Sunday, November 29, 2009

Guest Fic Rec: ElleCC Sets Her Priorities


Okay, deep breath. I'm about to do something I never expected to do. I fully anticipate that my mental health will be questioned and people will start talking about how I've finally gone off the deep end and how everyone was expecting it and it was only a matter of time... See? Deep breath.

I am recing a fic that prominently features Alice. Yes, Alice. She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Okay, so it's really Alice/Jasper/Bella (and it's a triangle, not a V, folks, so you can rearrange A-B-J any which way you want). But still, it's Alice.

About a month ago, I was lamenting on Twitter that I needed a new J/B fic. Mopstyle, an author I came to know and admire through her For the Love of Jasper contest entry Into Strangers (which has since turned into a multi-chapter), spoke up and asked, "How do you feel about Alice?" Well, the truth is that I don't feel good about Alice at all, and I told her that. She said, "Well, just in case...." and passed along the link for "A Priori," her AU, in-progress fic.

I think my dislike for Voldalice is fairly well known among those who know me, as is my penchant for Jasper, and I was optimistic that she wouldn't have recommended AP if the J/B hadn't been noteworthy.

So, I read all of the posted chapters on a Saturday night when I was stuck at work. I wrote my reviews in a Textpad doc first, just in case I got part of the way in and couldn't deal with the Alice and had to bail. I hate starting to review something and then just stopping because I have to flounce.

I was incredibly happy to find that I flew through all of the chapters, writing my little reviews, and was able to post them all in short order as soon as I'd finished chapter eight, which was the current one at the time.

All right, so the story itself and why I didn't run away screaming.

“Alice!” I hissed.

Her name was perfect for hissing. I wanted to name everything Alice, just so I could hiss it all day long. Jasper, home from the grocery store: ‘Did you get the Alice?’ At the bar: ‘Can I get a shot of Alice, please?’

“Bella,” she groaned at me. The sound of her voice made my eyes flutter closed. My beautiful Alice.

A hiss and a groan. This was us. When we could reduce each other to basal sounds, we could forget that what we really were was a complicated string of words, difficult to translate.

“Alice, God. Don’t stop!” It should have been illegal, what she could do with her hands. Her hard pale body had always been a dangerous temptation to me. She was capable of breaking me in two, of draining me of life in seconds. Her silky smooth skin glistened with our juices. I left a trail on her with everything I had in me. She slipped from under me and lifted my legs up and out.

So, that right there is the very first passage of the story. While I'm no stranger to slash, I can count on my hand the number of femslash fics I've read. But with promises of Jasper looming large (like in the "Bella & Jasper" tag on the story), I kept reading.

The story is not told linearly - from reading her stuff, I've found that Mopstyle doesn't really do that whole chronological thing. AP is told in a series of past and present scenes. The past lays out how Bella met Alice and Jasper and how their relationships formed, and the present addresses the imminent drama, which is introduced at the end of the first chapter (this is a huge plus in my book - I like to know right away that there's something interesting coming (and by "something interesting," I mean stuff that will probably make me cry)).

While the rest of the Cullens live in Alaska, Alice and Jasper live in Forks. Several years before the story starts, Alice and Jasper left the rest of the family and moved south in search of something - someone - Alice had been seeing in visions for years. Someone who is meant to play a huge part in their lives.

When she first meets them, Bella obviously doesn't know what Alice and Jasper are, but she suspects, right from the moment she meets Alice in a dressing room, that Alice isn't quite... normal. The attraction between Bella and Alice is immediate and well done; there's no la tua cantante draw (we have to save something for Edward when he arrives, right?), but they definitely have that physical-attraction-at-first-sight thing. It should be noted that this Bella is not quite canon!Bella, which is fine with me. I like my Bellas grittier, more jaded, more real (more foul-mouthed, more experimental, more interesting).... The eventual revelation about what Alice and Jasper are is surrounded by tension and dire circumstances - for all three of them - and is not drawn out for chapters and chapters, which is another plus.

As we read along, we find there is promise of Volturi, more Cullens, and - what will lure many of you in - Edward. In fact, the summary for the story actually says: "AxJxB ExB." While I am biting my nails and hoping that Edward doesn't screw things up too badly, the rest of you can cheer for him and what could come to be. Although, I'll warn you, the first Edward / Bella meeting is pretty interesting... in a good way.

We were less than a mile from our home, our new beginning. We ran parallel to the road, quite a ways into the wood, purposely slowed after our recent glut. I could smell the ancient cedars that lined the forest of our property, the river, and the saw dust from the nearby mill; so many scents so long ago forgotten. Among the rotting thicket underfoot, covered lightly by a dusting of wet, melting snow, I caught a new scent; one too warm and vibrant to be growing out here in winter. It rang like a bell through my head; softly sweating freesia and berries. The pulse, I finally heard, sprung forth from underneath the sound of our footfalls and the relentless chatter in my head. That invitation eclipsed all others and Carlisle’s frantic words were lost.

“Edward, no! Edward! Edward! Edward, stop!"

My legs were moving of their own volition. My sense of smell and the scent of sweet, hot life were in control.

I heard no more in my head, just hollowness. I was sailing towards this succulent scent, magnetized. I would devour whatever it was. The greens and drab browns of the flora dimmed and red spilled over my surroundings; tainting it, driving me and my instincts, to capture this prey.

Venom filled my mouth and I imagined it was the blood; velvet and scorching. With one hand I seized the creature. I grabbed it and pinned it. I could hear the rapid beating of its vibrant heart. The warmth under my fingers was enticing and all consuming. I heard a low wail and felt its body unhinge under my palm. It's bones shift under my tight grip as electricity ran through my entire body.

And Alice... Alice is fine, in this story. She's not the overbearing, caricatured pixie that so many fics have made her out to be. She loves both Jasper and Bella, and when something happens with one of them that shakes her faith, she steps away to think about it, without unnecessary drama. She's caring and sexy, and doesn't abuse her gift. This is an Alice I respect (although I admit that Jasper's feelings for Bella make the Jalice more palatable for me).

One aspect of AP that I really enjoy is that Mop doesn't skim over the whole "Bella's blood is enticing" bit - it is a legitimate concern, throughout. She doesn't neuter Jasper's bloodlust (or Alice's, although it is explained why Jasper's (and later Emmett's) is stronger), and there is a funny moment in the opening chapter in which Bella describes all they had to go through before Jasper and Bella could be intimate; Bella refers to it as, "a fucking lab experiment." I appreciate this more realistic treatment of physical union between human and vamp, because, honestly, I think canon!Edward was on the right track: it would be difficult and dangerous.

The story is not about sex, regardless of the first chapter. Their intimacy is a factor in their relationships, but there is much more to all of it than that. It is more about the irrevocable change that comes from the tight bonding of one person - or vamp - to another, and what happens when the two worlds meet. And isn't that what drew us all into Twilight in the first place? If you're looking for a story that's only about threesome smut, this is not it. If you want something with depth, a unique storyline (from what I've seen in Twificland, so far), and emotional charge, stop and take a gander.

By this point, I'm so invested in the whole thing that if it does take a turn for the terrible, and something rips Alice, Bella, and Jasper apart (*coughEdwardcough*), I know I will stick around to find out what happens to them all.

In addition, detroitangel, who betas for and has co-written bits of AP with Mopstyle, has published some AP alternate points of view and outtakes, including "A Priori - Speechless" and "Jazz's Game."

Elle loves Legna, making sad Jaspers happy with LaViePastiche, and fixing commas. She writes one hot Peter. She's sorta bottled amazing sauce.


  1. She *has* bottled amazing sauce! She's made of it, really.

    A story in which Elle likes Alice and doesn't even seem too upset about Edward coming on the scene to throw a wrench into things must be worth checking out.

  2. So, what happens when Mop gets out of the bath and decides, while meandering in all her nakey glory through the apartment, to check her e-mail?

    The beautiful, sneaky Elle pulls the string and sends her spinning like a top on a Sunday afternoon.

    Is it ironic that as she's as bare and vulnerable as Bella during her first time with Jasper? I don't think so. It's a perfect parallel.

    Thank you, Elle, bb, and Pastiche Pen. You've filled me with sheer elation. xoxo

  3. It is *really* soft skull crushing good ;)

  4. Thanks for leading me to this story, I'm really liking it.


Spread The Word