Summary: I come here seeking rusted metal and a particular sort of ruin, captured in art and dissonant drums. Instead I find his face and a kind of beauty I have never, ever known. AU/AH, ExJ slash
theladyingrey42 writes both het and slash, but very little vampfic, and yet she writes such wonderful stories that even if you, like me, rarely read AH contemporary twific, it doesn’t matter. Beautiful, Broken is one of a few all-human slash stories she’s written, and it has a point of difference that makes it stand above so much other AH contemporary fic.
It’s the kind of story that makes you forget you’re reading fanfiction. Jasper and Edward are vastly different from the characters we know, and they find each other in Germany. Jasper is telling the story, and he’s been broken, physically and emotionally. He’s distanced himself from his family as if he believes he doesn’t deserve to be loved. He makes frequent reference to the fact that he is not ‘whole’.
And then he meets Edward, who says he loves ‘beautiful, broken things’.
He is a picture of German nihilism and American beauty, destruction and blackness and something blooming beneath the ruin. Illuminated by the pulsing glow of an amber spotlight, it’s impossible to tell the color of his hair, scattered all around him in intentional dishevelment. Ringed in deepest black against smooth, pale skin, his eyes, too, are a mystery, the make-up lending feminine ambiguity to something that is clearly all maleness and sharp edges in a perfectly congruent incongruity.
This is one of my favourite Edward’s. He is an eyeliner-wearing, pierced artist, so unlike the uptight creature of canon that he may as well be an original character, as is the Jasper of this story, and while often this is my bugbear with contemporary AH fic, in this case it is part of the reason I adore it.
Beautiful, Broken is a one shot of less than 8000 words, but so much is told without telling. Tiny hints that give all the back story you need and nothing you don’t. The words are beautiful, lyrical, and wonderfully describe the decay and destruction that Jasper sees around him and the way he sees himself. The sex scenes are beautifully hot, yet more than just sex. The ending is resolved really well, wrapped up nicely and realistically without drawing things out.
One of the things I like most about theladyingrey42’s writing, is that she doesn’t seem to feel the need to over explain. She assumes that we can think for ourselves, and I think this is one of the highest compliments an author can pay to her readers.