Disclaimer: This is disjointed and grammatically challenged and I don't care. :P
So here’s the thing. Slipstream has been with me since about June 2008, just shortly after Lucy went “OMP HIII! LOOK AT MEEE, I'M CUTE, CAN I PLAY? :D ” at me. Like always, I checked for official characters with the same name once I was 90% sure I was going to use it, and there was just a little-known (apparently little-used) character called it, so I decided that was ok, there'd be no confusion. (I did find out a few months back that Dreamchylde on DA/ff.net also has an OC by the same name, but again, I doubted there'd be any confusion between the two.)
Now I normally let characters “name themselves”, essentially. The Boss of Nuori-Deuchainn “looked like” an Otto, so that’s his name, now. A'nali-awen went unnamed for AGES until saying the “affectionate diminutive” was Wen and I built on it.
Warp’s twins introduced themselves to me fairly readily:
Footloose (as with everything she does) was pretty easy to name. She dropped on me from a great height, landed in my lap, did big shiny kitty eyes at me, and said:
“Hi! Am Footloose! Am cute! I stay here? Kthx!”
Slipstream was a little more demure about it all. In the aftermath of Lucy crash-landing on me, I discovered him tucked up under my arm. He had his fingers in his mouth, and said “hello” around them, wiggling the fingers of his free hand in a little wave.
“Hello, there. Who are you?” He’s happy staying under my arm, looks like. Started out shy, turned into angry (and shy about girls).
He shakes his little head at me. Don’t know.
“That’s ok, we’ll call you Slipstream until I think of something better, all right?”
For some reason, it just sticks. “Like that. Be Slipstream.”
“But you’re a little groundling who hates heights, and that’s a flier name. Wouldn’t you two rather swap names?”
“Nu-uh. Footloose am girls’ name.”
Annnnd it’d kinda worked out well, so far - until now! I mean, it's just part of the package, you know? They’re twins, a split-spark, intrinsic parts of and incomplete without each other, but polar opposites in a lot of ways, too. Non-identical. Male, female. Groundling with a flier name, skyborn with a groundling name. Scared of heights, scared of being grounded. He’s quiet, thoughtful, somewhat retiring and private about his feelings, and takes after Ama; she’s noisy and impulsive, but open about her thoughts and makes no effort to hide her feelings, and very much takes after Day. So "Slipstream" just fits right in there with all the other illogical things about them.
What has me narked is the fact that now there’s getting on for HUNDREDS of Slipstreams in the fanfiction, and they’re almost all femmes, and it makes me go ARGH. And I should have known when Exie mentioned they'd announced femme!Scream had been given a name that fans the world over would instantly latch on it (regardless of the fact she wasn't names in the TV series), because c'mon, OMG LEGITIMATE OFFICIAL REAL FEMME SEEKER, EVERY FANGIRL'S WET DREAM (supposedly). No more "OMG YOUR FEMME IS SUCH A MARY SUE", now it can be "OMG I'M 'INTERPRETING' (i.e. Sueing up) THE REAL CHARACTER, PISS OFF."
I mean, I can handle other fans having the same idea on names – I accept that “Slipstream” isn’t exactly an unusual name like “Starscream”, and it’s a real word (and it's flying-related), so it stands to reason there’d be more of them. And I know there’s another Deuce, and I’ve seen another Hardline (although I’m a little more suspicious on that count, and he appeared AFTER I started posting SBM, and conveniently just so happened to be a tank.)
BUT, for there to be an official, fan-loved, popular character with the same name? Argh.
I guess it’s like the whole “normal people vs celebrities” thing – if I called the hypothetical child (which I won't be having for a veeery long time), say, Bert, and someone else unconnected but in the same interest group also called their child Bert, it’d just be all “ha, what a coincidence!” But if a celeb named their kid "Bert" a few days after my hypothetical child was named that, and then everyone went "oh hay Bert is so trendy we'll all call our kids "Bert" now?" Yeah, ok, I guess it does all boil down to suddenly lacking that degree of individuality I/we had previously had, and OMG INDIVIDUALITY is like the Holy Grail of SO MANY fandoms, these days. (aka "Green huskies are MINE NO COPYING OMG!")
It now feels more like I’m “copying” a celebrity, regardless of the fact I’d been using the name for at least a year before they announced femme!Scream’s name (and yes she WILL be that forever if I happen to refer to her. That or “that girly Seeker clone”). And c’mon, how unfeminine is Slipstream anyway? I know I’m hardly one to talk, what with having “Forceps” and “Vector” and “Longbeam”, but I guess I’ve interpreted the TF:A femmes as more… feminine? (My girls are female mostly just because they wanted to be - they can switch sex at will, because there's no physical differences, and yes, both genders can bear sparklings with whoever.)
Do I have to put a huge old disclaimer on everything, now? “Yes I know there’s an official character with the same name, but hey, she’s the newcomer, and I’m not going to go through and change a whole year’s work because of it!”
So... I guess it all boils down to "I'm throwing my toys out of the pram because the powers that be have decided to name a popular character by a very common, well-known word that I just happen to have used to name an older OC of mine, and I'm just a stroppy, opinionated, retarded fan with an overblown opinion of her writing, and it's not really a big deal anyway because it's not like they're going to CHANGE it, but I wanted to rant about it! So I have!"
*rar rar boring stressy noises*
Edit: Wow, that turned out longer than I thought it would.