March 6th, 2016

maybe i'm waking up by idrilka (NC-17)

Title: maybe i'm waking up
Fandom: Check, Please!
Pairing: Eric Bittle/Jack Zimmermann
Categories/Genres: Drama, Angst, Domestic, Epistolary, Family, First Time, Fluff, Friendship, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Outside POV, Fandom, Pining
Length: Super Epic (157898 words)
Warnings: Homophobia, Closeted character being outed without their consent

Author on LJ: idrilka
Author Website: idrilka

Summary:

It’s almost funny. All he ever wanted was to play hockey, to play in the NHL, to win the Cup. This—Samwell, the team, the Haus—was supposed to be just a detour, but now it feels more like a destination he failed to realize he’s already reached.

(Or: Jack signs with the Falconers, graduates, and leaves. It's the hardest thing he's ever done. What comes after is even harder.)

Review:

In maybe i'm waking up, idrilka takes storytelling to the next level in the way they use social media. Not only are there Tweets, following the Check, Please! tradition, but there's also hordes of Livejournal, Instagram, and Tumblr entries, not to mention articles and interviews, all written by in-story original characters. The combination of perspectives adds dizzying depth to the story that mimics reality. There's fannish speculation, media hot-takery, more @s than you can shake a smartphone at, and even a list of (fake) AO3 rpf fic recs.

idrilka does a tremendous job creating recognizable identities for the main original characters, but doesn't neglect the characters we only meet through their social media presence. Admittedly, idrilka's version of fandom is kinder and more linguistically precise than most fannish posts tend to be, there's a genuine feel of enthusiasm and curiosity, and even a dash of fandom drama, that long-time fans of any fandom will recognize.

For all that the story seems intimidating, the drama stays fairly light considering the events. There's no violent homophobia of any kind, beyond one acknowledged asshole's reaction, and except for the discomfort of a few unnamed minor characters, Jack's team is wholly accepting of his relationship with Bitty.

I did have trouble making it through the last three or four chapters of the fic. After the climax, the pacing slows, the tension dissipated, and idrilka takes their sweet time tying things up. But literally every single chapter that comes before makes it worth the reading. If not for the great mix of social media personalities, then for the many POV chapters from characters both new and old.

Also, all the links for Parson's cat's Instagram account work.

maybe i'm waking up