selenak: (Toby and Andy by Amorfati)
Back when I finished marathoning The West Wing, I went on the lookout for stories about the relationship out of all the many interesting relationships the show offered that had intrigued me the most: that between speechwriter Toby Ziegler and President Jed Bartlet. Alas, there was not much. Now the story I wanted most of all to read would have been a post show having-it-all-out conversation or several, preferably trapped by snow in New Hampshire so neither of them could just leave, but I’d equally been happy with anything set earlier that explored said relationship. Sadly, fandom did not oblige. At a guess, one reason for this was that canonically, both Toby and Jed are eloquent master word smiths, and these aren’t easy to write. I know that’s what intimidated me and meant that when I followed the old advice of “if you can’t find it, write it yourself”, I did NOT write the epic lengthy tale I wanted to read but a short non linear vignette collection. Another reason might have been that a lot of fandom (as well as actor Richard Schiff) was unhappy with Toby’s s7 storyline and found it easier to just ignore it. Yours truly actually did not have this problem in that maybe due to marathoning the show as opposed to living with the characters for years, I didn’t regard it as ooc, but I did want a bit more follow up, as well as looks back. Anyway, all of this resulted in my one and only West Wing tale. (Which you can find here.)

The story of a speechwriter and his politician )
selenak: (Shadows - Saava)
[personal profile] bimo requested „Not in Words“, as she’s in a Centauri kind of mood, and since I am also in a Centauri mood, I’m gladly obliging.

Preamble: Timov has to be my favourite B5 one shot character, i.e. she’s only in a single episode, "Soul Mates", though Londo’s wives get of course referenced in several more, both before and after their actual appearances. Still, Timov’s one and only episode, in season 2, left me with such a vivid impression of her that when news got out that the writer of of said episode, Peter David, he of the many tie in novels I’d read in Star Trek, would also be writing a trilogy about the Centauri post show, I rejoiced. And looked forward to more Timov. As for the Centauri trilogy, I’ve already written in the past on why I felt it was a severe let down (short version: shoddy world building and –evolving, bad characterizations of many characters, lazy stereotypes abound), but it does have its perks, and Timov’s return in the first volume is certainly one of them. However, which is why I borrowed a scene and a premise from “The Long Night of Centauri Prime” to wrap this story up. Onwards:

Anatomy of a Centauri Marriage )
selenak: (Bruce and Tony by Corelite)
Tomorrow, in a year (8124 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Howard Stark & Everyone, Abraham Erskine & Howard Stark, Steve Rogers & Howard Stark
Characters: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Abraham Erskine, Werner Heisenberg, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Konrad Zuse, Fritz Haber
Additional Tags: For Science!, Dubious Ethics, Ethics, Nuclear Weapons, Chemical Weapons, Computers, Morality, Historical
Summary:

Inventions, the consequences they have and the choices you make: Three encounters Howard Stark has with German scientists he does and doesn't work with.



This was my [community profile] ssrconfidential story for this year. The reason why I assumed it was patently obvious who authored it was that, well, who else among this year’s participants would write about Howard having debates with a bunch of German scientists?

The prompt had asked for Howard Stark recruiting, via Operation Paperclip, the top German cybernetics expert in order to meddle in artificial life. This to me sounded like it was going for a tale with a Nazi robot on the rampage, which yours truly would not have been keen to write (there were other prompts by my recipient I’d have then gone for), but at the same time, the phrasing left me just wriggle room enough to come up with something more interesting and challenging to me, on the subject of Howard and German scientists. Given that the MCU has Howard Stark as a participant in the Manhattan project, and that I’m a fan of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen about Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, I already knew there’d be a Howard & German nuclear physicists encounter in my story.

Canonically, Howard worked with Abraham Erskine who in the MCU hails from Augsburg (like Bertolt Brecht) and thus most definitely qualifies as a German scientist, so the first Erskine-Stark encounter was a given opener for the story. Now the MCU Wikipedia has them meeting in 1934 at a conference in Switzerland, which sounds a bit unlikely given the birth year the same entry provides for Howard, but Switzerland in 1934 was also where Fritz Haber died, which made it a must for me. Because if there is someone ideal to embody the two sides of science and to kick start the question as to what the responsibilities of a scientist are, it’s the inventor of fertilizers and weaponized chlorine gas. Also, given Erskine’s age it made sense to make him a colleague and friend of Fritz Haber’s whose WWI experience gave him the original idea for what became the supersoldier serum.
(BTW, having recently had Fritz Haber on my mind for this story made me go “so…does Haber not exist in the DCU?” when a certain character in the new Wonder Woman was introduced.)

But I still needed a computer genius which was what the prompt had asked for, after all. Did we even have those in that era, I wondered, researched a bit, and found out about Konrad Zuse, fascinating computer inventor with a sideline in painting, two of whose war time created computers even were in the city where I lived, Munich. Zuse’s memoirs were also available for reading and contributed such details as his fondness for Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis, language difficulties and other personal details which made it into the story. I was tempted to call the Zuse section “Zuse and Stark”, after “Einstein and Eddington”, that, or: "Science Bros: The First Generation", but you might as well have called it Iron Man 0.1, because it’s also a riff on Tony’s origin story as well as a contrast – one of my betas, asked to guess the prompt for the story, thought it must have been “Why Howard Stark didn’t become Iron Man”, and while I hadn’t thought of it like that at first, yes, that’s also one of the themes. Father and son are very similar, but there are also differences, both in circumstance and reaction to certain situations.

Lastly: I apologize for giving Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker my “Hydra makes no sense” rant. But Hydra makes no sense.
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
This was the big one, the über-ambitious one, the „I want to write the ULTIMATE Penny Dreadful story" one.

To establish background: like many another watcher, the Penny Dreadful season 3 and show finale left me dissatisfied with our heroine’s fate. However, in my case fannish ire was strangely missing because I immediately saw it as a great set up for what would surely work as the perfect finale, pulling the various themes, dynamics and pot threads the show had established together. Seriously, my immediate reaction to watching was to check when we’d get season 4, because I was so absolutely sure this was the set up, not the pay off. When I found out this was indeed meant as the series finale, I knew I had to write what was in my head, but not at once. I knew it had to be a Yuletide story, and one that while using what I thought Vanessa should do next (yes, next; bless genre shows and their possibilities re: a certain state) as its central arc still also worked as an ensemble story, bring the remaining regulars (with two exceptions, I’ll get to this in a moment) together for a common goal while also exploring their shifting dynamics. Oh, and of course, this being meant as a finale story, it would have to pay homage to the show’s past and gone characters as well.
Now, since the show had established an Egyptian connection from the pilot onwards and had thankfully sent Ferdinand Lyle there in s3, the answer to how to pull all this off to me obvious from the start: use both Egyptian mythology and an Egyptian adventure setting. My one fannish regret was that I couldn’t include Lily, but there was just no way this could have been done without going off into a different story which would have to be about Ethan finding out what happened re: Brona. The other surviving Penny Dreadful regular who’d been there from the start but isn’t in my story is Dorian Grey, but a) he wasn’t needed in any way, b) the ending the show had given him was perfect, down to the, ahem, framing, and c) he’s my unfavourite.

Below you’ll find the result of these ponderings. And I am really proud of it.

Falling Towards Apotheosis (18025 words) by Selena
Chapters: 13/13
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Vanessa Ives/Sir Malcolm Murray, Ethan Chandler/Vanessa Ives, Vanessa Ives & Joan Clayton, Mina Harker/Vanessa Ives, Vanessa Ives & Claire Ives, Vanessa Ives & Peter Murray, Caliban & Vanessa Ives, Madame Kali | Evelyn Poole/Sir Malcolm Murray, Ferdinand Lyle & Sir Malcolm Murray, Ethan Chandler & Sir Malcolm Murray, Sir Malcolm Murray & Victor Frankenstein, Ethan Chandler/Hecate Poole, Vanessa Ives/Alexander Sweet | Dracula, Catriona Hartdegen & Sir Malcolm Murray, Sir Malcolm Murray & Dr. Florence Seward
Characters: Vanessa Ives, Sir Malcolm Murray, Ferdinand Lyle, Ethan Chandler, Victor Frankenstein, Caliban | John Clare, Madame Kali | Evelyn Poole, Hecate Poole, Alexander Sweet | Dracula, Catriona Hartdegen, Dr. Florence Seward, Joan Clayton, Claire Ives, Mina Murray, Peter Murray, Kaetenay (Penny Dreadful), Jeanne d'Arc | Joan of Arc, Sir Geoffrey Hawkes
Additional Tags: Epic, Post-Canon, Dysfunctional Family, Team as Family, Friendship/Love, Ancient Egyptian Literature & Mythology, Canon Compliant, Yuletide, Yuletide 2016, Fix-It
Summary:

As Vanessa's true plan to defeat Dracula is revealed, she and her friends find themselves on an epic quest that involves the living and dead alike.


selenak: (Richard III. by Vexana_Sky)

By sheer coincidence, both my official assignment and the treat I hadn’t planned on writing are historicals – of a sort, since they aren’t direct historical fiction but fanfiction of historical (pro) fiction, so to speak. They even overlap in time, place and setting, while dealing with entirely different characters (and their interpretation). To wit: one – the unexpected treat – is having a go at Shakespeare’s history plays. Now I absolutely agree that the Hollow Crown ‘s production of Henry V. was the weakest of the HC productions, but by letting Falstaff’s page, referred to only as “Boy” in the play, survive into the John-Hurt-played Chorus (this is the final reveal of the HC Henry V), it gave me a fanon idea which I haven’t been able to dislodge from my brain since, to wit, that Falstaff’s page is, in fact, none other than Owen Tudor, aka that adventurous Welshman who got together with Henry V’s widow, had several children by her and thus without intending to ended up founding a new dynasty. (His grandson was the first to make it to the throne; everyone’s least favourite wife killing monarch was Owen’s great-grandson.) After I had kidded around with [personal profile] likeadeuce about this a couple of times, she ended up requesting it for Yuletide, and well, how could I not? Especially since, thinking about the premise further, it occurred to me that if Owen Tudor = Falstaff’s Page, it meant he’s also the sole surviving character of the Henriad to have experienced both Prince Hal living it up at the taverns and Henry V. winning Agincourt. He’d have had a front row seat at the Falstaff/Hal relationship and ended up living with Henry’s Queen for fifteen years. He even got old enough to see the Wars of the Roses start and thus lead into the next quartet of history plays.

When this occurred to me, I also knew which form my story would have, to wit, it would be Owen, on the eve of his execution, talking to the man he’d known both as Hal and as Henry. Whether he’s chatting with an actual ghost here (it’s Shakespeare fanfic, after all) or just having an inner monologue is up to you, dear reader. Owen – spelt the Welsh way, Owain, because I can – was great fun to find a voice for, which helped me overcome my inhibitions at tackling the Bard’s characters.


Gentlemen of the Shade (3155 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Henry V - Shakespeare, Henry IV - Shakespeare, The Hollow Crown (2012), Shakespeare - History Plays, 15th Century CE RPF
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Owain ap Maredudd ap Tewdwr | Owen Tudor/Catherine de Valois, Sir John Falstaff/Prince Hal (Shakespeare), Sir John Falstaff & Owen Tudor, Henry V of England & Owen Tudor, Catherine of Valois/Henry V
Characters: Boy (Henry V), Owain ap Maredudd ap Tewdwr | Owen Tudor, Prince Hal (Shakespeare), Henry V of England, Sir John Falstaff, Catherine of Valois Queen of England, Fluellen (Henry V), Nym (Henry V), Pistol (Shakespeare)
Additional Tags: Ambiguous Relationships, Agincourt, Character Study, Messy, Yuletide, Yuletide 2016
Summary:

In which Falstaff's page has a chat with the late Henry V. about shared bed fellows (plural), accidentally founds a dynasty and changes the course of English history.




Meanwhile, when offering fandoms I was ready to write for, I included Sharon Penman’s novel
The Sunne in Splendour, which deals with the Wars of the Roses from a distinctly Yorkist and Ricardian pov. Now The Sunne in Splendour is a novel I’d read for the first time when I was 20 or 21. And I fell in love instantly. Decades later, I freely concede its flaws to anyone grumbling about them – the pseudo medieval language at times (which Penman ditched in later novels), Richard as the hero is verging on too good to be true ness, a bit odd pov choices (Penman is prone to include more than necessary every time), etc. But. But. The reasons why I loved it so much in my early 20s to begin with are still there. Penman’s great with the family dynamics of both the Plantagenets and the Nevilles. She was the first author I’d read who does more with Edward IV than “playboy king”, and her version is still the most interesting Edward of them all to me, just as her Elizabeth Woodville is my favourite Elizabeth Woodville (way more interesting than Philippa Gregory’s who is meant to be the heroine, btw). The Edward and Richard dynamic pushes my button for sibling relationships. I love that while being pro York, her pov chapters for various Lancastrians – Edmund Beaufort, the Duke of Somerset, and Marguerite d’Anjou herself – makes them not just human but sympathetic. (Yes, Marguerite is a villain from Yorkist pov chapters, but not in her own, and not in a villainous monologue way, either.) Her solution to the “What happened to the Princes?” mystery makes sense to me. And I still can’t get through the last chapters without crying.

Now, my recipient’s request for this story was that she wanted more about the Richard/Anne relationship, with Richard and Anne being supportive of each other, the way they are in the novel. (She also suggested maybe the wedding and subsequent nights fleshed out, but I can’t write sex. Truly, I suck at it, and not in the fun way. So emotional exploration it was.) Well, the Richard/Anne relationship is of course pretty central in the novel and thus already well covered by Penman, BUT remember those odd pov choices? One of them is that we don’t get Anne Neville’s until after she’s widowed the first time (before that, she’s described from either Francis Lovell’s, or her sister Isabella’s), and Richard’s only intermittently, and not at all at what must have been turning points for the relationship. Which gave me something to work with in a missing scenes & alternate pov kind of way. It also provided me with a friends-to-lovers arc, and the challenge I gave myself, to write the development of the Richard and Anne relationship in a way that I hoped would work both for readers of
The Sunne in Splendour and for people who haven’t read a word of the novel but are interested in the era.

Still: it’s meant to be a Penman derived fanfiction, and thus I was of course bound to her narrative choices (Anne’s first marriage: not a happy event, to put it mildly), including her choices of (nick)names. (Or full names; that Anne is the only one in their families close to Richard who doesn’t call him “Dickon” but “Richard” is important in the novel, and of course I stuck with it.)

Below is the result: Plantagenets, Penman edition.


Troth (9410 words) by Selena
Chapters: 4/4
Fandom: The Sunne in Splendour - Sharon Kay Penman, 15th Century CE RPF
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Anne Neville Queen of England/Richard III of England, Anne Neville Queen of England & Richard Neville Earl of Warwick, Edward IV of England & Richard III of England, Richard III of England & Richard Neville Earl of Warwick, Edward of Lancaster | Prince of Wales/Anne Neville Queen of England
Characters: Anne Neville Queen of England, Richard III of England, Edward IV of England, Richard Neville Earl of Warwick, Edward of Lancaster | Prince of Wales, George Plantagenet Duke of Clarence, Isabel Neville, Marguerite d'Anjou | Margaret of Anjou
Additional Tags: Missing Scene, Dysfunctional Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship/Love, Regicide, Yuletide, Yuletide 2016
Summary:

Four times the relationship between Anne Neville and her cousin Richard Plantagenet changed, and yet remained the same.

selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
Reveal time: this is the story I wrote for this year's [community profile] history_exchange. I swear I meant to write a short one this time, but while it's nowhere as long as my previous effort, Catherine de' Medici and her daughters still demanded a tale in three chapters.

Reine Mère (10908 words) by Selena
Chapters: 3/3
Fandom: Historical RPF, 16th Century CE RPF
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Catherine de' Medici & Elisabeth de Valois, Catherine de' Medici & Claude de France, Catherine de' Medici & Marguerite de Valois, Claude de France & Marguerite de Valois, Henri II de France/Catherine de' Medici, Catherine de' Medici & Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de' Medici & Francis I. of France, Henri II de France/Diane de Poitiers
Characters: Catherine de' Medici, Élisabeth de Valois | Elisabetta di Valois, Claude de France (1547-1575), Marguerite de Valois, Mary I of Scotland | Mary Queen of Scots, Diane de Poitiers, Francis I. of France, Felipe II de España | Philip II of Spain, Henri II de France, Gaspard de Coligny, Henri IV de France, Henri III de France, Clarice Strozzi de' Medici
Additional Tags/: Mother-Daughter Relationship, Motherhood, Power Dynamics, Character Study, Female-Centric, Parent-Child Relationship, Parenthood, Daughters
Summary:

Catherine de' Medici and her daughters: what forms a woman, a mother, a queen?



_____

In completely unrelated news, last night just before I fell asleep I saw that Jerry Doyle, Mr. Garibaldi from Babylon 5 had died, at only 60 years of age. The B5 ensemble really looks increasingly cursed. Garibaldi was never my favourite character, but he was a firm entry in what I tend to think of my "secondary faves" category, i.e characters who are never my best beloved but whom I always remain fond off, instead of going hot and cold on them. And not just because he played off beautifully to both my favourites, Londo and G'Kar. I found him interesting in his own right, his scenes with Bester were always riveting (and sometimes darkly hilarious), and his was one of the character voices that are very easy to find for fanfiction. For all that Garibaldi was an immensely talkative character, I find that quiet moments are the ones that touched me most, and that was very much due to Jerry Doyle's acting - Garibaldi's face when hearing that Sinclair had been on B5 and left again without seeing him in "War without End", both the big reveal scene in "Face of the Enemy" in s4 - where you see the horror in his eyes - and the confrontation with Bester in s5 when Bester casually says "how stupid do you think I am anyway?" - and his final scene with Londo in the s2 episode where both Garibaldi and the audience know that Londo crossed a moral threshhold and their relationship has irrevocably changed, but Garibaldi has one last drink with his no-more-friend. I did not know Jerry Doyle as a person. But as an actor, he contributed to creating something that means so much to me.

Here is what JMS wrote about him.

2016: get better, please. You've taken so much already, year.
selenak: (Peggy and Jarvis by Asthenie_VD)
[community profile] ssrconfidential's authors are reaveled, and this is the story I wrote:

All of Me (2394 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ana Jarvis/Edwin Jarvis
Characters: Anna Jarvis, Edwin Jarvis, Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Whitney Frost, Rose Roberts, Zsa Zsa Gabor
Additional Tags: Character Study, Backstory, Hurt/Comfort
Summary:

Between countries, between languages, between death and life: Ana Jarvis has been all of this for years. Portrait of a survivor.




Ana Jarvis, whose existence we learned of in season 1 - that we didn't see her then caused me to have an elaborate theory about her being identical with Dottie which of course turned out to be sheer nonsense - finally got introduced to us in season 2. She had only a few scenes, all in all, but she was fabulous in them, and I was delighted to have the chance to write about her. The recipient never bothered to comment, alas, but a lot of other kind people did, which made me one happy writer. Especially since writing the story brought back memories of interviewing several of the old exiles in Los Angeles when I was there for a few months in the mid 90s.
selenak: (Peggy Carter by Misbegotten)
Because apparantly I can go through years of only writing Yuletide stories, but once the muses start yapping again... Anyway: this isn't the story I've written for the Agent Carter ficathon mentioned in the last post. It's the one I wrote after writing both my ficathon story and the one before that. Personally, I blame Civil War.



Funeral Games (5693 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Joseph Manfredi & Howard Stark
Characters: Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Joseph Manfredi, Whitney Frost, Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Peggy Carter's Son, Peggy Carter's Daughter
Additional Tags: Captain America: Civil War (Movie) Spoilers, Male-Female Friendship, Relationship Study, Grief/Mourning
Summary:

A chance encounter with a face from the past at Howard Stark's funeral causes Peggy Carter to look for the truth - about Howard's death, and about their relationship.

selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
Not the Agent Carter story I'm supposed to be working on, but it wanted to be written, not least due to a certain movie. Also, it's another of my meta-disguised-as-fanfiction efforts, this time on Howard Stark.

The dreams in which I'm dying (3348 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Howard Stark & Maria Stark & Tony Stark, Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Steve Rogers & Howard Stark, Howard Stark & Tony Stark, Nick Fury & Howard Stark, Howard Stark/Maria Stark, Howard Stark & Joey Manfredi
Characters: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Maria Stark, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Joey Manfredi, Nick Fury, Edwin Jarvis, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Backstory, Character Study, Non-Chronological, Non-Linear Narrative, Bisexual Male Character
Summary:

Past, present, future: fourteen memories Howard Stark experiences in the minutes before his death.

selenak: (Ashoka Tano by Dasakuryo)
Star Wars, Clone Wars edition, continues to be on my brain. And to inspire fanfiction. This time about a supporting character whose actions have a major affect on everyone's storylines, but whose key development happened off screen... or did it?


Another Way To Fall (5271 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) - All Media Types, Star Wars - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Barriss Offee & Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker & Ahsoka Tano, Barriss Offee & Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee & Anakin Skywalker
Characters: Barriss Offee, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker | Darth Vader, Luminara Unduli, Sheev Palpatine | Darth Sidious
Additional Tags: Master & Padawan Relationship(s), Character Study, Episode: s05e02 The Wrong Jedi
Summary:

Barriss Offee had many reasons to act as she did. Or none. Or just one.




Alternatively, this one could be called "How Screwed Up Are the Jedi: The Return".
selenak: (Ashoka and Anakin by Welshgater)
The Art of Letting Go (2957 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) - All Media Types, Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Anakin Skywalker & Ahsoka Tano, Dooku & Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi & Anakin Skywalker, Dooku & Qui-Gon Jinn, Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi
Characters: Yoda, Dooku | Darth Tyranus, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker | Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano
Additional Tags: Master & Padawan Relationship(s)
Summary:

From Yoda to Dooku to Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan to Anakin to Ahsoka: betweeen Master and Apprentice, letting go is the hardest of lessons.



Because I'm not nearly done yet with Master-Padawan relationships and their messed up intensity. Irreverent alternative title of this one: How Screwed Up Are The Jedi?
selenak: (Ashoka and Anakin by Welshgater)
I just had to.

Teachers (4699 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) - All Media Types, Star Wars - All Media Types, Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Anakin Skywalker & Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi & Anakin Skywalker
Characters: Anakin Skywalker | Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padmé Amidala, Sheev Palpatine | Darth Sidious
Additional Tags: Teacher-Student Relationship, Friendship, Angst, Character Study
Summary:

"Remember, Anakin, the master learns as much from the padawan as the padawan learns from the master." Eight lessons Anakin Skywalker learns through Ahsoka Tano, and one Darth Vader does.

selenak: (Romans by Kathyh)
Alexandria Leaving (8845 words) by Selena
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Hand of Isis - Jo Graham, Historical RPF, Ancient History RPF, Classical Greece and Rome History & Literature RPF, Roman History RPF
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa/Charmian (Hand of Isis), Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa/Julia the Elder, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa & Gaius Octavian
Characters: Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Charmian (Hand of Isis), Julia the elder, Gaius Octavian, Octavia of the Julii, Livia Drusilla, Marcellus, Demetria (Hand of Isis)
Additional Tags: Aftermath, Survivor Guilt, Redemption
Summary:

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa will always choose Rome. But he returns to Alexandria to confront the past. And he doesn't come alone.




This was the treat I wrote, inspired both by affection for the Numinous World novels by Jo Graham and by a decades long fascination with that particular century in Ancient history. I hope it works both if you've read Hand of Isis and if you haven't, but are interested in history.

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa doesn't often get a starring role, in part, I think, because his life doesn't fit with the most popular tropes it could/should have fallen into and in fact downright defies them. He was the most talented military strategist of his generation, and yet neither tried to use that in order to make himself ruler of the Roman Empire, nor did he crash and burn trying. Nor was he someone who could only function in war: his "civilian" projects - aequaducts (including some that are still used, like the one getting water to the Trevi fountain in Rome), roads, temples, the change of the Campus Martius from a swampy health risk to to a park and buildings highlight of the cityscape, etc. - are impressive, and if Augustus by the end of his life could boast that he found Rome a city made of bricks and left it a city made of marble, it was Agrippa who had done much of the actual work. All this being said, Agrippa, while being as close to the Roman ideal as you could get in real life, can't have been without ambition: his three marriages were all proof of that (first he married money, then he married into the Julian family, and then he basically married the succession), and while he seems to have been content to be Octavian's/Augustus' right hand man, he definitely drew the line at the prospect of Augustus' nephew Marcellus being in command, leading to an estrangement betwen himself and Augustus that . Also, as I have him observe in less anachronistic terms than these, no one remains the second most powerful man of the world for such a long time in the most cut throat of surroundings if he doesn't know how to deal with power.

So Agrippa remains an enigma worth exploring to me. In Augustus-friendly fictions, he's usually the devoted sidekick without second thoughts; in Cleopatra-friendly fictions (by far the majority these days), he's either a brute ("Lily of the Nile"), the wrong age (the famous Elizabeth Taylor starring Cleopatra has him show up as a grizzled veteran with probably only two lines), or not present as a character at all. In the recent tv show Rome (definitely a Roman pov tale) he's basically Sam Gamgee who has wandered into entirely the wrong narrative for him. (Seriously, the actor looks a bit like Sean Astin as Sam.) And has an ill-fated brief romance with Octavia, which should make things awkward a few years later when he marries her daughter, but then said daughter doesn't exist in Rome.

Hand of Isis, which is narrated by Charmian, Cleopatra's handmaiden and in the world of the novel also her half sister, is an exception in that it's definitely on the Cleopatra side of things, but Agrippa, who has a supporting role in the narrative, is still presented as a tragic and sympathetic character. The one big change/addition the novel makes to history as far as Agrippa is concerned is to let a very young Agrippa be present among Caesar's staff in Egypt and to give him an affair with Charmian. (Spoiler: it doesn't end well.) However, he's actually not that often present in the novel (leaving dreams aside), and most important in the effect his siding with Octavian has. Because we're in Charmian's pov, Agrippa choosing to follow Octavian (whom Charmian despises, and who thus isn't given any positive qualities) is just barely comprehensible by Agrippa's Roman-ness.

This, then, provided an immediate fertile ground for me to grow my own story from. Agrippa from his own pov, which would explain why he does what he does, and would without refuting anything that happens in Hands of Isis also present a different take on both Rome and Octavian than Charmian has. Another important reason for me to choose this story to write, though, was that I've always been curious about Agrippa's later, post-Actium life, and about his third marriage, to Julia (Octavian's/Augustus' only daughter), whom I freely confess I have a huge soft spot for. Suetonius basically sees Julia as the occasion for massive slutshaming and no more than that, but I've always liked the take on her we find in Metrobius' "Saturnalia":

"She was in her thirty-eighth year, a time of life when if she had behaved reasonably she would have been almost elderly; but she abused the indulgence of fortune no less than that of her father. Of course her love of literature and considerable culture, a thing easy to come by in that household, and also her kindness and gentleness and utter freedom from vindictiveness had won her immense popularity, and people who knew about her faults were amazed that she combined them with qualities so much their opposite.
Her father had more than once, speaking in a manner indulgent but serious, advised her to moderate her luxurious mode of life and her choice of conspicuous associates. But when he considered the number of his grandchildren and their likeness to Agrippa, he was ashamed to entertain doubts about his daughter’s chastity. So Augustus persuaded himself that his daughter was light-hearted almost to the point of indiscretion, but above reproach, and was encouraged to believe that his ancestress Claudia had also been such a person. He used to tell his friends that he had two somewhat wayward daughters whom he had to put up with, the Roman republic and Julia.
One day she came into his presence in a somewhat risque costume, and though he said nothing, he was offended. The next day she changed her style and embraced her father, who was delighted by the respectability which she was affecting. Augustus, who the day before had concealed his distress, was now unable to conceal his pleasure. “How much more suitable”, he remarked, “for a daughter of Augustus is this costume!” Julia did not fail to stand up for herself. “Today”, she said, “I dressed to be looked at by my father, yesterday to be looked at by my husband.”
Here is another well-known story. At a gladiatorial show Livia and Julia drew the attention of the people by the dissimilarity of their companions; Livia was surrounded by respectable men, Julia by men who were not only youthful but extravagant. Her father wrote that she ought to notice the difference between the two princesses, but Julia wittily wrote back, “These men will be old when I am old.“


End of Metrobius quote. Julia and Agrippa had five children together, the last one born after his death, and their birth places were spread across the Roman Empire because she was travelling with him, which doesn't necessarily guarantee they had a good marriage, but makes it at least possible. Moreover, given what Julia's father and her third husband, Tiberius, ended up doing to her eventually, it was probably the happiest time in her life, and I enjoyed writing her in that phase, where she also made an excellent narrative foil for an older Agrippa trying to come to terms with his past.

I've always been a fan of stories about survivors of tragedies (with and without guilt to carry), who have to get on with their lives and have to decide what they do next, not by forgetting or ignoring the past, but by trying to reconcile it with the present. Agrippa, in my story, attempts to do this. Read on whether he succeeds...
selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
Zinc Man (6007 words) by Selena
Chapters: 7/7
Fandom: The Americans (TV 2013)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Elizabeth Jennings/Philip Jennings, Philip Jennings & Gabriel, Elizabeth Jennings & Gabriel
Characters: Elizabeth Jennings, Philip Jennings, Arkady Ivanovich (The Americans), Gabriel (The Americans), Oleg Igorevich Burov, Yuri Victorovich Silfigarow (OC)
Additional Tags: Case Fic, Afghanistan
Summary:

Elizabeth and Philip are charged with tracking down a young soldier from Afghanistan who has gone rogue. But what will they find?



This was my assignment story. Incidentally, this was the second year in a row that I was matched on "The Americans". Not that I mind - I'm still relatively newly in love with the show, after all, and thus there are a lot of stories to tell - but it makes me wonder whether while five or six people requested The Americans, nobody else volunteered writing for them?

Anyway. My recipient, who to this day hasn't been heard of, had no Yuletide letter, Elizabeth and Philip as the requested characters, and a very short prompt: "„Just take these two and fuck me up with any kind of feels and I'll love you forever“.

Well, okay then, thought I, that would translate to me as "write something like the show". Which in turn translated into "write something with an actual plot relevant to the central E/P relationship, to the show's themes of identies and to the 80s setting". And really, due to me having read Svetlana Alexievich's "Zinky Boys" a few years back after she got the Peace Award of the German Book Trade, there could be but one choice. The Soviet/Afghan war has become more and more relevant to the characters on the show, especially in season 3, and while the writers enjoy drawing the obvious contemporary parallels, it's also something that feels right for a couple of Russian undercover spies who keep being challenged in who they actually are and what/who they are fighting for.

Some of the things I contemplated doing I eventually didn't write, for example a subplot in which Philip or Elizabeth would have to pose as FBI investigators in order to frame an alternate suspect; I abandoned the idea early on, because it would have been too distracting from the main plot (as a reader, I would have expected them to run into Stan, even though he's working in a completely different department). This meant that the only characters showing up in the story are actually Russians - our antiheroes, the OC they're pursueing, Gabriel, Arkady and Oleg. I do hope I did them justice.
selenak: (Henry and Eleanor by Poisoninjest)
A few months ago, when the History Exchange announced itself, I looked at the conditions, saw that the minimum word count was only 500, and thought, hey, I'm busy, but I can easily do that in between stuff. If I volunteer for people I already know about, I won't even have to do research.

Famous last words, etc. The end result was one of the longest things I've written outside Yuletide, and I don't regret a single thing. Eleanor of Aquitaine will do that to you. The prompt asked for an AU, which got me thinking not of one AU but several. Well, there's a certain format for this. I've repeatedly written "Five Things..." tales about fictional characters; there was no reason not to do it for a rl one. Especially since said format, at least in the way it works for me, also provides the opportunity to portray the main character "in canon", so to speak, via several angles.

So, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France, Queen of England, survivor extraordinaire who still travelled across the Pyrenees on political missions when in her 70s, something that would be remarkable even today, let alone in the Middle Ages. Her life was often so unlikely that fiction couldn't trump it. However, of course there were plenty of opportunities where with just one circumstance changed, her resulting existence would have been just as remarkable (imo), if in a different (or not?) way. After mulling it over (and reading one of the newer biographies, since the last time I did research on Eleanor was more then 20 years ago), I came up with five scenarios which each became its own story. You can read all five here:

Time and Chance (16069 words) by Selena
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: 12th Century CE RPF, When Christ and His Saints Slept - Sharon Kay Penman, Devil's Brood - Sharon Kay Penman, Historical RPF, Henry II Trilogy - Sharon Kay Penman, The Lion in Winter (1968)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Eleanor of Aquitaine/Henry Plantagenet, Eleanor of Aquitaine/Louis VII of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine & Thomas Becket, Eleanor of Aquitaine & Matilda I of Boulogne, Eleanor of Aquitaine & Raymond of Antioch, Peter Abelard/Heloise (background)
Characters: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry II of England, Thomas Becket, Bernard of Clairveaux, Petronilla de Chemillé, Mahault of Anjou, Matilda I of Boulogne, Stephen of England, Eustace IV Count of Boulogne, Louis VII of France, Robert de Dreux, Raymond of Antioch, Melisande of Jerusalem - Character, Thierry Galeran, Henry the Young King, William X. of Aquitaine, Petronilla of Aquitaine
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Historical, POV Female Character, Female Friendship
Summary:

Five lives which Eleanor of Aquitaine never lived.




A few more remarks on those five roads not taken: Hidden under a cut. )
selenak: (The Doctor by Principiah Oh)
Day 27 - What would you cross over with Star Trek?

Somewhat late, because I was away from any internet yesterday until late at night, but here we go. Well, considering I've already written the crossovers in question, obviously I would cross over Star Trek with Torchwood and Doctor Who, just Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars.

The advantage with Doctor Who especially is that between all the various Doctors and companions on the one hand, and all the various incarnations of Star Trek on the other, you have such a rich, infinite variety of combinations for encounters to choose from, so the two DW crossovers certainly won't be my last. It's also the crossover that's currently do-able on screen, technically (if the BBC and whoever owns Paramount now - Sony? - could ever come to licence terms), and I dimly seem to recall that there was a fannish rumor in the RTD era that a plan for such a crossover existed.

But an on screen encounter would probably not include the character interaction I'm interested in, so never mind that, and let's stay hypothetical and fanfiction minded entirely. Since time travel exists in the Star Trek universe, you can even cross it over with historical fandoms. (Fandoms with immortal characters can bring these into the ST future, of course.) So basically there's no fandom I wouldn't cross over with Star Trek. Infinite variety in infinite combinations, after all.

The other days )
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
From [personal profile] intrigueing and [personal profile] muccamukk:

In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

I'm sure I could come up with ten more, but these are the ones that came immediately to mind (and which I could find again online!):

1.) From Me To Q by Julia Houston (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Star Trek in its first three incarnations is one of my oldest fandoms, and the time when TNG and then DS9 were broadcast was when I started to get aquainted with fanfiction, first via fanzines and then via the earliest online archives. Finding this particular story was like striking gold. It's TNG; it's plotty, like a well written episode complete with ethical dilemmas; it's Picard/Q (which was what I was looking for when finding the story) but uses the entire TNG ensemble well; it takes the most reviled of fanfic clichés, the Mary Sue, and gives it a highly original twist. (Well, back then it was original, for all I know, it's been often imitated since.) Also, the dialogue sparkles. In short, I fell in love, so much so that I gave Voyager, which I had almost given up upon, another shot, simply because Julia Houston back then was also writing Voyager reviews and I adored her writing that much.


2.) Last Set Before Closing, by Kat Allison. (Highlander: The Series). HL was another early online fandom of mine, and this story left me shaken and breathless the first time I read it. On the surface, not much happens in this tale, which is set several years after the series ended; Joe Dawson is very old, not far from death, and his mind has started to wander; Duncan visits. Behind that simple description hides one of the best and most gutwrenching stories I've read in any fandom, which at once gives us the relationship between Joe and Duncan, and how both of them relate to Methos, about friendship, about mortals and immortals, and at the same time manages to say something very personal to anyone who has an older relative. (Until then, I don't think I had ever read fanfiction tackling a rl subject such as aging, its physical and mental decline, so unflinchingly, and with a beloved character, no less.) Another reason why I love it is this: at the time when it was first posted, its take on Methos was pretty much unique and went directly against how most fans then wrote him. (Probably still does.) And yet I find it entirely plausible.


3.) Changed Utterly by Parda (Highlander: The Series). Another HL story. Parda was a writer I interacted with a lot during my HL days, both as a reader and as a writer. This story is still my favourite of hers, and at the time it was first posted struck me as one of the best meditations onf grief and surviving I had read i nthe fandom. It's set about a year after the show ends, wherein Duncan is still dealing with Richie’s fate, when he sees Cassandra again. Not present in body but very much in thought are Methos, Connor and Richie. What to do when you’ve both done and experienced the unforgivable is a question with a dozen answers and none, and all the characters here are dealing with it. Poetic and profound.


4.) Father's Heart by Fernwithy ( Star Wars). Still my favourite Star Wars story, many years later (this was written shortly after The Phantom Menace was released). Set between trilogies, it pulls off something a lot of people tried since, and does so in a credible way: Vader and the child and later teenager Leia forming a tentative friendship, which falls apart with a vengeance as she grows older and experiences the Empire at its worst. In addition to a terrific take on Leia and Vader, Bail Organa and his wife (who in this version is one of the former handmaidens, Sabé) as well as some original characters are compellingly written. ( Not to mention it caters to two of my narrative soft spots: non-romantic intense relationship, relationship that breaks up because of politics and ethics (and rightly so). ) I was only ever at the periphery of SW fandom, not least because I happen to like the prequels, but this story made me search for and read a lot of SW fanfiction for a while. It was years before I found its match.


5.) Freefall by Penknife (X-Men movieverse). This is an X2 AU, ensemble story, Scott pov, and one of the earliest [personal profile] penknife stories I read. X2 had just been released. As after X1, I hunted for stories that weren't Wolverine/Rogue. Hard to imagine for current day fans, but back then it was actually difficult to find Magneto/Xavier stories, or stories that featured Mystique in a prominent role, or stories that featured Scott at all. Bingo, thought I, when I found this one, and little did I know I had also found a favourite writer in many fandoms more. Oh, and I think this was the first AU I really liked (the twist is that Scott realises a bit sooner what's going on during the prison visit at the start of the movie, with the result that he and Xavier end up as fugitives together with Magneto and Mystique; it's Jean who gets captured instead). Until then, I had avoided AUs. After reading it, I gave them a shot.

6.) Ten Thousand Candles by Andraste. This is another early story by a future favourite writer; Charles Xavier post X2, trying to cope with all that happened (read: spoiler for big X2 twist )). Back then, Charles Xavier centric stories were incredibly rare; stories in which he wasn't either the wise mentor type or trying to win Erik back were even rarer. What he experiences in X2 is pretty horrifying, and I loved finding a story which addressed that. Of course, Andraste turned out to be the biggest Xavier expert in the planet, but I didn't know that then. :)


7.) Bed of Bones by Roz Kaveney (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): I had spotted Roz on a couple of Buffy discussion mailing lists (remember those?), but this was the first BTVS or fanfiction in any fandom tale of hers that I had read, and it was sharp, poetic, and made the First Slayer(about whom at this point we only knew what Restless had mentioned) into a fascinating character. I was wowed. It also raised my standard of expectation re: fanfiction creating mythology in present day or futuristic fandoms to no end.

8.) Queen of Spades by Astolat (James Bond: Casino Royale): Ah, ye golden days when the Craig Casino Royale had been released and for the first time in my life I actually went and looked for Bond fanfiction, because Dench!M and Craig!Bond dynamic in that movie had gripped me in and fascinated me. (I had also loved Eva Green as Vesper and her relationship with Bond, but not in a way that made me look for fanfic.) And again, I hit gold. I think this probably was the first Bond/M story online. It set a most pleasing trend - for the next few years, you could rely on Yuletide including some great and sharp Bond and M fanfiction. (And then came Skyfall which brought the avalanche of Bond/Q and the Bond movies were no longer qualified for Yuletide, but that's another story.) Now, most combinations that have one character in a position of power over the other character are hard to sell to me as pairings, but there are exceptions, and Queen of Spades made me realize Dench!M and Craig!Bond were such an exception for me, because wow. (It also made me realise that I had a new story or rather old story archetype, not necessarily always as pairings, I love the gen variations, too, but: Morally ambiguous queens and their morally ambiguous battered knights, bring them on! Though only if the Queen is the older of the two. Read: Dany/Jorah does nothing fo rme.)


9: Working Order by Eatscissors (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). John/Cameron is a pairing that intrigues me but which I find more interesting on the actual show than in most of fanfiction, because, imo as often, fanfic tends to simplify and dispense with much that makes this particular relationship so layered, starting with the fact that Cameron is a machine, no matter what she looks like.Some spoilery ramblings about John and Cameron on the show ensue. ) Working Order, by contrast, addresses this and the other issues between them head-on while also being one of those stories where the explicit sex is part of the character exploration instead of reading as just being there for its own sake. For a reader like me who often finds sex scenes (both slash and het) reading like involuntarily funny gymnastic mannuals, with the participants interchangable to other fandoms and thus not very interesting, this was an eye opener. Really well written.

10.) Petrarchan Sonnets from the Vatican by Petra (The Borgias): I was and am grateful for all the stories I got in exchanges, and often loved them to bits, but this one will always remain special. Its just that awesome. It's a story in the guise of a fake article about the discovery of sonnets between L.B. (now who could that possibly be in Borgias fandom?) and person unknown, female and apparantly her tutor. Complete with the sonnets. And the commentary. Absolutely delightful, needless to say, poetic (my Yulewriter's ability to compose Petrarchan Sonnets with clever allusions to events from the show's first season still stuns me), and full of subtlety, and the wit and love for language that the characters in question display on the show as well (and did in history). (And now I'm grieved again that the Lucrezia and Guilia relationship post s1 fell by the wayside on the show, but never mind me.) If I could ensure that just one bit of Borgias fanfiction survives, this would be it.
selenak: (Hitchcock by Misbegotten)
Happy New Year, everyone! Here are my two Yuletide tales:

Like the Fellow Says (7425 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Americans (TV 2013)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Philip Jennings & Charles Duluth
Characters: Philip Jennings, Charles Duluth, Elizabeth Jennings
Additional Tags: Unresolved Emotional Tension, Backstory, Character Study, Non-Linear Narrative
Summary:

He knew damn well that without these meetings with Philip, handing over information, trading sarcasm, his life now would be meaningless. He'd known that for a while. But what he hadn't known before was what Philip got out of it. Asset and handler: Charles and Philip through the years.

Some background rambling )

Saving Mrs. Fleming (10542 words) by Selena
Chapters: 7/7
Fandom: Mary Renault RPF, 20th Century CE RPF, Alfred Hitchcock RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mary Renault/Julie Mullard, Alfred Hitchcock/Alma Reville, Mary Renault & Clementine Challans, Mary Renault & Alfred Hitchcock, Mary Renault & Alma Reville
Characters: Mary Renault - Character, Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Reville, Julie Mullard, Sidney Bernstein, Clementine Challans
Additional Tags: Mommy Issues, Character Study, Dark Comedy, Mother-Daughter Relationship
Summary:

In 1947, Mary Renault's novel Return to Night won the MGM award. The director charged with filming it: Alfred Hitchcock. Where her book ended, their story began...



Aka the story I’ve been threatening to write for a while, and which Naraht kindly requested. It all started when Naraht hosted a discussion of Mary Renault’s novel Return to Night, and almost simultaneously the movie Saving Mr. Banks, aka the Disney take on Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers clashing wit Walt Disney over his intended film version of her book, was released in Germany. In the discussion, someone brought up that Return to Night (today practically unknown compared with Renault’s other novels) had won the MGM award and so presumably at some point must have been intended as a basis for a film version. This made me wonder who the director would have been, and more specifically, which director would have been guaranteed to have the most entertaining clash of personalities with Mary Renault. And somehow, my mind produced Alfred Hitchcock.

The idea, cracky as it sounded, absolutely refused to let me go, especially when I started to brush up a bit on both Hitchcock’s and Renault’s lives. Not only were they both creative, interesting people with issues galore and very different attitudes towards creation, but they came each equipped with mother issues, and in Hitchcock’s case, with a partner who was just as interesting but would have been bound to clash with Mary Renault as well. (Sidenote: Julie Mullard, Mary’s partner, was an interesting person as well, but didn’t work with her on her books, and it was the life time collaboration that made the Hitchcock marriage so intriguing to me. So Julie gets a less prominent part than Alma in my story.) At first, I wanted to write an AU in which the film got made, but eventually decided with go with a more “missing interlude” approach.

There was the question of the setting. I gave up my original idea of letting Mary Renault go to Hollywood pretty soon, because once I had read Sweetman’s biography of her, I couldn’t imagine her spending money on such a trip, or the studio paying it for her. Fortunately, Hitchcock actually was in England for part of 1947, the year Renault’s novel won the MGM award (and the year before she left England and moved to South Africa) because of his last movie for David Selznick, The Paradine Case. (Otoh 1947 meant Naraht’s dream casting for Return to Night’s heroine, Hilary Mansell, would have been very unlikely, because Deborah Kerr was still too young then. This was her
Black Narcissus era.)

Once I had determined the year and place, the Renault meets Hitchcock(s) ball started rolling. With such vivid characters, the story practically wrote itself. I hoped the result would work both for people who were somewhat familiar with them, and for people who’d never read a single Renault novel or seen a single Hitchcock film. It’s certainly one of the Yuletide stories I enjoyed most writing.
selenak: (Charles and Raven by Scribble My Name)
Aka the siblings tale in the X-Men Movieverse I wanted to write for ages, for [profile] yetanothermask.


Longer than the road that stretches out ahead (5417 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Raven | Mystique & Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr & Raven | Mystique
Characters: Raven | Mystique, Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr, Sharon Xavier
Summary:

Raven and Charles: the ties that bind when you grow up together and still remember the past in two different ways.

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