Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Team Anything Goes: Solar Flare Ed/Jake


The Team Anything Goes Pick is...
Title: Solar Flare
Author: Siavhda
Chapters: 13
Words: 78,212
Reviews: 70
Summary: Written for the Twilight Big Bang on lj. A rewrite of New Moon and Eclipse; Jacob is the one to rescue Edward in Volterra...and Bella is the one to bring the newborns to Forks.

Jen - Solar Flare is like no other fic I’ve read. It was a lucky find on a recent search for slash featuring at least one member of the wolf pack. I love Edward and Jacob stories, particularly when they’re AU. What makes this story really special is Siavahda’s gorgeous writing paired with a really amazing take on everyone’s canon traits.

Solar Flare could have fit under Team Angst, Team Slash, and even Team PackPerv. So why’s it here under Team Anything Goes? You have never seen a Bella like this before. Part of me doesn’t want to say anything about her, so you can enjoy the twists yourself. I will say that she is VERY dark, you could even call her evil. Bella’s desire to become a vampire has never been so well exploited--it’s like Siavahda took canon Bella and boiled her down to this one, intense character trait.

Jake imprints on Edward, but not while looking him in the eye; he imprints from looking at a picture of Edward. It takes me a while to wrap his mind around imprinting on a man, and he can’t quite see himself having sexual relations with a man. However, when Edward is that man, he can imagine it. He feels it, longs for it. Even in his imagination it is oh-so-hot.

Hot, pumping desire flared through his entire body with such strength and suddenness that he gasped.

Edward. Edward on his back, hands fisted in the sheets, legs spread. Biting his lip. Head thrown back. That perfect body trembling, fighting to be still as Jacob slid into him, into that coolness, that hot-skin-freezing-water relief. His cock hard against Jake's stomach. A moan, sinfully lower than any girl's, spilling from those lips as his hands tangled in Jake's hair.

"More. Please!"

Oh, yes. His wolf loved that. He heard himself growl aloud as his lust grew, swirled, coiled through him; mine. His hand slid down his body; mine to touch. Into his shorts. Mine to hold. He groaned as his hand curled around his cock, already achingly hard at the thought of Edward spread out beneath him. Mine to protect. His hand moved, pulled in time to the thrusts in his head, tighter, harder, faster, because Edward was no Emily, not fragile and delicate and breakable but strong, so strong, and Jake would make him lose control, would show him that werewolves didn't break easy either, equal in strength and together –

He shuddered once, all along his body, forcibly holding himself still as he came, hard; in his mind he drove in deep one last time, spilling heat into Edward's cool body.

Jacob panted softly, languorous in the afterglow. Lazy golden ripples shivered along his nerve endings like caresses, and rather than abandon his fantasy he lingered in it, cupping Edward's face in his hands to kiss him. Soft and loving and deep and brimming with emotion.

He didn't know how to kiss like that yet, not really. But he would. By the time he saw Edward again, Jake would know.

The anticipation and reverence Jake feels make this scene so much more than a lemon. Jake’s longing for Edward makes a tremendous impression on the reader, throughout the story. There’s all kinds of tension--worrying that Alice and Jake won’t be able to save Edward, worry over who is creating the newborns in Seattle--but for me the main source of the angst is Jake’s longing for Edward. The hurt of that deep longing is so utterly delicious--you feel the burn, until they’re truly together.

It’s a long journey before they’re truly together. Jacob is rejected by Edward; this nearly kills him, until Sam rallies him to fight for Edward. There are many tantalizing moments as Jake tries to win Edward over. Despite the imprint, Edward doesn’t just magically fall for Jake; Jake truly has to win him over. The way Siavahda shows Edward coming to accept that Jake is his true mate is fantastic. Once he figures out that Edward has always had to control himself with Bella, Jake shows him how it can be if he can cede control. And the idea of not always having to be the protector is very alluring to Edward. Their interactions are sexy as hell, and the UST gets to atomic levels.

I love that this story doesn’t end with Edward accepting the imprint. Oh, no, there’s a lot of story left after that. And it’s dark, creepy, and guaranteed to make you go zomg what just happened. Some readers may be really astonished by this take on Bella, but I think if people give it a chance they’ll agree that Siavahda shows that this is simply one way Bella’s canon traits could have played out.

I could go on and on, and I’ve used a lot of words in this rec as it is. This is an amazing story that should have way more reviews. It’s beautifully written, has wonderful concepts and characterizations, and I’m sure you’ll be flailing as you read it, just as I did.

Jeanne - What if is what AU fic is all about. What if Bella didn’t jump? What if Edward was human? What if Jacob imprinted on Edward? For each one of these What Ifs you can find hundreds of fics that explore what would change if the circumstances of particular situation in canon is altered.

Solar Flare explores several What ifs. What if Jacob imprinted on Edward? What if Bella’s insecurities around not being good enough for Edward turned into an obsession with becoming a vampire? What if deep down Edward’s own obsession with control is based in his fear of being weak? What if all Edward ever needed was someone to love him unconditional? Siavahda takes these loose threads of possibilities and weaves them into an entrancing story about the nature of love.

What makes Solar Flare unique and fascinating is that it doesn’t just change the circumstances of canon, it exploits very real flaws/vulnerabilities in each of the three leads of the Twilight saga. Edward’s need for control and fear of his unworthiness of love. Jacob’s blind, bulldozer-like pursuit of someone he loves and Bella’s obsessive focus on her unworthiness of Edward. Each of these flaws is explored and allowed to be let loose on this alternate universe. Here the idealised perfection of love from the Twilight sage is blown apart by some very real and messy consequences of real love. Each event builds on top of the other until what unfolds is not only shocking, but inevitable.

Warning for fans of Bella: I’m not kidding when I say this story explores very real flaws in Bella’s character. Her selfish, obsessive pursuit of being a vampire even in the face of Edward’s very real turmoil over damning her soul is based in canon. Seeing this obsession consume Bell and twist the nature of her love for Edward may inch too close to character bashing for some readers. I personally think it’s one of them most honest explorations of canon Bella that I have ever seen in a fan fiction in a VERY long time. It was refreshing and badly needed, in my opinion.

I’m an Edward fangirl. When I read the books I ached for his Happily Ever After, or rather the one I wanted for him. Edward tried to hard to find redemption in his love and protection of Bella. Yet, I and other Ed fangirls, believe that he never needed to be forgive for what or who he is, because he is beautiful. This is exactly what Jacob’s unconditional love teaches Edward. Jacob shows Edward his value and worthiness of love and protection. The love that blossoms between these two is grounded in compassion, empathy and understanding. That is the kind of romantic, epic love that takes my breath away.

Under all this intense character exploration, epic romance and drama there is also some of the hottest sex scenes I have ever read. I love well written, believable sex set in an AU fic, the fact that it’s between two men, one of which is a vampire and the other a wolf, left me screaming and flailing with unabashed glee. The way that Siavahda smooths the edges of canon physiology to allow a pairing like this to have sex was amazing and perfectly executed. The raw sensuality and tenderness of the love making that left me stunned and drooling.

This was so much better, so much hotter; his wolf rumbled approval in his chest as he pressed Edward's upper body down and pulled him to his knees simultaneously, his ass in the air, and Edward was cool and small against Jacob's hot bulk, surrounded, protected and possessed and gasping, moaning, squirming deliciously against Jake's chest.

"Much better," Jacob husked, grasping Edward's wrists one-handed and pinning them above the vampire's head on the grass. It made Edward shudder, a subtle relief as he gave up control, spreading his legs when Jacob's knees nudged them, arching his back in a beautiful invitation. "God, you're beautiful, Edward. So perfect."

He bit down on Edward's neck hard, and thrust his hips harder than that as Edward cried out at the sky, an aching keen as Jacob pushed his full length into his mate's body.

It was beautiful, it was simple, it was pure perfection; Edward's body held him as if the vampire had been made for Jacob's girth, smooth and tight and justperfect, and there was nothing to be afraid of, no doubts or nerves or hesitation because here and now Jacob knew exactly what to do. It was the simplest thing in the world, easier than phasing or running or kissing; he snapped his hips hard against the cool curve of Edward's body, driving in as deeply as possible, withdrawing quickly so he could do it again, and again, and again, with his mate gasping and moaning below him. Soon Edward's white hips rolled back to meet each thrust, pushed back to rub against Jacob's burning chest like a cat so that Jacob released Edward's neck and kissed it instead, kissed his shoulder and throat and jaw and the side of his face, whispering words to make his mate shudder and jerk; so good, so tight, you feel amazing, so beautiful, I love you, love you so much, Edward, Edward Edward Edward Edward.

This story is about love. How it can heal and forgive. How it can transcend the any boundary, even a treaty-line. If you love AU fic, slash and are open the idea that Jacob might be Edward’s HEA give Solar Flare a read. I promise you won’t regret it.

Quick note: In the interest of disclosure there is a typo in the fic where Emmett’s name is misspelled (Emmet). I’ve already PM’d the author about it and hopefully it will be corrected soon. To be honest, this story is so good I didn’t give a shit about a misspelled name. Maybe you won’t either.

Chele - This story blew me away. I am shocked, SHOCKED, that it has so few reviews, because it is brilliantly written, solidly conceived, and wonderfully executed.

This is an imprinting fic, which is, let’s face it, the most plausible way to bind a vampire and shapeshifter, but it’s also so much more. The imprint seals Jacob’s fate, a lifetime bound to Edward and whatever Edward needs, but Edward resists. He’s intent on rebuilding his relationship with Bella, even after Jacob risks his life to save him. It’s all so very plausibly canon to me, and the perfect recipe for good AU.

What this fic does that most don’t, is show the path that Bella’s obsession with becoming a vampire and sealing her fate with Edward could lead to. One where her fixations and co-dependency cause her to take matters into her own hands. The results are deliciously wicked, and well-meaningly evil.

In addition to all this wonderful plot, which is married perfectly into canon scenes from a twisted viewpoint, there is the all-consuming sexual tension between Jacob and Edward.

Generally, it is a given the those who are the subject of an imprint are certain to fall in love with their shapeshifter, but it’s so rare to see why. Edward’s ability to read Jacob’s mind, to fully feel and experience the dedication and forthrightness of his longing, is powerful.

Why do you want me to stop? Why do you smell like this? He scraped Edward's shoulder with his teeth and Edward made a choked sound in his throat, something rough and strangled, and Jacob loved it, loved the cool smoothness of the vampire under his tongue, loved the taste, loved the scent that grew stronger as Jake wrapped an arm around Edward's waist. It was like catnip. Wolfnip.

"Let go of me, Jacob," Edward said roughly, but Edward didn't want to be let go. His hand was curled around Jake's wrist, holding it around him; his head was tilted to give Jacob access to his neck and he was breathing, slow and deep as if he had to focus on each breath like a mantra or risk falling apart.

Jacob took his hand away from Edward's neck and stroked his other thumb back and forth over Edward's abdomen through his shirt. "Why?" He asked again, nuzzling the back of his mate's neck; Edward hung his head, panting, tense skin shivering under Jacob's lips. "I won't do anything you don't want me to, Edward. You've told me to let you go, but you haven't told me to stop. We both know you could throw me off and run if you wanted. Why haven't you?"
The only sound was their breathing; his harsher, and Edward's deliberately slow but occasionally stuttering.

Jacob kissed the soft down of Edward's hair where it met the back of his neck, where the skin was soft and sensitive. "Or maybe you're afraid that you can't," he murmured. "Maybe you think that you can't fight me off. And maybe not having to be afraid of hurting me would be such a relief. Maybe not having to be the strong one would feel so good. I think you're afraid to find out, Edward."

Each encounter between them convinces you more and more that they are perfectly matched. That the imprint may actually be one of design, and not freakish chance. Every touch stokes a flame of intensity and passion, and every verbal exchange makes you believe that it is possible for a 17 y/o werewolf and a 107 y/o vampire to have enough common ground to find a place of mutual desire, need, and love.

So many times I’ve read fic that uses an imprint as a trite plot device to make me believe two characters could be a couple. This is completely not the case with Solar Flare. In fact, it’s almost like these characters, so richly canon and thoroughly fleshed out, have finally made me believe the imprint.

Image by every9seconds


Seylin said...

:D! I know who made that pic at the end! His name on LJ is every9seconds. He's an a-m-a-z-i-n-g graphics maker.

Jeanne said...


Thank you so much for giving us the name of that talented artist. We couldn't remember where we found this fantastic manip, but now that we have it we will credit and link.

Thanks again.

Jeanne aka Einfach Mich