sotto_voce: Kelly Kapoor beaming at the camera ([the office] like ohmygod!)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2011-12-30 02:04 am

Yuletide recs: part trois

Final round of Yuletide recs under the cut! Part one on LJ/dreamwidth; part two on LJ/dreamwidth.

Christmas in the Cupboard
(In which David Mitchell is delightfully, appropriately misanthropic.)
"Where did you go?" Jimmy asked. Well, the words more tumbled out of his mouth. "Well, I mean, obviously you went here, but why? I didn't offend you, did I? Was jus' joking."

David stared at him for a moment, trying to focus on his face. "No. You didn't offend me. I've grown accustomed to you talking utter bollocks all the time."

As There Is Light, There Is Radiance
(Chihiro and Haku's paths after the film; really, really gorgeous.)
After Chihiro comes back, beyond the making up for a few weeks of lost school time and moving into a house that now needs a good dusting, her journey has its lingering effects. She holds her breath while crossing bridges, is wary of oil lanterns, and finds comfort in even store-bought onigiri, though her mother's homemade food is best. She knows things now. Things are not always what they seem. Follow the instructions you are given. There are rules. Finish what you start. Names have power, even if they are not your own. All dragons are kind. Charms can be broken. Nothing that happens is ever forgotten, even if you can't remember it. There are rules. Don't ever look back.

By the World Forgot
(The story of Kamaji, the boilerman. Just right for the canon.)
He couldn't stay long. Small creatures were short-lived, and he did not know how much time he had left. So he ascended through elevator shafts, past the workers' quarters and guest floors toward the ornate upper rooms that made up Yubaba's quarters.

He began by weaving a few strands of webbing across the door to her bathroom for spite, so that when she got up in the morning she had to wipe the sticky stuff from her face, grumbling. The next night he progressed to weaving his web across her monstrous nostrils and eyelashes. The resulting spectacle satisfied him more than the blood of flies and moths, and he put his mind to finding even more uses for spider silk.

The Answer to Both Your Questions
(The little Stefon touches are SO FUNNY.)
It turns out that place is New York's hottest club... and, well, Seth doesn't catch the name, but Stefon makes a noise that sounds like a goose in a knife fight with a capuchin monkey, so it's something like that. Stefon doesn't really tell Seth much about it on the cab ride to SoBoNoBro. For once, he holds back on the details, only saying, "There are some things that even I can't describe, Seth Meyers," with a satisfied little smile and his eyes wandering over Seth's body.

The Road Leads Where It's Led
(Osgood's mother gives her blessing. I love the backstory for Osgood, and I love his mom, and I love Jerry. I LOVE EVERYTHING!)
"Oh, God," Osgood says when they come in from the garden. He is staring at the wig in Jerry's hand. Jerry smiles.

"Your mother is a very wise woman."

Violet pats Jerry on the arm. "You be good to my son. You'll make a beautiful bride, once we find a way to hide those shoulders of yours."

Jerry puts his hand to his chest. "I happen to think my shoulders are one of my best features."

Tim Bisley's (Probably) Not From Outer Space
(Get-together fic! I loved Tim's bizarre nerdy-ass dreams.)
Tim was used to some pretty strange dreams – and Daisy had been a regular feature of them in one way or another for a while now. But one thing bothered him.

“I thought I’d be Mulder,” he explained to Mike, as they swung back and forth, ignoring the rapidly forming queue of six year olds and their increasingly irate parents. “If Daisy’s Scully, it only makes sense that I’d be Mulder.”

Clear Skies
(Great character voices for both Wedge and Janson, and the attention to canon detail is A++! Very fun! I am so, so happy that X-Wing is being allowed as a rare fandom now.)
"Did the great Wedge Antilles just miss a shot?" Wes crowed, his X-Wing appearing around the side of the mirror and coming into Wedge's line of sight. "I can't believe it. My faith in the universe may have been irreparably damaged. Wait until I tell… hey!"

The tirade broke off as Wedge targeted his wingman's fighter for a split second.

A Disney Prince Consort
(This sounds wonderfully like the characters!)
“Rapunzel,” I said, not that it helped, but it usually took two or three tries.

“--and what about Ancina and Dalmitia and the Navy, oh god I have to finish Father’s reforms on the Navy, I can’t just let Maximus run the Navy, he’s a horse--“


“--he’s a horse, Eugene.”

Don't Go into the Woods, My Love
(This is a crossover with Snow White and the Twisted Princesses fanart that is linked in the author's note, and goddamn is it chilling and creepy and appropriately fairy tale.)
The birds screamed as the princess died, broken on the forest floor; but as she lay bleeding, her eyes white as snow and her skin as cold as winter, her blood turned to vines and, in the cavity of her chest, the forest grew her a new heart.

Compelling Distraction
(Darcy's snark was my very favorite part of Thor, and the author handles it wonderfully here, along with Jane's badass devotion to her work.)
He pauses again, but this time Darcy can guess where he's going. And it isn't that big a deal, she doesn't think. Although it does help that it's coming from Clint and not Coulson, who can make getting a pony seem like it's a punishment.

"We get to keep you? I sure hope you come with money for food. We have to ship it in now, you know."

Take That, Bembridge Scholars!
(If you are anything like me, you were COMPLETELY OBSESSED with Evelyn Carnahan [and had a giant crush on her, not that you fully understood yet that you could have crushes on women] as a kid, and this fic captures her wonderfully. The voices for Rick and Jonathan are great, too, but man, Evie is the best here, spirited and determined and so, so smart.)
“We almost got torn apart,” Rick explained, “and Egypt was actually attacked locusts and flies and boils and sores and, and--"

“Water turning into blood and that sand thing,” Jonathan added gesturing with his flask.

“Yeah, that stuff, too,” Rick said while Evelyn frowned at both of them. “My point is, we almost got killed and your next move is to write a strongly worded letter?”

The Meandering Exploration Experiment
(This is road trip fic! Road trip with epistolary touches like emails and texts! It's fun and funny, and I am sold!)
"I am sorry, Dubbie, but as you know a Middleman must answer when duty calls, even if it happens to be on the fifteenth hole of the Pirates Cove Miniature Golf Extravaganza."

Wendy sat on the coils of a giant fiberglass boa constrictor -- now thankfully motionless and back to its original job of eating brightly colored golf balls and crapping them out onto the putting green -- and dipped her hair into the water hazard. "There's ectoplasm in my hair. Does this stuff come out?"

The Infernal Celibacy Rededication (Or how Roxy decided she didn't need her groove back after all)
(Fabulous Roxy focus; I love her feelings on -- and long connection with -- the Middleman, in particular. And I enjoyed the two cameos from real people; I'd suggest reading the fic without reading the character list so that their appearances are a surprise!)
Inside, it's undeniable. The victim lies on the slab, glassy-eyed and replete. "Oh, all right. Give the sidekick a merit badge or whatever you people do. This is the work of a succubus."

"What did his soul taste like?" Dubby, the sidekick, is really one to hang onto an idea.

Roxy trails a finger down the pale, clammy skin of the man’s throat and pauses over his heart. "Cheeseburgers and high fructose corn syrup. You know the kind, thinks about sex more than he thinks about oxygen. Junk food, to a succubus." She sniffs, disdainfully. "I always preferred a more refined prey."

A Living Fire
(This is an awesome Mattie fic. It's poignant and stark and self-assured, with fabulous style, and feels like a natural carry-on from the film.)
Rooster Cogburn never collected the remainder of his fee, and, for a time, Mattie kept the fifty dollars set aside in the third drawer of her and her sister’s dresser, wrapped up in brown paper and knotted string. After her sixteenth birthday, though, with the clarity of her cynicism, she took that money and hired with it three farm hands to keep her father’s land from falling into disrepair, and a young maid for her mother. Mattie certainly did not intend on living in that wooden poke for the remainder of her life; Victoria, very much her mother’s girl, was not taking well to schooling, and Little Frank had grand dreams of law-enforcement or bounty hunting, no doubt a side effect of Mattie’s stories of her adventures. She found his idealism rather immature; for sure she had never left out a sorrowful detail of those lively times. Boys will be, she supposed.

(Both of the fics in this fandom were written for me, and they are SO GREAT, I can't say enough good about them! They hit all of my dorky-friendships and actually-requited-longing buttons, and are heartwarming and funny and so well-executed.)

A Real Florence Nightingale
(This one is based on the premise that the boys are in college and have already been together for a period of time that is unspecified but I kind of assume is 'a while,' and are on study abroad in different locations. When Ed turns up for a visit, Devon is sick, and snarky banter and adorable ensues. The voices fit perfectly with what you'd expect based on the canon, and I love the genial ease and sweetness of their relationship.)
Ed shrugs, the goofy grin he turns on Devon so familiar it breaks his heart. "We can take in the amazing sights of your dorm room, where I will pick all the movies, because you fall asleep in the middle even when you're not sick. Someday you're going to see the end of Remember the Titans, even if I have to tape your eyelids open."

"I've stayed awake through every Lord of the Rings movie, extended editions included!" Devon protests, then blows his nose.

"Totally different class of movie, dude."

"Your face is a totally different class of movie."

And so the vampire fell in love with Frankenstein
(First of all: the title is in reference to a seriously hilarious Twilight reference, which was included due to the author's fabulous eagle eye in spotting one of the characters reading the first book in the video. Second of all: I love this fic so bad; the boys are in high school when Ed moves in next door, and they start what Devon's sister insists is a Luddite courtship, via signs in windows. I love so many things about this; the teenage awkwardness, the stingrays, the enthusiasm, the Disney fairy tale allusion and the jokes -- and I love the supporting cast, too; Devon's sister, and the fact that there is lovely narrative sympathy for Ed's girlfriend instead of turning her into That She-Devil Who Is In The Way Of The Heroes Getting Together. In short: both of these fics are amazing and had me hugging pillows in delight on Christmas, and you should read them and then go tell the authors how wonderful they are.)
Devon smiles sheepishly. “My first steps ended in a visit to the E.R. I look like Frankenstein in my baby pictures.” He gestures at his head, tracing the line of the stitches.

Ed reaches out and gently brushes searching fingers through Devon’s hair. Devon promptly forgets how to breathe. Ed seems to be satisfied by what he finds; Devon is just trying really hard not to beam enormously. It turns out embarrassing head injuries pay off sometimes, even fifteen years later.

play by play
(This follows Sean's life as a closeted gay athlete, through meeting Holden; it's really well done!)
After the game, Coach said, “Good job, stay out of trouble, see you on Tuesday,” and then most of his O-line piled into cars and took him out for drinks at a bar that was about a hundred times flashier than anything Lincoln'd had to offer. He promised himself he'd stick to beer, and slowly. And he had, even when the guy he'd almost crashed into on the way to the restroom had sent over a bottle of champagne – and his phone number - just before last call.

Jesus, he'd thought, and he'd grabbed the napkin before anyone could see that there was a name on it. He hoped.

The Only Permanent Tenderness
(I love the voices for Billy and Teddy here, and the domesticity is really lovely.)
Billy drops down next to him looking sheepish, which is adorable (though Teddy thinks most of Billy's looks are adorable, and it's kind of startling to think that even after as long as they've been together), and says, "Most of them are books."

Teddy rolls his eyes. "Of course they are. Do you breed them or something? Or do they reproduce anaerobically in the dark?"

"Given that some of the books came from Dr. Strange," Billy says, "that is entirely possible, though not something I'd really thought much about until now." He laughs. "Now, every time I hear something rustle in the dark in the middle of the night, instead of expecting a lurking supervillain, I'm just going to assume my books are getting it on."

grab a blanket, brother
(The author left the most adorable author's note I have ever seen on anything ever, and you can feel every bit of zir enthusiasm throughout the entire fic. It's really, really wonderful! The fic itself is about Tommy and found-family and is on the long side at 13,000 words, but I found myself reading slower and slower as I started coming to the end, because I wasn't ready for it to be over yet. I have a terrible habit [which I am trying to break myself of!] of jumping from dialogue to dialogue and skimming the stuff in between, but Tommy's point of view is so great here, and all of the narrative is so well-chosen, that I very carefully read everything.)
Teddy didn’t say anything, but Tommy saw him hide a grin as he knocked on the door at the end of the hall. There was a chorus of voices, words Tommy couldn’t quite make out shouted back and forth, and then a stampede of footsteps. The door swung open to reveal two boys – one came up to Tommy’s shoulder, the other to his waist – with Billy leaning over them, blushing furiously and looking a lot like he wanted to banish the kids to another dimension.

“Hey,” Billy said, eyes flickering upwards to meet Teddy’s. He had the older kid by the back of his shirt, one leg stuck out to block the younger one, and his free hand braced against the doorframe. He looked, all in all, kind of like a spidermonkey. “So.”

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