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This page last viewed: 2017-07-23 and has been viewed 1132 times
RATING: G unless someone thinks it should be PG...
SUMMARY: Face has a secret hobby.
WARNINGS: There is no slash contained in this story but there
is the definition of slash so if anyone thinks that because of that the story
should be rated PG please let me know.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. No money. Yada yada yada.
FEEDBACK: I love it, I love it, I love it...I want more of it!
It had been a long, tiring trip, but it was finally over,
and the Team was returning to
B.A.'s fingers gripped the arms of the chair farthest from any kind of window at all, and stared straight ahead.
The silence of the plane was suddenly shattered as Face cursed, which he almost never did, except when under extreme duress, and the others in the plane opened their eyes, sat up, and/or looked over at him. "
The others suddenly envisioned Kermit The Frog grabbing a gun and blowing someone away, and they all glanced at one another, then back at Face.
"Um . . . Face." Frankie cleared his throat. "You okay over there?"
"Uh . . ." Face's aspect turned scarlet, and he all but punched one of the keys on his computer. "Yeah. Sorry about that. You can go back to whatever it was you were doing. I didn't mean to say that out loud. I got carried away."
"So we noticed."
"Yeah." Murdock frowned. "And for your information, Kermit the Frog would never kill anyone . . ."
Face looked blankly at Murdock. "What do you mean Kermit the Frog would never kill anyone? I know that. What are you talking about?"
"Ya' just said that Kermit the Frog would grab a gun and blow everyone away." B.A. scowled, and Face looked at him and shook his head.
"No. No. No. Not Kermit the Frog. Kermit Griffon. He's a cop. Used to be a mercenary." Face frowned at the laptop. "And I really didn't mean to say that out loud. Sorry. You really *can* all just go back to what you were doing." He cleared his throat, and
"Face . . ."
"Fine." Face grumbled, and stared at the laptop, rather than at anyone else in the plane. "I was just reading this 'Kung Fu – The Legend Continues' story that had really good potential, and then they had the unthinkable happen and it completely ruined the story. There, are you happy now?"
"'Kung Fu - the Legend Continues'? Wasn't that a T.V. show or somethin'?" B.A. glared at Face, rather glad to get his mind off the fact they were in the air.
"Yes, it is." Face answered defensively, and the others looked at one another even as they were determined, whether he wanted them to or not, to discover yet another facet of their friend.
"You're reading a story about it?" Frankie asked, confused, and then his face cleared. "Oh my . . . Face! You're reading FANFIC!?" He couldn't believe his ears, and Face's blush deepened.
"What about it?" He asked defensively, and the others looked confused.
"What's Fanfic?" Murdock asked, instantly intrigued, and Frankie grinned.
"Stories using the characters from a T.V. show, book, movie, or a band, written by people who like and know the aforementioned show, book, movie, or band." Frankie said, and Face grimaced at his laptop.
"At least, they *supposedly* like, and *know*, them. Sometimes people're just experimenting with different ways to take the various characters, and I don't have a problem with that, but when they completely change the character's *well-established* actions, well, that's something that I personally can't stand." He scowled at the screen. "For instance, this one person had Pop . . . er . . ." Face cleared his throat. "I mean, Kwai Chang Caine, *carrying* a gun and then actually *shooting* someone with it!
"Kwai Chang Caine?"
"Well, the same characters at any rate." Face
sighed. "They've revamped the show and Caine has a son he'd named Peter.
They had a temple, but it was destroyed, and they each thought the other had
died, leaving Peter an orphan. Well, Peter grew up, and became a cop. Caine had
wandered the Earth looking for his son's essence, and to make a long story
short, they found each other. I liked the premise." He said, still
obviously on the defensive, and the others could understand why he'd like the
premise of such a show. As an orphan himself, Face must certainly have liked
the idea of family finding each other, and staying alive long enough to get to
know one another.
Murdock got up, went to the refrigerator, grabbed a soda, and cracked it open. He looked at Face and Frankie curiously. "So, they use characters already established by paid people. Isn't that called Copyright Infringement, or something like that? Which makes it illegal?"
Frankie shrugged. "Well, yeah, but its kind of a grey area. As long as the author puts a disclaimer on the story that says they know these aren't their characters, and they're not making any money from it, most of the time, the original creators leave them alone."
Face grinned. "Besides, if they went after every person who writes Fanfiction, they'd go broke . . . there's millions of us . . . them . . ." He blinked. "I mean, them, out there in the world."
"Thought you said it was Fanfic." B.A. frowned, intrigued, despite himself.
"It is." Face nodded. "It's short for Fanfiction. Otherwise known as 'Fiction written by Fans'."
"How'd *you* find out about Fanfic?" Frankie looked over at Face. "I mean, I'm from Hollyweird, and it's almost natural for me to know and read about it, considering the Special Effects conventions I have to attend, but you really don't strike me as a Fanfic kind of guy."
"I got into it in one of my classes at college in my Freshman year." Face shrugged casually. "A Professor gave us examples of Sub-cultures we had to investigate, and Fanfiction was one of them. I chose that one, because it sounded easy." He once more looked everywhere but at the others in the plane. "And after I found out what it was, if you have to know, I got hooked on it." He smiled ruefully. "Hooked on it to the point where I actually turned my own hand to it, and got an 'A+' on my paper, as I included a story that I had written with the official paper."
"I asked that too." Face obviously warmed to his subject. "And if you go by the definition in the American Heritage Dictionary, a culture is the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all the other products of human work and thought, right? So, if that's true, then anything with a language and a social structure as well as customs that are derived from a Culture, make it a Subculture."
"Are you saying that this . . . Fanfiction has its own language?" Murdock asked as he sipped his soda and leaned forward.
"Oh yeah." Frankie nodded enthusiastically. "And bro-THER does it have its own language, and man, you better be up on it, or you totally end up reading some stuff you'd *never* read if you knew what it was!"
"Like what?" B.A. demanded, and Frankie and Face looked at each other and respectively chuckled and grimaced.
"Well, the most obvious is 'Slash'." Frankie took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and broached the most controversial subject.
"I've heard of that." Murdock nodded. "That's what they call those ultra-gory horror films . . ."
"Uh . . ." Face cleared his throat. "That's not quite it. That's a 'Slash-ER' film. Slash in Fanfic refers to any encounter of a sexual nature of the same gender between members of a show, movie, book, or band."
"Yeah. The word comes from the sign used to separate the characters, and show who they're putting together. Say a person who writes 'Slash', also called a 'Slasher' by the way, wanted to write about Starsky and Hutch having a sexual relationship . . ."
"They DO that!?" B.A. demanded, his eyes wide, his tone disgusted, and the other two nodded.
"Yes, and it would be written, Starsky 'Slash' Hutch." Face ducked as
"Why in the Wide World of Sports would people do THAT!?"
"Because a lot of people like to read it." Frankie answered mildly, and Face shuddered.
"*Quite* a lot of people actually." He shook his head. "But that's the fantastic thing about Fanfic. There's something out there for everyone." He quickly moved onto his next point. "However, if you wanted to read a story that has no sex at all and no swear words, and so on and so forth, that's called 'Gen', or General fiction, and if someone wanted to read a story that has sex between opposite genders, then they'd look for 'Het', or Heterosexual Fiction."
Frankie nodded, a huge grin on his face as he was able to share a hobby he enjoyed, and was glad that someone in the Macho world of the A-Team shared with him. "But then you can get even more detailed. You know all the movie ratings? Well, writers use those to tell what kind of category their story fits into. It depends on what country a person is writing from, of course but since we're from the
"And everyone uses these ratings?" Murdock asked curiously.
"They should, depending on the audience they've targeted." Face answered seriously. "Which is where the next point comes in. Not everyone in any given Fandom – that's what the show, movie, or band grouping is called – writes Fanfic. There are some that just read it, and some of them, even the people who do write, want to help the writers make their stories better by pointing out plot gaffes, bad grammar, and whatnot, but usually only if they've been asked. It really isn't polite to correct someone's story if you haven't been asked. Anyway, they're called 'Betas' . . ."
"But, why do people even write Fanfic? The shows are already there. Isn't it just easier to watch them?" Murdock puzzled.
"Boy, there's a question. Why does a person write Fanfic." Frankie grinned. "Man, there's a different reason for each person who does it."
"Frankie's right, the reasons really are varied, and it
*definitely* would be easier to watch the shows – *if* they weren't cancelled,
*if* they were playing in the area of the writer, *or* you could actually
*find* the show to begin with. For instance . . ." Face smiled. "I
found a British show I've never seen, called, 'The Professionals', that I'd be
highly interested in seeing. However, short of going to
"Like in 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.' . . ."
"Uh . . . right . . . exactly." Frankie nodded, just as surprised as Face. "And the writers of Fanfic, which is usually women by the way, though more and more men are getting into it all the time, also put the characters in different situations to enhance the 'Buddy' aspect of the show. To show that they are capable of even deeper emotions than the show portrayed or portrays. In fact, some writers write because they've gone through a horrible experience, and they put the character through that same experience to try and make some kind of sense out of it, or to give the character the comfort they never got." Frankie sighed, and Face nodded.
"It's a way of coping, escaping, and/or just fantasizing. For instance, a *lot* of people invent their own characters to put in the stories, ergo into the shows, because they want to be someone special with special abilities they don't, or might not, have in 'RL', or Real Life as that's short for, and that they think a favorite character would like so they can end up with that character."
"Wha' do you mean, 'end up with that character'?" B.A. asked.
"Well, the Fandom World calls such characters, depending on the writers' usual gender, Mary Sues or Marty Sams. They're usually *very* good-looking, *very* smart, *very* talented, and/or all of the above." Frankie pursed his lips and thought for a moment. "Okay, here's an example: say a person has a very strong liking for the character MacGyver. Now, he can fix anything with a butter knife and
duct tape, right?" The others nodded, and Frankie continued. "Well, the Mary Sue or Marty Sam can Out-MacGyver MacGyver, look good while doing it, *and* at the same time make MacGyver fall madly, passionately in love with them." He sighed. "The problem with characters like that, is that they're generally looked down on by a lot of the other writers and readers in Fanfic." He grinned. "But, I can almost guarantee you that at one time, almost *every* fan of *any* show, book, movie, or band, has, at one time or another, written a character like that . . . even if they won't admit it. In fact, that's how the general majority of people usually start out writing Fanfic." He shrugged. "But, then, aside from all of that, people write Fanfic simply because they just plain like to write. The great thing about it is that you'll find one or more of those reasons in every person who writes Fanfic . . . and other reasons I haven't even thought of yet."
"But they don't get paid for it."
"Makin' anythin' off other peoples' work is *still* illegal, and that makes it not right." B.A. scowled, sure that he'd caught Face and Frankie in a way they couldn't explain themselves out of, but he should have known better.
"The only thing a Fanfic writer generally gets 'paid' with, B.A., is with comments and feedback from other people who do write, who will write, or by those who read. That's one of the great things about the internet." Face patted his laptop almost affectionately. "People who write or read Fanfic from around the world, and who never would have been able to meet before, except for conventions and what-not, can get on Bulletin Boards, lists, groups, and other things where they share either the same show interests, the same style interests, or even the same character pairings, and/or Cross-overs . . ."
"Cross-overs?" The more Murdock heard about Fanfic, the more confused he became, but also, the more interested he was.
"A Cross-over is when two or more shows are put in the same story, and characters who'd never be able to 'meet' on television interact with the other. Like this one . . ." Face opened a second window on his laptop, and a page of writing opened. "See?" He pointed at the title. "'Knight Rider' and 'Magnum P.I.'. This author 'Crossed' Knight Rider with Magnum . . . and came up with a good story that takes place in Vietnam, way before the two shows actually happened."
"Oh, I get it."
"Right, but even if they weren't, they could still have been put together there." Frankie's grin widened, and B.A.'s frown deepened, if such a thing were possible.
"That's not possible. Not if they weren't there. How can ya' do something or have somethin' that didn't and doesn't exist?"
"You mean, like having A.J. and Rick Simon from 'Simon
and Simon' as brothers in the Civil War? One from the North and one from the
South?" Face asked, and B.A. nodded.
"Yeah. Not possible."
"Sure it is." Frankie laughed. "But, that's when you get into a thing called an Alternate Universe."
"And that would be . . ." Murdock questioned.
"When you have characters from an established show being in different places in time or even completely different . . . well . . . different universes. Like maybe in the Eighteenth Century, Middle Earth, Deep Space, or one they've completely made up themselves." Face looked over at Murdock, and his blue eyes twinkled. "Kind of like the trips Murdock's mind takes him on occasionally."
"Okay. I've got it . . . I think."
"Which they do." Frankie nodded.
"How would they go about it?"
"All kinds of ways, actually." Face indicated his
laptop. "You have to write the story first of course, a plot summary, or a
story you've started, which by the way, is called a Work In Progress, and then
make a webpage to put it on. You could also research that particular Fandom and
find others who'll put it up on a webpage for you, or you can join a list or
group. But . . ." Face frowned. "And this is a *very* important rule,
*know* *your* *audience*, and *who* you want to target with your writings. If
someone writes a 'Slash' story, they definitely *wouldn't* offer it to people
who write *only* Gen stuff, no matter *what* the rating or warning on it would
be . . ."
"Warning? People have to warn people they're writing Fanfic?" Murdock was confused once more. "I thought you said if they put a disclaimer on it, it'd be accepted?"
"More or less accepted at any rate. But no, that's not what I mean. They don't have to warn people they're writing Fanfic, but it's an important part of Nettiquette to warn people in case there's something in the story that might turn them completely off to said story."
"Oh man, the list is absolutely endless." Frankie rolled his eyes. "Because almost no two people feel the same way about anything. While some might think that whipping someone isn't a big deal, someone else may totally get 'squicked' as they say on the 'Net, which means it has what may be a serious disgust factor for some people. But, by the same token, something that turns one person off, but turns someone else on, is no less valid a writing tool than anything else, just because someone doesn't like something another person does." He thought a moment. "Perfect example right here. I obviously have no problem with slash stories, *if* they're well written and have a decent plot, but going by his reaction, Face doesn't like them at all. So, you'd have to warn first, if the story was slash. Then, if it had a rape scene in it, there'd have to be a warning that was there too, because if someone didn't know that, they'd get very upset to find it there. Graphic violence, same thing. And if you drop the 'F' bomb anywhere in the story, same thing. Just warn people that such things are in there, and most people, if they're paying *any* kind of attention at *all* to the warnings, won't have a problem with the story."
"What happens if someone does have a problem with the contents of the story?" Murdock asked, his brown eyes thoughtful, and Face grimaced.
"They usually do one of two things." He indicated the laptop. "They can hit the 'delete' or 'backspace' keys, like I did for that Kung Fu story, or they can get a little . . . nasty . . . in a comment, and rather than just commenting on whether or not they liked the story, they put down the writer, their writing, question their parentage, and/or attack their reason for existing on the very face of the planet." Face sighed, and Frankie looked at him sympathetically.
"I hate that when that happens." He said, and shook his head. "When that happens, it's called a 'Flame', and they can be real dangerous to a writer. Especially one who's just starting out."
"Because sometimes Flames can make a writer stop writing, or make them question their own ability to write, no matter how long they've been doing it. Even if fifty people say they write well and they love a particular story, one 'Flame' can off-set those fifty good comments. A 'Flamer' is also generally *not* accepted in the Fanfic World, and can, and usually *will* be removed from the list, group, or whatever they're on, if they are on one, so if they *do* Flame a writer, they act like cowards and usually Flame anonymously." He snorted derisively, and left the others with *no* illusions how he felt about that.
"The only thing in Fanfic that's a complete waste of time is either writing a 'Flame', reading one, or responding to one." Face said, and he and Frankie once more looked at one another, and there was an awkward moment of silence, as it was clear from both of their reactions they'd had intimate experience with 'Flames', and it was experience that had obviously bothered both of them.
"Face, not that I'm any great expert here, but it looks like their grammar is off . . ."
"Yeah. I noticed that. But the plot is really good, and if the plot's interesting enough, I usually just skip over the bad grammar, unless it's too glaring, or it's written in a style I don't particularly care for." He shrugged. "Also, sometimes, English isn't the writer's first language, or the writer could be young. That's where finding Beta Readers comes in handy. They help with stuff like that. But then, there are a lot of people who can't, or won't, ignore bad grammar, so they don't read the story at all, no matter how good a plot is. Again, that's what's so great about Fanfic, there's something out there for everyone."
"So it seems."
"Uh . . . yeah." He colored. "But it was for a class, and I did get an 'A+' because of it."
"What show did you use?"
Face covered his aspect with his hand. "Star Trek." He finally admitted, then raised his head proudly. "It was a good show, and pretty much started Fanfiction . . . at least, it popularized it, and I thought it would be a good first effort show."
"You wrote a Star trek story!?" Murdock exclaimed. "And you're embarrassed about it!? Star Trek's a *great* show! As much as I like Next Gen and Deep Space, there's NOTHING better than the original series!" Murdock enthused. "You got that story anywhere?"
"I think so." Face blinked. "Why?"
"I'd love to read it sometime!" Face looked at his friend seriously.
"You promise not to make fun of it?"
"On my Range Rider's oath of honor!" Murdock held up his hand in a Boy Scout pledge sign, and crossed his heart for good measure.
"I wouldn't mind reading it either." Frankie said shyly, and Face looked over at him.
"Only if you tell me what you wrote, and if you have a copy."
Frankie's face darkened, and he examined his nails intently. "It was for Dukshghasrd." Was the answer as far as the others could understand, and
"Dukes of Hazzard." He finally said, and the others laughed loudly, all but Face, who just smiled. "Hey!" Frankie defended himself. "To a kid, Daisy Duke was . . . well, she was IT!"
"To an adult Daisy Duke was pretty much 'it', too."
"I don't know . . ." Frankie said doubtfully, and
"You'll show a bunch'a' strangers over a computer, but ya' don't want ta' show yo' friends?" He sounded hurt, and Frankie swallowed.
"Well, let's face it . . ." He glanced at Face. "No pun intended. It's not that I don't trust you guys and all, but, well, it's pretty personal stuff, and I'm not saying you'd purposely make fun or anything . . ."
"We promise not to Flame you." Murdock grinned. "In fact, we had writing seminars at the V.A... I know how personal writing is, and I really do promise not to make fun of it."
"I want ta' see it too." B.A. nodded.
"Well . . ." Frankie swallowed. "I guess I can share it. If you guys really want to see it."
"I never thought of showing you my writing." Face blinked. "In fact, I never thought you'd find out about this at all, but if you're really interested . . ." He swallowed. "I put the story I did on a floppy when I first got interested in computers, so I guess I can print out a copy when we get back to
"Not expectin' nothing." B.A. said gruffly, and didn't mean it the way it had sounded, but they'd been together so long he knew that Face wouldn't take it wrong, and he was right.
"Okay. Just remind me when we get back to
Murdock looked back at Frankie and then over at Face, and almost laughed as the television theme song tape he'd listened to started to play the 'Star Trek' theme. He closed his eyes, and made a mental note to ask either Face or Frankie about where a good place to find 'Star Trek' stories would be.
B.A. glanced over at Face, then Frankie, and mentally smiled. They didn't know it, but they had just provided him with a means to, if not completely make him forget he was on a plane, then at least distract him from that knowledge. He probably would never write anything down, but he certainly had an imagination. He leaned back in his seat, gripped the armrests of the chair and pictured his wrestling buddies as characters on various T.V. shows. He almost lost it completely as he pictured Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan as Batman and Robin, complete with tights.
Frankie grinned widely to himself, and didn't care what the others thought if they saw it. It was always a good thing when one discovered a common bond one didn't know they had with their friends, and even though he'd admitted to not minding slash if it was well written, though it wasn't the first thing he looked for in a story, no one had put him down or condemned him for it. That was a good thing, for it meant that he truly had been accepted as part of the Team, as well as an individual, with his own likes and dislikes that didn't have to have anything to do with the Team. He wondered what other shows Face liked to read and write about, and was determined to ask him when they got back to the compound.
Face looked at the computer, called up another document, and looked blankly at it for a moment. He'd never meant to reveal his interest in the rather unique – or what he'd thought as a unique – hobby, as he'd truly thought he'd be ridiculed for it and certainly not asked about it with interest. It just went to show that even though you'd known people for several years, they could still surprise you. Mentally, he shrugged, bent his head over the laptop once more, and smiled as . . .
'Starbuck felt the familiar press of the G-Force as he shot out of the
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