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[info]reijamira wrote
on August 31st, 2007 at 01:38 pm

Rambling about the genre "hurt/comfort"

Note: I posted this on my LJ some time ago and decided to also post it on my IJ because you never know what LJ will do to my journal, it could be deleted or something.

Lately I've started exploring the "Starsky & Hutch" fandom which is entirely new to me! I am quite obsessed with the two detectives who express their deep friendship so openly. Everyone who knows the series knows of the affection that both cops have for each other; of the deep and caring relationship; and of the occasional touch (which is, by the way, very occasional!). So lovely, I tell you!

Since the fifth episode "The Fix" in which Hutch is kidnapped by the bad guys who get him addicted to heroin in order to extract information from him about the whereabouts of a girl, I was entertaining the idea of reading Hutch hurt/comfort fics. I really have a thing for hurt/comfort. It's an intriguing genre.

Imagine two male partners like Starsky and Hutch. Both love each other, not only as friends or colleges but also as lovers, but no one tells the other about his true feelings for fear of rejection or loosing the precious friendship. This is where hurt/comfort comes into play.

I think if one is confronted with the mortality and vulnerability of the other only then would he show his truest feelings. It's the aspect of recognizing how much the other really means to you, of recognizing how close you came to losing your beloved one which let's us express our deepest and innermost emotions. It's like you lose all your inhibitions at once and all you can do is acting on your raw emotions. And that's what I love about hurt/comfort!


See, take my example for instance. I'd love to see Hutch getting hurt, in that case Starsky would be the one to comfort him. Let it be as I explained above, both love each other but neither of them shows it.

So, imagine, in a fight Hutch gets injured, e.g. by a bullet or a knife, and Starsky sees him going down, what would he think? Of course, his first possible thought would be, "Fuck! Hutch! Injured!" and then he would rush up to him faster than Superman could ever move to make it all right, to help his friend, or even to prevent him from dying because that's what he'd be most afraid of; losing Hutch forever. That's when Starsky is no longer able to hide his love for Hutch. At least, people around would notice the devotion with which Starsky would care for Hutch, would sit by his bedside to keep watch without satisfying his own elemental (basic human) needs such as sleeping, eating, shaving, etc...

You see, this devotion, as I call it, that bond between two people is what fascinates me so! You wouldn't want to sit beside a bed of a total stranger this long without tending to your own needs, would you? This connection is amazing, it's true and so deep. This is hurt/comfort!

But, yeah and this was to come, hurt/comfort is not immediately hurt/comfort. I'm very picky when it comes to that! Most hurt/comfort fics out there tend to be overly sappy, fluffy and uber-brooding. Some people (authors) think because h/c deals with a lot of emotion it must be exactly that: emotional. Yeah, I agree but only to some degree. Emotional is good, but do not, I repeat, do not overdo it! Because then it would go all excessively emo and that's just like, "Oh my god, ohhhhhh myyyyyy goooood, I'm not feeling well, buhhhhuuuuuhhh, the world is bad, uhhhhhhhhh *snief*..." Really, that's so not my cuppa!

It's a fine art to keep your character in character while he cares for his injured partner in a, well, manly manner! And that's it: "manly manner" is the magic word. Showing emotions is not equal with being weak and whiny although many h/c fics indicate just that. And that's bugging me because all the great characters suddenly become OOC and that's outright bad!

Take Snarry for example! Harry's the one whose injured here! Could you really imagine Snape, SNAPE of all people, going into "mother hen mode" and becoming all sappy and fluffy and, "Ohhh my beautiful Harry, part of my soul, my other half, what have they done to you, my heart?".... Urgh, really I could and cannot!

So, that's what I encounter the most when reading h/c. Characters going all madly emotional and, worst of all, OOC!

What kind of h/c I'd prefer instead?

Yeah, well, remember the magic word? "Manly manner", right! The characters are usually male, so let them act like males! When Harry is injured, I think it would be more IC when Snape expresses his emotions best while brewing healing potions as if there's no tomorrow. Plus, I think he would be snarkier than ever and he would touch Harry in an affectionate way when he thinks no one is looking, maybe when Harry sleeps he would briefly touch his cheek. After all Snape is a very private person!

For me, that's the perfect h/c.

So, why this post, you ask now?

Remember what I told you at the beginning of that post? That I wanted to read Hutch h/c? Yeah, well I did! And I was very disappointed. I read like seven or nine Hutch h/c fan fics and all were fluffy, sappy and uber-brooding, in short: excessively emotional! I mean, of course Starsky & Hutch are close, we know that from the series. They're having no problem touching and hugging and all, yeah, but I don't think they would become "this" emo!

All fics followed the same plot or golden thread:

+ Hutch gets hurt.
+ Starsky cares for him.
+ Starsky suddenly recognizes his true feelings for Hutch. There is no doubt - he loves Hutch. Has so for nearly as long as they know each other.
+ Dead drunk or emotionally drunk, whatsoever, he makes love to Hutch during which Hutch suddenly recognizes his true feelings. After a little bit of thinking, he comes to the conclusion: He loves Starsky. Has so for nearly as long as they know each other.
+ Once Starsky is sober, he wants to forget what happened, because he thinks Hutch will never return his feelings.
+ On the other side, Hutch thinks Starsky will never return his feelings.
+ Precious friendship and all is more important, so both start hiding their feelings.
+ Years later, somehow, they end up in bed again, have a nice talk and find out, "We've loved each other for years now"
+ And happy as they are they're having sex, sappy as hell kind of sex.

THE END.

Yep, this is definitely not my favorite piece of cake! Perhaps it's because the entire plot only deals with the h/c genre and the goal is to get Starsky & Hutch together and into bed. Mmh, I don't know! But even then I wouldn't want it this, uhm, un-originally done. Besides, I'm convinced Starsky & Hutch wouldn't react like that!


Anyway, I'm really surprised at how long this entry got in the end! Whoa! I really had to get this out of my system, so much is clear.

Okay, I think this pretty much sums it all up!

I'm open for your opinions now! Heh! :)

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