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12 June 2020 @ 02:41 pm
fic rec masterpost  

Okay, so I decided to finally start compiling some of my favorite fics, along with short(ish) descriptions of why they're worth reading. This post will get updated occasionally, mostly for my own convenience and because this goodness deserves its own running post. A lot of these come from my faves list on fanfiction.net, but then, a bunch of them don't.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER/ANGEL

Mrs. Grieves and the Fallen Woman - I would highly recommend ANYTHING by Herself (she's a fantastic storyteller and an extremely professional fanfiction writer - yes, that's possible, and I'm about to rec about five more of her fics), but this sticks out at me especially. Basically, Buffy finds herself displaced in time, cast from Sunnydale circa 2000 into 1800s England. Without family, all a destitute Buffy has to cling to is William - who, she finds, is very different from Spike.  While the tension, details, and character are all wonderful, what struck me most was how much the time period affected Buffy - this was truly, truly a time before women were allowed any kind of soveriegnty,  be it economic, sexual, creative, whatever. Because Buffy has no man to take care of her, she becomes nothing in this world - BUFFY THE FREAKING VAMPIRE SLAYER. It's a really interesting peek at a modern/Victorian culture clash. Also, I like seeing a view of William that's nuanced. Smutty, angsty, lengthy, and too good to put down, just like all of her fics.

Let's Get Lost - One of my faves because it follows the Buffy that the viewer saw in 'Anne', the episode in which Buffy abandons her life in Sunnydale (and her name) to fade into obscurity as a waitress. Of course, this all takes place after the S2 finale, in which Buffy gets accused of murder, ostracized by her mother, suspended from school, and, of course, kills Angel. I loved this idea of Buffy - I probably wouldn't want to watch it for an entire show, or an entire season, but I loved it and wish we'd seen more of it.  In this fic, Buffy never quite gets up the heart to go home, but the problem is that Spike finds her - and he won't let her get away with that. Sure, they teamed up to take down Angelus a few months ago, but what's bringing him back? What could be a straight-up smutty roadtrip turns into something that cuts a lot deeper.

A Terrible Thing - Last Herself rec, I promise! Basically, this offers another tantalizing 'what-if': What if Spike had been the one to fulfill the Shanshu? What if he'd turned human? Theoretically, it's peachy. In practice? Not  so much. This is (at the risk of being totally cliche) a rollercoaster of emotions. There's a loving Buffy, but there's also a Spike more nihilistic, pathetic, and terrible than you've ever seen him. It also offers an interesting view of a post-Buffy, post-Angel reunion. This is another one that will keep you up ALL NIGHT reading. It's lengthy, but, as Joan would say, "good to the last drop" (only, I doubt the guy who wrote Lady Chatterlay's lover had anything on Herself). 

 Intervention - Faith isn't one of my favorite Buffy characters, but I do find her compelling. Basically, this is Faith on the darker road. Featuring a random Wesley appearance, amazingly succint, telling dream details (the first dream sequence? So awesome), and a dark, dark Faith. Shorter (definitely shorter than Herself's fic), but not for you if you hate dream sequences. Definitely a yes if you love telling details and dark what-ifs.  

BLEACH
 
Through Endless Sands - UlquiHime angst will eat my soul. Seriously. I don't know why I love this fic so much, considering my heart cracked a little reading it. I think it's because Orihime's hope is so beautifully characterized, but then she gets cut down and, of course, Ulquiorra learns how to hope, even though it's pointless. Gah. 

Splinter - Another fic by the same author. It presents an understated, even stark, look at Orihime's character. Basically, Ishida's dead, Ichigo's indifferent, and Orihime feels lost and messed-up, which leads her into a relationship with someone that she (and probably, you) least expected. It's also a fantastic look at Ishida and his father, and their relationship. The fact that the look comes through a third party only makes it the more tragic.   
NARUTO

Bell Jars - Because my review was right at the top: " I read this ages ago and came back because I remembered it so well. That alone is a good sign - that I read the piece well enough to remember it, and that I wanted to come back and see it again. This has to be one of the loveliest Sakura-coming-to-terms fics I've ever read, and it even feeds a little bit of my shipper soul, so that's definitely a perk. I love what Sakura learns, and the journey she goes through from rebellious, unhappy girl to content, by-all-means-normal woman. How she gives up the life she set herself on for something that actually works out much better for her." A Sakura centric oneshot that takes her someplace the reader wouldn't expect, and maybe even won't like. Another look at a girl through her relationships which, for some reason, seems to be something I like. I think it's because I primarily identify with characters who in some way struggle with or against (or even for) their femininity, and for them, relationships are a big deal. Of course, it always ends up being something more that sets them right or wrong.

Nothing Gold Can Stay - This is a look at one of the other tailed beasts, who, if the title didn't tip you off, does not live a long and prosperous life. I love alternate, in-depth looks at minor characters, so this is right on the mark. And it's pretty. And there's poetry! 

House of Crows - Before this, I had a middling interest in KakaSaku. This completely converted me, and now I'm achey because I know it's never going to be canon. This is probably my favorite Naruto fanfiction ever. It's Sakura centric (and yeah, Sakura's a badass who still has a myriad of mundane problems that make her totally sympathetic and fascinating). Pregnancy plotlines (who's the baby's father?), undercover missions, epic conspiracies, detailed world-building, and full-out warfare - what else can you ask for?

The Space Between - A look at Kurenai after Asuma's death, along with her relationships with said dead lover, Kiba, Shikamaru, Hinata, and her child. It's got that dreamlike, poetic quality I really enjoy. And it's pretty. Just read it, okay? 

OURAN
The Framework of the Universe - This fic's greatest strength is it's strong characterizations of the entire Host Club. Everyone's super IC, and it's cute and funny. It's the sort of thing that's so mild and well-executed that it wuold make KyouHaru plausible for even non-believers. 

University: The Demon of Med School Mania - lulzy college satire with the Host Club. Just a piece of fun gen that will probably make you snort a couple times if you've come in contact with anything similar. Only the Host Club could tackle this problem like this...

Mistress - sexy, sharp, interesting Kyouya/OC. I enjoy the OC - and Kyouya's perception of her - so much that it made it to this list. 

Brick - songfic to the (equally or more heartbreaking) song of the same title. KyouHaru, and angst/tragedy in the best and worst ways. The writing leaves everything unsaid and between the lines, but it works perfectly because neither Kyouya nor Haruhi is one for expression, anyway. Although the chain of events is described almost impersonally, the feelings hit you in the face. Ouch.
 
Pretend - fairytales gone wrong. Renge/Kyouya. I love TeaForRevenge's style, because it's so deceptively simple. It communicates so much, and, better yet, the soft writing often belies twisted feelings and ideas. I also particularly admire her use of motifs. Also, this is notable in that it's one of very few well-written Renge introspectives out there.  

Trinity - if you thought 'Pretend' was twisted, 'Trinity' will probably take it to another level. Beautiful (and slightly disturbing) look at Kyouya and the way he compartmentalizes different parts of himself. Slight KyouHaru. For a sort of companion story, see The Fourth. It's a look at the Ohtori family - specifically, Kyouya - through Yoshio's wife, and shows how disturbing it would be for Kyouya to really attain his goal of following in his father's footsteps, in more ways than one.
 
Come Inside -  anything by  Ureii Sachi is probably a good bet, but this in particular is wonderful. Not finished, but you don't need to finish it to enjoy it. It's a Kyouya/Haruhi/Mori triangle in an AR, and is based on 'The Snow Queen'. Beautiful, beautiful writing. It's both cold and wistful; distant and touching.

 We Women - snippets on different female characters from Ouran. It's one of my favorites because of the way it succesfully uses different voices for each character (try figuring out who's who), and gives insight on characters that may not have been there in the first place. I'm particularly fond of Eclair's penchant for opera, because it seems like it would be true. Inexplicably, this is probably my favorite fic by sciathan file, who has a myriad of good work to choose from.   

Without Merit - "Kyouya calls in all debts." Firstly, I have to admit I'm happy to find some KyouHaru semi-smut that plays in the same icky, murky water as That Scene (You Know Which One) does. But I'm happy about that in a great part because it reflects Kyouya's nature so well. He's such a mess of contradictions and I love it when fanfic writers exploit that. Aside from that, the writer's language checks off all my favorite things to see in fic: motifs, clear dialogue, insidious implications, a world built evenly around the characters, and enough going on to keep my eyes stuck on the screen. This is probably my favorite KyouHaru story ever.
RESIDENT EVIL

The Serpent - Somewhat OOC for the characters, but totally gorgeous, totally raw, and totally up my alley. Basically: Jill is still under Wesker's thumb, and Wesker has managed to unleash Uroboros on the world. Only no on survives... except (you guessed it) Jill, Chris, and Wesker. And if the apocalypse doesn't kill them, their own, human problems will. Like most apocalypse stories, it's hard to read and at the same time fascinating. The writing is minimalist, terse, and appropriate to the situation. Even though the characters are OOC, accept that it's an AU fic and enjoy the fact that - OOC or not - this is still one of the best Weskers you're likely to find. Wesker/Jill, Jill/Chris. 

Triad - If Wesker assembled a pseudofamily, this is what it would be like: Wesker, Sherry, Steve, and lots of snide remarks. Somehow manages to be perfectly in character (barring a bit of RE5 extremist!Wesker) and cutting while still making me laugh out loud and aaaw at the adorable moments. Because yes. They are adorable. Sherry/Wesker, Wesker/Steve

Sonata 14 - Sherry Birkin, post-RE5. When Sherry finds a chance to revive Wesker, she takes it - even if it costs her both freedom and normality. Interesting Sherry-centric fic that focuses on what her relationship with guardian!Wesker might be like (its predecessor looks into that issue even more; this one has more movement). Good, pretty writing and a different fic than you usually see in the RE fandom. 
FABLE

The Sadism of Eros - There's not a lot of good Fable fanfic, and what there is tends to be meh to awful. I mean, I'm just looking for some decent Reaver smut. Apparently that's really hard to find. But Kousagi does a really good job of delivering. It's not quite smut, but it's definitely got its smutty moments. Her Reaver  is dead-on, and her Princess is tolerable (even likable), which is a huge plus in a Reaver/Princess fic. The plot moves along at a good pace, and it makes me giggle. Plus she draws really gorgeous fanart for her fic, as well as really gorgeous/fun fanart period.

FINAL FANTASY XII
But the Wind is Free- One of the most amazing ARs I've ever read. This one hits the ground running, so it might hurt your brain a little (I had to read it twice to pick up most of it), but it's totally worth if if you know your FFXII canon decently. The basic premise is role-reversal between Fran and Ashe, a series of changes that includes Ashe's not being heir to the throne of Dalmasca. The pairing is Fran/Ashe, which I'm pretty indifferent to, but this writer pulls it off swimmingly. Besides, romance isn't really the focus here: the altered world is. And of course, I'm a sucker for Balthier, so I loved his Fframran - more like Cid than his canon counterpart - to bits. It has an also-awesome companion, What Choices are Given, but I don't like it so much due to petty personal preferences (Ffamraaaaan, stop breaking my heart!).
Spica Major - It's weird that I would pick this fic when this author specializes in Fran/Balthier, which I love. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for Balthier/Ashe when there's hatesex involved. This fic manages to keep this characters intact while playing around with the universe, adding to it the kind of detail and myth that I always love to see in FFXII fic. For similarly appealing fic that's party gen, check out A Farce in the Rain.
Chyrsalis - This author has a whole set of interwoven FFXII fic that's totally excellent. This just happens to be my favorite, about Ashe growing up, and traces her from adolescence to the day her entire kingdom crumbled. Again: why is there so much awesome fic for Ashe? I don't even like her, but this fic makes me like her. It's a little offbeat and generally perfect. Her Innis also a good gen fic that farther establishes the FXII universe.
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE
(GRRM DOES NOT APPROVE, BUT I DO!)
SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES 
The Joinery -  Ned/Cersei. What makes this fic so good is how fully and vividly it imagines this AU-verse - what if Ned had become king instead of Robert, and Cersei had married him, instead? It's an AU that uses its premise to explore the characters more fully. Cersei might have been more sympathetic here than in the books, but it only made me understand and appreciate the complexities of canon Cersei all the better. 
A Bright White Raincoat -  So sad. It's really strange to see a real-world AU (like, really, really strange) and it's a little off, but overall it's worth it for the sheer goodness. I don't even like Sansa and the Hound, okay? This is just really well done, even if its' not far from true to the books because it's so AU. 
A Virtuoso of DecietThe world needs more Petyr/Sansa what-ifs. I love this Sansa. I love this sense of manipulation, and of Petyr ultimately failing her in all the ways he promised - making a creature that eventually kills him. (exclusive to greathouses)
Stains More Petyr/Sansa, surprise, surprise.  Just a very elegant look at how Sansa learns from Petyr and transforms so fully into Alayne. (Made me excited because, honestly? The second they got to the Fingers and he offered her the pomegranate seeds I was like OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, LITERARY REFERENCE HERE.) (exclusive to greathouses)


HARRY POTTER
Silene Noctiflora - I love the Blacks, and I love HP prequels. Awesome darkfic. You know it's coming and yet... eeek. The bit at the end kind of puts the darkfic nail in the darkfic coffin, though. Awesome portrayals of Bellatrix and Narcissa - I find Bellatrix especially difficult (balancing insane with, um, not-insane, and taking into account her age), but this author did wonderfully.

There are Some - AR written in 2006 (pre... what? HBP?), in which Harry dies in the battle against Voldemort, leaving Hermione and Ron to embrace life outside the magical community. Meanwhile, Draco, who's also striking out for a magic-less life, tries to deal with his crazy dad. Of course it's Draco/Hermione. What I love about this fic isn't that it managed to keep everyone in character, but that it diverged from canon while still working really well. All I can say is that I really enjoyed it. It's a good, bittersweet read. OOC and very AU. 

OTHER

 
 
in my ears: Wandering Star - Portishead
 
 
 
enisy: BtVS:: Spuffy (Someday)enisy on June 13th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC)
I second the Herself recs. She's probably my favourite author in any fandom ever.
shinebunny: buffy2shinebunny on June 13th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I thought you might have heard of her. Her Spike/Buffy fic is AMAZING. She's one of those really talented writers who elevates fanfiction from a fannist activity and into an art.