sotto_voce: Joshua Chamberlain staring into the distance, with caption "brains are sexy" (Default)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2014-12-28 01:54 am

Yuletide recs, part 2!

I think this is the fastest I have ever made it through the archive! God bless two weeks of paid vacation. Happy Yuletide to all, and to all, a good night.

Waiting on the Journey
(Lovely, quiet post-canon piece. I grew up on this show, and this struck such a chord with me.)
Right now she wants to be happy. The baby is turning one, and it seems like a sign that things really will go on, that they're not stuck, that no matter how slowly the world is turning, it is still revolving.

She puts one final flower in the center of the cake and presents it to the Baker. He laughs softly, a sound she is still unfamiliar with, says, "It's perfect, Red."

Angels Made from Neon and Fucking Garbage
(Cougar and Jensen are stranded somewhere cold. This made me laugh out loud multiple times - there's a sparseness to the prose, too, that really works with the characters and with the harshness of the environment.)
Cougar was holding out a finely whittled stick, with the end shaped like a Phillips screwdriver.

"Next time we run an op on a Russian oil rig and it goes horribly wrong, I want to be stranded with you," Jensen said. "I want to be stranded with you every time something goes wrong."

picked up her shoes from the red-brick stairway
(ALL THE GRACIE/SAM!!! This is a delight, with Sam and Gracie looking out for each other and making their partnership work.)
Gracie also takes Sam’s ugly, snapping anger like it’s a thunderstorm, something beautiful and blameless, and meets it with anger of her own, never once backing down. Gracie laughs too loudly, but always gets the joke. Gracie’s three a.m. ideas tend to lead them to the craziest places, but pay off most of the time. Gracie can cut down any asshole too big for his shoes with a line so sharp he’s left looking for his dignity on the ground before she even closes her mouth; it saves Sam mountains in paperwork for the unavoidable violence she’d otherwise commit. Gracie takes Sam home to her cluttered apartment for awful TV dinners but buys ice cream by the ton for dessert, and lets her just sit quietly and let everything dissolve into comfortable white noise.

They Take Their Shots (We're Bulletproof)
(This is so, so funny and sweet and true to character. Mindy and Danny keep kissing. I love everything, like the Mindy-esque details [she steals the discount codes from behind the counter at Kate Spade!])
“Ah, Christ, Morgan, mistletoe? Really?” Danny sneers up at the hanging plant. “That’s the number one cause of winter onset oral herpes.”

“Excuse me, Danny, but my mouth is pristine,” says Mindy, pointing a finger at him.

My Body, My Temple
(Wow. You know, I honestly never gave much thought to the romance between Anck-su-Namun and Imhotep or to the characters themselves; after reading this, I can't say that anymore. This is absolutely stunning - the prose, the plot, the sumptuous detail. Anck-su-Namun is sharp and practical and furious and makes an incredibly sympathetic narrator, while still being recognizably the same character from the films. It's a difficult read in some ways [Anck-su-Namun is not a willing concubine to the pharaoh], but it's stunning. I know I said 'stunning' already, but I can't think of any other way to describe it; I finished it 20 minutes ago and I still feel insensible.)
The priest of Osiris is looking at her again. This time she raises her chin, looks back at him so deeply she thinks she can see the gates of the Duat. Let him look back, let him see into the heart of her. There is nothing but the desire to please Egypt, to do obeisance to the gods governing her land. It is not wicked that she will not settle for less. It is not wicked to keep looking for those gods.

The Lost Trident of Cloesthitus
(I didn't know I needed a Mummy crossover with Sharknado, but I did, I really did. The characters sound perfect and the adventure fits so well with the tone of the Mummy movies! AND THERE ARE SHARKNADOS. So fun!)
The car skidded a little as the back tires lost traction. Evy gritted her teeth and shifted gears, straining to keep her grip on the steering wheel until the car was suddenly back on the right track. She could hear the water rushing toward them like an inevitable death, but she focused on a point in the distance. They had to get to safety, they had to—

“Shark!” Jonathan shouted, and something slammed into the side of the car, knocking them a good meter sideways.

The Close of Years Now Past
(Oh my gosh, this is the LOVELIEST. Evy and Jonathan through the years.)
"Wicked and cruel boy," she answered in kind, her lips turning up. Perhaps three enraptured letters about Jane Eyre had been a bit many--but knowing Jonathan had remembered (and clearly skimmed the book for quotations to throw at her over the holidays) got a smile from her. "You are like the Roman emperors."

"I hope so. The Roman emperors enjoyed the hell out of themselves."

if this was a cowboy movie (i'd give you my boots)
(This is the cutest. fucking. thing. The Rashomon-style conceit of seeing their history told by both Jedediah and Octavius is fantastic, as is the slow build of their relationship throughout, and the worldbuilding within the museum! I love the explanation of how in the heck, in the first movie, they made it back to the museum by sunrise.)
"You saved Rufus?" Octavius said, startled.

"Well, you know, it was just the kinda unbelievably brave, heroic, unselfish thing anybody woulda done, really..." Jedediah said, brushing a few crystals of snow off his shoulder.

Now We're Partners in Crime
(This is such a hilarious delight - Mindy Kaling, BJ Novak, and a drunken Vegas marriage. I'm so invested in their love!)
"Fuck you and the horse you rode in on," Mindy mumbles. He isn't sure if that's directed at him or if she's still asleep, but then she adds, "Fuck all your horses, BJ Novak."

And just like that, he has a title for his next book.

The Dragon's Confession
(This is a short Madness treat with an absolutely marvelous grasp on the sound of the book.)
“Really?” Elizabeth asked. She had to admit that was a relief, and it also made her curious. “What do you like to eat, then?”

“Cheesy pastries are my favorite,” the dragon said. “I smelled them cooking in the kitchen, and I smashed open your castle to get them. I just kidnapped the prince and acted tough so my brother wouldn’t laugh.”

The Paper Bag Princess
(Interactive fiction! Super fun! I am TERRIBLE AT THIS GAME and haven't made it past the woods yet, but I look forward to continuing to play! The inventiveness here is awesome.)

Five Ghosts
(This is a really nice comprehensive look at Norman's post-movie life.)
Norman’s roommate showed up to school a day late. He glanced at Norman’s zombie movie posters, his Zombie slippers, his sheets covered in ghosts and the line of books on the shelf about haunted places on the east coast. He requested a room change but didn’t get it.

Neil’s roommate was a comic book enthusiast. He shared all of his comics with Neil as soon as they came out, helped him hide the electric popcorn maker Neil had smuggled in, and could spend hours talking about DC vs Marvel. Norman was a little worried that if he ever found out Norman could talk to ghosts, he’d immediately set out to become his side-kick. With a costume and everything.

How I Wish I Was in Pawnee Now
(This is, and I mean this in the best possible way: ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS. I LOVE IT. The character voices are all perfect, despite the fact that it is a tall ship AU that is absolutely gleeful with silliness. Leslie still loves Ben's butt and Ann. Andy is the oldest midshipman ever. They sail on Lake Michigan. This is great.)
The boat stilled, and April assembled the diving suit. "Can I keep this afterward?" she asked. "I want to show up at my parents' wearing it when we get back on leave, and tell them to atone for their sins."

"Lieutenant Ludgate, if you get us up that cliff, you can have the diving suit and a batch of my cook's best brownies," said Leslie. "I could kiss you, except you look real creepy in that helmet."

Misadventures in Babysitting
(April and Andy babysit the triplets. It is just as ridiculous and adorable as you think it is.)
"I know one of you is responsible for stealing the president's emeralds. You thought being triplets would mean no one would be able to tell which one of you broke into the White House. But there's one thing you forgot to count on...count count on being against you -- Burt Macklin, FBI: Presidential Jewel Theft Investigator."

Goblin Shark blew a snot bubble.

Unemployed in Greenland
(This is how Inigo and Fezzik met. I am convinced!!! The little details, offered in aside, sound just like the movie.)
The giant’s sobs were deep and mournful, and they struck Inigo, one after the other, like little bolts from a tiny, woeful crossbow. It had been a long time since he had been able to spare any sorrow for anyone but himself, but he was shaken by the sight of this enormous mountain of a man crying with his arms wrapped around his drawn-up knees like a heartbroken little boy.

The Pirate Bachelorette
(In which Inigo Montoya is Ines Montoya, who has to deal with the Dread Pirate Roberts' "leave no one alive" credo. Marvelous tone and authorial voice.)
Anna, who's almost as happy to be rid of the first two syllables of her name as she is to be rid of her husband, takes to pirating immediately. She's a hard worker and cleverer by half than pretty much anyone else on the ship, and Ines gets so used to relying on her advice that it very quickly becomes frustrating to leave her behind every time they actually see action.

Bisou, bisou
(This is lovely - Fezzik and Inigo and kissing lessons.)
Vizzini had no time or patience to speak of kissing or just about anything else, beyond giving orders and describing his own brilliance. But Inigo was different. Inigo would talk for hours of kissing, of dancing, of the women he'd known, of the savory flavors of wine. His voice was soft, and Fezzik loved the little rasps in his accent. Late at night, when they talked and Inigo kept his voice quiet, it was like listening to a cat purr.

Confidence Artists
(This is so, so satisfying, holy cow. The threesome that this movie screams for, and executed so beautifully -- the prose is evocative and gorgeous and hot, the dialogue crisp and funny; Chel is a fabulous narrator.)
It took her the whole chaotic journey back to Spain to realise that she'd only just managed to get her foot over the threshold. Chel's new partners in crime speak a language of jokes and history and instinct. Its nouns are rehearsed insults and its idioms are obscure: the theatre fire in Seville; the thing with the bacon and the pack of dogs; that midnight sword fight along the ruined wall; what happened with the girl in Barcelona.

Miguel and Tulio, Tulio-and-Miguel, is an entity more impenetrable than Chel had anticipated.

Long Trip Home
(Henry and Eliza drive to a conference together; Henry struggles with his feelings. I really, really loved this - Henry's frantic insistence on seeing Eliza as a temptation, and then the way he slowly figures his shit out; Eliza herself being THE BEST, as usual.)
"Eliza, we are going to be stuck in this car together for five more hours. To spend all of that time in silence would be a waste of quality time together. We should converse. Or play games. What about I Spy? It’s the classic road trip game.”

“I spy someone old and grumpy.” She swipes her thumb across her screen three times in quick succession and then pauses to tap.

cracker snap(chat)s
(The Charmonique POV is gold! Selfie fics like this one are going to help me get through the long dark cancellation winter of my soul.)
Charmonique watches the old Western standoff occurring in front of her desk with interest. Way more riveting than last night's How to Get Away With Murder, no disrespect to Shonda. Real life was just—realer. "If you dare say something about my clothing being inappropriate for work," Eliza says, voice admirably level, "I will never speak to you again."

"It's—ah," Henry says, grasping for words. "It's a lovely sweater?"

a morning sunrise all the time
(This fic is so cute! It's sweet and quiet and lovely, and it feels so real. It fits really well with the video.)
Toni can't imagine Lauren going to any extreme sort of church. If she'd thought about it, she wouldn't have put Lauren, with her dirty laugh and tattoos and ability to send Toni's legs to jelly in two seconds or less, together with a church at all. "You stopped going once?"

“Yeah.” Lauren looks down at her plate a moment, before looking back up, all big, serious eyes. “It took a while to find somewhere right.”

Standard Deviation
(This somehow accomplishes the incredible feat of being both (A) completely hilarious and (B) terrifying, while (C) based on a goofy internet meme. I love the internet. I love Yuletide.)
But I had been there. I had been there. I had been part of the original team of surveyors and statisticians, accumulating and collating the data. We came upon Spiders Georg almost by accident. We were lost, trying out a shortcut that turned out to be a dead end. Spiders Georg found us, cold and afraid in a dark, lonely wood, and led us back to his cave for shelter. He lived as a hermit, limited in his contact with the outside world. For that reason alone we should have discounted him as part of the sample we were collecting, but my teammates insisted on polling him. They were intrigued. And then we learned he lived on a diet consisting mostly of spiders, and the data set was never the same.

Both of my amazing giftfics were "Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars" fics!!! Both are Sparks/Croach with incredible character voices. I've read both approximately fourteen million times in the last three days. You should too!!

(Sparks Nevada gets his shit together, following the baby arc. This has the distinction of both being completely hilarious and also ripping your still-beating heart out, oh my god.)
Croach was not sulking. That would be a mis-designation. If he even had the emotions that would allow him to sulk, he would not sulk, because he was Croach the Tracker, not Croach the Sulker.


Sparks Nevada had not found simple human pleasure in Croach’s carefully organised Surprise Event. Which had been surprising in itself; Croach had learned human cultural mores from the Western Sector novels of Rebecca Rose Rushmore, and according to the plot lines of All on the Venusian Shores, Eros is Not Just a Moon, and The Sheik of Uranus’s Baby, there should have been a lot more conciliatory laughter and human emotions such as forgiveness, and desire for small cakes designated as cups.

For the World is Hollow and Do You Really Need To Keep Touching Me?
(Croach and Sparks go on adventures with rad Mars worldbuilding! This is so, so funny and imaginative, with the warm, fuzzy heart at the core that I've come to expect from "Sparks Nevada.")
“The reaction will take some time,” said Croach. “And by the time it is finished, this side of the planet shall be in deep night. If you wish to survive, we should consider further physical contact. Or I could extrude an embryonic sac for each of us to sleep in.”

“And if I don’t wish to survive?”

“I do not feel that you are taking my opinion seriously. Shall I extrude…?”

“No extrusions. That’d be — that’d be gross.”

Two Monks Invent Mr. Darcy
(Oh my god. This is pitch perfect, for that series on the Toast. I don't want to spoil any of the artistic choices made.)
MONK #1: can you tell me what mr darcy's like?

MONK #2: can i ever!
he's a little bit tall, a little bit proud, a little bit awkward around strangers
has 10000 a year
not much of a dancer
dark hair
noble mien

Meet Yourself Coming From The Other Direction
(Everyone is great here and I love the concept, but the Calhoun POV is so, so especially excellent.)
They've got back to Felix's game. He's got a nice little place in the basement of the apartment building, nothing fancy. Calhoun likes spending time here more than she wants to admit. She's softer here, more prone to sunshiny eight-bit thinking. Part of her despises herself and thinks she ought to be doing chin-ups on the bar in the closet. The rest of her is enjoying a bunk that may be pixelated as all get out but is soft as a puppy's backside.

One Game at a Time
(Ralph takes Vanellope on a tour of the other games, now that she can leave Sugar Rush. The sense of humor is marvelous, and so is Vanellope and Ralph's joy at adventuring together! It's super cute.)
“Everybody do this,” Vanellope demands and demonstrates.

The troop obediently do jumping jacks.

Vanellope giggles.

Calhoun looks proud.

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