One night last week — like the middle of the night — Yvonne posted a message in Slack and asked me to please round up some Ruth/Idgie Fried Green Tomatoes fan fiction, and of course I was happy to oblige. Two of my favorite things are canon lesbians in southern literature and deep diving into LiveJournal archives! Below are seven sweet and sexy fics to wet your whistle, and a brand new writer profile with SwanQueen femslash writer alinaandalion.
Plot: Three ways Idgie Threadgoode didn’t kiss Ruth Jamison – and one way she did.
Length: 1,000 words
But he hadn’t been there at the beginning, when Ruth came to the door in the kitchen and asked for work and Idgie said “Yes” before Cook could open her mouth. He hadn’t been there when Idgie learned to charm bees out of their hives or swords out of their sheaths for Ruth (did I say the traditions of the kingdom were strong? I meant its magic), or when Ruth confessed to feeling much the same way, but very properly admonishing Idgie that a princess and a scullery maid surely had no future. Idgie went to bed preparing a goodly set of counter arguments so she could convince Ruth how wrong she was.
The dragon arriving the next morning to pillage the castle and its surrounding town was terribly inconvenient, really. And then it had the nerve to kidnap Ruth.
Idgie climbed the mountain cursing the whole way, armed with a sword and the staff she used while working her particular charms. She turned out to need both, but the real luck of the draw was when Ruth slipped up above the dragon and tipped a rock down on its head.
“I was meant to save you,” Idgie said, because wasn’t that how the stories went?
“You can tell it that way if you want,” Ruth said, and Idgie had to kiss her right then, she really did.
Plot: “You saved yourself, honey,” Mrs. Threadgoode said, “but I guess you knew who to call on.”
Length: 2,000 words
Ruth’s letter didn’t have a letter in it. Maybe she’d been afraid to write anything, afraid of that bastard Bennett reading her mail. There was a page out of what looked like the Bible, all thin and the words close together, and a newspaper clipping with an ad for soap on one side and an article on the other.
The letters were close and all run together. If Ruth was trying to tell her something, she wasn’t going to stare at all those newsprint letters until it finally made some sense. So she took it to Mama.
Turned out the newspaper article was a death notice — Mrs. Jamison had passed on. Cancer, Mama whispered in hushed tones. And she’d only been fifty-three.
There wasn’t a note written on the two cutouts or anything — but Ruth had torn a page out of her Bible, which meant she was serious, and she’d underlined a bit of it that about broke Idgie into a thousand pieces, right there in the kitchen. She was headed for her Daddy’s truck even while Mama was saying, “you’d better go bring that girl home.”
Plot: They’re as settled and as free as either of them are going to get.
Length: 750 words
Night has settled on Whistle Stop and Idgie has settled in Ruth Jamieson’s home, content to put away her tendencies and instincts telling her to run until Ruth gives her a reason to pull them out again, which doesn’t seem likely until eternity is over.
“I might love you ‘til the day I die,” she whispers, the darkness swallowing her words as soon as the leave her lips.
Ruth’s mouth quirks up and she smiles at Idgie like she knew that already. Slim fingers slide around Idgie’s waist, grabbing at her shirt.
It doesn’t feel like she’s being held down because she knows she could break the hold any time she wants; knows that Ruth holds all the cards, but she lets Idgie play them; knows that she can leave but she can always come back.
Ruth Jamieson won’t ever hold her back, and Idgie isn’t planning on letting go any time soon.
Plot: My favorite thing: Smut written to the tune of Song of Solomon!
Length: 850 words
Ruth lifts her head, smiles demure and sweet, her lips swollen with kissing. “Can’t miss a chance to minister to a heathen like you, Idgie.”
Idgie just keeps laughing, sprawled open under her, and Ruth’s never quite understood what some of the Psalms or the Song meant, hair like goats and teeth like sheep and breasts like roes (whatever those are) but she’s been looking at Idgie for a happy while, and her navel under Ruth’s tongue stroking in is a round goblet which wanteth not liquor, her belly a hard lean whiskey-gold (not that Ruth would admit to knowing what color whiskey is, and not that *that* is Idgie’s fault, but Ruth isn’t bringing Frank here to this warm light-filled bed) meal under Ruth’s teeth, salty with the sweat the sun’s bringing up, skin going red where she bit and Idgie’s little noises going sharper every time. The joints of her thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a real cunning workman, and all the proof Ruth’s ever going to need that the Lord is *good*.
Plot: A canon fic that combines the book and the movie, and tells the story behind the scenes.
Length: 20,000 words.
When she saw the Bible in my hands, she looked relieved and said, “Oh, good, I didn’t wake you up. I hoped you were awake.”
I shook my head. “Couldn’t sleep,” I replied hoarsely. “There’s too much going on.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” Idgie laughed nervously. Then she shivered.
“Oh, sorry,” I said, scooting over. “Come in here.” I lifted up the blanket and Idgie gratefully crawled in, taking care to stay far on the other side of the bed. Then we lapsed into silence. And as Idgie stared at her hands, I watched her. I watched her chest rise and fall, her hands tremble slightly. My hands were shaking too, and I didn’t know why. Five years ago, that summer, we had been as close as sisters. Now she was making me nervous. Five years ago her hair had been long and unkempt, but now she wore it cut above her shoulders, and it was clean and shiny. She still wore men’s clothes, long pants held up with suspenders and a white shirt. There was still a look of pigheadedness on her face, masking pain. So she still hid pain behind that face. My same old Idgie.
Finally, something made Idgie look up. “I missed you,” she remarked quietly, touching my shoulder for a second. Her eyes found the bruise on my face where Frank had hit me; a moment later, her fingers brushed against it. Involuntarily, I flinched and pulled away.
“Sorry,” Idgie said quickly. “I shoulda known you’d be all jumpy.” More slowly this time, making sure I could see that she was going to touch me, she placed her fingertips back on the bruise.
I should have expected the feeling. I’d known I loved her for over five years. But I was still surprised when my heart started pounding as her skin made contact with mine. Keeping my face turned toward Idgie so she could inspect the injury, I glanced away with my eyes.
Plot: “Ruth had planted a rose bush in front of the house over a year ago and the thing had yet to bloom.”
Length: 3,000 words
She’d woken up before Idgie and Stump, not that difficult considering the two would sleep till nightfall if given the chance. With the sky still dark, she had slipped out of the house and walked to the café, going in through the back and wrapping an apron around her waist. Sipsey would be in soon to start on the biscuits, and Stump would come stumbling in soon after when he smelled fresh bacon sizzling in the pan. Her boy always had a nose for when a meal was being prepared. She’d feed him a heaping portion of bacon, biscuits, and grits before sending him back to the house to get ready for school. Hopefully by then Idgie would have ambled in to start opening the café, her eyes still half closed after another long night taking Grady’s money in marathon poker games.
Ruth bit her lip as she dug her hands into the white mixture. Lord, she loved Idgie, but that girl had a way of driving her crazy sometimes. She stayed out all night the night before with Grady and a few other of the town’s men gambling and didn’t get home till well after midnight. She knew Idgie enjoyed her nights out with the boys, but it always meant she’d take her time the next morning getting in to the café. They were always busy during breakfast, and it got to be a lot on Ruth, Sipsey, and Big George. Of course, Ruth couldn’t stay mad too long at her. Idgie would always charm her with a joke and a grin, then promise to take care of the dinner crowd while Ruth went home and rested. It was happening more and more lately though, and it was getting rather tiresome not being able to see Idgie at home except for when she stumbled in during the early morning hour and quickly fell asleep next to her.
Plot: “Ruth wished she knew why she did anything Idgie asked, even when it would lead to her certain doom.”
Length: 1,000 words
Ruth found Idgie down by the riverbank. The sun had set two hours ago and everything was pitch black now. The fireflies had even gone to bed. Idgie didn’t say anything when Ruth sat beside her on a log, so Ruth said, “I baked a pie.”
Idgie looked out at the black water. She asked, her voice sounding as far off as she was, “What kind?”
Idgie cocked her head. She asked, “Where’d we get peaches?”
“They came all the way from South Carolina on the train. It’s summer, Idgie.”
Nine questions with alinaandalion
How did you discover femslash?
I feel like I’ve known about femslash ever since I entered fandom when I was 15, which was 9 years ago. I’ve always been drawn to stories centered around women so even when I wasn’t actively seeking out femslash fic or writing it, I knew it existed. It wasn’t until I got into the Wicked fandom that I actually communicated with people who wrote femslash. And as I’ve joined different fandoms, femslash tends to be a more dominant part of the fandom than some of my earlier ones.
Why did you decide to get actively involved in writing femslash fan fiction?
I think my decision to start writing femslash is linked to when I actually figured out that I was bisexual and not a straight woman with a tendency to crush on other women. And once I figured that out, I wanted to start reading stories that featured women that were more like me. Even then, though, I really only wrote friends-with-benefits for the most part.
It wasn’t until I stumbled my way into the Once Upon a Time fandom and eventually the Swan Queen fandom that I started to write femslash almost exclusively. Even that took me awhile (until the show was done with its second season) before I was actually shipping Swan Queen. And it was Swan Queen fic that originally recruited me to the ship because I was just looking for Regina-centric fic that was good and the best ones were the Swan Queen ones. From there, I joined Tumblr and started following the authors I liked and it kind of just evolved from there.
Which pairings do you write about?
Well, I definitely write Swan Queen. I also like Ice Queen (Regina Mills/Kathryn Nolan) and I’ve recently gotten into Dragon Queen (Regina Mills/Maleficent) and am working on a fic for that pairing. I’ve also written Sophie Devereaux/Tara Cole, Sophie Devereaux/Maggie Collins, and Tara Cole/Maggie Collins for the Leverage fandom.
What about that those couples makes them your muse?
With Swan Queen, it’s about writing a relationship that feels real to me. Two women who have been hurt again and again, who come from very different places but they share a son so they have to work to figure out how to co-exist, who love so hard and so deep. They feel like they just fit together. There are so many possibilities with them and writing them building a life with each other feels like an expression of a lot of the things I want for myself.
Ice Queen is the other pairing that I really get passionate about because it’s different from Swan Queen. My priority is always Regina, and the thing about Kathryn is she is this very compassionate woman who reaches out to Regina and is her friend, and Kathryn lets Regina be fully human in a way that almost no other character does. There is the stuff where Regina causes Kathryn extreme harm in the first season but Kathryn was a princess in the Enchanted Forest as well, and I feel like she would be able to understand the why of what Regina does and eventually forgive her for it.
How have you seen femslash fandom change since you’ve been involved in it?
Femslash fandom is more vocal and less apologetic about their ships. Twitter has certainly been a huge factor in this because it’s given femslash fandom access to creators and writers and cast members in ways that simply weren’t possible before.
In terms of changes since I’ve been actively involved, I would say that I haven’t seen much in terms of how femslash fandom behaves, but I have seen the new wave of validation for femslash fandom through Korrasami and the Clarke/Lexa pairing on The 100, and seeing these pairings become canon when it wasn’t thought possible has been amazing.
Do you feel like show creators respond to femslash fandom in a visible way, on-screen?
Certainly. Not always in positive ways (you only have to think about Glee and “the angry lesbian bloggers”), but even with shows that have repeatedly treated femslash fandom horribly (OUAT is certainly guilty of this), there is acknowledgement that we exist. Even when there are no changes on-screen with the lack of representation, they know we’re out here.
Do you care about what’s happening on-screen, or does fan fiction fills your needs?
I definitely care about what happens on-screen. After sobbing over Emily’s coming-out storyline on Pretty Little Liars my senior year of college, I can’t ever pretend that seeing these stories on television and in movies doesn’t matter. Fan fiction fills the missing spaces for me, lets me explore the worlds these stories exist in, but it can’t and shouldn’t be the only way I can see people who live and love like I do.
What’s your favorite fan fiction you’ve written?
I think my favorite fic at the moment that I’ve written is “every song makes me think of you.” It’s a Swan Queen fic, and the reason it’s my favorite is because I feel like it manages to capture everything I love about the pairing and how they fit together, and I got to use music to make those points of connection.
How has writing fan fiction changed your life?
Fan fiction opened up the world to me in so many ways. Because I write fanfiction, I’ve managed to find a community of incredible people who have helped me grow as a person and as a writer.