Recent Entries 
30th-Jun-2012 07:56 pm The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Anemille (K+)
Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: none
Length: 3700 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] anemille
Author Website: Stories on Fanfiction.net
Why this must be read:

Driver’s Note: This will be the last rec for Spooks this month. I’ve tried to showcase as many characters and aspects of the fandom as possible, but there are many more great stories and authors out there. Thanks for reading and (hopefully) giving feedback to authors.

Connie James was devious, witty, and spent a lot of time lying to everyone around her, including herself. Even after a series 7 finale in which she never seemed to stop talking about herself, it’s impossible to say why she did what she did, or what she believed. In short, Connie was the essence of Spooks, in a nutshell.

This story tries to make sense of the often-contradictory elements of Connie’s past, in the process exploring her motives and turning them inside out. While Connie’s choices might have been abhorrent, her character was always compelling, and this story captures that perfectly.

Excerpt:

Connie knows without doubt that this is not the end. She doesn't know how or where or when but she knows it will happen, knows that this cold existence will all mean something again just as soon as she's back in London.

Fighting the good fight.

Well, giving a good fight in any case.

Connie enjoys playing games. And the KGB oblige. The crosswords won't run out because if they do then something has gone horribly wrong and she's cut off for good. And Connie isn't about to let that happen: how could anyone stand knowing all of the world's secrets one day and none the next? Knowing what she knows, Connie thinks that she can hardly rest in peace, alive or dead.

And so she keeps playing their games. And sometimes she sends them games of her own.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea


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29th-Jun-2012 11:59 pm Flight Risk by unwoundfloors (Mature)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)

Pairing: Dimitri Levendis / Tariq Massoud

Length: 1700 words

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] inflightdata

Author Website: Spooks fic archive

Why this must be read:

Dimitri and Tariq were about as close to normal as series 9 and 10 team members came. This story is about their emerging relationship, but also fills in the gaps after the series 9 finale left section D gutted.

In a short space, Dimitri and Tariq get some great dialogue, more characterization than they had onscreen, and some reflections on betrayal that set the scene for series 10.


Excerpt:

“We had sex, Dimitri,” Tariq says, not unkindly. “It happens, sometimes, between adults as attractive as you and I. And as for better things to do, my evening was going to consist of re-coding this database of names, drinking beer and eating chips, you tell me how important that sounds to you.”

Flight Risk

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29th-Jun-2012 11:57 pm By the Bridge and One Crowded Hour (Mature) by dweomeroflight

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Ruth Evershed / Harry Pearce
Length: 2 shorts, 6000 words total
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] dweomeroflight
Author Website: Fic masterlist

Why this must be read:

Series after series, Ruth and Harry would almost, but not quite, get together. What was it keeping Ruth and Harry apart? This duet of stories explores the idea that it wasn’t abductions, explosions, or bad timing, but Ruth and Harry themselves.

Both stories are AU for series 10 but reflect (and improve upon) all of the characterization that went it. One story shows how just one choice (on both of their parts) could have brought them together; the other shows the Ruth coming to terms with the road not taken. Both stories make Ruth and Harry’s fate seem inevitable and intrinsic to the characters.

Ruth and Harry might have been star-crossed, but the fault was not in the stars, but in themselves.


Excerpt:

She was the perfect housewife; watered the plants, played foolish games with Nico, gutted the scaly fish that she knew George brought home especially for her, opened the wine and polished the glasses, got down on hands and knees and scrubbed the villa tiles. George never knew how much effort it took to do even those things at first. In a land of sunshine, of paradise, she diagnosed herself with depression.

With each kiss on the cheek, each bear hug, each night spent in George's warm bed, things seemed better, happier, it felt less dangerous to feel joy and the depression passed. She would smile rueful smiles when she cooked dinner, drink a little too much wine when she was left alone for too long, but it was a life, a real life and in the end she had grown to love it.

By the Bridge


One Crowded Hour

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27th-Jun-2012 01:01 am Cold Waters by Zooeyrye (PG)
Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: None
Length: 5000 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] zooeyrye
Author Website: Foolish Times
Why this must be read:

Dimitri’s onscreen characterization was a bit thin, to put it lightly. This story assembles the puzzle pieces of Dimitri’s canon backstory into a dimensional character, a man who despite his courage and resourcefulness finds himself at a loss after an MI-5 operation goes wrong.

The author succeeds at bringing life to Dimitri’s character through his love for the sea, which is transformed into a post-traumatic terror of drowning. His interactions with the other characters, Lucas in particular, are also well done, and bring a small, unexpected ray of hope into the often bleak Spooks canon.

This story is a great Dimitri story, a great Lucas story, and a great exploration of Spooks’ longest-running theme, the price of spying.

Excerpt:

It was almost midnight when Dimitri left the docks. He debated on the drive back to London where he should go. He knew that the team needed to know he was alive. He knew they all probably assumed he was dead. Thames House was going to be nearly empty now, though. He was still mulling things over when a familiar face appeared in his mind, and he gave the driver directions to a flat he had only ever been to once. 

He paid the driver with the money David had given him, and waited until the black taxi had disappeared before heading up the street to the tall building and ringing the doorbell.

Several seconds later, the door opened, and Lucas appeared. He stared at Dimitri. The hand he was using to hold open the door came into view and Dimitri registered the now slackened grip on his gun.

“I swam to France,” said Dimitri, grinning tiredly. “How was your week?”

Cold Waters

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27th-Jun-2012 01:00 am Jerusalem by Zulu_Ottawa (K+)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Ros Myers / Andrew Lawrence
Length: 4500 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] zulu_ottawa
Author Website: Fanfiction.net profile and stories on Spooky_doings
Why this must be read:

Ros and Lucas: those two just got each other. They were quippy, emotionally damaged, rabidly loyal, totally lacking in caution, and a lot of other things that are hard to describe. They were also completely awesome.

This story is a lot like that. It’s set between series 8 and 9 as Ros’ life hangs by a thread.  It’s about Ros at the end of her character’s journey, and Lucas coming to a new place along his own path. Andrew Lawrence, the Home Secretary no one quite knew what to think of, and Harry Pearce also get their moments.

Like a poem that stuns you into silence, this is a story that can’t truly be described, only read and experienced.


Excerpt:

“You look exhausted, Lucas,” Harry says sincerely.

Lucas straightens from where he's been leant against the wall, his jacket sliding against the surface. “I'm fine, Harry,” he insists roughly, rubbing a hand over his eyes.

Harry doesn't push him. He knows his concern.

“Ros seems to enjoy your company,” he says lowly. The hospital is near silent, repressive, so they are reverted to whispers.

Lucas gives a slight smile, leaning his head back against the wall. “Not as much as Andrew Lawrence,” he states. Harry sees the slight flicker of his eyes in the gloom, beneath the exhaustion; a flash of the same animosity he himself feels toward the politician.

Lucas' gaze is gravitated, stolid, so Harry speaks in earnest. “She trusts you, Lucas. After Jo.....”

Lucas seems to tense then, his gaze sharpening. Harry watches his Adam's apple plunge as he swallows. It is a look which lasts only an instant, but with Lucas, Harry finds he is especially attentive toward these moments. With Lucas he has to be careful, watchful, a mimic of the man himself. He takes in a breath. “All I'm saying is, it's good for her to have the support.”

The younger man relaxes, looks down with a lopsided smile of contemplation. “Yeah,” he says, barely audible. He looks up, hands in his pockets, blinks a few times. “I know.”

Jerusalem (also posted on spooky_doings and Fanfiction.net)

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26th-Jun-2012 12:16 am Half The Truth Series by Paperclipbitch (PG to NC-17)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Adam Carter / Lucas North
Length: Eight shorts (about 15,000 words total)
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] paperclipbitch
Author Website: Other fandoms masterlist

Why this must be read:

For two characters who had three scenes and ten minutes onscreen together, Adam and Lucas had some pretty impressive chemistry (of the complete-opposites-completely-messed-up-by-spying sort).

This series follows the two of them episode by episode through an AU series 7 where Adam survived long enough to persistently hang around the only guy in MI-5 more damaged than he is. There’s some wonderful, sharp dialogue. Adam and Lucas don’t banter so much as snarl at each other and circle warily, two cagey survivors just trying to make it through another day. There is angst and there is bonding, and there is a fascinating take on both Lucas and Adam’s characters, just never quite like you’d expect.

Excerpt:

Three days later, and the ringing in Adam’s ears has finally died down. In fact, the injuries from the bomb blast are less extreme than he would have expected; he managed to find enough cover so all he has are a few unattractive grazes and some mild burns. He’s relieved, to say the least.

Lucas’ smile flickers smoothly when he pulls the door open. His eyes are red-rimmed from exhaustion and he’s too pale, but he’s still standing. He leans against the open door, fixing Adam with a steady blue-eyed stare; it’s meant to intimidate but Adam won’t back down.

“I have pizza,” Adam states. He’s not trying to placate Lucas, just offering the facts.

Lucas raises an eyebrow. “Is this some kind of I’m sorry for thinking you were a traitor gift?” he asks, voice a scrape of amusement.

Adam shakes his head. “It’s just pizza,” he says, and doesn’t wait for Lucas to invite him in.


Half The Truth Series:
And Tell Me What I Never See
Everything In Full Swing
A Lot Of Bad Behaviour
Waste Of Paper
‘Cause A Ghost Don’t Feel Love Or Nothing
One Two Three (But Only You And Me)
Looking Through The Mirror
And I Should Know Better

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26th-Jun-2012 12:08 am The Gruinard Project by Khandy (Mature / explicit)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Lucas North / Kate Masters (original character), Harry Pearce / Ruth Evershed
Length: Novel (150,000 words)
Author on LJ: not that I know of
Author Website: fanfiction.net and Wattpad

Why this must be read:

Lucas as introduced in series 7 had enough backstory for several mini-series and enough angst to fuel a small nation. This story explores his history and character in depth, against the background of section D’s exploits to prevent a bioterrorism attack.

The story is built around some of the fanfic’s time-honored staples (original fictional character, explicit romantic scenes, hurt/comfort and graphic accounts of torture and imprisonment), but nonetheless manages to make the characters very human and engaging. The focus is primarily on Lucas and the original character Kate Masters, but there are some nice Ros, Malcolm, and Jo moments, and Ruth and Harry get a bit of space to develop their relationship as well.

The plot is built well, with plenty of twists and cliffhangers, but the story also succeeds in creating genuine investment in the characters – not just genuine suspense about what happens next, but in the fates of the characters as well.

Excerpt:

Leaning against the railing he looked out over the river Thames, his constant companion on his long lonely runs. Glancing around he registered his surroundings, the majestic Tower Bridge and Tower of London on the opposite side. Lucas smiled at the irony, he ran to escape his visions of a prison and ended up outside of one of the most famous prisons in the world. A psychologist would probably say that no matter how far he ran, he would never out run his demons. He knew he had to face them, but half the time he had no idea what woke him. They were not visions, just feelings of terror. Lucas sighed, where did one even begin to start to address something so intangible?

The Gruinard Project on Wattpad (less explicit) and fanfiction.net (unexpurgated version)


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25th-Jun-2012 01:07 am In Memoriam by Heather (PG-13)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: none
Length: one shot (5000 words)
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] lips_r_sealed aka [livejournal.com profile] nozenfordaddy
Author Website: tagged fic

At her best, Jo Portman was spunky (and I normally hate spunky); at her worse, I wondered how exactly how much loss and trauma the writers could pile on one character in the name of enormous doe-eyes and suspenseful cliffhangers.

Ultimately, Jo suffered from the fatal Spooks supporting character syndrome of under-development followed by untimely and rather contrived demise. This story postulates a different what-if in which Jo outlives her friends and colleagues in MI-5.

The author really captures Jo’s combination of toughness, idealism, and sheer determination to just keep on going, despite everything, and to stay human throughout it all.

In Memoriam

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25th-Jun-2012 12:44 am Elocation (or, Exit Us) by daygloparker (PG-13)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Ruth Evershed / Harry Pearce
Length: one shot (5000 words)
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] daygloparker
Author Website: daygloparker’s fic masterlist

Why this must be read:

Harry and Ruth: a not-exactly relationship nine years and several thousand meaningful looks in the making, which the Spooks producers and an awful lot of fanfic writers mined for immense verbiage. And yet it would be a mistake to think that Ruth was only the sum of her relationship to Harry.

This story follows Ruth’s thoughts during her time in Cyprus, back from the early days of Tom Quinn’s team, to her relationship with Georg, to her return to the job at MI-5 cost her so dearly. Like Ruth, the story speaks non-linearly and in parentheticals, yet always gets to the heart of matter. Underneath the MI-5 officer gone to ground, there are all the realizations and emotions simmering away and bubbling up from underneath.

The relationship between Ruth and Harry wasn’t so much about the relationship itself, but each of two of them, and everything about their character and choices that kept them pushing each other away. This story captures that complex dynamic, and Ruth Evershed, exactly.


Excerpt:

When she's alone in the house, Ruth practices.

From the garden to the bedroom: eight seconds. From the kitchen to the bedroom: eleven seconds (because you have to wind around the staircase and, well). Passports, overnight bag in the hall closet; car keys always left in the bowl on the tabletop in the hallway. It's a wonder George never notices all the provisions she's made around the house. Or maybe he has, and it's just another quirky thing about this woman he loves, Ruth. She always parks the car with the driver's side facing the house, and when it tells her it shouldn't matter how he parks it when he takes it out, she wants to shout at him: you have no idea – you have no idea how valuable those few seconds might be one day.

When she's alone in the house, she practices.

One day, it pays off. Ruth pauses for a moment, letting it all come at her for a split second, and then she is gone.


Elocation (or, Exit Us)

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23rd-Jun-2012 10:33 am Ten Minutes Towards Midnight and Three O’Clock in the Morning by Tigertrapped (PG and R)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: none
Length: 2000 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] tigertrapped
Author Website: Fanfiction masterlist (note that some stories are locked, but these are open to all)
Why this must be read:

Connie and Lucas: two enigmas, wrapped in riddles, surrounded by mystery. For every word each said, ten things went unsaid; behind every meaningful look, countless motivations lurked.

This pair of stories is all about the two of them and their wonderfully complex dynamic in series 7.  “Ten Minutes Towards Midnight” is a brief encounter in early series 8, as they ponder where they stand with Harry Pearce and what loyalty MI-5 brought them.  The followup, “Three O’Clock in the Morning” is a coda to the series 7 finale, in which Lucas reflects on their shared journey.

Tigertrapped’s stories are filled with poetry and imagery, beautiful words in harsh contrast with the horror of Lucas’ experiences in Russia and the noir-ish atmosphere of doubt, deception, and betrayal. However, it was the fantastic characterization of Connie and Lucas which really drew me to these stories.

Whether they were to each other -- enemies, allies, foils, or something altogether indefinable --  Connie and Lucas understood each other. These stories capture their dynamic perfectly.


Excerpt:

‘You’re a little better. Sleeping at last?’

He knew she’d seen the shape of his skull in the thin carpet. No wool, knitted or otherwise, got pulled over the eyes of Connie James. ‘It’s the quiet. I can’t get used to it.’

She nodded. ‘Very noisy in prison. I’ll put the kettle on shall I?’

He marvelled at the careful construction of her clothes, tepid shades of grey in comfortable folds, the silver halo of her hair and the slow landslide of her face, makeup encouraged to trespass in the wrinkles she wore as armour. He was trying to put back some of the weight he’d lost, aware that the bones in his face were too near the surface. He needed to get rid of the edges, blend back in. He wished he could buy a decade’s worth of Connie’s disguise.

Ten minutes towards midnight

Three o'clock in the morning

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23rd-Jun-2012 09:06 am Skinny Love Series by Afiakate (PG-13)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Lucas North / Elizabeta Starkova
Length: 3 short stories (about 2000 words total)
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] afiakate
Author Website: Afia on Fanfiction.net
Why this must be read:

The relationship between Lucas and his ex-wife Elizabeta was fraught with lingering glances, strained conversation and smoldering looks; well-intentioned lies, and unintentional betrayals.  Underneath was the sense that, despite eight years, a divorce, and someone else’s child, the two of them still shared an intense connection they didn’t really know how to deal with. Who was the handler and who was the agent, and could they ever be just people around each other, with two intelligence services manipulating both of them?

These three stories show both Lucas and Elizabeta struggling with their feelings for each other and their difficulties dealing with Lucas’ return to London in series 7 after eight years in a Russian prison. “In Which Elizabeta Reflects” is a short drabble which reflects on her experiences and the hardship of Lucas’ disappearance.  “Skinny Love” examines both perspectives and the turmoil of Lucas’ return. “Back Pay,” the longest of the three, is about Lucas’ struggles to adjust to life amidst eight years of accumulated emotional baggage and financial compensation.

Instead of vilifying either character, these stories show both Lucas and Elizabeta as sympathetic, complex characters, caught up in a complex web of competing loves and loyalties.


Excerpt:

What did eight years mean? Her life had moved on; she had remarried, had a son, re-decorated their house, and took a different job.

Looking at him had been painful. Lucas had spent eight years in a Russian prison. For all his handsome features and broad shoulders, he was gaunt and exhausted and looked shell-shocked. His face was more hawkish then ever, all planes and angles, a mathematician’s dream come true. His eyes, even in his confusion, had been cold and biting.

Later as he sat on the bench, his hands had been trembling. Elizabeta had felt both reviled and relieved. He was here, relatively whole, shaking at her words of deceit.

She steeled herself; she knew she had to seem completely sincere. This lie, after all, was the price of his life.



Skinny Love (550 words) on FF.net

In Which Elizabeta Reflects (180 words)

Back Pay (1500 words) on FF.net

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21st-Jun-2012 12:21 am The Pillars of the City (Gen / PG-13) by Kittyfisher
Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: None
Length: one shot, 1500 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] kittyfisher
Author Website: none
Why this must be read:

Harry Pearce and Lucas North: two incredibly complex characters with an even more complex dynamic. This story takes a good, long look at both characters in the early days of series 7, as Lucas adjusts to life back in London and Harry comes to terms with the loss of Adam and the return of a Lucas he no longer knows.

In a short space, this story captures the essence of both characters, as well as the history that both divides them and brings them together.


Excerpt:

“Come on, Harry. Let me get you home.”

“‘A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.’” Suddenly leaning forward, he almost spat the next words. “Come on, Lucas, have I let the enemy in? Have you breached the gate?”

“Isn’t it lovely how a classical education always delivers the apposite quote?”

“And teaches how to answer a question with a question.”

The Pillars of the City
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20th-Jun-2012 11:55 pm From Russia With Love by Genevastar (K / PG)
Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Ros Myers / Adam Carter
Length: 43,000 words
Author on LJ: not that I know of
Author Website: Genevastar's Fanfiction.net profile
Why this must be read:

Somewhere between series 6 and 7, Ros Myers’ went from an acerbic, sharp-tongued ice queen of questionable loyalties (well, she had a lot of loyalty but usually to the wrong things), Ros became, er, well, an acerbic, sharp-tongued ice queen of lethal cutlery and unshakable loyalty to Harry Pearce and MI-5.

This story follows Ros from her departure in series 4, through her sojourn in Russia, and her return to London at the start of series 7. Russia, the story’s primary setting, is brought to life in a vivid detail. The dialogue, plot, and original characters all move the story along at a good pace. Really, though, this story is all about the evolution of Ros Myers. Genevastar peels back the layers of Ros’ character, balancing her Ros’ uncompromising toughness with rare moments of emotional vulnerability.

This is a great story about Ros’ search for redemption, her journey back to MI-5, and the people who helped her along the way.

Excerpt:

Even now 'Ros Myers' was little more than a shadow that she sometimes glimpsed in a car's wing mirror or in the window of a shop. Reality was Irina Selesnikova, the daughter of a dead factory worker, who worked her shift, took the crude jokes and insults of her customers in a timid silence, jostled her way home on the swarming, clanking Metro train and went hungry at the end of the month when her money ran out. But there were some days when Irina couldn't keep Ros as deeply buried as the rest of the world supposed her to be in Kensal Green. When she was elbowed aside by that other woman, the one who had clung to Adam Carter's hand in those last few minutes, desperate not to lose the man whom she had loved without ever being able to find the courage to tell him so. When Irina was serving watered-down champagne to a petty crook with more roubles than sense, she sometimes found herself looking into a pair of light blue eyes, and her heart would race until she pushed away the errant memory.

From Russia with Love

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15th-Jun-2012 08:00 pm Doctor Who / Spooks (PG-15)

Title: Transformations and Machinations by Kirsteena

Pairing: none

Length: 19,226 words

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] kirsteena

Author Website: Ancient of Days

Why this must be read:

What if the suitcase nuclear bomb really had gone off in the Spooks series 7 finale? This story starts with the premise that Ros, Lucas, and Connie didn’t stop the bomb in time, then follows the Section D survivors through underground cat and mouse games with the Russians, their journey through a devastated Britain, and spy games as the nation rebuilds. Along the way, Ros, Lucas, and Connie meet Martha Jones, after she’s returned from her travels with the Doctor, Tom Quinn, now retired from MI-5, and a few other faces from the past.

It’s not easy to cross two shows of very different genres, but Kirsteena does that here, building a plotty, suspenseful story which does justice to both universes. The characters are all fleshed out well enough to be dimensional even without prior knowledge of either show, but fans of both shows will appreciate the character building even more. The story is full of great character interactions (Ros-Lucas, Martha-Lucas, Tom-Lucas, Ros-Connie, and a few surprises) and maintains a wonderfully ominous mood entirely in keeping with the apocalyptic nature of the AU.

Excerpt:

Getting one Russian, with a gun pointing at his head to agree that there might be the tiniest possibility that a nuclear bomb had gone off in London was one thing. Getting six Russians, heavily armed and following their own specific orders, on their own with no back up to call on, to listen to what could sound like an insane story was a much harder proposition. If they pulled it off, for his next trick, Lucas would walk on water.

They both had about an equal chance of success.

Transformations and Machinations
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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15th-Jun-2012 12:42 am Blakes 7 / Spooks (Gen / PG)
Title: A Comedy of Errors by Lost Spook
Pairing: Kerr Avon / Ros Myers (implied only)
Author on LJ:
[livejournal.com profile] lost_spook
Author Website: Archive of Our Own
Why this must be read:

On one show, there was a team of misfit freedom fighters (who didn’t think of themselves as terrorists) with massive personal issues, running from the secret police and roaming the universe in a sarcastic space ship which occasionally wobbled.

On the other show, there was a team of a misfit spies (who didn’t think of themselves as the secret police) with massive personal issues, chasing after terrorists and defending Britain from a home base with lampshades made from upside-down Ikea wastepaper baskets.

Put the two together: hilarity ensues. Ros interrogates Avon? Comedy gold! Vila and Ruth go out for ice cream? Comedy gold! Malcolm wonders whether the Liberator’s teleport bracelets were built on children’s television? Comedy … sticky backed plastic?

As good as both shows may have been, they also tended to take themselves way too seriously. This crossover crackfic neatly skewers that self-importance, but all in good fun and with plenty of witty banter.

Given the angst quotient in both fandoms, there aren’t too many stories which are simply fun, in character, and enjoyable. It’s worth savoring this one.

Excerpt:

"I transported directly from my spaceship, the Liberator," explained Avon airily. "I'm sorry, is something wrong, Miss Myers? You did say you wanted the truth."

Ros met his gaze. "I'm too old for fairy tales."

"I sympathise."

"I want answers, not sympathy. What was your target? How many of you are there in your group, and what were you doing trying to get into the Commons?"

He sighed. "You seem to have a dull, one-track mind."

"If you won't co-operate," she said, "we'll have to try more painful methods. This isn't the middle ages, but you'd be amazed what we can get away with doing to you without even breaking the law. Want to find out, or are you going to talk?"

Avon's expression hardened. "Do your worst. You'll find, as others have done, that I don't break easily under torture."

"Shame," she said. "I was looking forward to seeing you scream and beg for mercy."

He smiled. "I could manage a whimper if it would make you happier."

"Sorry," said Ros. "Nothing less than genuine, bleeding agony cuts any ice with me."

A Comedy of Errors

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13th-Jun-2012 10:50 pm I Will Dream I Was a Daughter by Delgaserasca (PG)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Ruth Evershed / Harry Pearce
Length: One shot, 1200 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] delgaserasca
Author Website: Spooks tagged stories
Why this must be read:

Ruth is an easy character to love, but it’s not so easy to find stories that do justice to the complexity of her character, or her relationship with Harry.

“I Will Dream I Was a Daughter” does all that and more. The story is made up of Ruth’s introspections during 5x06 as she prepares to take a fall for Harry and flee the country. Delgaserasca fills the story with wonderful character moments, like Zaf's small kindnesses, but at the heart of it all is Ruth, talking herself into losing her whole life.


Excerpt:

She doesn’t remind herself of her self-doubt, of her conviction battling with Harry’s assurances to the contrary. She doesn’t think about how she second-guessed herself.

Mostly, though, she thinks of Harry, and of how he came to her as soon as she called, and how he came to believe in her, despite his initial caution. She thinks of Tom Quinn and a long walk into a deep ocean, and she thinks of Zoe, and Danny, and Sam, and Fiona, and Colin, and she thinks, oh god, it's me now, I'm next, what am I doing?


I Will Dream I Was a Daughter on author's livejournal community or on Yuletide archive

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13th-Jun-2012 12:02 am Useless Jo by londonsophie (PG-13)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Jo Portman / Zafar Younis
Length: 3000 words
Author on LJ: not that I know of
Author Website: Fic Masterlist
Why this must be read:

Here’s the thing about the Adam-Zaf-Jo dynamic: Jo was wet behind the ears, Zaf was underwritten, and Adam was in desperate need of some serious psychiatric help, but all in all, they made a pretty fantastic team.

Despite the title, Jo is, of course, far from useless. This story follows her as she stumbles her way through her early days in MI-5. However, the heart of the story is really about the three colleagues and their friendship. Londonsophie is particularly adept at writing Jo and Zaf, who had a really strong onscreen chemistry that never made it into a romantic relationship. Add Adam and you have a great dynamic in all its periodically dysfunctional glory. They might not win spy of the year awards, but their loyalty and concern for each other is touching and real amidst the gloom and doom of MI-5.

Excerpt:

"Well," Zaf starts walking again. "There you go. You weren't stupid. You were right and we were wrong. I suppose you should be saying I told you so. Belatedly."

"I told you so," says Jo, and finds herself smiling.

"Feel better?" She can't see Zaf's face in the dark between the streetlamps but she can hear that he's laughing.

"Yes," says Jo, and she does.


Useless Jo by londonsophie
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
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11th-Jun-2012 10:36 pm snow carefully everywhere descending by Zai (R / Mature)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Adam Carter / Fiona Carter and Adam Carter / Ros Myers
Length: one shot, 1600 words
Author on LJ: not that I know of
Author Website: none known
Why this must be read:

This story weaves together two relationships -- Adam/Fiona and Adam/Ros -- into a portrait of Adam Carter, a man full of contradictions, completely at home with lies and spying, but so often at a loss in real life.

Like the ee cummings poem from which the story takes its name, Zai’s writing is wonderfully evocative and sensual, rendering Adam and Fiona’s Damascus affair in sparse, poetic details. Adam and Ros’ present day liason is drawn just as strongly, but with a sense of loss and confusion that gives Adam’s character more depth than the show’s writers were, perhaps, willing to explore on screen.

Afterwards, they'd had fifteen minutes to lie beside each other. They fit these things into impossible windows of time. He'd lain beside her with her pulled back against him, blindfolded, blind, with his nose pressed against the back of her hair, and he whispered to her what they were going to do about her husband, his hand finding the curve of her breast while they talked, while he talked, and she listened, and, dimly, later, he remembered thinking that he didn't know which one of them was Orpheus, and who was leading who out of hell.

snow carefully everywhere descending

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8th-Jun-2012 12:12 am We’ll Always Have Paris by Hestia (PG)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Ruth Evershed/Danny Hunter
Length: One-shot, 2700 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] hestia8
Author Website: Hestia's Spooks fic on livejournal
Why this must be read:

In the early days, Spooks had some wonderful lighter moments when the characters would take a long hard look at the absurdity of a life of espionage and … just roll with it. This story captures that spirit exactly, as Danny, in need of a girlfriend, asks Ruth for a little duplicity. Hilarity ensues, but lurking underneath are the strong bonds of friendship.

The characters are so just quintessentially themselves here, with Danny launching himself into a harebrained personal venture with no chance of succeed in, and Ruth falling all over herself to be helpful. Through some really wonderful dialogue, Hestia really captures the quirky charm of the early series team friendships.

Excerpt:

‘I need a girlfriend.’

Ruth looked up at him. ‘You know, there are many, many ways I could answer that, but I’m going to go with asking what exactly does that have to do with me?’

‘You’re a girl.’

‘Oh no.’

We’ll Always Have Paris (on [livejournal.com profile] spooks_creative)

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7th-Jun-2012 11:58 pm Cleaving the Bone by Belantana (PG-13)

Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Zoe Reynolds / Will North
Length: One-shot, 1800 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] belantana
Author Website: Belantana's Spooks fic on livejournal
Why this must be read:

This short, tightly-written story tackles four different storylines from series three: Zoe’s final, ill-fated undercover operation, Zoe and Danny’s assassination mission on the ferry, Zoe’s troubled relationship with Will North, and Danny’s unrequited feelings for Zoe. Belantana weaves the disparate plotlines into a dense, layered story. The rich imagery and complex themes strongly evoke the claustrophobic inevitability of Zoe’s downfall. There's not a word wasted in here, and some of the turns of phrase will take your breath away.


Excerpt:

She'd already given away the shoes she'd bought for the wedding. Now she took down the photograph on the fridge, the two of them being obnoxiously happy at the beach or somewhere. But the empty space on the fridge caught her eye more often than the photograph had. She put a bill there. It was a quote for the catering. She took it down and put up the surveillance photographs of Ozal and Celenk.

Do you MI5 take Zoe Reynolds to be your lawful wedded wife, she thought, and then she poured herself another shot of vodka.


Cleaving the Bone

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7th-Jun-2012 02:17 am Not To Fear Infinity by Elishavah (PG-13)
Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: None
Length: One-shot, 2900 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] elishavah
Author Website: Life Like Art
Why this must be read:

If Spooks 3x02 ended with Tom Quinn striding dramatically out of Thames House for the last time, this story begins with the other side of the equation, the one we didn’t see, where everyone in section D scratched their heads and wondered what on earth just happened.

In this story, Ruth is assigned to monitor surveillance on Tom after his departure from MI-5. Elishavah acknowledges and makes use of the sheer weirdness of Ruth being called upon to spy on her ex-teammate, as Ruth goes through the process of examining her own feelings about having drunk the MI-5 Kool-Aid. We also get glimpses of Tom in his new life and wonder, as Ruth does, who is the real Tom Quinn.

“In any case, there's a standard procedure for this sort of thing. There are both general and specific steps of Track, Watch, and Report that are...not all that pleasant to think about. Few will die in the line of duty, after all, but they could all find themselves at the edge, staring out over their choices and thinking, Jumping makes so much more sense than this.”

Not To Fear Infinity


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7th-Jun-2012 01:53 am A Wilderness of Mirrors by Corrina (PG-13)

Sorry for the late start!




Fandom: SPOOKS (MI-5)
Pairing: Tom Quinn / Christine Dale
Length: One-shot
Author on LJ: Not that I know of
Author Website: None that I know of
Why this must be read:

Tom Quinn’s departure was a huge moment in Spooks, the culmination of over two years’ worth of the question the show never stopped asking: What does spying do to spies? Tom Quinn found out, the hard way.

This story shows Tom on the outside, looking back in at the dark and seedy underbelly of the world of intelligence, thanks to none other than Jools Siviter of MI-6.

This story captures the mood and themes of the early series. Corrina’s writing really evokes a sense of unreality and nicely portrays Tom’s sense of dislocation at being drawn back into the shades of gray. Of the world of spies and the world of the innocent, which is the real, and where are the lies?

"You know, you told me once that you didn't do ambiguity. I knew then that you'd never be the sort of spook Harry wanted you to be. But I was sorry to see you go nonetheless.”



A Wilderness of Mirrors

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5th-Jun-2012 01:52 am Spooks (MI-5) Fandom Overview

Spooks (MI-5) Fandom Overview )
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15th-Dec-2010 04:02 pm Shadows Falling by cordeliadelayne (PG13)
Fandom: PRIMEVAL (crossover with SPOOKS)
Pairing:
Length: 32,315 in 13 parts
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] cordeliadelayne
Author Website: Author’s masterlist on LJ
Why this must be read: Spies and dinosaurs might not seem the most obvious fit, but trust me, this author brings the two shows together in a seamless whole, integrating the characters from both into a fascinating story of intrigue and action that gathers pace relentlessly to an explosive climax.

Links to all 13 parts.
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16th-Apr-2004 02:47 am Alias/MI-5 (NC-17)
Title: Making Contact by Nestra
Pairing: Sark/Tom Quinn
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] nestra
Author Website: Nestra's Pantheon

Ordinarily I would never rec the same author twice, let alone twice in three days, but Crossover Day snuck up on me and the two authors I have already recommended this month also happen to have written two of my favorite Alias crossovers ever. This is probably not a coincidence, as I get pretty much all my recs from reading my friends list(s) and don't routinely read new archive updates or anything, but, I really love this story and I haven't rec'd any slash or any Sark stories yet, so, y'all should check this one out too.


Why this must be read: I think spy crossovers featuring sex, angst, and not-quite-random encounters between dangerously attractive men are just a worthwhile idea in general, but what sets this story apart is the way both Sark and the writer use the observation of details to reveal--as any good spy would--who and what both characters are.

He kissed Sark like a lover, as if he'd never known anything but considerate love-making under cotton sheets in a tastefully decorated room. His hands bracketed Sark's face, thumbs skirting across his cheekbones, holding him still for another kiss, then pulled back to look at him.

. . . Sark never had been one for fair play.


Making Contact

(written as part of the Spy Crossover Extravaganza challenge)
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