Well, I said that I'm going to keep going with this Series. Here we go.
I first met alias_lilacgirl through open_on_sunday. She's a popular drabbler because she's, well, funny. And funny in an angsty fandom goes a long way:
Cordelia was huddled in the corner of her bedroom. Sobbing and clutching the red sweater to her chest. Earlier it was easy just to laugh it off and tell Harmony that she was wrong. But she wasn't. She knew it, Harmony knew it, everyone knew it. How could she ever show her face in school again?
Her hands clutched the sweater tighter, wanting to rip it into threads. When she bought it, Cordelia thought it was the most perfect sweater in the world, but Rosenberg ruined it. How dare Willow wear the same sweater as her! On the same day!
Fashion Faux Pas - BtVS S1, her most recent contribution to open on sunday
What's intriguing about her work is that she takes these extraordinary characters and puts them in ordinary situations. Here we have Cordelia, who's spent most of the season as vamp-bait, crying over well, what Queen C would be crying about if she *didn't* live in Sunnydale. That's the magic of the Jossverse, really, how the humanity, the humor shines through the pathos.
Although the above drabble takes place during BtVS, she primarily writes AtS which is a blessing in and of itself because AtS is a much darker show which makes the bits of humor that are sprinkled throughout that much more startling, apparent, welcome:
They felt like a dog's favorite toy. Chewed on, ragged and wanting to die. It was only supposed to be a small vampire nest. "Piece of cake," Gunn had said. "Ten minutes, tops."
But he lied. The vampires where having a New Year's Eve party. So instead of a couple, there were dozens of vampires, along with screaming, terrified victims.
Fun time had by all.
As they wearily put away their weapons, they heard the explosion of firecrackers. Angel looked down at his watch. "Happy New Year," he sighed.
In unison, they gave a very pathetic and worn out, "Yay."
Can We Go To Bed Now?, from open on sunday, 12/21/04
Here the humor is woven in with the stark. In only 100 words, the weariness of the mission, the unity of the team--and the unlikeliness of that unity--comes through. And even though it's just two lines, Gunn's voice is spot-on.
And she writes a good Gunn. A lot. During the recent Gunn controversy, she was overlooked as a Gunn author, I think, because she's mainly a drabbler and primarily a humorist. But she writes the complexity of Gunn like nobody's business:
He then called Angel. “Wesley won’t be in today,” Gunn told him, whispering just in case Wesley did suddenly wake.
“Yeah, I figured as much. He with you?”
Gunn gazed down at the top of Wesley’s head. “Yeah. He spent the night.”
Some shuffling was heard over the line, “How is he?”
“He’s going to need some time. Lots of time.”
“How much time?” Angel sounded more alert.
“We’re talking Sri Lanka.”
from By The Rivers Dark, set immediately after AtS 5x7, "Lineage"
The above is an excerpt from a longer work since alias_lilacgirl has been known to write the occasional longer fic. I suppose that I should say that this work is also Gunn/Wes which seems to be one of the popular ships among Gunn writers. But if you're looking for teh hot sex here, you're not going to find it. What you will find is primarily comfort provided to a desperate man and how a good friend provides that.
Her Gunn also thinks of other things:
It was a light snow, easy to walk in. "I think someone has the air conditioner on too high," Spike said as he entered the lobby.
"Yeah, we're trying to find out why it's snowing," Gunn had his cell phone to his ear, obviously on hold.
Angel came storming out of his office, his foot prints ruining the pretty fluffy effect of the snow. "Why can't I have just one normal da--" Whap! A snowball smashed into the back of his head. Turning around, he found Gunn and Spike looking like innocent angels.
"He did it," Gunn blamed Spike.
A Snowball's Chance, response to the Christmas challenge, 12/21/03
Ah, the Gunn and Spike camaraderie--so unexplored in AtS 5. Comic gold left unwritten or on the cutting-room floor...
I had the opportunity to find out exactly what goes into a_l's drabbles:
What I do is get a scene. Oh say, Angel and a broken coffee maker. I just focus on that. I don't care about backstory. Unless the backstory is the story. Like the maker was broken because Cordelia tried to make soup in it. But it's not about the backstory. It's about Angel attempting to make small appliance repairs and ending up getting electrocuted.
I can't say keep it simple, because it's not really simple. More like precise, like a glimpse into their world.
from her response to my drabble thoughts, 03/16/04
And her work is precise, pinpoints through which the light of Jossverse pierces in pattern on our screens. And it pains me that humorous drabbles are shrugged off by some of the fandom as cheap grabs at popularity, a cheap laugh. Which is unfair because, if anything, they should be compared to hummingbirds, flitting and miraculous.
Outside my window, I can see the peak of Mt. Umunhum, the Ohlone word for hummingbird. For the Ohlone found the holy in the hummingbird as well as the cougar. Each had it's place. And if naming the tallest mountain after the smallest bird seems paradoxical...Well, it is because the mind can encompass both. It's metaphor, poetry, because sometimes the smallest of things can have the largest, most resounding, effect. A whisper can be a shout. A hummingbird can be a god. And a funny, little drabble can tell the story of a hero.
Previous entries of this Series can be found here.
I'm behind on comments again. I'll need to get to them later. My apologies. Really!
Now it's off to amuse the Rominatas! Amuse, away! *dashes off*