signs up to ride the barrels.

She salts and burns and wins a big belt buckle and smiles from a couple of the bull riders.

Bess takes herself back out on the hunt, knowing they’re not safe, but can’t stay away long. She runs smack dab into another rodeo, not following any monster then, just riding until she finds one. There’s a pretty cowgirl who shoots even better'n Bess does and kisses Bess beneath the stars.

The Queen of Carrot Flowers
(Really well-done voices for April, Ron, and Andy, and I loved the little snippets of the others that we got, like Jerry, Tom, and Donna's baby shower gifts!)
“Dude, did you know you’re probably going to poop all over the place when you to push the baby out?” Andy asks. He holds up the book to show her the section he’s reading. “Haha. Gross.”

“Shut up,” she says, because that’s seriously about the grossest thing she can imagine. And not gross in a hilarious Jerry-gets-flesh-eating-bacteria-and-his-face-falls-off kind of way, but gross in a straight-up disgusting kind of way. God, who knew having a baby was going to be this humiliating?

just another saturday night
He knocked again. “Don’t think you can hide from me, bro! I am the right hand of justice and the left hand of jiggy!”

Yes! The telltale sound of footsteps. A second later, the door swung open. “You realize that doesn’t make any sense, right?” Ben asked.

Yo, Bro-friend
(This fic features the phrase "waffle-drunk" and spot-on voices for all of the characters!)
When Sexy Dave gets up to leave, he stops and points out Leslie’s window at the rest of the office -- at Jean-Ralphio, specifically.

"I'm the new guy in town, so I hope you don't mind me asking about him," Sexy Dave explains.

"Oh, that's Jean-Ralphio," Tom says. "He's my bro-friend -- like a boyfriend, but not gay or anything."

"Tom!" Leslie hisses.

"What?" Tom asks. "It's a fact. There's nothing gay between us." He looks at Leslie and then at Sexy Dave. "It's not that Leslie has a problem with --"


0.0109% of the Way to the Moon
(Ann has to come up with an awesome project for Pawnee's Health department. Leslie helps. Their friendship is my motherfucking favorite, and I really, really want waffles now.)
"Ann, if I didn't know how beautiful you were I'd say you probably got everything in life because of your amazing brain," said Leslie.

Ann wondered if she should feel insulted.

Tried to Hitch a Ride to San Francisco
(A rooftop conversation between my three favorite ladies from these movies, with cameo from Joe, who continues to be the best. Lovely character voices; very fun!)
"So once I'm not queen anymore, I'll be allowed back on the roof," said Mia.

Clarisse raised an eyebrow. "How on earth did you get up here, if I may inquire," she said.

"From the balcony," said Mia.

"You know how Gerard cares for those vines," said Clarisse disapprovingly.

"There was also a pipe," said Mia.

Frame Story
(I can't decide what I love more here: Ahiru and Fakir's story [the cameo from Pique and Lillie is SO GREAT], or the fairy tale about the princesses, which is woven into the story in a delightful way. Seriously, this is gorgeous, and it will forever be What Happened Afterward, for me.)
It was because she'd never had a real family before, Fakir realized. He didn't know much about duck families, and what Papa Duck or Mama Duck had been like. He didn't want to think about it too deeply. But Ahiru had probably never sat down at a table like this and shared bread she had baked like it was a simple thing.

The bread tasted like mealworms, but Fakir ate it anyway.

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