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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.
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.