Veronica Mars rocks

Time for fic roundup 2016!


Gilmore Girls

Harry Potter



The Newsroom

Veronica Mars

1. Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you’d predicted?:
Considering I didn’t write a damn word for nearly half the year, much much more. I was super surprised when I did a “last 20 fics” thing in October-ish, and found that they were all in 2016. And I also feel like I actually got a decent balance between longer oneshots, little snippets, and at least one decently sized (for me) chapter fic. It also helped that I got less anxious about asking for prompts, and people were nice enough to step up and give them to me.

2. What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January?:
I never ever would have expected Steve/Peggy and the MCU to take over my life and my writing as completely as it did. I have literally no concrete memory of how it happened, but suddenly they were just there, and I’ve found them honestly delightful to both read and write.

3. What’s your own favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?
Homemakers. Homemakers. All day, every day. It’s just the right level of fluff, sounds authentic enough, flowed nicely, has humor and sweetness and a solid relationship and a plot but also a bit of a “glimpse into the life” thing. One hundred percent. Homemakers.

4. Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?
Started writing Woman Borne even though The Ninety-Nine Percent had burned me out so badly. Finished writing Woman Borne even as I realized that I likely wasn’t equipped to do so. On the one hand, I’m proud of the way I handled the act of writing and posting it- I remembered to finish the whole thing ahead of time, I had it read over at an early stage to see if I should keep going and then had it read when it was complete by someone lovely and knowledgeable, I looked over each chapter before posting and made edits if they felt necessary rather than feeling that what I’d written had to dictate the way it would go- but I don’t think I would write something so heavy and controversial and out of my personal experience like that in the near future. Although the readers were overall lovely, it was stressful as heck.

5. Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year?
Just, keep writing. If I could finish a few of my WIPs, that would be nice (especially the Very Large Cameron/Chase one) but I’m pretty satisfied to take things as they come. I think my experience with The Blown Job this year was actually really helpful to me- it was a fairly old WIP, one that I’d put down as a goal to finish this year, and without even pushing myself to do it, I just picked it up and chipped away at it until it was done. It just needed to rest in my folder and in my brain for a while, and when it was ready to be done, I finished it.

6. From my past year of writing, what was…
Story Most Underappreciated by the Universe:
I think that things mostly got noticed in proportion to how they deserved to be noticed- Woman Borne is long so it got more, Homemakers is actually pretty good so it got props even though it was shorter- but some of my smaller fics sort of sank without a ripple. Part of it is my fault because I’m terrible at self-promo, so they were posted once on tumblr, and maybe on AO3, but I feel awkward trying to be noticed, which means that they weren’t. I’m tempted to say Head, Hands, which was my first Rory/Logan story in a while; or either of my Parker/Hardison attempts, but in the end I think I have to go with Like Gravity, which was my last fic of the year and my Steggy Secret Santa story. I don’t know if it was weird tumblr stuff or if the unevenness really put people off, but I didn’t think it was a bad story and it just seemed to go gently into the fanfic ether.

Most Fun:
I think The Job At Hand. Homemakers came out so smoothly and I really liked writing all the showgirls in Stand Together, but there’s just something about the hilarious frustration of trying to keep Steve Rogers under control.

Most Disappointing:
Maybe In the Neighbourhood, which was my first Ron/Hermione story. I think the characterization was okay but nothing stellar, the writing wasn’t spectacular, and the situation was a little basic. Overall, it was serviceable but lacked any kind of sparkle.
Actually, I take it back. As Yourself, one of my Lily/James fics. The idea is good and even the individual elements are good. I’m really proud of the title, too: it refers both to the quote “love your neighbor as yourself” and the theme of presenting yourself honestly. But the pacing is all wrong. I rushed it, and it shows.

Most Sexy:
Oh good gosh. For years I have been answering these questions and I have never succeeded in this one. I know that there’s a lot of ways to be sexy. I write fluff and angst and everything in between. But my sexy is like “do the characters make physical contact at any point?” I’d say This Bright Future, most likely.

Hardest to Write:
Woman Borne is probably the easiest answer, but although it took several months to write and had a LOT of big things tangled in it, it didn’t feel that hard in the scheme of my chapter fic experiences. I struggled with getting through The Closing Distance- I’ve had trouble with Buffy/Angel stuff for several years- but I was really surprised by how hard Like Gravity was. It was the only Steve/Peggy fic I had a particularly hard time writing, which was especially strange considering it wasn’t an extraordinarily complicated AU.

Most Unintentionally Telling:
Maybe the fact that I like Homemakers so much and have reread it so many times. Although is it a reveal if my love for fluff is well known and publicized? As is my frustration re: bread-making. And that part was written with full and vocal intention, so...not sure

Choice Lines:
Harry (so normal; James’s dad would have loved that) looks around, pulling on a gray t-shirt. “What’s happening?” he says eyeing the cauldron, his mother, and James eyeing him.
“Your dad had a little incident,” Lily says. She hands Harry a muffin, shrugging when he looks from it to her. “Pre-incident baking.”
“Alright,” Harry says easily. He takes a bite. “‘M going to Ron’s for Quidditch.” He sticks the rest of the muffin in his mouth and leaves the room as Lily pours some of the cooled teal potion into a glass and sets it in front of James, who doesn’t move for a moment.- (Enough Misadventures) To Last A Lifetime

“Woah. Didn’t mean to step into the morning after.”
“Well you did, and now you’ve got it all over your shoe.”- Untitled celebrity/fan AU

“That’s fucking bullshit.” Steve considered adding ‘with all due respect, sir,’ but he didn’t think it would have mattered at that point, and he also didn't think it would be honest.

...Peggy Carter is controlled and capable and brilliant, but the only thing that’s stone about her is the strength of her right hook.

Steve thinks of courts martial and the way Peggy's uniform fits her so easily. His chest feels splayed open. “I'd love to come with you,” he says, the words breathing out of him.

He wants to hug her, to hold her against him, calculated and risky and stunning. Instead he finds her hand where it lies in the sand between them and presses it delicately… Withdraw Their Shining

...Steve, eyes downcast, gifts Peggy with a drawing- simple charcoal on lovely, thick paper- of what she recognizes with some surprise as her own hands. One is in a fist, the other spread wide like a shield.
She buys a frame for it and hangs it in her office the next day.

“Shut up,” she says, fierce and polite, and swings him around and kisses him. He’s stunned still for only a moment.
He is, in fact, a frankly lovely kisser.
When she pulls away after a few moments, he stands there dazed, and then mumbles something that sounds like, “Seniority.”
“Oh good God,” Peggy says, and kisses him again. When she’s satisfied he’ll be quiet, she says, “Phillips is ancient and crotchety and hasn’t changed his textbook in twenty-five years. You, meanwhile, let them look at naked art and stand up to their parents and are bloody gorgeous. And even if you were useless, you’ll shut up and take it. I’ve earned this.”
“You really have,” he says, and kisses her this time, his hands smiling on her back. And then, long minutes later, “By the way. Who’s the HR/PR Disaster now?” His voice is glancingly smug, which cannot be allowed.- The Job At Hand

“That was four dollars worth of ingredients,” Steve says dazedly several hours later. He is coated lightly in flour as if he has forgotten to come out of the snow.
Peggy eyes the lumpy dough creature and says, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to shoot it.”

They are two highly capable, mostly rational people. They have wedding rings and work and dinner dates and outings with friends and occasional couple’s espionage. They can cook nearly anything else by this point. There is no reason to be frustrated that they cannot conquer bread.
The next batch comes out of the oven looking perfect. It tastes only and exactly of yeast.

They host Thanksgiving because Bucky’s family wanted Christmas.
There are neat pieces of sushi as appetizers, a huge bowl of excellent mashed potatoes, and three perfect kinds of bread.
The turkey is half raw.
Bucky laughs ‘til he cries.- Homemakers

The girls are leaving first, so Steve stays with them while they pack up, the familiar trappings of the Star Spangled Show disappearing into crates, the familiar faces blurring beneath coats and hats.

The chaperone, Miss Lindon, is staring something fierce at him. (They’d almost driven off a cliff one midnight on a twisty road in California. Everyone else was squeezing hands and praying. Miss Lindon, firm and tidy in tweed, just turned the page of her book with a careful finger.)- Stand Together

He knows that Peggy is ninety-two years old. He knows that she just moved into a new nursing home last week. He knows that she is standing right in front of him, no more than a few years older than when he went into the ice. Dark hair, dark lipstick, dark jumpsuit, and his shield on her back.

Later, watching this Peggy, a shade away from what he knows, he realizes that she reminds him of no one as much as himself, shielding himself from the familiar and the unfamiliar and the memories most of all.
Having someone who understands is a very difficult sort of wonderful.

Natasha is the most off-put by how well Peggy knows them. Her stories have come slowly to Steve, each one a trust-gift. Peggy has her own collection, but for Natasha they are weapons held by someone she does not know.

No one could identify with the loneliness of waking up after the ice like Peggy could, the futile anger of knowing that everyone was gone and it was only him, surviving and surviving and surviving.- Burdens Had

The next time Steve sees Thompson, he has fading bruises on either side of his jaw, and actually avoids Steve. As if Steve would hit him if he was just minding his own business.- All the Days

“-And she said I needed to cut out half my footnotes, even though so much of the good stuff is there, and who doesn’t like extra footnotes? They’re like little knowledge presents!“ Willow finished, turning off the overhead light and enjoying the sound of her slippers shuffling against the carpet. Buffy was still out; she had a midterm the next day and Giles was quizzing her. She held the phone against her shoulder and pulled the covers down.
“Did you check for antennae? She might be a footnote hating alien.” It was the first time Oz had spoken in a while and she could hear the noise of the party the other Dingoes were having, but Willow never worried that he was getting distracted when she talked. The tone he used now was equilibrious as always, but the kind that curved upward a little in her mind and meant he was smiling.- All Work

She woke one morning with Steve’s voice, warm and content and loving, full of wonder, still settled over her like a shroud.

There were things that Peggy had not even known she could miss: slicing apples, newspapers, the moon and rain, handshakes, calendars.

There was a tenement sort of grimness to his voice that spoke of gritting teeth through long winters.

He had become less formal in her presence, knees and elbows expanding outward as he sat in a way that made him look somehow smaller, or at least softer.

She gripped at her tea. The all-purpose English remedy, she and Monty used to joke. Apply liberally to anything from gunshot wounds to heartbreak. It didn’t seem to be working.

Peggy reminded herself that she had quite handily survived a world war, and that there was no reason to behave swoonily just because Steve was being very visibly attractive in front of her.
Peggy tried to forget that the world war hadn’t prevented just the same thing the first time around.

“‘‘Twas I who chopped down the cherry tree’ and all that?” It sounded accidentally Shakespearean in her accent despite her wry tone.
Steve grinned in a way that was startlingly unrestrained, making Peggy realize just how much it had all been weighing on him. She hadn’t seen that grin since early 1945, and it was shameful for it to have been hidden so long.

“Fine,” he said, the way he did when things were not fine. It wasn’t that he was lying, but that he hadn’t yet realized that something was wrong.

Steve ran the miles home. The idea of cars felt condensed and awful.

She saw Barton farther down the street, half sitting, half sunbathing on top of one of the fire trucks.

In the bleary dark: “Why have you done so much to help us?”
A pause. “Because I can’t remember a time when I wished someone would help me.- Woman Borne

“Well, Evans, the thing about that man you married- and I love him like a brother and would kill anyone else who said this- is that he’s not very bright and sometimes exists with his head firmly hidden up his arse.”- The Biting Yesterdays

“Hey, man, respect the skills of others. Maybe I can’t do any of that either, but I laugh in the face of the blue screen of death.”- In the Gray Light

There’s a feeling in her chest that reminds her of seeing Michael in his uniform for the first time, a ragged beat swallowing her thoughts for just a blank moment, whispering how much it would hurt to lose him.

He tells Peggy this after they’re adjourned for the day. She does not try to build him up or placate him. “They used to bury suspected vampires with stakes in their chests and bricks in their jaws even after they’d died,” she says instead, tilting her chin up at him.- Duty Bound

She has the feeling that he’s from the type of family where handshake lessons were given on Monday from 2:30 to 4.- Heads, Hands

This woman sounds like she could buy and sell him a couple of times over, and he’s not entirely sure if he means literally or metaphorically.- A Rousing Debate

“It’s good. I like it,” and somehow that’s worth paragraphs and paragraphs. It settles around her heart.- To Question, Squirrels and Books

But Angel has had a few centuries to get used to how quickly things shift. He has no more lamentations for the eyeblinks that mean a change. Killing a young girl, seeing one on sunlit school steps; these things took seconds and changed everything.

His voice is hoarse and he speaks slowly, but his Russian is perfect, as if the language is something he stored in an attic chest, one he just creaked open to find it pristine.

Because although she has more responsibility than anyone he’s ever known, the weight of lives and lives, she also has her own, and it is such a young one. He wants to be sure that she doesn’t look with regret on these months spent with him, the cliffside love with someone whose life is endlessly futureless.

She’s been missing him all these months, she hasn’t even been tempted, never in all that time, and she’s not totally hideous, so there were some people trying to tempt. But she’s been waiting, it hasn’t even been a question, and he’s apparently been questioning all over the place if he was going to break his word, the last thing he said to her.

She goes Bronzing with the gang. She spends a couple nights hanging and talking with Will, where they dissect Oz’s latest three words, and try once again to figure out Cordelia and Xander, and don’t talk at all about Angel or about how this feels worse than the entire last year because they finally got to choose and they both chose to be apart. She gets a B+ on her English quiz.- The Closing Distance

Despite herself, Veronica is disappointed. She had wanted the rush from figuring out a puzzle, from outthinking a group of criminals with rap sheets long enough to ride the big roller coasters without a parent. Now she’s facing a woman who’s pulling the criminal equivalent of faking cramps to get out of gym.- The Blown Job

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Oh wow, look at all you've been up to and I had no idea! Steve/Peggy? Don't read or write it myself, but it's still an excellent choice. Congrats on being so productive, you!
Thanks so much! I didn't even realize I'd written that considerable an amount until I started listing, and it feels great. :)

I've gone a little stealth on (not sure why I stopped crossposting, it just happened) but I really have hopped onto the Steve/Peggy train pretty heavily. I knew you've been writing Guardians of the Galaxy, but I didn't think that the MCU would figure into my life at all. I was apparently VERY wrong.
I understand not wanting to crosspost - I haven't experimented much with what Ao3 can do but I'll see if there's a way to get notifications on there so I don't have to miss anything else from you.

So was it Agent Carter that did it for you? That was a damn good show, wish it had lasted longer.
You would really think Agent Carter would have been the thing but I (awkward confession) actually still haven't even seen it. One day I watched First Avenger for literally no reason I can remember, and just got sucked in. No regrets, though!
Fascinating! No wrong reason to fall for a ship. :) Hope you do see the show at some point, though. Maybe it will inspire your fiction.
Thank you!

I know I'm basically years late to this ship but I fell for them fast and hard. I love them individually and together and love writing what could have been.