wendelah1: (all the leaves are brown and the sky is)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] xf_book_club
A few years back, I remember telling a friend that I'd been disappointed in most of the Mulder-and-Scully-go-undercover fics. She suggested I give "Kinesthesia" a try. She was right. This is a fun read. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] discordantwords for the nomination.

Rating - NC-17 for all the stuff that makes mothers worry. Kids please read something else!
Classification/Keywords - MSR, Casefile, M/S Undercover
Disclaimers - Mulder and Scully don't belong to me. I just wanted to take away the business suits and feed them junk food. The rest of the characters in the story are mine.
Spoilers/Timeline: Early season six. Spoils FTF just a little.
Summary: As members of a domestic terrorism task force, Mulder and Scully investigate a series of bombings linked to a traveling carnival show.


You can read it in split into 12 chapters on her old site, waybacked.
Kinesthesia by Amy

If you prefer plain text, it's also at Gossamer in two parts. Just scroll to the fic: Amy's Author Page.

Because this is long-ish, feel free to comment on the fic at any point along the way. No need to wait for the end. This is a fast-paced story, if that makes it less daunting.

The nomination post welcomes your suggestions for next time.

Date: 2015-09-06 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] write-out.livejournal.com
I remember this one! I'm definitely up for a reread. I haven't read it in years, so it will be interesting to see how it has aged for me.

Date: 2015-09-07 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firstofoct.livejournal.com
AH! Thank you for the rec! I only recently got into TXF and am inhaling the fanfic like no other! My taste in fic is all over the place since I've just started reading, but I just wanted to thank you for this comm, it's been a wonderful resource! I'm so glad to see that there are still some people on LJ. It's so much better at creating a community and fostering discussion than Tumblr IMO.

Date: 2015-09-09 07:04 pm (UTC)
dictatorcari: (srs bznz)
From: [personal profile] dictatorcari
I like this one! I have a soft spot for undercover casefiles.

- SPOILERS BELOW -

Maybe I'm just slow, but did they really explain how the mailbox bombings related to the final one? I mean, seems like Mandy didn't get anything out of those early ones, unless maybe they were practice? And the whole mystical tantra thing seemed like it was going to be something, but I guess not. Anyway, on the whole, I liked it!

Date: 2015-09-11 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ledez-dreams.livejournal.com
I commented before but deleted it because I forgot to warn that I've read the whole story and so there are spoilers up to the end!

Likes:
Undercover is always fun, especially when done well and believable.
The characters are very well fleshed out. She did a really good job making all of the people well rounded and believable. I liked the way she slowly weaved all of the characters relationships with each other and really did make the carnival a family for these people. I was happy Scully went to say goodbye to them all at the end, I would have too.
Related to the first point, the dialogue and the way she used it to give a voice to all the characters was excellent. I thought each character had their own way of speaking that made them unique.
She clearly knew a lot about the rides and the life at the carnival. Loved the descriptions.

Dislikes/Criticisms:
I didn't love the orgy scene with Scully, Tim and the rest of the crew. Maybe I'm just a prude, haha. Or maybe that all it accomplished was to ensure Scully was drunk/high enough to confess her jealousy to Mulder. I think I disliked that scene more, which is more related to me not wanting Scully to show weakness (she is my super hero!). It did work with the characters though and rounded them more, and as I got more into the story, it didn't bother me as much.

The romance was fun, but I think it would have worked better as a UST. It was more fun watching Scully watch Mulder dismantle the thunderbolt in a tool belt with no shirt :) before he was concussed of course! And I liked the case discussion and banter when she cleaned his cut in the bathroom before it led to sex. I think Amy could have kept all those teasing moments at that and it would have worked a bit better. But that's nitpicking, and just my own preference.

With all the possibilities fleshed out, I was a tad disappointed Mandy was the bomber settling an old grudge. That seemed like a LOT of work for her to immerse herself entirely into that world for years, work there, have sex with these people, marry one of them just to exact revenge. SERIOUSLY, that is one hell of a grudge.
In any case though, it worked, was believable, I think I was hoping for a bigger conspiracy, even a more "x file" paranormal explanation. Like dictatorcari pointed out, the mystical tantra thing seemed like it was going to go somewhere interesting, but was just a red herring. And ya I'm not 100% sure the other bombings were really explained, unless I missed it also. I was glad everyone was okay in the end, that's how much she made me care about her characters.

All in all, really fun read. Enjoyed it a lot.

Date: 2015-09-17 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
Yay, I love this story. I don't even object to its length, although I won't vow not to skip bits. "Amy" went by another name in the olden days, as I recall. I'll try to get back before this conversation disappears. I truly believe that "undercover" has been underused in X-fic. It's been used, all right, but seldom by really good writers. The device adds tension to the sexual tension that already exists. Which is good.

Date: 2015-09-18 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
At the end of five. Jolly. Moving right along. A bit sickening with all the druggy carny sex, but it's all good because fic never really had enough grunge. God, I so miss the UST.

Date: 2015-09-23 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
This is really a good read, and I was happy to do it again. Upon reflection, I realize that there were a couple of loose ends. Plot is not something I can always analyze well. Maybe it's related to no sense of direction.

The UST was great, and I didn't mind the sex as it was fast and furious and thankfully interrupted. But I do usually think that less is more, and never much enjoy the "conversation" that unexpected sex always requires. Amy really did a good job of it, considering my prejudice. But I can't help but wonder if there might have been an opportunity to enhance that "Absolutely" moment at the end, when Scully invites Mulder into the apartment. There's something about a charged moment implying everything that beats out a nice agreement on having a fun affair.

Undercover is fabulous, and like crossover hard to do well. This is quite an achievement. Mulder in a wife-beater taking down the Big Top. Yum. W, you'll hate me, but I am once more reminded of "Never," in which Scully poses as a novice hairdresser to make contact with Mulder the Builder. That story really does have an unresolved plot, but the situation is so tasty...

Nice experience. Thanks.

Date: 2015-10-02 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fallonrose.livejournal.com
I'm just starting to read this...I'll come back when I'm done.

***back...I read it...and I was a little offed by that group scene where *something* almost happened but I'm glad I got to the end because it was amazing and sexy and just...wow!
Edited Date: 2015-10-02 09:26 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-05 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordantwords.livejournal.com
Ooh! I've been so busy with work lately that I've almost entirely stopped checking in at my usual online haunts, but I'm so glad I saw this (even if I am really late!)

I'm going to reread and come back with some comments.

Date: 2015-10-05 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordantwords.livejournal.com
I think I was! I remember reading this one a long time ago and really enjoying it (even with the weird carny sex that some of the above commenters have referenced.) I love casefiles and always tend to enjoy the whole Working Undercover Makes Them Realize Their True Feelings trope. Looking forward to revisiting this.
Edited Date: 2015-10-05 06:23 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-05 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordantwords.livejournal.com
What I like about this story is how completely immersive it is, right from the start. It can be a little difficult at first to keep track of the various carny folk, but to me that only helps with the overall feeling of being dropped into a completely different world. I can't quite articulate what it is about the writing style that makes me feel like a participant in the story rather than an observer, but I can't help but feel like I'm experiencing all of the dirt, the sweat, the greasy food and the bad smells right along with the characters

I have a tendency to skim sex scenes in fic. I'm mostly here for plot. But this one in particular has a certain gritty immediacy to it; Mulder and Scully aren't acting the way they normally would because they are, in part, playing roles, and the people around them do act this way. And the longer it goes on, the easier it is to just go with it.

That said, the carny orgy is really uncomfortable to read. Likely because Scully isn't completely in control of her faculties.

I didn't like Scully coming upon Mulder talking to Gwen at juuuust the right moment to make her jealous. That entire set up felt really contrived. But the rest of the fic is so damn fun that I can forgive it.

Random observations:
I now have a craving for roasted corn.
Mulder/Duke has a cartoon alien tattoo. Of course he does.

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