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Title: of the nature of the wound
Fandom: Check, Please!/Hockey RPF
Pairing: Eric Bittle/Jack Zimmermann, Larissa “Lardo” Duan/Shitty Knight, Patrick Kane/Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn/Tyler Seguin, Past Kent Parson/Jack Zimmermann
Categories/Genres: Angst, AU, Drama, Epistolary, Established Relationship, First Time, Fluff, Friendship, Humor, Romance
Length: Long (33936 words)
Warnings: Homophobic language by hockey players

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: buchanan

Summary:

His first year in the NHL isn't easy, but Jack has spent his entire life playing through the hurt.

Review:

Note: While Check, Please! doesn't require knowing anything about hockey beyond the fact that it's a team sport played on ice, of the nature of the wound does require a functional knowledge of professional hockey and how its seasons are scheduled. Being a hockey RPF crossover, this fic does incorporate real hockey players, and knowledge of those players provides useful context for their roles in the fic.

A lot of the Check, Please! fic I read tends to be of the lighter variety. Humorous and/or cute, and generally threaded through with the pervasive sense of, 'oh, you adorable boys'. Considering how light-hearted the canon is, it's probably not surprising that the fanfiction I choose to read follows in that direction.

of the nature of the wound is not one of those fics. It's also not an easy fic to get through, namely because it focuses on Jack's anxieties about being a closeted professional hockey player. You could, uncharitably if honestly, call it Jack's downward spiral of anxiety and loneliness.

buchanan's fic exemplifies the proverb “it is always darkest just before the dawn” in that it feels very much like the very beginning of a story that we are not (yet) privy to, not just in terms of Jack and Bitty's burgeoning relationship, but also the NHL as a whole upon the coming out of one of its most recognized hockey duos. Hopefully more of that will unfold in buchanan's expected sequel.

And now that I've given you a lot of reasons not to read the fic, I suppose I should mention why I am actually reccing it: buchanan does a fantastic job of weaving the fluffy and fictional Check, Please! microcosm into the much colder real world, where people change and move past who they were and sometimes grow apart, and where they succeed, fail, break, and struggle to mend what is broken. Jack Zimmermann does not feel like a fictional character as buchanan writes him. Nor does Eric Bittle, nor even Chowder, who is something of a caricature even in the comic's canon. It truly is a testament to buchanan's grasp of emotional complexity that I clung, riveted until the end, in spite of the fic's darker tone and truly annoying ten-line section breaks. (No, seriously, keep a finger on the space bar or page down key.)

of the nature of the wound

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Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words

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