by Thamiris
Recs from 1999-2001.

| The Bible | Due South | Hardcore Logo | Hercules | JAG | Lit Slash | The Sentinel | X-Files

The Bible

10/11/01  Gail's God and the Devil Take a Night Off (The Bible) God/the Devil.   NC-17.  Implied S/M.  Blasphemy. 
Don't follow this link or read this review if you're offended by Bible slash.   This story is kinky and surreal; it's set in a bar where no one notices God and the devil sparring, flirting, fooling around.   The room is dark and so's the story, a little.   Even while they're trading zingers, drinking beer, and talking Milton, there's this tension with a violent edge that turns literal toward the end.   A smart story that echoes, makes me wonder about these two and how their sado-masochistic games impact the world--and I love what she's done with the devil's cock. NEW!
09/29/01  Melthalion's Olive (The Bible)  Jesus/John.   Hard R.   Blasphemy.  6k.
Don't follow this link or read this review if you're offended by Bible slash.    I feel guilty about that disclaimer, because it suggests that Olive is coarse or wrong, when it's intensely beautiful, a story about despair and love.  I won't deny there's a taboo thrill to it, but that's enhanced by John's reverential tone, the powerful images, like Jesus with his "tree sap" eyes.   My chest tightens when I read it now, a year or so after I first discovered it, when I sinned by not including it here, where it belongs.   A powerful story, like stumbling across a private addendum to a gospel, not to be read until after the author's death.   You blow off the dust and sand, and read history.

Due South

08/04/01  LaT's Supple (dS)   BF/RV.  NC-17.
Yow! That was hot! When I first opened the story, I started skimming, sniffing around to see what was what, and this caught my eye: "I was thinking more along the lines of fellating you, but if you want me to take off your boots, that can certainly be arranged."  That had me whimpering, so I went back and read carefully from the beginning.  I adored Ray, how he moved from annoyed to serious to loving with a few other stops between.  Not that it felt like a series of switches between moods; the story had this wonderful flow that kept me in and reading so fast I had to go back and catch up on the details. It was supple, which I'm just realizing now, the story even more than the leather.  Ray just made sense here in his reactions to all the situations, not just as canon Ray, but as a real person reacting to Fraser's actions.   Go here for more of this rec.
12/10/01  Rushlight's The Ties That Bind Us (dS)  BF/RV.  BDSM.  NC-17.
It's a very insular story, just the two of them, Fraser and Ray, their need, and the whips.  The setting helped to create this sense of isolation:  it's very cold outside, with the snow falling, and everything is so hot inside the house.   It's like they're completely alone in the world after the phone call, snowed in to do whatever they want--and that's just what they do:   engage in some kinky rituals that are hot and meaningful.   As the reader, though, I'm not outside, rubbing my fist against the window:  I spent the story inside Ray's head, feeling all of it with him. NEW!
25/07/00  Zen&nancy's The Politics of X (dS)  BF/RK.  NC-17.
I stumbled across this one and didn't stop til the end.  Why it worked?  Kowalski's painfully honest voice, and the way he scuttled between acceptance of his own pretty shady behavior with a drugged Frasier, and his love-motivated lust.  An exercise in (im)moral syllogism, where Kowalski's admitted(ly) unstable premises stop mid-track and bite back. Everyone's a victim, and no one is.  If it sounds unclear, it's not.  The psychological complexity's conveyed through a water-clear first-person voice, that flows, and you sail along with it.  I could drown in this one.

Hardcore Logo

25/07/00 Mairead Triste and Amy B.'s First Come, First Served (HCL)
I haven't even seen Hardcore Logo, and I don't think I want to (it's anti-Canadian, I know, so call CSIS).  But why spoil the good thing I've got going with the slash?  I started with a story by Amy B., who has a strong pared-down style that I admire, and then this.  It's all broken dialogue and quick, jagged thoughts, roughly beautiful.  And hot, in a dirty, under-the-covers sort of way (which I love).  It feels illicit, a tiny bit non-consensual, because the actions start from tension and accrue.  But it's boiling throughout. I wish I could be that clever, and that steamy. Ed.  Note:  I've seen HCL since I wrote this rec, and the story only gets better.
08/05/01  Viridian 5 Watch Your Back (HCL)  Billy/Joe.   NC-17.
I loved the harsh, bloody intensity of "Watch Your Back," the desperate violence of the Billy/Joe relationship.  Nothing could be easy and sweet between these two, and it's anything but that here, except that under the blood and the swagger, there's a real connection between them.   They can't go at it like two regular guys, not Joe and Billy; it's got to be screwed up and fastfastfast.   That's canon, and that's this story.   Perfect blending of the two.  I also admire the voice here, and the tone.   I've read a few HCL stories where the narrative crassness felt forced and unnatural, but you made it feel right and real.    Okay, calling the voice crass might not sound like a compliment, but it is.   I just mean that Joe's such a hard-ass, and literate chicks don't always do hard-ass well.   Viridian's clamped onto his brain, with stuff like, "Kissing him seemed like something a fag would do, but he had that blood on his split lip."   That unflinching ugliness.   Wonderfully vivid.   And she don't overdo the dialogue; it's just grunty, butch and smart enough.   ne of my favorite lines is this one, which is a little wild and romantic, and maybe shouldn't work, but does, so beautifully: "This wasn't kissing, it was fucking feeding, me sucking down his breath and metallic-tasting blood like I could eat his soul."    Ghoulish with a poet's heart.   That's Joe, and that's this story.

Hercules: the Legendary Journeys

1/12/99  Acca Laurentia's Primal Need (HtLJ)  Ares/Iphicles.   BDSM.   NC-17.
It's short, kinky, and panty-melting, with no plot to interfere--just Iphicles unspeakably desperate for Ares and his belt.  Go there if you're looking for hardcore, hot fucking inthe Hercuverse, then print it up and keep it for those lonely nights.  It gives PWP a good name.  (It does need a bit of editing for typos, but it still makes me shake a few years later).
27/12/00  Aly's Ashes in His Mouth (HtLJ)   G.  11k.
Aly has filled this story to the brim, so that within its superficially short narrative frame you're living Greco-Roman history, the fall of an empire, the death of a culture, one man's mortal triumph...That sounds pompous, but it's a gloriously epic fic, beautiful, detailed--a sharp, painful nexus of micro- and macrocosm that makes rec'cers like me wax tres lyrical.   I can't help it, though.   It's just so glorious and tragic, a story that gives Ares the kind of strength the shows never did, a nobility that's deflated, human and just wow.   "With the gaudy paraphernalia of the spring festival brightening the sparsely furnished sanctuary in the temple on the Capitol Hill, Mars usually found himself keenly anticipating the renewal of hostilities with Rome’s more restive and less respectful neighbours. The daily spectacle of his priests, leaping and dancing through the streets of Rome heated his blood, and he prowled the lonely battlefields-to-be, visualising glorious victories.  This year, a shadow was cast by the death of he’d granted only days before, subduing the pleasure and his spirits."   I'm going to start swooning again.
05/05/01  Amorette's Mourning Becomes Ares (HtLJ)  Dark gen.  15k.
Amorette's work always surprises me, not least because she writes stories I wouldn't read by most others:  lots of gen, het, implied slash, introverted pieces full of speculation and domesticity.   Here Ares mourns a dead son, but it's no self-indulgent schmoop-fest; he's angry, sullen, emotionally stunted, just the way he should be, so his grief isn't easy, but has both an impenetrability and translucence that excoriate me when I read it.   I always find myself in tears at the close of Amorette's stories; they build incrementally, until I break.  t's harsh and physical, without any long navel-gazing indulgence, just intensity and pain.  Lovely work.  Implied incest between gods, but otherwise gen.
4/12/99  Candace's Thick As Thieves (HtLJ)  NC-17.   Various pairings.
This fic is extraordinary in every sense, especially her gods: Hades, Hermes and Ares.  It's less that she deviates from canon than reinvents it, adding wonderful descriptive detail to confirm the gods' otherness.  Autolycus, on a journey to the Underworld, is the perfect mortal foil for these figures; he highlights their beauty and power while charming the pants off his audience.  On top of the astounding visuals, this story is incredibly erotic, with enough sex to make even me happy.  It's really a spectacular piece of writing, with her black-tongued Hades and a war god whose kisses can kill.  It does end a little raggedly, but she's made it into a series.
09/04/01  Ellison Wonderland's The Helmet and the Plume (HtLJ)  Ares/Hephaestus, implicit Ares/Iphicles.    NC-17.  57k.
The story opens with a mythic description, and I assume that this is how the rest of the story will sound:  beautiful, meaningful, somber.   Then Ellison zaps me with the wild and crazy Fates, breaking the tone with this humorous one, throwing me off balance.  In fact, that's perhaps the thing I like most about this story, how it throws me off balance, so that I'm never quite sure what will happen next.   It's strongly plotted, about the impact the Fates' bickering has on the rest of the world, replete with a wild rescue mission, divine infighting, hot sex and dark humor.   Violent, too.  Ares, the main character, starts off terribly vicious and cruel, and ends a little more shaded.   I like a story with unexpected corridors where (metaphoric) clowns and vampires walk, and that's this fic.
26/11/00  Emcee's A Slave Muses (HtLJ)   Ares/Hercules.  AU.  NC-17.  60k.
To be honest, I didn't expect to like this one.   While I love AU's, I'm a little put off by ones where the narrative voice picks up the period's formality, and here it was compounded by a first-person narrator, Hercules, who just didn't sound like the canonical character, even within the story's context:  Hercules, now a slave in a Byzantium-like land, has no memory of his past, of his identify, and so has come to accept his servitude, and meets Ares, the perfect master.  But once I accepted the speaker, I wallowed in the kinky gorgeousness of it.  It's essentially a PWP, since Hercules never really grows or develops, just has some really great sex with Ares and a few OCs, male and female.   It's very sensual, full of hard, naked bodies smeared with vanilla-almond oil, sprinkled with gold dust, filled with dildos, against an exotic backdrop.   Decidedly lush.
24/07/00  Erin's The Wager (HtLJ)  Ares/Joxer.  NC-17.
This is an oldie, but a goodie.  Erin did a lot (just about everything!) to pave the way for Strife-fic, and this story's one of the reasons why.  It features two trademarks of her mischief-god fiction:  the perfect dialogue, as colloquial and maniacal as the character himself, and the humor, which had me chortling throughout.  It's sexy, too (and this is from a reader who doesn't like Strife or Joxer, two of the main characters).  What holds me there, though, is the ending.  I won't spoil it here, but Strife's attitude, which prompts the final gesture, is delicious and perfect.  I wanted to cheer for him, and for the story itself.
09/03/01  foxmonkey's Extraordinary Day with King (HtLJ)  Hercules/Iphicles.   NC-17.
A rare Hercules/Iphicles story that has the brothers as playful lovers.   fox writes one of the best Hercules writers; while the canonical character's bovine goodness normally bores me, in her fic, as in Taz's, he becomes teasing, joyous (can I use the word 'joyous' in 2001?  It's just so appropriate, dammit), and I can't help but love him, especially here, where he's publicly seducing a slightly uptight Iphicles, who keeps trying to prioritize royal duties over desire.   Guess what wins?  In addition to this new and improved Hercules, the writing has a delicacy and care that appeals to me, from its smooth, action-based opening lines that depict an animalistic Herc preparing to pounce on the unsuspecting king of Corith.
07/28/01  Ghared's Smoke and Mirrors (HtLJ)  Ares/Iolaus.  NC-17.  26k.
Iolaus is Solomon's child, torn between Ares and Hercules--and Ares is winning, luring Iolaus with sensory appeal.   As he goes, disguised to Ares' temple, Iolaus talks about the incense there, fascinated by it.  He loves it, loves the smell, the intoxication of it, with an undeniable metaphoricity.   "It's a game," he keeps saying of his relationship with Ares, these secret sessions they have, and therein lies the story's appeal for me.   What does Iolaus mean?   It's a game because he's cheating on Hercules, because he wants to best Ares, because he wants to lose to him.   And he does, over and over again.   If the psychological density doesn't appeal to you, read it for the statue.  Read it for the teasing sex.  Just read it.
09/03/01  Isos Arei's Iphiklos(HtLJ)  Ares/Iphicles.   NC-17.
I like smart fiction, and this is just that, only it's simultaneously sexy and romantic, too.   More than anything, I think this story is about destiny, about the inescapability of it, so much that our fate is even woven into our names.  What other author could discuss etymology and make it matter? It's set in the present day, narrated by Iphicles as he moves inexorably toward his own destiny, which involves a certain god of war.   The relationship transcends time, which gives the sex a profundity that carries it far beyond simple desire, and is just wow! to read.
09/02/00  Jen's Regency Fuck (HtLJ)  Ares/Iphicles.  AU.  NC-17.
This one's an  AU with Ares/Iphicles, set in Regency England.  Instead of being laughable, it's really quite sexy--at least once you get over the shock of hearing our colloquial Greek babes speak a la Austen.  But underneath the formal dialogue, there's real heat between these two.  It's exactly what you'd expect from a Regency romance, in that we have a hero unwilling to believe that the rake loves him, so there's that delicious anticipation of the inevitable climax.  One of the elements I most admire about it is Jen's refusal either to femme the guys, or to prettify their actions.  Her Ares is a rake of nearly Lovelace-ian proportions, and would do Richardson proud.   I really like Jen's fiction overall; she's one of my favorite writers.  Her characters are always complex, often depraved, and yet poignantly human.
09/03/01  Kobra's Iphsand  (HtLJ)  Ares/Iphicles.  NC-17.
A retelling of Cinderella, with Iphicles recast in the title role.   The story's told with a stark simplicity to reflect Iphicles' innocence, an innocence that's really at the story's core.   The wicked characters don't recognize it, or use it to their advantage, while Ares is irresistibly drawn to it, so that when he approaches Iphicles, it's less with the intent of corrupting him, than of losing himself in it, burying himself in it.   It's got an almost perverse first-time feel, because Iphicles is so childlike, but it's hard not to be drawn in by the ensuing intensity of his reaction to Ares' seduction.
07/28/01  Lorna's Giving Up the Fight (HtLJ)   Ares/Hercules.  PG-13.  15k.
I've been pestering Lorna to get this story archived so I could rec it.   Set in the medieval future, this vignette shows Hercules in despair, without breast-beating or hair-pulling.   Lorna's more subtle than that, and lets us see it in his gestures, in his fascination with the spider crawling up his leg as he sits in prison.   Then Ares appears, and in Hercules' reaction, we see that Ares means more to him than simply a leather-clad punching bag.   Oh, it's not sweet and light--don't worry.   Ares is vicious here, revitalizing Hercules with hard blows and harder truths. This is where you might expect a joke about a third hardness, but the story's more suggestive about their relationship; it less thrusting hips and naked limbs than hot looks and touches.   It's surprisingly short, this story, and packed with strong emotions.
07/28/01 Lorna's Gifted  (HtLJ)  Ares/Iphicles.  PWP.  NC-17.  11k.
What a gorgeous opening: 
I sometimes wish I were an artist, so I could sculpt him. It would have to be sculpture. Impossible to flatten him into paint. None of the insipidly crafted statues in his temples do him justice. They reflect an ideal man, not a god. Not this god. Apollo, perhaps, all lean limbs and refined proportions. Not Ares, who bulges with things that the sensitive Athenian or Corinthian artist would find repulsive:  muscles, genitals, passion.
It's all like that, with Iphicles' lust for Ares tinged with reverence. Ares doesn't disdain the worship, as he does so often in these stories, but craves it, getting off on it as much as Iphicles does giving it.   Sizzling.
09/03/01  mer's Hell and Honey (HtLJ)  Ares/Hercules.  R.
mer is one of those writers I wish would write more.   This story has a manic energy, with Iolaus watching his best bud get it on with Ares--over and over and over again.   They're frenzied about it, and Iolaus gets hot watching, and the whole thing just keeps escalating, courtesy of a spell from a fed-up goddess of love.   It's funny and hot, but written in a  unique, very image-conscious style, so it's incredibly visual and unusual at the same time.
09/03/01  Mithica's Eternity  (HtLJ) CupidGOW/Iphicles, Hades/other.   AU.  NC-17.
This one's like Gladiator meets the Hercuverse, with similar behind the scenes machinations and of course the gladiatorial matches themselves.  Unlike the movie, though, at heart this is a love story.   Set in an alternate universe, it features various pairings, including Cupid GoW/Iphicles, and oozes angst, thanks to the unrequited (and really unadmitted) feelings of the narrator, a very different type of Hades.   Tension escalates, and you want to avert your eyes because underneath their butch exteriors these men seem so vulnerable, and the story's heading for a crash.   You know what I mean:  one of the stories where you watch the characters misstep, your gut churning, and pray the whole time that the Muses will find some pity and reward their suffering at the end.   It's touching and lovely.
30/08/00  Narcissus' Our Boy in Blue (HtLJ)  Ares/Iphicles.  NC-17.
This one's modern-day uber (AU), a genre that usually annoys me.  And Ares as a cop in sweaty Georgia?  While I admit to legions of kinks, uniformed men's not one of them.  Or so I thought... In essence a PWP, this one is also a love story (Ares/Iphicles) with a slightly twisted mini-plot that verges on the pornographic.  Someone on KSA actually challenged the story's sexual politics, but the morality quirk (is what Ares does actually wrong?) just dragged me in deeper.
26/11/00  Roo's A Midsummer's Night's Nightmare (HtLJ)   Various pairings.  R.
This isn't the usual kind of story I rec, because it's not dark, particulary descriptive, or sexually-explicit.  It's a retelling of Shakespeare's play with the Xenaverse characters in the title roles, heavy on dialogue and action.  I admire the artistry involved in this kind of project, the skill it takes to reproduce a coherent, amusing and recognizable version of a classic story, especially one that retains some of the original's exhuberance and charm, which this fic does.  The difficulty in retelling this story lies in the convoluted plot and subplots, the vast cast of characters.  Appearing in this one are Ares, Iphicles, Joxer, Xena, Gabrielle, Hercules, Iolaus, Salmoneus, Mistress Twanky, Althea, a few OMCs, and a few leftovers from the play, just to give you a sense of its inevitable breadth.   Wheew.   I won't even begin to try and describe the story, which is all about putting on play, avoiding the wrong relationship and finding true love.  It's just such a fun and funny fic, stuffed full of the requisite deceptions and gender play.  I might do a little snipping here and there, but that's probably just a style difference.   I defy you not to enjoy it.
30/08/00  Rusalka's Emotionally Yours Series (HtLJ) Iolaus/Iphicles.  NC-17.
Emotionally Yours is the first in a series of stories dealing with the developing relationship between Iolaus and Iphicles, with Hercules in the background, less than excited by this.  The first one, written about two years ago, helped found my maniacal obsession with Iph.  I ended up beta'ing the last installment, and it's been a pleasurable, satisfying run.  Rusalka is a thorough, generous writer, one who considers character, plot, and setting, so this is a layered cake of a series, the kind where you think, 'screw the calories,' and lick your fingers afterward.
09/03/01  Semiramis' A Little of What He Wanted (HtLJ)  Ares/Hercules.  NC-17.
This is one of the first stories I read in the fandom that made me question the boundaries of a PWP, and mea culpa for not recommending it sooner.   A PWP that isn't, it's Ares/Herc, only Hercules is a god who finally takes what he wants.   It's one of those stories that plays with D/s, where the aggressor really seems controlled by the more passive party (not to suggest it's simply the story of a pushy bottom!   It's about the psychological twists that come from a confrontation with power and an object of desire).    The truth is, both Ares and Hercules are desperate for each other, and this fic capitalizes on that, especially on how much Herc wants it, although he fights that need all through the story.   Very, very hot.
25/10/00  Strandia's Liebestod  (HtLJ)  Iphicles/Hades.  NC-17.
This story is about a haunting, and takes you into a world where you're as confused and disconcerted as Iphicles, who wakes up one day to find himself dead.   He's as surprised by this as we are, and moves through an eerily-beautiful landscape trying to solve his own murder.   It's a mythological D.O.A., a noirish piece where no one's what they seem, like an X-Files ep that's been dipped in Belgian chocolate.   You don't know who to trust, or what, and Strandia gives enough twists to satisfy erotic mystery fans, and does it with a rich, vivid style.   But it's not simply a well-crafted piece; I found myself so close to Iphicles that when he finally discovers the complicated truth, I screamed at the computer.   Strandia literally takes us to hell and (mostly) back with this one.
24/07/00  Taz's What Thunder Says to Lightning (HtLJ)  Iphicles/The Sovereign.  AU.  Incest.  Rape.  NC-17.
I'm trying to catch up on recs here, and so have to include this other older one.  I like Taz's writing overall; there's a consciousness of language in it that really appeals to me.  This story, however, isn't powerful for that particular reason.  What works for me is how structure and theme come together for emotional impact.  Like Frankenstein, this story is about the making of a monster: The Sovereign (Herc's evil twin on HtLJ).  Set in the AU, we follow the relationship between Iphicles and his brother from boyhood to twisted adulthood.  Not for the faint of heart, and not simply because the story depicts incest, some consensual, some not, involving children.  It's a gut-ripper.  Got milk?
05/05/01  Toridon's The Best Revenge (HtLJ)   Implied slash and het.  40k.
It's all undertones here, hints and allusions, as once again, Tori throws me off balance.   There is no overt act of revenge here, no gloating over cold dishes.   Instead, Ares talks with Xena and Gabrielle, not now, but years in the future, and settles old scores by doing...Well, how he does this is ambiguous, and therein lies the story's beauty:  it invites the reader to decide, never commanding, always suggesting.  Is Ares, now mortal, exactly what he seems?   A single read isn't enough; you need a few to get into its corners, its attic.  Subtle and smart.  No sex in this one, with a power generated in dialogue and those elliptical gestures that are Tori's special touch.
05/05/01  Toridon's A Night to Remember  (HtLJ)  NC-17.   Ares/M.   34k.
I had quite a difficult time deciding which of Tori's stories to rec because I like all of them.   This one, again like all the others, has a surreal, mysterious edge; I was never quite sure what was happening or who was playing whom.  That sense of uncertainty permeates each of her works, and here it's centered around the mystery of Autolycus' enthusiasm for a brothel.   Now, don't assume this is a comedy; the story is dark-edged and power-hungry, like Ares and the figure he meets at the whorehouse.   Much happens in the gestures; it's a story filled with telling ellipses.   Oh, and it's sexy.   Very, very sexy.


30/08/00  Gail's Solstice Series (JAG; link from main page)  C/H.   NC-17. 
I sort of fell into this story.  I've never seen the show in full, don't even know the narrator, but I ended up quite taken with this series when it showed up on the allslash ML.  It's totally different from the last few recs I've made, in that I wasn't seduced by its style.  This time, it was the sweet vulnerability of Clayton Webb, who tells the story.  Before you puke, I mean 'sweet vulnerability' in the best way.  There's this delicate hesitancy to the character, but it doesn't emasculate him.  Just a delicious perfect mix of tough-guy denial that Harm might feel something for him, with flashes of warmth underneath.  It's the kind of story where everything feels fragile, not least because as it progresses, Clay (he's my good friend now) seems stretched between the sense of duty he feels for Harm's enemy, and his wrapped-around-a-hardon love for Harm himself.

Lit Slash

08/05/01  torch's Sweetly and Steadily (SGGK)   Gawain/Bercilak.   R.   63k.
This is literary slash, a story based on the fourteenth-century medieval romance (parody), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Admittedly, I adore the original; it's one of my favorite works, although for rather different reasons than torch's version.  While the original is quite comical, a mostly lighthearted dig at Arthurian hypocrisy and court values in general, the revision is a melancholic love story between Gawain and his host.  torch fleshes out Gawain's response to the story's supernatural and strange events, so he appears more human here, more sweetly vulnerable when confronted with events beyond his experience--and that includes the original's slash elements, like the kissing game between Gawain and Bercilak.  It's charming, innocent and desperate at the same time, as Gawain wants what he thinks he can't have.   "Please love him," I kept whispering through the story.   "Don't hurt him."

The Sentinel

27/12/00  Anna S.'s First of the Month (The Sentinel)  J/B.  NC-17.
Out of context, the story's title looks rather ominous, and makes me think of bill collectors or women with PMS.  In context, though, it evokes the most delicious images of Jim and Blair dancing around the beginnings of a relationship, which they do here in a story where a decidedly horny Blair suggests a sexy way to make the month's rent.  I realize the 'dancing' is a cliche, but I'm stuck for another word to describe that unstable giving a little/taking a little flirting/bond-forming thang they were doing throughout the story.  Whatever it was, it gave the story a wonderful grittiness.  Go here for more of this rec.

The X-Files

08/08/00  Basingstoke's Even White Teeth (XF/The Corinthian)
I'm in love with her language, with the precise choices, all there to make me five-sense everything in Krycek's world.  '...ticker-tape tinsel of whispered secrets...'  Perfect.  I ran through it, like Krycek does in this fractured love story.   The landscape's crossed with dreams, refrains from an oneric Greek chorus.  The whole story feels like a dream, fragmented but beautiful, like stained glass, each piece beveled.  Or maybe it's a haunting.  Every room in Krycek's house is ghosted--and you just know that he's got Mulder locked in the attic. It's about them, about Krycek's desire for salvation from Father Mulder (saint Fox?), about not telling everything.  "I hate it when rental cars don't have cup holders," Mulder grumbled. "Yeah, I remember," Krycek said.'  It's 'I love you,' in Krycek-ese, but Mulder doesn't get it.   Does Krycek? Maybe.  I'm not sure.  So opaque and transparent, he's hard/easy to read, and I just want to watch him forever, watch him struggle to find warmth, watch him wait for apotheosis.
10/11/01 JiM's No Common Senses Series (XF) M/K, M/Sk.  R. 
I really like the whole No Common Senses series, as it runs between Krycek and Skinner thinking about Mulder, sometimes touching him, sometimes competing for him.  JiM has a spare, intense style, where you're forced to read every word and think about what each means.   Not all writers can turn economy into an art without sacrificing emotion; this series balances both.   My favorite piece in the series is the second, The Scent of..., which I read first.   Here, JiM takes us into Krycek's head while he stands in the fog waiting for Mulder, but without any long, rambling internal monologues; instead, we know Krycek through his actions, and through his observations on Mulder.  All the stories are whispery, powerful, too, in the way they can make you shiver with a breath, especially that one, where Krycek is so perfectly complicated. NEW!
1/12/99  Mairead Triste's The Quality of Mercy (XF) M/K.  NC-17.  Issues of consent.
Not new, but oh-so-worthy of recommendation.  It's an X-Files n-c fic with Mulder/Krycek, and the writing's just beautiful. Our badboy's the narrator, and we see the world through his scrambled, desperate, violent perspective.  This kind of writing makes me weak-kneed:  evocative, clever and hard.  The opposite of sentimental, but she drags you into Krycek's brain and holds you there kicking and screaming. 

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