|These guys totally milk the fandom slash|
A week ago, I was at a house party with four other lovely ladies (five women + cat + peach basil ice cream: life is good!) where we spent a significant portion of the evening discussing the joys of fanfiction. And can I just say how wonderful it is to arrive at one's thirtieth year and be reminded that growing up can be about owning one's pleasures, not giving them up or shamefully hiding them because you believe others will think you foolish? I love being in the company of people who just enjoy being creative, and taking pleasure in others' creativity, in such an omnivorous way. The beautiful thing about fan-created fiction and art is that it's 99.999% amateur. People do it in their leisure time simply because they love it or because they have friends who beg for it.
Reading fan fiction, one of my favorite things is to see how people in such a diversity of situations and background interpret certain characters, pairings, or story lines, and how they engineer those elements to create stories where, more often than not, the main characters' needs are being met in constructive ways. This spring, at one point, I observed that a certain fic involving Sherlock/John/Sarah was really a story about "a surfeit of needs being met." While not every fic, obviously, is about successful relationships I actually think it's fascinating to see how so much of fic is people working out what it takes to make a relationship successful ... and the myriad answers to that question they come up with.
Enough nattering on: to the fic rec! This one is another I've nicked from Minerva @ Hypomnemata from a post she did on the fan fiction of Inspector Lewis. "Inspector Lewis" fanfic predominantly tackles the pairing of Detective Inspector Robert Lewis with his young second James Hathaway, a former candidate for the priesthood turned police detective. As the back story for Lewis involves a murdered wife and grown children, most fic authors have to negotiate in some way or another Lewis's successful heterosexual relationship and (usually assumed) straight identity as the backdrop for his growing desire for Hathaway. Hathaway's character, meanwhile, has a much more fluid sexual identity in the series, but is struggling with religious guilt over same-sex desires. There are also intimations of childhood sexual trauma in Hathaway's past. Suffice to say, there's a lot of really interesting stuff to work with -- and a lot of potential for that fanfic staple hurt/comfort fic. Sadly, I don't think the majority of Lewis fic has plumbed the potential for Lewis's self-examination as a middle-aged man with a hitherto straight identity who now finds himself in love with another man. Pairing Lewis's positive (hetero)sexual experience with Hathaway's more fraught sexual history could have some really interesting results ... something that might eventually drive me to write a story arc of my own!
But in the meantime, I bring you a sweet little number that is one of my favorite pieces thus far discovered:
Title: His Awkward SodHave fun, happy Friday, and you might be lucky enough to get another fic rec next week!
Pairing: Robert Lewis/James Hathaway
Author Rating: Explicit
Author Summary: "Lewis and Hathaway pretend to be a couple to catch a killer."
Length: 1 part, 11,964 words
Available At: AO3.