First of what should be 2 posts of Yuletide recs. A-L, plus Scandal because I read that before I started going alphabetically.
Einfühlungsvermögen (or Feelings: A Primer for the Emotionally Inept)
Dorian’s damned lucky he doesn’t need to breathe, because damn it all to hell: in that moment, he couldn’t swing it if he tried.
Dorian/John and emotion, a very faint sketch that manages to hold together on lovely language and the strength of the Dorian POV.
“…We argued sometimes.”
“I can’t imagine why.”
“It was completely your fault,” John added.
Clever idea, well executed - I like John's attempts at grappling with his responsibility.
Springtime for Krieger
"You're always working on new cyborgs, bringing people back from the dead, developing new ways of destroying all that's sacred about humanity..."
Archer spouting unexpected factoids, Cheryl as a cyborg, ISIS health insurance jokes - so many delights here.
A Couple of Forces of Nature
Maeby said, “You grew up in this family and you thought grown-ups had all the answers?”
George-Michael wises up and stops trying to do what Michael would do. (AU s4 outcome)
the wine on our breath puts the love in our tongues
“Living on the edge,” she said, grandly enthusiastic, as if renting an apartment sans binding legal document was as exciting as life could possibly get.
I adore Frances so so much and this gets everything about why and how and the way she is so uncomfortably awkwardly gorgeously open about everything - as the fic says, she's so "exposed." And the other characters (Sophie, Benji, Patch) in their tiny moments also feel perfect. Excellent.
you pulled me out of the dark (and now it's light)
At the last minute, she changed her mind and bought a vase. The box stayed on her kitchen counter for several months until one drunken takeaway sometime around Christmas with Lev anxious to prove his skills with chopsticks and she hacked at it with a pair of old scissors till the tinfoil came apart. The rotting pastries sat under her sink till New Year.
The language in this is so delicate and the relationship between Frances and Sophie with all its breaks and patches and movements is beautifully drawn.
Or Should I Walk by Again
"Suction jokes are wasted in girl-on-girl flirting," Shannon said, and Sarah leaned forward, murmuring, "That was an FBI joke, Mullins, follow along"
This was fun and adorable with on point characterization. It also had great Boston touches especially the "spring" weather.
Brass in Pocket
Five days after Thanksgiving, Mullins's apartment is officially condemned pending major structural work that could take six weeks or more; a week after that, Ashburn gets a phone call at her desk at work that starts with, "Okay, so what's the deal with this grocery list? Is it written in code?"
Lovely with so many small perfect notes for each character and great lines ("the saddest kind of cat lady"). The final line is perfect.
Slow Down, You Crazy Child
Neha laughs, pushes him down onto the couch and curls up against him. "You're a bit slow on the uptake, aren't you?" she murmurs softly, attempting to brush a patch of glitter off his cheek.
I mean, let's just be real here, I'm only at this fandom table for the Dylan O'Brien of it all, but, that said, this author took the small center of these characters and flushed them out into a delightful little rom-com full of bed-sharing, best friends-in-love, obliviousness and all sorts of perfectly-used tropes.
The Ones You Call at Four AM
Regardless, Olivia Pope is a good ally to have, and Mellie misses her. She hates her too, and not just because Fitz loves her blindly and Mellie loves Fitz more than she meant to, but because Fitz needs Olivia to function, and Mellie needs Fitz if everything she has sacrificed will ever be worth it, so Mellie needs Olivia to see her through, and need is even more undignified than love. The whole thing is disgusting.
I am super team!Mellie even if I have soured on the canon around her recently and this is a nice peek into her head.
Abby's apartment still looks like she spends the majority of her nights sleeping elsewhere, even though that hasn't been true for months. Most days, she gets dressed by putting on whatever clothes happen to be hanging up in the forest of dry cleaning bags that populates her entryway. The lightbulb in her bathroom burned out three months ago, and instead of bothering to replace it she's started to get pretty good at brushing her teeth in the dark. There is absolutely nothing in her refrigerator.
I am not Abby's biggest fan, but this made me like her. Great dialogue - case of the week that feels like the show both in tone and in the way I saw it coming before the characters exactly like in an episode.