wendelah1: (once innocent as the whitest silk)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] xf_book_club
I reread this last month when I noticed [livejournal.com profile] aloysiavirgata had been archiving her fanfic at AO3. I liked it a lot. "This Her Fever" is a connected series of fill-ins set during Gethesemane/Redux, which I enjoyed best for the sympathetic portrayals of the secondary characters: Bill Scully Jr., Maggie Scully and Father McCue.

I think this fic is both noromo and shipper friendly. Members who prefer their fanfic minus the sexy bits can read it as long as they skip past chapter 17 and not lose anything essential since the plot remains faithful to canon. Other readers can now skip right to chapter 17...

Rated R | 26,126 words | Archived 09-07-06
Spoilers: Detour (and Gethsemane and Redux, adds Wendelah)
Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance.
Summary: It is, she thinks, a fitting coda to her life that Mulder and Father McCue should cross paths in this room, both trying to offer her salvation.

Read This Her Fever at AO3 or as a text file at Gossamer.

It seems appropriate to post this Scully-centric fanfic rec on Dana Scully's 51st birthday.

Date: 2015-02-24 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melissaisdown.livejournal.com
Thank you for posting this. I read this a while ago but it was enjoyable to reread. Cancerfic, when it is well-written just floors me. And besides, Aloysia is great.

Date: 2015-02-25 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bachlava.livejournal.com
Checking in briefly during a busy week to thank you for posting this. I LOVE "This Her Fever" and can't wait to hop back in to discuss it properly this weekend.

Date: 2015-03-01 05:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
You had me at "sympathetic portrayal of secondary characters", yay!

I am halfway through and will come back and comment properly when I'm finished, but so far I am enjoying this a lot. I really like the depth of ideas and the seriousness (is this the word I mean? Respect, maybe) with which the "less important" characters are treated. Fanfic writers (and 1013 writers as well) often minimize the involvement of other characters to keep plot moving, but I like reading about them.

Date: 2015-03-02 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
Okay, finished and really enjoyed.

I'd actually suggest that chapter 17 is important to the story, and anyone who wants to skip it should at least read the last few paragraphs of that chapter, because it's not quite what it seems. And as an aside, contains what is one of my least favorite writing tropes actually done well - I was surprised and found it funny.

I was also surprised by Father McCue's back story, as well as surprised about how much I enjoyed reading about this very minor character. I also loved Maggie's point of view on Melissa's death and her thoughts about her two daughters. I think I have told the book club before my many feelings about no-one (visibly in the show) grieving for Melissa.

I've heard criticism before that Aloysia's writing is too descriptive for some people - there are times in the story where I stopped and "noticed" the writing which I imagine could break up the flow of the story if you're not completely digging it. But I enjoy pretty writing so it doesn't seem like a concern for me. And I liked reading about these characters so much, the little details that ring true for me.

Date: 2015-03-03 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
You don't think what happens in chapter seventeen changes the feeling of chapter eighteen/the end of the story? I think there's a bittersweet feeling to it that wouldn't be there if chapter seventeen was played straight.

I thought the author's note at the end stated that she felt it was wrong for the story (I didn't read any other notes, if there were any). I'd agree with that.

Ah, thinking critically about fic is not my strong suit: the only thing I can think of to comment on the structure is that it is using background characters to illustrate the stories of the main characters. Would be interested to read everyone's thoughts.

Date: 2015-03-09 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bachlava.livejournal.com
I really loved Fr. McCue's back story as well. The canon character is such an example, IMO, of "no small roles" -- he doesn't show up often or have many lines, but it's clear that he has a long, deep connection with the family, especially Margaret. The history that Aloysia envisions between them strikes me as really plausible for their generation's experience of Cold War Catholic America. (Yes, there are many women in my family of whom canon!Maggie reminds me, and Aloysia's version strikes me as very canon-compatible).

"I believe, based on my PET scan results, that it would be best if I were in a state of grace."
I don't know if any fan writer has ever come up with a line I find truer to Scully during the cancer arc. If one sentence could ever encapsulate a character...

Date: 2015-03-09 10:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
That state of grace line is a great one. I can hear it in her voice. On a lighter note, I also liked:

"What do you think about laryngitis?" Mulder asks.

"I'm generally opposed."

Which reminded me a little in rhythm of: "How do you like your coffee?" "Unadulterated."

Date: 2015-03-12 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bachlava.livejournal.com
Mulder's conviction that Scully's miracle cure was no miracle, that there would be a price to pay down the line, rang absolutely true to me. I feel like we saw that kind of thinking from him frequently in S2-5, but especially in the cancer arc. He really feels responsible for what's happening to her, and the loss of Samantha (and, for that matter, Scully's abduction in the first place) made him very aware, especially as he learned more, of just how nasty this game is.

I will say that one of the few things I don't really enjoy about this fic is the trope of Mulder trying to get Scully reassigned for her own good and without consulting her. Whatever canon!Mulder's flaws are, he consistently respects Scully's right to make her own choices and decide what risks she's willing to accept. We do sometimes see him withholding painful information in an attempt to spare her pain, but the closest he ever comes to this kind of thing in canon is suggesting to Scully, at the end of Fight the Future, that for her own sake she should go into medical practice. When she tells him that she's made her decision, and that it's to accept the risks of remaining with The X-Files, he accepts that.
Edited Date: 2015-03-12 11:31 pm (UTC)

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