sotto_voce: A heart drawn in the sand, with a foot in the shot ([misc] hearts)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2014-12-26 04:57 pm

Yuletide recs, part 1!

Thing: A History
(So apparently Thing was a full-bodied weirdo in the Addams' attic before he became a disembodied hand; this is Thing's story! The Addams Family touches are all so creepy-sweet and great.)
“But,” their mother continued sadly, “there are those unfortunates for whom death is a permanent end. It is unfair, and can only be blamed upon the cruel whims of fate, but it is so. And you cannot always tell by appearances which ones those may be- your Aunt Ophelia once fancied a charming gentleman who looked as fit and healthy as fashion might allow, but who could not withstand a single one of her throwing knives. I do not wish for you to make the same mistake and find your hearts irreparably broken.”

Moonstone and Muslin
(ANNE SHIRLEY IN SPAAAACE. The space details are so cool and carefully chosen, and Anne is still so very Anne!)
The Hammonds' shuttle always landed with a particularly harsh bump, and Anne was never sure whether this was the fault of the vehicle or of Mrs. Hammond. Either way, today was no exception. Upon their arrival, after Anne’s recovery from the bone-rattling landing, it quickly transpired that Hopeton-IV did not live up to her expectations. Every detail of the satellite’s interior, from the solid clunk of the airlock seal to the dull grey of the wall and floor panels, was as mundane and prosaic as it was possible for anything be. “HOPETON IV – A HOME FOR GIRLS” was stenciled unceremoniously above the first doorway they reached, in paint that had long ago begun to fade.

all the stars align
(Lovely snippets of Anne and Gilbert through their young years. The author really captures Montgomery's style.)
“That Blythe boy, he’s real polite and respectful. I like him,” Matthew remarked to Anne one day after Gilbert had escorted her home. “Even though his family are Grits through and through. I think maybe there’s hope for that one.” Having grown extraordinarily observant in matters pertaining to the red-headed girl-child he held so dear, Matthew had noticed by then what the others at Green Gables hadn’t: the steady, earnest look in the young man’s eyes when he gazed at Anne. And although the lifelong Conservative had never gone courting in his life, he was mindful of the old adage Anne had once repeated to him in passing: “When a man is courting, he must agree with the girl’s mother in religion and her father in politics.”

Chicken Money
(This is little Anne and Matthew, with Marilla very present as well, and it is perfect.)
"I never thought I would love chickens," Anne said quite seriously, "especially after Prunella pecked me quite viciously last month when I was only trying to shift the wooden egg to a different nest, but now I forgive her almost entirely. I could be pecked a hundred times over, and scratched to bits, too."

"Well now," Matthew said, "I hope not."

First. Last. Always.
(Milo's grandfather and Preston Whitmore's friendship through the years - it's gentle and funny and sweet.)
The partnership in the Labyrinth had put an end to their rivalry and began a great and enduring friendship that would define them both. It wasn’t their last kiss, either. It became a bit of a thing between them. When they opened the tomb of the librarian of Alexandria to find a treasure trove of scrolls and maps never before imagined, there was a quick victory peck. And the drunken lip smack when during the celebration after they’d discovered the unknown Egyptian temple. And of course, the pay off for the bet, immortalized on film, when Thatch victoriously returned with the Shepherd’s Journal.

One Unknowable Thing
(This is painful, and I mean that in the best possible way -- Nixon, freezing and unfreezing. The narrative is perfect in his voice, with gorgeous evocative prose, and the back and forth between him and Winters is so, so good.)
Nix remembered that clearly, the same as he remembered the look on Buck Compton's face when they'd loaded him into a truck and sent him far behind the lines. He remembered what it was to see men crack open, their guts pouring out into the snow, and how sometimes those cracks were invisible, even though the damage was severe. Nix thought maybe he cracked open too, back there in the forest with trees splintering all around him and men dying in the darkness; he cracked open, and ever since he'd been sealing the breach as best he could with whiskey, pouring it down and waiting for his heart to float to the top.

this is no modern romance
(I really loved Renee's voice here especially, and her insights on Kate.)
Kate sits straight like a rod, like the military must’ve taught her; she meets Renée’s gaze unwaveringly, but every ache and bruise and betrayal of the last week and change is worn into her, the lines in her face, the set of her mouth, the smudge of dark eyeliner at her temple.

“I want to find my sister,” she says, “and I want to bring her home.”

Here, Queer, Get Used to It
(Oh man, Jess broke my heart a little bit here - this is a really nice take [with some internalized homophobia, as noted in the tags] on Jess coming to terms with her attraction to women.)
She felt like it wasn’t fair to Jules – Jules who had no idea, who flipped the V sign at boys who catcalled their training while Jess laughed, who had absolutely no reservations about stripping down to her underwear and changing in front of Jess, in the locker rooms and in their shared dorm room, all the time. Jess felt horribly like she was one of those leering boys. And besides, sooner or later, Jules would notice the way Jess kept darting glances at her and confront her about it. She needed to figure out a way to get over it, but as the days dragged into weeks and stretched out into a month and a half, Jess still found herself unable to avoid noticing the curve of Jules’s spine, the hard muscles of her bare biceps, the swell of her breasts over the top of her sports bra.

The Kindness of Men
(Ginger gets the ending she deserved. AND I CRIED AND I WAS IN THE BATH.)
“You’re safe with us now,” the girl said earnestly to Ginger, and her voice was so gentle and low that Ginger pricked her ears forward and took an involuntary step toward her. The girl continued in the same tone, “You will have good oats and sweet hay, always. Your stall will have fresh straw and your coat will shine like a copper coin when you’re brushed. On Sundays you will take us to the park and in the summer we will go to the country where you shall spend the warm days drowsing in the meadow under the wide oak trees. When it’s cold, you will have a blanket and warm mash.”

(PITCH. PERFECT. Oh my god.)
"I'm not a dog, you know," Bernard said, and scratched behind his ear. He shook his head wildly, then dropped down onto all fours to sniff frantically at the wine stain on the floor. "It's all right!" he said. "I can still get drunk on the fumes!" He took a deep snort. "I'm getting forest fruits, I'm getting strawberry, a hint of sage, I'm getting... Aargh! Dead moths." He reeled away, removing one from his nose with a betrayed expression.

The Ladies Book Club of the Ninety-Ninth Precinct
(oh my god. this is so, so funny - Amy's book club rules! Rosa's intense feelings about how to treat books! FRIENDSHIP!!)
The first time Amy meets Rosa, she's very, very scared. Rosa looks like the kind of playground bully who would have turned Amy upside down to shake the lunch money out of her pockets, and maybe given her a bonus swirlie to boot. Or maybe that's not fair. Rosa's a cop after all, so she probably loves law and order deep down. Maybe she was just one of the impossibly cool girls who smoked in the bathroom and made Amy afraid to pee. But it's not really right for Amy to hate those girls; after all, they didn't know she had such a shy bladder.

Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)
(Jake has a baby! [Not like that.] HOLT WITH THE BABY.)
Holt came out of his office and looked from Jake to Amy to the baby and then back at Jake again. "Peralta, you have a baby."

"Great detective work, everyone! Best department in New York!" Jake announced. "I'm so glad I came here."

as cuddly as a cactus
(A brief selection of scenes from the 99 -- I laughed out loud multiple times! Everyone is so good, but Holt especially is just gold.)
Amy rolls her eyes. “I hate when people use the word literally incorrectly,” she says. “It’s my one pet peeve.”

“Just one?” Gina enquires, saccharine sweet.

Amy flushes. “It’s one of my pet peeves,” she corrects.

"At some point, you have to let go of the term 'pet', and embrace the fact that you are in possession of a farm, and your sole harvest is peeves," counsels Gina.

See Me In Hindsight
(This is everything I want from Amy/Rosa, good god.)
Amy squints suspiciously before she says, “There are no drugs. This is another breakup remedy.”

“Yes. You’re a great detective. We are going to drink whiskey and throw things at men,” Rosa says. “And if there happens to be anybody with drugs there, we will arrest them.”

Little Spoon
(In which everyone in the 99 is the little spoon once. This features everyone, and every single voice is so good!!)
People get Jake.

They get that he's a flake, they get that he doesn't use his savings account to save any money, they get that he only willingly eats vegetables when Terry executes terrible friendship wrath upon his palate. They even get that Jake only knows the word "palate" because of his foodie best friend, and he has no idea how to spell it.

Just about the only thing people don't get about Jake Peralta is his desire to be the little spoon.

The Christmas Box
(YESSS, I wanted a standalone Amanda and Genevieve story so badly, after reading Suffragette Scandal, and this fic more than delivers; sweet and hot.)
“My beautiful girl,” Genevieve murmurs, and Amanda blushes still, always, under the intensity of Genevieve’s gaze. “You never believe it, so I’ll keep saying it until you do,” she smiles down. Amanda wants to reply, to make Genevieve understand that she is tall and awkward and outspoken, that she will never be the lady that Genevieve deserves, but they’ve had this argument before and Amanda always feels like she’s both lost and won it at the end.

Interviewing a Vampire
(Laura has a lot of questions. Like, A LOT. Very, very Laura, and I love all of Carmilla's sardonic responses!)
She draws a breath and stares at Carmilla with wide eyes. "Oh my god, Carmilla, what if your main bat-self gets eaten - would you come back as half a Carmilla? I don't think I'm prepared to have just half a roommate left, you're hard enough to clean up after as it is and-"

"Whoa, whoa there shortstop," Carmilla drawls, abandoning her straw with a horrifying slurping noise and glancing over at Laura, "Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself? I can't even turn into one bat, let alone a swarm of them, so I hardly think that will be a problem."

someday we won't remember this
(LaFontaine and JP fake-date to make Perry jealous. The concept alone is golden, but it's executed so, so well!)
JP: Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium BATMAN

LaF seemed bemused as each sodium appeared in the textbox, but when the ‘punchline’ arrived they (at long last) burst out in a hearty chuckle. Gratifying! (He set up a subroutine to find more information on this droll and salty man of the bat.)

To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever
(The second I saw the title, I knew who this fic was about, and I was so delighted to be right! &FROGS; The chip on Dex's shoulder is approximately the size of the MOON, and I love that Nursey is a total asshole here, too; the dynamic rings really true to me! And Chowder. Oh, Chowder.)
Dex lifted his head and glared at Nursey. “Very funny. I want it back by gametime tomorrow.”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about, bro.” Nursey smiled the ratfucking smile of a smug douchecanoe. “But you don’t need your little tape ball, remember? Chill.”

It took Zimmermann, Holster, and Ransom to separate them and keep them apart until practice started.

(This is a short introspective piece on Bitty; I love Bitty slowly coming to terms with where he's come from, and I love Shitty's advice [and his headband, so classy].)
Eric doesn’t see his father in the summers, pretty much. In eighth grade, when it became clear that he belonged on the ice and not out on the field in the punishing sun, his father fully became Coach: not even special teams? Coach said in his truck one day, eyes on the road. We could get you kicking. Little guys can kick.

left the city, my family, my precinct
(yessss, get-together fic!!! I really liked the author's take on Jack as he went through prospect camps over the summer.)
"Jack!" Bitty says, excited, smiling, with a flush dusting his nose. "You're here," he tacks on, "Camp doesn't start for like, another week and half." He doesn't phrase it as a question, but Jack can read into what he's really saying.

"You said you were gonna be here, so," Jack trails off, shrugging his shoulders.

Peaceable Kingdom
(Taran comes to Caer Dallben. This was a nostalgia bomb in all the best ways!)
Dallben rarely invoked his foreknowledge, or his power, to get his way. In that way, Dallben was an ideal housemate, for an occasionally grouchy old man. There was something that Dallben wasn’t saying here. Coll could almost read the destiny written on the baby, for all the words that Dallben wasn’t saying.

Nuclear Fallout of my Winter Heart
(Daria's sarcasm, as always, brings me life. I loved seeing her and Jane a little older, making their way in the world!)
“And to think that I aimed so high that I hit the moon, that the stars of academic, peer-reviewed journals seem dim in comparison.”

“Daria’s just thinking it over right now,” says Buster. “Aren’t you, Daria?”


Ready or not
(Author, are you secretly Rainbow Rowell?? I think you may secretly be Rainbow Rowell. This is exactly what I dreamed of from Fangirl fic -- Cath finding her way in her sophomore year, with her sister and her roommate and her boyfriend and a bunch of new friends.)
As they walked out to his truck, Levi put his arm around her shoulders, and Cath put hers around his waist. It felt sweet. Real.

"Seems like you've found some birds of a feather," he said.

"Is that a chicken joke? Because if it is, I am totally annoyed."

From Just One Spark
Brian’s arm goes tight around him, until it feels like he’s holding Han up. It’s not until that thought that Han realizes Brian is holding him up, and Han’s knees are giving way.

Because Mia’s bent over Gisele, and she’s not praying, she’s not crying, she’s got her doctor voice on and that cool calm that settles over her when she steps in and fixes them, bloody noses, open wounds, broken hearts.

(All of the character voices are dead on, but I especially love Janine herself! I had a lot of receptionist/administrative assistant feelings. YOU TELL THEM, JANINE!!)
"Sure," Janine said. "If you really want to know, I'm a little bit psychic. All the women in my family are. My mother once dreamed that a terrible calamity was going to happen. And then, the very next day, Perry Mason was cancelled."

Peter snorted.

"She was a very big Perry Mason fan," Janine said firmly. "She was devastated."

some bright morning
(Four words: Gravity Falls longfic Prohibition AU. Okay, more words: this is an awesome AU [with fantastic period details], but the character voices are what really sold me. They're perfect.)
“Are you nuts?!” Mabel shrieked. She gave his shoulder a good, hard throttle for emphasis. “If we don’t get this shipment delivered, Grunkle Stan’ll toss us in the lake! I am not about to be Gobblewonker chow, Dipper!”

“Ah, yes, the shipment, and also the massive giant made out of angry gnomes that’s currently chasing us down!” Dipper hollered back. “I’d say that’s a slightly more immediate problem!”

The Nose of the Pig
(This is so cute and funny!!! Mabel saving the day is the greatest. THE GREATEST.)
"You probably shouldn't eat those," Mabel said. She picked up Waddles, who gave a delighted squeal. "Who's the greatest truffle pig in the world? Who's ready to win the contest?" He squealed again, as if to say, We're going to win! I'll be the Truffle King and you will rule alongside me as the Truffle Queen!

Mabel hugged him closer. "You say the sweetest things."

The Oregon Mistake
(I don't want to spoil what the mystery of the week is, but it is glorious and I laughed forever.)
"My dreams," Mabel hisses, everything sharp, and then the fight drains out of her - she turns on the ball of her foot like a lock-jointed puppet and falls face-first onto her mattress. "Why don't I ever get to keep the things I love?" she muffles into the bedcovers.

"Because Gravity Falls is weird," Dipper says, resigned, but at least there's that tang of apology in his voice. He gets it, sometimes. "Come on, Mabel, I need your help. I can't do this without you."

Gather Near to Us
(Peter teaches the crew about Christmas. Everyone else is extremely skeptical.)
"Groot, I'd say I was disappointed in you, but honestly, I'm not sure why I expected better," Rocket says. "Once a sap, always a sap. Sap! Ha! See what I did there? I'm hilarious."

"You did nothing of note," Drax says. "None of us has moved since Peter started telling us about these strange Terran traditions."

I Am Groot (Groot's Story)
(Groot's take on their adventures; so sweet and unexpectedly touching.)
I am Groot -- I am Groot. I am Groot.

(I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot.)

Secrets and Waffles
(This made me really, really miss this show, which is the highest compliment! If you want to laugh, this story is for you!)
“Anyway,” Jane interjected, rubbing Brad’s arm, “let’s continue to address how our over 30-year old friend finally purchased a basic toiletry item found in the shower stalls of even the dirtiest of American prisons. Nicely done, Max!”

“Thanks, sarcastic Jane!” Max drawled, “So! Now that we’ve cleared that up, we can return to my initial accusation.” He slammed both hands down on the table in time with his words, “SOMEONE. HAS. A. SECRET.”

you can't have peace without a war
(Kate, between the end of "Children's Crusade" and the start of Hawkeye. Fantastic look at her finding her own way, and the cameos from Young Avengers are great!)
“I don’t want to talk about me anymore,” Kate says. “Let’s talk about you, what’ve you been up to, Mister Smarty-Pants College Boy?”

“You know, you could go to college if you wanted to, Kate,” Eli says, and he’s right, of course, because she’s got a handful of references and a completed Columbia application sitting in her drawer but she can’t seem to bring herself to mail it in just yet. Every time she almost does, something comes up -- either a blizzard that closes down the post office or a supervillain who makes it their mission to wipe out every mailbox in downtown Manhattan and it feels a little like the universe is trying to send her a sign.

Jamie Benn's War on Christmas
(AU where Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are neighbors in an apartment building! I mean, I know that was reality as recently as last year, before they bought houses in the same neighborhood, but like ... AU where they're neighbors but not professional hockey players. The little details are super romcom cute, as is Jamie's utter Grinchery!)
An empty plate with a note that says I was going to leave you a sandwich but realized that’s creepy and also how people get food poisoning. And ants.

Jamie stands in the hallway for a while, staring down at Tyler’s note. He keeps leaving things for Jamie, like a cat dragging home a dead bird for its owners. Look at me, the cat’s saying, look at how I’m showing you my feelings.

rearrange the alphabet
(Well, this is officially my favorite first-meeting ever in a soulmate AU fic.)
"Holy shit," he says, blinking a few times. "Holy– wow, dude, are you. Are you my soulmate?"

"Uh," Jamie says. This may in fact be what it seems to be: the worst soulmate meeting in history. "I guess?"

The dude sweeps his eyes over Jamie, like he needs to make sure he's really standing there. Jamie knows the feeling. "Wow," he repeats. "This is so great. You're so great. Wanna make out?"

Your heart in the palm of my hand
(Carey Price gets hit by a truth-telling curse; PK Subban is determined to help him break it. The progression of their relationship is lovely, and the banter with teammates is SO FUNNY, GOSH. PK is fabulous here, warm and funny and so protective of Carey's boundaries, and I love the way his family is folded in, too.)
The internet, it turned out, was pretty useless when a person had completely legitimate questions about completely legitimate supernatural phenomena. PK felt very let down. All the information and suggestions about curses and curse-breaking were of very questionable provenance.

PK had started texting Carey some of the weirdest suggestions he discovered. Some of them involved animal feces. Carey was adamantly against trying anything that came from the internet.

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