- "Just Desserts," by smittywing. Really, Batman has nobody to blame but himself for the way fanfic writers slash him. Must make for interesting gossip about Bruce Wayne, too:
"Honey, Bruce Wayne lives alone in that big old house with the old man who was his parents' butler, and his teenage ward. What do YOU think is going on up there?"
"But he's got that extraordinary reputation as a playboy..."
"I've never finished a date with him...he always goes running out in the middle."
- "Oracle and Nightwing," by Jody Revenson. The Dick/Babs smutfic. Launched a thousand fics and a whole bunch of shippers. It was written as an AU-futurefic before "No Man's Land," which makes it an AU-past fic now. My favorite bit actually comes in the morning-after segment:
Barbara wheeled herself to the bathroom and swiveled onto the toilet, deftly inserting the catheter to relieve her bladder. Too much to drink last night. Didn't eat anything.
As her eyes wandered to the bath-lift chair opposite of her, she thought about the Grayson Industries logo that decorated so many of the items in her house. Looking up, she caught Dick watching her from the kitchen. "I didn't like that when I could walk, I like it even less now."
"You get used to leaving the door open when you live alone. I know =I've= gotten caught with my tights down a few times." He leaned against the doorjamb, taking in the scene. "Just consider it in-the-field research. Never seen any of the equipment in use. And it didn't occur to me last night to think about your...plumbing."
Barbara removed the cath and flushed the toilet, rapidly transferring back to her chair. She shrugged. "I was lucky. I didn't need anything permanent."
"Yeah." His look of wonder suddenly changed to alarm. "I didn't...hurt you last night? I told you I didn't realize..."
"No, I was fine." She was overcome with her lack of embarrassment in front of him, almost wishing he didn't make her feel as comfortable as he did, it made him too perfect.
His stare hadn't wavered. "Can you plug cable in there? Get ESPN2, maybe?"
"Get out." Okay, he wasn't perfect.
- "Fluency," by Anonymous. (I remember when she had her name on her stories; guess she gafiated.) A fun little Batgirl story that does a very good job of dealing with Cass's voice, early on:
She didn't need to speak English to tell him he was in trouble.
Vinnie understood just enough aikido to figure that one out.
Of course, Vinnie had screamed plenty, and his buddy had screamed into the alley in a beat-up old station wagon.
And Batgirl spoke just enough Smith and Wesson to duck behind the dumpster while Vinnie scrambled into the car to continue his conversation with his friend.
- "The Romantic Machinations of Timmy the Elf Who Didn't Want to be a Dentist,
and his Faithless Sidekick, Yukon Cassandra OR A Story in which Dick and Babs are Doomed," by the same author. Fluff, fluff, fluffity fluff fluff. And oh, man, is it ever great fluff. In December, Dick and Babs break up, and Tim Drake works mightily to get them back together in order to save Christmas. Tim needs help. Cass helps. Be very afraid. Sample bit, possibly my favorite Dick-and-Tim conversation in fanfic:
Tim dialed another number.
"Dick, it's Tim. I have heinous news."
"Word to that."
"Hit me with it."
"You know how Bruce went to South America this morning...?"
"Tell me he did not leave me with one of his Brucie obligations. TELL ME THERE ARE NO BRUCIE OBLIGATIONS!"
"There's a Brucie obligations."
"Dammit! What is it? Charity ball? Auction? It's the OPERA, isn't it? I knew it. It's the opera. Dammit, why doesn't the man ever have to go to, like... spaghetti dinners or anything? Crud."
"Well... it's not the opera."
"Yeah? Opening pitch? Is he throwing an opening pitch somewhere?"
"Dick, it's December."
"A MAN CAN HOPE!"
- "Regions of Sorrow," by E. Kelly. If Kurt Busiek wrote Batman, he'd write stories like this -- but probably not quite as dark. thefourthvine once commented that gen does not necessarily mean gentle. "Regions of Sorrow" is a case in point: Kelly's horrors take place entirely off-stage, and if anything, that makes them worse. Because it makes you realize what it must be like to live in Gotham City. "Regions of Sorrow" is one of the best Batman stories I have ever read. My list of favorite fanfics ever is small. This one is on it.
I point to the ledge fifty feet up on the one across the street. "He came down from over there I think, and I know it was that streetlight the Batmobile knocked down to stop the getaway cars. The fight with Two-Face happened right out there in the middle of the street."
"Two-Face," she says softly. "I've seen pictures of him."
"Pretty gross, huh?" I kind of feel guilty. I got her started on this. It was my scrapbooks - and by the time I was over it (like, way over a year ago) she had a subscription to the Gotham Times and a scrapbook of her own. She makes me take her picture standing under the bat symbol someone painted on the streetlamp after it was repaired. I guess no one felt the need to mark Two-Face's part in it, seeing as how it is Twenty-Second Street. I don't know how anybody lives on this street. Of course, it's a long street so I guess someone has to live on it. The weirdest things can be dangerous in Gotham - like just your address.
- "In Darkest Light," by Meljean Brook. The best Batman/Wonder Woman story I've ever read. It's got romance, sex, adventure, action, drama -- all kinds of wow. Plus, the beginning is great:
Kyle Rayner, the Green Lantern, was craving double chocolate walnut fudge ice cream. He headed to the kitchen for the third time that day to get a bowl of it. He wasn't sure why last month he had started craving the ice cream, but it was so bad that he had stocked the freezer in the Watchtower's kitchen with several more gallons than it originally had, and had noticed a slight weight gain under his skin-tight, green, white and black uniform from his several-times-a-day ice cream binges. Kyle thought that no one else had noticed the extra ounce or two that he was carrying, but he was sure that in the next day or so Batman would probably say from some dark corner, "Too many Doritos, Kyle?" with an accompanying stare that would send the Green Lantern running to the weight room to burn off the four gallons of ice cream that he had eaten in the last week.
He strode through the kitchen's swinging door and was halfway across the room when he noticed the scene that was playing out on the kitchen table. He froze. Wonder Woman--naked, Kyle's mind registered ecstatically--with her head thrown back, hands clenched in the hair of the man whom she was straddling, moaning softly from whatever it was that his mouth was doing to her breast and his body was doing under her.
The couple must have sensed Kyle was there, because they stopped mid-thrust, looked at each other, then at Kyle. Kyle forced himself to look away from Diana's body and into her glazed eyes, and at her face, which registered confusion as she looked down at the man she was astride, then back at Kyle, then down at the man again. And then Kyle realized at whom Diana was looking. Bruce Wayne. The Batman.
In one fluid movement, Batman rolled over, pulling Diana with him, toward the chair where his black cape was draped over his cowl, body armor and Wonder Woman's uniform, swept the cape up and covered their nude forms. Kyle filed away the information that Diana was wearing only her red boots and bracelets for later self-erotic use, then felt his stomach jump into his throat when Batman turned to look at him. Kyle would rather have had Diana crush his skull with a flick of her hand than to receive *that* look from Batman.
"Eep," said the Green Lantern, wielder of the universe's most powerful weapon.
"Get out, Kyle," the Batman said in his softest voice.
Kyle got out.
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