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Happy New Year to all! A couple quick fic things:

1) On New Year's Eve, I finished posting "Made To Be Broken," an XMFC Charles'Erik story set in the modern day, no powers. The summary:

Charles makes a New Year's Resolution:

“No more straight men,” Charles repeated as he began scrolling through the apartment directory for Emma’s name. “No more futility. No more pointless hoping and heartbreak. In 2013, I never want to hear the words ‘exception,’ ‘experimenting’ or ‘phase.’ If, God forbid, I hear ‘bicurious’ even once, I may take a hostage.”

Then he goes into the party, and Erik is there.


2) Yuletide reveals mean that I can now say I wrote my first (but undoubtedly not last) "Elementary" fic, "Solve For X," (canon-compliant, Holmes/Watson UST, but not relationship-defining UST, if that makes sense.)

Their relationship as it stands has one mathematical certainty: It will end in twenty-five days.

At that time, her sojourn as his sober companion will end. Either Watson will pass out of his life forever, or Holmes will have to devise another option.


3) I can also now properly thank one of the authors of my TWO Yuletide presents, both of which were fics inspired by the Dessa song "Alibi." The radiant Ziho wrote me "Don't Need To Know," which almost seems to have pre-existed the song -- the narrative setup is just that perfect. A mysterious, still-anonymous soul wrote me "i give you fair warning", which uses "Alibi" to springboard into the life of a wife who examines her loyalties anew. Even if you are not a Dessa fan (though you SHOULD BE, because her solo work and her stuff with Doomtree is beyond awesome), and even if you do not know "Alibi" (though it is the song in this world that most needs a multifandom vid), these stories will make complete sense; really, they stand alone as original fiction. Highly, highly recommended.

4) Figured I might as well do that Fic Year In Review thing again:




The Year In Fic

Last year I was slightly troubled by how much fic I wrote. You need to write more profic in 2012, I told myself. And I did. I worked very, very hard on profic this year. And yet somehow I wrote even more fanfic than in 2011. I swear to God I leave the house occasionally.

2012 Fanfic

XMFC

Still my principal fandom. It's a little confusing to me, really -- I miss writing sex about female bodies, and I'm writing all AUs, which are getting farther afield from the source, i.e., the total opposite of my general fannish pattern. But so it goes. I'm not done yet.

1) "In Shadow And Silence" -- Written for the following prompt: "Erik is an aggressive, dangerous, cynical mutant, hardened from years of being passed through private laboratories and used for experimentation. He's covered in surgical scars from operations, tattooed and bar coded like a lab rat, and blind from an experiment done on his eyes. ... Charles Xavier finds out about him. Charles runs a sort of sanctuary for mutants that provides lost, abandoned, abused, runaway mutants with shelter, comfort, and help with ability control. He thinks he can rehabilitate Erik and save him from execution, and convinces the government that he can.

When Erik arrives, he is a lot worse than Charles thought he would be ... Everyone else can see that Erik is a nuclear bomb waiting to go off, but Charles refuses to give up on him. ...

The first time Charles sneaks up on him wearing no metal, it triggers him and he reacts instinctively, with violence. ... Erik discovers why Charles understands him so well: he was once used in experiments as well, experiments run by his own family, and in one of them, he lost his voice, so he uses his telepathy to communicate."

Blind Erik, mute Charles, the love.


2) "Paralyzer" -- In 1965, Erik Lehnsherr has infiltrated the NYPD for his own purposes -- but his powers make him a brilliant detective. Yet that's not why FBI agent Charles Xavier has sought him out. It's because the mysterious killer they're both trying to find is murdering people like them: other mutants.

Their search for a madman binds them together. Their inner demons may tear them apart. But the greatest danger comes when the killer they're looking for looks back ...


3) "One Last Kiss At The End Of The World" -- When Raven gets mixed up in a mutant cult, Charles infiltrates the group, pretending to be a true believer in the hopes of getting her out. What surprises him is the charisma and uncanny wisdom of the cult's leader, Elisha Ammon -- the emotional power of this isolated group of mutants working to create a home together -- and his powerful connection to Ammon's right-hand man, Erik Lehnsherr. But Ammon's fear of humanity, and of the future, makes him desperate for control ... and when the bond between Charles and Erik can't be contained, Ammon's reaction proves deadly.

(The role of Elisha Ammon is being played by the very obliging Imaginary Benedict Cumberbatch.)


4) "As Dark Longs For Day" -- A daring young thief escapes from the wicked bishop's dungeons, thinking herself free -- until she encounters a rider with a black horse, a tame hawk and a dark secret. And who is this mysterious young man who only appears at night, accompanied by a protective wolf?

Yes, it's the XMFC/Ladyhawke pastiche the whole world's been clamoring for!


5) "Appropriate Boundaries" -- Charles has been having serious problems with back cramps in the year and a half since he's been in a wheelchair. His doctor prescribes massage therapy. But when Charles meets his masseur, Erik, in some ways they begin to heal each other. So how do you cross the boundaries between professional touch -- and the personal?

And the Father Charles series, the most AU series I've ever written in all my fannish days:

6) "Sacrament" -- It's still the early 1960s. Charles grew up devoutly religious, went to seminary and took orders.

And for the few years he's been a priest, he's been a good one. He coordinates volunteering and assistance for several charities in New York City, where his parish is, and doesn't mind the life of poverty he leads (though his sister Raven sometimes comes in from upstate to ask him if he doesn't miss champagne at all.)

Then he comes up with the idea of partnering with a Jewish organization that helps the poor, which meets with some resistance from the Catholic brass -- but Charles is firm that all children are God's children and they should do what's right.

Then he meets Erik Lehnsherr, the devout Jew and Holocaust survivor who runs that other charity, who is so fiercely protective of his charges that it moves Charles' heart -- and the first time their eyes meet, Charles has to confront the greatest temptation he'll ever know, and the church's teachings about what love is.

In this AU, Charles has powers - he just doesn't know it.


7) "Grace" -- Erik and Charles have built a happy life together in the three years since Charles left the priesthood. But the shadows of Erik's past threaten to overwhelm them when Charles receives the one gift he's most wanted his whole life ... a chance at becoming a father.

8) "Faith" -- Many of the pressures in Charles Xavier's life -- the sacrifices Erik and Charles make to be together -- the constant tension of being closeted -- Charles' relationship to the Church he once served as a priest -- his distance from his sister -- come to the forefront in 1967. Because in that year, for Charles, peace is no longer an option.

9) "Miracle" -- In 1969, Erik is having trouble dealing with Charles' rapidly increasing powers as a telepath. His daughter seems to be acquiring those powers too. When Raven returns with shocking news of her own, the delicate balance Erik's maintaining seems likely to crumble.

But it's something else entirely that turns his world upside down ...


Stories in Other Fandoms

TANGLED: "A Princess & A Guy Like Me" -- “Rapunzel has never had choices before. I want her to have choices now.”

I nodded. “Absolutely.”

He meant, at least in part, choices of guys to marry who were not impoverished orphans/recently reformed thieves.


PRIDE & PREJUDICE: "A Marital Education" -- Darcy's impotent.

PROMETHEUS: "Persephone" -- Elizabeth repairs David - but slowly he begins to realize he is malfunctioning in a way she can't fix.

And he doesn't want her to.



Musings & Meme-age

Favorite story this year: This is tough -- there were a few this year that I really. It's probably a tie between "Faith" and "Persephone."

Best story this year: Probably "Sacrament" or "Paralyzer."

Story most under-appreciated, in my opinion: No complaints here, absolutely. I would have thought more people would read "As Dark Longs For Day," as it got substantially fewer readers than the rest of my XMFC stuff, but still, it got plenty of love.

Most fun story: "A Princess & A Guy Like Me," because Eugene's voice is a very enjoyable voice to write in.

Sexiest story: "Persephone," probably, though I really like the first kiss in "Appropriate Boundaries."

Hardest to write: "One Last Kiss At The End Of The World," which was born of a great idea, but I tried to write it while I had way too much on my plate, and the fire sort of went out of it for me for a bit, and I think it shows. While I think the end result turned out well, it's not the story it would've been if I'd waited until I could concentrate on it e more.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2012?: The only one would be Elizabeth Shaw/David 8 for "Prometheus," which is a bit of a cheat because that movie wasn't even out yet. I didn't anticipate "Elementary," either, but hello, Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson. I hope we know each other for a long time to come.

Did you take any writing risks this year? Not really, but I had fun playing with different voices in "As Dark Longs For Day," which includes first person, third person and omniscient POV, with epistolary sections. The result is smoother than it sounds, I swear!

Do you have any goals for the New Year? Go back to my Ugly Betty virtual season, the unfinished nature of which haunts me. Write the Maisie Dobbs fics that simmer within. More "Elementary." Some shorter fics, seriously; I gotta have more ideas under 20K words.



Hope everyone has a wonderful 2013.
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