Posts Tagged 'track this thread'

Track This Thread? Because hello, feelings.

One of my primary motivations in writing this story was to write about the scene Clint remembers, of standing by the river in India with the thousand lights and hoping for a single moment that his feelings were returned. There’s such an agony of hope in there that I think we each know, and my goal in writing Track This Thread was specifically to tease that out, the way love and pain can feel when they’re all you feel. It was a real fucking exercise in bleakness, but as an exercise in evoking a sensation, it was a really fun writing challenge. I mean, I say fun. I know a lot of people cried, but it was fun for me. *ducks from rotten tomatoes*


What was “that one scene” for Track This Thread? Actually, I think that at this point you could do a master post of the one-scenes because I bet you’re getting a flood of asks about them anyways.

Hah – how about I just answer them as they come? For Track This Thread:

Clint thinks that one time, Coulson did — love him.

He goes over that moment at night sometimes, the way he presses his thumbs down on green and purple bruises, is forever running his tongue over the cuts inside his mouth after one bullshit brawl or another. It hurts, it fucking hurts, but he thinks about it with the religious fervor of the converted — this is his tent in middle America, this is that sermon he can’t stop hearing echo inside his head.

It had been late, ish, night sweeping over Varanasi and all the lights of Diwali scraping back against it, gleaming in the orange burn of tempered darkness. Clint remembers the sudden drop in the temperature, the way it had been a steady 85 degrees all God damn day, and how the heat had vanished like the continental shelf underfoot, and the chill had seeped in where it could between the huddled gush of people around the banks of the Ganges — lanterns floating in the water, in between the golden slivers of light. 

Clint remembers so perfectly, the steps down to the water, the thousands of candles lit in perfect ordered rows down them, the fireworks, the the lights strung up everywhere, and how he’d felt like the entire city was gilded — golden.

The next part’s not clear, the next bit, Clint’s not sure about, because it feels like he was swimming in honey when he saw it, all the noises gone wobbly under water.

But he thinks he turned, and saw — for too long, for eons, a year, maybe 15 eternal seconds — Coulson looking at him like people look at women in black and white movies, like Clint had looked at the orange-warm windows of houses in suburban neighborhoods, miles away from the cold dirt of the circus tents. Backlit against the corona of lights gone up, Coulson’s eyes had been dark and darkly sweet, and anybody else Clint’s autonomic bodily responses would have moved his legs and hands, and he would have pressed his palms to the line of Coulson’s jaw and drawn him in. 

Coulson was a man who was ruthlessly kind, whose fury and forgiveness came at once. Over the years he’d let Clint sleep in his office, take his stuff, steal his clothes, occupy his time with complete disregard for how every incursion he didn’t fight was getting Clint a little deeper — and he’d done it with that fucking look: patient, unhurried, like he would be there still waiting when Clint was ready to come in from the cold.

So Clint can feel the horrible swoop of his stomach, the disbelief that makes his throat hurt. Coulson wouldn’t do this. He wouldn’t be this cruel. 

Because even if it was only that once, for that accidental, infinite moment by the river while one million lights had been scraping away at the darkness, it had been real to Clint, and to let them — fuck it, to let him grieve like is this is too awful, and the hope for what this might mean goes down like a coal in Clint’s belly, so that the harder he clutches at it the worse it hurts. 

Er, well, I meant that “User Since” is a lot more sympathetic, while the general feeling I get from “Track This Thread” is more ‘look at all these closeted nerds in the basement” (Stuff like this: “…hot bottled mess of nerd sweat and patriotism…” or “creepy forum friends”). I’m not saying I disliked your story or anything! I really liked it! I just felt that there was a shift in how people talked about the forum and the people on it.

Ah yes! That’s very much the consequence of a shift in point of view. In User Since, you’re seeing fandom from the inside out, the way fans see one another and the structures and communities we build for ourselves and each other. We get it, we speak the same language.

In Track This Thread, the story is from an outsider point of view, and from the perspective of someone for whom these activities hold no draw, it goes beyond just not feeling the same depth of commitment. if Clint had it in him to also be a fan, maybe he’d come around – although deeply unlikely about Cap fandom at least, because, well, Steve – but he’s seeing this without context or explanation really.

Same goes for most of the Avengers, with the exception of Tony, who I am betting is just an asshole. 

I’ve noticed that “Track This Thread” and “User Since” are really different in how they portray the forum board. Was this intentional?

I’m going to need clarification when you say “really different” in portrayal between the two stories.

Track This Thread – rageprufrock (COMPLETED)

Track This Thread – rageprufrock (COMPLETED)

This may be a silly question, but. Does Pam stand for Purple Archer Man?

Nope. 🙂

Is a rewrite of the first five chapters of TTT to make them AOS/Cap2 compliant on the table? Idk if that would be more or less work for you than going full AU, but I’m curious if you are/did consider rewriting/editing as a solution.


Uh, no. That was and will never be on the table. It is 1 million percent more work to do a rewrite than just to wait and see what I want to scavenge out of the corpse of S1 of Agents of SHIELD. 

If nothing else, Track This Thread is 52 pages long. If I ever declared I was rewriting 52 pages just assume that’s a code phrase for going on a six month bender of poor choices and regret. 

Plus for better or worse, I don’t mind being jossed that much, or having to take this in an alternate direction, it’s just annoying to have it be going down while I’m trying to write since I hadn’t needed – previously – to totally disconnect with the source canon, if that makes any sense. 


East Coast Gazette has a terrible editorial focus and tends to use a lot of ALL CAPS but TOTALLY NOT BECAUSE OF HARRY POTTER. Stories in progress as well as snapshots will be listed in the "box full of snapshots" below, website archive for stories and assorted tomfoolery is glitterati.

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