bethbethbeth: Avengers A Logo (Avengers)
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I'm starting to revisit some of my old fandoms, and I'm paying particular attention to the recs people are leaving for me, so this journal might be more multi-fandom in the weeks to come.


AVENGERS

abstractconcept: "Small Town Hero" (Avengers. Phil/Steve. "Steve and Phil are your average small town dads—except, of course, that one of them is the celebrated Captain America and the other is an unsung national hero. Steve would like Phil to get the recognition he deserves . . . and he wouldn't mind if Phil was around to take out the trash more often." A...domestic story, set in the canon-compliant future in small town America. Some hints of neighborhood homophobia, but mostly gentle with believable characterizations. )

AlyKat: "So I Keep on Waiting ('til I’m Back Where I Belong) " (Avengers. Clint/Phil. "There were a lot of things S.H.I.E.L.D trained its agents for. There were a lot of things Clint Barton learned to pick up on his own. But there’s one thing his time in the circus, on the streets, and that S.H.I.E.L.D couldn’t prepare him for. Being turned into a dog? Yeah, S.H.I.E.L.D and the streets kinda failed to train him for that one." I admit it, I am an unabashed animal transformation fan in this fandom, and for the Phil/Clint pairing, it's all about the corgis. This story? Is long and original - within the conventions of this sort of transformation story, of course - and really very touching at times. I cried. I mean, it's not as if that never happens when I read fic, but... *g* )

Alwayslera: "This is Feeling" (Avengers. Natasha/Clint, Maria, Phil, Fury, Team. "Natasha is not emotionally stunted. She understands feelings. They're just chemical equations in the brain." One of the first things I thought as I was reading this was that this Natasha might have had trouble with emotions, but she was not a a robot - and then I discovered that the author had included a tumblr-style tag that basically said that very thing. Smart, insightful, really great relationship dynamics of all sorts.)

Amanuensis: "In Other Words, Thursday" (Avengers. Clint/Natasha. "Assassination, extraction, and morning-after breakfast. It's their version of domestic." Just right, especially in terms of the relationship dynamic between Natasha and Clint.)

copperbadge (sam storyteller on DW): "Black Amex" (Avengers. Bruce, Steve, Tony. "Bruce isn't sure he wants to use a credit card Tony gave him. Steve isn't sure he even knows how." Basically, Bruce and Steve go shopping. Just a really nice getting-to-know-each-other-and-the-world fic.)

copperbadge (sam storyteller on DW): "Homefront" (Avengers. Steve/Tony, Team. " Steve Rogers is a capable leader, a kind and cheerful man, a good friend, a strong role model, and a loyal soldier. He's also teetering on the edge of suicide." Author warnings: Extensive discussion of grief, PTSD, some talk of suicidal impulses. Unwise drinking practices and some mention of alcoholism. And despite those warnings, there is a great deal of heart and love of all sorts in this story.)

dentalfloss: "Through the Glass" (Avengers. Clint, Team, OCs. " “Thoughts Coulson?” Fury asked, finger tapping idly on Barton’s file. / “He’s dangerous. He has trust issues that we may not be able to breach, he will not like working with others, he will lie to us about his motivations every chance he gets and, most likely, be successful every time.” Coulson’s gaze drifted back to the empty chair Barton had chosen earlier, boxed in the corner yet protected on as many sides as possible. “It won’t be easy, but if we can win his loyalty he has the potential to be the asset we’re looking for.” / Fury agreed, though neither of them would ever dream that they already had Barton’s loyalty, or that the price it cost was so steep." This is - and I'm about to give spoilers now, so get out while you can - a mind control story, and not a Loki-centric one. Honestly, it was far more difficult for me to read than any Loki mind control story I've ever read - very painful at times, which isn't usually something I gravitate towards when I read fic - and yet I'm still reccing it...highly. It's a very different take on Hawkeye and his relationship to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Team, with a completely satisfying conclusion. Note: the author tagged this as Clint/Phil, but although there/s a definite and pervasive pairing subtext throughout much of the story, this feels much more like Clint-centric gen...in a good way.)

ereshai: "Right in Front of Your Face" (Avengers. Phil/Clint. "Phil and Clint get engaged and go out together to spread the news. but everyone is just shocked to hear they're together." So there are a thousand "everybody thinks they're dating" stories in this and every other fandom; this story is the other side of that trope, and it's kind of perfect and very funny.)

PlotDotOh (TheCheerfulPornographer): the "Valhalla Blues" series (Avengers. Phil, Peggy Carter, various Aesir, Phil/Clint, Peggy/Steve. The whole series could probably be summed up by the summary of the main story, i.e., "Death is not the end." In the main story, Phil is dead, ends up in Valhalla, and that's really just the beginning of everything. There are prequels and sequels to the main fic - and one side story - but the focus is what happens in Valhalla. And here's the thing: Phil's definitely in "hyper-competent" mode in this story, a fairly easy match even for Gods - just this side of being a purely fanon creation - and yet within the context of the story, it feels absolutely right, i.e., not contrived at all. I love Phil and his relationship with Peggy most of all, but there's great interactions with the Valkyries and with Loki and with Clint, of course. Not the most common conception of Valhalla, but a very clever and believable one.)

pollyrepeat: "fall upon, light upon" (Avengers. Phil/Clint. "In which Clint rejoins SHIELD, has a series of agency-sanctioned adventures, and despairs of ever getting Phil to notice him romantically. He might have known Phil better before he knew so much about him." Sequel to the already-recced "still officially lost", i.e., an excellent origin story for Clint. This story has Clint and Phil learning to be a great team, Tasha joining S.H.I.E.L.D., and much UST.)

raiining: "Baby Steps" (Avengers/Marvel (comics). Clint, Phil, Kate, Clint/Phil. "Clint Barton doesn't care for S.H.I.E.L.D. This Agent Coulson, though, he might be different." This is the Clint of the 616!comics-verse or maybe the Hawkeye-verse developing a relationship professionally and otherwise - with Agent Phil Coulson. The setting, as I've indicated, seems to be an amalgamation of a number of versions of the Marvel world, but it all works seamlessly. And yes, this is the regularly beaten-up version of Clint - as per comics canon, I'd like to note - but he's still independent and adorable. )

restlesslikeme: "if this isn't the kingdom then i don't know what is " (Avengers. Phil/Clint. Instead of the summary, here's the author's note: "[a] love letter to siken's poetry, to boys with bloody knuckles and agents with lonely routines." Agent Coulson brings a young Clint into S.H.I.E.L.D. and then waits. Smart and engaging.)

starandrea: "The First Annual Avengers Convention" (Avengers. Team, Darcy, OCs, Phil/Clint. "With damage estimates topping $100 billion, New York City faces a long and expensive road back. Charity organizations have stepped in to support the Red Cross and provide long-term relief, but the economy is struggling and money has to come from somewhere. Everyone wants a piece of the Avengers. Who better to help fundraise than the heroes themselves?" If you've ever been to a convention - especially Comic Con - you'll absolutely recognize this one. Great panels, great fun, and frequently insightful.)

thebratqueen: "The Consultants" (Avengers/White Collar crossover. Tony/Bruce, Peter & Neal, Mozzie, El, Phil, others. ""Which of our cases was similar to Iron Man and the Hulk wanting us to commit fraud for them?" Peter asked. "Because I have to tell you I'm racking my brain and nothing's coming to mind."" A clever, often funny, seamless crossover between two seemingly dissimilar - albeit both NYC-centric - universes. Very good voices and characterization, although I have to admit, I'm so used to Phil Coulson having near Ninja-like talents in fic, that him being 'just a guy in a suit' was briefly traumatic. *g*)

the_wordbutler (the_wordbutler on DW): the "Motion Practice" series (Avengers. Phil/Clint, Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes (background), Thor Odinson/Jane Foster (background). A non-superpowered AU that begins with this main story: "When Clint Barton takes a job prosecuting traffic offenses and DUIs at the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, he's pretty sure his life is finally going in the right direction. But the problem isn't the direction: it's where he ends up." and...I have to admit, it took a couple attempts before I was able to easily immerse myself in this world, despite liking the author's work very much, but once I did, it was very rewarding. Make sure you read the side stories, particularly Not Calm, But Bright", a long 'meet the family' story that's part of Phil and Clint's tale. Note: a Bruce-centric sequel to "Motion Practice" - i.e., "Permanency" - is currently in progress. )

Westgate (Harkpad): "Well on Their Way" (Avengers. Bruce & Clint. "Bruce and Clint hang out at a pub and trade coolest and dumbest things. Including a spicy food story." Just two guys getting to know each other better. I'd happily read dozens of stories where various combinations of Avengers just hung out together and talked - especially if they all felt this right.)

Zinnith: "Still Standing" (Avengers. Clint/Natasha...although mostly Clint & Natasha. " “I want superpowers,” Clint groans and swats at her hand when she reaches for another piece of glass. “Invulnerability, a healing factor, anything. I bet Thor never feels like this." Post Avengers battle and...perfectly them.)

DUE SOUTH

Deputychairman: "Your boots in the middle of the floor" (Fraser/Ray. "Ray’d slept next to Fraser on the ground lots of times. Also in the car a couple times, and down the hall from him in the empty Canadian Consulate that one time. So it shouldn’t have felt different to have him here in Ray’s apartment. But hearing Fraser brush his teeth from behind the bathroom door made something twist in his chest that he knew he was better off not thinking about." Post "Good for the Soul" and Ray's pretty sure he shouldn't have left Fraser to fight the good fight by himself, so he tries to make it up to him a little. Wonderful voices and the most perfectly tentative reaching for a relationship - on both their parts.))

IRON MAN

ladyflowdi: "They Don't Know Where We Come From" (Iron Man. Tony, Rhodey. "“Shrapnel,” Tony says, and alarms go off around his ears and he can’t breathe and the pain is going to eat him up from the head down. “In my heart. I made it. Not the shrapnel. ...Well. The shrapnel too.”" As the author suggests, this could - and probably should - be considered a missing scene from the Iron Man movie, taking place just before Tony returns to the U.S. Exactly what I've always imagined would have happened,)

HAWKEYE

the_wordbutler: "There Can Be Only One (Except There Are Two)" (Hawkeye. Hawkeye (Kate), OC, Hawkeye (Clint), Lucky! " There are two Hawkeyes, but they are both named Hawkeye. / No, really. / It is not any more complicated than that. / (Or: Why Kate Bishop hates first dates.)" I so feel for Kate here, even if I'm kind of secretly laughing at her pain.)

JAMES BOND - Skyfall

epistolic: "Permafrost" (Skyfall. Bond/Q. "007 is a cold-blooded killer, except when he isn’t." A very interesting take on the development of a relationship between Bond and Q, set as it is well out of London and in completely inhospitable surroundings. Really well written and evocative.)

Telanu: the "Sharing the Road" series (Skyfall. M/Silva, M/Bond. "" Three stories are in the recently completed series: the first two very plotty while the third is a perfect coda to the series. The relationship between Bond and M is excellent, deep with unspoken emotions. Really great voices, and some smart - sometimes funny, but never clumsy - James Bond meta, you could probably call it? Warnings for rape in the first story and canonical violence at a variety of points throughout the series.)

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

zoicite: "Death and the Lovers" (Kay's Phantom. Erik/Nadir (the Persian) "“You can’t shut me out forever,” Nadir insisted. / Erik shrugged. “I can try.”" The story - told from Nadir's pov - spans years, but its focus is that near-final moment for Erik, Christine, and Raoul beneath the Opera House...and what follows for Erik and Nadir. Perfectly voiced, believable, and yes, there's anger and madness, but also a [bitter]sweet sensibility and love. Very well done.)

WHITE COLLAR

thebratqueen: "The Consultants" (Avengers/White Collar crossover. Tony/Bruce, Peter & Neal, Mozzie, El, Phil, others. ""Which of our cases was similar to Iron Man and the Hulk wanting us to commit fraud for them?" Peter asked. "Because I have to tell you I'm racking my brain and nothing's coming to mind."" A clever, often funny, seamless crossover between two seemingly dissimilar - albeit both NYC-centric - universes. Very good voices and characterization, although I have to admit, I'm so used to Phil Coulson having near Ninja-like talents in fic, that him being 'just a guy in a suit' was briefly traumatic. *g*)




As I've noted before, I will clearly never catch up with old stories. If you have a favorite story (your own or somebody else's) that you think I might have missed and it's in a fandom that I've recced before (see my main recs page, which includes links to all the individual major fandoms and a miscellaneous fandoms page). Most loved at the moment are stories from one of the following fandoms: Avengers, Discworld, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Lewis, Sherlock Holmes in all varieties, or White Collar (feel free to leave a link below), but everything is welcome.

Special Note to Authors: If you're writing in a fandom set in contemporary NYC (Avengers, White Collar, etc), and you're looking for a beta for city-related issues, feel free to email me at the gmail address on the profile page.

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January 2014

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