Today I was skimming through my saved SF stories folder which is horribly outdated (mainly because I wanted to read solitaire_au's Stargate fic, but I didn't get that far in the list). Anyhoo, I spent practically an hour reading Going Goth(ADULT!) by Cath UK
. Not only because it's long and I was doing two other things at the same time, but because I kept pausing to make comments to the story/characters out loud. And about halfway through I decided that meant I should probably rec it here :-) Particularly as they were mostly rather good comments ;-)
I've always admired the heck out of this story. The characters are absolutely incredible and... real. They feel very real to me. And the culture is entirely too accurate and adorable. Every so often I get a plot bunny biting to do a smoke-allergy fic and then this story ALWAYS pops up in my mind. Those clove cigs... oohhh. SUCH a lovely plot device. Everyone always says smell is the strongest trigger to memory, and I can practically smell this story. So wonderful, that.
The writing is fantastic. And not just because I've a weakness for British slang *EG* I love the multiple perspectives- it brings SO much to the story. It gives the story so many layers and allows the reader to think from all those different views at the same time. I love the overlaps, and I love the moments of revelation to the reader from one view or another- excellent choices, all. Very creative. Very brilliant. It allows for the repetition of some things and keeps others a bit of a mystery for the reader to think about. Brilliant.
The sex... ohhhh the sex. The fetish elements are fantastic, as befitting a story told in first person. Two of the three characters have the fetish and, thus, their descriptions and observations are quite delicious (and, yet, the variation between the two is fresh and nummy). And the other character is able to provide readers with a first-hand account of the sneezes from how they feel to how he feels about them. His shyness coupled with their candidness (at least to themselves/the reader) about how the sneezes turn them on makes for quite a delicious tale indeed. He was just focused on trying to give the impression he was listening, when all he was noticing was what was going on inside his nose. I could see his eyes going glassy, and the effect was made even more alluring by the liner he wore. He’d been sneezing a bit already that night, like I said, and his eyes were kind of teary, like he was going to cry. Very sexy.
I'll say! *G* The story is full of great juxtipositions like that. Not to mention that the sneezes sound fantastic... and the description is quite original. I tried to ignore it, to pay attention to what she was saying, but it was like the inside of my nose was liquefying. I could feel it was just a matter of time before it overflowed and I exploded all over the place with sneezes. It was as if tendrils of smoke were working their way inside me, tickling everything in sight, driving me mad.
I'm not even one for the more "liquid" side of things but there's something about this part that always gets to me. Oh, and I'm MORE than happy to see this particular line repeated several times: “Sorry, gotta- gotta-... Hiessshhh!”
But the characters... gods, I cannot get enough of the characters. Cath writes them so wonderfully; they're all full and deep and diverse. Lovely. But I must admit I side with Paeyl the entire time, no matter what. I totally want him. Even if it is Raevyn doing all the sneezing, and even if he's technically gay, I still want Paeyl. I think it's because I definitely see a lot of myself in him.
My only complaint is the ending. I love the sex- all of it. I really do. But, like I said above, I side with Paeyl, so I felt very un fulfilled by the ending. And when I finish reading this story every time, I can't help but yearn for a resolution that involves him. I feel hurt when he gets hurt and I never fully recover with the story ending the way it does. But maybe that's just because perky, controlling bats bug the heck out of me, too.
Nonetheless, this is one of my favorite original character fics out there.