I also wrote the Friday Night Lights fic Permutations which I did in less than an hour right before the archive went live, after browsing the Stocking Stuffer ideas. For how quickly I wrote it, I thought it came out well, and it seemed well-liked, so I'm very happy. Yuletide continues to be my very favorite fic exchange - I haven't even gotten CLOSE to touching everything in the archive I want to read this year yet!
Both of those stories will be reposted here for the sake of archiving in the next few days. But for now I've just posted my current epic baby. It's not REALLY epic-length - the double-post size is as much for the graphics as it is the text I think, though it's not short.
It was originally written for the rs_small_gifts challenge. Small gifts were meant to be fics under three thousand words. This . . . is not. At all. It grew wildly from the original premise.
I started out intending this to be a short, "ten rules of the flat" sort of thing. Just light and funny and silly. And some of it is just that. But after looking again at what my recipient actually asked for, I decided to deepen it a little.
And abruptly a short piece took on a life of its own. It morphed from a list of rules, to rules and back-and-forth that made a sort of roadmap from where they started, to how it ended. It may be self-indulgent and trite - but it's a story I got very attached to, very quickly.
I enlisted a friend to do a graphic for me, creating the rules as they would have looked on the wall. That's all her, as I lack any real graphic skills. maleficently did that, and you can see her work at etchedglass. She put up with my demands with good grace, not even flinching when my vague initial proposal became much more specific, such as defining how handwriting should look, and pointing out typos, and not braining me when I mentioned how neat it would be if little things like Sirius' skirt, or the exploding pudding had little doodles next to them, bless her.
My Sirius and Remus began showing interest toward the end of school. But the Prank left them on shaky ground, and they danced around one another until after school. Which left a very short, bitter sort of window for them to be together, and that's how I structured this story. A lot of Remus/Sirius shippers put them together earlier - and I've written it that way too, and don't mind it at all. But in the back of my mind, this is how it went, really.
I fussed endlessly with this. There were originally four more rules that I ended up scrapping, two because they felt too comic too late in the story, one because it felt redundant, and one because it was too heavy too early on. I kept moving them around in the order, but in the end it felt like the story worked better without them. The story might have worked even better with some more trimmed out of it - but I couldn't cut out any more on my own, and my betas felt it worked as it was.
Originally there was less of the ensemble, but as I went along, I decided to add more of them in. Specifically I wanted more Peter - I wanted Peter to be part of the group, but just a little outside and moving steadily more toward the fringes. Aqualung's "Broken Bones" is very much my threesome song, in a lot of ways - but the chorus kept coming up in my head as I wrote this.
"This is a story 'bout the three of us,
down by the water and the tide is rising up.
This world is burning and I'm terrified,
I need a little more time with you.
Ohh, just a little more time with you.
Please, just a little more time with you."
And despite the "three", it felt very much like the right sentiment - not only for Remus and Sirius, but for the four of them, really.
All of this nattering is unnecessary, really, but I got very close to this fic, and am hugely proud of it. It was well-received on the rs_small_gifts comm, and I'm reposting it here for my own archival purposes - and I think I may bite the bullet and repost it on shacking_up as well. I'm usually not very good about self-promotion - but I want people to seeeee. That's probably hugely egotistical, huh? So yes. If you missed the fic itself, go read, if you have any interest in Harry Potter and Remus/Sirius, please!