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7th-Dec-2013 12:10 am radio is a living art (try to get the words right), by byzantienne (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,081 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: works on AO3
Warnings: a lovely inhuman creature of the radio, technically fluff
Notes: set after “First Date” (ep. 27), retells events from the pilot
Why this must be read:

This eerie, gorgeous story was one of the first fics I read in this fandom, and it has remained one of my favorites. The author does wonderful things with point of view; as she notes in a reply to one of the comments, “this has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-person POV bits, and the 2nd-person is what I'd call 'coersive 2nd' (where the narrator is telling another character what they feel) as opposed to 'audience-oriented 2nd' (where the 'you' is the reader) or 'transparent 2nd' (where the 'you' is the (unreliable) narrator.” This is in an attempt to convey a bit of how Cecil, who occasionally demonstrates some form of clairvoyance, omniscience, or omnipresence in canon, experiences the world as he has Carlos over for a dinner date.

You use the hand that you've cupped behind my neck to pull me forward, and I end up a little bit in your lap, with my knees on either side of your hips and rather precariously balanced on the picnic table bench. Your eyes are very wide, and very dark, and not at all like the void inside the microphone, except that I think they might go on forever in much the same way.

You say, "You're broadcasting right now, aren't you," and you sound delighted.

How else would I be here with you? I say. Except by being the voice of Night Vale Community Radio, reaching out over the sand wastes forever –

I kiss you again to the sound of my own voice wrapping gently around us from the radio on the kitchen counter. You're a really enthusiastic kisser and you have a tongue. Neat.

-- over the sand wastes forever, and right here, right now with you --

“radio is a living art (try to get the words right)” on AO3

And now, a word from our sponsor )

“Okay, a few last words and then I’m out. This has been a blast. I have had loads of fun and learned a lot, this time and on all my earlier forays, and I’m really going to miss it. Even if I find another group, it won’t be the same. I’m glad the records will be kept, and who knows what they’ll inspire? I guess this chapter is closing, but the story will continue, right? We’ll keep writing it.”

She tosses the van’s keys up, catches them, and hangs them from their ring on a hook, one of many set into the wall.

“Good night, Night Vale.

“Good night, Crack Van.

“Good night.”

Today’s proverb: It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, especially since the darkness has a much better command of profanity than you do.
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6th-Dec-2013 11:19 pm Various Shapes of Love, by japhers (G)
Pairing: Old Woman Josie and the Erikas, Intern Dana and the Man in the Tan Jacket, the Wallabys, Cecil/Carlos
Length: four-image gifset
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: on Tumblr
Notes: spoilers for “The Traveler” (ep. 18), “Faceless Old Woman” (ep. 26), and “A Beautiful Dream” (ep. 34)
Why this must be read seen:

This beautiful and adorable piece of fanart (which makes a great companion piece to my previous rec, “On the things you love,” by pearwaldorf) inspired a comment from arbeekeypok:

Wait a second! Will have to reblog the pic again this because a realization just popped. Each of the pictures fit the quota of the four Greek terms of love: Agape, Phillia, Storge and Eros.
  • Agape (Spiritual) is OWJ and the Angels. A spiritual, unconditional and selfless love. And knowing that the Angels may as well be in a religious context, it’s hella obvious [...]

  • Phillia (Friendship)- Dana and the Man in the Tan jacket. It’s your staple friendship-type. The fact that Dana and the Man In the Tan jacket are getting along well [...] is pretty noticeable in this category.

  • Storge (Affection) is pretty much Megan [Wallaby], her family [...] A type of love that is within the family. It’s more or less an natural affection. Like loving a person as if she’s your own daughter.

  • Eros (Intimacy) is obviously Cecil and Carlos. If you know the entire Cecilos subplot by now, it’s pretty much that: A relationship that revolves around passion, intimacy, and the appreciation of beauty. But I can actually see all four types into play with these two.

Don’t mind this. This is just exploding in my head and it may not be accurate, but hi.


Various Shapes of Love on Tumblr
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6th-Dec-2013 10:53 pm On the things you love, by pearwaldorf (sonatine) (G)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos, plus various family relationships and friendships
Length: 1,267 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: on Tumblr; on Pinboard; works on AO3
Warnings: reference to Night Vale Community Radio intern fatalities
Why this must be read:

This fic was inspired by one of the items on the community calendar in episode two, “Glow Cloud”: “Sunday is Dot Day. Remember, red dots on what you love, blue dots on what you don’t. Mixing those up can cause permanent consequences.” The reader gets to poke around various corners of the town — Old Woman Josie’s home, the radio station, the Flynns’, the Carlsbergs’, the forbidden dog park, the lab by Big Rico’s — and see some of the ways that love is felt and expressed in Night Vale. While Cecil and Carlos are sweet, individually and together, I’m particularly fond of the section dealing with Intern Dana:

“And because she knows she is strong, resourceful, and clever, and will get out of this place one day soon, she puts one on herself too.”

“On the things you love” on AO3
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6th-Dec-2013 10:31 pm Perfecting, by thingswithwings (NC-17)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: words
Author on LJ: [ profile] thingswithwings (inactive)
Author Website: on Dreamwidth; stories on AO3
Warnings: D/s, Service Kink, Food Control Kink, Bathing/Washing, Femme Top, Nail Polish, Rope Bondage, Cecil's Fashion Sense, Genderplay, Social Anxiety
Notes: set after “First Date” (ep. 27)
Why this must be read:

This is another of the service-top!Cecil fics that came out in the fall of 2013.* In this sultry, chronologically scrambled story, we watch Carlos trying to reconcile his (and by extension non-Night Vale society’s) preconceptions about sex, power, and gender with the reactions Cecil draws from him.

"No one's ever treated you like the precious jewel that you are?" Cecil asked lightly. Carlos fidgeted, reminding himself that Cecil really wasn't making fun of him when he said stuff like that, and then shrugged.

"Most guys, they want me to be the, ah. The butch one. You know." Carlos was tall, and broad, and brown, and tended toward muscle even in spite of the way he sometimes forgot to eat, or sleep, or . . . move. It'd been a struggle to stay off the football team in high school, and at 6'1" he had always felt like a weird clumsy giant in the lab, even in university. He'd never dated anyone bigger than him, including Cecil.

Certainly no one but Cecil had ever thought he was precious.

Cecil pursed his lips. "Do you like that?" He sounded dubious, and Carlos felt exposed, that Cecil should already be able to intuit this about him.

"Not really," he admitted. "I – you know, it's probably just that I get tired of always having to be the one who, uh, carries someone else to bed, that kind of thing."

"Hm. Maybe I should carry you sometime."

It was Carlos's turn to look dubious. Cecil was so perfectly average in height and build that he would be completely unremarkable at first glance if it weren't for his particular fashion sense and tendency towards bright colors. Carlos glanced down at their linked hands; Cecil's nails were pastel purple that day, to match his checked pants and the light glittery purple eyeshadow he was wearing.

"I'm stronger than I look," Cecil objected, half-laughing. "Come on, try it, I bet I can give you a lion-back ride." Cecil crouched down carefully, in the middle of the sidewalk, gesturing at his back.

"You mean a piggy-back ride," Carlos corrected him, thinking again of his neighbors in Tucson, his neighbors almost everywhere he'd ever lived, who would've balked at two men holding hands in public, much less queers giving each other piggy-back rides in the street.

“Perfecting” on AO3

* For the curious, the third title in the accidental service-top!Cecil trilogy, “Informed Consent,” by sabinelagrande, is linked in the notes to this story.
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6th-Dec-2013 01:23 am Delible Ink, by AwkwardAnnie (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,407 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: works on AO3
Warnings: Magical Tattoos, Fluff, First Time
Why this must be read:

Cecil and Carlos both get a surprise — Cecil didn’t know that Carlos was inked, and Carlos didn’t know what happens to tattoos in Night Vale.

"Oh, Carlos, he's beautiful. You didn't tell me you had tattoos! What do you call him?"

"Um. I don't really call it anything. Cecil, that is dye that was injected into my epidermis."

"He should have a name," says Cecil.

It’s usually Cecil who’s tattooed in fanfics, but alas ...

"Oh, no, no. I can't," says Cecil sadly. "I've always wanted one, but I'm allergic to needles."

Carlos wonders whether this might be a euphemism. "You mean you're acuphobic?"

"No, just allergic," Cecil elaborates offhandedly. "Surgical needles are the worst, of course, but even sewing needles bring me out in a rash. I have to wear latex gloves to fix a button. "

The author has fun playing with the implications of living tattoos (pro: tattoos make really great gifts; con: intimate moments can be a little awkward if you haven’t been introduced to the inhabitant of your boyfriend’s chest) in this sweet story.

“Delible Ink” on AO3
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5th-Dec-2013 11:51 pm Wriggle, by sabinelagrande (NC-17)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: Dreamwidth blog; works on AO3
Warnings: Porn Watching, Sex Toys, Tentacles, Cecil is Human, Carlos is Human, Embarrassment, Blindfolds, Sexual Fantasy, Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot, Dirty Talk, No Tentacles Were Harmed
Why this must be read:

Okay, porn is a perfectly normal thing for Cecil to be watching, even if Carlos didn't expect him to be watching it in the middle of the afternoon; it's not like Carlos doesn't have any porn. This isn't even some kind of Hooded-Figure-fetish, Night-Vale-only porn, which must exist and which Carlos hopes desperately that he never, ever sees.

No, this is porn with which Carlos is familiar, though he's only ever seen small clips, which were quite frankly enough for him. People in rapidly decreasing amounts of clothing are shouting in a language that Carlos doesn't speak, while multi-armed monsters do things that are very impolite, and-

"Carlos!" Cecil yelps, hurriedly stuffing himself back into his pants. "I- you're home early!"

"I had some experiments that had to run overnight, so I decided to leave them," Carlos says, still looking at the screen in fascination.

Cecil follows his line of sight, gulping. "I am so sorry," he says, and he's actually wringing his hands, which is a little extreme even for him. "It's just- it's not serious, it's just a fantasy, I mean- I don't want you to think I think any less of you because of it, Carlos, my wonderful Carlos, because you're exactly, perfectly perfect as it stands, even if you don't have any tentacles-"

"I missed something," Carlos says plainly.

"Let's just forget about it," Cecil says, shutting the laptop.

"Do people here actually have tentacles?" Carlos asks, unable to let it go.

There are a lot of WtNV fanfics where Cecil has tentacles, but this is the only one I’ve run across where he has a thing for tentacles. Fortunately, while Carlos does not have tentacles, he is open to experimentation...

“Wriggle” on AO3
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5th-Dec-2013 07:05 pm The reconciliation of science and religion (or lack thereof), by dee
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,688 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: badfic,net; on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: canon-typical horror imagery, non-human Cecil
Notes: spoilers for “One Year Later”
Why this must be read:

If my last rec brought you down, hopefully this tart and funny tale will cheer you up. Carlos contemplates the nature of Night Vale secrets, reflects on the evolution of his feelings for Cecil, and comes to the rescue when a guest on Cecil’s show turns out to be bad news:

The interview goes pretty well, for the first half. Carlos listens from his lab, because he always does, and Father Jackson babbles deepities in his too-big, too-harsh voice, and it’s all so very tedious that Carlos can hear even Cecil begin to fray.

They’re talking about the inherent purpose of human life, or lack thereof, when things go bad. Father Jackson talks about the Will of God. Cecil mentions something about which god, har har, and, perhaps with so many vengeful deities to dodge, meaning might be better found in the brief and fragile connections made when two hearts or two minds meet within the darkness.

Then Jackson is scoffing, saying something about demons, voice raising into a howl that strains the speakers of Carlos’ radio. Cecil tries to say something soothing, but then Jackson is shrieking about witchcraft and spells and curses sent across the airwaves.

Then there’s a crash, and Cecil says, “What is th—? What are you doing?”

Then he screams, and the radio disintegrates into a thousand writhing black and eyeless worms.

Carlos doesn’t notice. He’s already out the door.

“The reconciliation of science and religion (or lack thereof)” on AO3; podfic versions linked in notes
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5th-Dec-2013 04:44 pm Vile Scorpio, by raven_aorla (R)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos, Cecil/Steve Carlsberg (offscreen assault)
Length: 879 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: works on AO3
Warnings: Rape, hurt/comfort
Notes: “Mostly inspired by that time Cecil read the horoscope” (ep. 6, “The Drawbridge”)
Why this must be read:

This is a nasty (though non-explicit) little story with an elegant twist at the end, inspired by two of the horoscopes Cecil reads in “The Drawbridge”: “Scorpio: Curse you! Curse your family! Curse your children! And your children’s children! Vile, vile Scorpio,” and “Taurus: Today is your annual Crime Day. All Tauruses are exempt from laws today.”

"Is this the first time?"


Only the fear of giving himself tendonitis in a town with horrific healthcare made Carlos keep a normal grip on the steering wheel rather than act like it was Steve's neck he was squeezing. "How often?"

"Every year."

“Vile Scorpio” on AO3
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5th-Dec-2013 02:01 am Fandom Overview: Welcome to Night Vale

Turn on Your Radio and Hide: A Guide to Night Vale

A twice-monthly community update for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.
— the Commonplace Books website

Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (plus occasional guest writers), with a theme song and incidental music by Disparition. It debuted on June 15, 2012, and was downloaded about 150,000 times in its first year; then it caught Tumblr’s attention and that number doubled in one week. Now, it regularly vies with NPR’s This American Life for the number one spot on the iTunes Top Podcasts list.

New installments of WtNV are released on the first and fifteenth of each month. A typical episode involves a central news story that plays out between various recurring features, such as “Traffic,” “Community Calendar,” and “the Children’s Fun Fact Science Corner.” The penultimate segment is always “The Weather,” a song that is lyrically or tonally appropriate for that particular episode. There is also a Twitter feed (@NightValeRadio) and some live performances.

The show is set in Night Vale, a town somewhere in the American Southwest beset by space-time anomalies; eldritch entities, some benevolent, some hostile; and multiple (possibly competing) conspiracies. The powers that be are despotic and arbitrary when they aren’t flat-out incompetent, and are prone to misappropriating funds, or squandering them on obvious boondoggles. Meanwhile, citizens are subjected to constant surveillance, and faced with “re-education,” incarceration, torture, or execution for transgressions. The overall effect is of News from Lake Wobegon as written by H.P. Lovecraft and George Orwell.

Lest this all sound unbearably grim, I hasten to add that the series is extremely funny, thought-provoking, and heartwarming, largely thanks to our host, Cecil, who keeps everyone informed about what’s happening (or what isn’t happening, according to the authorities) ... that is, when he’s not busy mooning over Carlos, the beautiful scientist from out of town. That's right, there’s a canon queer love story involving at least one person of color.

Note: WtNV is very much a live canon. I will do my best to avoid spoilers and unwarranted assumptions in this overview.

The Characters
Heard On the AirNight Vale Community RadioPoliticians, Public Servants, and Law EnforcementTownsfolkEldritch Entities

Recommended Listening

The Fandom

The ’Ships


A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale. )

That's all for now. More to come soon. In the meantime, remember: If you see something, say nothing, and drink to forget.

Good night, Night Vale. Good night...
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3rd-Dec-2013 08:10 pm Without a Shadow of a Doubt, by Maiden_of_the_Moon (R)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos, various
Length: 1,764 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: works on AO3
Warnings: sex pollen (sorta), masturbation, phone sex, voyeurism, orgies
Notes: contains extracts from various episodes
Why this must be read:

How did I get this far into the rec set without a sex pollen story? Especially when there is a canonical sex pollen analogue, the feelings delivery service introduced in episode 29, “Subway”? Cecil mentions “tingling horror,” “as though electrocuted, I stood before him,” “blood feud,” “frustrated origami novice,” “should have left the party hours ago before I could disappoint her,” “overcast Wednesday,” and “trampled by horses” as options, but I’m guessing that anyone who listened to the episode and had any familiarity with slash fiction imagined something more like this:

Shoppers, a Ralph’s spokesperson initially stated, should be aware that the establishment has temporarily “sold out” of Crisco, olive oil, cucumbers, Starburst brand candy, and canned tuna. However, when attending reporters responded to this announcement with little more than glazed eyes and a series of yearning stares—all of which focused primarily on moving lips and flicking tongue—, the spokesperson made a subsequent amendment, adding that you may still see these items for sale on the shelves, you just definitely do not want to buy them, because You Don’t Know Where They’ve Been.

“Without a Shadow of a Doubt” on AO3
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3rd-Dec-2013 01:50 am The Citizens of Night Vale Official Bowling Team, by AugustaByron (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 8,657 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: works on AO3
Notes: spoilers for “One Year Later,” “Dana,” and “Yellow Helicopters” (eps. 25, 30, 32)
Why this must be read:

I wouldn’t normally rec two stories by the same author back to back, but given the events of the most recent episode this seems like an appropriate choice.

Yellow helicopters swarm above Night Vale; Carlos, driven out of his house by the Faceless Old Woman’s artistic endeavours, starts sleeping over; and Cecil decides that this is the perfect time to start bowling with Old Woman Josie again. In fact, they should revive the team, and invite others to join, like Tamika Flynn, Intern Dana’s brother, and ...

“Not him!” Cecil is saying adamantly, angrily. Carlos doesn't know much that makes him get that tone. It's really only--“Steve Carlsberg comes nowhere near this!”

Yep, it's pretty much only Steve Carlsberg.

“He's ex-vague yet menacing government agency,” Old Woman Josie says. “And you know it, Cecil. We need him.”

“Can't we bring him in closer to the end?” Michael asks. He's got a lilting voice, a little musical, sort of like Dana's. “I mean, we all know how Cecil feels.”

“I'm sure we can work something out, son,” Larry Leroy adds.

“No,” Cecil says woodenly. “No, he'll be an asset to the planning stages, Josie is right. Bring him in.”

Carlos winces as he slides the potatoes into the oven in Cecil's bright blue casserole dish—it was white last time he was here—and wonders how seriously Cecil must take bowling, if he's going to let his nemesis onto the team. He also wonders how much planning bowling requires, really.

Isn't it just throwing a heavy ball down a lane to knock over some pins? Why is everyone acting like they're going to war?

AugustaByron not only strikes a fine balance between humor, suspense, and angst, but comes up with a plausible motive for Cecil’s antipathy towards Steve Carlsberg that I hadn’t seen before.

“The Citizens of Night Vale Official Bowling Team” on AO3
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2nd-Dec-2013 04:45 pm you smiled (and then the spell was cast), by AugustaByron (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos, past Cecil/Steve Carlsberg
Length: 4,216 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: works on AO3
Warnings: Kidfic, child abduction, close brush with death
Notes: Spoilers for “The Phone Call,” “Valentine,” “The Traveler,” “The Whispering Forest,” “Eternal Scouts,” “One Year Later” (eps. 16-18, 22-23, 25)
Why this must be read:

Cecil is a divorced dad who shares custody of his son with his ex, Steve Carlsberg, and Carlos, upon learning this, is forced to re-evaluate the guy that he’d dismissed as a lunatic stalker.

Carlos asks, “Why didn't you tell me you had a son?”

Cecil just looks at him, confused. “Why would I?”

Carlos is at a loss. “Well, because people usually talk about their kids,” he says. He's got a few friends with kids, and they barely talk about anything else. Carlos actually gets sick of it.

“Do they?” Cecil asks, sounding amazed. “Why? The Sheriff's Secret Police will know right where to press if they go around talking about it.” He's using the voice from the radio, the voice he has when he says something simple and ridiculous and profound, something that makes Carlos catch his breath and look up at the sky. Like it's a mystery that has been revealed, and it's Cecil's job to let everyone in on the truth.

Carlos can't fathom what Cecil has said, though, that all the parents are quiet about their children because to do anything else is dangerous. He thinks about the radio, all the things Cecil says, the way that he questioned the wisdom of the hooded figures, and the way he refuses to stop acknowledging the existence of the Dog Park.

And Carlos thinks that if he had a son in Night Vale, he would hide him away as well as he could. Or just shut up and spout the party line.

Cecil is not what Carlos thought he was, that much is becoming clearer.

“you smiled (and then the spell was cast)” on AO3
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1st-Dec-2013 11:33 pm Love Letter from a Scientist, by utterlybanjaxed (a.k.a. mccoyquialisms) et al. (G)
Ooh, extra posting days! Since this is apparently the one and only time WtNV will be recced here (unless someone slips some fics in next month), guess I better make hay while the sun shines...

Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 222 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: mccoyquialisms on Tumblr; nimsley on Tumblr and deviantart; arbeekeypok on Tumblr and deviantart; damatris on Tumblr and deviantart
Notes: poetry and fanart
Why this must be read:

Fandom, alas, can be divisive: het shippers versus slashers, competing OTPs, oldschool fans versus newbies and/or reboot fans, and in some sad cases fandom versus creators. This work is the antithesis of that, a marvelous example of fans sharing their love of a canon by riffing on it, and each other’s work. I first encountered “Love Letter from a Scientist” through damatris’s adaptation of some lines from the first stanza of mccoyquialisms’s free verse:

I am not a poet.
I am a scientist.
I can measure the exact frequency
of your voice when you speak my name,
but I cannot explain how it resonates
with such perfect clarity down my spine.

It was with great pleasure that I later found the complete version, as illustrated by nimsley and arbeekeypok, on my Tumblr feed.

Text only version

Full illustrated version by nimsley and arbeekeypok

Abridged version by damatris
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30th-Nov-2013 10:45 pm Bad Habits, by winterhill (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 7,141 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: tentacle-cecil, Sickfic, poor communication, Domesticity, Awkwardness, Public Declarations of Love, tentacle-pox, bloody nose, occasional grossness, molting, self-induced misery, Misunderstandings, Cooking, negotiation, Hurt/Comfort, loud chewing
Notes: spoilers for “Dana” and “A Blinking Light up on the Mountain” (eps. 30, 31)
Why this must be read:

Getting together is one thing. Staying together is another, especially when you’re cohabitating, forced to deal with bad table manners and unfortunate personal hygiene, and catching each other’s illnesses. However, as this sweet fic shows, there are compensations...

Cecil let himself indulge in snoozing practically on top of Carlos, one ear pressed to his chest to hear his heartbeat, tentacles wound around his limbs, snuggling just because he could. When he woke, sunlight streaming in past the blinds and making sharp lines of light across their tangled legs, Carlos was already awake. He gave Cecil a little wink, and then produced his replica communicator from somewhere under the pillows.

“Science Officer Carlos to Enterprise,” said Carlos, as Cecil woke up, and parts of him woke up. “Carlos to Enterprise; come in, Enterprise. It would seem that the tentacle creature I encountered last night has dragged me to his lair…I think he wants to make me his mate.”

“Grrr,” said Cecil, and then he pounced, tentacles and all, Carlos letting out a delighted laugh before the communicator clattered to the floor, and then that was it for talking.

“Bad Habits” on AO3
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30th-Nov-2013 10:06 pm Requisition 128-3C: Intent to Initiate Sexual Intimacy, by dee (NC-17)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 5,350 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website:; on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: “Tentacles, Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot, Fluff, Cecil is Inhuman.” Also, first-time fic, third eye, non-human genitalia
Notes: Set after “First Date” (ep. 27), no spoilers
Why this must be read:

Although the author admits this fic was inspired by some cute fanart on Tumblr, and categorizes it as fluff and PWP, I’d argue that there is more depth to the story than those labels would suggest because of how Carlos reacts at a critical juncture:

Carlos is about to say, Are you aware you have tentacles? It seems like a reasonable question.

Or would have, to the Carlos of one year ago.

It occurs to Carlos, in that moment, there are certain things Cecil has never, ever asked him. Things like, “When did you come to America?” and “Where did you learn to speak English?” Carlos has been asked these questions a lot, over the course of his life, and has a whole plethora of snarky answers prepared to give in response.

He’s never had to give one to Cecil.

Cecil asks Carlos about science, and about coffee, and occasionally whatever weirdness is plaguing them this month. Sometimes they talk about the other things, too—family and school and childhood and so on—but the context is different. It’s a conversation, not a demand. Not even a demand phrased as well-intentioned curiosity, or a self-conscious declaration of progressiveness and “comfort”.


Cecil has tentacles. This is a fact. Carlos really, really wants to have sex. This is also a fact. They can have, Carlos thinks, a big long, awkward conversation about tentacles, during which they will decidedly not be having sex.

Or they can just have sex, tentacles and all.

Carlos choses option B.

“Requisition 128-3C: Intent to Initiate Sexual Intimacy” on AO3 (link to fanart in notes)
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30th-Nov-2013 08:54 pm Emergency Exorcism, by whitedatura
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,564 words
Author on LJ: [ profile] whitedatura
Author Website: on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: “a small exorcism, not a break up fic, grape jelly as a writing implement, Typical Night Vale Weirdness, Night Vale humor”
Notes: spoilers for “One Year Later” (ep. 25) and “A Blinking Light up on the Mountain” (ep. 31)
Why this must be read:

I imagine everyone here has done it at least once: there’s somebody you should talk to, and you mean to, you really do, but you’ve been busy at your job, plus you’re embarrassed about how the last date went, and the next thing you know half a month has passed and you’re certain the relationship is doomed. That’s the situation Carlos finds himself in, with the added complication that in Night Vale, being eaten up with guilt is more than a metaphor.

He owed Cecil an explanation. He knew he did. This wasn't middle school, when suddenly ignoring a person was an acceptable way of initiating a breakup, even if it was for Cecil's benefit.

"Finally," the scrubby bush to the left of the lab's door said as he stepped out.

"Bring him flowers," said the one to the right. "He likes wolfsbane."

"I'm not –" Carlos began, but gave up quickly. He rubbed at the ache in his sternum and started walking.

The pain got worse as he neared Cecil's apartment building, tiny pinpricks of heat in his ribs and a squeezing around his heart, but he kept going.

Somehow he was in front of Cecil's door. He wasn't sure if he'd walked there or been teleported the last block, or if he still needed to knock.

The door swung open. "Carlos?"

"Cecil," he managed to gasp before he blacked out.

“Emergency Exorcism” on AO3
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30th-Nov-2013 08:13 pm What We've Got Here, by Margo_Kim (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,369 words
Author on LJ: [ profile] margo_kim
Author Website: on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: poor communication skills, embarrassment
Notes: spoilers for “First Date” (ep. 27)
Why this must be read:

There are reasons for awkward!Carlos fanon, and the biggest one is Cecil’s account of their first date. In this story, which follows the scientist into his lab after he bids Cecil good night, Carlos would be the first to admit that he is anything but suave. Luckily, he has his Secret Police observer to talk him down.

“You’re being too hard on yourself,” she says. In the background, something wails like the voices from the pit and falls silent. “It’s like Arthur Powers told you on October 25, 2001. You think too much about how much people like you when you should just accept that they all like you.”

“Don’t read my list of compliments,” Carlos says.

“If you didn’t want your local secret police to read every nice thing someone has ever said to you, then why would you write them down?” She sounds honestly baffled. It’s why Carlos just sighs and lets it go.

“So the date went well?” he asks.

“The date went well. Cecil is hugging a pillow on his bed just saying your name over and over again as we speak. He hasn’t even taken off his tunic and furry pants yet, and everyone knows that’s the quickest way to get them wrinkled and matted.”

“About those,” Carlos says. Was I—” He tries to figure out a way to ask if his outfit looked nice without sounding like a teenager. “Is that the standard date wear?”

“No,” the nameless deputy says dryly. “That’s just Cecil.”

“What We’ve Got Here ” on AO3; podfic linked in notes
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30th-Nov-2013 05:48 pm Untitled Smut, by mister13eyond (NC-17)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 3,208 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: “vomit, body horror, eyes and hands and mouths where they don’t belong, language, penetration, graphic sex, and general monster-Cecil far above and beyond the usual depictions of monster-Cecil. But also lots of consent and fluff”
Why this must be read:

“The first time Carlos saw Cecil ‘naked’, he threw up.”

It’s to mister13eyond’s credit that the story credibly transitions from that moment to a successful consummation, once Carlos has had a chance to brush his teeth and gargle. It helps that Cecil, though flagrantly inhuman in his natural form, is anything but a monster.

Cecil leaned back in and kissed him, slow and heavy and hot. Carlos relaxed into the kiss, a soft sound of contentment, and realized he was overthinking things. Relax, relax, just enjoy him, just enjoy himself. Cecil’s hands slid over his body, one tracing his ribs, another skating over his hips. Carlos groaned, kissing back hard, leaning up into the hand petting through his hair as Cecil’s hand pulled him closer by cradling the back of his neck-


Carlos counted in his head. Ribs, hips, hair, neck…

He creaked one eye open.

“Keep them closed, Carlos,” Cecil murmured against his lips. “Don’t look. Just feel.”

Carlos took a breath, squeezed his eyes shut again. “O..kay.”

Cecil kept kissing him. And then Cecil was also kissing his ears, his throat, his collarbone. And Cecil was kissing his stomach. And the small of his back. All at once.

Carlos whimpered a little at the back of his throat and Cecil froze, all of him, all mouths and hands and motions pausing, and there was a small whisper at his ear, Cecil very very softly asking “Do you want me to stop?”

Carlos kept his eyes closed, took a minute to steady himself. In its own way, all the kisses and touches were nice. Just Cecil lavishing attention on his body, right? Nothing scary or weird about a lover trying to kiss and touch as much of him as possible. “No, I’m okay.”

“Untitled Smut” on AO3 and on Tumblr
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30th-Nov-2013 05:02 pm tentacles in fortunate places, by novembersmith (R)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: currently 2 chapters, combined wordcount 8,993
Author on LJ: [ profile] novembersmith
Author Website: on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: fluff, semi-public sex, frottage, handjobs, oral sex, embarrassment, tentacles, non-human genitalia, spermatophores
Notes: spoilers for “First Date” (ep. 27), written before “Cassette” (ep. 33)
Why this must be read:

Yep, it’s another incomplete series, though as usual each chapter can be read on its own. These are very funny, very sexy stories in which a virginal Carlos repeatedly finds himself at a loss when dealing with Cecil. The typical anxieties that any socially awkward, sexually inexperienced person might face when dating are compounded by the peculiarities of life in Night Vale. First, there’s what Carlos finds in Cecil’s trousers in chapter one, “(nothing) could be better”:

Carlos flailed backwards, yelping, and, then, to add insult to injury, had somehow honked the car horn in his shocked retreat. )

Even when things start going right, they still go wrong:

“Oh my god, Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Scientist, I am so sorry.” )

The fun continues in the second chapter, “all the requisite parts,” as Carlos tries to figure out what constitutes appropriate Day After behavior and whose advice he can trust:

Colony #12 of sand spiders had finished reading through their copy of 'String Theory for Dummies,' and were waiting to hear all about his date. They had all agreed Cecil really was the most thoughtful significant other, and thought it was very kind of him not to have bitten off Carlos’s head and laid eggs in his quivering corpse.

“So romantic,” Colony #12 had vibrated encouragingly together, atonal but somehow harmonic. “Bring him meat, bind him, bind him!”

Happily, between Cecil’s patience, Carlos’s doggedness, and their mutual infatuation (“You just look so lovely, all flushed and emanating pheromones”; “Cecil, Carlos reflects, makes him feel like maybe there’s a point to poetry”), their prospects are good.

tentacles in fortunate places on AO3 (link to series page; podfic version of “(nothing) could be better” linked in that chapter’s notes)
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30th-Nov-2013 03:17 pm Third Eye Blind, by mostfacinorous (NC-17)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,052 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: ; works on AO3
Warnings: PWP, abnormal physiology, third eye, second mouth, Oral Sex, face fucking, Dirty Talk, Begging, Consensual skull fucking?
Why this must be read:

This is an unusual — and filthy, wow, seriously, read the warnings — take on the Cecil-has-a-third-eye trope.

The other mouth let out a sound that could only be called a growl, and spoke. “Don’t you dare pull out unless you’re planning to switch holes.” )

“Third Eye Blind” on AO3
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30th-Nov-2013 02:42 pm a love song for schrödinger, by patho (ghostsoldier) (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,220 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: cricketmask on Dreamwidth; pathopharmacology on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: canon-typical violence
Notes: spoilers for “First Date” (ep. 27), possibly contradicted by “Cassette” (ep. 33)
Why this must be read:

Quoth the author, “I like the idea that Carlos is just as weird as Cecil, but in a slightly different way.” In this lushly descriptive story, Carlos visits the Ralph’s and (unexpectedly) the Night Vale Public Library, contemplates his adorable shapeshifting boyfriend over a meal at Big Rico’s, and demonstrates some of the traits that make him so beloved by Night Vale.

All seven feet and however many inches of the angel curve down into Carlos’ space like a flower bending towards the sun. Its eyes are wide and strange; their color is the hot, pale blue of the desert sky at midday. “Please,” the angel says. Beautiful and terrifying, painfully polite. “Can you tell me if I’m real?”

“I…” Carlos blinks, puzzled. “Sorry, what?”

“It’s all these announcements from the City Council,” the angel says. It sounds exasperated. Carlos didn’t even know angels could sound exasperated. “Josie says we shouldn’t pay them any mind, but you know how it is. People keep saying you don’t exist, and after a while you can’t help but wonder if they’re right.”

Carlos considers pointing out that the angel’s ability to even question its own reality is a pretty clear indication that it does, in fact, exist, but this is Night Vale and Night Vale laughs in the face of ontological uncertainty. With his own two eyes Carlos has observed a house that empirically doesn’t exist. He’s never seen a quantum particle, but his computer models and lab readouts reassure him of their presence. Cecil -- lovely and wonderful and strange Cecil -- is comforting and solid in every way…except in Carlos’ peripheral vision, when his edges waver as though the lack of direct observation has left him unsure of what shape he should be.

It means absolutely nothing, to see a thing in Night Vale.

Carlos shifts his basket to his other arm, closes his eyes, and reaches out a hand. When his fingers bump the angel’s chest, his right arm goes numb to the elbow. The angel smells of petrichor and old pennies, and the soft rustle of its feathers reminds Carlos of a breeze whispering through leaves. Heat radiates from it like a banked fire.

Carlos smiles. Opens his eyes and pulls back his hand, surreptitiously tries to shake the feeling back into his now-tingling fingers. He says, “You’re real.”

“a love song for schrödinger” on AO3; podfics linked in notes
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30th-Nov-2013 01:44 pm Common Courtesy by The_Bookkeeper (G)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 1,489 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: works on AO3
Notes: Set between “One Year Later” (ep. 25) and “Cassette” (ep. 33)
Why this must be read:

The author’s summary: “Cecil sneezes. Carlos fails to respond appropriately. Though, in his defense, it's not everyday you catch a glimpse beyond your boyfriend's human form.”

Eldritch!Cecil is a popular trope in Night Vale fanfic. Sometimes he tells Carlos; other times, Carlos finds out by accident. This is a particularly charming example of the second type.

This, Carlos thinks, is what the inscrutable Other looks like when it pouts.

"I, uh . . ." Carlos is stalling, mind racing. Does he know what he is? Cecil watches him with wounded, hopeful eyes, and Carlos dismisses the question as meaningless. Of course Cecil doesn't know. Of course he doesn't not know. The clocks aren't real, but they still keep time.

Carlos clears his throat.

"I'm sorry. I . . . don't know what happened." True enough. Carlos hasn't known what's happening in a long time. It's strangely liberating.

Cecil smiles. The not-quite-visible something retreats. His eyes shift back to human.

"Well, as long as you feel better," he says magnanimously, and kisses Carlos on the cheek . . . which probably shouldn't be possible, given their respective positions. Carlos finds this doesn't bother him as much as it should.

“Common Courtesy” on AO3; podfic linked in notes
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30th-Nov-2013 12:16 pm quite unbelievably, i want someone to be sweet to me, by skazka (R)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,218 words
Author on LJ: [ profile] samgrass
Author Website: on Dreamwidth; harkeling on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: Guro, mildly altered mental states, accidental stimulation, body horror, implications of parasites, new and exciting orifices, bodily fluids
Notes: mild spoiler for “The Phone Call” (ep. 16)
Why this must be read:

It’s an ordinary Night Vale morning: the sun is shining, the invisible clock tower is chiming, Cecil has made coffee, and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ON HIS NECK?!?

Improbable biology is Carlos' forte, he likes it, or at least used to like it before it was everywhere, in the food and beer and pillowcases here in Night Vale, and Cecil -- flushed, disheveled, highly complimentary Cecil -- seems to be liking it too. )

One way or another (or possibly both), this fic will make you squirm.

“quite unbelievably, i want someone to be sweet to me” on AO3
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30th-Nov-2013 11:36 am Mostly void, partially stars, by dee (R)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 4,981 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website:; on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: Profanity, police brutality, third eye, angst
Why this must be read:

Here’s another fic inspired by a Tumblr comment (the original post appears to have disappeared): “i wish the night vale fandom were less overwhelmingly trusting of carlos [...] what if carlos isn’t who he says he is.”

Just after sunset, he gets a text from Carlos: Where are you? Do we have milk?

Cecil smiles as he reads it, feeling warmth that has nothing to do with the setting sun.

Secret journalist business, he replies. And no.

A moment later, he gets a, K. Be careful. Then an emoji of an eggplant.

It’s what they send each other, instead of hearts and I love yous. Because they are, ostensibly, thirty-something adult men and not, in fact, teenagers.

Cecil is living with Carlos and deliriously happy. Then his latest investigation takes a bad turn, a terrible secret about Night Vale and Desert Bluffs is revealed, and he finds himself grappling with betrayal, heartache, and the possibility of forgiveness.

“I love Night Vale,” Carlos says. “I love you. And I hate myself for— for ruining it.”

The stars are always there, Cecil thinks. Even when it looks like they aren’t. Past the clouds, past the light pollution and the smog. So few in comparison to the void but so, so many, when looked at with darkness and with distance.

“You should’ve told me earlier,” he says.

“I know. I was… I was scared. I had myself convinced it didn’t matter. So many secrets in Night Vale, so what’s one more and—“ He stops, and Cecil hears the sound of a fist against the wheel. “And I’m an idiot.”

“Mostly void, partially stars” on AO3; link to podfic in notes
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29th-Nov-2013 08:58 pm Loose Cannon, by bearprincess (NC-17)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 2,389 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: softgrungececil and scibfs on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: Anal Sex, Sex Toys, Fingerfucking, Strap-Ons, Trans Character, Embarrassment, Mountains Being Real; Bottom Cecil
Why this must be read:

This smoking hot story was inspired by a post on Tumblr: “*whispers into the night* someone needs to write a fic where Cecil gets all sexually flustered by Carlos’ badboy behavior like eating toast, believing in mountains, and using pens.”*

Bearprincess chose to use her headcanon!Carlos, who is genderqueer, to fill the prompt, and since he and Cecil had the Coming-Out-as-Transgender conversation in another fic, that aspect is treated with a wonderful matter-of-factness as the scientist shows off his collection of “unauthorized items” in the bedroom.

Carlos mostly hadn't gotten his packers approved because he, for some crazy reason, had never thought of them as contraband. He still isn't sure that he needs forms for them--and he knows the rules front to back, actually--but it's the fun and thrill of it that matters.

“Loose Cannon” on AO3

* This post also inspired a widely reblogged comment, “oKAY WHAT THE SHIT IS NIGHT VALE”
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29th-Nov-2013 04:13 pm Solitude is the Soil in Which Genius is Planted, by Dangersocks (NC-17)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 5 chapters, 21,611 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: Body horror, non-consensual body modification, hurt/comfort, bondage, third eye, clairvoyance, tentacle sex
Notes: set after “One Year Later (ep. 25)
Why this must be read:

After a solo expedition to the Whispering Forest ends badly, Carlos realizes that although he managed to escape, he didn’t get out unscathed.

“Carlos,” says the Forest from the voice recorder. “We love what you’ve done with your hair.”

He moves fast enough to surprise himself, grabbing the device and throwing it across the room with a startled, choking yell. The recorder bounces off of the far wall by the window and lands on a table covered in paperwork.

Carlos exhales, stunned at his reaction. And then he hears his own voice speak and he knows that the recorder still works and will continue to play. He knows he cannot stand to hear the Forest’s voice right now and he propels himself out of his chair to retrieve it.

“You are a really good scientist, Carlos. Hello,” the Forest says. Carlos, in the dim lighting, stumbles over one of the wheely chairs and is grateful for his shoes. He snatches up the recorder and punches it open, silencing it. He’s breathing quickly. His mouth is sandpaper.

Carlos gently puts the recording tool down and finds his hand trembling. He’s not sure if this is from rage or fear. He brings his hands to clasp the openings of his lab coat. He is not a good scientist. He is supposed to be impartial. Analytical. Emotionally removed.

In the kitchen, Carlos pours himself more water from the tap and drinks quickly. He carries his cup back to his laptop. He will take something for sleep and decide in the morning if he wants to follow through with the report.

He is starting to shut down his computer when he sees the screen for the first time. The word document is full of: “I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone…”

This was one of the hardest Night Vale fics for me to read, and one of the most rewarding. Dangersocks does a gut-churningly good job of depicting Carlos’s alienation, terror, and mounting despair as he feels himself succumbing to an irrational (or perhaps all too rational) compulsion. Luckily, while his loneliness is real his sense of isolation proves false, and even when he’s most desperate he can muster a flash of humor — “I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THERMALS AND AIR PARCELS SO HELP ME GOD THE TEMPERATURE OF THE DEW POINT WILL ALWAYS BE SIXTY FAHRENHEIT...”

Sometimes, bravery means holding on until rescue arrives ... and then letting down your guard so you can be helped.

“Solitude is the Soil in Which Genius is Planted” on AO3 (link to first chapter)
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29th-Nov-2013 02:11 pm You Are In My Vision, by Cesare (PG)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos, refs to Carlos/OMC
Length: 1,051 words
Author on LJ: [ profile] almostnever
Author Website: cesare on Dreamwidth; codenamecesare on Tumblr; works on AO3
Warnings: Unsafe sex
Notes: Set sometime after “First Date”
Why this must be read:

This is an introspective, retrospective look at our favorite scientist that stretches from his adolescence to his life in Night Vale, and takes an amusing twist towards the end. I really like this version of Carlos, with his awkwardness, his stubbornness, his dedication to his work and his occasional lapses in judgement.

You received a scholarship to your first choice college and stuck with your books and your graphing calculator til a boy asked you if you wanted to hang out sometime, and then if you wanted to come over and watch a movie, and then if you'd mind if he put on some porn, and then if you wanted to trade handjobs. The experience retroactively clarified a lot of the nebulous conflicts of your adolescence.

The next few months saw every rushed shower of your teenage years paid back, and then some, as you discovered clubs and casual sex and codified your taste in porn. You almost endangered your scholarship (or so it felt at the time, though all that really happened was that you got your first ever C.) You caught two minor STDs despite your near clean-room levels of precaution in the bedroom, because you seemed to have some sort of odd mental block that made you forget that sex outside the bedroom also required protection.

“You Are In My Vision” on AO3 and on Tumblr
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29th-Nov-2013 01:53 pm Vid Rec: WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE - This Is Halloween, by LyProductions5
Vidder: LyProductions5
Music: “This Is Halloween” cover by Panic! At the Disco
Length: 3:26
Vidder on LJ:
Vidder's website:; LyProductions5 on YouTube
Why this must be viewed:

Here’s another way to vid for a podcast: use fanart. In this case, dozens of fanworks expertly shot and edited together to a wonderful cover of a fantastically appropriate tune. This fanvid really captures the feel of Night Vale: jaunty, terrifying, and unexpectedly sweet.

“This Is Halloween” on You Tube
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29th-Nov-2013 01:40 am Vid Rec: Welcome to Night Vale Trailer, by tlabresh
Vidder: tlabresh
Music: “Radioactive,” by Imagine Dragons
Length: 3:18
Vidder on LJ: unknown
Vidder's website: tlabresh on YouTube
Why this must be viewed:

How do you make fanvids for a podcast? One approach is to repurpose footage from other canons. This vidder has cleverly set clips from films (Thor, The 2nd Horseman, Constantine, Hellboy, The Lone Ranger, Dogma), television (Dead Like Me, Supernatural, Carlos,* The IT Crowd, Suits, Monty Python’s Flying Circus), and videogames (Dragon Age: Origins) to a cryptic yet catchy alternative rock song, thereby creating a trailer full of action, intimations of apocalypse, and black comedy.

* Carlos, or Carlos the Jackal, is listed on IMDb as a television miniseries, but it received a limited theatrical release.

Welcome to Night Vale Trailer on YouTube
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29th-Nov-2013 12:48 am Tupperware, by neveralarch (R)
Pairing: Cecil/Carlos
Length: 8,160 words
Author on LJ: [ profile] neveralarch
Author Website: works on AO3; Dreamwidth; Tumblr
Warnings: Mild body horror, swearing, explicit sex, and canon-typical weirdness.
Notes: D/s
Why this must be read:

This is one of a spate of fanfics posted in September/October 2013 featuring Cecil as a service top who decides that Carlos needs looking after. I picked this one to recommend because it seems seasonally appropriate, what with the leftovers and the big birds. Well, not exactly birds...

At some point Carlos promised Cecil that he wouldn't pull any more all-nighters. He agreed that all-nighters were a game for teenaged undergrads with a paper due and not for thirty-something researchers who had eight months left on their latest grant. The science would be there in the morning.

That was before the crane cough hit.

The crane cough wasn't deadly, not directly. You just started coughing, and then sprouting feathers, and then talons, and then you started trying to peck everyone who came near you with your brand-new beak. The fatalities were all pecking deaths.

Gripping as the race to find a cure for the epidemic is, what really grabbed me were the delicate negotiations between Cecil and Carlos, as they figure out how far Cecil can go and how much Carlos can take.

“Tupperware” on AO3
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