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Miscellaneous recworthies unearthed from my journal archives, alphabetized by title of show and—in most cases—featured female character's first name!


ANGEL: THE SERIES (and crossovers)

Videos:

Title: I Can't Decide
Music: Scissor Sisters, "I Can't Decide"
Summary: Lock the doors and close the blinds—we're going for a ride. An excellent overview of Darla's relationship with Angel on both shows. Watch out for David Boreanaz's wig in those flashbacks! Warnings for language, sex, violence, and implied rape.

Title: Love Is Nothing
Music: Liz Phair, "Love Is Nothing"
Summary: Love is nothing, nothing, nothing like they say / You gotta get up and work the people every day. Tiny, adorable, [bitter]sweetly perfect. Fred and Gunn.

Stories:

Fragile. Oh, you little bastard, she thinks. You made me do that. It wasn't me. Brief but vivid and fierce. Darla, reluctant admiration, and impossible, tenacious survival. Spoilers through "Offspring."

The Haunting, Hunted Kind. But I do, she thought. And what is fear, if not something to be defeated, finally? A ghost story for Darla, in which the ghost might be on either side of the observation line, or neither. Deeply compelling. There's also a comprehensive author's commentary, which does a superb job of contextualizing and expanding on the story's insights. Assume spoilers through Buffy season 5 and Angel season 4.

Maternity. No one had ever felt this for it, this terror, this fierce passion. Short but intense, unsentimental, brilliant. The last line is perfect. Spoilers through "Lullaby."

Them Bones. One way Connor could have met Darla. Darla's unsentimental, wry characterization is inspired. Spoilers through "Tomorrow."

Untitled, set the summer after season 2. If there was one truth of Darla’s existence, it was that she would not be someone else’s weapon. Concise and totally believable, with a dead-on character voice.

Five famous contemporaries Darla did not kill. Then Angelus got the soul, and Darla needed an excuse to rage and cry in public now and then without losing face in front of Dru and Spike, so she made it a point to catch every performance of Sarah [Bernhardt]’s she happened to be in the same town for. As the divine Sarah was touring all the time, those were quite a lot of performances. Plausible and very fun! Assume spoilers for Buffy season 1, "Darla," and "The Girl in Question."

There Is No Happily Ever After: Five Fairy Tales That Weren't. Steel, water, fire. Five of Angel's female characters who couldn't find the right fairytale ending in time. (All of them are connected to Connor.) Sad and chilling, especially the portrayal of Cordelia's despair. Spoilers through "Home."

Cause a Ruckus. Very short. One spoiler for "Double or Nothing." A moment in Fred's quirky, loving relationship with Gunn, sometime before "Sleep Tight." Aww, corset!

Not the Way It Works.
“Go to sleep, baby boy,
Uncle Lorne is here.
I will take care of you,
You’re safe, so do not fear.
We’ll make everything okay,
Me and Auntie Fred,
I will heat your bottles up,
And she’ll dust the undead…”
Fred as the big damn action hero we always knew she was—our girl, large and in charge (okay, teensy-weensy and in charge), courageous and meticulous and smart as a whip. Both Fred and Lorne are adorable, and even minor, original characters benefit from distinctive characterization in this funny, fast-moving, thoroughly enjoyable story. Spoilers through "Dad."

Goodbye, Newtonian mechanics. Hello, special relativity. "Next thing you know, we'll be developing Tang." Sometime after "Hellbound," it's another day in the lab for Fred and Knox, who rope the vampires at hand into testing something. Perfect voices, geekily adorable and funny.

Girl Crush. Hee, and I can't help saying aww again! Harmony expounds on a night out with Fred in season 5. Perfect character voice.

Salt on the Lip From the Sea Somewhere. Instead she went to a coffee house and spent two hours eating five different kinds of muffin, all vegan, like comparing the quality of each one was the most important thing in the world. After "Not Fade Away," Fred's feeling a lot of ambivalence. Lovely Fred voice.

Morning Routines: Fred. And though she does not hear herself, does not often even realize she is speaking, a listener who spoke her language would hear her repeat her over and over: human, human, human. A short character study—matter-of-fact, poignant, quietly revealing. Spoilers through early season 5.

Prisoner. It all depends on your point of view. Tiny character study for Fred, set the summer after season 2.

Runaways.
She starts with the beginning, and her voice keeps on slipping and sliding and the chronology shifts and turns and eventually she tells the story in reverse and she's saying, "And then I met you and that was the beginning, the best beginning, because at the end I fell into hell and I hated it and now I'm here and you found me and Angel found me and I won't be lost again. Please." Her voice breaks and Oz puts an arm around her shoulder, so gently that she hardly feels it.
If things had gone differently during "Fredless," this is what might have happened next. Fred started running again; she's not sure how to stop, but Oz might be able to help. Perfect characterization.

Nitty Gritty Detritus. Excuse me, she says, and runs. The summer after season 2, Fred knows three ways to leave the Hyperion without being seen. Oz understands boundaries. Funny, with great voices; Fred's is enjoyably jittery, like downing a shot of caffeine.

Sweet, Sour, and Sweet Again (The Monster at the End of This Book Remix). Stunning. Vision, death, power, and what that means for us reading Cordelia and Fred. Spoilers through "Not Fade Away."

Quid Pro Quo. "I didn't realize this was clandestine. I would have worn sunglasses." Exactly how a tentative not-quite-friendship might have struck up between Fred and Lilah, the summer after season 3. Spoilers through "Deep Down."

Girl Time. "If you want to sign on with Heartworm and Wolf like the rest of them, it's okay, but you still deserve some girl time." A might-have-been: a little time out of the office for Fred in early season 5. Sweet and concisely characterized. Spoilers through "Home."

It Must Be Hers. She wakes on the third day with the grievous need to talk, to speak the truth, to hear that someone else knows what happened and that she hasn't imagined it. Fred as cartographer; she's a stranger in a strange land again, but this time she's rescuing herself. The fraught distance between Fred and her parents, even as they try to lead Fred back to her old life, is in some ways more credible than what took place during "Fredless."

Untitled [two ways Fred didn't meet Rodney McKay, and one way she might have].
... when they did logic puzzles of the stupid "if Amanda, Bruce, and Colette play the violin, ukulele, and trumpet, but Bruce only plays on Thursdays and the violin can only be played on every second Tuesday" variety, she would make up stories and babble them out, about why these stupid people were playing in an orchestra in the first place. Missing the point, he’d yell, because it was all about variables, but he did notice that even if she babbled a whole bunch, she did always finish her puzzles first.
Journal articles passing in the night, and/or one summer at Camp Sohcahtoa. Tiny, poignant/adorable, perfectly in-character crossover with Stargate Atlantis. Spoilers through "A Hole in the World."

Untitled ["So we'll always have something of Doyle in the office."] Fred's new at the hotel, and some things, like this thing, this piece of paper in a frame, are old, and private, and painful. She doesn't say anything else. Sometime after "Carpe Noctem," Cordelia and Fred (don't quite) talk about Doyle.

Cascading Style Sheet. Fred catches up with the times and gets the hang of something new. Minor spoiler for "Provider."

Investigations. Kate might be as crazy as her colleagues think she is, as pathetic and obsessed. But she will remember. She goes to the funeral of the Kramers, and pays for that of Daniel Zoblowsky because no one else will. A short, compelling Kate character study, leading to one path she might have taken after "Epiphany." Makes minor use of Julie Benz's role as Rita Bennett on Dexter. General spoilers for Dexter season 1 and one by implication for season 2.

I Can Hear the Mermaids Singing. Kate takes Angel on a friend-date... to Mass. Thoughts on sin and salvation are the order of the day. Captures the dynamic of prickly honesty and tentative trust between these two characters, not without humor, as well as the sense of renewal that might have begun for Kate after "Epiphany."

Going Scully. "And you're going to get yourself killed." "You know, that's some coincidence. I look in the mirror and say that very same thing every morning." Kate hunts a demon, sometime between "The Prodigal" and "Sanctuary." Excellent portrayal of her sense of duty to the nameless victims, the lengths to which she's willing to go for justice, and her growing, reluctant awareness of moral ambiguity with respect to the supernatural. All the other players are splendidly characterized, too.

Lucky Night. Luck’s all the backup I’ll ever need, she thought, half believing it, half trying to make herself believe it. "As long as it lets me fight for another day, I’m fine." Kate encounters a demon while pursuing a criminal, but she won't be thrown. Her voice and driving focus are clear in this brief story. General spoilers through "The Prodigal."


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (and crossovers)

Stories:

Untitled, set during "Once More With Feeling." "You won't know what food to eat or what fork to use at dinner or how to smite anyone who opposes you. I can help!" One decision Anya could have made. Perfect dialogue. Heh!

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Sex Poodles. Then again... the catwalk was deserted. And did the Bible not say `greater love hath no man than this, that he shall risk public humiliation and possible arrest to make his girlfriend happy'? It's an ordinary week in an very ordinary summer. Very fun, funny, tender depiction of Anya and Xander's relationship in the summer after season 4. General spoilers through "Buffy vs. Dracula."

Joining the World of Missing Persons. It's the oldest dream of all, and I've just had it. Just perfect in every way. Anya and Tara after "Chosen."

The Core of the Apple. They are as unfamiliar as her new skin, but if she reaches back far enough, she recognizes the squirm in her stomach, the heat in her chest, the sticky, gross feeling at her core. She's feeling human. Anya, Cordelia, a road trip they could have taken together after "Graduation Day." Sharp voices and vivid prose.

Bunny Bunny Oxen-Free. The diner had been deserted for a week, ever since the three-hour lightning storm followed by the whole demonic-shapes-in-the-sky aurora borealis in southern Idaho thing. Everyone ran away and Buffy ran in, typical. Snappy, funny dialogue and charming friendship for Anya and Buffy. Spoilers through "Chosen."

Returning the Favor. When Willow and Xander return to Sunnydale, Xander finds something unexpected to remind him of Anya. Short but lovely. Spoilers through "Chosen."

Miss America. "You don't have a clue, do you? You're their idol. And I'll only ever be your first runner-up." Brief but intense. Spoilers for "Entropy."

Bachelorette Party. “I’m glad that they have a suitably crass and suggestive name. Oh, I hope that they have themed stripping, like men dressed up as sailors or firemen.” Perfect voices and characterization. Hee! No spoilers for "Hell's Bells."

Useful Commodities. “Chains. Kinky,” is her comment, followed by: “Please tell me the current state of your mental health. Are you sane or should I come back later?” Anya talks, Spike mostly listens. Snappy, wry character voices and insights. Spoilers through "First Date."

into the sunset. Wishes are fairy tales, and curses, too. No white knight. Excellent imagery. 100 words. Spoilers for "Hell's Bells."

Too Much.
“‘Cause nothing keeps ya in the mood like the talk of global capitalism.”

“Oh, I know!” Anya nodded vigorously.
Sometime before "Triangle," a perfect snapshot of character dynamics in the Magic Box with Anya, Willow, and Xander.

The People You Meet. “Oh, like she’s not totally already there?” Cordy points, and Anya is in fact standing at the top of one of the water slides, holding a float and waving. Xander finds Cordelia and Anya again. Aww. Implied spoilers through "You're Welcome" and Buffy season 7.

Untitled, set sometime before "The Wish." Implied spoilers for "Reunion." Lilah can turn any situation to her advantage, but Anyanka might have the last laugh.

Fanlisting:

The Anya & Xander fanlisting, with an episodic history, images, and quotes. Pretty design, too!


HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET

The Birthday Girl. "Happy birthday, Detective Scooby Doo." Short. Kay and fellow detectives on the morning of her 34th birthday, in season 2. Perfect dialogue and characterization—funny, brisk, just sweet enough. Like a missing scene from the show.


THE WIRE

The Hustle. Kima is the new McNulty. AMAZING take on Kima after season 4, and on everything that's come before for her and for Jimmy. Pitch-perfect in the spirit of the show: the nuances of dialogue, characterization, every last thing.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
rustydog
Feb. 15th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you for these recs! As involved as I was in Buffy fandom, I never read much fic in it, so I'm looking forward to these.
ticketsonmyself
Feb. 15th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome! I hope you enjoy them.

P.S. Your Cordy & Fred icon = best girlcrush icon ever!
rustydog
Feb. 15th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks! I hadn't even noticed that look until I went through the screencaps, and it was the most adorable thing ever. :)
geekturnedvamp
Feb. 15th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
I've read some of these and they're excellent, which is exciting because that means the ones I haven't should be equally good. Thank you!
ticketsonmyself
Feb. 15th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
You're quite welcome! :)
selenak
Feb. 16th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you for recommending several of my Darla stories! And I can't wait to explore the other recs.
ticketsonmyself
Feb. 16th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
You're welcome! They're fabulous stories. Oh, and I linked your "six degrees of separation" meme ficlet about Kate, too.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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