Meta, to me, is mental fanfic of a kind--you take the ideas (characters) and work out a reason for interaction (plot), then use what you have read (canon) to hold it together. Occasionally other people's theories as well (fanon). In a very loose way. I am not good at it, because I don't read it often enough to get into the flow of ideas (ie, I am not part of the fandom of meta). I am an interpretive community of one (tm cathexys), so to speak. I have no idea how to generalize outside myself as a.) wow, bad idea, b.) no, seriously, bad idea and c.) I can't explain the ocean.
That's why I can't explain this.
For me, community plays a key role in pretty much everything, from how I view the text, read the text, discuss the text, to how I argue against the text. Depending on time, place, the state of caffeine in my bloodstream, and whether I've had this argument before, it can influence how I interpret the text via fanfic. It's not so much agreement by majority, though I won't lie, majority is freaking influential both consciously and unconsciously. Leather pants fic hit every freaking fandom for a reason, no matter how strange. Every. Fandom. Has Leather Pants fic.
That's community influence. Leather pants.
So that long lead in to this: I'm weirded out that I got hit, extremely hard, in that epic way fic does when you just live and die on it and want to rec it everywhere and talk about it with everyone, by two fic that I ran across that was linked from a rec page but did not say "Also, this is going to be that one fic you have been looking for" which I find unfair. And I'm not at all sure why. Because for me, as a rule, I require both personal input (god that was good) combined with community involvement (and everything that entails).
It's not that I've loved every fanfic that broke fandom. But I don't tend to collapse over fic when there is a total lack of any kind of community context. A fic usually hits for me in this particular way because it's fantastic, because it is being discussed (so I can indulge myself), and because it speaks to the fannish community in the text in some way, in whatever arguments the community is having over whatever. Like thete1's Past Grief (apocafic, an evil Superman, debates over good and evil and his actions and/or lack of actions in the text, blah blah blah), or samdonne's Cowboys fics (Sheppard's motivation, personality, right and wrong, limits of family and friendship, the list goes on), and etcetera.
So I was really surprised to find two dS stories that had that effect when I don't have community context to work with or against, or heck, have anything to work period since I'm not part of the community either at the time of writing or technically, right now. I have to think there's some universal theme going on that they are speaking to in a very big way, but for fanfic, for me, they shouldn't without context.
And because I'm sure someone wants to know, below cut are the fics in question.
Gladly Beyond by glossing
Surviving by lalejandra
You know, this is far too much meta in two weeks. I need to return to porn now.