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We know drama. AKA meme time!

I hate drama. Not television drama, which I love, because it's not real and it's not happening to me and I can walk away from it at any time. I hate real-life drama, which is harder to escape and leaves me feeling drained and raw and unsteady. I've been dealing with personal drama on several fronts lately and it is exhausting. And what I really want/need to do is lose myself in writing, but because I'm feeling emotionally drained I can't seem to focus on anything. Erg.

I don't really want to talk about the drama because I use social media to distract myself from real-life troubles not wallow in them. But I really need a distraction right now, preferably one that will inspire me to throw myself back into writing again because I think that's what will cheer me up and get me through all this stupid shit more than anything else.

So I'm Parkering a meme from mizzy2k and telaryn and ultra_fic and lmx_v3point3, and kind of basically everyone.

Meme!

Pick any passage of 500 words or less from any fanfic I’ve written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what’s going on in the character’s heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.


My fic can all be found in my masterpost or at AO3.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
hannasus
Aug. 13th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
I guess I’ll allow it. ;)

So, this whole fic was sort of an exploration of Parker as a more sexually self-aware and savvy person than she’s usually portrayed in fic. While the show makes a lot of her emotional immaturity, that doesn’t necessarily have to mean she’s also sexually immature, and I wanted to play around with the idea of her intentionally flirting with Eliot and how much that might fluster him. You’ll also note that, because I am such a canon whore and have a hard time writing non-canon relationships, I had to slip in a reference early on to the fact that Parker and Hardison had been together and then broken up, in order to justify all of this. Pathetic canon-whore is pathetic. But it also helps make things more interesting, because it adds yet another reason why Eliot would try to deny his attraction to Parker, on top of John Rogers’ assertion that Eliot doesn’t shit where he eats.

Anyway, this specific passage was inspired by the scene at the beginning of The Tap Out Job when Eliot has Parker demonstrate a some MMA moves on Hardison. More particularly, it was inspired by the way Eliot tells Parker, “Square up. Remember what I showed you?” Which means he has totally spent time teaching her fighting moves before at some point! Canon baby! Also? Hot.

So, by this point in the fic, Parker’s been sort pursuing/flirting with Eliot, and he’s trying not to notice because he’s a gentleman that way and also because he’s not really sure that’s what she’s doing. And they’re between jobs, and I don’t really imagine Eliot and Parker hang out all that much when they’re not on the job, not the way Eliot and Hardison and Nate probably do. So Eliot’s kind of torn between being relieved, because he doesn’t have to deal with how he’s feeling about Parker, and actually kind of missing her because he doesn’t have an excuse to be around her.

And then Parker just shows up, which takes him off guard. Not only is he figuratively exposed because he wasn’t expecting to see her, but he’s literally exposed because she’s caught him asleep and half-naked. (P.S. Eliot totally wears Levi’s button-fly 501s. In my head, anyway.) So he tries to act irritated to keep her at a distance, the way he always does, but secretly he’s glad she’s there and pleased she wants to learn from him and the truth is that he would do anything for her, even if he pretends like he doesn’t want to.

At this point I had to go and watch a shitload of YouTube videos of jiujitsu demonstrations so I could describe what Eliot would teach Parker to do. There’s a lot of touching involved, but I wanted Eliot to be very serious and business-like about this part, because I think when you do as much sparring and working out as he must do, you get accustomed to touching people in a coaching scenario and he would be extra careful not to let that become something suggestive. And one of the things I love about Parker is that as much as she’s the “crazy” one, she’s also crazy professional and good at what she does. She’s extremely serious about her craft and she’d take Eliot’s craft just as seriously. Which is part of why he’s totally drawn to her, because that’s something they have in common, in addition to having the most physical skills of anyone on the team.

Except Parker’s plan was totally to use this as an excuse to put the moves on Eliot all along, so pretty fast she goes from serious student to obvious flirting. As Eliot realizes what’s happening he feels a lot of guilt, because there is a bro code and he is not the kind of guy to violate it and he kind of knew this was where this might go and he agreed to it anyway. On the other hand, it turns out his high horse is not so high after all, because when it becomes clear that Parker knows exactly what she wants and what she wants is him, well, what’s a guy to do? Especially since it’s really what he’s wanted all along, too.

And OMG I think this is actually longer than the passage you just picked. LOL.
(Deleted comment)
lmx_v3point3
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
I loved this whole fic, but the scene setting was just awesome... so...

-

It’s all because of the damned tinnitus. Or that’s what he tells himself, anyway.

He’s sitting on the couch at Nate’s place in a sort of pain haze because of the blow he took to the head a couple of hours ago. He’s probably got a mild concussion and he’s definitely got this persistent and seriously annoying ringing in his ears which is the only reason Parker is even able to sneak up on him in the first place. She ghosts up behind him and punches him playfully in his bad shoulder, the one that’s still throbbing like a sonofabitch because he dislocated it yet again and he had to pop it back into joint himself.

And it’s not so much that it hurts as that it startles him, which shouldn’t happen. Ever.

He’s not thinking; he just reacts. Before he’s even fully aware of what he’s doing he’s grabbed hold of her wrist—hard. Parker doesn’t cry out but he can tell from her sharp intake of of breath that it hurts and when he lets go she snatches her hand away, cradling her arm against her chest.
hannasus
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
This fic was written for one of your prompts, so you're totally culpable for this one. I just ... LOVED the prompt. I was trolling comment_fic looking for something that inspired me and I saw this one and thought YES.

We don't usually get to see much of the aftermath of Eliot's fights, but you have to imagine that it's pretty rough sometimes. Getting hit in the head as much as he sometimes does isn't something you just get over by taking an aspirin. And we've seen that he doesn't like it when Parker sneaks up on him, even when he's just mildly distracted. So yeah, if he was seriously out of it, like concussion, major pain kind of out of it, and she legitimately startled him, it'd be bad.

And he's so keenly aware of his own potential for violence and works so hard to control it and only use violence as an appropriate response. So if he ever actually hurt someone he cared about by accident there'd be this initial, reflexive burst of anger, but then the shame would be instantaneous and overwhelming.

My husband's actually ... well, he's not Eliot, obviously, but he lifts some pretty serious weights and he was in the army and he's taken krav maga so he's got a little of that potential for violence. And because of that he tries to be extra careful, because he's keenly aware that a careless move from him can do a lot more damage than a careless move from some regular joe. So he's super gentle most of the time, but for some reason (maybe because of his days in the army) he's prone to startling when he's asleep. He doesn't wake up gently. If you accidentally startle him awake he'll wake up lashing out, and it can be shocking because it's so different than how he usually is. So that's kind of what I based Eliot's reaction on, that split second when you don't know what's happening and your instincts kick in and you lose control of the power that's usually held so tightly in check.

But I didn't want Eliot to actually hurt Parker, because that felt like too much. I just wanted him to come within a hair's breadth of seriously hurting her, and I wanted everyone to see him do it and know how close a thing it'd been. Because a near miss is almost worse somehow, and more frightening for everyone. Then it's about the fear of that potential for violence and harm, rather than about the aftermath of it.
jesco0307
Aug. 14th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
I think it's very interesting to read this explanation - especially since the 'behavior' you describe of your husband sounds like the same I've read in fanfic about Eliot a lot. Of course put into words by someone who not only actually knows what they're talking about, but also has the ability to use the right words to to so, makes it even better!
hannasus
Aug. 15th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
You're very sweet! I'm pretty sure my husband would be absolutely mortified to discover how much I've stolen from his life for my Eliot fics. LOL. It is more than just this fic.
damnskippytoo
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
One of my top 5 fics of all time is Undrowning. I can't not think about that fic when I think of Cordy's arc. So, I'd love to get inside your head on a part of it (sorry, a little more than 500 words):

---------------

There were only seven people at the service. All the lives Cordelia had touched, and only seven had been moved to pay their last respects. (Oh, and you're welcome.) He might have been surprised, but he wasn't.

Wesley was. Angel watched him pacing back and forth, his footsteps leaving ever deepening imprints in the sand.

"Maybe they didn't get the message," said Fred.

"They got it," said Wes darkly. "They just didn't care."

Uncharitable, perhaps, but not necessarily untrue, thought Angel.

He hadn't even allowed himself to wonder if Buffy would come. She'd never been close to Cordelia herself, didn't understand what Cordy had come to mean to him. Couldn't understand. If she had--well, Buffy certainly wouldn't have come then, would she? (I’m not a sniveling, whiny little Cry-Buffy, I’m the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history.)

The same went for the others, he supposed. Sunnydale was nothing but a ragged hole in the ground, now. The people who had lived there were scattered to the four winds, the bonds that once held them together irreversibly broken.

He had thought perhaps Xander, at least, might come, but then Angel vaguely remembered something about Xander getting engaged.

Obla dee, obla da. Life goes on.

For some, anyway.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know.
But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.


"A butterfly lands beside us like a sunbeam," said Lorne, the waves crashing behind him like a symphony. "And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world. But then it flies away..." Borrowed words. Borrowed time.

Angel had asked Lorne to lead the service, such as it was. Seven people on a beach with a cardboard box of ashes. (Nothing's going to happen to Cordelia. I won't allow it.)

Harmony cried when Lorne sang "Over the Rainbow." Spike stood beside her, flicking cigarette ash into the sand.

When Wes stepped forward to speak Angel averted his eyes and tuned out the words, letting them float away from him like smoke on the wind. Lorne had to nudge him when it was time.

He gripped the box tightly as he stepped into the water. The waves lapped against his legs and the sand sucked at his shoes, threatening to pull him down. He'd been down there once before. There were no seasons at the bottom of those depths, and no death. There was nothing down there but dreams and madness.

"Angel, you need help?" he heard Gunn say, and realized that he'd just been standing there, frozen. They were all waiting on him. (I am lost without you.)

He opened the box and turned it upside down. Cordelia's earthly remains--that was the funeral home's tasteful euphemism--fell into the ocean with a plop. It was less poetic than he had imagined it would be.

Angel stared at the water, watching as the ashes swirled in the surf, dissolving into the sea like sugar.

For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem. Amen.

The waves washed in and then out again, bearing her away with the tide. Away from her home. Away from her friends. Away from him.

In the sky overhead, unseen, a lone star plunged through the cold heavens.

(I'll be seeing you.)

---------------

Thanks and thanks for writing that gorgeous fic!
hannasus
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
It’s been a lot of years since I wrote this fic, but it’s also extremely personal and the very first thing I ever wrote that I was actually proud of, so every word is sort of indelibly imprinted in my memory. It means a lot to me that it seems to have touched people so much, and I’m particularly moved that you’d pick it.

The first part of that passage is basically my attempt to ret-con what I considered a sort of betrayal of the characters. I know on a rational level what behind-the-scenes circumstances forced the writers to make those choices, but as a fan I didn’t like them or even really buy them. So this is me trying to make those choices believable, while giving Cordy her due.

And I’ll admit, I never liked BtVS as much as I liked AtS, and I never liked Buffy the character as much as I liked the character Cordy became on AtS. So, yeah, I kind of took some digs at some characters to explain their absence. Not fair, perhaps, but I’m not the one who created that canon, I’m just trying to justify it.

The funeral itself, as well as the whole rest of the fic, really, was based on my experience with my mother’s funeral. She was cremated, there was an old, brass coffin-shaped elevator at the funeral home, they gave me her remains in a cardboard box. The beach was particular to Cordy, though, because they were in L.A. and I thought she would have liked it. “Over the Rainbow” was played at my mom’s funeral, and I reused it here because it seemed to fit nicely with Lorne’s personality, plus it’s a shout out to the episode of the same name. To this day, the sound of that song never fails to make me cry.

My mom was agnostic, so her memorial was non-religious like Cordy’s, really just her friends and family coming together to pay tribute to her and say goodbye. It’s important to do that, I think, or at least that’s what they tell you. But at the same time there’s a hollowness to it, like you’re just going through the motions and none of it means anything. Especially if you’re an atheist like me, and don’t believe that there’s anything else after this or any greater meaning to our lives. Given his experiences, I felt like Angel would share some of those feelings. Sure, he’s seen proof that there are gods and hells and higher powers, but he’s also seen how ugly and meaningless all of that can turn out to be when you pull back the curtain. It’s a far cry from the afterlife he was promised by the Catholic teachings of his youth, and I think he’d be feeling bitter about that.

I also decided he’d have a hard time dealing with such an open, public display of emotion. That’s never really been Angel’s thing, and I know from personal experience that it can be hard, when you’re naturally a closed-off person, to be around others speaking honestly about things like grief and love and pain. I had him tune out completely when Wes spoke, in part because I honestly didn’t want to have to come up with words for Wes to say about Cordy, but also because I think that would have been the most painful part for Angel. Wesley had been with them the longest, and he and Cordy had a strong bond. Witnessing his grief would have been more than Angel could bear in that moment. That choice also allowed me to make the story about how Angel was feeling, rather than just a transcript of Cordelia’s funeral service, which I really didn’t want to do.

A lot of people over the years have commented on the parenthetical quotes that I sprinkled throughout the fic. I wish I could say there was some super deep meaning behind each and every one of them, but there really wasn’t. I wanted to show how Angel was caught in the past, reliving those moments with Cordy over and over again. That her voice was still in his head, haunting him, berating him, propping him up, making him smile. That he still carried her with him, and maybe always would. But honestly all I did was read through a bunch of transcripts, make a list of quotes that I thought might be usable, and when I’d finished writing the fic I went through and inserted the ones that seemed most appropriate in the places they seemed to fit. If there were any that jumped out at me faster than others or fell into place on their own, I honestly can’t remember anymore. It was almost an afterthought, really. Go figure.
damnskippytoo
Aug. 14th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
Wow, you even managed to make me cry by your explanation.

I do believe that the BtVS crowd would not have made the trip for her funeral just on a character level regardless of network considerations. They just were not the same people (none of them) and there was too much time and distance to span. Perhaps there might have been flowers and condolences, but little more.

I never thought much about Angel not listening to Wes' eulogy. I just attributed it to his mind being engulfed by memories of Cordelia. And while I still believe that's part of it, I do see and like your motivation as stated. Wes and Cordy's bond was strong and hearing Wes' heartbreak as well as feeling his own might have been too much to take.

Thanks for taking the time to talk about this fic with me. I'm honored. :)
jesco0307
Aug. 14th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
I kept barely under the 500 words mark (I actually checked, lol). I love this fic.

She stared at him, momentarily unguarded, the fear plainly written on her face. Then the walls slammed down again. “You need more water,” she said woodenly. She uncapped the water bottle and brought it to his lips. He tried to drink but it was hard to swallow and most of it ended up spilling down his chin. Her hand shook as she screwed the lid back on, and he really wished he hadn’t noticed because Parker’s hands weren’t supposed to shake, not ever. She drew in a shaky breath. “Maybe I can build up the fire again.”

She started to turn away but he captured her hand and pulled her back to him. “It’s too wet, the wood won’t burn.” He struggled to get his thoughts in order, to remember all the things he wanted to say. “I need you to tell the others ... tell them I’m sorry.”

She pulled her hand away. “Don’t talk like that.”

“I screwed up. This is on me.”

“I don’t want to hear this.” She turned her back to him and hugged her knees.

He kept going because he had to get it all out. He didn’t know how much longer he’d have the strength to talk and there were things he needed Parker and the others to know. “Nate’s gonna blame himself no matter what, but you tell him I said not to. Tell them all not to. Don’t you blame yourself either, Parker, you hear me? Don’t you dare.”

“Stop it.” She wouldn’t look at him, but she was hearing him, at least. And it was frankly easier to say the things he needed to say if he didn’t have to look her in the eye while he was doing it.

“This team, everything we did, it was worth it. You tell them I said that. It was worth it.”

She rounded on him angrily. “Shut up! I’m not telling them anything because Hardison will find us. You’re not allowed to give up, Eliot. You’re stronger than that. You’re the strongest person I know.”

He swallowed hard around the sudden burn in the back of his throat. “I’m sorry,” was all he could think of to say.

She curled up beside him and pressed her face against his shoulder. Her thins arms wrapped around his forearm, clutching him like a security blanket. “Hardison will find us.” She repeated the words like a mantra, murmuring them over and over again.

Eliot turned his head away. He didn’t want to die, goddammit. He wasn’t ready to get off the ride yet. Not that that counted for anything. He watched the rain dripping down the wall of the ravine and listened to the muffled sound of Parker crying until sleep finally came and took him away again.
hannasus
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC)
This fic was a weird one for me. I wrote the whole thing in like 2 or 3 days, which may actually be some kind of record for me. I NEVER write that fast. And I didn’t work from an outline, which is also unusual for me for a longer fic like this. And while I love to read whump, this is the first time I ever set out to write a fic rooted so squarely in that genre.

This story was (pretty obviously, I think) inspired by Parker and Eliot’s scenes in the cave in The Long Way Down Job. To the extent that I kind of feel like it’s almost veering into the derivative, honestly. But I loved that scene so much I wanted to revisit those same themes and push the characters even further.

Neither Parker nor Eliot are the emotional, talk about their feelings types, which makes this a particularly difficult situation for them. They both know what’s going to happen by this point but neither of them wants to admit it. Eliot has to say something, though, because his number one priority is taking care of the team, even after he’s gone. He knows Nate is going to beat himself up over this, he knows witnessing his death is going to rock Parker to her core, and all he wants to do with his last lucid moments is to try and take away some of that pain for them.

Parker’s got issues with loss, though, and she doesn’t want to hear what Eliot’s saying, she can’t deal with the fact that he’s accepted the worst-case scenario as his fate. She’s mad at him for giving up, but more than that she’s terrified, because Eliot’s always been the fighter, he’s not supposed to surrender. If things are so bad even he isn’t fighting anymore, it means they’re about as bad as they can get. Her instinct is to run away, but she can’t leave Eliot, so she turns away from him instead and tries to block out his words. She pins her hopes on Hardison, even though deep down she knows it’s a false hope. Which is why she repeats the words over and over, because she’s trying to convince herself, to block out the truth with a lie. She ends up clinging to Eliot’s arm at that point because she’s literally trying to hold on to him to keep him from leaving her.
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