Midnight: I'm gonna go with "really helpful," seeing as all the time I planned to spend writing about TV this evening has instead been spent investigating the "angst" tag. This basically consists of me whipping through pages of results, rapidly rejecting 20-30 stories at a time after half a second's glance at the summary -- "No. Ew. What the hell. Ugh. Absolutely not. That sounds stupid. Forget it. A FAERIE?? M-rating, buh-bye. Enough with the future and the alternate timelines. And stop harming yourself, Blaine," before something pings my interest. Every so often those turn into readable stories upon click-through. And thus, I present to you:
Scarves & Coffee: A Preliminary Fanfic Primer
For starters, the story that got me started, via linkage on Tumblr:
1. Never An Absolution - spirithamburger (I can't make this stuff up)
a/k/a, "AU!Titanic." Which might be a better story if it didn't just blatantly use the movie script as a coloring sheet with some added embellishments, but on the other hand, this is pretty much a real-life manifestation of what I do constantly when I say I'm transposing character X onto a scenario from show Y, with the added bonus of quality writing. If you have ever wished James Cameron's Titanic was the story of two dudes, basically, you've got your wish.
And because I can't resist, a lengthy example of the moment where I decided that the writing had won me over:
Life as a drifter had been kind to Blaine Anderson -- he’d never gotten severely beaten or mugged, he’d never spent too many nights in a row sleeping out in the cold, and he made enough money through means both honest and otherwise to buy a few sheets of lined paper and some pencils. And with those pencils, on that paper, Blaine wrote songs. He wrote songs with words and without, simple melodies that he hummed as he went about his day and long worded ballads about his many adventures. He wrote songs with many parts, for brass and strings and wind, the kind of songs that were played in the grand halls he used to stand outside, straining his ears for a thread of the symphonies that made grown men weep. He wrote songs for the simplest instruments, a fiddle, a flute, a clear pure voice and a pair of clapping hands.
2. Hurt - jetsfanforlyfe
Summary: Blaine approaches Santana after "Perfect" to offer some understanding.
This one's just a quickie for all the people whining about how Finn painted himself as Santana's main support system even though Kurt or Blaine were obviously much better suited for the part.
3. Simple Thing, Where Have You Gone? - androidsfighting
“You’re going to get hurt again,” Blaine says, but he’s not arguing. After all, Kurt has already signed the transfer papers. There’s no point in arguing. “Karofsky will still be there. And he’ll hurt you and I won’t be able to help.”
Supposedly it doesn't really fit with canon, but guess who didn't finish watching "Born This Way" and therefore cannot tell?** Fantastic scene filler surrounding Kurt's decision to go back to McKinley, as well as embellishment on the end of the "Somewhere Only We Know" performance.
**except for a few choice phrases I'll be clipping out of my copy -- remember, we talked about how I Executive Edit stories for my private, personal use -- where they went a little indulgent on the PDA.
4. I Think You'll Understand - androidsfighting (coincidence! but possibly I have found a fave author by accident)
Summary: Kurt has some bad memories associated with The Beatles. Blaine is determined to make this a happy one.
Delightful mid-season-2, pre-relationship scene that, with just a bit of nipping and tucking on my part to tone down the more demonstrative parts at the end, will fit beautifully into canon. Blaine comes over to help Kurt study; an unexpected play of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" gets Kurt to open up. Line that sent me into a fit of giggles and caused me to pledge allegiance to it: "He hates crying, and especially hates crying in front of Blaine, but the universe at large hates him and gives him reason to cry in front of Blaine as often as possible."
5. What Doesn't Kill Me (Doesn't Kill Me) - jetsfanforlyfe (okay, now it's getting spooky - but it's always best to find the stories first, and then verify that a particular author clearly gets you)
Summary: Freshman year of college does not end up for Blaine like he'd hoped it would.
Despite the fact that I have vetoed all future-fic as well as depression!fic, something about this one held my interest. I felt like I was reading the start of a YA novel, for one -- in terms of quality writing -- and while the author notes that writing it was a form of therapy on its own, it lends authenticity. Reminds me of the odd comfort in the luxury that is being depressed at college.
6. Lovesong - preciousmellow
Summary: A hate crime leaves Blaine damaged and Kurt refuses to let it bring them down: A story told in moments of time throughout Blaine's recovery.
This one's got a blue ribbon award for excellence and everything. Focused mainly on the long-term recovery from traumatic brain injury, written by that rarest of awesomely rare things: someone who is not relying solely on Lord Google to tell this story, but from personal experience working with people who have brain injuries. And as this is pret-ty much the story I've been wanting since the Prom episode... This one also breaks my no-future-fic rule (we've jumped forward to established-relationship 2018), but how else would you tell this story of partnership the right way?
[edit: possibly there are a chapter or two I skipped, since I apparently did not scan this carefully at all and got quite a shock when I hit certain aspects of it while rereading the next morning. Way to instantly ruin all the work I have put into censoring both Tumblr and the show, self! Oh well. The rest is worth it.]
One thing I am not enjoying about this archive: an overabundance of pet names. Ugh. If I see "honey" dropped one more time there is a strong possibility I will not be able to control my tendency toward homicide.
In slightly related news, will someone with an attractive voice please cover "Skin (Sarabeth)", like, YESTERDAY? The lyrics are everything sad storytelling should be, but the execution is so horrendous it's causing me physical pain.