rave (dorkorific) wrote,

oh lj my poor ailing goldfish

I AM NOT LEAVING YOU, AHAB, OKAY. I'VE STUCK BY YOU AND THIS TANK FOR SO MANY YEARS.

idk, I am afraid of change, so a move to dreamwidth is probs not going to happen until lj actually clutches my hand, gasps out a few consoling words and dies. getting a tumblr was as close as i'm likely to get to "adapting" to "the modern internet."

i have a lot of work that NEEDS to get done today, so i think i'll post some WiPs. that is definitely a good choice which i won't at all regret! ugh, guys, I have so many open projects right now. don't get me wrong, i'm grateful for the creative explosion, but also, help?

1. the master & commander/sherlock holmes crossover (2000 words).

"Don Esteban Maturin y Domanova," announced my friend, entering the room with such a slam that I nearly dropped my glass. "Or, as he was better known in England, Doctor Stephen Maturin. You are familiar with the name, Watson?" The last sentence was muffled: he had stuffed his gloves into his mouth, leaving his hands free to rifle through the pile of aged papers he had deposited on my desk.

"I am not," said I, recovering. "Friend of yours, Holmes?"

"Unfortunately, no," said Sherlock Holmes, separating something from the pile and coming toward me. "Forgive the intrusion, Watson; I hoped I might store these in your quarters. The air in mine is regrettably unwholesome at present. A slight mishap with the condensing flask this morning, nothing to distress you, but the papers are antique and rather fragile."

When Holmes was stimulated, the effect could be overwhelming. His eyes became so bright they were nearly silver, and his whole long agile body moved as quickly and elegantly as a great cat's. On this occasion there was even something like color glowing over those fine, sharp cheekbones. He was more vividly alive in these moments than anyone I have ever known. I could not but smile reflexively back at him.

"Naturally you may leave them here," I said, looking curiously at his new acquisitions. Atop the papers lay a very ordinary-looking quarto, neatly bound in forest-green leather: worn, but not ancient. "What are they? The effects of this Dr. Maturin, I suppose?"

"Precisely. As to what they are, that depends on your point of view. From a scientific or historical viewpoint they are of considerable interest. Dr. Maturin was not merely a naval doctor and a biologist of some stature, but also a spy against the French in Napoleon's time. His personal reflections are therefore valuable. In my own opinion, this –" and he brandished the green quarto, "is of more immediate interest. I believe it may be the key to a rather unpleasant murder."

"Tell me all," I said, heading to the sideboard.



*



2. the bbc merlin/t.h. white crossover. (5000 words) (I know.)

He dreamed that night that he was ten or eleven, and even dreaming knew it instantly for a memory. Something about the tunnel-smell of moss and leather, and the rough stone wall against his fingertips, and the echo of far-off noise through the stairway, was too vivid not to be life. He was smaller in the dream and moved more quickly, bounding up the tower steps two at a time toward his tutor’s room.

The iron-bound door was ajar and through it he saw the old man slumped in his chair, the fire dying down at his feet. The little tawny owlet he had taken in was perched atop his armchair, its eyes closed meditatively. A candle, balanced precariously atop a stack of old yellowed books, was dripping white wax onto the toe of Ambrosius’s boot. There was a smell of brandy about him, and that was odd, because that was a smell that went with Arthur’s father in his noisy hall – not up here, where the old teacher lived peacefully with his books and small menagerie.

“You forgot my astronomy lesson tonight,” Arthur said to him, severely. “I waited at the north-eastern tower for a half-hour. You said we would watch the transit of Venus and now I expect we have missed it.”

“What?” The old man started and blinked up at him, and then he said, “Arthur?”

For an instant Arthur felt as if his tutor were seeing someone else completely, someone who made his face go strange and taut for an instant, who put that strange, wondering joy in his voice. It was terrible, that expression of dear recognition: like hope and the end of hope. Arthur wanted to shrink from it, but then Ambrosius blinked again, and his pale blue eyes cleared, and it was gone as if it had never been.

“The transit of Venus. Of course.” His tutor breathed out slowly, passing a hand over his face. “Ah. I’m sorry, lad. I’m losing track of time in my dotage.”

“No you’re not,” said Arthur. “You yelled at me this morning for being only five minutes late to lessons, and that was not even my fault, I told you.” He ventured closer. “Is that my father’s brandy? May I try some?”

“Decidedly you may not,” Ambrosius said, snatching the bottle away.




3. the stevie/xabi napoleonic war AU.

It was the first moment he’d had to himself in days. He had his notebook and the last dregs of the Magistrate’s brandy, and the evening air was unseasonably warm. With the first sip he felt tension ebb out of his muscles, unlocking sinews that barely remembered how to relax. He was just beginning to really enjoy it when they dumped the wounded man at his feet.

It was Cesc and Pique, of course, Pique wearing the smug fatuous expression of a cat presenting a dead bird.

“What the hell is this?” It was the mildest possible question of the many he wanted to ask.

“It’s an Englishman,” Pique said. He scratched the back of his neck. “We found him in the field. He used to be more conscious.”

“I sent you out to check the snares for rabbits,” Xabi said, very slowly. Some days it was like being a goddamned wet-nurse.

“Sorry.” Cesc, at least, had the grace to look embarrassed. “It was only – he needed help. I mean, he was delirious, but I thought – I don’t know. I thought he might not have to die.”

“He’s definitely going to die anyway, though,” Pique pointed out. “I said, just take the boots and leave him, but this kid –” He jabbed a thumb at Cesc, and lowered his voice to add, “I told you he wouldn’t like it.”

Cesc yelped in high indignation, “What? You—”

“Just shut up,” Xabi cut in wearily, “both of you, go away.”

It was his own fault, really, for sending those two out together. Surely he’d learned that lesson enough damn times. There was nothing for it now, though. He knelt down by the man they’d dragged back, examining the damage.

At a guess, Xabi would have said the man was Irish: something about the graceless, rough-hewn appeal of his face, the sandy hair and pinked skin under the mud and the unhealthy pallor. He had to be a soldier. He wasn’t in uniform -- just a rude homespun shirt and trousers – but the sturdy boots were military issue, and the long-healed saber scar running from forehead to cheekbone spoke of an old campaign. An irregular, maybe.

A poor spy in the Peninsula, though, this big fair man. Perhaps he was meant to be in Vienna and had got lost.

Not without regret, he shook the rest of his glass of brandy over his hands and peeled up the stiff, blood-matted cloth over the man’s stomach. He probed the long slash across the ribs gingerly, with two fingers. It needed cleaning and stitches, he thought, noting the filthy edges of the wound, if not outright cauterization.

The Englishman seized up suddenly, as if roused by pain, and grabbed Xabi’s wrist. His eyes were still closed. His grip was a strong man’s but decimated: the fingers quivered with effort, but stayed loose.



4. the inception one.

Eames doesn't know if it's because he's not in the field too often, or because of the wealth of interesting hallucinogens and/or anti-malarial pills in his system, or because he is just basically superior to other people, but it is a fact that -- even after years of working extraction -- he still dreams at night. The dreams are vivid and compelling and sometimes they go on for days. Still, he always knows them for exactly what they are.

Lately Arthur – whom Eames hasn't seen in at least six months – keeps popping up in them like a bad idea.

Once they are driving together to a snowbound cabin and there are tornadoes in the distance. Once Eames is trying to teach a class of juvenile delinquents how to paint landscapes, and Arthur –in an Armani three-piece the florid orange of an American prison jumpsuit – keeps hogging all the watercolors.

Another time Eames has box seats to the Champion’s League final and Spurs is actually playing -- So this is definitely a dream, Eames thinks, darkly -- but Arthur can't find his cufflinks and won't let them get on the train until he locates them, so they miss the entire thing.

This last one is the worst, although even at the time he knows it's only a dream. He hasn't been to a game since he was a teenager, and he's certain his imagination could have conjured a hell of a match, even if the lineup might have been a little outdated.

"Eames still dreams," Arthur says now. "That's funny because it rhymes." He is sitting next to Eames in the wings of his primary-school stage. They are in a play together. Only they're not, because this is a dream. It is probably, Eames thinks, a dream about exposing oneself/facades/self-construction et cetera, isn't that what dreams about theatre mean?

"That's not, actually, funny at all," he informs Arthur. "Rhyming isn't funny just because it's rhyming. Even my projection of you has no damn sense of humor."

"I'm actually a projection of you," Arthur corrects him, "disguised as me. It's all very Jungian." His shirt is untucked on the left and his cuffs are loose, but the dove-gray tie – Ralph Lauren, Eames thinks, one of mine – is knotted with military precision, a perfect double Windsor.

Arthur is saying, "I could be all sorts of things. Career choices you didn't make. A subconscious longing for order because your life is such a mess. Maybe something about your father. I don't know. I'm just your metaphor, not your shrink." He frowns at his unbuttoned cuff and refastens it with that charming, wrinkle-browed fussiness. "Or it's just about sex. Whatever. You like me a little bit rumpled, don't you? What's that about?"




5. the master & commander/temeraire mary sue crossover (YES, REALLY) (I JUST WANT ONE DECENTLY-WRITTEN LADY CHARACTER IN THE O'BRIAN-VERSE, OKAY, IS THAT SO WRONG)(someday i will write a manifesto about Reclaiming the Mary Sue) (and it will be so goddamned boring) (look forward to that day flist)

As the voyage wore on, he found that – Jack aside – the person with whom he spent the greater part of his time was Parry, the aviatrix. She had visited him for an old injury of the shoulder, and during the examination had become distracted exclaiming over one of his beetles, the splendid American Chrysochus.

The speed of their intimacy surprised him, though upon later reflection he did not know why it should have. She had practically no one else to talk to. There were few aboard who would speak a word beyond the expected courtesies, and these were delivered grudgingly. Her sex, her age and her odd beauty would have been trouble enough in an ordinary ship. In combination with her curious occupation they were fatal flaws. Even Jack did not quite approve her, though he would never have said so, being both a gentleman and patriotic.

Stephen, however, found her amiable company. She had a ready wit, and as good a learning as could be expected from a military person. What was better still, her friendship ensured that Cornificia, the Longwing to whom she was attached, permitted Stephen to examine her with a kindly forbearance.

(Six limbs, Stephen marveled in his journal, two alone to bear the full weight of a creature that size! The Byzantine arrangement of sinew: the massive muscles of the shoulder, on which two joints were dependent -- both the relatively slender forearm, and the giant supraspinatus and flexor of the wing; the anatomy of the trunk alone would support a lifetime of study, and no useful person had yet turned his eye to the Longwing; even Colquhar, a man of some parts, had dedicated himself chiefly to the Regal Copper...

(Stephen took a moment in his writing to deplore this ridiculous infatuation with tonneage, a kind of scientific score-keeping or avarice. Unless it might be explained by some asinine institutional disinterest, perhaps, some half-conscious disdain for a species that preferred the captaincy of women? No doubt both unworthy motives played some role in the disparity. And there was to be considered, too, the secretion of acid. What could the compound be? By what means was it contained? No other creature, not even the Spitting Cobra, offered a parallel case. If only a corpse could be acquired! It seemed rude, however, to inquire how he might get one; and so he must restrain his enthusiasm and content himself with observation of the living animal.)

Charming she might be, but Parry was still an aviatrix, raised from infancy to that peculiar life, with its strange habits of mind, its absence of discretion. Their conversation veered sometimes into unfamiliar or dangerous waters. It had done so now.

“I confess I have rarely failed to enjoy it,” she was saying, with a little quirk of her full mouth. “A brute, physical pleasure, perhaps, but there is something beyond that in it too. I have been fortunate in the partners I choose – fortunate and, of course, discriminating – but I believe my greatest felicity has been a natural talent for pleasure; an aptitude for enjoyment.”

A brief silence. The wind sang in the vast tower of canvas above them, over the constant wash of the sea. Parry said, more evenly, “Forgive me, Stephen. I am spoiled by how frankly I may speak with you, and perhaps I indulge the liberty too far.”

“Never think so, joy,” said Stephen. “I was merely considering my reply. That you should enjoy the act is not shocking, my dear, but healthy and I believe general, among women fortunate enough to have avoided trauma, injury, humiliation. This insistence that woman is a reluctant accessory to man’s carnal impulse is absurd, the most deplorable insidious nonsense. Why, my own Diana -- ” and then he stopped, unsure why he should have pursued that line at all.

She saw it, and looked away a moment. Then she said, “Sir, I have little experience with society, and little, to be truthful, with friendship outside the covert. When I raise these subjects I fear you may think – I fear I may seem to be –” she waved a hand, clearly impatient with herself -- “making a burlesque of my private affairs; playing the coquette, you know; some such hideous selfish coy imposition. I would not for the world have you think so. It is only that I like your conversation so much, and I am accustomed to such -- not to say coarse, but such open company. It is no great sacrifice to restrict myself to safer topics. I should much rather that than risk your esteem.”

“I hope you will not, my dear,” said Stephen, and pressed her hand. “I value your company extremely, and your candor too. I assume no vulgar motives. Why, you are an invaluable resource, anthropologically I mean; do not laugh, soul, I am in earnest.”

“I beg your pardon. It is only that you relieve me extremely. Anyway, Stephen,” and she cut her green eyes sideways at him, merry and candid beneath the thick dark lashes, “if I thought you would in a thousand years accept me, I assure you I should put forth the proposition directly: none of this vulgar tease, this chit’s gratification.”

“You assume I should not accept you?”

“Oh, come! It is perfectly obvious. I have few graces enough, I know, but I am a woman, and a particular type of woman at that: I have a sense for these things. Had I contrived to bedevil you I should know it.”

“A man need not be bedeviled,” Stephen said, “to consent to such an invitation from a beautiful woman.”

“Perhaps not,” said Parry, and there was a strange rueful hardness around her mouth, “but I don’t choose to extend the invitation to anyone who isn’t reasonably bedeviled. I may be a Jezebel, Stephen, but I'll not be a jade. Anyway, even if I weren’t so choosy: it is quite true that a man, speaking generally, need not be enchanted to acquiesce. But you do, I think, a little; especially if you enjoy the lady’s company.”

“You have caught me squarely. I have never been comfortable with the act in pure isolation,” said Stephen. “But it is a fine line, very fine indeed, between friendship and enchantment, or at least it is so for the male. An attractive woman with whom one feels that easy companionship; what is the difference, quantitatively, between this and passion, and love?”

“Quantitatively? I suppose there is no difference -- as there is no difference between a cake, and a bowl of eggs and flour and sugar. The men I have loved have been, on the whole, the most contemptible specimens; and the best I’ve known I never could contrive to love, however dearly I wished it.”

“Then you have been in love, after all.”

“Very inexpertly.” The rueful, far-off expression was back in her face. “I did not like what it made of him, nor of me. A lovely heat at first, but then jealousy, humorlessness, indenture; and finally betrayal. It ended very ill. He is gone to America, and apparently has given up women and indeed human society altogether -- lives as a sort of forest monk, catching fish, and making his shoes out of bark.” A short laugh. “Such were the fruits of my affection.”

“My dear, provided you did not mutilate him entirely -- which I think outside your character -- surely he, not you, must bear the main responsibility for his current condition.”

She shrugged. “Perhaps. In any case, I find I am no great shakes at the affaire de coeur.”

“What you prefer might then be termed the affaire de corps.”

“Yes. Although naturally anything I engage in, as an aviator, must be termed an affaire de Corps,” and she grinned at him, showing her even teeth and a hint of impertinent pink tongue. “Oh, Stephen, don’t glare! The feeblest, the most abject quibble, I know, but you must forgive me. Even Shakespeare could not resist them.”

“You are not in the least remorseful, at all,” said Stephen peevishly. “The pun, for all love! A more perfidious form of false jocularity does not exist. It is worse than bawdy. I would expect this kind of behavior from Captain Aubrey; of you I had higher expectations.”

“Well, there is your further proof that woman is no angel. Besides, you began it, with your ‘might be termed an affaire de corps.’ Is not that a pun?”

“It is not,” said Stephen with dignity, “it is an homophone, a semi-homophone, in French at that, and falls therefore within the bounds of civil conversation.”

“Well,” dubiously, “you know best, I’m sure. Anyway, if it is this, of all my conversation, that you find most offensive, then you have a strange notion of tolerance indeed; but I am grateful for it. There – what is that, over the starboard bow? Is it your curious shearwater? Oh,” seizing the back of his coat in her slim strong hands, “do not lean out so far, rot you; Jack Aubrey will never forgive me if you should drown.”




fjksdkh my inability to finish my shit. i'm not even gonna get into the ACTIVE FICS aka the district/two help japans/all the psychosis i perpetrate with tyrannicides and yeats all the goddamned day/the whole fucking x-men situation/etc. ahahahha guys. just burying my head in my hands, laughing tragically.
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