Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, and in some fetish communities, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant supplication to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open relationship, a liaison that that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of canon through fanfic, or in the common ruin of all childhood memories of seemingly lustless relationships...
>cough< it is entirely possible that I have been forced to study altogether too much Marxist theory. But that aside, I saw lm's request for us to talk about our favourite slash ships in LJS and couldn't resist the opportunity to meta away. I read The Vampire Diaries ages ago, so its the series I'm most familiar with and the one I write fic for (of which the majority is probably slash/threesome). I've put in a few recs for the ships (I won't rec my own stuff, obviously) -- but it's not meant to be an exhaustive list by any means, just a few old favourites of mine that I can recall the location of.
I have to start with this pairing, because if there was any ship I'd go all OTP over, it would be this. (But LJSlash is way to wee to have an OTP for, alas) Damon was the character that lit up and carried TVD for me, and I didn't really like the idea of Damon/Elena. But anyone with Damon would have to stand up to him, to challenge him. To be his equal in some way, obviously not physical strength or wealth, but strength of (to use a trite term) character. And that scene where Matt stood up to Damon about picking on someone his own size was just about the hottest scene in the book, in my opinion. Matt has the guts to stare right back at Damon, match him macho posturing for macho posturing, but is still grounded enough at the end of the day to be able to set aside differences and offer Damon a place at the end of TVD4 (although the less said about that ending the better, bleeugh). So, two gorgeous guys, check. Palpable (sexual) tension, check. Potential of really hot sex, check. One of the two ships that got me into the fandom? Double check.
Midnight in Heat by Ash Kennedy: one of the first fics I read in LJS, and has a really terrific Damon. Very long, and best of all it actually has a plot driving it that is just as compelling as the cast of OCs.
The Feast of St Joseph by LM: hot. Very very hot. This fic is frightfully atmospheric and did I mention hot? You should have a glass of cold water handy when reading this. Hell, you should have a cold shower ready. It's obvious that LM knows what she's writing about with regards to the mythology she's referring to, and it all goes to making this such a brilliant fic.
The BFF ship. Theoretically, this ship should be all honey and flowers but for me it always ends up incredibly angsty. There's some subtext in the books supporting this ship if you're looking for it, what with the ease with which they become bestest friends and the lengths Matt goes to to help Stefan out. But I happen to be very fond of Matt and I can't help thinking he deserves better. Mind, that's just my opinion, and no disrespect intended to those who like Stefan. But that said, Elektra Pendragon's Matt/Stefan fics comprised the other half of my introduction to LJSlash, so I do have a soft spot for them. Personally, I tend to write Matt/Stefan on request rather than by choice, which may be a reason why they end up so angsty.
Call Me Jennifer by Elektra Pendragon: I love this fic so so much. It is so sweet and cute and utterly precious. The Stefan Weirdness Scale! The leaning into punches! The tentative boyflirting! I know it's really pre-slash, but it's so lovely I couldn't not rec it. Actually, I'd rec anything by Elektra, there's a couple more Matt/Stefan gems there.
The Things You Miss by Rhiannon: a melancholy one, more like how I'd see Matt/Stefan turning out. It's a quiet fic, but by the time Matt delivered his last line of dialogue, I was aching for him too.
Ahh...the most popular pairing in LJSlash, I suspect. And given the canon subtext backing it up, it's not surprising at all. Damon loves his brother so much, even if he disrespects and disparages him most of the time. Their backstory is so rich with the passion of their relationship that it is hard to deny how compelling the tension between them is. I've got to admit that these two don't even hit the potential incest squick for me because, well, they're vampires. All the social taboos associated with incest doesn't seem to really apply (in the way that Dean/Sam in Supernatural gives me pause every now and then). The power differential between the two of them is at times vast and negligible - Stefan has the potential to be equal to Damon in every way with regards to Power and so on, but it is paradoxically his refusal to do so that differentiates him so completely from Damon and gives his personality a strength of its own. Damon is a beautiful argument for 'blood runs thicker than water' and all that, and this ship is so intriguing to me in a way that differentiates it from the other slash ships.
Accommodations by Finta: it's hard to pick just two recs for Damon/Stefan given the quality of the fics, but I couldn't go past this piece by Finta. It has amazing interaction between the brothers and some of the best characterisation of them anywhere in fandom. This is quite dark, but very hot and I think Finta always says very interesting things about the nature of vampires in her fics. An awesome story.
Upstairs by Elektra Pendragon: I think this is how Damon/Stefan would go. Very true to character, and its written from Stefan's POV which works very well whilst avoiding the first person perspective squick I have.
Tangerine by Heather: tossing this in as an extra because it's not really Damon/Stefan, but if you have slash goggles it can qualify as pre-slash, and I like the brothers interaction in this so much I couldn't help myself.
Other TVD Boyslash
There's Klaus with either of the brothers, and the whole cast of minor characters to be slashed, but these are pretty much niche markets in the fandom, and there's also the option of slashing with an OC or doing a crossover. Klaus/Damon would be fascinating in that they are more equal than any other character relative to Damon, and anything between them would be short and savage. But canon suggests that Klaus hadn't met the brothers before the setting of the books (if I remember correctly), which tips that into AU territory. (eta: Incanto just wrote a gorgeous Klaus/Damon drabble as a result of my nagging, and it highlights exactly that similarity between the two that I so adore: Black King, White King) Can't really write much about minor character ships since that becomes almost entirely what the writer intends given the lassitude afforded by the books. Some more esoteric pairings include Tyler/Dick in Quicksilver by Elektra Pendragon, Alaric/Damon in Outer Space by LM and Klaus/Stefan in For You I Bleed by Ash Kennedy.
Girlslash seems to be less common in TVD than with the boys, which seems a little strange since there is so much subtext in the books if you look for it. I love the idea of Elena and Katherine giving a big 'up yours' to the boys and going off together. The fact that they look so similar yet are very different is delightfully kinky in its own way. There isn't much basis for this ship, other than the oooh pretty/kinky thing.
Anemone by LM: this is gorgeous, and exactly how Elena/Katherine should be. Each phrase is a gem and I just love the way LM uses language here.
Written in the Skin by Pith: the Elena/Katherine is only one of three pairings, but it is beautifully executed, all pared-down and clever.
The female equivalent of Matt/Stefan perhaps? Elena thinks that Meredith is gorgeous and clever and Meredith in turn would do almost anything for Elena. Meredith's about the only one Elena isn't condescending/bitchy about in her thoughts and Meredith is willing to tolerate Elena's sometimes bizarre behaviour. Theirs is a shiny shiny mutual girlcrush and it is really sad that more femslash about the two of them isn't written.
Peppermint by Mary Borsellino: this is really Caroline/Meredith and Elena/Meredith equally. Fabulous little fic about how the girls relative relationships from a great angle. It's sharp enough to be genuinely insightful, but has enough of Caroline as the hurt little girl to make it just perfect.
Other TVD Girlslash
Wow, had a look around and discovered I'm really scraping at the bottom of the barrel to find a good deal more of femslash for TVD. There are plenty other pairings, like Meredith/Bonnie, which is all about the sidekicks getting it on, and there's enough warmth and caring between those two in the books to make it believable. I'm particularly partial to Caroline slashed with any of the girls, and given how often Elena makes some remark on how beautiful or well dressed Caroline is, and Caroline giving her her dress at the end, well, that's barely subtext and almost text. The most out-there pairing I have written would have to be Caroline/Katherine, which was essentially playing off the physical similarity of Elena and Katherine. The girls having girlpile fun has the potential to be all sweetness and light, or everyday and matter-of-fact, or very dark and gory. You can take them to anyplace you want, really, which is the reason I'm so fascinated by and partial to it. It's a pity there isn't more femslash around for TVD (I think some of the other series fare better, in any case after just having finished up SC, the girlcrushes are so obvious there I'd be shocked if there wasn't more femslash for them) but well, you can't really dictate what other people write. But I'm definitely waving my flag for More Girl Action!
I intended to touch on slash pairings in threesomes, but this is more tiring to do than I thought and I'm starting to feel guilty about not studying for my exams. But I do look forward to hearing what the rest of you guys think about slash ships, particularly since I'm finally getting around to reading the other series and haven't had the same amount of time to thinking about the characters yet. And hi to everyone in the comm. :D