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[personal profile] katekat
As far back as I can remember, I've believed somewhere in the back of my head, at a gut level of knowing-ness, that the stories in books go on without me. If I put a book down in the middle, it means the story might go somewhere else that I can't see and won't know. I know this isn't a logical attitude, but it's what my brain thinks.

This has led me to sneaking books under the covers, into classrooms in middle-school, and under my desk at high school. Lead to me sitting up all night when I had to be at work at 8 am the next morning just to *find out.* Hilariously I used to get reprimanded for reading too much. Even as an adult. Of course I was often reading the wrong thing since it was mostly sci fi or fantasy books with lurid covers and crazy stories. But even with other types of literature I've always had trouble putting the damn book down.

Which is why I have trouble with WIPs, I think. I mean, I think in some fashion everyone wishes the story were complete, but I think there are a lot of people who really enjoy the getting there and don't mind if there isn't an end in sight.

Me, it's not the end I mind. I LOVE the getting there. It's that a WIP is like a book I'm being *made* to put down. And not being allowed to pick it back up (because there's nothing *to* pick up).

There are only a couple of writers I'll read WIPs from, and it's only because either I love them so much that I don't care, or that the world is so big it's ok, I wouldn't be able to take it all in anyway. For example:

[personal profile] seperis has been writing the epic, world-eating SPN AU fic Down to Agincourt (Dean/Castiel, eventually NC17, currently at 1,077,012 words and STILL unfinished) and I love that. An enormous take on one of the AUs that the show itself spawned, she asks what would have happened if Dean had gotten stuck at the end of the world? It's so fucking dense, textured, ridiculously complex, and yet I *want to know* what happens. But it's also so sprawling that it's ok that Dean and Cas are sitting around at the end of the world waiting to figure out how in the hell they're going to get screwed over AND screw Lucifer's endgame all at the same time. I mean she brought in Goddesses on this stuff. There's whole subplots that make me want to do research as a reader. I have hope that eventually it'll play out, and I'm fine with them living in the back of my head. Though I still tend to try and read not chapter-by-chapter when she publishes, but entire story-by-story so at least an arc is complete.

the ONLY fic that I've ever been pretty into as a WIP isn't so much a WIP as there are short, self-contained fics that are added to a collection periodically that expand the universe just a little bit more.

[archiveofourown.org profile] feather (or [archiveofourown.org profile] lalaietha) wrote this pretty long MCU Steve/Bucky recovery fic your blue eyed boys (Steve/Bucky, M, 123,233 words), which is amazing and lovely. It's all about Steve really trying to figure out what *will* help a Bucky who shows up on his doorstep but is relearning how to ask for things, want things, remember things, consider himself human. But then.

Then she started writing shorts in the 'verse.

(even if i could) make a deal with god (Steve/Bucky, Natasha/Clint, Bruce/Betsy, Pepper/Tony,) that has at last count 121 short fics in it. And short sometimes is 1,000 words, but sometimes is like 20,000. Word count on these "shorts" totals 478,092. Also though it's got some of the most amazing OCs ever, like, ever. When she puts a new segment out in this 'verse it's nonlinear, she jumps around, even though the timeline is incredibly well thought out and everything does fit together if you went and decided to read it right now. It also works though because Bucky's recovery is non-linear, and the form fits the emotional tone of his and Steve's life. Some of the fics make me cry. Some make me sigh. Some make me cheer. There's a young girl Mercedes who you will want to make friends with. Actually the best part of this series is that it's populated with incredible women - a vet named Chloe, her girlfriend Paula, even Betsy Ross is clearly Feather's Betsy Ross. Oh and there's a whole other sub-collection for the Natasha-focused stories [to see you there] (mostly Natasha but also Natasha/Clint, and it's another 133,179 words!)

But these two are pretty much it.

Until last night. When I made the mistake of following links from [archiveofourown.org profile] BetteNoire's Lucky Seven (Steve/Bucky power-AU, very NC17, 94,264 words) where Bucky is ex-russian mafia and fixes/races bikes and Steve is a very tired superhero to this:

([archiveofourown.org profile] silentwalrus, Steve/Bucky, PG13 for violence at this point, 109,211 words)

Steve gets out of the hospital in two days, but just barely. “I’m fine,” he tells Sam, Nurse Eunjung and the phalanx of doctors assigned to make sure Captain America didn’t bleed out and die and get bad PR all over their nice clean hospital. “I have an advanced healing factor. It’s fine. See? I’m standing.”

“That is not standing,” Sam tells him.

“You’re bending the IV stand,” Nurse Eunjung adds pointedly. “Let go and sit down, they don’t grow on trees.”


aka Steve and Bucky's Global Honeymoon Revenge World Tour.


But it's only 12 of 16 chapters done!!

And I didn't realize that until 1:30 am last night, as I'm rounding the corner on their adventures and the boys are getting a little bit lighter and less covered in grim and grime, and there are some truly funny and amazing bits in this and it has all my favorite loves for these two -- Steve getting to have faith in his Bucky, Bucky getting to be a badass but also getting to be fucking wounded and figuring his own way out, Natasha being the one who actually calls everybody for being ridiculous, even herself, and I just....

I don't want it to END per se, but somewhere they're still out there in the back of my brain moving forward in ways that my rational brain knows the fic hasn't moved forward yet. But the irrational gut feeling of me knows that I'm standing still not reading and is worried they'll be going places I can't catch up to.

Thank god for subscriptions.
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