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02 February 2009 @ 11:14 am
Fic: I Had No Idea I Had Been Traveling, by rm and kalichan  
Title: I Had No Idea I Had Been Traveling
Author: rm and kalichan
Rating: explicit (sex), mature (violence) (in first installment only)
Length: series, epic, ~177,000 words
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Jack/Ianto (primarily) some Jack/Rose, Jack/Nine, Ianto/OFCs, Ianto/Lisa, appearances from the team, Gwen, and Ten
Genre/Category: romance, angst, backstory, erudite, genderswap, kink (various), sex, relationship, adventure, character study, time-travel, drama
Warnings: Breathplay, BDSM, D/s
Spoilers: Torchwood series two, Doctor Who series four
Summary: It's not how you die; it's how you live, especially when your life is built of stories. And in the end, all lives are.

Why you should read it: Some fanfic is just entertainment, and that's all it needs or wants to be. Who doesn't enjoy being entertained? Much of fanfic falls into that category, and fandom would disappear without it. But every now and then something that wants to be - that needs to be - bigger comes along.

IHNIIHBT may be entertaining - it will make you laugh aloud, often - but it is anything but just entertainment. It never tries to be just one thing - just a romance, just dark, just humourous, just sexy, just angsty, just earth-shattering - but instead reaches to be the biggest and best thing it can be; and better yet, succeeds. Every paragraph reveals something you never knew about the characters - but wanted to. Every installment makes you laugh and cry as the characters struggle to grow with the pace of their lives. Every sex scene, too, leaves you panting not just with the wicked sexiness, but the poignant, powerful implications and emotions that run through it. The quiet moments are beautifully etched, the loud ones thunderously laid down.

We know so little about Jack and Ianto, in truth. Sketches from canon, hints here and there that give us a little to build on. Some writers expand on it a little, daring to add their own interpretations to the characters, but rm and kalichan blow out the limits and construct fully three-dimensional figures, past and future incredibly tied to the present we know from canon - and the present they show us behind the scenes. The pieces of backstory, some slipped in and some entire installments, are a large part of the beauty of this story.

The best part though, for me, at least, is the journey the characters take. The emotional journey, one of maturing to meet what comes. We touch back to their beginnings, their formations, and drive forward to their ends, and both Jack and Ianto grow in incredibly realistic ways, together and apart. For Jack, life is infinite, and for Ianto, life is short, and inside this riddle of a meeting, their relationship blooms, at times awkwardly, and times painfully, but ever forward.

Technically, IHNIIHBT is superb. The dialogue is astounding, the imagery is beautiful, the use of language is breathtaking. But this isn't a story where you'll spend much time anywhere but deep inside it. Read, savour, enjoy. Stories like these are one in a million.

The first two installments were recced individually: A Strange Fashion of Forsaking, and Dear Captain, Last Night I Slept In Mutiny. The series is now complete. 

1. A Strange Fashion of Forsaking | 2. Dear Captain, Last Night I Slept in Mutiny | 3. To Learn This Holding and the Holding Back | 4.The Most Beautiful Girl in the World | 5. I Imagine You Now in That Other City | 6. Many of My Favorite Things Are Broken | 6.5 Up, Down, Strange, Charm, Truth, Beauty: or, A Child's Guide to Modern Physics | 7. In Our Bedroom After the War | 8. And I Cannot Know How Long She Has Dreamed of All of You [Jack/Nine/Rose] | 9. The Spectacular Catastrophe of Your Endless Childhood [Ianto/OFCs, Ianto/Lisa] | 10. There Are Some Men Who Should Have Mountains To Bear Their Names To Time | 11. Harbour

Authors appreciate your comments! Feel free to let them know if you liked their work.
 
 
 
Mellacita: sadmellacita on February 2nd, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
If RTD himself were to ever read this fic, he would abandon ever writing for Torchwood or Doctor Who again. For my part, I am not sure anything can top this interpretation of the characters or the Whoverse at large. Maybe that's hyperbole; right now, I can't say. I am somewhat incoherent after just having finished the final installment.

I should add I didn't even try it at first given the warnings on the first installment. The rec here drove me to give it a go. Thank goodness!

Edited at 2009-02-02 05:22 pm (UTC)
demotudemotu on February 2nd, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
The front door is a little narrow - breathplay is not to everyone's taste. I sincerely hope nobody is stymied by that, however, as there is so much more beyond it. (I personally loved the beginning and don't want to underplay it since it is significant to the rest of the story, but still, no one should not read it because of that.)

I am with you on your hyperbole. If I ever read anything better in this - or any - fandom, I will be very surprised.
Mellacitamellacita on February 2nd, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
I loved the beginning too, more than I ever thought I might. In the care of a talented writer or two, I enjoy stretching my limits. Operative word there being "talented." :|

I am glad this community exists. I can be something of a snob in what I read, and skimming through the reams of (what I consider to be) sub-par stuff on T_W, jxi, etc., gets a bit wearying.
demotudemotu on February 2nd, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Our goal was to provide a smaller list of fic to choose from, if people enjoyed the same things as we do. We've expanded in our membership recently, so hopefully we won't get stale and we'll keep growing.
chiara7 on February 2nd, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Glad you re-recced the whole series. It's far and away the most profound exploration of sexual politics in the fandom (maybe in any fandom). And the writing is an amazing high-wire act. Should be required reading for ANYONE doing slash, let alone writing TW.
demotudemotu on February 2nd, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
I stopped reccing the individual parts once I realized they were going to be part of a series, so I'd been waiting on pins and needles to be able to rec the whole thing.

And yes, exactly, to everything you said. I high-wire act is perfect - I find myself holding my breath the whole way through.
Ciaranandreth47 on February 2nd, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you recced this. I think it's the best Jack/Ianto story out there, bar none. It sings.

I'm putting off reading the final installment, because I don't want it to ever end.
demotudemotu on February 2nd, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
I think I took three hours to read it, not because I actually read that slowly but because I wanted to draw it out.

Don't be afraid of it - the end is everything it should be.
The Cleaverage: jack/iantokel_reiley on February 2nd, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
wow, reading these individually as they were posted, you don't realize how epic it is until you see it all up there together in one post

i am excited to read it, but i don't want it to be over...
*saves for later tonight*
elainasauntelainasaunt on February 2nd, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
My fandom is bigger on the inside. I just finished reading the last installment, and now I'm writing to thank you for writing a great rec. It really captures what I felt was grand about this work. And that in turn makes me feel I'm somehow a part of this part of this fandom. I don't want to get flamed for elitism, or start that war up again, but I think Torchwood House and its reccers and writers are the crème de la crème. Not that I haven't found good fic elsewhere, or that I always love everything you all rec, but ... well, maybe it's just a matter of similar tastes. Anyway, I'm glad you're there.
demotudemotu on February 2nd, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
It's really all about taste - and if we can help people with taste similar to ours find fic they'll enjoy, we've fulfilled our purpose. I'm glad you've enjoyed the recs, even if I don't think an epic rec could capture everything I loved about this story.
doctor_addicted on February 2nd, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
You're a star!
For some reason, I had assumed that this series ended with "Many of my favourite things are broken" so I stopped checking for more. What a great surprise this is now to see there are 6 more (certainly fantastic) instalments to consume *happy dance*
Thanks for posting this rec and thus making my week :)
demotudemotu on February 2nd, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
Well that wold have been awful!

*wishes she had six more installments to read*

Glad I could help. :)
fide_et_spe: starJackfide_et_spe on February 3rd, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)
I just wanted to add to the comments about how brilliant this series is. I actually don't find them all comfortable but not for the same reasons as others, the one that bothered me the most in fact is number 4, I still feel slightly disturbed by Jack's attitude in that one. However, God, one of the things about him in canon is a slight bullying, almost Victorian military officer attitude towards the others at times, and I think most fans try to ignore it, or not think about the power games that Jack indulges in. So I found the way they explored this side of him very interesting, if disturbing at times.

The last installment is just perfect.

Also I love this community. I have found such great reads on here. I may not like every single thing, but surely that isn't important, I have found so many great things on here, and have read some that I wouldn't normally.
neifile7neifile7 on February 6th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Please delete this if it's inappropriate here.

I've written an extended meta/review on this story that might interest some of your readers:

http://neifile7.livejournal.com/1733.html#cutid1

I found this story via Torchwood House's rec while it was a WIP. Like mellacita, I might not have given it a shot without your shout-out. This is definitely my go-to site for all things TW; thanks for all the effort you put into it.
demotudemotu on February 6th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Looks fine to me! I'm assuming you pointed the writers to it?
neifile7neifile7 on February 6th, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
Indeed I did! They commented on it before final edit.
demotudemotu on February 6th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I see that you did, never mind. It's a-okay with me, then.
The Talking Malibu Stacey Doll: TW: sexy!Iantospecialj67 on June 19th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
I'd never really read much TW fic before reading this--most of what I found wasn't all that good or memorable and it just didn't interest me. Then, for whatever reason, I began reading this a few weeks back and fell deeply in love with for all the reasons elucidated above and more. I think what sealed my permanent adoration were the last two chapters. Having Ianto go on that journey was so fascinating to read, having his and Jack's story together have that kind of epic sweep is something I hadn't really thought about before reading this, but now it's definitely on my mind and endlessly fun to ruminate on. And that chapter 10 started with Ianto getting pissed that it all began at 2 PM at a Tesco--something so mundane and utterly perfect. Love it!

And rm told me about this comm when I was in the middle of the series, so now I have all this wonderful new-to-me fic to read. Woo!