I’ve been writing and reading fanfiction for almost as long as I’ve been on the internet. I don’t recall how I first discovered FanFiction.net – then the biggest hotspot for such stories, although these days ArchiveOfOurOwn.org is the place to be – but I definitely remember staying up way past my bedtime, scrolling endlessly through slash fic.
It gave me a kind of satisfaction that is much easier to find on the internet nowadays than it was back then – the satisfaction of knowing you had found “your people.” The people who obsessed about the same things you obsessed about, and were nerdy in similar ways to you. The people who noticed that that one character always wore a particular necklace, and wanted to speculate on what that necklace meant. The people who wondered about, and wrote about, the traumas that had made these characters who they were. The people who, like me, wanted to know what it would be like if two particular characters fucked each other, even if the original media property’s showrunner or author evidently didn’t think they ever should.