Amour by Viola (PG13)

  • Jun. 10th, 2015 at 10:43 PM
Title: Amour

Fandom: Angel: the series
Pairing: ~gen, ~Holtz/Justine
Categories: dark, angst, drama, flashback, sad stories
Length: long, ~20,000 words
Warnings: abusive relationship, canon character death, written prior to season 4

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] viola_dreamwalk
Author Website: Viola_dreamwalk on AO3 (not all her stories are archived here) | Viola on fanfiction.net

Summary: An un-love story, happily never after.

Review: She looks at him the way Sarah did. The way Caroline had, at least at first. As though he's a poet and a prophet and a pilgrim soul. As though he's the hero of the piece, as though he could do no wrong. She looks at him and sees exactly what she needs, exactly what he wants her to see. He sees this and knows just how to make her love him. He finds he likes it.

This is the story of the antagonists of Angel: the series' season 3; Holtz, the archaic vampire hunter adrift in time, and Justine, who fought vampires like a cut-price slayer and will be remembered by most for slitting Wesley's throat. It's also the story of Holtz' wife Caroline and Justine's twin sister Julia, and the losses that forge Holtz and Justine's single-minded quests.

Viola is the author of my previous rec Percy Weasley, Rogue Demon Hunter, but the two works couldn't be more different. There is no light-hearted humour and quirkiness here, only velvet darkness and damaged, deeply flawed people, hampered judgement and loss. The prose is very beautiful.

This is a fascinating, lyrical exploration, filling in the gaps of who Justine and Holtz were and the skewed relationship between them.

Amour

Sold Under Sin by Kangeiko (Mature)

  • Jun. 3rd, 2015 at 9:40 PM
Title: Sold Under Sin

Fandom: Transmetropolitan
Pairing: gen
Categories: crack, satire, gorn, journalism, bowel disruptors
Length: medium, ~3000 words
Warnings: All The Warnings. If you're familiar with the comics... Hey, if you can think of somewhere appalling, it goes there, ok?

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] kangeiko
Author Website: Kangeiko on AO3

Summary: How to get screwed with your pants on.

Review: I think there is almost no meaningful sentence of this I can excerpt that will allow the review to keep a PG rating. Quite possibly there are moments with the potential to offend even people who've lapped up the grotesque gleeful technicolor offensiveness of the comics. It's glorious. (You may have to turn away from its gloriousness occasionally to gag or shudder.)

People who should know better want Spider Jerusalem to write an column on the economy. This fic takes the form of Spider's responding article, namely ~3000 words of vitriol spewed from the pen of the most obnoxious journalist on the face of the Earth.

The author does an awesome job of the Spider Jerusalem voice and in capturing the bizarre, vile world of the comics, with just enough thread of relevance amid the hyperactive excess to translate back to satire on the real world.

Sold Under Sin
Title: Blue Agents of Destruction

Fandom: Megamind/Lilo and Stitch
Pairing: gen, early hints of Megamind/Roxanne
Categories: crack, humour, fluff, crossover
Length: medium, ~6000 words
Warnings: none

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Dal Niente on fanfiction.net

Summary: Roxanne wakes up to find a strange creature systematically destroying her apartment.

Review: ...it had seemed harmless enough at first. And it had been cute -- it's still cute, never mind that it's shredding her sofa. It's gleefully enthusiastic about everything, and the cheerful burring noises it's making provide a rather strange counterpoint to the sound of rending cloth. Big ears, big black eyes, big nose, big grin? And fuzzy to boot. It's adorable.

State of my brain today demands I rec something with a high crack/fluff/cuteness factor, therefore have a meeting between the mutually blue and not-really-evil protagonists of two of my favourite animated movies.

Set pre-canon regards Megamind, when Roxanne Ritchie finds a blue, evil alien making itself a nuisance, and not even the usual one, she calls up Metro Man to help deal with the problem, as you do... only he's busy mid-crisis, but someone else overhears and surprises her by showing up to help instead.

I love the parallels touched upon here between two little blue dudes conditioned by society or creator to think of themselves as bad by default. File under 'crossovers that you didn't know needed to exist'.

Blue Agents of Destruction

A Mile Away With Their Shoes by Aralias (G)

  • May. 19th, 2015 at 9:58 PM
Title: A Mile Away With Their Shoes

Fandom: Blake's 7
Pairing: gen
Categories: friendship, sad stories
Length: medium, 5956 words
Warnings: downbeat ending

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] aralias
Author Website: Aralias on AO3

Summary: Gan and Orac are stuck together for a while.

Review: This is a sweet -- bittersweet -- fic and the oddest of odd friendship stories, focusing on two characters most often overlooked in fanfiction or on the show: Gan a strong man who couldn't fight in a world of spaceships and technology, and Orac the computer more normally used for punchlines and plot device than as a character. In this story, they form an unlikely rapport when they're forced to spend time in each other's company. And there's canon basis!

The idea of these two trying to converse and find any common ground is such a charming one, and the voices ring so true I can hear the actor's speaking the dialogue. The characterisation of Gan is particularly painfully resonant in context of where this is set in canon.

I also love the story behind the title, which is both hilarious and so fitting with B7ish philosophies on life.

A Mile Away With Their Shoes
Title: Lassiter Learns How to Bend

Fandom: Psych
Pairing: Carlton Lassiter/Shawn Spencer
Categories: podfic, romance, humour, slash, first time
Length: media: podfic, 1hr 30mins // fic: long, 15,418 words
Warnings: none particularly.

Reader Website: dark_dreymer on Dreamwidth
Author Website: Teragram on AO3

Summary: Lassiter is alarmed at finding himself attracted to Spencer following the Drimmer incident. He visits a friend in San Francisco, looking for advice, but Spencer has tailed him. Lust overtakes them in the gayest city in the world, but can their relationship survive returning to Santa Barbara?

Review: Another media rec, this time hailing from the recent Amplificathon podfic spree on Dreamwidth. But kind of a fic rec as well!

I didn't and still haven't had chance to listen to much from Amplificathon, which produced new podfic at a truly scary rate, but I was drawn to this podfic by the bright cover and the promise of a Paul Simon soundtrack, even though it isn't a ship I normally go for.

This is such an exuberant reading I couldn't stop listening, and it absolutely brings the story to life. The recording quality is about as polished as I've heard podfic, and I love the usage of Paul Simon's Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall for the soundtrack, and the echo to distinguish thoughts is nicely done, making it easy to follow in an audio format. The whole production seems to bounce along with the lighthearted spirit of the show and the ever-present slight inanity of the two main characters.

Lassiter Learns How to Bend - podfic
Lassiter Learns How to Bend as text on AO3

Farther Along [FANVID] by Ant3ka (unrated)

  • May. 6th, 2015 at 9:38 PM
Title: Farther Along

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Audrey/Duke/Nathan
Categories: OT3, friendship, romance, angst
Length: media: vid, 2mins 49
Warnings: none standard; covers seasons 1-3 only, religious imagery in lyrics.

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] ant3ka
Author Website: Ant3ka on YouTube

Summary: Farther along // we'll know all about it // farther along // we'll understand why. Nathan, Duke and Audrey realize that they're stronger together.

Review: A while back I did propose to occasionally rec media, and since I posted earlier than usual, I figured I'd post a media rec, too.

We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I have seen...


Vidded to a beautiful song by Josh Garrels, this vid begins slowly showing Audrey alone with her personal mysteries, but soon opens out into exploring her relationships with Duke and Nathan, separately and together, their own t(T)roubles and mysteries, and the connection between the three of them... And how very important they are to each other, together through thick and thin, arrayed against the backdrop of the Troubles and the other less supernatural tensions of the town of Haven.

It's a couple of years old now so it doesn't cover the recent seasons 4 and 5(a). In fact, I think it makes quite the taster for the show, skirting the mysteries without too many concrete spoilers (just confusing/unreliable ones), and yes, these people are beautiful together and, yes, this show has one of the most convincing potential OT3s on television. Definitely a favourite.

Farther Along
Title: In Between Days

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Percy Weasley/Oliver Wood
Categories: AU/canon divergence, war, slash
Length: long, 23,524 words
Warnings: references to injury, torture, wartime setting, minor character death

Author on LJ: perpetual_motion on dreamwidth
Author Website: Perpetual Motion (perpetfic) on AO3

Summary: Wherein book 7 is completely ignored because wars don't tend to happen so quickly; Percy Weasley runs a safehouse [because that's as close to administrative work as you can get in a war], and everyone gets a chance to play minor character bingo. Get your cards and markers ready!

Review: So there has been a reasonable amount of HP on here lately and I would rather post variety, but I read this for the first time only yesterday and I Must Rec, because I was blown away by how fantastic this is.

This is Percy Weasley's war, as he runs his safehouse with a removed precision and attention to detail -- living with the information silences and asking only what's necessary to perform his assigned role in precaution against capture. Character cameos pop in and out, delivering fragments of other peoples' stories throughout, and the Golden Trio are entirely absent from proceedings as we get to see the struggles of other characters fighting in their different fashions, in the longer slog, out of the spotlight.

The sparse style really fits Percy's perspective and state of mind, pulled in so tight to do the job and allowing himself so little, and the way he organises his world, to best offer the people he's taking care of what they need. It's lovely to see this character in an essentially caregiving role, too, a contrast to the administrivia and rule-obsessed focus he so often has (and in this fic he definitely still also has), and recall that he looked after the twins while they were growing up. The characterisation is subtle and glorious, making the moments where characters with an outside perspective on Percy's closed world make observations that pull all the hints together so very earned.

Of course, one of the agents flitting in and out of Percy's safehouse is Oliver, but the romance, while definitely engaging, to the degree that I'm now seeking out more of this pairing to read, feels more like a bonus on top of a very different kind of story.

There are sequels that expand events after the war a little, and I love that there are sequels and you should read those, too, but this fic is where my rec is at.

In Between Days
Alternate link to In Between Days on Dreamwidth

Laid Out by Frostfire (Explicit)

  • Apr. 30th, 2015 at 1:19 AM
Title: Laid Out

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Audrey Parker/Nathan Wuornos
Categories: smut, kink, het, sensation play
Length: medium, 2198 words
Warnings: none

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: Frostfire on AO3

Summary: So they're drinking.

Review: ...she’s made herself...several martinis, and Nathan has had...many beers, and they’re talking about the Troubles, and he has his serious brooding face on, which doesn’t fit with how the official night off was supposed to go. She decided herself, that morning when they made plans, that tonight they would not work and they would still somehow enjoy themselves.

So she reaches out and pokes him in the side.

The noise he makes is so very, very entertaining—sort of like a cut-off hiccup—that she has to do it again. And he makes another, even more entertaining noise, so she does it again. And again.


This is written for the kink prompt "sensation play", and, well, there couldn't be a better kink match-up for this particular pairing -- with Nathan, who can't feel, except for Audrey with her immunity to the Troubles. So here is a fic about Audrey getting drunk and touching Nathan. A lot. Touching which Leads Places.

It's basically partner sex, back in season 2 when they're friends who are so very comfortable with one another, with the joking and teasing and frank discussions. It's genuinely fun and sweet rather than saccharine romance, deals with Nathan's unique situation with frankness and directness, and the end result is raw and real and really damn hot. I wish there was more Naudrey like this around on the internets, because damn.

Laid Out

Orleans by Hth (PG13)

  • Apr. 22nd, 2015 at 9:04 PM
Title: Orleans

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Buffy/Faith
Categories: femslash, AU (canon AU), dark
Length: medium, 6369 words
Warnings: unhappy endings, character death (file under "Wishverse")

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: Hth on AO3

Summary: There's a big daddy vampire out of Missouri who used to keep alligators as pets. There's a Slayer. And there's Faith.

Review: You have a crossbow strapped to your back under your jacket, you have three twenty-dollar bills and a bus ticket in your pocket, and this could be your last day on earth.

Or not. Either way, it's nobody's damn business but yours and your victims'.


Last week, I wanted to rec something with badass women and couldn't bring anything to mind that hit the note I was looking for. A few days later someone on my friends list was good enough to re-rec this story from years back with a new AO3 link... and talk about stories that stick in your mind for years...

It's the Wishverse in the dying days before Buffy's trip to Sunnydale, and Buffy and Faith in St Louis, a tale of cults and vampires, alligators and mass sacrifices, bathed in religious imagery and blood and heat, and you know it's not going to end well but the journey down is so captivating you can't look away.

This fic. The structure, the language, the weight of the metaphor and imagery, this fic is a thing of beauty. I can't think of much else I've seen told with the same intensity, and I've never seen a second person narrative work much better than in this.

Orleans
Title: Where There Are No More Tomorrows

Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space 9
Pairing: gen-ish, background Bashir/Ezri
Categories: drama, mystery, adventure, crime, post-canon
Length: long, 27,906 words if you trust ff.net's word counts
Warnings: Medical details and warfare.

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: CDS on fanfiction.net

Summary: Post-WYLB Bashir and LaForge try to solve a murder in the Post-War Alpha Quadrant.

Review: This is a solid mystery/adventure story set against the backdrop of the post-Dominion War Federation after DS9 tv canon leaves off.

Most delightfully in this fic, Bashir is... Bashir, and even years down the line from Emissary, there's still some part of him that would rather be a detective/spy/adventurer, and that enthusiasm carries through in the more matured portrayal of his character. I'm less familiar with LaForge and TNG, but he seems likeably written as the frustrated straight man to Bashir's impulsivity, and the banter between them is enjoyable.

I'm not expert enough to vouch for the accuracy of the science, Trek tech and medical information, but it all sounds incredibly convincing to me and there's so much of it, and so many *details* in the background this mystery takes place upon. Observations and anecdotes of the war and post-war, and the supply chain issues confounding Starfleet's military and medical efforts, and most relevantly for Bashir, costing lives.

As the header says, there's some Bashir/Ezri, but it's no more than a footnote and touchstone for Julian on his grim posting apart from her, there isn't a lot of time spent on it: the fic clearly supports the relationship but is for the most part gen. Geordi LaForge is along for some of the ride, but it really is Dr Julian Bashir's show. There are a few typos throughout, but they're not too much distraction from reading.

Where There Are No More Tomorrows
Title: Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: gen-ish, background Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny
Categories: drama, kidfic, diary, angst, humour
Length: long, 26,588 words
Warnings: I don't think so? See the bit about cynical-me and sobbing.

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] estora
Author Website: estora on AO3

Summary: Draco Malfoy: ex-Death Eater, former bigot, divorcee, and single father. His wife left him for Viktor Krum, his children worship the Weasleys who clash with the décor, something is rotten at Hogwarts, and he doesn't really know what he's doing. But maybe he's getting the hang of it.

Review: HP isn't really one of my fandoms, but reccing it last week made me want to re-read the previous really good HP fic I remembered reading. This rec is uncharacteristic for me, since I emphatically don't seek out kid fic. Yet evidently this story has some mysterious capacity to melt the cynical and hard-hearted. It has a couple of things working against it, actually, because I'm not a fan of the faux journal/diary style of narrative, and yet I did find that here I could get used to it after a while and still like the story very much.

Harry's generation are now in their mid thirties. As the story starts out it seems that Draco is still a prat, but a prat who loves his kids -- enough to disregard his own dignity and humiliate himself in front of his old enemies to provide parental comfort to them. And over the course of the story we get to see him mellow somewhat through the fronts he has to present and the stands he has to take for the sake of his children.

Perhaps the reason it works so well is that despite putting such an unlikely (and-yet-somehow-not) character in this situation, despite the magical world twist, the problems are real problems and the fic doesn't overplay things for angst, but takes on its situations with a genuineness and honesty. The impact of a parental separation. The way the parents' politics and actions and status impact upon their children. How parents have to fight for their children when they are different.

I suspect this has something to do with why this story reduced me to a sobbing mess in at least three places even on re-read. Really I don't know how to explain that.

Don't let that dissuade you from reading. It's actually a pretty funny story, too. Bring on the running jokes about Draco's receeding hairline.

Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood
Title: The Sleeper Awakes

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Gen
Categories: drama, character study
Length: medium, 10,300 words
Warnings: none

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] snorkackcatcher
Author Website: n/a

Summary: "It's been coming on for a while," said Percy ... "But I had to find a way out and it's not so easy at the Ministry, they're imprisoning traitors all the time." (DH, ch30). This is Percy's journey to that point.

Review: "But I want to fight," said Percy. He hadn't realised it until that moment, but saying it seemed to crystallise his resolve "What else can I do?

I'm very fond of Percy Weasley for the ambiguous position he occupies in the HP universe, as a character who isn't evil but nor is in the heroes' camp, who both follows his own ambitions and tries to do what he thinks of as right, and never really got the sort of attention in canon to examine that closely. So I'm partial to fic that works to redeem him and show his perspective.

This excellent story, I'd read almost a year ago, and it evidently stuck in my mind to the extent that I've just spent two hours obsessively looking for it again when it popped up from nowhere while I was thinking about what to rec today. It focuses on the subtle, creeping helplessness of Percy's position as he watches the ministry unravel around him and realises he's surrounded by a system he once believed in, now completely infiltrated and controlled by the enemy, and that the choices he made were the wrong ones... and then how he reacts once the truth becomes clear.

I am particularly fond of the manner in which Percy finally starts to fight back from within. It's so very him, after all.

The Sleeper Awakes

Global and Eternal by tricatular (PG13)

  • Mar. 25th, 2015 at 11:11 PM
Title: Global and Eternal

Fandom: The Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
Pairing: Eugenides/Irene
Categories: angst, political intrigue, romance, drama
Length: medium, 3264 words
Warnings: references to mutilation and torture as per the books

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: tricatular on AO3

Summary (mine): The tale of a coup upon the rulership of Attolia. (I think that the summary attached by the author is actually somewhat spoilery. Jump right into the fic! Be bold!)

Review: “You have had your time,” she said, coldly. “I want you to understand: this was always coming.”

Eugenides choked. He put his head down, shaking his head to try and clear his eye like an animal in a trap. “Irene,” he said again, “no, please. Please.”

“You did not steal me,” she said. “I was never yours.” She withdrew her foot, and fastidiously tapped it against the floor as if knocking off dirt.


I do seem to be failing on the 'epic' part of my recs lately, but here's a story that certainly feels more epic than its ~3000 word wordcount.

Megan Whalen Turner's name could almost be attached to this and I wouldn't be surprised. The author manages to capture the intensity and subtlety of the romance and politicking in the books, the chasm between the public and private faces of the king and queen of Attolia, and the layers of buried intrigue that take multiple readings (or at least the odd double-take) to unravel.

The two leads of this series of novels and their unconventional love story are long favourites of mine, and particularly in this fic I love the absolute composure of the Queen who reveals nothing, holding the threads of the plots while appearing submissive, contrasted with the King whose past trauma is all painted on the surface, and who manages to be awesome in spite of his deficit of dignity.

This is probably a primarily Yuletide fandom in terms of fanfiction production but is pretty energetic in its own right, so if you've read the books but you're not familiar with its presence online I suggest checking out [livejournal.com profile] sounis on livejournal. (A bonus free community rec thrown in!)

Global and Eternal

Cheekbones [fanmix] by quinel (unrated)

  • Mar. 18th, 2015 at 7:32 PM
Title: Cheekbones - a Haven/Nathan Wuornos fanmix

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: gen, Nathan/Audrey
Categories: fanmix, character study
Length: media: fanmix: 10 songs, approx 40 minutes
Warnings: bad language?

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: quinel on 8tracks | on Tumblr

Summary: A man who feels nothing and everything.

Review: Winter came as a load / Frozen down to the bone / I lived here half asleep

I played this fanmix over sufficient number of times last week to a) download most of the songs on it anyway at my own expense, and b) start seriously thinking about making some media recs every so often. So here is the first epic fanmix rec.

The lively variety of moods and musical styles here is something that I long to see more of in fanmixes generally. It's almost half instrumental, half indie, little bit pop and techno, throw in a folk-rock lilt and a touch of I-don't-even-know-what-you'd-call-that. As is the way of fanmixes, there is the odd song where I'm struggling to see the connection, and others where I'm not sure that the connections I'm making are the ones the compiler intended, interpretation of lyrics being so personal. 'Winter Song' is a gutpunch recall of the season 3-4 timeskip, long lyric segments of the almost-spoken-word 'You said okay' shout out the most churned and conflicted parts of the Nathan/Audrey relationship, and 'Dark Doo Wop' pretty much nails the season 4-5 couple with the world ranged against them. And there are threads of desperation, obsession, loneliness, containment and gentleness that thrum through the whole of this, that so fittingly captures the man who can't feel anything, as well as his need for Audrey Parker.

and it was then i realized you were not my world / you were my universe
...
and i wonder if that’s what it feels like to die and / if i’ll ever understand god in my lifespan / because i want to see god / i want to know what god feels like


I was trying to figure out how, as someone not-a-musical-expert, to best critically recommend a fanmix. But some of the lyrics speak for themselves.

Cheekbones - a Haven/Nathan Wuornos fanmix (Tumblr post with accurate tracklist and summary.)
Title: Megamind and the Beta Run

Fandom: Megamind
Pairing: gen, slight Megamind/Roxanne
Categories: humour, sequel
Length: medium, 2146 words.
Warnings: none

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] 20thcenturyvole
Author Website: 20thcenturyvole on AO3

Summary: Do-gooding is harder than it looks.

Review: “To the No Longer Evil Lair!”

Chances of going from supervillain to superhero and getting it right first time were always pretty thin. This short story acts as a direct sequel to the movie, exploring Megamind's initial attempts to make Metro City safer for its citizens, as he's... not quite getting the right idea.

"Surely you liked my automatic respectability rover?”

“You mean the machine that accosts poorly-dressed citizens, steals their clothes, shears their hair, scrubs them down, and spits them out dressed in three-piece suits?” the chief’s voice was very sharp.


Tone, characterisation, and just the right the mix of cute, absurd, twisted and funny make this a perfect follow-up to the movie.

Megamind and the Beta Run
Title: We're Made Out Of Blood And Rust

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Duke Crocker/ Nathan Wuornos
Categories: angst, slash, smut
Length: medium, 3,373 words
Warnings: season 3 bitterness? threat and gloom?

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: Skyline on AO3

Summary: “Look, you’ve been really, uh. Supportive. I guess. In your own way. But can you maybe stow the condescension for the night? Disdain doesn’t mix well with anything I serve here.”

Review: And even if their history wasn’t half-written in blood, Nathan is numb to hands and knives; to Duke, who is somewhere in between.

Featuring numb-but-still-willing-to-sex!Nathan, a fantastic Duke voice, and a general aura of threat and gloom...

Nathan pays Duke a very ambiguous night time visit sometime after the revelation of Duke's Trouble has come out. It's staggeringly well written. Some awesome twists of language in the descriptions.

We're treated to Duke's snarky opinion on Nathan and snarky opinion on himself, as well as hints of their shared backstory. Did I mention the bitterness? There's lots of that, albeit interspersed with the lines that still draw a laugh... Which is why I like this fic, in particular for these two, because it captures all the shades of anger and violence, snarky banter, love and concern, within the bluntness of its alcohol- and threat-fuelled smut.

In a startling show of restraint, Nathan does not pull a gun on him, which oh, goody, means death won’t come knocking today. Nor is Wuornos wearing his Serious Detective Face. No doubt that means Nathan is here in an unofficial capacity to lord his moral superiority all over Duke’s nice clean bar.

Joy. The floors will get all sticky with condescension and virtue.


We're Made Out Of Blood And Rust
Title: Whisper Your Name Into the Sky

Fandom: Daredevil / Fantastic Four
Pairing: gen
Categories: character study, friendship, crossover
Length: medium, 3,653 words
Warnings: none, unrated by the author but I'd put it around PG13

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] tartanshell
Author Website: Tartanshell on AO3

Summary: The Thing and Daredevil walk into a bar...

Review: Ben...Ben reminds him of his dad. All rough edges and warm, beery breath; sandpaper voice, broad shoulders, heavy fists. He's a literal mountain of a man, the way Battlin' Jack was when Matt was a kid. Still is, in his memories.

Matt Murdock and Ben Grimm... probably everyone else is less dim than I was, going into this story the first time with a sort of perplexed interest, wondering "what would they have to talk about?"

But it quickly moves to deeper places than Ben simply seeking Matt's advice about dating a blind girl. This is all about ways of seeing, appearances, anxieties, and what lies beneath the surface, the odd foundations of the friendship it builds up between these two very different men.

There's the nod to certain not-very-secret identities, and the author does fantastically with the details of Matt's senses and unique view of the world -- particularly I love the aspects of how he does perceive Ben -- but most of all it's just a lovely, warm fic with some gorgeous lines that doesn't go entirely where you expect it and feels like it's just kicking back and letting the characters talk. I can hear their voices in this.

Whisper Your Name Into the Sky
Title: Percy Weasley: Rogue Demon Hunter

Fandom: Harry Potter / Angel fusion
Pairing: gen
Categories: humour, action/adventure, crossover (ish)
Length: epic, 68,476 words
Warnings: none

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] viola_dreamwalk
Author Website: Viola Dreamwalk on AO3

Summary: It's the summer after OotP, and Percy Weasley is a man without a mission.

Review: Once outside, he looked down at the card. It read:

Career Analysis: Weasley, Percy

1. Wand Salesman
2. Lounge Singer
3. Personal Administrative Assistant
4. Chartered Accountancy
5. Champion for the Good of Humanity


First off, disclaimer that this series is listed as a single incomplete chaptered story on AO3, but it's posted elsewhere -- and I read it originally on LJ -- as several self-contained stories. So I feel justified that at least in terms of the earlier installments I'm not reccing something unfinished, although the series remains open-ended. I'm not sure how likely it is to get more installments at this stage, but the author did post Part 6 after a long gap.

So after Order of the Phoenix, Percy washes out of the Ministry of Magic with the rest of Fudge's administration and proceeds to get fearsomely drunk. Then, eventually, when the hangover wears off and he picks himself up out of bed, he tries to find an alternative career.

The jump-off concept of the story is that Percy Weasley is Wesley Wyndam-Price transposed to a whole other canon with a different name. Which, well. Heh. The portrayals of Percy, Ginny and Kingsley Shacklebolt working together channel season 2's Angel Investigations-without-Angel consisting of Wes, Cordelia and Gunn. The only Angel character that physically appears as himself is Lorne, and yes indeed, there is karaoke. (And yes, there are vampires.)

It's funny, in a restrained, wry, sarcastic-sideways-look-at-the-universe fashion. It's got a unique whimsical rhythm and charm all of its own. It gleefully abuses both its fandoms in terrifically fun ways. It stands in its own little world of gentle, self-effacing crack. And after something over a decade, it's probably still one of my favourite pieces of fic writing on the internet.

Percy Weasley: Rogue Demon Hunter

a bird in a gilded cage by othiara (G)

  • Feb. 11th, 2015 at 10:01 PM
Title: a bird in a gilded cage

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Veronica (Audrey Parker)/original female character
Categories: drama, historical, pre-canon, femslash
Length: medium, 12,100 words
Warnings: None really, although I'd up the author's G rating to a PG13 for mentions of violence and minor character death. Downbeat ending.

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: Othiara on AO3

Summary: "How many secrets can one town have?" The story of Veronica, Audrey's 1901 incarnation.

Review: This is an interesting one, and as far as fanfiction goes, it's probably not going to be the most-read story ever, not having any of the major characters in it as such, but I thought it was worth drawing a little attention to for being something rather different from anything else to be found in the fandom.

It's the tale of one past incarnation out of Audrey Parker's many lives fighting the Troubles: the canonically bisexual Veronica. And with the ancestor of Vicki Dutton (with the drawing Trouble), and a female Crocker heir, Veronica's time helping to fix Troubles in this story carves out a particularly female space in Haven's mythology.

It's sparsely detailed but well told, with many parallels drawn along the way to how things have clearly played out, over and over again, across the centuries, with Haven's guarded secrets and cagey townsfolk and Troubled cycle.

a bird in a gilded cage
Title: Acquainted With the Night

Fandom: Daredevil / The Sentinel / Gargoyles
Pairing: gen
Categories: Crossover, action/adventure
Length: Long, 27,728 words (if you trust ff.net's word counts)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: Vathara on fanfiction.net

Summary: A murder witness goes on the run... to Cascade.

Review: The crossovers I've been reccing lately started me thinking about this old favourite. I should own up to having only ever seen one of the source fandoms because I read this first out of my interest in the Daredevil movie, but I only know The Sentinel from fic and I only know Gargoyles from this fic. Vathara writes crossovers, and this story exists in a sort of wonderful mish-mash world where fictional universes collide and assortments of other fandoms not even credited could get referenced any moment (for eg., the Ghostbusters exist in the same universe, here, too).

This story sees Matt Murdock, still kind-of-sort-of-pretending-not-to-be-Daredevil, agree to travel with reporter Ben Urich on a case to help out a girl on the run, and it picks up and carries the developing buddy relationship between the two of them that was hinted at in the movie, providing the movie's isolated version of the vigilante some friendly support. The case is complicated by the missing girl being a gargoyle, and by folks in The Sentinel's side of things finding alarm and interest in Matt Murdock's arrival on their turf.

The main draw for me is the relationship between Ben and Matt, and the fact I can see and hear these scenes with the same vibrancy of the better moments of the movie, but all its varied cast seem interesting and distinct even if I don't have enough idea of the other fandoms to put a face to them. The author handles Matt's blind but sensory enhanced perspective on the world and the crossover's tangle of other enhanced senses with fascinating details, and the dialogue exchanges just zip along. And it's just neat. I love Matt's connection to Urich, the perfect characterisation, the understated moments, everyone's alternate canon explanations of enhanced senses confuzzling the issues, the style and pacing and wackiness.

Acquainted With the Night

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