After reading one of Astlot’s stories (The Heartbreak Kid), I used the gloriousness that is delicious.com and the “eric/vince” tag, and found the following author and the following fics. I am so glad I did, because this series is among the best fic I’ve ever read. It’s make up of six main stories and three outtakes, and after much deliberation, I decided to list as seven different Things.
Title: “Here’s Us Together” series
Rating: PG up to NC-17
Word count: About 130k for the six main stories. There are also three outtakes, none of which is very long.
[Links and summaries....]
Summaries and links...
This list is mostly copied from the author’s masterlist; I added “People Do It All the Time” because even though she posted it (it’s the very last thing she posted on her LJ), she didn’t update her index. (As a note, if you go through her posts/stories, her tagging gets pretty wonky near the end, too.)
#28 - If We Were Anybody. How it started, how it ends, with a trip to Seattle thrown in. [9,300 - Eric POV. Eric’s relationship with Vince, how it changes and evolves over the early years.]
#29 - Get It Together. The aftermath of the Seattle trip. Two Parts. [16,000 - Vince POV]
#30 - What It's Like. An interlude after Get It Together; the boys go to Rome. [9,400 - Vince POV]
#31 - People Come Around. From Turtle's point of view, the next year of the guys' lives. Very long (40,000 words). Six parts and an epilogue.
#32 - Get Used To It. Eric thought there'd be a grace period. He was wrong. [34,500 - Eric POV]
#33 - People Do It All the Time. [Four and a half parts. She doesn’t list the length, but... 20k? Vince POV.]
#34 - BONUS SERIES MATERIAL (the pieces that don't quite fit in chronological order):
1. Outtake: Perks. An outtake that fits in during March and April of "People Come Around."
2. The Interview. Transcript of an interview mentioned in "Get Used To It."
3. Personal Security. Basically a sex interlude, but I snuck a little plot in there.
[Babbling, an excerpt, and more babbling....]
This series is... masterful. She nails, without question, all of their voices. Eric’s, Vince’s, Ari’s (god, Ari is amazing)... Shauna, Turtle, Drama, and all of the side characters she throws in, like Sloan—they’re all spot-on. She creates an incredibly rich world using not a lot of detail (but at the same time, a shitload of detail), and days after reading these stories, I was thinking about them. She makes you feel, and she makes the guys really real. A lot of shit happens in this series—as it should, given it’s six stories long and spans a good chunk of time—and I can see people maybe, by the end, thinking, “Really?” but it’s really just all so good that I didn’t care at all (and I didn’t have that feeling until the last story, anyway). And the final part ties up some loose ends left from earlier stories, so I feel like it was necessary to some of the characters and their long-term development. This series covers years, and that’s two more things at which she’s great—moving stories along quickly and not getting dragged down in worthless detail, and passing time without it feeling like she’s rushing it. Writing skills I wish I had.
The first story was written in summer of 2007 and she’d only seen season 1 at that point. The final was posted in summer of 2009, and though she watched more of the series and wove random details through the story, it really doesn’t fit to canon in any strict way. But it sure as hell feels like it does (or should). Stuff even happens that actually happens in the show seasons later. And, god, she just really know how to tell a story. There’s a ton of angsty-sort of stuff but more than enough sweet moments to make up for it and to make the angsting and worrying worth it. She knows how to deliver all of the stuff that I’d wish for in a story--drama, uncertainty, solid characters, strong resolutions.
I’ve read everything on this author’s Entourage masterlist (with one small exception that I’m kind of saving), and at least one more of her stories will be showing up as a Thing. Maybe more, if I can’t get them all out of my head, where they’ve all been bouncing around in this huge mish-mash.
So... an excerpt. I guess I’ll go with something from “If We Were Anybody” since it’s the first.
Vince found him after an hour. He was sweaty and tousled, and Eric’s eyes felt sore just looking up at him. He was sitting on the steps to the backyard deck, watching a drunk blonde and her even drunker boyfriend try to find her wallet where she’d dropped it over the side of the two-story deck.
“Having a good time?” Vince asked, dropping a hand on Eric’s shoulder as he sat next to him.
Eric shrugged. “I’d ask you, but I think I know the answer.”
Vince smiled. “They were college girls,” he said. “Jesus, college, what do you think that’s like?”
“I took some classes,” Eric said.
He nodded. “We should maybe talk about stuff,” he said, and Vince laughed.
“Dude, I’m pretty fucking wasted,” Vince said, “so spell it out.”
“How do you want to play this?” Eric asked. He waved his hand between the two of them. “You know what I mean, dickhead.”
“Yeah. OK. Yeah,” Vince said. He closed his eyes, like he was really thinking, then opened them again. “I like girls,” he said.
Eric snorted. “Uh, hey, yeah, me too.”
“I mean. They’re fun. They’re pretty. They’re soft and – you know, girls.” He made an old-fashioned hourglass shape in the air.
“I’m familiar,” Eric said. “What are you saying?”
Vince shrugged, just one shoulder. “They take the edge off.” He turned and looked right at Eric, squinting a little. “Look, I have this job,” he said.
“You got another role?”
“No, I mean, this job,” Vince said, and he waved his hands around, gesturing to the party. “The girls are part of the job. The life.”
“I get that,” Eric said. “Vince, I’m not asking you to –“
“I would.” Vince’s hands fluttered down, and one rested on Eric’s thigh. “E, if you asked me to, right now, I would. We could do this full time, say fuck you to the rest of the world. It could work out.”
Eric glanced up at the flashing lights inside the house. He thought of Vince’s bright Hollywood smile, about the ease with which he traveled through the crowd. Everyone loved him, here. Things were going to be easy for him, for once, and all Eric wanted was a sideline seat. “It wouldn’t work as well,” Eric said. “You wouldn’t get everything you want.”
“Nobody ever does,” Vince said. He took his hand off Eric’s thigh and stood up, offered the same hand to pull Eric from the stairs. “Let’s go home, OK?”
Even just finding that makes me want to read it all again.
She switches up the POV a little, too, which is nice. When I first got to the Turtle POV story (story #4), I was kind of like, “Really? That’s weird,” but it wasn’t—it was pretty awesome—and it reminded me how much I like seeing my favorite characters through someone else’s eyes, every once in a while. So much stuff happens in that story (it covers a year, January to December) that I think in either Eric or Vince POV, it might have been too heavy or long. Not that 40k isn’t long, but from Turtle’s perspective, we’re getting the most interesting parts of Eric and Vince, plus Turtle’s thoughts on everything. It’s good stuff. And the other stories, roughly half Vince, half Eric, are a great way to get a good feel for both of them.
Definitely read the outtakes. “Personal Security” is a nice little NC-17 interlude (the rest of the series is largely PG-13 and R). The Interview excerpt from “Get Used To It” is so good—sounds really realistic to me. And “Perks” ranks right up there with my favorites of all the stories in this series—it’s little a little microcosm of what makes these characters and this relationship so compelling. I read all the those pieces after I’d finished everything else because they were like special little rewards or something. Those random gifts your mom finds six days after Christmas, that she’d tucked into her desk to hide but then couldn’t find on Christmas Eve. The Interview, you could read right away, but it doesn’t hurt to save the other two.
I feel like there’s so much more I should (and could) say about these stories. I kind of want to give excerpts from them all, or give you my favorite moments or... a million other things. But your time is better spent reading them, not this, so you should go do that (that means you, Boo!).