cutting my teeth on the gristly parts of TV

Linda, who blogs over at Wires for Veins, has been making noises about wanting to write some fanfiction. I am all for this. Participatory fandom is my favorite thing, and, plus, free porn! No downside. 

And I’ve never been cagey or shy about my career as a fanfic writer and TV nerd, but for posterity and the nice people who visit this blog, I’ll slap up my fannish CV. It’s been a long, strange trip, cats and kittens, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

It’s a bit like going to school, to college, to camp; you immerse yourself in a fandom, meet people, make friends, and then slide off to the next fandom hoping your buddies will stay in touch. I spent about eight years on Livejournal (the de facto fannish melting pot — or at least it was in its heyday), amid thousands of fans who read and supported one another and exchanged gift fics and prompts and encouraged one another to write more, write better, write absolutely anything.

I think of it like this. Like I went to high school in Star Trek, my first fandom. And like high school, I was dumb enough to think I was brilliant, I wrote bad poetry, and everything I worked on was draped with melodrama. I wrote some TNG, but mostly DS9 (my pairing of choice was Kira/Dukat; I love the genre that’s been dubbed “nemesis fic”), and I made some good friends, but, like high school, I’m not really in touch with most of them anymore. I was in Star Trek in the mid-90s, before Livejournal, before the web in earnest, and I posted my fic on newsgroups and BBSs. I was lousy, man, but I had a marvelous time. Before I stumbled upon Star Trek fanfiction I had no idea that other people were riffing off of what they’d seen on TV; I thought I’d invented the medium. The fact that there was an enormous world already in place to embrace me was the biggest gift the internet’s given, before or since. If you must, read Dislocation, Condemnation, Revelation, In Temptation (Kira/Dukat, 2760 words, rated T for Teen).

And then I graduated. Moved on with my class, out of the kindergarten madness of Star Trek and into my next fannish obsession, The X-Files. Like college, I spent about four years there, and like college, I made some of the best friends of my life. Meet Punk Maneuverability, who blogs at see punk run. We met in X-Files, clung to one another, and started co-writing fanfiction, a process that taught me more about writing and more about collaboration than any professional endeavor I’ve embarked on. We published a handful of fic under the name V. Salmone (read, if you’ve got it in you, How to Fake an Orgasm, Mulder/Scully, 23,000 words) and began a friendship that would last long after the X-Files was an embarrassing memory of fist-shaking at Chris Carter. Punk’s still my bff, and still the best writer I know. 

And then I graduated, and discovered slash. In, let’s call it, graduate school, the time in a young academic’s life when she sort of learns what it is she’s been trying to say all these years, finally learns how to put together a sentence and a paragraph without pretension (one hopes) and with some semblance of trained craft. Slash, for the weekend warrior, is the term for fanfiction that queers the characters; in other words, when you write a gay pairing for characters who are canonically straight, you are slashing the characters. Slash has a bit of a reputation in fandom for being the purview of the edgy, and in my graduate school era, it was just what I wanted. Punk and I dove guns blazing into Sorkin fic, the umbrella term for fic based on the shows of Aaron Sorkin, namely Sports Night and The West Wing. Because Dan and Casey were a great, epic love story, and so were Josh and Sam. And Punk and I were getting good at this writing thing, and we felt ready to tackle bigger issues, Sorkin-y issues of politics and linguistics and wild, rapidfire banter. I tried some experimental stuff (like April in Paris, West Wing, Natalie/Jeremy, 2543 words, which I wrote in the style of Hemingway), and I tried some broad lefty political stuff, and I tried the epic slashy love affair between writers in what would prove to be one of the most renowned, widely shared, critically acclaimed (!!) stories I’ve written in my fanfic career, the Sports Night story Where Have You Gone, Tom Glavine?, Dan/Casey, 15,000 words. 

And then I graduated from Sorkin fic, and there was nothing left to do but go out into the great wide world and try to seek my fortune. At this point in our careers, Punk and I were becoming more multifannish — where historically we’d done most of our writing in a single fandom (monogamy), we were broadening our horizons and learning to write in multiple fandoms at once (polyamory). I loved that freedom, I was all over the map. Some choice pieces from my multifannish, livejournal era include the Stargate Atlantis story The Pegasus Society (John/Rodney, rated NC-17, 5853 words), and the Firefly story Time Flies You Can’t (River/Mal, 6200 words). As I watched more shows my world kept expanding, from Slings & Arrows (I played with The Taming of the Shrew for my Geoffrey/Darren story And So Are You) to Doctor Who (I tackled the missing year in my experimental Doctor/Master story Give Up The Ghost, 4222 words); from M*A*S*H (and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Hawkeye/BJ story The ACME Judgment Company) to one of my other critically-acclaimed hits in Scrubs, My Big Breakup, which has the dubious distinction of being one of the first JD/Cox stories on the internet.

Along with multifannish polyamory came the desire to write in more rare or obscure fandoms, as played out each year in the Yuletide fic exchange, and it nudged me toward things like the graphic novels Love & Rockets (Cross Country, tacit Maggie/Hopey, 1062 words) or the musical Into the Woods (To Get The Thing That Makes It Worth The Journeying, Baker’s Wife/Cinderella, 2888 words); from House (HUGE EGO SORRY, House/Wilson, 3000 words), to Band of Brothers (General, Your Tank is a Powerful Vehicle, Winters/Nixon, 2822 words). 

I haven’t written fic in a while, not since the Remix holiday a year and a half ago, and it’d been a year before that the last time I’d written. It’s not a decision I made, I’m not retired, or GAFIATEing, or dismissing my fannish history: I’m working on a novel. It’s a big project, and it’s been taking up my writer brain, but nostalgia’s starting to tug at my heels and my heartstrings. 

Under the right circumstance, I’d write more fic. I will probably do Yuletide this year, and maybe Remix too, if the mood strikes me. I miss my fanfic friends, my college and grad school friends still kicking around on Livejournal while I strike out in solitary here on wordpress. I’m doing an X-Files rewatch, and it’s like going to a college reunion. I may have to write some good old-fashioned Mulder and Scully, but this time it’ll be with the charity and reverence that can only come with distance, with retrospect. Scully in her weird 90s pantsuits and Mulder with his floppy hair: the scent of memory and strawberry shampoo. 

So, Linda. If you’ve read this far, welcome to the world of fanfic! Here’s a prompt:

Daniel Jackson, sex pollen, and the words “scarab,” “angular,” and “cockblock.” 500 words. Post your story in the comments here. GO.

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11 responses to “cutting my teeth on the gristly parts of TV

  1. The Last Ba’al

    “Did I already mention that this is probably a trap?” Dr. Rodney McKay said as they stepped out of the rippling wormhole. He pulled a mini-cupcake out of plastic bag and stuffed it into his mouth.

    “Yes, only about a thousand times,” General Jack O’Neill replied, squinting his eyes at the sun before slipping on his shades. He sighed heavily. “I didn’t come out of retirement to listen to you complain throughout this entire mission. Do you have to be eating those right now?” He said, pointing at the bag of cakes.

    “When we get captured, I want to make sure my stomach’s full,” McKay replied, patting his belly. “Those Goa’uld lords never give prisoners decent meals.”

    “I wish Sam was here,” O’Neill said, as the portal whooshed closed behind them.

    “Well, she’s busy overseeing the Daedalus project so you’re stuck with me,” Rodney said, popping another cupcake into his mouth.

    “If there really is another Ba’al clone out there, we have to find him,” Colonel Cameron Mitchell said, shifting his P90 from one hand to another. He was taking this mission personally since he thought he had killed the last clone.

    “There is something strange about the air here,” Teal’c said, gripping his large hand around his Ma’Tok staff. “I can sense it.”

    “Eh, if there was anything poisonous or harmful, MALP here would’ve caught it,” Dr. Daniel Jackson said, patting the mobile analytic lab probe.

    “Smells pretty sweet to me,” McKay said, taking a deep breath. “As long as it’s not citrus-based I’m fine.” He looked at Daniel. “That’s not a possibility is it? Because I would die.” Daniel raised his eyebrows and shrugged.

    The group trekked through a small gathering of trees before entering a large clearing. The suns were beating down on the men, causing them to sweat from the heat. Mitchell stopped to take a swig from his canteen. The clearing was bursting with enormous blue and white blossoms.

    “These flowers are beautiful,” McKay said as he picked one and sniffed.

    “Something isn’t right,” Teal’c said, pressing his hand against his stomach.
    “My symbiote is acting strangely.”

    “Junior trying to tell you something?” O”Neill said.

    “We’ve never been to this planet before,” Dr. Daniel Jackson said. “We should check out those ruins down there.” He pointed his finger toward a cluster of abandoned structures at the edge of the clearing.

    “Ruins? No way! Looks pretty much like most of the planets we’ve been to,” O’Neill said as he waved his arm around. “Trees, rocks, more trees, dirt, blue sky…oh wait, this one has two suns! No, we’ve seen that before too.”

    “You’re funny,” McKay laughed as he swayed back and forth.

    Daniel rolled his eyes. “There could be clues down there to lead us to Ba’al. And look at that large angular black building behind the ruins. That seems out of place.”

    “That’s not the only thing,” O’Neil said, shaking his head at Rodney who was now wearing the large blossom behind his ear.

    “Daniel, we don’t have time to decipher hieroglyphs, we must find Ba’al,” Mitchell said.

    “Maybe those nice ladies can help us,” McKay said giggling and pointing.

    Five women were approaching them. As they neared, the men couldn’t deny their beauty. Their olive skin glistened in the bright rays of the suns. They wore brassieres made of golden coins strung together and sheer white skirts that billowed around their long legs. Around each of their necks hung a luminescent emerald and black scarab necklace.

    McKay stumbled toward them with arms outstretched. “Hello ladies, we’re looking for the big bad Ba’al. Creepy voice, sleaze-ball with a spray tan, heard of him?”

    Mitchell grabbed the seemingly intoxicated scientist by the scruff of his shirt and pulled him back. “McKay, control yourself,” he said, feeling a little light-headed himself. He couldn’t keep his eyes off of these women. He wanted to touch their skin, run his fingers through their long black silken hair that fell down to their waists. He shook his head and tried to focus. He glanced over at General O’Neill and Daniel. Their eyes were glazed over and their lips curled back in drunken smiles.

    One of the women approached Daniel. She slid her hand up his black t-shirt and leaned close to his face. “Are you a man?” She purred and placed her other hand on his crotch. He shook his head and staggered back. She looked down at the front of his pants and laughed. Her voice sounded like the tinkling of bells.

    “I’m a man too,” McKay said. He was on his knees now, holding up a flower to one of the woman. She took it, put his hand on her thigh and smiled.
    “Yes, you are,” she said, running her fingers through his hair.

    Mitchell saw that one of the women had her arms draped around O’Neil and the last two females were approaching Teal’c and himself.

    Teal’c held out his staff, he was shaking and sweating. “Stand back female.”

    The woman stopped and frowned. “We’ve just never seen so many men before,” she cooed. “There’s only one man who lives here.”

    “T-t-take us to him,” Mitchell said, motioning to the women with his P90.

    “We aren’t in any rush, we could just stay here for a while,” McKay said as he stared up at the woman, sliding his hands up her skirt.

    “O’Neil, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said. “Something is affecting you. You aren’t acting like yourselves.”

    “Yeah, snap out of it,” Mitchell said, fighting off the urge to grab one of the woman and have his way with her. Sweat was dripping from his pores and he was finding it difficult to breath. He walked over and pulled one of the women off of Daniel before she was finished unbuttoning his pants. Before he knew it, his lips were pressed against hers. He felt a rush of blood go to his head and somewhere else.

    “Hey, she was mine,” Daniel said, yanking Mitchell by the collar. Mitchell spun around and punched Daniel in the jaw.

    “Ouch,” the spectacled anthropologist whined, rubbing his chin.

    McKay was sliding his tongue across the woman’s thighs. “I don’t know if you guys can count,” McKay said between licks. “But there are plenty of them to go around.”

    “There are more of us in the palace,” the woman kissing O’Neill said. “Along with the man you seek.”

    Teal’c pointed his Ma’Tok at her. “Show us.”

    The women guided the disheveled group into the black angular building that Daniel had spotted. Daniel touched one of the woman’s necklaces as they entered the structure. It felt cool against his flesh. “A scarab, where did you get this?”

    “It is the mark of a slave,” she said. “We are all slaves here on this planet. Bred to give pleasure to our god’s soldiers.”

    “Khepri?” Daniel still felt dizzy and the stiffness of his crotch was painful. He stumbled forward and the woman held him up.

    “Yes, to all the sun gods,” another woman said and nodded, the golden beads in her hair clinking together.

    “Ra is dead,” Teal’c said. “They were never gods. Gods cannot die.”

    The woman smiled and opened two enormous golden doors. A huge chamber stretched out before them. Naked woman were sprawled out on lush red pillows, a writhing ocean of sweet smelling flesh spread out before them and in the center under a large glass dome was Ba’al.

    “Oh my god we’ve died and gone to heaven,” McKay said.

    “For once I agree with you,” O’Neil replied.

    “Ah! SG-1, I thought you would never come,” he said flashing them a smile. He pulled a woman away from his exposed and erect manhood and stood.

    “Never mind, I take that statement back,” McKay said.

    “Please, have some refreshments,” Ba’al said snapping his fingers. A woman rushed over to the men with a tray of fruit.

    “Don’t eat that,” Teal’c warned them.

    “Ba’al, we’re here to take you back with us,” Mitchell said, attempting to shake off a woman who was pulling off his shirt.

    “Now why would I want to do that, when I could stay here,” he said, walking over to the group. “Did you have fun killing all my clones?”

    “Yes actually,” Mitchell said. He was shirtless now and decided to let the woman kiss him on his hard chest.

    Ba’al leaned in towards Teal’c and whispered. “Shol’va, you must cause a distraction. Do it now if you want to save your friends.” Teal’c was stunned. Was Ba’al trying to save them or trick them? “It’s the flowers. These women are no slaves and I am not their keeper. It is them that will be the slaves,” he nodded towards the men. Teal’c glanced around. Daniel was on the ground and had two women on top of him, both undoing his pants buttons. O’Neil was sitting on a cushion with three women tugging at his arms and legs. Mitchell was pressed up against a wall, half naked. He could only see McKay’s boots underneath a sea of naked flesh.

    “Why are you telling me this?” Teal’c was pointing his staff at the Goa’uld.

    “I was the one who sent the message,” Ba’al hissed. “I’ve been trapped here for an eternity. I thought it was a good idea at the time.”

    “Why am I not affected?” Teal’c asked.

    “It’s our symbiotes, they filter out the pollen.”

    Teal’c nodded and pointed his Ma’Tok at the glass ceiling. A shot rang out and shards of glass came raining down. Teal’c shot his weapon at random at the walls and pillars. Chunks of stone exploded and dust swirled like cyclones around them.

    “Grab O’Neil and Mitchell,” Teal’c ordered Ba’al. “I will get Daniel Jackson and Dr. McKay.”

    They ran from the palace and towards the Stargate with the women chasing after them. After much difficulty, Daniel finally punched in the code for home and the wormhole erupted from the gate.

    “Why is any of this a problem?” McKay shouted as he attempted to run back toward the horde of naked females. Teal’c pushed him forward into the shimmering pool of light. The rest of the group followed.

    The men emerged from the portal safe yet they were half-clothed with some minor scratches. After putting on some pants, Ba’al was taken into custody and SG-1 was sent to seek medical attention.

    Teal’c waited as his human companions received treatment. McKay was hitting on a nurse that was giving him an injection. He seemed to be the most affected by the pollen. Daniel Jackson was asleep and Mitchell was being hooked up to an IV. O’Neill was waving at Teal’c to come over. Teal’c approached the general’s bedside.

    “Teal’c, I never thought I’d say this, but thanks for the cockblock,” O’Neil said, patting his Jaffa friend on the forearm.

    Teal’c’s expression morphed into one of confusion. “I was only blocking the females from you. I don’t remember seeing any male chickens.”

    • ZOMG Linda, I love it! You are clearly a natural at this fanfic thing and should be writing lots more. I love your Rodney with his cupcakes and the fact that Mitchell’s practically tearing his shirt off before the sex pollen even has a chance to kick in– he’s such a slut. Excellent use of the scarab and the cockblocking, and I absolutely love Teal’c in this story. Thank you so much for writing this, lady! MORE! Lmk if you want another prompt.

  2. Pingback: and it’s contagious / and it’s contagious | APOCALYPSE WEATHER

      • Okay! What I want from you is some Kira & Dax girl power type fic. Kira and Dax trapped in a shuttle together! and throw in any other characters you want. Use the words “grimace,” “champion,” and “pickled herring.”

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