Fanfiction Fridays: The mixtape Series by verity

The floorboards are thudding with the vibration when Kate steps into Clint’s hallway. Okay, the floors are vinyl tile, who knows if there are boards under there, Kate doesn’t have a degree in construction, but—poetic license. “If the building’s rocking, don’t come knocking?” she says dubiously as she turns the doorknob.

As soon as she opens the door, booming vocals spill into like hallway like they’re surfing the crest of a pop-punk tsunami. “AND THAT’S ABOUT THE TIME SHE WALKED AWAY FROM ME, NOBODY LIKES YOU WHEN YOU’RE 23—

Clint Barton is standing in the middle of the living room in his boxers and a t-shirt, half-heartedly moshing while he feeds Lucky a slice of pizza. It’s 11AM, so that’s gotta be cold. Kate sighs and shuts the door behind her. It takes a minute for Clint to notice she’s there, which is exactly how Clint gets his ass 95% killed all of the time. “Hey,” he mouthes under the thudding bass, then does a head-tilt, finger-flick: What’s up?

You are embarrassing me, Kate signs back. What is this, your old man music?

Clint rolls his eyes. You want me to put on H-A-N-N-A-H Montana? He does the two-M mountain sign for the state instead of abbreviating to MT. Good thing Kate’s been working on her geography vocabulary.

I don’t know you, Kate says.

Lucky barks. Clint surrenders another slice of cold pizza.

B-W wants to party at noon, Kate says. You got pants for that?

But seriously, how can you not ship them after a parting shot like this?

But seriously, how can you not ship them after a parting shot like this?

Generally when I turn to fanfiction, I’m looking for my fix of a particular ship. In this case, I was looking for Marvel fanfic of the America Chavez/Kate Bishop variety, and while I found a small hoard of good stories, my personal favorite discovery turned out to only feature the pairing for a paragraph or two.

Instead, verity’s mixtape series is more of a slice of life sort of story, with four one-shots that each focus on a different POV character, with, true to the series’s title, an earworm song to go along with each. too late to apologize focuses on Bucky in his post-Winter Soldier life, navigating therapy and neighbors; but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for follows Steve as he gets a little over-involved in community activism. what’s my age again? is told from Kate Bishop’s POV as she interns for the Avengers, and halfway between the gutter and the stars gives us a glimpse into Thor’s mastery of social media applications. Each of the points of view has its own unique voice, and while they all contribute to the larger narrative (if a slice of life story can have a narrative), they could easily all stand on their own. In fact, I read what’s my age again? first because of my aforementioned Amerikate search, and then went back and read the previous two installments without feeling like I was missing something.

This fic is awesome just because of how well verity combines cleverness and silliness, but it’s also awesome because it gives us something I don’t know if I’ve ever seen in fanfic before: a legitimate portrayal of Deaf Clint Barton. It’s perfectly woven into the story; characters sign at Clint or accommodate for his deafness without pitying him or forcing him into a tragic role, and the story never becomes an issue-driven morality play about Deaf representation. I’ve never read a fanfic that worked ASL into the narrative before, and I just thought this was super well done.

clint aslThe mixtape series is a quick read at only a little over 13k words—and if I haven’t sold you yet, please consider these things: Billy Kaplan makes a Sailor Moon reference and Thor does Bifrost-themed Jello shots with Neil Tyson and George Takei. Yeah. Go read it.


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2 thoughts on “Fanfiction Fridays: The mixtape Series by verity

  1. It’s really tricky to incorporate ASL into fanfiction, as I know from my limited attempts at writing Switched at Birth fanfiction. The cool thing about fanfiction for that show is that 90% of it is about at least 1 canonically Deaf and ASL-fluent character, so there is a lot to read over there if you are a writer looking for how other people have handled the situation.

    This is cool. Thanks for sharing. I’m not familiar with this fandom but it sounds like the kind of fic I would love.

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