I'll admit it.
BlairRay Kowalski almost unbearably sexy. I can't help it. You know, this is weird, how it keeps happening to me. You can't be involved with pretty much any fandom on the internet without stumbling across references, stories, pictures, and vids relating to certain key fandoms that have a huge number of followers: due South, The Sentinel, Stargate. I've been involved with fandoms on the internet only since 2000 (though I imagine all of my friends will tell you it seems much, much longer). Sure, I knew what due South was: that Mountie show everyone raves about, but I'm not interested.
Um. Until I start looking closer, asking questions, seeing episodes, and suddenly I'm hooked.
See, I'm unprepared for how quickly fandoms take me and make me their bitch.
I've always, always been rather obsessive/compulsive when it comes to pop culture. MacGyver was my very first obsession, at the tender age of 12 (and no, I did not know about slash back then. Though when I rediscovered MacGyver a couple of years ago, I got a tiny bit to MacGyver/Murdoc slash. But only a little). Was utterly fascinated, taped them all, watched them again and again.
I've got a list around here somewhere of my various obsessions over the years. 21 Jump Street is on there. Val Kilmer in general (I still can't really understand that one). A whole variety of them, all pop culture related. The A-Team started, wow, probably way back in 1989, only a few years after it had been canceled. But back then, I had no knowledge of the internet, no way to get in touch with fans, with zines, fanfic, anything. So however much I adored the show, the obsession could only go so far and eventually went to the backburner.
Till I got my first computer in January of 2000. Started surfing the net a bit, exploring. Picked my username, witchbaby, and have pretty much stuck with that for all of my fandoms since. 'Round about April, I discovered OneGroups, which evolved into eGroups, and is currently YahooGroups. Looked up The A-Team. Found the A-Slash just as it came into being. I was one of the very first members and that's what got me hooked.
I discovered slash (with the rather disturbing animal cracker Face/Murdock story). Was fascinated, and read it avidly, but, "I'll never write it." Um. Till Buzz and I challenged each other to write a story. Out of amusement. I went at it with enthusiasm (but wrote it out longhand! Not even in Word). Buzz didn't work on one (till much later, and then it was as a gift to me). I shoved my pages into a notebook and forgot about it for months. Then I stumbled across it one day, reworked it, posted it to the list. Got some decent feedback, and that was the start of a whole new world. August, 2000. I was a bona fide slasher.(and kind of an awful writer back then).
And a feedback whore. That's still what gets me writing when I find myself stuck and unmotivated. If I post, I'll get comments on my writing, and that feeds my ego like you would not believe.
So yeah. The A-Team took up so much focus in my life, it was scary. 'Twas all about the A-Slash and the VA (the supposedly slash-friendly gen fic list). Who had time for anything else?
Then in April of 2001 (notice it was exactly a year after my A-Team obsession went full-throttle), I was chatting with Mel, who I had become friends with on the TAT lists. She mentioned (oh, so casually) a show she thought I might like: Tour of Duty. See, canon in TAT has the guys often referencing being a team back in Vietnam. A number of stories in the TAT fandom take place during the Vietnam era. It's fascinating. ToD takes place during the Vietnam war. Mel mentioned an author she thought I might like, gave me the link.
I read the fic. The show was beginning in syndication on TNT the very next day. How could I not watch it?
And yeah. I was hooked. This was a tiny little fandom, though, and there was not much out there. We started toying with the idea of creating a group of our own (me and Mel and Cath and Snowy were deeply, deeply involved with the show at this point. All four of us had met in the TAT fandom). Talked with the girls, and we started Notes From the Underground.
From reader to writer to list moderator, all in a year. Can you say OCD?
Anyway. That was it for me. Who has time for this? Till in April 2002, I expressed curiosity about due South, and DC hooked me up with the tapes. Three fandoms.
Of course, I called Buzz first thing to relate my newfound interest. I’m babbling incoherently about how the Mountie loves the Chicago cop, and how very, very amusing I found the concept of "Swing Both Rays." And he’s just silent. Finally, he responds: “Oh...my god. You did it. You found another defunct late-80s TV show to become obsessed with.”
Me: “You don’t want to be friends with me anymore, do you?”
Buzz: “Well, no, but I will. You saw me through the Real Ghostbusters thing. I figure that gives you leave for the due South thing, and one more defunct TV show obsession.”
Me: “But after that...”
Buzz: “Yeah, the friendship’s over.” Pause. “Sorry.”
Me: “No, no, that’s totally fair.”
And while I did adore due South, it didn't really enthrall me to the extent that TAT and ToD had. It ebbed rather quickly, within months. I still utterly enjoyed it, and believed that Benny and Ray Vecchio were deeply in love (oh yes, I was all about there being One True Ray...at the time), but it never quite caught me like the first two.
That was going to be it. For sure.
See? I was under control. Till the evil emmastark started extolling the virtues of Starsky and Hutch. This was in October, when I was in Los Angeles, visiting with a number of women from my newgroup. emmastark is one of the very best TAT writers out there. She's amazing. So if she's saying that Starsky and Hutch is good, I gotta listen. But not get involved. Because how could I? I've never even seen the show! emma mentioned that S&H had all of the hurt/comfort, all of the closeness that is implied in the A-Team (and explored in TAT fic), but never seen on the show. In S&H (sez emma), it's right out there. These guys love each other.
Hmm. Intriguing. Give me some links to fic, will you, emma?
Yup. November 2002. I'm hooked on S&H (oh, and this one is gonna be a keeper. I love those boys so very much). Sigh. Four fandoms? How fucked up am I? Buzz warns me this is it. I need to stop. I concur. Four. I'm good.
Yeah, but The Sentinel.
I mean. Um. Well. You see, I never found either of the guys real attractive. Really I didn't. Blair, with his long hair. Jim, all big and muscley. Nah, I'm all set. I mean, I'll watch the vids on Diana William's Songs for Slashers tapes, because DW is talented at vidding. But get into the show itself? Nah.
But I need to fill the space on some tapes of due South that Surreal is sending me. So, oh, why not, throw a couple of Sentinel eps on there. Just in case I ever feel like seeing what it is about this show that attracts all the slashers. And somehow...
I don't know how it happened. I started looking for Sentinel slash online. Just to peruse it. Just to see. Read a couple of red-hot stories. Hmm. Put in Surreal's tape. Watched an episode. They're kinda cute together. And Blair...I don't know. His long hair doesn't seem to bother me anymore. Another ep. He's actually kinda cute. Oh my. There he is with little glasses on. Tight jeans. Button down shirts. My. He's cute as hell, isn't he? And there is just something there with him and Jim. No, really, there is. Wow.
I watch the blooper reel Surreal tacked on there for me. Hmm. These guys obviously know about slash, 'cause they're really playing into the psychoses of the fans. They kiss. It's real cute.
Yeah. The Sentinel. I promised that would be it.
Resonant is to blame for what happened next.
It was Resonant’s American Way that got to me. Big time.
See, Resonant writes Sentinel slash. And she writes due South slash. And through someone’s rec page, I blithely clicked on a link to her story, “American Way.” I didn’t mean to. I thought it was a Benny/RayV. story.
It was Fraser/Kowalski. And it was hot. Resonant is so freaking talented. And I couldn’t stop reading.
I hesitantly looked at my tape of RayK episodes that Tracy from my ToD group at given me (months and months before). “The very slashiest episodes,” she swore. “You will fall head over heels with RayK. I promise.” I had never looked at the eps, fearing that very thing. I read some more Resonant. Then Cesperanza. Oh dear lord. I was falling. Popped the tape in and that was it, I was done. In it, head over feet. Went looking for a follow-up for “Mountie on the Bounty” (because that episode? My lord. Can you say subtext, much? True love? Heated glances, bedroom eyes, underwater kisses?). And discovered that lamardeuse, she of the lovely “If Only” A-Team fic, had written the sweetest tale (“Mister Instinct”), which was just what I was looking for. Thus began my current re-obsession with due South, only now it’s like a whole new fandom, what with the lusciousness that is RayK. (And has the off-shoot of me getting all into Hard Core Logo slash as well, because I’ll tell you, Callum Keith Rennie is in a category of sexy that's all his own. I have a serious weakness for Canadian accents). Ray is sarcastic and quick and his mouth seems to be a step or two ahead of his thoughts. He’s just very different from anyone I’ve tried to write...he’s all hot-headedness and fire, but there’s this base of kind of sweetness that I just adore. Oh, this is gonna be a fun fandom.
I'm obviously losing any control I ever had over fandoms. I gotta stop here. I really do. No more for me, I have too many to handle as it is.
I’ll just pretend I don’t even see that Numb3rs tape over on my shelf. I’m honest-to-God scared to even look at it. Lord knows how fast I’ll plummet.
Make the leap home.