Neglected Fandom Recs: William Beckett
So I'm doing a post on bandslash recs which center around William Beckett, the singer for the band The Academy Is... In case you don't know them, there's a good primer/picspam on both him and them over here.
Anyway, in a lot of bandslash fic, it seems like William gets shoved into the role of a trope character - the drunk guy, the creep, the crazy guy, etc. I think this is probably because he's a difficult guy to characterize.
So, here are some fics that I think actually develop a personality for William Beckett:
Let Go of Everything and its mini-sequel Now That You’re Gone by sweetrecovery
Tom's eyes slip shut. He's not falling asleep, but his eyes just can't stay open anymore.
Bill tips up Tom's chin with his hand. "Tommy. Tommy, look at me."
Tom shakes his head. It's kind of tough to pay attention to anything right now.
"Tommy." Bill speaks insistently but softly.
Tom has to open his eyes.
A really gorgeous, heart-wrenching story about the events leading up to Tom Conrad leaving The Academy Is... This is from Tom’s point of view, but I love the complexity of Bill’s characterization in this fic. It’s very subtle, and I feel like throughout the fic both the reader and Tom are trying to understand where Bill is coming from and why he does what he does. Anyway, it’s wonderful.(P.S. I just discovered the sequel while trying to find the link to this fic, so I don’t really have many comments on it yet, other than ouch, but it’s good, too).
Wearing Down the Treads by airgiodslv
William comes back in from taking a phone call and Gabe throws his arms open wide to greet him. “Holy shit, William Beckett!” he exclaims, wide eyes and shocked expression as William picks his way across the field of bodies and bottles. Alex moves his legs, either to get them out of William’s way or to trip him, one of the two, just as Gabe adds, “Why the fuck won’t you sleep with me?”
William stops moving, half-smile frozen on his face for a second before his expression changes. “Are you talking about that stupid bet?”
“Dare,” Siska puts in from the couch, in the familiar tone he uses when he and William revert back to their high school years. “It was a double-dog dare, you pussy.”
This fic is the best kind of random and hilarious. Gabe keeps trying to find the right kind of grand gesture to win Bill over. I love how this fic is so silly, but it’s still sweet and has, like, actual characterization and (some) plot.
Andante by takarai_karin
The first time Gabe whispered to his ear- ‘your indifference is scary, Billy,’ William had a drink in his hand and it shattered into millions of sharp edges and he felt like the whole club froze to look at him.
For a second William forgot how to laugh.
This fic isn’t perfect – it has a couple little weird grammatical quirks. However, it captures Bill Beckett’s characterization wonderfully. It has a slightly sinister, creepy tone that I really love too.
In search of buried treasure by airgiodslv
Brendon has his lab coat on, one finger pushing his glasses up and scratching his nose at the same time. “Buried treasure,” he repeats. “X marks the spot.”
William looks at him for a second. He decides not to tell Brendon that there’s a pirate standing right behind him, one gold tooth glinting merrily in the nonexistent sunlight. The pirate picks something out of his teeth with a sharp-looking knife, then sucks his teeth in satisfaction and sheathes the knife. There are bangles on his wrists and rings on every one of his fingers. He’s badly in need of a manicure.
“Huh,” William says thoughtfully. “I think you might be onto something.”
This is a snippet that goes in the same universe as airgiodslv’s Behind the Sea which was for bigbang. That fic has already been rec’d here, actually, but this one hasn’t. It’s adorable though, and I love, love psychic!William who sees a pirate that isn’t there. Also the William/Gabe dynamic in this fic is just about the cutest thing ever.
skeptics and true believers by Gale (iphignia939).
The thing was, Patrick and Bill weren't friends, strictly speaking.
They were friendly, which was a whole different thing. They had friends in common, guys like Derek and Trey, guys who played together in marching band and sort of got people around them, like planets orbited stars. But Bill was already tall at thirteen, and liked to wear eyeliner and size -4 t-shirts and skinny girls' jeans, and Patrick ...liked music.
This is one of the very few Patrick/William fics that exist out there, and it is just about the cutest thing ever. Patrick and Bill grow up together in Chicago, and play in bands together, and fool around. It’s just the perfect mix of innocence and awkwardness and preteenage drama, and the ending kills me every time.
Tired Boys and Wired Eyes by imperfectcircle
The thing to remember about Bill is sometimes he works hard at not taking himself seriously. Like, it shouldn't go like that -- you can't frown in concentration to remember not to concentrate -- but Bill pulls it off. He'll be ten seconds into caring about some fucking card game, and then he'll blink and make himself laugh and it's back to regular, easy-going Bill, who'll smile as he bitches all night about something else entirely.
Travis/Bill. I adore this fic for the fact that it manages to be completely ridiculous while still being really well-written and serious and with actual character development. Also, I feel like that paragraph basically sums up William Beckett pretty perfectly, and sounds so much like something Travis would say, too.
Anything You Could Keep by gigantic
And it wasn't that William was particularly strange or anything. He was just another fifteen-year-old kid, really, when they first met. He happened to like talking in theories that often started with "So, I was reading," and continued with the name of some self-help book, but mostly he just listened to a lot of Hot Water Music. He played guitar pretty well, too, Siska found out, and the fact that he could play the notes for the Chicago Bulls starting lineup theme somehow meant William also had the power to convince Siska to put nearly all his ideas into practice.
So, this fic is really Sisky-centric, but I adore it and I had to rec it here. It also has a wonderful characterization of William Beckett, and it captures the hilarity and craziness of youth so perfectly.
The Hitchiker’s Guide to Rock ‘n’ Roll by circuity
Most of the time, it was pretty dull.
On the first morning, William woke with a crick in his neck, sober and disoriented.
“There’s something wrong about one of those two,” he told Travis, munching on an energy bar. Travis had stopped again, leaving William sleeping in the back seat. William was yet to examine his guitar for scratch marks.
“You’re a fucked up kid,” Travis muttered, but it was said without malice. William noticed the slight strain around his eyes and offered to take the wheel again.
This is a wonderful AU where William is hitchiking to Chicago and Travis gives him a lift. I love the tone, how it’s kind of mellow but then there will be these really sharp, tense moments that just get you. Anyway, it’s a great fic.
Stop-Motion Animated by Zee (ficbyzee)
The first time Travis meets William Beckett he reminds him of this cross between a grasshopper and a stork, just with more hair--he's all long legs and sharp angles, flinging his long arms out at the crowd, gesticulating and flailing his limbs when he sings. He turns gawky into graceful and vice versa, that's what Travis thinks the first time he watches him perform, and he wants to scribble that down to remember for a song someday.
This is a really sweet little Travis/William fic that I like a lot. It has a great Travis voice, and a really great Beckett description, in my opinion. It’s also hot as hell.
Invisible Lines by ink_like_blood
William was a talker when he was drunk, and Bob always listened. Well, listened was a bit strong, but Bob was practiced at letting William talk himself out, nodding where necessary and enjoying the wide arc of William’s arms as he made his point, the smile he always got when William finally understood his own rambling.
This is one of two William/Bob McLynn (one of the high-ups of Crush Management, FOB’s and PATD’s manager) fics that I know of. The other one is rec’d just below this one. I love this fic so, unbelievably much for just being the cutest, hotest, basically best thing ever. It really captures the power dynamic between William and Bob so well, and it’s just…well, it’s a really good fic. Read it!
I Just Picked Me a Plum by callsigns
William swayed next to him, and he automatically anchored an arm around William's waist, murmuring "don't fall, kid," into his ear.
"I can walk," William said indignantly, his fingers plucking at Bob's arm. "I can walk, I could fucking run, I could run like a mile or more, like the New York Marathon, like P. Diddy did – "
"Diddy didn't," Joe said, and William blinked.
"Diddy did not."
"Diddy did too!" William frowned and turned to Bob. "Didn't he?"
"Could you please not confuse him?" Bob rubbed the heel of his hand against William's hip comfortingly, ignoring Joe's laughter. "He's already got to remember what hotel room we're in."
This fic could basically be a sequel to the one mentioned above. It is also William/Bob McLynn and it is ohsosweet and cute and really well written. Again, I just love it. Why are there not more fics of this pairing? There totally should be.
Makes Me Feel Much Taller Than You Are by bluejbird
On stage Tom flips his hair out of his eyes and grins over at the singer, who looks up and smiles. Something clenches hard in William’s chest. There’s a nasty taste in his mouth, the beer gone sour, and William sets his bottle down.
William goes to see an Empires show, and eventually gets some closure. This fic is basically awesome. I love the tension in it, the way that William just can’t quite let go, even though he knows that he should. I also adore the dynamic between all of the characters. It just feels so real. And the ending, jesus, the ending is just so perfect it hurts.
So, that’s it…enjoy!
ETA: Link problem fixed! Sorry guys; when I copied the html from Microsoft Word, where I originally did it, it ended up with some extra spaces and stuff in it. Problem (hopefully) fixed.