Fanfic Author: helenish
Rating: oh so very adult
Read by: Ann Ciudad
Format: mp3, m4b
MP3 at archive 24.8 MB, 1:13:35
M4B at archive 33.8 MB, 1:13:35
Comments: John entered the Air Force Academy in 1987; it was only the third year subs were accepted into the flight program. John wasn't the only one in his class, but he was the only one who looked like he did, and it didn't make him any friends.
Non-spoilery story notes and thoughts:
You almost certainly know this story, but just in case you've been living under a tragically slash-deprived rock, this is helenish's story sort of based on Xanthe's "The General and Dr. Sheppard". Xanthe wrote a story about a universe in which the genders are not based on who has a penis and who has a vagina, but on who tops and who subs. That story was fluffy crackfic. And then helenish wrote a story in a similar 'verse; except that in that universe you get just as much shit for being a member of the second sex as you do in ours. And it wasn't fluffy at all.
And if that were all it was, I'd probably still like it a whole lot. But it isn't a simple allegory. It's about men and women, yes; but it is also, vitally, about BDSM. It's quite possible to be a woman without a man - ask your nearest friendly neighborhood lesbian - but it is very difficult to get sexual satisfaction out of taking direction when you have no one to tell you what to do. This is a story about the hard sadness of unfulfilled need. And about the difficulty of being a sub and a feminist. It's about a lot of things. :) It's an excellent story.
I'm happy with the way this one came out! But it was hard. "Reciprocation" I think was an interesting failure and a good learning experience, and "Credit in the Straight World" was easy; ninhursag's Sam and Dean are teenagers, and everything they are is boiling over right on the surface. Even when they're lying they're lying straight at you with both barrels. helenish's John and Rodney are adults. They have secrets, and layers; they have protective shells that have had decades to accrete around them. She writes wonderful dialogue, which is why I wanted to read the story; but the thing is, damned if I know how because most of the actual words are things like "'Oh,' John said." Somehow all of the dialogue happens in the silences between sentences. Check it out. You'll see what I mean. Her silences are amazing.