sotto_voce: Joshua Chamberlain staring into the distance, with caption "brains are sexy" ([iCarly] gibby says YESSS!)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2012-12-28 12:47 am

2012 Yuletide recs: part 1

It's the most wonderful time of the year: when the Yuletide archives open and I ROLL IN FIC. For five-minute fandoms, I've included a link to the canon in the section heading; everything else should be pretty self-explanatory!

Friends from the Deep
(Wednesday performs a summoning in the kitchen, but gets in trouble because Pubert is obviously still too young to play with Elder Gods. This is so sly and funny; it feels like a scene from the movies.)
“And your brother?” Morticia asked finally, one perfectly manicured eyebrow lofting up in query at her daughter.

“Pugsley held the book,” Wednesday said dismissively. Her brother was in the corner, paralyzed with a stunned expression on his face. There were scorch marks all around him, the book lying at his feet untouched. Pugsley’s hair stood on end and was blackened with soot and ash.

Women Who Run with Whywolves
(It's a Fionna and Cake story [with Marceline!], and the writing is so good and the tone is perfect. I had such a hard time picking a quote; I wanted to quote the whole damn thing. If you've ever seen this episode, READ THIS ONE.)
"What the hairy butt?!" Fionna yells, reaching for her sword. "YOU!"

"You again." Ice Queen stabs the ground with her walking stick. Then she stops and purses her lips. "Why, Marshall Lee, aren't we looking positively...ephebic."

"Yeah, no," Marceline says. "Not him. Way cooler."

This Band of Birdies
(You read that title and fandom right. This is just the most fabulously silly thing; I laughed the whole way through it. We few, we happy few!)
War was coming.

The captain of the Avien army looked out from her terrace, where she could see the planetrise. Porkus looked beautiful, the sliver of light crowning the globe. What a lie that vision was. Its size was intimidating, and as the captain gazed down on it, she pondered just for a moment, the state of the Porcines who inhabited it. Did they have homes, children? Or was stealing and brutalizing the only thing they knew? The captain sighed. It would be a just war, but it would not be an easy one.

Work in Progress
(Really delightful modern AU -- funny, sharp, and sweet!)
"Oh, but I'd love to see you write a story, Emily," Anne says. They're having a blogger meetup; Anne's come out from Kingsport to help her friend Diana pick out a wedding dress. "You've got such a sly tongue and a good eye for detail."

each new morning in heaven
(This is based on Veronica's Passport, where Veronica travels to a glamorous new location with a glamorous new love interest to flirt with every issue, and the fic captures it really nicely! It was basically a nostalgia bomb for me, between Archie comics [my childhood!] and all of the European locations.)
Veronica winds up seeing a lot more of Paris in that evening than just the Eiffel Tower. The Tower is beautiful at night, and so is the view of Paris from the top—all glittering gold lights, a city dancing below her feet. The wind blows fiercely about the viewing platform, and Veronica finds herself breathless, clutching onto the railing. In that moment, the world shrinks to just the city lights below her and the sound of the wind in her ears. She forgets about her parents, about Betty and Archie, about Pierre and Marcello/Silvio. She is free, and she has never felt this way before.

A Touch of Frost
(There is a blizzard [appropriately enough, given what's currently happening outside my window], and Bernard, Manny, and Fran are Bernard, Manny, and Fran. Very funny; great character voices!)
"I always wanted to be a pirate," Manny said wistfully. "With my own boat, and an eyepatch, and a parrot called Kevin."

"Why Kevin?" Fran asked him.

"Oh, all my imaginary pets were called Kevin. Kevin the dog. Kevin the kangaroo. Kevin the karate sabre-wielding octopus..."

A Black Christmas Carol
(This is exactly what it says on the tin! I laughed loads, as is only appropriate for a Black Books fic.)
An hour later the door suddenly crashes open with a blast of icy wind, and the fog spills into the shop. The lights, for a moment, flicker, before a figure suddenly lurches in - and grabs onto the doorframe for support.

"I..." Fran starts, drawing in a deep breath and wincing as she holds up a half-empty bottle of wine, "am the ghost of Christmas presents."

The More We Get Together
(14,000 words of characters played by Daniel Henney and Danny Pudi falling in love, and also of an M16 agent played by Sophie Okenedo bad-assing it up. What's not to like??)
"Not close?" Owen asks, making his own food selection.


That effectively kills the family conversation, and Samuel is no closer to discovering whether a relative of Owen's has a drug habit. He should stick to finding things out the old-fashioned way: through illegal use of FBI databases.

To Love Someone
(Travis and Laurie are dating; Jules is in denial. I can hear the actors' voices reading the dialogue for the whole gang!)
"Look," Jules said. "The instant I find out they're hooking up, I'm going to freak out. There will be tears, yelling, anger, trips to therapy. Do you want to deal with that?"

"You make a strong point," Grayson said. "They're not hooking up."

Unexpected Package
(Listen, man, I have a serious weakness for sick-fic [there is NOTHING MORE ROMANTIC than someone making food magically appear while one is a snotty mess], and I am not ashamed. As well I should not be, because this is really sweet!)
"You probably could have gone to your Grandma Marlena's," Sonny pointed out. "You have, like, a hundred relatives, Will."

"I wanted to be here. At your place," Will told him softly.

Whole New Worlds
(Super cute Mulan/Belle SPACESHIP AU)
The Wendy Bird's pilot was halfway inside her console. "Bucket fiddling candlesticks," Mulan heard her mutter. Ariel was a refugee from the Pisces Confederation, and she'd picked up some odd things to use as curse words when she was first learning the United System's language and culture.

A Girl Worth Fighting For
(College AU!!!! Mulan/Aurora, with lots of fun cameos from other Disney princes/princesses [I liked that Cinderella is never able to find her shoes] and sweet moments. Mulan is on the football team!!)
"Every time I talk to my advisor, I feel like my ancestors are staring at me and willing me not to embarrass them."

"I'm sure they don't think that," Aurora says involuntarily. She turns red when Mulan looks at her and ducks her head. "I mean, you – you do a lot."

Dogma, or The Seven Stages of Grace
(Wow, so this is fantastic -- post-canon vignettes from each of the main characters from the movie, world-building that fits the movie's sensibility/sense of humor perfectly, fucking killer voices.)
He's suddenly not alone on the porch, but Bob's too baked to be startled. He's met God and killed a demon. The Metatron is just another guy with wings and no junk.

Bob lights up another joint, and considers the stars. Then he shrugs at Metatron.

Equus malus
(Cracked out and 100% hilarious.)
No, the newscasters wonder what sort of man would perpetrate a crime of such magnitude. What man. Not what horse.

They’re next.

He wonders if there is a way to simultaneously murder and discredit them.

The Internet would know.

Pastrami and Particles aka Winston's Third Day on the Job
(Exactly what it says on the tin! I love Winston here; his giddiness, and surprise at it. The adventure with Egon feels straight out of the movies!)
It’s not nerves, he thought zipping up the suit and adjusting his shoulders. I think I’m…

“Eager,” he said out loud. “Son of a bitch. How about that?”

He hadn’t felt this green since he was eighteen and heading off to boot camp.

“You’re too old to be feeling this good,” he told himself, but couldn’t stop the grin from forming.

The Rule of Cool
(A gift for me! Mabel hosts a sleepover party. A beautiful, beautiful sleepover party of ALL THE LADIES, with bonus velociraptors and Community allusions. Every time I thought it could not possibly get even better, IT DID.)
“Dude!” Wendy's eyes fired up. “Seriously? Kickpuncher 6: Jurassic Punch? I thought that wasn't out on DVD yet!”

Mabel's eyes gleamed. “It's not.” She lowered her voice dramatically. “But Grenda has connections.” Mabel wasn't going to be the one to say Grenda's uncle was a mob boss or anything, but he was always up on bootleg video and really liked spaghetti, and it wasn't like there were a lot of other logical conclusions that you could draw from that information.

If You're Down to Get Down
(Several summers after the current season, Wendy and Mabel START A BAND with Dipper and Soos. This is pitch perfect and HILARIOUS, and was also written for me, and, seriously, it is so funny and warm and wonderful.)
When Wendy comes back lugging a guitar case, Mabel's eyes widen and her pupils dilate like she's tripping on some serious shit. It's the most normal she's looked all day.

"I'm in the band."

"I'm also in the band!" Dipper shouts, then he just laughs nervously for two minutes straight. Weird. "I can... I can play? Drums? Sticks on things?"

Girl Talk
(Mabel and Wendy have a chat! The Mabel-narrative is particularly fabulous.)
Mabel rolled onto her side. It wasn’t as comfortable, but it allowed enough face-space to converse with beings who could answer back. “Monday,” she said. “In the morning. Monday in the morning. Monnnnndaaaaaayyyyyy.”

Wendy nodded as if she knew all the answers in the universe. Perhaps she did. “I hear you,” she said.

Lesson Plan
(Yeo Kyung and Young Ran have a lesson and slander Wan's name. Really fun!)
Yeo Kyeong looked at the reading she had assigned: Joseon history. She considered telling Yeong Rang again that all citizens of Joseon should know its past so that they can create its future, and that no age is to late to learn to read. But she was distracted, and Yeong Rang was tired, and a part of her felt rebelliously like reading something different anyway. “Do you want to read more of the book we read last week?” she asked instead. “You wanted to know what happened between them ...”

Yeong Rang's face lit up.

(This was written early and jossed by the Thanksgiving episode, but it's totally worth it; the character voices are stellar and it's very funny! Alex and Dave host Christmas; Jane is dubious.)
They've done a good job so far, but she is Jane and surprises don't usually turn out well.

"What's wrong, honey bear?" Brad asks when she rejoins them.

"Surprise," she says through clenched teeth.

"Assume crash positions," Max says, but doesn't move from his slump on the couch.

(The pirate captain and his nemesis have a long history. I suspect this is getting recced all over the place, and for good reason! I am sitting here cackling at the Bon Jovi reference. I know it was a Beatonism to begin with, but the execution here is flawless.)
Presently, the sullen young men were being held apart by other pirates, most of whom were repeating some variation of “Our Reginald” in faraway voices as they wiped mirthful tears from their eyes. “Dead to me, dead to me, I will spill your blood,” chanted Reg under his breath.

“Did they really think your name was Deadeye Jack?” Arthur mumbled spitefully. “Your eyes are fine. Honestly, I’ve never seen anyone with less dead eyes in my life! They’re so blue. Like cornflowers.”

pale blue eyes
(This one gets a big block quote, because it was a gift for me! Tommy [dragging an injured Billy along for the ride] intrudes on Hawkeye-Hawkeye time. Features fabulous Tommy-Kate banter, a top-secret Hawkeye knock, and so much love between ridiculous magical reincarnated twin brothers. Kate Bishop is perf and flawless!)
"Would you mind?

"Not at all, Hawkingbird," Tommy replies easily, all bravado and swagger--that is, until Kate touches a segment of ripped skin, making him hiss in pain for just a brief moment before covering it up again. "C'mon, easy fingers, now, Kate, please? You've done this enough before, right?" he asks with a wink at the end.

"You're usually not bleeding when I help you out of your uniform," Kate replies, and yanks the rest of the spandex off of him, making him yelp, just because she always likes knocking his swagger down a peg or two.

The One with the Russian Dominatrix
(Hawkeye2 isn't my usual jam, but the first paragraph sucked me in and the voices here are SO GOOD [the Clint first-person and the little touches like {French name} especially] that it really worked for me!)
The blue light’s faded again, tiny screen gone dark. I’ve got to do this. No way am I getting out of this chair on my own. Not without gnawing off a limb, and okay, I’ve thought about that. I had a whole 127 Hours fantasy going where I chewed off my arm, got free, tracked down BDSM Spy Lady and beat her over the head with it. I think the blood’s not flowing to my brain or something. (Isn’t that how I got into this whole mess?)

Through the Mines
(God, Kate and Eli. This fic is somehow simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, following Kate and Eli [and also the other three surviving Young Avengers, a little bit, through A++ cameos] as they work out life after Children's Crusade. The funny/sad balance is a tough line to walk and the author does it with aplomb. It's got fantastic cameos from a whole lot of Marvel characters [poker night at Clint's was a particular favorite of mine] and some great epistolary touches, too.)
“Finish that thought and I will come down to Scottsdale and personally kick ass,” Kate said. “Best woman, whatever. Point is, I called it.”

“You can’t call it,” Eli said. “I’ve known him longer than you, it’s practically my right.”

“By like a month!” Kate protested.

“It was an important month!” Eli said. “We were going to take down Kang the Conqueror! You have no idea the kind of manly bonding that went into that month.”

Definitely Not Good
(Several days in the life of a superhero! Billy and Teddy and the whole gang sound pitch-perfect, and it's warm and also very funny [when Billy had a concussion, he couldn't remember the founding members of the Avengers -- that's how bad it was! what's wrong with Tommy? LOTS OF THINGS].)
"I really don't need this," Billy muttered under his breath.

"I really don't care," Teddy replied evenly. Billy got the sense this was happening not because he needed to be carried anywhere, but because Teddy didn't want him wandering off and having a beam fall on him again. Fair enough, he decided.

Consider Yourself Mighty Lucky
(Clint brings home Pizza Dog, and Kate meets him. Short 'n sweet, with a great wry tone.)
"Of course he's not gonna talk back, he's a dog. Get it together, Barton," he muttered to himself. "Pizza dog, I got you a bed, it's in the living room. It's soft and purple and cost me a hundred bucks. Use it."

Instead of following orders, the dog laid down on the floor, pillowed his mangy head on front legs still bandaged from his close encounter of the asshole kind, and let out a soft whuff.

Afternoon Stroll
(Clint, Kate, and Pizza Dog. This is another one with a great tone, sense of voice, and Kate-appreciation.)
Right, so I'm taking the dog out for a walk. The most normal thing I could possibly do. Admittedly the dog is limping, because he's still only half-recovered from getting hit by a car. And I'm limping, because I'm always recovering from something. This week HYDRA kicked the shit out of me and broke my nose, so I've got a nice nasal voice thing to go with the limp.

Kate's doing fine, walking slow so us invalids can keep up. Have you noticed that Kate never really gets beat up like me or the dog? Another way that she's just better than us.

The Diner Rules
(Fandoms like this are why I love the shit out of Yuletide. Mallory, on an assignment before the movie, gets a job at a diner, where she befriends a young girl and a waitress. I'm terrible at summaries, but the mega-competent, mega-calm Mallory voice is excellent, I enjoyed the original characters, and it was generally a joy to read.)
"You can be part of the problem or part of the solution, Stan," Mallory said, her voice hard and uncompromising. "You gonna be part of the solution?"

Fairytale Princess
(Mallory's dad tells her a less-than-traditional bedtime story, which is intercut with scenes of Mallory's life as an adult. I loved the insight into Mallory's relationship with her dad; a great read.)
"The wicked ballet teacher was jealous of how well Mallory could spin kick, even though all the other girls just pirouetted, so she hired one of the palace guards to kill her," her father continued, slamming his fist into his other hand.

"Harsh," Mallory said, snuggling into her pillow with enjoyment.

HELLBOY (movies)
Fire and Water and the Car That Went Zoom
(This was for me, and it is SO GLORIOUS, GOD. It's backstory -- the friendships between Liz, Hellboy, and Abe, and bits of Liz's history -- and it's quiet and bittersweet and gorgeous.)
Everybody knew somebody whose house had burned down. Like going to jail or getting cancer, everyone had a story about that one person, that one family. By the time she was ten, Liz Sherman had burned down four houses and killed two people. One of them was her grandmother.

That was a lot of coding, so if you notice my inevitable mistake (there's one every year), please yell it out! ♥