Keeping the “real” in “reality”

So I’m just bouncing around AO3 going between all the fandoms I’m in, reading what catches my eye. I find this one story in the Don Strachey fandom, and the premise is basically that Don hates clowns.

I hate clowns. Match made in heaven, yes?

So I start reading, “Send In The Clowns, and it’s cute. Don and Timmy are adorable together and I’m digging it. Then we get to the meat of the story – a child disappears during a birthday party. Don’s on the case!

The story’s onlu 7,000 words, so resolution comes quickly. The evil kidnapper is a clown (go figure). But also? He’s a shapeshifter. Seriously. A shapeshifter.

When you’re writing fic, you stick to canon where you need to, and fanon when you need to. Fanon is where you can write in your own take on characters and such. But going from canon/fanon to outright SciFi/Fantasy is just beyond the realm. Worse? The writer included nothing in the notes or summary.

If John Sheppard is a cabdriver, that’s AU. If Simon Banks has wings, that’s AU and fantasy. Don Strachey is a Private Detective in Albany, New York. There aren’t any freaking shape-shifters in Albany. From the story:

Donald laughed softly, the fire in his own eyes matching his partner’s. “Forget having bad guys shoot at you. We’re going to have to pit you against demonic shape-shifters in grease paint and bad wigs more often.”

Don and Timmy don’t even flinch? Just seriously wrong…

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